If I wrote fiction…

I would re-write Voltaire’s ‘Candide’. It’s a great little book – Voltaire’s writing in the 18th century (I think). The opening scene has this professor Pangloss explaining how everything is for the best and that this world is the best of all possible worlds. Then the main character, Candide, undergoes a series of disasters that were all quite routine for people at that time.

Continue reading “If I wrote fiction…”

Encounter with a conservative nationalist

In my explorations of the Canadian political landscape I hit upon a complex figure – a person who calls himself a ‘conservative’ but stands for things one wouldn’t normally think of when the concept of ‘conservatism’ comes up. His name is David Orchard and I found his book interesting enough that I thought I should interview him. I read the book and did the interview looking for serious flaws in his framework and analysis. But while we have some honest disagreements, I did find his ideas to be very interesting and worth serious consideration. I also found him to be a person of integrity – he doesn’t dodge questions or shrink from honest debate. Last, even if you disagree, he is someone who gives serious thought to questions of political strategy. There are a number of things radicals could learn from people like Orchard. Take a look at the interview.

Orchard is an unabashed Canadian nationalist. Samir Hussain is an activist with the Indigenous People’s Solidarity Movement based in Montreal. In contrast to Orchard, Hussain finds Canadian nationalism to be offensive. You will find his latest piece on Canada to be an interesting contrast with the Orchard interview.

And since no entry about Canada today would be complete without some mention of Haiti, there are two articles worth looking at about the recent demonstrations against Canada’s role in turning Haiti into a protectorate. One in Quebec Indymedia, the other in The Dominion.

Unrelated but sad, Exemplary journalist Gary Webb has died under mysterious circumstances.

Protectorate Haiti, Part II

This comes via Marguerite Laurent of the Haitian Lawyer’s Network. I include her introductory note and the document she send around. It speaks for itself, but stay tuned for more analysis in the coming days.

The International Community’s intentions for Haiti are revealed.

The Canadian plan for Haiti to be occupied by the international community in the way that James Foley helped fixed in Kosovo as predicted and specified by Michel Chossudovsky an article entitled “The destabilization of Haiti at http://globalresearch.ca/articles/CHO402D.html ) has now been crystallized in the Canadian document enclosed. Below is the international community’s UN Mandate Structure for Haiti. The point of the Coup d’etat was to reach this idea of a “protectorate.” For, it is clear if free and fair elections were help in Haiti today, Lavalas, the party that these warmongers unseated would again win. Thus, free and fair elections, or democracy in Haiti must be avoided at all cost. With the help of the Chalabis of Haiti, the tiny morally repugnant Haitian elites, Canada, who has been outsourced the U.S.’s traditional role in the Western Hemisphere with regard to Haiti due to Mr. Bush’s overextension in Iraq, proposes to hold a conference, where the resolutions for this “protectorate” among other pronouncement in contravention of Haiti’s sovereignty, shall be rubber stamped by its Haitian proxies.

Again Haitians of the Diaspora state categorically that neither Canada, France, the UN nor the United States have the legal right, moral or any competence whatsoever to substitute an elected government in Haiti with dictatorship or colonial rule. Only free and fair elections in Haiti shall lead to good governance, stability and security in Haiti.

While all these Internationals are supposedly in Iraq replacing dictatorship with democracy, the document below from Canada formally notes how the U.S./France and Canada along with their selected Haitian stooges are attempting to permanently replace Haiti’s democracy with dictatorship.

The integrity and sovereign right of the Haitian people for self-rule shall not be sold. The only solutions to the overthrow of Haiti’s elected government is 1) its return and for free and fair elections to be held, 2) for the international community to stop turning a blind eye, or worst participating in the targeted political assassinations of Lavalas supporters and for there to be a plan for the disarming of the ex-Haitian military and FRAPH paramilitary. Those are the demands of the Haitian people. A UN protectorate run by UN officials such as Gerald Latortue is as unthinkable to Haitians as the Coup d’etat that first brought the UN occupying troops and its “interim government” to Haiti.

The destabilization campaign which led to this juncture shall not find ultimate success in the complete occupation of Haiti. for ten, twenty or thirty years ( See below and in the context of Schossudovsky’s article at http://globalresearch.ca/articles/CHO402D.html )

Marguerite Laurent, Esq. Haitian Lawyers Leadership Network December 7, 2004

* www.focal.ca

The Role for Canada in Post-Aristide Haiti: Structures, Options and Leadership

This paper has been prepared for the House of Commons Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Trade in response to the Committee’s request by Carlo Dade, Senior Advisor with FOCAL (Canadian Foundation for the Americas) and John W. Graham, Chair of FOCAL.

1. Summary

For the third time in 20 years the government in Haiti has collapsed once again leaving the poorest country in the hemisphere as a destabilizing influence on its neighbours, a growing narcotics and transnational crime base and a major source of apprehension to Haitian and Caribbean descendant populations in Canada. These are sources of concern for Canada both domestically and regionally.

Past attempts to improve governance and quality of life have largely failed through a combination of Haitian truculence, corruption, donor fatigue and impatience. Continued failure will make reform more difficult as the repercussions from lawlessness and poverty increasingly impact the region.

