Haitian food crisis sending refugees to the sea By Joseph Guyler Delva, Reuters, April 23, 2008
20 Haitians bodies found near Bahamas, April 22, 2008

Dominican Crackdown Leaves Children of Haitian Immigrants in Legal Limbo, May 25, 2008



Kanga Mundele: Our mission to live free or die trying, Another Haitian Independence Day under occupation
by Marguerite Laurent, Haitian Perspectives, January 1, 2006

October 17, 2007 - Ezili Dantò's Note on the current situation in Haiti

Eyewitness account of the abduction of President and First Lady Aristide of Haiti by the United States Special Forces


Dessalines Is Rising!!
Ayisyen: You Are Not Alone!


Hope and Humiliation: HLLN’s analysis of May 18, 2006 and the Inaugural of President Rene Preval by Marguerite Laurent

Many Haitians want exiled Aristide back, April 16, 2008

FOOD CRISIS: 'The greatest demonstration of the
historical failure of the capitalist model'
by Ian Angus, Global Research, April 28, 2008

30 Years Ago Haiti Grew All the Rice It Needed. What Happened?
The U.S. Role in Haiti's Food Riots
, By Bill Quigley , April 21, 2008

Is Starvation Contagious? by John Maxwell
, Jamaican Observer
Review of Peter Hallward's "Damming the Flood" (Part I) - by Stephen Lendman
, OpEdNews.com

1804 Independence Proclamation of Haiti's Founding Father, General Jean Jacques Dessalines "....if they find asylum amongst us, they will be once more the schemers of our troubles and our divisions."


To subscribe, write to erzilidanto@yahoo.com
zilibuttonCarnegie Hall
Video Clip
No other national
group in the world
sends more money
than Haitians living
in the Diaspora
Red Sea- audio

The Red Sea

Ezili Dantò's master Haitian dance class (Video clip)

zilibuttonEzili's Dantò's
Haitian & West African Dance Troop
Clip one - Clip two

So Much Like Here- Jazzoetry CD audio clip

Ezili Danto's

to Self

Update on
Site Soley

RBM Video Reel

Angry with
Boat sinking
A group of Haitian migrants arrive in a bus after being repatriated from the nearby Turks and Caicos Islands, in Cap-Haitien, northern Haiti, Thursday, May 10, 2007. They were part of the survivors of a sailing vessel crowded with Haitian migrants that overturned Friday, May 4 in moonlit waters a half-mile from shore in shark-infested waters. Haitian migrants claim a Turks and Caicos naval vessel rammed their crowded sailboat twice before it capsized. (AP Photo/Ariana Cubillos)

Dessalines' Law
and Ideals

Breaking Sea Chains

Little Girl
in the Yellow
Sunday Dress

Anba Dlo, Nan Ginen
Ezili Danto's Art-With-The-Ancestors Workshops - See, Red, Black & Moonlight series or Haitian-West African

Clip one -Clip two
ance performance
zilibutton In a series of articles written for the October 17, 2006 bicentennial commemoration of the life and works of Dessalines, I wrote for HLLN that: "Haiti's liberator and founding father, General Jean Jacques Dessalines, said, "I Want the Assets of the Country to be Equitably Divided" and for that he was assassinated by the Mullato sons of France. That was the first coup d'etat, the Haitian holocaust - organized exclusion of the masses, misery, poverty and the impunity of the economic elite - continues (with Feb. 29, 2004 marking the 33rd coup d'etat). Haiti's peoples continue to resist the return of despots, tyrants and enslavers who wage war on the poor majority and Black, contain-them-in poverty through neocolonialism' debts, "free trade" and foreign "investments." These neocolonial tyrants refuse to allow an equitable division of wealth, excluding the majority in Haiti from sharing in the country's wealth and assets." (See also, Kanga Mundele: Our mission to live free or die trying, Another Haitian Independence Day under occupation; The Legacy of Impunity of One Sector-Who killed Dessalines?; The Legacy of Impunity:The Neoconlonialist inciting political instability is the problem. Haiti is underdeveloped in crime, corruption, violence, compared to other nations, all, by Marguerite 'Ezili Dantò' Laurent
No other national group in the world sends more money than Haitians living in the Diaspora



Haitian food crisis sending refugees to the sea

(Refiles to correct date in dateline)
By Joseph Guyler Delva

MONTROUIS, Haiti, April 23 (Reuters) - Acute hunger and the rising cost of living could send a new wave of boat people from Haiti, where rising food prices set off deadly riots two weeks ago and drove the prime minister from office, officials and analysts say.

