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Port-au-Prince

August 27, 2010 Weblog:

Scraping by on Mud Cookies

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By Wadner Pierre

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Aug 27, 2010 (IPS) - At six in the morning in Cite Soleil, the poorest zone of Haiti's capital city, the sun is already up. It's the start of another workday for Lurene Jeanti, making cookies from mud, butter and salt. She's been mixing the ingredients on the side of the road to sell to her neighbours for the past eight years.

"The mud helps me take care of my children," she says matter-of-factly.

Jeanti is a slight, muscled woman, one of millions of Haitians who have migrated from the countryside to Port-au- Prince over the past decade. She left her hometown to find a way to feed her five kids.

"My children have no father. I am the mother and the father of them," Jeanti told IPS. The father is gone and Haiti has no statutes protecting women who are abandoned with their children.

Jeanti grew up in Anse D'Hainault, a remote town in Haiti's southwest near Grand Anse, known as the "city of poets". Ezer Villaire, one of the great Haitian poets, was born and raised there.

Unlike other parts of rural Haiti, trees still populate the mountains and little plateaus where yams and cacao are grown. "Have you visited Anse D'Hainault? It's really nice. You should go," she told IPS. "I used to farm. I am a farmer."

But the income from farming small crops wasn't enough. Unemployment rates rise to 80-90 percent in much of the countryside.

Now Jeanti lives in Cité Saint Georges, a tiny district within Cité Soleil. The concrete canal running through the neighbourhood is full to the brim with plastic bottles.

She sits in a dirty corner near the entrance to a narrow corridor where people come to buy mud cookies or a gallon of water from a neighbour. Most the houses are made with concrete blocks and unfinished.

» continue reading "Scraping by on Mud Cookies"

August 24, 2010 Weblog:

Haiti Gears Up for Polls - Again, Sans Lavalas

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By Wadner Pierre
published by IPS
Photo by Wadner Pierre
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Jul 30, 2010 (IPS) - After weeks of delays, Haitian President René Préval confirmed this month that presidential and legislative elections will take place on Nov. 28. The U.N. and Western donor nations are pledging millions of dollars in support of the polls, but with at least 1.5 million people still homeless from the January earthquake, questions loom over how to ensure voter participation.

In the last round of senatorial elections before the earthquake, less than three percent of the electorate participated. Fanmi Lavalas, widely seen as the most popular political party in the country, was excluded from the election on technical grounds, along with some other parties. Now, the party has again been banned from participating in the November polls.

International donors have expressed disappointment at Haiti's failure to hold inclusive elections, but have continued to fund them.

In recent weeks U.S. Senator Richard Lugar, the ranking Republican member on the foreign relations committee, issued two reports recommending candidates from Fanmi Lavalas be allowed to participate. But his calls have been dismissed by Préval and the Provisional Electoral Council, the entity charged with organising elections.

On Wednesday, nearly one hundred Fanmi Lavalas supporters held a sit-in outside the U.S. Embassy in Port-au-Prince.

"We come in front of the Embassy to ask President [Barack] Obama to take action because we didn't support him for this," said a woman identifying herself as Madeleine. "President Préval excludes us from the elections. We voted for him, but this isn't what we wanted."

» continue reading "Haiti Gears Up for Polls - Again, Sans Lavalas"

February 16, 2010 Weblog:

Haiti One Month after the Earthquake: I Witnessed, And I Want to Tell

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Article photos by
Wadner Pierre

One Month after the Earthquake, bureaucracy worsens the situation in Haiti. Because of a lack of leadership, the Haitian government has no control over the distribution of humanitarian aid. In spite of all the millions of dollars that have been raised and sent to Haiti, the majority of earthquake survivors still do not receive help. However, people do keep moving with dignity and a big hope of restarting a new life and putting their country back to work.

Haitian people always show the world that they are a strong people and can rebuild their country no matter how long it will take them. Haiti's reconstruction should and must be done in the interest of Haitian people. One month since the 7.0 earthquake destroyed Haiti's capital and a great part of the south and southeast of the country, the world has mobilized to help the Haitian people. Millions of dollars and tons of medical supplies have been sent to the country through international organizations and large nongovernmental organizations (NGOs). However, the Haitian people do not know to whom they have to turn for help, and they now are asking the following questions:

What are these millions doing for us survivors?
Who is benefitting from these millions?
Who has access to the UN operations center?
Who decides for the Haitian people?

