ezilidanto@margueritelaurent.com   The Slavery the Media Won't Expose

Letter to AP Editors on Restavek Issue


Report says 225,000 Haiti children work as slaves

Letter to New York Times-Demonizing hurricane Victims


Ezili Danto on Help for the Storm Victims -ABC/Nightline - Ezili Danto's Counter-narrative

Where "Freedom" Talk Rings Hollow: The Attack
on Democracy in Haiti

By Neil Elliott
June 17, 2005

Witness Magazine

Since his inaugural address in January 2005, President Bush has been
talking about "freedom" and "liberty" as if he had copyrighted the
words. During March, as popular demonstrations rocked Beirut and
pressed the Syrian government to reconfigure its military footprint
in Lebanon, Newsweek published an encomium by Fareed Zakaria on "what
Bush got right," giving the president a good deal of the credit for
"freedom's march" (March 14).

It's what such gushing editorials leave out that worries me. Yes,
protesters thronged the streets of Beirut to demonstrate against
Syrian influence, but an even larger crowd turned out days later in
support of Hezbollah, showing that the Lebanese aren't any happier
with U.S. interference in the region. Meanwhile, neoconservative
crowing about elections in Iraq and (soon, we're told) Afghanistan
conveniently omits the forceful insistence from the U.S. that no
democratically-elected coalition would ever determine the timetable
for the withdrawal of U.S. troops, even though (as Naomi Klein
observed in The Guardian) that's precisely what "a decisive majority"
of Iraqis thought they were voting for.

And now the headlines tell us "Bush pushes democracy" in a speech
before the Organization of American States (OAS), in which he
contrasted "competing choices" for Latin America and the Caribbean.
One choice, he declared, offered a "vision of hope," founded on
"representative government" and participation in the U.S. version of
"free markets." "The other seeks to roll back the democratic progress
of the past two decades by playing to fear, pitting neighbor against
neighbor, and blaming others for their own failures to provide for
their people."

Those of us still clinging stubbornly to the "reality-based
community" can readily determine to which of those two options the
Bush administration is committed by looking to an exemplary "test
case" nearby. As Ben Terrall reports in Democracy's Death," a superb
article for In These Times, the U.S. embassy in Haiti readily
concedes that "if there were an election held today, Lavalas" -- the
political party of deposed President Jean-Bertrand Aristide -- "would
win." What makes that concession really impressive is that it comes
after a year-long assault on the poor communities that supported
Aristide, by masked National Police and death squads, which has left
hundreds dead in the streets or stacked in the capital
city's morgues. Through it all, the U.S. government has lavished
support on a "de facto" government that a Bush administration team
assembled from Aristide's enemies, while heavily armed men (toting
brand-new U.S.-made automatic weapons) go about "systematically
repressing" Aristide supporters.

So much for the "proud march of freedom."

The Coup in Haiti

In February, 2004, the Bush administration pulled off a remarkably
efficient coup d'état in Haiti. Armed U.S. commandos entered the
residence of President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, who had been
democratically elected, as even our own State Department concedes, by
a margin of which President Bush can only dream. They forced him to
board a plane that was bound, unknown to him, for the Central African

For months before the coup, Haiti observers at the Washington,
D.C.-based Council On Hemispheric Affairs and others had been
reporting that administration officials who had once managed Reagan's
illegal "contra" wars in Nicaragua were again working their peculiar
magic in Haiti. Shuttling back and forth to the neighboring Dominican
Republic (DR), they'd reportedly met with former officers from the
disbanded Haitian army, including men convicted of notorious murders
and massacres during the previous U.S.-sponsored coup regime (that of
Lt. Gen. Raoul Cedras, 1991-94). (The curious coincidence that the
guerrillas would emerge, well armed, from the Dominican jungle soon
after the Bush administration promised 20,000 automatic weapons to
the DR has prompted Sen. Christopher Dodd to call for an
investigation into just how the U.S. Agency for International
Development has spent $1.2 million earmarked for "democracy
enhancement," and just what sorts of "training" former Haitian
military have received in the DR.) A few observers managed to get the
word out, though not in the "mainstream" media: the courageous Kevin
Pina (already in 2003!) in The Black Commentator; Canadian journalist
Anthony Fenton in Z Magazine online; Pomona College political
scientist Heather Williams in Counterpunch; the indefatigable Dr.
Paul Farmer, interviewed by Amy Goodman on "DemocracyNow" radio as
the coup was taking shape, who published an incisive analysis of the
coup in the London Review of Books a few weeks afterward. (I tried to
do my part at The Witness online, two days before the coup.) Last
February, those newly "trained" criminals emerged at the heads of
heavily armed and well organized columns, with names like "the
Cannibal Army" and "the Orphans' Army." Their forces swept from city
to city, systematically torching the offices of the
woefully understaffed and ill-equipped Haitian National Police,
killing police officers and civilians by the score, and marching on
Port-au-Prince. Secretary of State Colin Powell presented Aristide
with a thinly veiled threat: leave office or face the "cannibals."
After U.S. commandos whisked Aristide out of the country, Powell
produced an alleged letter of resignation by the president, which
Aristide denounced as fraudulent as soon as he was able to
communicate with the outside world.