In the small town of Montrouis, about 50 miles (80 km) north of Port-au-Prince, desperate Haitians say they will seize the first opportunity to take a boat toward the U.S. coast to escape the misery that plagues Haiti, the Western Hemisphere's poorest country.

"I will leave with the next boat going to Miami because I can no longer resist this hunger," Marcel Jonassaint, 34, told Reuters on Tuesday as he sat barefoot near the dock in Montrouis, throwing a handful of small rocks into the ocean.

"I have four children and I don't have a job and everything is expensive, even for those who are working," Jonassaint said. "So what do you want me to do?"
Montrouis is a coastal village, overlooking the island of La Gonave, reputed as a key launching point for migrant boats.

"I left earlier this year. Our boat was intercepted in the high seas, but I will try again," said 29-year-old Rachel Chavanne. "I know some people, like a cousin of mine, who had a successful trip there.

"My turn will also come one day," she said in her blue dress, with a smile on her face.

Haitian lawmakers fired Prime Minister Jacques Eduard Alexis earlier this month to quell anger over rising food prices that sparked violent protests in Haiti. At least six people died in a week of protests and looting.


The director for the country's national migration office, Jeanne Bernard Pierre, said since the food crisis, her agency has received more repatriated Haitian boat people in a week than it used to receive in a month or more.

"We have received 212 repatriated last week, we have just received 227 and we are receiving 114 tomorrow," Pierre told Reuters on Tuesday.

"It is clear that more boat people have been leaving the country and you should expect even more if they cannot find an alternative," said Pierre, who urged the government and the international community to set up programs to ease the plight of the poorest and most vulnerable.

The U.S. Coast Guard has intercepted 972 Haitian migrants at sea since Oct. 1, compared with 376 during the same period last year. But the numbers typically fluctuate and it's impossible to link any spike in the numbers to any one event such as the recent food riots, Coast Guard Petty Officer Barry Bena said.

"It peaks at certain points and there's months on end when we get no Haitian vessels at all," he said.

Pierre said her office is doing its best to persuade suffering Haitians to stay home, but "they believe the only alternative left for them is to leave."

Migration office employees have been sent to poor, seaside neighborhoods to warn people how risky it is to take to the sea in rustic vessels, but they reply by giving examples of friends and relatives they knew made it to Miami.

"We even show them pictures of sharks eating people, but they would tell us they know many others who reached U.S soil and who are now sending money to relatives left in Haiti," said Pierre.

There are frequent reports of drownings when unsafe and overloaded migrant vessels capsize or break apart while trying to reach the United States and the Bahamas. A suspected migrant smuggling boat capsized off the Bahamas during the weekend and rescue crews recovered three survivors and 15 bodies, many of them Haitians.

Human rights activist Renan Hedouville said Haitians are leaving because the government and the rest of the world have turned a blind eye to the hungry.

"The universal right to have access to food has been neglected and denied to so many people," Hedouville said. "That's why people in desperate straits are taking to the sea, risking their lives and seeking a solution which is not really one."

(Editing by Jane Sutton and Sandra Maler)

(For more stories on global food price rises, please see here)


Marguerite 'Ezili Dantò' Laurent, Lawyer, Performance Poet, Founder and Chair of the Haitian Lawyers Leadership Network (Carnegie Hall/ Breaking Sea Chains, Live audio recording of Capsized Red Sea audio),Anba Dlo, Nan Ginen Little Girl in the Yellow Sunday Dress









Haitian Bodies Found Near Bahamas, CNN, April 21, 2008

MIAMI, Florida (CNN) -- U.S. and Bahamian rescue workers found the bodies of 20 people floating in open waters Sunday near the Bahamas, U.S. Coast Guard officials said Monday.

