Guy Philippe - Wanted by DEA on drug charges
AP, July 20, 2007


U.S. and Haiti to continue Joint Offensive,
AP, July 20, 2007

The Real Reason For the Raid
Monterey Herald, July 27, 2007
The Issue With US-DEA War on Drugs in Haiti-Partisan Bias/enforcement

From Thug to Freedom Fighters, COHA, Larry Birns and Seth DeLong, December 14, 2004

Haiti's Desperate Women
Quick glimpse of misery
The Freedom of the Press Barons: The media and the 2004 Haiti Coup, (Guy Philippe says the media helped him with the coup d'etat, a lot.) Dominionpaper.ca , February 1, 2007

Randall Robinson on " An Unbroken Agony: Haiti: From Revolution to the Kidnapping of a President,
Democracy Now!, July 23rd, 2007


Haiti Debates Homegrown Army
LA Times , July 27, 2007

Former Haitian Leaders begin to stir LA Times , Sept. 2, 2007

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



Anyone remember Haiti? by Bill Fletcher Jr. |Baltimore Times |8/3/2007

Letters To LA Times about "Haiti Debates Homegrown Army"

It's Neither Hope nor Progress when the International Community is Running Haiti (See Ban Ki-moon's "Hope At Last For Haiti")

Media Lies and Real Haiti News

Former Haitian Leaders begin to stir LA Times , Sept. 2, 2007


Examples of Neocolonial Journalism

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


(Click on this link


then click on "Watch 128k stream" or "Watch 256k stream" to view Democracy Now! video footage showing tens of thousands of Haitians demonstrating recently (July 16, 2007) in Haiti for return of Aristide and release of the political prisoners; footages of Aristide after the US kidnapping on a plane back from Central African Republic on a plane chartered by Congresswoman Maxine Waters and Randall Robinson, et al to return Aristide and his Haiti's first lady to Jamaica for temporary asylum, and footages of interview with Randall Robinson on his new book on Haiti, et al....(Democracy Now!, July 23, 2007

Democracy Now! Interview with Randall Robinson on Haiti (Audio)

Haiti, U.S. to Continue Joint Offensives
Associated Press Writer

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti — President Rene Preval said Friday that Haiti and the United States will continue joint offensives against drug trafficking, which he described as the biggest threat to his impoverished Caribbean country.

Preval's comments were his first public remarks since U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agents and Haitian authorities launched a forceful crackdown on suspected drug traffickers in two coastal towns earlier this week.

The agents arrested a Haitian businessman allegedly tied to cocaine traffickers but failed to capture their main target, former rebel leader and presidential candidate Guy Philippe, who is believed to be in hiding.

Preval said the operation resulted from meetings he held recently with DEA Administrator Karen Tandy, and said more actions are planned.

"These aren't operations we want to advertise. We're not going to say what the next step is but there will be other steps," Preval told reporters during a joint press conference with visiting Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

He called drug traffickers "the single biggest destabilizing factor facing weak countries like Haiti," which has only a few thousand poorly paid police and a notoriously corrupt judicial system.

Shortly after dawn Monday, five helicopters, two airplanes and at least a dozen DEA and Haitian agents converged on the southern town of Les Cayes and the northwestern town of Gonaives, both known receiving points for South American cocaine bound for the United States.

The agents raided Philippe's two-story home in Les Cayes but found only his wife, two children and maid. Philippe led the 2004 rebellion that toppled former President Jean-Bertrand Aristide and has denied past accusations of drug trafficking.

A U.S. law enforcement official said authorities were surprised they didn't find Philippe and had already prepared a press release announcing his capture. The official requested anonymity because the operation is ongoing.

Preval said other suspects have already been extradited to the United States.
Preval did not name the extradited suspects, but Haitian media have identified them as Lavaud Francois, a Gonaives-based businessman arrested in the DEA raid; Bernard Piquion, who was arrested in May with several Haitian policemen as they allegedly transported cocaine; and Raynald Saint Pierre, a former lieutenant in Haiti's disbanded armed forces.

The U.S. investigation is led by the U.S. Attorney's Office in Miami and the DEA.

July 20, 2007 - 5:18 p.m. Copyright 2007, The Associated Press.


Randall Robinson on " An Unbroken Agony: Haiti: From Revolution to the Kidnapping of a President | Monday, July 23rd, 2007 | Democracy Now!