The situation in Haiti is dire but not yet at the level of concern as in Afghanistan, Iraq or Somalia, though Haiti clearly is heading in that direction. The challenge is to learn from past mistakes at State building in Haiti and elsewhere to find a development model that will work. Without a forceful and committed advocate from the developed world, discussions at the UN, the OAS, and CARICOM will continue to lack urgency and focus and Haiti will again slip from the forefront of international conscience. Canada has a unique combination of national interest and comparative advantage to work in Haiti. Given its commitments elsewhere, the United States appears reluctant take on long-term leadership. Canada remains the only country in the hemisphere with the appropriate experience and qualifications. This is an opportunity for Canada to assert the leadership, which the Prime Minister is seeking, complement multilateral measures that Canada already has supported and raise Canada’s hemispheric profile. This paper offers a brief analysis, outlines a plan of action and concludes with discussion of the exit strategy.

2. Background and Legal Authority

In Haiti, institutions that support law and order and exercise the functions of government have broken down under internal violence and economic collapse. The remnants of a 2/6 Haitian State persist as a shadow presence; it retains a flimsy legal standing but, for all practical purposes, has lost the ability to exercise authority in its own territory. Haiti has become a ‘failed state’.

States which lack control over their territory and which cannot guarantee law and order threaten international peace by serving as a base for crime, public health threats, refugee crisis and regional unrest. Such States also harm the basic human rights of their own citizens. Failed States have thus become subject to intervention by the international community through actions most often initiated and carried out by the U.N. Security Council under Chapter VII of the U.N. Charter.

Haiti clearly meets the definition of a failed State and U.N. Security Council Resolution 1529 of February 2004 on Haiti grants authority both for a peacekeeping intervention (Section 2: “Authorizes the immediate deployment of a Multinational Interim Force…” and Section 3: “Declares its readiness to establish a follow-on U.N. stabilization force…”) as well as a longer-term intervention (Section 10. “Calls upon the international community, in particular the U.N., the OAS and CARICOM to work with the people of Haiti in a long-term effort to promote the rebuilding of democratic institutions and to assist in the development of a strategy to promote social and economic development and to combat poverty.”)

3. Situation in Haiti

While conditions in Haiti are neither as dire nor dangerous as in Afghanistan or Iraq, the vacuum of governance and the scale of appalling human misery is a reproach to the hemisphere and to the principal donor nations. Haiti is in the bottom tier of the UN Human Development Index. Ranked 150 out of 175 countries surveyed it sits below countries such as Sudan and Bangladesh. The next closest country in the Americas is Nicaragua, which is ranked at 121. It is estimated that one of every twelve Haitians has contracted HIV/AIDS and a ten year forecast sets the number of orphaned children at approximately 350,000. Transnational crime is a grave issues. Haiti is a major drug transhipment point. A U.S. DEA spokesman estimates that close to 21 per cent of cocaine leaving Colombia for the US and Canada passes through Haiti. Guy Phillipe, one of the leaders of the insurgency, has been under investigation by US Drug Enforcement Agencies. Money from the drug trade fuels lawlessness, weakens governance and increases instability. Without a competent functioning government in Haiti these problems, and their impacts on Canada and the region, will become more severe.

Given the chaos of the last several months all of these statistics are worsening. Haiti has not been neglected by donor agencies, humanitarian assistance has continued to flow, but the country is a notorious sinkhole for foreign aid. A recent World Bank study indicated that 15 years of development assistance have produced “no noticeable effect”.

It is not the purpose of this paper to determine to what extent this situation is selfinflicted. Without question, governance has been incompetent, corrupt and frequently brutal over the 200 years of independence and these adjectives can all be applied to the government of Jean Bertrand Aristide.

In fairness it should be recalled the birth of a black republic was not welcomed by the international community of the time. Soon after independence in 1804, Haitians were compelled to pay crippling ‘reparations’ to France. A slave owning United States imposed a trade embargo that remained in some form for almost a hundred years. Frustration with Haitian performance, followed by international censure and punishment, was the pattern for the next hundred years. Withholding aid to leverage reform has failed – invariably reversing the little progress achieved during periods of international support.

4. Rebuilding Haiti

The old models for the rehabilitation of Haiti have failed. This paper recommends that a new model should be examined. In our view its major components should be:

Long-term commitment. The UN Secretary General has called for a commitment of ten years. This is emerging as the minimum commitment subscribed to by principal international and bilateral donors based on examination of the most recent State building exercise in Haiti and lessons learned from Kosovo and East Timor. Canada should support this consensus.

Support not control. Most State building as well as traditional development programmes now stress the importance of local ‘ownership’. For example, ‘Afghan solutions for Afghan problems’ was a mantra of the preparations for Afghanistan’s reconstruction. But, Development is notoriously supply- rather than demand-driven process as some donors seek to advance national interest, including pushing pet causes carried out by favoured NGOs. Canada is in a strong position to advocate a more rational developmental approach and stress the prioritization of the development of Haitian institutional capacity.

Trust fund and donor support. Donors should be encouraged to pool funds needed to support an interim Haitian government into a trust fund managed either by an international organization or a private firm. A board including Haitian, UN and major donor members would oversee the fund and sign off on disbursements. Such a fund would encourage fiscal responsibility on the part of the new regime and offer incentive for the more rapid development of institutional capacity in government ministries. Also, evidence from Afghanistan and elsewhere shows that donors actually disburse only about 60 per cent of promised aid. A trust fund would help with planning in Haiti.