A Bahamian official questions a survivor of the sinking, right, at the Nassau Harbour Patrol Unit on Sunday. (AP Photo)

Authorities received an alert about 5 a.m. ET Sunday of people stranded and screaming in the water 15 miles northwest of Nassau, Bahamas, the Coast Guard said.

Helicopters, jets and patrol boats were deployed in a search, and about 20 people were located by 3:45 p.m. Sunday.

Rescue workers discovered three survivors and are searching for others, said Coast Guard Petty Officer Nick Ameen in Miami.

All of the dead were Haitians, authorities said. Two of the survivors are Haitians, and the other is a Honduran, they said.

Rescuers did not find the vessel that the people were on before becoming stranded, Ameen said.

Authorities are trying to find out what type of vessel it was from survivors.

Bahamian officials will question the survivors, said Luis Diaz, a spokesman for the Coast Guard. If a criminal investigation needs to be initiated, authorities in the Bahamas would handle it, Diaz said.

The people were heading from Haiti, he said.


Standing on truth, living without fear – Supporting Barack Obama’s vision of what can be…
Black is the Color of Liberty
HLLN Links to US "free trade" fraud promoting famine in Haiti

Media Lies: The two most common neocolonial storylines about Haiti - May 14, 2008 & August 27, 2007




Dominican Crackdown Leaves Children of Haitian Immigrants in Legal Limbo, New York Times, May 25, 2008

SAN PEDRO DE MACORIS, Dominican Republic — Two obsessions define this country: baseball and Haiti. Ángel Luis Joseph, a teenage outfielder with a hot bat, is caught between Dominicans’ devotion to the one and disdain for the other.

So many major leaguers have emerged from this sugar town that agents keep an eye on even pint-size players with potential. Ángel, 17, was only a lanky grade school boy when his coach noticed he showed all the signs of becoming a standout. Before long, the San Francisco Giants came calling with a $350,000 offer, he said.

But then politics interfered with his dream. To obtain a visa to the United States, Ángel went to a local government office to get a copy of his birth certificate. Little did he know that the Dominican government had recently begun a crackdown on the children of Haitian immigrants, even those like him who have lived their whole lives in the Dominican Republic.

“If your last name is weird, they won’t give you your documents,” he said. “Same thing if your skin is dark like mine.”

Ángel’s request for his birth record was denied, prompting the Giants to withdraw the offer.

His parents, like hundreds of thousands of others, moved from Haiti to the Dominican Republic in the 1970s to work in the sugar cane fields. Their children were born in the Dominican Republic, grew up here and became, in their eyes at least, full-fledged Dominicans. They speak Spanish, dance merengue and play “pelota,” the popular name for the Dominican pastime baseball.

“They don’t play baseball in Haiti,” said Melanie Teff, who has studied the issue for Refugees International, an advocacy group in Washington. “That shows how Dominican this guy and many people like him are.”

The government does not necessarily agree, and Ángel awaits a ruling on his appeal for access to his Dominican birth record.

The issue arose with a fury several years ago when advocates took the government to the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, whose jurisdiction the Dominican Republic acknowledges, to protest the denial of birth certificates to two ethnic Haitian children.

While the case was in process, the government changed its migration law in 2004 to specifically exclude the offspring of Haitian migrants from citizenship.

The Dominican Constitution grants citizenship to those born on Dominican soil, except the children of diplomats and those “in transit.” That has long meant that the children of immigrants, no matter their legal status, gained Dominican citizenship.

After the international court ruled against the Dominican government in 2005, ordering that damages be paid to the two children, the Dominican Supreme Court said that Haitian workers were considered “in transit” and that their children were therefore Haitian, not Dominican.

Last spring, the government agency in charge of identity documents, the Joint Electoral Council, issued a memorandum telling its employees to watch for the offspring of foreigners trying to identify themselves as Dominican. It now hangs at every clerk’s office and is shown to people thought to have Haitian blood.