See also:
http://www.democracynow.org/article.pl?sid=07/07/23/141241 ; and



Haiti's desperate women
by Paul McPhun, Citizen Special | Ottawa Citizen.com
Published: Wednesday, July 25, 2007

While, according to Prime Minister Stephen Harper's office, the purpose of his recent trip was to "establish new partnerships in the Americas and enhance Canada's relationships in Latin America and the Caribbean," let's hope his stop in Haiti makes people notice that thatcountry is embroiled in a significant humanitarian crisis that has previously been largely ignored.

Haiti has the grim distinction of being the poorest country in the western hemisphere and having the highest level of maternal mortality. This may be difficult to believe, considering it is only a four-hour flight from Montreal. Haitians continue to suffer the consequences of systemic and insidious violence, and women are among the most vulnerable victims.

Despite elections in 2006 and the presence of a United Nations stabilization mission, Haiti continued to experience regular outbursts of violence: kidnappings, rape, organized crime and confrontations between armed groups and UN forces.
Haitian women waited to vote in their country's presidential election in 2006.

The country lacks such basic necessities as safe places to give birth, Paul McPhun writes.

Photo: Haitian women waited to vote in their country's presidential election in 2006. The country lacks such basic necessities as safe places to give birth, Paul McPhun writes.

Daniel Aguilar, Reuters

In this context of severe political and social instability, Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) opened an emergency obstetric-care hospital in the Haitian capital, Port-au-Prince, in March 2006. MSF's Jude Anne Hospital serves women who have little access to health care, who live in the poorest neighbourhoods of the city and are thus most marginalized and at risk of violence.

MSF's experience tells us that women living in the slums of Port-au-Prince are exposed to violence daily. An expectant mother from the Cite Soleil slum could be sexually assaulted by a family member, a neighbour, a gang member or other assailant. She might get caught in the crossfire of a conflict between armed groups, or she might experience psychological trauma due to the violence.

Because she lives in a gang-controlled slum, she could be ostracized by people from other parts of Port-au-Prince who fear that she might be associated with the gang. Perhaps the sole caregiver for her children, she struggles against the increased vulnerability that comes with extreme poverty. She is forgotten by her society and the international community.

These women have very little choice, if any, when they seek health care. The health-care system in Haiti is accessible only to those who can afford it and thus remains out of reach to women living in the poor areas of the city. Medical services in public hospitals are too expensive for the majority of expectant mothers. Should a baby be born by normal delivery, the mother would have to pay a $13 fee at a public hospital -- six times the average daily salary of a working Haitian, and completely unaffordable for an unemployed mother, despite a declaration made two years ago by the interim government that maternal care should be offered for free.

Since MSF opened Jude Anne, more than 10,000 babies have been delivered, which amounts to 20 per cent of the estimated births in Port-au-Prince. Thousands of mothers seek care at this hospital because they cannot access or afford to get treatment anywhere else in the city.

These figures clearly indicate a massive and ongoing need for emergency obstetric care for women living in the slums of Port-au-Prince, and a humanitarian crisis deserving of worldwide attention.

Paul McPhun is operational manager for Haiti for Medecins Sans Frontieres, Canada.© The Ottawa Citizen 2007


Quick glimpse of misery in Haiti

Aug 03, 2007 04:30 AM
Carol Goar, TheStar.com

The emergency team at Jude Anne Hospital, which provides childbirth care to Haiti's poorest women, no longer has to perform triage in the parking lot. Médecins Sans Frontières, which opened the hospital a year ago, has now added a second building.

That is how progress is measured in Port-au-Prince, Haiti's wretchedly poor capital, said Paul McPhun grimly. He is operations manager for the aid agency's Canadian section, which is responsible for the obstetric hospital.

McPhun and his colleagues were pleased that Prime Minister Stephen Harper visited Port-au-Prince two weeks ago on his tour of Latin America. They would have liked it better if he'd come to their hospital.

"We have an obligation to show politicians the realities of life in Haiti," he said. "We want people to see the humanitarian crisis, not just the recent security gains."

It is true, McPhun admits, that the scale of violence in crime-ridden Port-au-Prince has abated in the last year or so. But basic health services remain out of reach for most Haitians. The country has the highest maternal mortality rate in the Western Hemisphere.

Women simply can't afford hospital care. It costs $13 to deliver a baby in a state hospital, assuming no complications. That is six times the average daily wage of a Haitian who is lucky enough to have a job (60 per cent don't). A caesarean section costs $55, not counting drugs and post-surgical care.

Jude Anne Hospital charges nothing. It is one of five free hospitals run by Médecins Sans Frontières in the Haitian capital.

When it opened in March of 2006, the staff expected to handle 300 births a month. By September, exhausted medical teams were delivering 1,300 babies a month – about one every half-hour.

That's when the parking lot became a makeshift triage centre.