Sustained commitment and leadership. It is well known from experience with Haiti and elsewhere that commitment erodes and funding declines as the crisis that first precipitated international engagement fades from media attention. This situation has been avoided only when a major donor nation has taken on the responsibility to lead and sustain the initiative, as did Australia in East Timor and Norway in Sri Lanka. This is not something that the United Nations has proven able to do by itself. The US will be the main donor, but with other more pressing responsibilities and a troubled history in Haiti, it appears to be actively seeking another nation to assume leadership on Haiti. Canada is a natural candidate. Brazil already has committed troops to the planned long-term UN peacekeeping force. But , it is unlikely that Brazil would be able to offer the political leadership to guide UN intervention. Again, Canada has the credentials.

Security. No progress on any front is possible without the restoration and maintenance of security and the rule of law. The first step to restoring order and the rule of law is to move to arrest the leaders of the armed insurgency, for whom criminal charges are already outstanding. Foreign military and police units should remain until they can be gradually replaced by adequately trained local constabulary. Recalling frustrated Canadian experience in the nineties, equal attention must be given to the parallel establishment of a reasonably reliable judicial and penal system. While Brazil will assume primary peacekeeping duties, Canada could take the lead in providing long-term support to the rebuilding of the police and justice system.

International and Multilateral Support. Discussions in Washington indicate plans for a tripartite UN/OAS/CARICOM international framework. The World Bank, the Inter- American Development Bank, the US, Canada, France and the EU should be invited to subscribe to sustained funding over a ten-year period. Canada should continue to take the lead at the UN and other international bodies in promoting wider support for the effort in Haiti. CIDA is already addressing the issue of Hispaniola wide (including the Dominican Republic) planning on environmental and cross border issues.

Bosnia/Dayton, E Timor, Cambodian political models. The present interim government in Haiti is non-elected, exercises almost no control over the territory, lacks popular support and its legitimacy is questioned in Haiti and the region. Discussions on re-establishing the State in Haiti should reflect a new model including agreement between the international community (OAS/UN/CARICOM) and the interim government to delegate authority for a limited period for limited purposes to develop security and the judiciary, to supervise the distribution of aid, to support municipal governance and, rehabilitate essential services including health. The agreement should include a timetable for the devolution of authority and control to Haitians and supervising bodies should increasingly include Haitian participation. The agreement should flow from UN Security Council Resolution 1529.

Elections. The ‘model’ should include approximate parameters for an electoral calendar. Given the chaotic political landscape, the error of a rush to elections in Bosnia must be avoided. First elections should be at the municipal level.

The Haitian Diaspora. Due to out-migration and flight, there is an acute shortage of competent professionals in every vital category throughout government ministries and civil society organizations. Joint and independent CIDA and USAID efforts are underway to incorporate the Haitian Diaspora in the rebuilding process. Canada has long-standing experience in this area and should continue to promote efforts to recruit qualified members of the Haitian diaspora.

Urgency. With the crisis beginning to lose attention in Canada and elsewhere, it is essential to move rapidly to obtain a commitment to a new model and long-term support.

For example, CIDA and the Provincial Ministry of Education in Quebec could agree on a plan for working with the Ministry of Education in Haiti and would draft a budget and assign a project leader, ideally a Haitian-Canadian who would be seconded from the Ministry in Quebec. This person could serve as deputy minister but would report to the UN Special Representative. In reviewing the needs of the Education sector in Haiti CIDA could decide that an intensive intervention would be needed for five years to bring the Ministry of Education to a point where it could work directly with international donors and manage the ministry. The relationship with the Ministry of Education of Quebec ideally would continue either formally or informally past this five-year period. International experience has demonstrated that the concept of the ‘ripeness’ of circumstances is crucial to achieving agreements that are tough enough to be viable. International players have a short attention span.

5. Structure for Rebuilding.

In recent State building interventions, authority has typically flowed from the Security Council to the Secretary General, who appoints a Special Representative and a force commander. The Special Representative is responsible to the Secretary General for all aspects of the intervention as defined in the Security Council resolution. The force commander is responsible for the military effort and may also have “command and control” of the national military contingents deployed to support the mandate. In some cases command and responsibility for executing the mission can flow from the Security Council to a U.N. member state or other organization, such as NATO.

This model should continue in Haiti where, the U.N. already has assigned both a Special Advisor for Haiti and a force commander for a three-month period with stipulations that longer-term arrangements be negotiated at the end of this time. The U.N. resolution also calls for the participation of the OAS and CARICOM.

6. Exit Strategy

A key factor in designing the structure and mechanisms is to plan for the graduation of the Haitian State to independence and a return to the international community. This should be sequenced on a ministry-by-ministry basis – in other words return to full Haitian authority would depend not on a fixed date for all ministries, but on case-by-case basis of the institutional maturity of each ministry. The end of the UN Special Representative’s tenure would signal the formal end of the State building process. Engagements with the line ministries could end earlier or later. In essence, the Donor’s Group would divide/assign responsibility and funding for each ministry. The oversight and coordination for this work would be done by the UN Special Representative The primary goal would be to identify agencies in donor countries that have significant resources, and especially those involving the Haitian Diaspora, that could be seconded to work in Haiti to jump-start the rebuilding process. The secondary goal in doing this is to build donor confidence and attract the resources needed for reconstruction. The third goal is to establish long-term relationships that could allow for continued, sometimes informal, transfers of knowledge and skills. Under the UN programme, peacekeepers should remain for one to three years while police would remain for up to 10 years. An initial force of two to three thousand peacekeepers would be needed to provide overwhelming force to disarm gangs and restore the rule of law. Once this is accomplished the force could be reduced to 500 police advisors and trainers who would support the Haitian police.