In another disturbing echo of Reagan's contra wars, the man the U.S.
installed in Aristide's place, Florida businessman Gerard Latortue,
hailed the criminals who had helped remove the democratically elected
government as Haiti's "freedom fighters."Getting at the Truth
Though none of the major human rights groups has attempted a
systematic investigation into the coup or its bloody aftermath,
resourceful attorneys and journalists have amassed evidence of a
devastating campaign of assassination, massacre, and false
imprisonment on sites like the San Francisco-based Haiti Action
Network (www.haitiaction.net), and the Institute for Justice and
Democracy in Haiti (www.ijdh.org), run by attorney Brian Concannon,
Jr., who prosecuted some of the most infamous murderers from the
1991-94 coup period. When, on the first anniversary of the coup,
Concannon spoke to a Twin Cities audience of activists gathered by
the Haiti Justice Committee of Minnesota, he and Bruce Nestor of the
National Lawyers' Guild described the widespread violence in poor
sections of Port-au-Prince and the countryside alike as the
"systematic consolidation of the coup." Their observations were borne
out weeks later by journalist Kevin Pina, also brought to the Twin
Cities by the Haiti Justice Committee, who was an eyewitness to
violence perpetrated by the Haiti National Police.

The silence from the international community (with occasional
exceptions like the African National Congress) and from
the mainstream media remains deafening, however. Twice, U.N.
peacekeepers have stood by as Haitian National Police have fired into
nonviolent demonstrations, killing unarmed people, but without
consequence to the police. (A March 2005 report by the Harvard Law
Student Advocates for Human Rights declares the peacekeepers' failure
to intervene when police are committing abuses before their eyes
"simply incomprehensible.") Kevin Pina's "Haiti Information Project"
reports increasing police violence against the poor communities that
provided Aristide much of his popular support.

Meanwhile, true to form, the "respectable" press skew what limited
attention they give to Haiti, conforming it to the State Department
line (as when the BBC and the Associated Press suppressed elements of
human-rights reports that placed the burden for the violence squarely
on the National Police). Part of the problem is that Western media
rely, overwhelmingly and unjustifiably, on U.S. State Department
releases and the predominant Haiti media outlets, which the elite
have bought up over the last five years using money from the (U.S.)
International Republican Institute.

It's hard to imagine a more efficient propaganda mechanism for what
President Bush might call "disassembling." The word he wanted (as he
sniped at Amnesty International's damning report on Guantanamo Bay)
was "dissembling," of course, but the disassembly of Haitian reality
in the U.S. press is as evident as the "dismantling" of democracy in
Haiti itself (to borrow a phrase from Rep. Maxine Waters). As Brian
Concannon told In These Times, "Latortue can say that Aristide is
backing violence in Port-au-Prince" -- surely an impressive reach,
given that Aristide is in exile in South Africa -- "without
presenting any proof, and it's presented as gospel in the newspapers.
But when people talk to our lawyers in Haiti about the interim
government's persecution of dissidents, they have extremely credible,
consistent and corroborated information. That information will not
get into the mainstream media.""Democracy" and the "Culture of Life"
In November, another particularly damning report was published by the
Center for the Study of Human Rights at the University of Miami
School of Law. Their report laid responsibility for violence against
the Haitian poor at the feet of "rich businessmen," who "appear to be
fueling the fire"; the newly reorganized Haitian National Police, who
"backed by U.N. forces, routinely carry out indiscriminate and
unprofessional killing operations"; and reconstituted elements of the
outlawed army, who continue their traditional mission of "protecting
the rich and attacking the poor." In the words of the report's
conclusion, the U.S. government's "investment" has been "in
firepower," and "the observable returns on the investment are bodies
left in the street."

So much for attempts to blame the violence on remnants of "Aristide's

While Bush and Republican powerbrokers in the U.S. Senate took the
spotlight to grandstand for a "culture of life" in the case of Terri
Schiavo, a woman lying in a "persistent vegetative state" in Florida,
14 U.S. House representatives wrote a joint letter to the president
and Secretary of State Rice calling for the administration to
intervene on behalf of Yvon Neptune, the prime minister
constitutionally appointed by Aristide, who had languished in a
Haitian prison for 11 months without facing a judge (as the Haitian
Constitution mandates within 48 hours of arrest). Neptune had begun a
hunger strike to protest his illegal imprisonment, and his internal
organs had begun to fail; he was in desperate need of medical
attention, and observers feared his imminent death. There was no
direct response from the Bush administration, though one must wonder
whether unrelenting activism from Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) and her
colleagues, along with ordinary citizens, might have brought enough
pressure to get Neptune an appearance in court -- though not his
long-overdue release.

So much for the administration's concern for a "culture of life."

In October 2004, Father Gerard Jean-Juste -- one of the champions of
the nonviolent democratic movement in Haiti -- was arrested by masked
Haitian policemen as he was feeding hungry children at his church. No
one in the Haitian government ever produced an arrest warrant during
the five weeks he was imprisoned. The U.S. State Department accepted
the burden of reassuring the world that Jean-Juste was being
"lawfully held."

So much for the rule of law.

It would be nice to believe President Bush's earnest talk about
working for freedom and democracy. Unfortunately for the Haitian
poor, the facts don't bear out the rhetoric of good intentions. Haiti
simply cannot be spun as yet another case of noble American efforts
thwarted by the stubborn incapacity of the "natives" to govern

To the contrary, some of the best covert warfare strategists in our
government have carefully planned and executed the catastrophe that
is Haiti today.