It is not surprising that Harper didn't visit the facility. It does not receive – or want – funding from the Canadian government. For Médecins Sans Frontières, neutrality is essential.

"We are one of the few aid organizations that can go into the slums," McPhun explained. "That's because the people with the guns know we are not affiliated with the police or the security forces, who receive support from Canada and the United States."

Nor would the Prime Minister and his entourage have found photogenic children or grateful aid recipients at Jude Anne Hospital. A mother who gives birth there has little to look forward to.

She has a 35 per cent probability of dying before her 40th birthday. Her child has a 12 per cent chance of dying before the age of 5.

She will live in one of Port-au-Prince's gang-controlled ghettos, where the threat of sexual assault and armed conflict are ever-present. She will probably be among the 56 per cent of Haitians who live on less than $1 a day.

Harper got a glimpse of this misery as his motorcade, guarded by armed United Nations soldiers, made its way through Cité Soleil, one of the poorest neighbourhoods in Port-au-Prince. He visited a hospital – Sainte-Catherine-de-Labouré – that receives funding from the Canadian government. He delivered a blood analysis machine to speed up its HIV/AIDS testing. He seemed genuinely moved by the hardship around him.

"I think all of us, as fellow human beings, as people who have our own families, can only begin to understand the true difficulties and challenges that so many people in this country face on a day-to-day basis," he said.

Harper stayed in Haiti for only six hours. His primary focus was improving public security. He made no change in Canada's aid commitment of $100 million a year.
McPhun gives the Prime Minister credit for going to Port-au-Prince. "I think a high-profile visit can only be a positive thing."

But he wishes Harper had stayed longer, seen more and recognized that healthy babies matter as much as safe streets.

Haiti: Former Rebel Leader Remains On The Lam

Hardbeatnews, PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti, Tues. July 24, 2007: Former Haitian rebel leader, Guy Philippe, who gained popularity for his assistance in the ouster of President Jean Bertrand Aristide, now claims a game is being played to “eliminate” him.

Philippe, who remains in hiding after U.S. anti-drug agents raided his home on July 16th, insists in a taped audio message that he has no links to drug trafficking.

In the message delivered and aired on Radio Caraibes, Haiti's most widely heard radio station, Philippe insists, “Clearly this is a political game that is happening. They're trying to destroy me; they're trying to eliminate me.”

The radio station said an unidentified individual delivered the recording on a CD Saturday.

Philippe’s home in the coastal city of Les Cayes was raided by US agents and Haitian police last week but he managed to escape and remains on the lam.

Haitian cops say a warrant has been issued for Philippe’s arrest on drug trafficking charges. – Hardbeatnews.com

Reprinted from Caribbean Net News

US forces tried capturing Haitian rebel

Published on Monday, July 23, 2007

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (UPI): US forces out of Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, used helicopters and jets to try to capture a former Haitian rebel leader accused of trafficking drugs.

However, Guy Philippe -- who ran for president of Haiti in 2006 -- was not recovered by US Drug Enforcement Agency officials and is said to be hiding, The Miami Herald reported Friday.

The 39-year-old Philippe in February 2004 led an insurrection that prompted former President Jean-Bertrand Aristide to leave Haiti.


Copyright© 2007 Caribbean Net News at www.caribbeannetnews.com All Rights Reserved, Licence is granted for free print and distribution.

Real reason for Haiti raid
Monterey County Herald
Article Last Updated:07/26/2007 01:26:51 AM PDT

There were new suggestions this week that a raid 10 days ago by Haitian police and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration may have been an attempt to silence one of the leaders of a 2004 coup that toppled Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide — a coup many believe was orchestrated by the United States.

Guy Philippe, the target of the raid, avoided capture and is now in hiding. He has since been heard on Haitian radio claiming his attempted arrest was for political reasons.

Between his alleged drug affiliations and human rights abuses, Philippe has few friends in the government of current Haitian President Rene Preval or in the United States. But according to a report this week by Kevin Pina, writing for the Haiti Information Project, there may be another explanation for the DEA grab.
According to Pina, on May 27, after the arrest of Wilfort Ferdinand, another coup participant, Philippe went on Haitian radio and "began to name names of business and political leaders who backed the paramilitary insurgency against Aristide's government by providing arms, ammunition and logistical support."
"High on (Philippe's) list," Pina continued, "was Andy Apaid, the leader of the civil society organization called the Group 184."

Seven weeks after Philippe's radio broadcast, the DEA went after him.
In July 2004, Salon reported that Group 184, along with a group called the Democratic Convergence, was supported by the International Republican Institute, dominated by Bush loyalists and funded by the National Endowment for Democracy, the U.S. Agency for International Development and conservative groups.