Peacekeeping requirements will be lighter in Haiti than in Afghanistan, Bosnia, and Iraq because the country lacks cadres of seasoned, trained, well-armed fighters. Given time and improved narco-connections, armed gangs in Haiti could develop into formidable gang bosses or warlords along the Jamaican and Somali models. But organized Haitian gangs have not yet reached this stage and one goal of this intervention is to prevent that scenario from emerging. For peacekeeping to be effective the international community must move decisively now to disarm the population and then re-establish the police and judiciary.

The key to successful disarmament is tying it to reconstruction in the popular view. Those who hold weapons must be portrayed by the international community, and must be understood by Haitians, to be impediments to the resumption of aid, rebuilding of the country and the creation of jobs.

******* Forwarded by the Haitian Lawyers Leadership ******

“Men anpil chay pa lou” Â is Kreyol for – “Many hands make light a heavy load.”

See, The Haitian Leadership Networks’ Â 7 “Men Anpil Chay Pa Lou” campaigns to help restore Haiti’s independence, the will of the mass electorate and the rule of law. See, http://www.margueritelaurent.com/campaigns/campaigns.html and http://www.margueritelaurent.com/law/lawpress.html .

******** To subscribe or unsubscribe, contact Erzilidanto@aol.com

yes, we should talk about orchard, etc. Please circulate this. We’ll need some folks to support Vwa Zanset who will be out in numbers for sure…I’ll call you tomorrow, time?

Montreal Conference with the Chalabis of Haiti

Below is an announcement of a Conference to be held by the Chalabis of Haiti and their International sponsors in Canada on December 11 and 12, 2004.

The same Canadian officials, who conspired to destroy Haiti’s democracy with the forceful removal of Haiti’s elected government, are currently in the process of following through with the international communities’ ultimate plans to place Haiti under direct occupation with the pretext of an “international protectorate.” To that end, Canadian foreign Minister Pierre Pettigrew iis holding a meeting with the Chalabis of Haiti on December 10, 11, 2004. The Government of Canada is proceeding with its war on the Haitian people in the form of this new conference ostensibly to be attended by the “leaders in the Haitian community abroad.” However, the leaders in the Haitian community who have credibility with the grassroots movements for democracy in Haiti are not invited or welcomed to attend this meeting. Yes! Authorized Lavalas officials and grassroots leaders from Haiti and abroad are not invited. Thus, this is simply another Canadian attempt, like to Ottawa Initiative, to further humiliate the people of Haiti.

We at the Haitian Lawyers Leadership take this opportunity to state that the Chalabis of Canada, like Gerald Latortue and his “interim government,” have absolutely no popular base in Haiti or abroad. Nothing shall endow the Chalabis of Haiti with credibility they do not own. We again denounce, in the strongest of terms, all efforts whatsoever, by these un-electable warmongers to take completely from the Haitian people, their right to self-rule, their independence and dignity.

Moreover, the Canadian officials calling for this conference have no credibility with protecting the rule of law in Haiti. (http://www.haiti-progres.com/2003/sm030305/eng03-05.html ) They are not unbiased. This new “Ottawa Initiative” conference to be held in Canada next week is just as reprehensible as the first one in 2002.

No resolution to come out of this new “Ottawa Initiative”, this time with the Chalabis of Haiti, actually in the room in attendance with the foreign interventionist, shall have any validity or be relevant whatsoever to the pro-democracy movement and resistance agaisnt such organized tyranny in Haiti or aborad.

“We are under extreme pressure from the international community to use violence,” General Augusto Heleno Ribeiro told a congressional commission in Brazil. “I command a peacekeeping force, not an occupation force … we are not there to carry out violence, this will not happen for as long as I’m in charge of the force.”

He cited the United States, France and Canada among countries pressing for the use of force against armed groups.” ( http://www.reuters.com/newsArticle.jhtml?type=worldNews&storyID=6983380&src=rss/worldNews )

For two hundred years, Haiti’s greatest problem has been foreign domination, debt and dependency. No receivership by the U.N. nor by any U.N official, whether his name is Gerald Latortue or Kofi Annan, is an acceptable solution to the problem forced-on the Haitian people when Canada, France and the U.S. conspired to overthrow the democratically elected government of Haiti.

By any means necessary, we commit, that, in this year marking Haiti’s 200 anniversary of independence, no occupation shall be legitimized. This new attempt by Canada, to choose Haitians with absolutely no democratic constituency, both abroad and in Haiti, to better exploit what is left of the Haitian people’s dignity and revolutionary legacy is evil and reprehensible.