My recent trip to my beloved country, Haiti, helped me and gave me the answers.

Twenty thousand US troops, several thousand Canadian troops, the NGO sector, armored vehicles, US ships, helicopters, and several hundred SUVs or 4WD vehicles are allowing the NGOs' representatives to continue their bureaucracy while Haitian people have no tents, no water, no food, and children are dying because of lack of care.

» continue reading "Haiti One Month after the Earthquake: I Witnessed, And I Want to Tell"

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January 28, 2010 Weblog:

On the Ground in Port-Au-Prince

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By Lawyer, Professor, Bill Quigley
Hundreds of thousands of people are living and sleeping on the ground in Port-Au-Prince. Many have no homes, their homes destroyed by the earthquake. I am sleeping on the ground as well - surrounded by nurses, doctors and humanitarian workers who sleep on the ground every night. The buildings that are not on the ground have big cracks in them and fallen sections so no one should be sleeping inside.

There are sheet cities everywhere. Not tent cities. Sheet cities. Old people and babies and everyone else under sheets held up by ropes hooked onto branches pounded into the ground.
With the rainy
season approaching, one of the emergency needs of Haitians is to get tents. I have seen hundreds of little red topped Coleman pup tents among the sheet shelters. There are tents in every space, from soccer fields and parks to actually in the streets. There is a field with dozens of majestic beige tents from Qatar marked Islamic Relief. But real tents are outnumbered by sheet shelters by a ratio of 100 to 1.
Rescues continue but the real emergency remains food, water, health care and shelter for millions.
Though helicopters thunder through the skies, actual relief of food and water and shelter remains minimal to non-existent in most neighborhoods.
Haitians are helping Haitians. Young men have organized into teams to guard communities of homeless families. Women care for their own children as well as others now orphaned. Tens of thousands are missing and presumed dead.
The scenes of destruction boggle the mind. The scenes of homeless families, overwhelmingly little children, crush the heart.

» continue reading "On the Ground in Port-Au-Prince "

January 18, 2010 Weblog:

NOT ONCE have we witnessed a single act of aggression or violence

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Ciné Institute Director David Belle reports from Port-au-Prince:

"I have been told that much US media coverage paints Haiti as a tinderbox ready to explode. I'm told that lead stories in major media are of looting, violence and chaos. There could be nothing further from the truth.

"I have traveled the entire city daily since my arrival. The extent of damages is absolutely staggering. At every step, at every bend is one horrific tragedy after another; homes, businesses, schools and churches leveled to nothing. Inside every mountain of rubble there are people, most dead at this point. The smell is overwhelming. On every street are people -- survivors -- who have lost everything they have: homes, parents, children, friends.

"NOT ONCE have we witnessed a single act of aggression or violence. To the contrary, we have witnessed neighbors helping neighbors and friends helping friends and strangers. We've seen neighbors digging in rubble with their bare hands to find survivors. We've seen traditional healers treating the injured; we've seen dignified ceremonies for mass burials and residents patiently waiting under boiling sun with nothing but their few remaining belongings. A crippled city of two million awaits help, medicine, food and water. Most haven't received any.

"Haiti can be proud of its survivors. Their dignity and decency in the face of this tragedy is itself staggering."
David Belle, January 17th, 2010
Posted by Wadner Pierre at 10:57

February 6, 2009 Weblog:

The Uninspiring "Dialogue" of President Preval

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January 30th, 2009

By: Wadner Pierre - HaitiAnalysis.com

What kinds of words do the Haitian people need to hear from President René Préval during these hard times? Do Haitians need the hopeful discourse of US president Barack Obama?

One would think that President Préval, a man with high level government experience dating back to the Aristide administration of 1991, would know how to address the Haitian people. Honesty need not crush hope, and false hope is useless. From the time of slavery Haiti has been plagued by commissions that do nothing for the people. The reason for their failure is simple. They exclude the people who know and care the most about Haiti. Any well intentioned leader must always bear this lesson in mind and ensure that it guides his actions and his words.