For further reading:

Noam Chomsky, Paul Farmer, and Amy Goodman, Getting Haiti Right This
Time: The U.S. and the Coup (Common Courage, 2004)
Alex Dupuy, Haiti in the New World Order: The Limits of the
Democratic Revolution (Westview, 1997)

Paul Farmer, The Pathologies of Power: Health, Human Rights, and the
New War on the Poor (University of California, 2003)
Paul Farmer, The Uses of Haiti, 3d edition (Common Courage Press,
2005) Robert Fatton, Jr., Haiti's Predatory Republic: The Unending
Transition to Democracy (Rienner, 2002)

C. L. R. James, The Black Jacobins: Toussaint L'Ouverture and the San
Domingo Revolution, 2d ed. 1963 (Vintage Books Edition, 1989)

Tracy Kidder, Mountains Beyond Mountains: Healing the World: The
Quest of Dr. Paul Farmer (Random House, 2003)--
The Rev. Neil Elliott is chaplain for the University Episcopal Center
at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, Minn., and a member of
the Haiti Justice Committee of Minnesota. He may be reached by email
at chaplain@uec-mn.org .


Letter to the Editor of the New York Times
Marc Lacey reporting without context or perspective - Demonizing the poor hurricane victims in Haiti

In "Children in Servitude, The Poorest of Haiti's Poor" Marc Lacey fails to mention several pertinent facts, reports without context or perspectives and ends up demonizing the poor hurricane victims of Haiti. Mr. Lacey fails to tell his readers that it is against Haitian law for children, even child laborers, not to go to school in Haiti and that child labor is a global problem faced by poor countries worldwide and not a particular unique Haiti "children in servitude" issue. Except the poverty is so dire in Haiti, and the justice system so unstructured, there's no one to enforce these laws. Even with 9,000 UN troops in Haiti collecting over $600 million per year. Troops with tanks and guns and no mission to lessen the suffering of Haiti's poor. Troops whose containers hit the Mirebalais bridge and brought it down, exacerbating the Gonaives hurricane victims' sufferings.

The abuse of any child and children not getting an education is reprehensible.
The poor Haitian masses do not have some defective gene that would allow for its society to find abuse of children permissible. I wondered as I read Lacey's article, why he didn't mention the UN and Humanitarian workers’ abuse of Haitian children as reported by Save the Children. Is it fair and balance reporting to focus only on restaveks abuse limited to poor Haitian families. How about also reporting on the richest folks in the Caribbean, living in the hills of Petionville, Laboule, Kenscoff, et al.., their abuse of their domestic workers, their fleecing of Haiti, exporting all the money they make and maintaining their repugnant millions, power and status, not through elections and democratic participation, but by bringing coup d'etats, violence, destabilization and selling off the country to foreigners and a UN protectorate. These folks are the ones that keep Haiti underdeveloped and unable to rid itself of poverty, child laborers and to institutionalize systemic justice for all.

This New York Times journalists finds no time to report on the Haitian oligarchs' lack of accountability, social and civic responsibility to the Haitian nation and society from which they make all those millions, even billions of dollars. But in the middle of the worst humanitarian disaster of the poorest of the poor in Gonaives, finds time to further demonize the poor in Haiti and talk out of context and without balance or perspective about child domestic workers so to continue the colonial narrative.

Perhaps your paper would consider our website's page on these Haitian oligarchs - http://www.margueritelaurent.com/law/subcontracted.html#HaitiOligarchs; perhaps you'd consider this statement regarding the restavek situation in Haiti "Exploitation and abuse of child labor and child domestics is a global problem not a "Haiti slavery" issue."

Thank you for your attention on this.

Marguerite "Exile Danto" Laurent, Esq.
President, Haitian Lawyers Leadership Network
Sept. 14, 2008
203 829 7210
P.O. Box 3573
Stamford, Connecticut 06905


Ezili Danto and HLLN on this matter:
Haitian child restaveks -indentured servants - does not equate to the European TransAtlantic trade/holocuast | A government that cannot protect its children from massive abuse is grotesque| Ezili's counternarrative on the ABC/Nightline report on the abuse of Haitian children

Child domestic labor in Haiti is NOT chattel slavery in the way of Western European-styled slavery wa s. http://matah.com/whatismatah.ihtml

Exploitation of child domestics is a global problem, not a Haitian "slavery"
issue (WindowsonHaiti Ann Pale forum discussion of the restavek issue, 2003)


"...Studies in Indonesia estimate there are around 400,000 child domestic
workers in Jakarta alone and 5 million in Indonesia as a whole. In Venezuela
60 per cent of the girls working between 10 and 14 years of age are employed as
domestic workers. Country surveys showed that the proportion of child domestic
workers under ten years of age was 26 per cent in Venezuela, 24 per cent in
Bangladesh, and 16 per cent in Togo. A survey in Morocco showed that 72 per
cent of domestic workers started their working day before 7.00am and 65 per
cent went to bed after 11.00pm. (Child Labour: Targeting the intolerable, ILO
1996) Jafrikayiti, from Exploitation of child domestics is a global problem,
not a Haitian "slavery" issue (See a discussion of the restavek issue, back in
2003 that covers the points to be made at Windowsonhaiti.com.


Haitian child restaveks -indentured servants - does not equate to the European TransAtlantic trade/holocuast | A government that cannot protect its children from massive abuse is grotesque| Ezili's counternarrative on the ABC/Nightline report on the abuse of Haitian children

Please refer to the three posts below, written back in August of 2003, before the occupation, by Ezili Danto, for further information. You will learn from a lawyer and from a Haitian rights advocate perspective and be provided with a formal look at the restavek legal situation and the social, educational problems. But know this, we don't need "International Slavery Remembrance Day" because the ENSLAVED in Haiti chose never to be slaves and proved it when after the Bwa Kayiman ceremony of Aug. 14, 1791, eight days later on August 22, 1791 they launched the Haitian liberation struggle. On the 217 anniversary of the beginning of that struggle we remember Boukman's Prayer and the call at Bwa Kayiman-
E, e, Mbomba, e, e! Kanga Bafyòti. Kanga Mundele. Kanga Ndòki. Kanga yo!

