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#1673: US Puppets Hang on in Haiti : Arthur updates this posting (fwd)

From: Charles Arthur <charlesarthur@hotmail.com>

Stan Goff posted the Ben Dupuy interview with Mike Phipps of Left Labour 
Briefing. I just want to point out that this interview was conducted in 
November 1998, and that the Haiti Support Group is still supporting the 
Campaign for the Return of the FRAPH/FADH Documents, still held by the US 
despite the recommendations of the UN special expert on Haiti.

And by the way, since this article appeared, the Haiti Support Group has 
moved, and can now be best contacted on email <haitisupport@gn.apc.org> The 
old address and phone number are no longer functional.

Charles Arthur
for the Haiti Support Group,
London, UK.

>From: Robert Corbett <bcorbett@netcom.com>
>To: Haiti mailing list <haiti@lists.webster.edu>
>Subject: #1646:  US Puppets Hang on in Haiti : Goff comments
>Date: Sat, 1 Jan 2000 07:31:19 -0800 (PST)
>From: Stan Goff <stangoff@all4democracy.org>
>US puppets cling on in Haiti
>Recently Ben Dupuy, leader of the National Popular Assembly, one of Haiti's
>largest popular organisations and co-director of the newspaper Haiti
>Progres, visited London and spoke to Mike Phipps.
>In September 1994 a US military intervention in Haiti restored to power
>Father Jean-Bertrand Aristide, the country's first democratically elected
>president, who had earlier been overthrown in a coup. Over four years 
>US and UN troops are still there. The new government of Rene Preval 
>neo-liberal policies and structural adjustment, and the Lavalas party has
>split into two, with the government on one side and on the other supporters
>of the still highly popular Aristide.
>Meanwhile the former dictatorship's death squads continue their
>intimidation, robbery and murder across Haiti with impunity - in the last
>year alone six of Aristide's security guards were assassinated. US and UN
>officials have repeatedly blocked attempts to bring to justice leaders of
>the 1991 coup or people who raped, tortured and murdered in its name.
>Instead there is clear evidence of an FBI campaign to smear Aristide and
>intimidate his supporters into implicating him into criminal activities.
>It's been said that Haiti has not had a proper government for the last 18
>months. Can you clarify this?
>Looking at the situation from the perspective of western parliamentary
>democracy and the 1987 constitution, there is no government. But there are
>ministers dealing with "current affairs". In reality, Haiti has
>traditionally been a presidential system and effectively Preval is
>fulfilling the functions of both president and prime minister. The 
>around this issue is a pretext for the "donors" not to come up with the aid
>packages they promised when the re-establishment of democracy was 
>The real reason for this apparent crisis is the split in the Lavalas
>leadership under pressure from the US. This was originally Aristide's party
>and in 1995 it won a relative majority in Parliament. Soon after, it
>defected and was willing to implement a neo-liberal policy dictated by the
>After the betrayal of the party leadership, Aristide formed his own party,
>the Lavalas Family. This new party doesn't have any representatives in the
>executive or the present Parliament. The governing party is concerned it 
>lose any future election. They are therefore demanding a new provisional
>Electoral Council be chosen from among supporters of the ruling elite. Yet
>the 1987 constitution calls for a permanent Electoral Council comprising
>delegates appointed by the Territorial Assemblies - decentralised bodies in
>different localities. The members of these were elected in April 1997 and a
>majority are members of ex-President Aristide's Lavalas Family. As any
>future election is likely to be won by Aristide's supporters, the 
>is trying to get hold of the administrative apparatus that would supervise
>such elections. They want to adopt the model of the Mexican PRI, thus
>becoming the permanent party of government.
>What is happening about the US and UN forces in the country?
>At the end of November the UN Security Council reviewed for the sixth
>consecutive time the mandate of the UN mission. The terms of the first
>mandate were a clear violation of the UN Charter, which stipulates that the
>UN has no authority to interfere in the internal affairs of its members. 
>coup of September 1991 was essentially an internal problem and the US,
>feeling compelled to retake control of the political situation in Haiti,
>pressurised the Security Council to adopt its resolution. The first phase 
>the UN intervention in Haiti was spearheaded by 20,000 US troops. Presently
>the occupation forces have been reduced to 300 civilian police, supposedly
>to train the new Haitian national police.
>But in reality the recruitment of the 7,000 members of this police force 
>been done by a subdivision of the US FBI. Meanwhile the US have signed a
>bilateral agreement with the Preval government to station in Haiti 500 US
>Special Forces, supposedly to carry out humanitarian works. This deal has
>not been approved by Parliament.
>This illustrates that the "international community", when it's convenient,
>isn't so concerned about legality. Another example of their hypocrisy is
>that recently a special rapporteur of the UN Human Rights Commission, in 
>report to the General Assembly, acknowledged that a new law entitled
>"Judiciary Reform" had called for the withdrawal of all UN forces in Haiti.
>After holding discussions with Parliament, the law was amended to calling
>simply for the removal of all foreign armed forces. Following discussions
>with President Preval and other high officials, the UN rapporteur then
>announced that this reference to "all foreign armed forces" would not be
>interpreted as the UN police monitoring mission. Soon after he stated that
>the challenge for Haiti continues to be the establishment of a state ruled
>by law! This demonstrates both the UN's meddling in Haiti's political
>process and their hypocrisy about it.
>The Haiti Support Group is demanding the US return to Haitian human rights
>organisations documentation taken from the Haitian army in 1994 that would
>help prosecute criminals from the time of the coup. For more information on
>this and the devastating effect of Hurricane Georges which made 177,000
>people homeless and caused $200 million of damage, contact the HSG, Trinity
>Church, Hodford Road, London NW11 8NG, tel and fax 0181-201 9878.

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