On January 1, 2009 in front of the cathedral of Gonaives, Préval gave a speech to the nation to open the year – something countless Haitian presidents (most of them illegitimate unfortunately) have done. Préval gave a mundane speech that highlighted road construction and “dialog”. When parliament opened on January 12, Preval pledged to continue with the “dialogue” that he thinks has brought peace to Haitians.

However, Senator Jean Hector Anacasis from “LESPWA (hope)”, the party of President Préval, announced something more significant. He said that in April a commission would be formed to review the Haitian constitution that would include “all sectors”. However, the Préval administration has already formed commissions that exclude the largest sectors – the peasants and the urban poor.

» continue reading "The Uninspiring "Dialogue" of President Preval "

September 9, 2008 Weblog:

Gonaives four years after Hurricane Jeanne: What can the victims hope?

Time to make money or to help people?

By Wadner Pierre- www.haitianalysis.com

Early in September of 2004, the people of Gonaives, the “city of Independence”, located 152 kilometers north of the capital, Port-au-Prince, woke to the destruction brought by Hurricane Jeanne. Four years after Jeanne killed 3000 people, Gonaives is in agony again.

Hurricane Gustav has devastated southern Haiti: Southeast (Jacmel) department, South department (Les Cayes), Grand’Anse (Jeremie) and Nippes (Miragoane) department. Authorities do not yet have reliable numbers but early reports estimate at least 190 people dead – a death toll that will certainly rise.

Officials say 61 people were killed by Hurricane Hanna, which also just struck Haiti. Twenty one of those dead were found in Gonaives alone.

Hurricane Jeanne ravaged Haiti in 2004 only eight months after the coup that ousted Jean-Bertrand Aristide. Gerard Latortue, head of the UN installed dictatorship and a native of Govaives, received money from all over the world to help Gonaives rebuild. Unfortunately, the victims received very little benefit from the money. Gonaives lies below sea level but levees were never built; many roads have still not been repaired. The meager results obtained with international aid money have produced a widespread belief in Gonaives that Latortue's cronies and corrupt NGOs simply pocketed the money.

In 2004 a young survivor of Hurricane Jeanne talked to a reporter and sarcastically thanked Jeanne for destroying her life by killing off her parents and countless relatives. Today many survive on the rooftops of their homes, and say that the flooding from Hannah is even worse than it was with Jeanne, which left 250,000 Gonaives resident homeless.

» continue reading "Gonaives four years after Hurricane Jeanne: What can the victims hope?"

September 8, 2008 Weblog:

Gonaives and the rest of Haiti need your help now

People everywhere in the globe, listen the voice of people in Gonaives and in the rest of Haiti. It is hard and it's really hard a sit can be for people. As a Haitian and a Gonaivian man I am very concern, I ask you my brothers and sisters in the world to help my relatives there in the way you can. Haiti is not the most hit by the hurricanes, but we are the most victimized people, cause our political leaders most of them don't care about people live. They care about themselves and they families. Those who want to improve live; they often plot against them and keep the country in perpetual instability politic, that is the way they make money. The loss of sight is more humane than the one presented by the authorities. How they can pretend determine the number of death and disappeared people while they do not have any infrastructures to reach them. After four years, which road has been rebuilt in Gonaives? Therefore, they are happy to steal the money and the aids that people deserve. Once gain, they do not put the real problem of Haiti on the table, particularly Gonaives, where the level of the ocean is higher than the land. Nobody cannot forget what happened in New Orleans in 2005, even this city was protected by levees and after the levees broke, you could see how ravaged was New Orleans by floodwater. Then Gonaives before and after Jeanne the just passed Hanna was not and is not protected by levees. And the worst is, no plan to prevent or to protect the city from another natural disaster as this of Jeanne and Hanna.

» continue reading "Gonaives and the rest of Haiti need your help now"

August 31, 2008 Weblog:

On That day, Everybody Ate: Margaret Trost's testimony of hope for the hopeless

By: Wadner Pierre-haitianalysis.com

"On That Day, Everybody Ate: One Woman’s Story of Hope and Possibility in Haiti" is the title of Margaret Trost's newly released book about her experiences in Haiti.