“The issue of Haiti has become very combustible in the Dominican context,” said Daniel Erikson, director of Caribbean programs at the Inter-American Dialogue, a research group in Washington. “You have a deep resentment of Haiti, and that’s driving these responses that don’t reflect favorably on the country.”

Government officials point out the strain that poor illegal immigrants from Haiti put on the Dominican Republic. The two countries share the island of Hispaniola but have vastly different levels of development.

Of course, Haitians contribute, too. They have long worked in the jobs Dominicans did not want to do, mostly cutting cane on plantations that supply sugar to the United States. The government has not just known of their presence for decades but has in some cases encouraged their arrival.

The Dominican government says the new crackdown is a security matter, aimed at wiping out fraud. And in some cases over the years, young Haitians who had crossed the border illegally claimed to have been born on the Dominican side.

But opponents accuse the government of applying its 2004 law retroactively, which they call an illegal practice that has longstanding societal animosity against Haitians at its heart.

“The racist beliefs of some are being used to twist our laws,” said Cristóbal Rodríguez Gómez, a Dominican constitutional law professor at Ibero-American University, who is acting as counsel for another descendant of Haitians who lacks documents. “This is a crime, a monstrous crime.”

In a recent report, two United Nations experts found “a profound and entrenched problem of racism and discrimination” in the Dominican Republic, mostly affecting people of Haitian origin. The report said Haitians and their descendants face “extreme vulnerability, unjustified deportations, racial discrimination, and are denied the full enjoyment of their human rights.”

The Dominican government rejected the conclusions, portraying the relationship between the neighbors as one of solidarity.

Ángel is one of many who find their lives in limbo under the new rules. Emildo Bueno Oguis, 33, a college student who recently married an American woman, could not get his birth certificate either and therefore cannot apply to the American Embassy for residency to join her in Florida.

Mr. Oguis, whom Mr. Rodríguez represents, challenged the government’s decision in court, accusing the council of denying his rights. But his claim was rejected, despite the fact that he had previously been issued a Dominican identity card and a Dominican passport.

Confusing the matter, a lower court judge ruled in favor of another descendant of Haitian immigrants, Nuny Angra Luis, who had been denied her birth certificate. That decision was announced the same week in April as the other, diametrically opposed ruling.

Demetrio F. Francisco de Los Santos, a government lawyer, dismisses the notion that anyone’s rights are being violated. Descendants of Haitians, he argues in court documents, can simply go to the nearest Haitian consulate for their documents.

While Haitian law does grant citizenship to the offspring of Haitians, the issue is complex. Ángel’s parents would have to prove they are Haitian for him to get citizenship in Haiti, a country which he has never visited.

While some are indignant about the Dominican crackdown, Ángel seems surprisingly calm.

Before a recent practice, in which he flagged fly balls and then fired them into the infield, Ángel said his mother could not sleep after he lost the Giants contract. (“Ángel Luis Joseph is one of a number of players in the Dominican that clubs are finding do not have the proper paperwork to prove their identity or age,” the Giants said in a statement, indicating that the team had been forced to look for someone else.)

Ángel may have another shot. The Cleveland Indians have come calling, he said, visiting the humble shack that he shares with his parents and seven siblings just outside a sugarcane field.

The Indians’ offer was about a third of that put forward by the Giants, but still a windfall for a boy from a batey, the name for the workers’ camps that grow up around sugar cane plantations.

But while he awaits a ruling, he acknowledges worrying that he will see his dream disappear a second time.

“God wants me to be a baseball player — that I know,” he said. What he does not know is whether the Dominican Republic, the country he considers himself from, agrees.



Dessalines Is Rising!!
Ayisyen: You Are Not Alone!

"When you make a choice, you mobilize vast human energies and resources which otherwise go untapped...........If you limit your choices only to what seems possible or reasonable, you disconnect yourself from what you truly want and all that is left is a compromise." Robert Fritz

Ezilidanto | Writings | Performances | Bio | Workshops | Contact Us | Guests | Law | Merchandise