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Haiti (revision and introduction to intermediate guide module 2005)
rights, freedoms and repression |
Friday May 20, 2005 16:23 by repellent writing style (LOL)
( i wonder are all the same readers/experts/commentator voices online this year? )
Thousands marched to call for the return of exiled Haitian Jean Bertrand Aristide this May18th the day the caribbean state marks its flag day and comemorates the declaration of Toussiant L'Ouverture's republic.
As the people of Haiti look forward to elections and voting and "not voting" this summer / autumn and are in the "registration" process which lasts till August 9th.
It is thus opportune to return our attention to Haiti.
Info on electoral registry:-
you will remember in the beginners guide 2004 we looked at the French declaration 6th April to guarantee free elections (with or without Jimmy Carter) quite simply coz I know I'm going to write a "how the Haiti-eans voted and not voted" article.
Currently many nations contribute to peace keeping operations in Haiti under an UN umbrella.
Chile is the latest to vote to keep its 539 troops and 39 police there, and honestly it doesn't really look like a reduction in foreign armed presence is likely any time soon.
This is for many reasons beyond unrest in Haiti itself. Drugs come into this. Drugs come into Haiti, cross Haiti and leave Haiti every day. And coz this is an evil world, the Haiti people (who don't have a proper looking or sounding national adjective) don't get decent money for the trade.
Accordingly they don't have hospital beds, clean water, developed tourism, proper schools, or punctual trams.
But attempts are being made to build those things, the "capitalist" rather than "autonomous neo-zapatista" way. In the last 72 hours, key trans-national institutions of financial power have decided to intervene in Haiti to build roads and infrastructure under "low interest" national loans.
Thus the Caribbean development bank and the inter-americas banks come in the door.
They also have a relationship which is "sort of strained" with the other state with which they share the island - the spanish speaking Dominican Republic. At present the Dominicans are "repatriating" thousands of people, many of whom left in the last year and a half. And this is causing new work for the international police forces, who in the last months have been accused of "not being up to the job" as we saw pictures of inadecquate and human rights breaching prison cells on fire, and dead prisoners on the roads. It is still unclear whether the UN will protect the police officers in that case.
The Human Rights abuses carried out by police forces in Haiti must find a response in all states that contribute police there. Here is an open letter from Argentina Indymedia on the subject (in english)
and here is the text it refers to (in english)
And since the lighting speed unrest moved daily across the little "half island" state 15 months ago, a lot of €U diplomatic skill has gone into the web site designs, if you undertook the introductory guide in 2004 you will note that now Haiti sites are now secured by French and Canadian tecky heads. Which in our funny street speak sort of means they've been merrovinginvanjan'd and neither nasty Gloria Estafan types or urbana Champagne hackers are going to deprive the world of web-based communication from Haiti the land of Voodoo...
the march of Arisitide's supporters:-
the statement from Aristide on his exile March 6th 2004:-
the background to the Haiti events Feb 9 2004.
and here are more links ( in french)
and here is the Haiti info network-