After her husband's untimely death, Mrs. Margaret traveled to Haiti to heal her broken heart by serving others. She was deeply moved by the struggles of the poor and resolved to do all she could to help them. In the year 2000, she founded the What If? Foundation in collaboration with Father Gerard Jean-Juste, a prominent Haitian humanitarian, political activist, and the priest of St. Claire’s Church in Port-au-Prince. He also lived in Florida for many years where he fought for the rights of Haitian immigrants. The Foundation’s mission is to provide food and education to impoverished children in Haiti. Together, Fr. Jean-Juste and Margaret have worked to establish a food program, educational scholarships, and a summer camp for children in the Tiplas Kazo neighborhood of Port-au-Prince. Members of the St. Clare’s community run these programs. The What If? Foundation provides the funding. It is an effective partnership that started small and has grown over the years. On That Day, Everybody Ate tells the story of this remarkable journey.

The What If? Foundation provided the funds to serve the first food program meal at St. Clare’s after mass on Sunday, March 19th 2000 - the day the Catholic Church celebrates Saint Joseph, patron saint of workers. Five hundred children enjoyed a meal that included rice, beans, and vegetables grown by Haitian farmers:

» continue reading "On That day, Everybody Ate: Margaret Trost's testimony of hope for the hopeless"

May 14, 2008 Weblog:

Lovinsky Pierre Antoine - Still Missing After Nine Months

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By: Wadner Pierre and Jean-Ristil Jean Baptiste -

Photos
By:Wadner Pierre

HaitiAnalysis.com

Lovinsky Pierre-Antoine, a prominent human rights worker and Famni Lavalas activist, has been missing since August 12, 2007. He is the founder of Trant Septanm Organizasyon (September 30 Foundation) an organization that assists victims of the coup that took place September 30th, 1991. That coup ousted Haiti's first democratically elected Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide only seven months after his inauguration. According to human rights groups there were five thousand people killed by the military regime of Raul Cedras. Thousands were also raped and tortured by the Cedras regime, and hundreds of thousands driven into hiding.

Pierre-Antoine worked with many national and international human rights organizations to promote the rights of all people, particularly the right to justice. The perpetrators of the 1991 coup (the Haitian elite and their ex-military allies) gradually regrouped and in 2004 managed to overthrow Aristide again - this time with the overt backing of the US, France and Canada. In October 2005, at the first “International Tribunal on Haiti” that investigated the 2004 coup, Pierre-Antoine explained to an audience of hundreds in Washington how he had been arrested, assaulted and expelled from the country by authorities at the U.S. embassy in Port-au-Prince.

» continue reading "Lovinsky Pierre Antoine - Still Missing After Nine Months"

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April 12, 2008 Weblog:

Peter Kondrat, Your Struggle in Haiti Continues My Friend.

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Peter Kondrat, one of Haiti's best friends, is no longer with us. May God bless his soul.

I met Peter twice – once in Haiti during 2007 and again about a year later in the United States.

He was a diligent reader of news from and on Haiti's grassroots. I was delighted when Peter told me "I've read your articles on HaitiAnlysis and I really appreciate them". I was very flattered that he called me "a voice of the poor in Haiti."

I was delighted to spend time with Peter, a true friend of Haiti and the poor. He fought for human rights in Haiti. He defended the poor and spent almost all his time in the poorest districts when he visited Haiti.

His love for Haiti allowed him to spend his time in Simon Pele a popular neighborhood near Cite Soleil, He spoke to me in Simon Pele about his frustration at the destruction caused there by his government's actions, but he felt happy that by working from Simon Pale and tell people about what was going on he could at least do something about it.

When I left Haiti in early 2008 to study in the US for a semester he called to congratulate me and to offer his help. Peter leaves Haiti with the impact of his noble volunteer work, which will hopefully lead to a better future.

We are all destined to die but Peter Kondrat will never die in my mind and in the mind of many independent journalists.

"Every man dies, not every man really lives" -BraveHeart

April 2, 2008 Weblog:

Growing Concern Among Poor Over Hunger and Rural Economy

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By: Wadner Pierre - HaitiAnalysis.com

Amongst the poor in Port-au-Prince, the capital of Haiti, the lack of affordable food is becoming a mounting problem. On tap-taps, colorfully decorated automobiles used for transportation by the poor, one can hear this discussion daily. Conversations on the tap-taps are referred to as "Radio thirty two".