Aristide's supporters have long suspected American support in the overthrow of his democratically elected government. Now here is Philippe, a man they had vilified, pointing a finger that leads to the U.S. government.

Salon quotes Thayer Scott, then communications director for the IRI, saying that the "IRI played an advisory role in Group of 184's formation." Hardliners in Group 184, Salon reported, "tapped Guy Philippe, a U.S.-trained former Haitian police chief with a dubious human rights record," to lead a coup.

The IRI's liaison to the Haitian opposition was Stanley Lucas, who, according to the New York Times, was accused by U.S. Ambassador Dean Curran of undermining diplomatic efforts in Haiti. The IRI denies this.

"Stanley Lucas was not IRI's 'point man in Haiti,'" said Lisa Gates, IRI press secretary, in an e-mail to The Herald. "In fact, IRI was not operating in Haiti during the time in question."

That's not what the Bush administration was saying. During a Senate hearing on March 10, 2004, 10 days after Aristide's overthrow, Sen. Christopher Dodd, D-Conn., asked Roger Noriega, then assistant secretary of state for the Western Hemisphere, about a USAID grant to the IRI that specifically limited Lucas' activities.

"The approval of the new grant was conditioned on the IRI (Haiti) director, Stanley Lucas, being barred from participating in this program for a period of time because the U.S. ambassador in Haiti had evidence that he was undermining U.S. efforts," according to Salon. "Is that not true as well?" Dodd asked Noriega.

"Yes, sir," Noriega said.

"Is Stanley Lucas still involved?" asked Dodd.

"As far as I know, he is still part of the program," Noriega replied.

The connection between Lucas and Philippe is less clear. Philippe says they are old friends, and the Times suggests there is circumstantial evidence the two worked together. The IRI says the USAID investigated their alleged connection in 2004 and found "no evidence."

But USAID, which has international skeletons in its own closet, shares political sympathies with the IRI. Claiming it exonerates the IRI is a little like Bush's 2000 election being certified by Katherine Harris, who was Florida's secretary of state at the same time as she served as the co-chairwoman of Bush's Florida campaign.

Without question, Philippe and Lucas shared contacts among Aristide's opponents, and Andy Apaid may have been the fulcrum. Within 24 hours of Apaid rejecting a political compromise with Aristide, according to Salon, Philippe launched his coup, which ended with the U.S. hustling Aristide out of the country against his will.

And if Pina is right, Aristide's opponents, including the IRI, might be plenty nervous with a talkative Philippe on the run.

John Yewell is The Herald's night city editor. His column runs Thursdays. He can be reached at jyewell@montereyherald.com.

Anyone remember Haiti?
by Bill Fletcher Jr.| Baltimore Times |Originally posted 8/3/2007

One of the most striking features of the mainstream US media is its ability to 'disappear' certain issues and stories irrespective of their importance.

Case in point: Haiti. For all intents and purposes, Haiti has vanished from public view. With the notable exception of Randall Robinson's new and well-received book, An Unbroken Agony: Haiti from Revolution to the Kidnapping of a President, there is almost nothing out there that would give one any sense of what has been happening in Haiti since the 2006 electoral victory of Rene Preval, let alone the developments that transpired during and after the February 29, 2004 US-assisted coup that overthrew democratically elected President Jean-Bertrand Aristide.

Unless one is studying the actual situation in Haiti, the most that the casual?and even interested?US observer would gather is that Haiti is in near continuous chaos. The information provided to us here in the USA is so weak and partial that one is inclined to throw one's hands up in the air and proclaim that it is all too messy to understand.

Yet, the situation is far more complicated than we have been led to believe. Most recently a story broke with the assistance of the Haiti Information Project (www.teledyol.net/HIP/about.html). Guy Philippe, one of the principal leaders of the coup against President Aristide, appears to have begun a new career singing: he has been 'singing' about the individuals and organizations that helped to back the 2004 coup against Aristide.

Philippe, and his former aide Wilfort Ferdinand, alleged that they were currently being pressured to take up arms and overthrow the Preval administration. For whatever reason, Philippe went on to name names, including many prominent individuals from within the historic ruling elite of Haiti, as well as additional forces that had been involved in the supposed 'peaceful' opposition to President Aristide pre-February 2004.

Interestingly enough, shortly after Philippe began to 'sing,' Haitian police and the US Drug Enforcement Administration apparently decided that Philippe was part of an illegal narcotics operation. They then moved to have him arrested. It appears that Philippe has been on the run ever since.