Colonialism is an act of war. Haitians worldwide intend to come together to denounce, in one voice, all efforts by the morally repugnant elite of Haiti to legitimaze their rule by gun. Only free and fair elections in Haiti is acceptable to good-willed Haitians authentically concerned with peace and security for the currently disenfranchised Haitian nation. No Bosnia or African-continent-type receivership by the Western powers shall be deemed a “helpful alternative” to the current chaos and destruction forced upon the Haitian people by the international community led by the United States, Canada and France and the Chalabis of Haiti.

We demand the immediate return of the rule of law to Haiti and respect for the ballot box.

Paul Martin and Pierre Pettigrew’s efforts to cement the Feb. 29, 2004 victory over the ballot by putting a “Haitian face” to the Canadian/France/US-led effort to re-colonize the people of Haiti are transparent and repulsive to the extreme, not to mention another callous example of their bottomless racism.

No Haitian worthy of the gift of liberty fought and bled for by our African ancestors shall stand silent as this final humiliation is being metered upon all of us by Paul Martin, Pierre Petttigrew, Jack Chirac or George W. Bush and the Chalabis of Haiti. We shall agitate, agitate, agitate until Haiti is free, all political prisoner liberated and the Chalabis of Haiti and their death squad mercenaries are brought to justice.

Marguerite Laurent, Esq. Chair, Haitian Lawyers Leadership Network December 7, 2004

***** GOUVERNEMENT DU CANADA

Invitation

Conférence de Montréal avec la Diaspora Haïtienne 10-11 Décembre 2004 Centre Mont-Royal, 2222 rue Mansfield Montréal, Québec, Canada

Le Ministre des Affaires étrangères du Canada,l’honorable Pierre Petttigrew,et la Ministre de la coopération internationale du Canada,l’honorable Alleen Caroll,sont heureux de vous inviter à la conférence de Montréal avec la Diaspora haïtienne ,les 10-11 décembre 2004.A cette occasion,le Premier Ministre du Canada,le très honorable Paul Martin s’adressa à l’assistance samedi en matinée. Nous espérons pouvoir vous compter parmi nous pour cet événement important.Veuillez noter que l’accés à cette conférence se fait sur invitation seulement.Nous vous prions donc de confirmer par courriel: focal@focal.ca ou par téléphone au 613562-0005 poste 227,avant mardi le 7décembre.

Merci aux organisations de limiter leur participation à deux représentants.

Programme

Vendredi 10 décembre

17:00-19:00 Inscription des participants

19:00-21:00 Ouverture de la Conférence-Allocutions

1 Ministre des affaires du canada,co-président de la conférence 2 Ministre de la coopération internationle Alleen Carroll,co-présidente de la conférence 3 Premier Ministre du Québec Jean Charest 4 Maire de Montréal M Gérald Tremblay 5 Présentation du Ministre haïtien des Haïtiens vivant à l’étranger,Le défacto Alix Baptiste.

Réception.

Samedi 11 décembre

9:00-9:15 Iinauguration officielle de la conférence par le Premier Ministre du Canada.. 9:15-9:30 Mots de bienvenue par les Ministres Pierre Pettigrew et Allen Carroll 9:30-10 Le ministre défacto Roland Pierre Planification et de la Coopération Externe. 10:00-10:40 Ambassadeur Juan Gabriel Valdés(MINUSTAH) sur la situation Actuelle en Haïti 10;40-11:25 Panel 1-L’engagement du Canada au CCI 11:25-13:00 Panel 2 Modes D’engagement de la Diaspora Représentant de la Diaspora des Etats-unis et De la France Projet du Premier Congrès Mondial de la Diaspora Haïtienne Suivi de questions NB (à noter qu’il y aura un modérateur et un rapporteur professionel pour chaque Parnel)

13:00-14:30 Déjeuner et intervention du Premier Ministre Défacto Gérard Latortue Le théme de l’intervention portera sur l’apport potentiel additionnel de la diaspora dans le cadre du CCI.

14:30-16:15 Discussions en Groupes de travail Secteurs prioritaires du CCI et la contribution de la diaspora. Gouvernance Politique Dialogue Nationale Gouvernance économique et développement institutionnel Relance économique Accès aux services de base.

16:15-16:30 Pause Santé 16:30-17:30 Résultats des groupes de travail présentés par les rapporteurs en pléniére

17:30_17:45 Conclusion de la Conférence par les Ministres Allen Carroll et Pierre Petttigrew

Conseil d’administration de la Journée

Coordonnateurs: Une équipe sous la Direction de Guillaume B(Babaras Chanteuse), Jonas Pierre-louis,Faroll? Harry Clerveau (syndicaliste ) Romain E(Eugenia) B.Dorvil

Ordre et Discipline : Anne Métellus

Adresse du Spectacle : Centre Mont-Royal. 2220, rue Mansfield, Montréal, Canada (centreville)

Protectorate Haiti, Part I

For readers in Montreal, there will be a demonstration tomorrow (Saturday Dec 11) at a conference where Canada’s Prime Minister and Foreign Minister will be meeting the coup-installed Prime Minister Latortue. It is billed as a meeting with the Haitian diaspora, but the Lavalas party, which is being exterminated in Haiti right now, will not have a chance to participate.

I will be posting the document motivating the conference in another entry. It is an amazing piece, with all its talk on ‘state failure’ and the need to intervene to stop it. The question of why or how the state failed — as a direct result of external intervention, or why it is an ongoing failure (same reason) doesn’t seem to come up.