Many poor Haitians have taken to referring meanwhile to hunger as "Klorox", a reference to a bleach which can kill people if enough of it is swallowed. Riding the tap-tap one hears references to "Klorox" when people mean hunger, a code word to mask the daily misery.

Recently, international headlines have paid attention to hunger in Haiti, where people resort to eating mud pies.

During the 1980s, due to pressure from the United States government, the dictatorship of Jean-Claude Duvalier wiped out the creole pigs (porca) that were indigenous to Haiti. After that catastrophic policy, peasants struggled more than ever to feed their children and to take them to school. The pigs were crucial to the rural economy, the "bank account" of the peasants. The problems were compounded by neo-liberal policies first implemented by the military government of Henry Namphy and continually pressured upon the country over the following decades. Trade liberalization meant that food imports undercut farmers who were also denied the means to invest in their production.

» continue reading " Growing Concern Among Poor Over Hunger and Rural Economy"

February 1, 2008 Weblog:

When The Poor Die of Hunger Who Speaks For Them, The Fascists?

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For several months there has been a new twist in the history for the poor in Haiti, but the story has been enveloped in silence. The standard of living has been declining, with rising costs of basic goods and a continued lack of social programs. People cannot afford to eat.

Haiti has become a 'republic of NGOs' long dependent on outside aid because of the methodical destruction of its own civil enterprises and popular alternatives.

Around the new-year a huge march against poverty and unemployment took place in the capital of Port-au-Prince. The protestors demanded reparations and that the government represent the interests of the poor.

The most pressing issue for the poor is the most basic commodity of life, food. This week, particularly in the poorest districts, such as Cité-Soleil, people go starving and bathe in muddy streets. In Cité-Soleil, a woman sells small plots of eroded land for a living. She says it "is my life, this is where I earn my daily income."

Haiti's wealthy in the hills of Pétionville, where most foreign journalists spend their time, have profited from the growing gap in wealth.

NGOs more and more fill the abyss, an abyss left by the eroded state. But one must ask: Should NGOs replace the state? Why is this happening? What is the plan of the government? Is the government folding in on itself for the sake of global capitalism?

The Fascists Are Still Capable

A new blow is always being prepared, afraid of what the popular winds might bring. "Resignation", investigation, imprisonment, interpellation of the rich, we must wait for the results. They will tell us what happens. This is the fake democracy we are living with in Haiti. A "democracy" only in rhetoric.

» continue reading " When The Poor Die of Hunger Who Speaks For Them, The Fascists?"

December 29, 2007 Weblog:

Haiti: Fanmi Lavalas Supporters March Against the Cost of Living

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By:
Wadner Pierre

On Friday, December 28th, 2007, several hundred supporters of Fanmi Lavalas, the party of former President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, marched through several streets of Port-au-Prince protesting the rising the cost of living in Haiti. Slogans on placards reflected the denunciations of demonstrators of the Minister of Trade, Ms. Maggy Durce of the Democratic Alliance Party of Mr. Evans Paul, for having done nothing to improve the living conditions of the population. Some demanded the departure of the Minister and others a profound change in the government of Jacques Edouard Alexis.

As usual they did not hide their commitment to former President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, demanding his physical return to the country, which many insisted could help the country, especially the poorest regions.

"Titid we love you and we hope you will return very soon," said Deshommes Presengloire, member of Base cell of Fanmi Lavalas. "This is the year of mobilizations for the return of our historic leader Jean-Bertrand Aristide, and this is one of the main demonstrations."

The march against the high cost of living would end in front of the Ministry of Commerce. Organizers insisted that the Minister takes her responsibilities seriously or withdraws from this post.

"We are here to ask for Madam Maggy Durcé to take control of her responsibilities, because women can no longer continue to be cope with the rising prices of basic necessities," added Mrs. Kermeline. "As a woman, she knows our pain very well."

This march was well secured by several units of the Haitian National Police (HNP), police of the United Nations mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) and a jeep contingent of Brazilian MINUSTAH soldiers.

» continue reading "Haiti: Fanmi Lavalas Supporters March Against the Cost of Living"

December 23, 2007 Weblog:

Is this really Christmas?