Beloved, know, no matter what you hear from the Bafyòtis. Mundeles, Ndòkis, Haitians love themselves and their children and Haitians are pushing to come together to stop the abuse of poor, unprotected children, as well as to raise awareness of the plight of the Restavek. These three post give a historical perspective, some critical observations, and hopefully, will add to the many concerned Haitian voices clamoring to legally amend Chapter 9 of the Haitian Labor Code which sanctions child domestic labor, and, for a nationwide educational campaign on parenting and the rights of Haitian children.





Ezili Danto
August 23, 2008

Also for further info, see:

"...The latest Save the Children report, which concentrated on abuse ...
Haiti, found evidence of "significant levels" of abuse in emergencies, much of
it unreported. It cited cases of children as young as six trading sex for food
and pitiful amounts of money, and pointed to the filming of child pornography
and sexual slavery. Orphans were particularly at risk, it said." (
Humanitarian aid workers and UN peacekeepers raping and abusing children and UN peacekeepers 'abusing children'-)

Q&A - Child abuse by aid agency staff

Humanitarian aid workers and UN peacekeepers raping and abusing children

UN peacekeepers 'abusing children'

Video Report: Child Abuse by Humanitarian Workers

Des membres d'ONG abusent d'enfants dès l'âge de six ans, selon Save the Children

Video: United Nations and Aid workers raping and abusing children


Video: U.N. Massacre on July 6, 2005 in Site Soley
Video: U.N. Massive Attack on Dec. 22, 2006 on Site Soley

"Girls as young as 13 were having sex with U.N. peacekeepers for as little as $1. Five young Haitian women who followed soldiers back to Sri Lanka were forced into brothels or polygamous households. They have been rescued and brought home to warn others of the dangers of foreign liaisons...

"When the abuses in the Haitian capital’s impoverished Martissant neighborhood were brought to the mission’s attention in August, a unit of the U.N. Office of Internal Oversight Services was deployed to investigate. Its report to the U.N. Department of Peacekeeping Operations in New York remains confidential, but mission commanders repatriated 111 soldiers and three officers on disciplinary grounds in early November...." (U.N. confronts another sex scandal By Carol J. Williams, December 15, 2007, LA Times)

None dare call it Genocide by John Maxwell, June 29, 2008

Recommended HLLN Links (Energy and Mining in Haiti): The wealthy, powerful and well-armed are robbing the Haitian people blind

Is the UN military proxy occupation of Haiti masking US securing oil/gas
reserves from Haiti

Media Lies: The Two Most Common Neocolonial storylines About Haiti (May, 2008)

Media Lies: The Two Most Common Neocolonial storylines About Haiti, August

Watch the Video clip: "When Haiti Was Free"

Veil of blood: Ignorance is No Defense

Three ideals of Dessalines

Dessalines' Law


Children in Servitude, the Poorest of Haiti’s Poor
by Marc Lacey, New York Times, Sept. 14, 2008

GONAÏVES, Haiti — Thousands of desperate women pushed and shoved to get at
the relief food being handed out on the outskirts of this flooded city last
week. Off to the side were the restaveks, the really desperate ones.

As woman after woman hauled off a sack of rice, a bag of beans and a can of
cooking oil, the restaveks, a Creole term used to describe Haiti’s child
laborers, dropped to their knees to pick up the bits that were inadvertently
dropped in the dirt.

The hurricanes and tropical storms that have whipped across the western half of
Hispaniola, the island divided between Haiti and the Dominican Republic, in the
past month have laid bare the poverty and the deep divisions in Haitian
society, where there are rich, poor and downright destitute.

Nobody illustrates that last group better than the restaveks, the thousands of
young Haitian children handed over by their poor parents to better-off
families, most of whom are struggling themselves.

The term restaveks literally means “stay with,” and that is what the
children do with their hosts, working as domestic servants in exchange for a
roof over their head, some leftover food and, supposedly, the ability to go to
school.In practice, though, the restaveks are easy prey for exploitation.

Human rights advocates say they are beaten, sexually abused and frequently denied access to education, since many host families believe that schooling will only make them less obedient.Unicef estimates that 300,000 Haitian children were affected by the recent storms, many of them forced to relocate to shelters or rooftops.

But young Haitians suffered significantly even before the skies darkened during Fay, Gustav, Hanna and Ike, and more than 300 lives were lost.

The country has the highest mortality rate for children younger than 5 in the Western
Hemisphere, as well as a high death rate among infants and women giving birth.

Just slightly over half of school-age children are actually enrolled in school. Attendance among restaveks, of course, is much less than that.

“Many of them are treated like animals,” said a United Nations official who
spoke on condition of anonymity because she did not have authority to speak on
the delicate issue.

“They are second-class citizens, little slaves. You feed them a little and they clean your house for nothing.”

Gonaïves, a city in Haiti’s northwest, was no boomtown when the storms hit, having been devastated by a hurricane in 2004, from which it was still recovering. But that did not stop many poor families from taking in restaveks, the offspring of the poorest of the poor.“

Almost everybody has one,” said one of the women jockeying in the relief
food line.

They are children like Widna and Widnise, twin 12-year-old girls who have been
in the same Gonaïves home for the past two years.

They get up at dawn to fetch water, collect wood, cook, mop and clean. They watch as their host family’s two children, who are about the same age, eat breakfast and then go off to school. The twins eat nothing in the morning and stay home working.

The twins have it better than most, they say. They are hit on their palms if they are disobedient but do not receive lashings on their head, as they say many of the restaveks in nearby homes receive.