Below is the hastily put together urgent note about the demonstration. The Haitians meeting Martin and Pettigrew are denounced in it as the ‘Chalabis of Haiti’. This might be uncharitable to Chalabi. Allawi is probably a better analogue.

DEMONSTRATION * DEMONSTRATION* DEMONSTRATION

SUPPORT THE HAITIAN COMMUNITY IN THEIR PROTEST AGAINST THE ARRIVAL OF THE DE FACTO PRIME MINISTER OF HAITI IN MONTREAL.

Conference de Montreal avec la Diaspora Haitienne 10-11 Decembre 2004 Centre Mont-Royal, 2222 rue Mansfield Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Friday 5-9 PM, Saturday 11AM – 5PM

**Paul Martin and murderer Latortue speak at around 12:00 Saturday**

IMMEDIATE ACTION REQUESTED – URGENT ACTION ALERT

On December 10 and 11, 2004 Gerald Latortue and others from the Haitian diaspora with zero credibility with the masses in Haiti will be meeting in Montreal with Canadian Prime Minister, Paul Martin, Foreign Minister Pierre Pettigreww and others to decide the destiny of Haiti. None of the officially designated spokespersons for the Lavalas party nor any credible grassroots peace and justice leaders for Haiti, abroad or in Haiti, with an active following, are invited.

In fact, it is these participants opinion that “Lavalas is the past” and only those chosen by Canada to attend shall have a say in what is to be done with Haiti and its nine million people, their culture, domestic economy, group identity and revolutionary legacy.

The Canadians and internationals are talking, among other things, about putting Haiti under the long term tutelage of foreigners as a “protectorate.” Obviously, with this talk of a “protectorate” the idea of free and fair elections has taken a back seat, perhaps for as long as 10 to 20 years, the numbers being thrown about for this “protectorate” to be imposed on Haiti’s helpless peoples.

We urge our entire network in Canada to write, call and fax Paul Martin and Pierre Pettigrew to denounce this flagrant attempt to further isolate Haiti’s poor and steal their right to choose their own leaders and representatives. Those who live in the U.S. may e-mail Paul Martin and Pierre Pettigrew as follows: pmartin@fin.qc.ca , pm@pm.qc.ca , pierre@pierrepettigrew.ca , pettip@parl.qc.ca , pettigrew.p@parl.qc.ca and Pettigrew.P@parl.gc.ca with cc’s to: pettigrew.p@parl.qc.ca, info@oneconservativevoice.com, grahab8@parl.gc.ca , grahab@teammartin.ca, cotlei1@parl.gc.ca, jsaada.mp@videotron.ca, harper.s@parl.gc.ca, kathieangelo@shaw.ca, Reynolds.J@parl.qc.ca, menziest@tetus.net, Menzies.T@parl.qc.ca, mp@chuckstrahl.com, Strahl.C@parl.gc.ca, ducepg1@parl.qc.ca, Duceppe.G@parl.gc.ca, ducepg@parl.qc.ca, Lalonde.F@parl.qc.ca, desroo@parl.qc.ca, desroo1@parl.qc.ca, bourgd1@parl.qc.ca, D.Bourgeois@parl.qc.ca, bourgd@parl.qc.ca, andreg1@parl.qc.ca, Andre_G@parl.qc.ca, layton.j@parl.gc.ca, Blaikie.B@parl.qc.ca, blaikbl@parl.qc.ca, mcdonough.a@parl.qc.ca, pierre@pierrepettigrew.ca, alexa@hfx.eastlink.ca .

bcc: vwazanset@mail.com Erzilidanto@aol.com (See, Canadian Officials Contact info below for detail on these e-mails addresses.)

BACKGROUND INFORMATION

l. Montreal Conference with the Chalabis of Haiti by Marguerite Laurent, December 6, 2004 2.The Official invitation to the Canadian Conference on Dec. 11-12, 2004 (See also, The Focal paper at: www.focal.ca , (in French & English). This Canadian Foundation For the America’s paper reveals part of the agenda to be discussed: The Role for Canada in Post-Aristide Haiti: Structures, Options and Leadership!!!)

*

Montreal Conference with the Chalabis of Haiti by Marguerite Laurent, December 6, 2004

Below is an announcement of a Conference to be held by the Chalabis of Haiti* and their International sponsors in Canada on December 10 and 11, 2004.

The same Canadian officials, who conspired to destroy Haiti’s democracy with the forceful removal of Haiti’s elected government, are currently in the process of following through with the international community’s ultimate plans to place Haiti under direct occupation with the pretext of an “international protectorate.” To that end, Canadian foreign Minister Pierre Pettigrew is holding a meeting with the Chalabis of Haiti on December 10-11, 2004 in Montreal. The Government of Canada is proceeding with its war on the Haitian people in the form of this new conference ostensibly to be attended by the “leaders in the Haitian community abroad.” However, the leaders in the Haitian community who have credibility with the grassroots movements for democracy in Haiti are not invited or welcomed to attend this meeting. Yes! Authorized Lavalas officials and grassroots leaders from Haiti and abroad are not invited. Thus, this is simply another Canadian attempt, like to Ottawa Initiative, to further humiliate the people of Haiti.

We at the Haitian Lawyers’ Leadership take this opportunity to state that the Chalabis of Canada, like Gerald Latortue and his “interim government,” have absolutely no popular base in Haiti or abroad.