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By:
Wadner Pierre

Christmas is the celebration of love, sharing, solidarity and reconciliation, which is often conducted in the popular neighborhoods.

With this sentence we wonder too how can one celebrate Christmas in a country like Haiti, the poorest country in the American continent, which is going through a horrible and inhuman situation, despite the efforts of its people? A government able to fulfill the needs of its citizens, to relieve the misery of its people, renders street-level demands of respect for the principles voted for during elections unnecessary.

Today, members of Haiti's diaspora, despite their best efforts, are unable to meet the needs of their relatives in Haiti. Why not? The current blockade of the ports deprives much of the Haitian population, which depends directly upon the Haitian Diaspora for its livelihood. The Eleventh Department has recently made a gesture about removing the blockade, but we still hear sighs, grinding of teeth, continually climbing commodity prices. Is this is a conspiracy against the people? Where are the forces of nation, the Church, especially the Catholic church, which is the official religion of this country, the economic sector, the Haitian bourgeoisie?

Children from neighborhoods, people who are accustomed to receiving toys from the Haitian presidency during the years of the government of Jean-Bertrand Aristide, complain today because of the backwardness of the Ministry of Social Affairs in this case. But this year, it seems, is the worst since 2004, despite statements by authorities. We see nothing new.

"On the wings of time the sadness flies and the time brings pleasure."

» continue reading "Is this really Christmas?"

December 16, 2007 Weblog:

Wyclef and Akon Visit Haiti

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Wyclef and Akon visited Bel'Air, one of the poorest districts in Port-Au-Prince, during their recent visit in Haiti. The people were happy to receive them. Wyclef goes there sometimes when he comes in Haiti, but for Akon it was his first time. He ate at a "Yele Cuisine" (yele kitchen), a restaurant where people with little money can buy a plate of food. There are two of these kitchens in the capital, one in Bel'Air and the largest in Cite Soleil. "Yele Cuisine" is supported by the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), which funds the UN's World Food Program (WFP).

December 14, 2007 Weblog:

The people of Haiti thank Our Lady of Help for 125 years and 65 years.

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By:
Wadner Pierre

1882-2007 marks 125 years of the miraculous healing of the Haitian people from the scourge of Verette which ravaged the country at that time. According to what we have learned, the bishops of that time gathered in prayer with the faithful in Bel'Air in the Our Lady of Perpetual Help Chapel, and asked for a blessing for the people who had perished from this epidemic. Grace was dropped from the sky and all the people who were infected with this disease were cured.

1942-2007 marks the 65th years of the official consecration of Haiti. Our Lady of Perpetual Help at that time existed under the term of President Elie Lescot, a mulatto. According to historical testimony, there had been a kind of hunt against Voodoo priests (who were called 'Defeated'), as if this faith prevented the country from continuing on the road of progress. So why do we celebrate this date, 65 years later?

At that time the sons and daughters of Haiti who practiced Voodoo had difficulty explaining their religion. Most of them were black, while the president of that time was a mulatto. Similarly, the current president of the Haitian Conference of Bishops, Mgr. Louis Kébreau, is also a mulatto. He has often harshly criticized the democratically elected governments but has never lifted a finger to condemn the abuses against the people of Haiti during the reign of defacto government (2004-2006).

» continue reading "The people of Haiti thank Our Lady of Help for 125 years and 65 years."

December 14, 2007 Weblog:

Activist Priest Gérard Jean-Juste in Port-au-Prince Appeals Court

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By: Wadner Pierre

"I am not a visitor. It is my country. I come when I want, only I have a lot of things to do to the United States with the various Haitian communities, and I travel frequently. I am only here for an appointment with the honorable judges of the Court of Appeal in Port on Monday, November 26, 2007 at 10:00 AM. I respect the justice of my country” - so stated Father Gérard Jean-Juste to journalists shortly after stepping off a plane in Port-au-Prince.

Accompanied by his lawyer Mario Joseph, of the Bureau des Avocats Internaux (BAI), the priest arrived one half hour early for his court appointment. At 11:30 am the hearing began with the three judges of the Court of Appeal: Ms. Lise Pierre Pierre, Mr. Daran and Mr. Eddy Joseph Lebrun. Father Gérard Jean-Juste has been battling charges against him since July of 2005 despite international protests in which even Amnesty International participated.

