Haiti

The president of Haiti’s Provisional Electoral Council (CEP) announced on May 24 that presidential and parliamentary elections would be held on November 28, the constitutionally prescribed date.

“The CEP is up to the task of organising general elections in the country”, said Gaillot Dorsinvil, who is also the handicapped sector’s representative on the nine-member council, handpicked by President Rene Preval.

But tens of thousands of Haitians don’t agree and have been demonstrating in the streets in recent weeks to demand a new CEP — and Preval’s resignation.

Haiti has been devastated in recent weeks by Hurricanes Fay, Gustav and Ike, and tropical storm Hanna. Fay was the first to hit, on August 15, and Ike was the last, on September 7.

An Unbroken Agony: Haiti, From Revolution to the Kidnapping of a President

By Randall Robinson

Basic Civitas Books

280 pages, US

The early April food riots in Haiti were a product of decades-long neoliberal economic policies foisted on the poverty-stricken nation. Since 2007, prices for a number of essential foods, including rice, rose by about 50%.

Damning the Flood: Haiti, Aristide & the Politics
of Containment


By Peter Hallward

Verso, 2008

442p,
US$29.95

The way US-based Human Rights Watch (HRW) reported on Haiti and Venezuela in its 2008 World Report reveals an underlying assumption that the US and its allies have the right to overthrow democratic governments.

The following is abridged from an interview with Haiti solidarity activist Roger Annis for the Norwegian left daily newspaper Klassenkampens.

“With food prices rising, Haiti’s poorest can’t
afford even a daily plate of rice, and some take desperate measures to fill their bellies”, according to a January 29 Associated Press article by Jonathan Katz.

An official from ousted president Jean Bertrand Aristide’s Lavalas political movement was abducted at gunpoint on October 27. Dr Maryse Narcisse acted as spokesperson for exiled president and belongs to the five-member executive committee of Fanmi Lavalas. She was taken in front of her home in the area of Petion-Ville in Haiti’s capital.

During a 24 hour visit in Haiti’s Plateau-Central, human rights organisation AUMOHD (Association of University Graduates Motivated for a Haiti with Rights), headed by lawyer Evel Fanfan, recorded interviews with hundreds of victims from the 2001-04 attacks by former soldiers in the area. During this period, three of the most heavily targeted Lavalas communities were Mirebalais, Lascahobas, and Belladeres. (Fanmi Lavalas is the party of Jean-Bertrand Aristide, the Haitian president ousted in a 2004 coup.) Human rights investigators visited all of these communities and held discussions with groups of the victims.

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