In the evening, they eat with the two other children and sleep on mats on the floor, just as those children do. They had shoes, unlike many of their contemporaries, although they lost those in the flooding.

But the girls said they did not like their situation. There is the teasing they get from other children, who tell them over and over that they will never grow up, that they will always be servant girls.

And they miss their mother, who works in the countryside as a domestic servant and visits the girls when she can. She tells them that she will bring them home as soon as she can afford to feed them.“

Our mother is too poor to take care of us,” said Widna, the more talkative of the pair, adding emphatically, “We don’t want to be restaveks.”

What they wanted most immediately on Thursday afternoon was food. Their host family had fled its flood-damaged home, leaving the girls alone. They arrived at a school in the Praville neighborhood where United Nations relief food was being handed out but were told that only women were allowed in line.

The pint-size girls sat off to the side until they noticed that some rice and beans were being dropped amid all the confusion. The girls looked at each other and then sprang into action with some of the other restaveks, scooping up the specks of food from the ground one by one.


Ezili Dantò on Help for the Victims in Haiti, Sept. 12, 2008

Why not TPS to Haitians? Because of the rule of might, politics and power, not
the equal application of the rules of law. The AP article observation noted
below is critical, except that Haiti has nothing to "give" because the US -
the authoritarian tyrant masked in the clothe of the benevolent patriarch - works
hard at keeping Haiti contained-in-poverty while taking whatever it wants by
force, caprice and destabilization with impunity.

"....Temporary protected status has to be considered in a geopolitical
context, said Daniel Erikson of the Inter-American Dialogue, a Washington think tank. El Salvador still has it after earthquakes in 2001,"and one thing that's helped them to get it is there are Salvadoran troops in Iraq," Erikson said. "What other countries have done is either give the U.S. something it wants or play a shrewd lobbying game, and Haiti has done neither," he said.." Go to: Haitians seek temporary halt to deportations By JENNIFER KAY, AP, Sept. 12, 2008

We ask members, readers and supporters of the Ezili Network to consider writing to Secretary Chertoff, President Bush and letters to their editors, asking for a stop to all deportations and that work permits be granted to these Haitians. Please refer to our Action Alert for contact information and a suggested sample letter.

Short term crisis help because of natural disaster is, of course, critically important. But in our view crisis hand-outs also reinforces the colonial narrative a great deal for Haiti. Hurricanes happen every year in Haiti and although they have gotten worst, the net results are always the same. There are drives and pledges of help. We are told USAID is giving $10 million to the Haitian government right now. No one tells you the conditions and stipulations.

Be sure to know, there are and it probably has to do with US corporate neoliberal interests. These are the uses of Haiti’s perpetual state of crisis and why no Haitian builders will be allowed to build levies around Gonaives to prevent these sorts of catastrophes.

In 2004 Hurricane Jeanne killed over 3,000 Haitians and flooded the City of
Gonaives. Like today the media rushed in and published the lines of folks in
flood waters, receiving aid, the dying stories and USAID and the US rushed in
and committed zillions of dollars to “help.” Gonaives was never rebuilt and
the city remained full of the devastation battered from Hurricane Jeanne and
the subsequent hurricanes from 2004 to now. But a lot of USAID subcontractors
and charity workers raised tons of funds and fed their “benevolent
patriarch-white-savoir-image ad nausea, traveled back for more “courageous
work” and posted their stories.

“The U.S. has given nearly $400 million in assistance to Haiti since 2004,
including $64 million for disaster relief after Jeanne and Hurricane Dennis in
2005, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services spokeswoman Ana Santiago
said.” (See, Haitians seek temporary halt to deportations By JENNIFER KAY,
AP, Sept. 12, 2008

Was Gonaives' roads ever rebuilt, its bridges ever reinforced, flood barriers erected, the environmental devastations ever addressed? No. So where did the $400 million
go…? But that’s not the point I wish to make. For as the journalist John
Maxwell points out in his article, copied below, for people like Ms. Condi
Rice, ideology and neoliberal geopolitics trumps humane concerns. (See,
Children of Prometheus by John Maxwell
http://www.margueritelaurent.com/pressclips/johnmaxwell.html#prometheus; A song for Gonaive in 2004; and, Gonaive, 2004).

So, in Haiti, at the end of the day, when the media and celebrities handing
out goods have left, no infrastructure is rebuilt to avoid repetition of the same
pictures of desperately needy and poor Haitians we all are confronting and the
narrative they manifest. For Haitians, those are pictures of the two most common Western narratives – dependent and needy Haitians vs. the generous benevolent colonial saviors - on Haiti that HLLN aims to wipe away with the manifestation of a more independent and self-sufficient Haiti. (See, The two most common neocolonial storylines about Haiti
http://www.margueritelaurent.com/pressclips/veil.html#spins and
/campaignone/presswork/lovinsky2.html# kym07

; and, Media Campaign - Ezili Dantò's counter-narrative to the media spins and
self-serving colonial negatives promoted about Haiti


TPS and a stop to all deportations to the US is important because if a
potential Haitian breadwinner is deported, there's no sustenance for his/her
American born or other children and family abroad, and the complete wipe-out
in the amount that that breadwinner was sending to Haiti for families and friends
in need of food, shelter, medicines and some DIGNITY.

Haitians from abroad send almost $2 billion to their families and friends in
Haiti. This, not USAID, not Catholic Relief Services, nor the Red Cross
emergency relief services or an other humanitarian hand outs is what sustains
Haiti's peoples in the long term. That is as it should be.