Jean-Juste is charged with the notoriously vague allegation of "criminal association", as well as illegal possession of weapons. After questioning, the court asked Jean-Juste to summarize his defense.

In response to the charge of "criminal associations" he stated "As a priest my boss is Jesus, then the Bishops, and after them my people are my associates. I am not a member of an association of 'malefactors', but a member of an association of benefactors, and in this association Jesus is the boss."

» continue reading "Activist Priest Gérard Jean-Juste in Port-au-Prince Appeals Court"

August 3, 2007 Foreign Policy

UN Arrested 40 Ahead of Harper's Haiti Visit

Many demonstrators remain in jail

May 22, 2007 Weblog:

Hobnobbing with the "Big Eaters"

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* Note : The names of the guilty have been changed to protect the innocent *

On our first full day in Port-au-Prince, Aude and I hit the ground running. A Haitian friend in Montreal had arranged for us to meet with Madame Beauchamp, a Senator, to further a legislative project he'd been working for years. Our mission was simple enough: hand over a few documents and briefly discuss the project with the Senator.

» continue reading "Hobnobbing with the "Big Eaters""

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March 8, 2007 Weblog:

The latest on Haiti from Canadian Television

To see the latest version of facts by Canadian mainstream TV on recent operations in Cite Soleil, go to the link below. It's in French, but my summary and criticism below is in English.

http://www.radio-canada.ca/actualite/v2/tj22h/#

It's a report called "Au coeur du mal" (Into the heart of Evil) by a big dude with Radio-Canada: Jean-Michel Le Prince. Let's ignore the title of the report. His report just reached probably over a million Quebecois and a couple hundred thousand Francophones outside of Quebec. In the report, he's embedded with the MINUSTAH troops and follows the recent mass arrests and gang hunt in Cite Soleil. I was there for the end of the operation. Check out the report and blog in your comments. Here's mine:

» continue reading "The latest on Haiti from Canadian Television"

March 3, 2007 Weblog:

More dubious arrests in Cite Soleil, Haiti

As we entered Cite Soleil this morning with Brian Concannon, founder of the IJDH (Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti) we got a call saying a crowd had gathered outside one of the MINUSTAH headquarters in the Boston quarter of the Cite. We pulled up and sure enough there was a group of about 15 people facing the two armored MINUSTAH vehicules. Someone had been arrested that the crowd felt shouldn't have been arrested and they were demanding he be released. As has been the way every time we pull up with cameras, the MINUSTAH troops run away. All the soldiers piled into the vehicules and took off.

» continue reading "More dubious arrests in Cite Soleil, Haiti"

March 2, 2007 Weblog:

More MINUSTAH lies

To find out the scale of lies coming out of MINUSTAH on the ground, read any of the UN News Service press releases in the last two weeks. According to interviews we have conducted in Cite Soleil, and according to a source in the Cite today, the arrests continue to be arbitrary. People are being arrested who have nothing to do with what the UN is calling "gangs" or "criminals" or "bandits" No warrents are issued. This is only part of the lie. Every UN communique in the last two weeks talks of setting up health clinics and transforming former gang leaders homes into community centres. Again, complete lies easily verifiable by a stroll through these areas.

» continue reading "More MINUSTAH lies"

February 27, 2007 Weblog:

Photo Essay from Cite Soleil

Been in haiti for two weeks. Some content is now online. Check HaitiAction.net for a two part interview with Lovinsky Pierre Antoine, coordinator of the 30th of September Foundation that works with the victims of the coup d'états of 1991 and 2004. Also check my new photo essay, done with local photojournalist Wadner Pierre, on Haitianalysis.com. Pretty gripping. Finally, if you to keep up to speed on my wanderings, read my blog with the NFB website Citizenshift. Eventually I'll be putting together a full dossier for them with interviews I'm conducting with human rights people, former pol

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February 8, 2007

Destination Haiti

by Darren Ell

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The Dominion is a monthly paper published by an incipient network of independent journalists in Canada. It aims to provide accurate, critical coverage that is accountable to its readers and the subjects it tackles. Taking its name from Canada's official status as both a colony and a colonial force, the Dominion examines politics, culture and daily life with a view to understanding the exercise of power.

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