Nothing shall endow the Chalabis of Haiti with credibility they do not own. We again denounce, in the strongest of terms, all efforts whatsoever, by these un-electable warmongers to take completely from the Haitian people, their right to self-rule, their independence and dignity.

Moreover, the Canadian officials calling for this conference have no credibility with protecting the rule of law in Haiti. (http://www.haiti-progres.com/2003/sm030305/eng03-05.html ) They are not unbiased. This new “Ottawa Initiative” conference, to be held in Canada next week, is just as reprehensible as the first one in January 2003.

No resolution to come out of this new “Ottawa Initiative”, this time with the Chalabis of Haiti actually in the room, in attendance with the foreign interventionist, shall have any validity or be relevant whatsoever to the pro-democracy movement and resistance against such organized tyranny in Haiti or aborad.

“We are under extreme pressure from the international community to use violence,” General Augusto Heleno Ribeiro told a congressional commission in Brazil. “I command a peacekeeping force, not an occupation force … we are not there to carry out violence, this will not happen for as long as I’m in charge of the force.”

He cited the United States, France and Canada among countries pressing for the use of force against armed groups.” ( http://www.reuters.com/newsArticle.jhtml?type=worldNews&storyID=6983380&src=rss/worldNews )

For two hundred years, Haiti’s greatest problem has been foreign domination, debt and dependency.

No receivership by the U.N. nor by any U.N official, whether his name is Gerald Latortue or Kofi Annan, is an acceptable solution to the problem forced-on the Haitian people when Canada, France and the U.S. conspired with these Chalabis of Haiti to overthrow the democratically elected government of Haiti.

By any means necessary, we commit, that, in this year marking Haiti’s 200th anniversary of independence, no occupation shall be legitimized or given a credible “Haitian” facade. This new attempt by Canada, to choose Haitians with absolutely no democratic constituency, both abroad and in Haiti, to better exploit what is left of the Haitian people’s dignity and revolutionary legacy is evil and reprehensible.

Colonialism is an act of war. Haitians worldwide intend to come together to denounce, in one voice, all efforts by the morally repugnant elites of Haiti and their various petit bourgeois wannabees, abroad or in Haiti, to legitimize rule by gun, violence, foreign troops and through feeding the world lies about their dirty hands and good and benevolent intentions. Only free and fair elections in Haiti is acceptable to good-willed Haitians authentically concerned with peace and security for the currently disenfranchised Haitian nation. No Bosnia or African-continent-type receivership by the Western powers shall be deemed a “helpful alternative” to the current chaos and destruction forced upon the Haitian people by the international community led by the United States, Canada and France and the Chalabis of Haiti.

We demand the immediate return of the rule of law to Haiti and respect for the ballot box. Paul Martin and Pierre Pettigrew’s efforts to cement the Feb. 29, 2004 victory over the ballot by putting a “Haitian face” to the Canadian/France/US-led effort to re-colonize the people of Haiti are transparent and repulsive to the extreme, not to mention another callous example of their bottomless racism.

No Haitian worthy of the gift of liberty fought and bled for by our African ancestors shall stand silent as this final humiliation is being metered upon all of us by Paul Martin, Pierre Petttigrew, Jack Chirac or George W. Bush and the Chalabis of Haiti. We shall agitate, agitate, agitate until Haiti is free, all political prisoner liberated and the Chalabis of Haiti and their death squad mercenaries are brought to justice.

Marguerite Laurent, Esq. Founder and Chair, Haitian Lawyers Leadership Network December 7, 2004 www.ezilidanto.com erzilidanto@aol.com

*The Chalabis of Haiti spread disinformation about the destabilization and overthrow of Haiti’s Constitutional government, recognize the illegitimate Latitude as their leader and cannot agree to free and fair elections in Haiti because they owe their jobs and positions with the international community from supporting the rule of force, the former military, the FRAPH assassins and drug dealers, the killing of the poor resisters of their brutality and from the orchestrated chaos and social inequities in Haiti. With reference to this Montreal Conference, they are all Haitians who attend this travesty and, in particular those publicly identified to be going to said thieving gathering to further try and sell the last shreds of the Haitian peoples” sovereignty and dignity:

Gerald Latortue Guillaume B(Babaras Chanteuse), Jonas Pierre-louis, Faroll? Harry Clerveau (syndicaliste ) Romain E(Eugenia) B.Dorvil Anne Métellus Group 184 Members of the former Haitian military and FRAPH All supporters of the violent overthrow of Haiti’s democratically elected government. And, bitter ex-Lavalas with an ax to grind or who bought-off by the Chalabis and Mr. Let’s-Hoard-It-All-Imperialist.

Immigration news from Canuckistan

I think it was Pat Buchanan who called Canada “Soviet Canuckistan” but I don’t quite remember.

At any rate, Canada’s latest moves in the immigration sphere (and Haiti, see next entry) would probably go a ways to placate folks like Pat, since they do just what the empire dreamed of.

Got this note in email about the Orwellian-named ‘Safe Third Country’ agreement. Simply put, it means that if the US kicks you out, Canada won’t take you. Nice!