And that is what should be assisted by the US government, not destroyed and
diluted. Deportations hurts Haiti and Haitians in countless and cruel ways.
The same US that promoted famine in Haiti by destroying Haiti’s agriculture
sector cannot blithely send Haitians back where they will starve. The same US
that destroyed Haiti’s grassroots movements for social justice, civic
preparedness and responsibly with two Bush dynasty coup d’etats and 10 years
of IRI/NED/USAID destabilization in-between and foisted the UN slaughters,
rapes and molestation of helpless and now parentless Haitian children in Haiti
cannot send Haitian breadwinners back to a place where there’s less personal
safety or security than before they left. (See, UN/Brazilian Troops OUT of
- http://www.margueritelaurent.com/pressclips/Brazilout.html and
Haitian-Americans ask the next US president to....end UN occupation, grant
TPS, stop trading for Haiti with USAID - http://www.ma rgueritelaurent.com/
campaigns/campaignsi x/c6mission.html)

The same US that created the slums of Site Soley by dangling and promising low
wage jobs and pushing through the invasion of cheap Miami rice, forcing the
Haitian rural dwellers into the Capital and off their farms, cannot now be
seen as simply "benevolent and generous” no matter how many "zillions" of donor
dollars it tells the American public it has pledged towards Haiti’s
“recovery.” (See, US "Free Trade" Fraud Promotes Famine in Haiti
- http://www.margueritelaurent.com/pressclips/foodcrisis.html#freetradefamine
and The wealthy, powerful and well-armed are robbing the Haitian people blind
- http://www.margueritelaurent.com/pressclips/gas_oil.html#fiscalparadise;
Haiti’s Riches -
http://www.margueritelaurent.com/pressclips/sfbayview.html#riches ; and ;
Haiti's ruling Oligarchy - Category Zero, The Mercenary Haiti families are the richest in the Caribbean -
http://www.margueritelaurent.com/campaigns/campaignfive/c5actionplans.html ).

In essence, as we’ve written “Haiti's dream of democracy, sustainable
development, Haitian-owned tourism, and sovereignty - food and security
sovereignty - were deferred ....by the Bush dynasty's two regime changes to
Haiti's democratic governments, free trade that destroyed Haiti's agriculture
and UN slaughtering, raping in order to pacify dissent.”

The human wreckage you now see displayed on every station reporting about
Haiti is not just caused by the hurricanes. No. Haiti had little to begin with
before the last four hurricanes because “US dumped, subsidized American rice and
foods destroyed Haiti's food sovereignty. Then, after destroying Haitian human
rights with two coup d'etats, saddling Haiti with a UN protectorate so that
Haiti's natural resources could be fleeced at the point of a UN gun, while
humanitarian NGOs, aid workers rush in bandying about their "generosity to
Haitians" to raise funds abroad that mostly go, not to help Haitian
self-sufficiency but to pay for their own children private education and for
their life as mini monarchs in Haiti.

Behind the media's spins and racist reporting of the "recalcitrant,
unable-to-rule-self and violent Black Haitians," the Haitian people starve,
are contained-in-poverty, stripped of their human rights and democratic
leaders and being abused and raped by said same "benevolent humanitarians."

(See, Humanitarian aid workers and United Nation peacekeepers are raping and sexually abusing small children -
and Media spins - http://www.margueritelaurent.com/pressclips/veil.html#spins).

It is “undeniable that whenever Haitians come together as a people and
attempt to set up a popularly elected, democratic government and governance,
based on laws, order, Haitian culture, Haitian interests, ways of life and
priorities and on an equitable division of the countries assets, ...it is the
former slave holding US-Euro countries and their tiny Haitian agents and
mercenaries who, invariably, step in to destabilize Haiti so that THEY may
bring their own sort and brand of self-serving "democracy", anti-Haitian
"justice" and "law and order?" (See, Its Neither Hope Nor Progress
When The International Community is Running Haiti

We agree with the Robert Maguire’s article, responding to former Republican
Senator, Mike DeWine on "What Haiti Needs" when he writes:
“Once the victims of recent flooding receive the care they urgently require,
investment in rural Haiti -- for environmental rehabilitation and increased
food production -- should finally eclipse a focus on the creation of low-wage
assembly plant jobs.” (See, For Haiti, Assembly Jobs Aren't the Whole Answer
by Robert Maguire, September 12, 2008; A14, Washington Post).

One of our primary tenets at Ezili's HLLN is the promotion and bringing into
application Haitian self-sufficiency, self reliance and self-determination.

The constructive help the US may provide is to help Haitians help themselves and
step out of the way of Haitianist development.

That means allowing Haitians in the Diaspora to help their families and that
means having IRI/USAID-sorts of “democracy death projects” step out of the
way of the Haitian grassroots community and civic structures that will allow
for the process for evacuation and saving lives next year when the storms and
hurricanes come. That means investment, not in the militarization of Haiti,
but the rebuilding of infrastructure, roads, schools and ameliorating
environmental degradation and investment in Haiti's rural areas and agriculture sector to allow Haiti to rebuild its food sovereignty. That means the US should trade
with the Haitian government, not USAID and foreign NGO's and charities in the
name of Haitians. For this habit only undermines Haiti’s sovereignty,
emboldens and empowers NGOs with no public responsibility or accountability to
Haitians or Haiti’s long term well-being. Real US help also means fairness in
the application of the immigration rules. That means TPS and the stop to all
deportations and granting of work permits. That means a stop to the rampant
discrimination in all areas of immigration vis-à-vis Haitians.

Temporary Protected Status (TPS) and/or its equivalent, whatever stops ALL
deportations and grants work permits that's what is needed for Haiti in
addition to the crisis help. Whatever it's called, either as Deferred Enforced
Departure (DED) which includes also stopping criminal deportations or a simple
administrative ruling with the effect of stopping all deportations and
granting work permits are procedures on the books in the US for situations such as
Haiti is facing due to continued repercussions of the imposed 2004 insecurity and
right now with the four back-to- back-storms and hurricanes of 2008. ( See,
Grant TPS to Haitians- Help the storm victims -
http://www.margueritelaurent.com/campaigns/campaigntwo/TPS_08.html and
Temporary Protected Status, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.)

Please help our COMMUNITY ORGANIZING and mobilization efforts right here at
Ezili's HLLN by writing to President Bush, Secretary Chertoff and your local
congress person, urging the issuance of TPS, granting of work permits, and a
stop to all deportations of Haitians.

Ezili Danto
September 12, 2008


Economic proposals that make sense for the reality of Haiti - The Western
economic model doesn't fit an independent Black nation

Ezili's counter-narrative on the ABC/Nightline report on the abuse of Haitian children

Wednesday, July 9, 2008 7:59 AM
From:"zili danto" <erzilidanto@ yahoo.com>
To: nightline@abcnews.com

Haitian child restaveks - domestic servants - does not equate to the European
TransAtlantic trade/holocuast | Ezili's counternarrative on the ABC/Nightline
report on the abuse of Haitian children

Ezili Danto's Note on the ABC/Nightline story below.

HLLN categorically denounces the epidemic of kidnapping, child molestation and
large market for international trafficking in Haitian children that has landed
on Haiti since the landing of Bush 2004 Haiti Regime change and its
international "peacemakers" and NGO humanitarian aid workers.

Human rights and the safety and security of Haitians and Haitian children has gotten WORSE not
better since Bush regime change in Haiti and the UN/US occupation.
The purchasers of Haitian children are not Haitians, but the Christian NGO
workers, peacekeepers and other such "Rescuers", i.e. the blan - the
foreigners roaming free and running internationally occupied Haiti. (See also,
Child abuse by aid agency staff | Humanitarian aid workers and United Nation
peacekeepers are sexually abusing small children in several war-ravaged and
food-poor countries... Video: United Nations and Aid workers raping and abusing children - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xxKYfrSollc&feature=related ; Video Report: Child Abuse by Humanitarian Workers -
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3YAXq3jy3AY - See, White (the foreigner's)
sexual abuse of the poor and powerless in Haiti
- http://www.margueritelaurent.com/pressclips/festival.html#sexexploitation)

We urge all interested in a more balance and truthful reporting of the abuse
of Haitian children and young women in Haiti to examine the Save the Children
Report and the countless ousting of UN peacekeepers out of Haiti for rape,
child molestation and sexual abuse. It's incredible that this ABC/Nightline
report completely fails to mention how the market for Haitian children
EXPLODED with Bush 2004 regime change in Haiti, or the role of international
humanitarian workers in Haiti's orphanages, as per the Save the Children and
other recent sexual abuse reports.

"...The latest Save the Children report, which concentrated on abuse ...
Haiti, found evidence of "significant levels" of abuse in emergencies, much of it
unreported. It cited cases of children as young as six trading sex for food
and pitiful amounts of money, and pointed to the filming of child pornography and sexual slavery. Orphans were particularly at risk, it said." (Humanitarian aid workers and UN peacekeepers raping and abusing children and UN peacekeepers 'abusing children'-

In addition, this ABC/Nightline report, after first reporting on the
international market now reaching epic proportions in the trafficking of
Haitian children in Haiti, equated Haiti's children domestics, known as
restavek to slavery. To equate the restavek issue to slavery is to trivialize
the ownership, sanctioned by Euro-American laws, of Africans starting from
1503 in Haiti and ending in 1803 in Haiti when the Africans wrestled their liberty
from the European enslavers in combat. That human trafficking trade continued
in the US until the Civil War and bears little resemblance to the phenomenon,
in most poor countries where children are sent as servants to work at places
where they may find an education and food. That restaveks are abused and
exploited in Haiti, as in the rest of the developing world, is not questioned.

But the exploitation is ILLEGAL in Haiti. The Haiti child restavek indentured
servant issue cannot be equated to the Maafa, to the Euro-American chattel
slavery of the TransAtlantic nor the European Trans-Mediterranean slave trade.
That's a period, no comma. To do so is to trivialize the European sponsored
African holocaust - Maafa.

ABC's Nightline Exposes Modern-Day Slavery
by Kim Trobee, digital producer

How to Buy a Child in 10 Hours
One Reporter's Journey Reveals An Epidemic of Child Slavery in Haiti


See also Ezili Danto speaks on the Haiti Restavek issue at the four
windowsonhaiti posts noted below:

The posts below looks at the legal situation and social, educational problems.
But Haitians are pushing to come together to stop the abuse of poor,
unprotected children, as well as to raise awareness of the plight of the
Restavek. These three post give a historical perspective, some critical
observations, and hopefully, will add to the many concerned Haitian voices
clamoring to legally amend Chapter 9 of the Haitian Labor Code which sanctions
child domestic labor, and, for a nationwide educational campaign on parenting
and the rights of Haitian children.





Letter to AP Editors on Restavek Issue
Letter to the Editor - On AP story entitled Report says 225,000 Haiti children work as slaves written by Evens Sanon

Dear AP Editors:

We are writing you today in referenced to the Associated Press' story by Evens Sanon, entitled "
Report says 225,000 Haiti children work as slaves."