US-CANADA AGREEMENT KICKS IN

On Nov. 24 US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) director Eduardo Aguirre announced the Nov. 29 publication of a final rule implementing a bilateral agreement affecting asylum seekers at US-Canada land border ports-of-entry. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) rule, which takes effect Dec. 29, requires migrants seeking asylum in the US or Canada to apply in whichever of the countries they arrived in first. The rule does allow those with a close relative in Canada to claim asylum at a border crossing, and bars removal of applicants to a third country pending a final ruling on their case.

Some 12,000 to 15,000 immigrants in the US apply for asylum in Canada, according to official statistics. The rule also affects about 200 migrants a year who enter the US through Canada each year to seek asylum. Advocates fear the rule will fuel illegal border crossings, since those who enter Canada without detection can still seek asylum there.

The “Safe Third Country Agreement” was signed by the US and Canada on Dec. 5, 2002, after being introduced in a 30-point “Smart Border Declaration” signed by the two countries in December 2001 [see INB 1/10/03]. The agreement could not take effect until both countries published final regulations. Canada published its regulations on Nov. 3. [DHS Press Release 11/24/04; Federal Register 11/29/04; AP 11/29/04; Vive Inc. Press Release 11/29/04; Immigration Equality Press Release 11/29/04]

In addition to this agreement, Canada’s Court of Appeals has ruled that the ‘security certificate’ system, by which a couple of officials signing a warrant means that an immigrant can be detained indefinitely without due process (and that means without even access to the evidence against them), is ‘constitutional’. That would seem to suggest a problem either with the court or with the constitution. Using these ‘certificates’, Adil Charkaoui has been ‘held’ for 20 months. Mohammad Harkat was arrested two years ago. And of course Maher Arar was deported to Syria where he was imprisoned and tortured for 10 months.

The text of the decision contains typical contortions: “The appellant has been unable to demonstrate that the procedure for reviewing the reasonableness of the security certificate issued against him … do not meet the requirements of the Charter.” The judges said that if evidence could harm ‘national security’, then the authorities can suppress it.

The things that are done in the name of ‘national security’…

But it won’t all happen without a fight. Below is a note from a group called the ‘Human Rights Action Committee’. They are camping out in front of Immigration Canada offices for 4 days on rotating hunger strike (in the cold!)

Details below.

— Refugees camping out in front of Immigration Canada offices for 3 nights and 4 days

— Protesters burn documents to protest “racist and incompetent” IRB

[There are 18 photos to accompany this article, available at: http://gallery.cmaq.net/Refugee-camp-out-at-Montreal-IRB

Article available at: http://www.cmaq.net

An audio interview with one of the organizers of the protest is available at: http://www.radio4all.net/proginfo.php?id=10589]

MONTREAL (December 9, 2004) — At least two dozen refugee claimants, members of the Human Rights Action Committee (HRAC), have been camping outside the Montreal offices of the Immigration and Refugee Board (IRB) since this past Tuesday. They will remain on their camp-out until the evening of December 10, which is International Human Rights Day.

The protesters have also been maintaining a rotating hunger strike, for at least 24 hours each. Their actions are aimed to raise awareness about the unjust practices of the IRB, and the potential deportation of hundreds of refugee claimants from India in the coming months.

The HRAC is comprised of self-organized, mainly Punjabi-speaking, refugees. The protesters at the IRB range in age from 24 to 70. All the hunger strikers are refused refugee claimants who personally face deportation.

The HRAC’s main demands include an end to deportations and the regularization of all non-status people in Canada. As well, they are demanding specific changes in the refugee-determination process, including a refugee appeal division, an end to single-judge panels.

Currently, a single judge determines whether a claimant is a refugee or not, and there is no appeal on the merits of a claim, despite promises by the federal government to establish an appeals division in 2002. As part of the protest, the HRAC is highlighting the “racist and incompetent” practices of IRB judges, and were naming specific judges who were notorious for their rejection of refugee claims.

To denounce the behavior of certain judges, the protesters burned various articles and reports documenting human rights abuses by the Indian police and government in the Punjab. Their action was meant to highlight how some judges don’t even bother to read the extensive documentation that support refugee claims.

The rotating hunger strike and camp-out began on Tuesday morning, and demonstrators have slept overnight outside the IRB since then. Two large mattresses have been placed beside the building, as well as dozens of heavy blankets to keep the demonstrators warm in the sub-zero winter weather.

The Human Rights Action Committee’s rotating hunger strike and camp-out follows many months of protests, lobbying and media work on behalf of hundreds of failed refugee claimants and illegal immigrants in Montreal and Toronto. They have demonstrated outside of both Prime Minister Paul Martin’s and Immigration Minister Judy Sgro’s constituency offices multiple times, and have met with dozens of Members of Parliament, as well as collecting thousands of names on a petition.

The HRAC is part of the Solidarity Across Borders network in Montreal, which brings together self-organized, directly-affected refugee groups and individuals, and their allies, in a common campaign for justice and dignity for all immigrants and refugees. Solidarity Across Borders and the HRAC will be planning more actions and activities in the coming months.

–> To get in touch with the Human Rights Action Committee: hrac@sympatico.ca or 514-952-2279.

–> To get in touch with the Solidarity Across Borders network in Montreal: noii-montreal@resist.ca or 514-859-9023.

Text by JBS Photos by Kumar and Singh Audio by Samira Rahmani