The article, citing the Pan American Development Foundation, explains that "Poverty has forced at least 225,000 children in Haiti's cities into slavery as unpaid household servants, far more than previously thought" and "said some of those children — mostly young girls — suffer sexual, psychological and physical abuse while toiling in extreme hardship."

At Ezili's HLLN we find it repugnant when children are forced to work for food and shelter, not provided with good schooling and a loving and nurturing childhood is stolen from them. We all must together change this for the world's poor. But our concern is that in all poor countries there is some form of child labor. Until very recently child labor was also prevalent in industrialized countries including the United States. Today, the media is calling child domestics "slaves" only in Haiti. This is far too obvious, racist, arbitrary and capricious. Please consider reporting on the real enslavement in Haiti - that is, the slavery in Haiti the media won’t expose: eleven to thirteen mercenary families in Haiti own most of the country's wealth while the majority starve and live in utter misery and poverty.

There would not be child labor in Haiti without the tyranny of the rich, the false charity of US/Euro Christian missions, the false orphanages, false food aid, false Euro/US benevolence administered by USAID that serves the wealth-off in Haiti not the poorest of the poor and the regime changes and coup d'etats they sponsor with the backing of US/Euro governments to keep the majority of Haitians in poverty's bondage. (See, Ezili Dantò's review of TRAVESTY in Haiti - A true account of Christian missions, orphanages, fraud, food aid and drug trafficking.)

Euro/US financial colonialism, false charity and fraudulent free trade destabilizes, causes famine, instability and slums in Haiti. This allows the wealthy to exploit the poorest of the poor and forces the poor to send their children to relatives or others supposedly better able to take care of them. Your media ought to report this and stop the capricious colonial narrative that only labels Haitian child domestics as "slaves" but won't report what causes Haiti's impoverishment.

The long term solution for Haiti's future, for Haiti's small children is equitable distribution of the Haiti's resources, an end to foreign-sponsored dependence, false benevolence, occupation/dictatorships/regime change and the monopoly of the rich, forced scarcity and assimilation, exclusion of the majority, endless debts, financial colonialism, and the fraudulent free trade of US foreign policy that causes famine, wage slavery and containment in perpetual poverty.

(For more, go to: The Slavery in Haiti the Media Won't Expose, and TRAVESTY in Haiti - A true account of Christian missions, orphanages, fraud, food aid and drug trafficking.) Thank you.

Ezili Dantò
Haitian Lawyers Leadership Network (HLLN),
USA and Haiti

December 23, 2009

See also,
Restavek: Letter to the New York Times - Demonizing the Gonaives Hurricane Victims, Sept. 14, 2008

Haitian child restaveks - domestic servants - does not equate to the European TransAtlantic trade/holocaust | Ezili's counternarrative on the ABC/Nightline report on the abuse of Haitian children, July 9, 2008



Report says 225,000 Haiti children work as slaves
By EVENS SANON (AP) – December 23, 2009

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti — Poverty has forced at least 225,000 children in Haiti's cities into slavery as unpaid household servants, far more than previously thought, a report said Tuesday.

The Pan American Development Foundation's report also said some of those children — mostly young girls — suffer sexual, psychological and physical abuse while toiling in extreme hardship.

The report recommends Haiti's government and international donors focus efforts on educating the poor and expanding social services such as shelters for girls, who make up an estimated two-thirds of the child servant population.

Young servants are known as "restavek" — Haitian Creole for "stays with" — and their plight is both widely known and a source of great shame in the Caribbean nation that was founded by a slave revolt more than 200 years ago.

Researchers said the practice is so common that almost half of 257 children interviewed in the sprawling Port-au-Prince shantytown of Cite Soleil were household slaves.

Most are sent by parents who cannot afford to care for them to families just slightly better off. Researchers found 11 percent of families that have a restavek have sent their own children into domestic servitude elsewhere.

Despite growing attention to the problem, researchers said their sources were unaware of any prosecutions of cases involving trafficking children or using them as unpaid servants in this deeply poor nation of more than 9 million people.

Glenn Smucker, one of the report's authors and a cultural anthropologist known for extensive work on Haiti, said he believes the number of restavek children is increasing proportionally with the population of Port-au-Prince as more migrants flee rural poverty to live in the capital.

The researchers surveyed more than 1,400 random households in five Haitian urban areas in late 2007 and early 2008, with funding help from the U.S. Agency for International Development.

The most widely used previous number for restaveks came from a 2002 UNICEF survey, which estimated there were 172,000.

The new report used a broader counting system to include children related to household owners but still living in servitude, such as nieces or cousins, and as well as "boarders" living temporarily with another family but are still forced to provide labor.

"Most people working with restavek children ... think that these numbers, both ours and UNICEF's, are actually underestimating the problem," said Herve Razafimbahini, the Pan American Development Foundation's program director in Haiti.

He called for Haitian officials to conduct a national survey to analyze the full scope of the problem, including in rural areas.

Officials with the Ministry of Social Affairs could not be reached for comment Tuesday.

Associated Press writers Evens Sanon reported this story from Port-Au-Prince and Jonathan M. Katz reported from San Juan, Puerto Rico.

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
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

Vodun is as old as creation and it's the Light and Beauty of Haiti

Black Women: Mother of All the Races

Isis/Ezili Dantò – Symbols of the Great warrior mother and goddess

Most Religious Practices Originate from Vodun goddess

Ezili and Isis

Youtube: Ezili Danto live in Miami w/Sanba Yatande, TiRouj & Manno
Ezilidanto | Writings | Performances | Bio | Workshops | Contact Us | Guests | Law | Merchandise
2003 Marguerite Laurent