There are several interesting things about this story. The first is that it starts to sound a lot like that of Panama's former President Manual Noriega who, after being a very loyal US-paid operative, was turned upon by his former sponsors and illegally snatched from office in 1989. History definitely seems to repeat itself.

The second piece of interest is that Philippe confirmed what many of us thought all along, i.e., that much of the alleged 'peaceful opposition' to President Aristide was nothing of the sort, but was rather one wing of a combined US-backed destabilization operation aimed at the ouster of the democratically elected chief of state.

Once again the mainstream US media served the interests of the dominant forces in US foreign policy who seek the removal of any leader deemed to be the slightest bit independent and prone towards policies that the US finds objectionable. Rather than taking a critical eye towards events, the mainstream US media, when it came to Haiti, largely served as the mouthpiece of the Bush administration as it ratcheted up the pressure on Aristide, ultimately swooping him up and into a brief forced exile in the Central African Republic [Note: President and Mrs. Aristide currently reside in exile in South Africa, conditions far different-for the better-than those they encountered in the Central African Republic].

The third piece takes us full circle. When US policy has been discredited, it is often easier for the mainstream US media to completely ignore the 'facts on the ground.' Thus, we get this ?code of silence? over Haiti, which only the most dedicated observers (particularly within the Haitian exile community in the USA) are able to penetrate. Even then, with facts in hand, these voices are largely ignored.

It is for these and other reasons that African-American media outlets, whether printed, radio, television or Internet, become so vital in revealing the truth.
Haiti has not faded away. Rather the crimes that have been perpetrated against the people of Haiti, in our name, continue only with a veil of secrecy and indifference. The time has certainly come to rip away that veil.


Bill Fletcher, Jr. is an international and labor writer and activist. He is the immediate past president of TransAfrica Forum and can be reached at papaq54@hotmail.com



See also: The Issue With US-DEA War on Drugs in Haiti-Partisan Bias/enforcement

It's Neither Hope nor Progress when the International Community is Running Haiti (See Ban Ki-moon's "Hope At Last For Haiti")

Media Lies and Real Haiti News


The Freedom of the Press Barons

The media and the 2004 Haiti coup
by Isabel Macdonald,
February 1, 2007

The Dominion - http://www.dominionpaper.ca

Anne-Marie Issa, Director of Radio Signal FM, Vice President of the Association Nationale des Medias Haitiens, and Steering Committee Member of the Group of 184

In February 2004, the US, Canadian and French governments supported an illegal coup d’etat that overthrew Haiti’s democratically elected government of the Lavalas party, led by Jean-Bertrand Aristide. In late 2003, “civil society” groups--financed and supported through US and Canadian government-funded “democracy enhancement” programs--began calling for Aristide’s ouster. They were joined in early February 2004 by armed terror squads. In the pre-dawn hours of February 29, 2004, President Jean Bertrand Aristide, who had been elected with 92 per cent of the popular vote, was forcibly removed from Haiti on a US government airplane, while Canada’s Joint Task Force 2 secured the airport.

Critics of the 2004 coup d’etat in Haiti have argued that biased international media coverage played a role in justifying the coup and Canada’s involvement. However, in interviews that I conducted as part of a research trip to Haiti in late 2005 and early 2006, many of the leaders of the US, Canadian and French government-backed movement that toppled Haiti’s elected government went much further in their assessment of the media’s role of the media in the coup.

In the eyes of Guy Philippe, the US Special Forces-trained commander who led the armed movement against Aristide, the “international media, the media leaders helped us a lot. And thanks to them we were able to overthrow the dictator. And without them I don’t think that we could have.” Leaders of the aforementioned “civil society” groups also emphasized that the media were very important in their movement. The Association National des Medias Haitiens (ANMH), an association of the owners of the largest Haitian commercial media stations in Port-au-Prince, was formally a member of the anti-Aristide “civil society” coalition. In the lead-up to the coup, the ANMH, which meets weekly, acted as a space of “co-ordination, decision making, enabling the different commercial media outlets to forge agreements” and enabling a “very strong impact on public opinion,” according to one of its members. As the association’s vice president explained, “It was our own way as the media to combat the dictatorship”. She added that the ANMH media owners "made it our job to cover all the demonstrations" against Aristide.

Many anti-Aristide demonstration organizers report that they were able to advertise their events for free on these stations, and many of the 184-affiliated media organizations had a policy of refraining from identifying the anti-Aristide demonstrators’ numbers (particularly if they were not impressive). As one ANMH media owner explained, “we always support the pro-democracy demonstrations,” and “sometimes we advance fantastical numbers because we don’t want the public to draw the wrong conclusion.” He added that if a group has 10 people but they want you to say 2000 or 300,000, if you say 10…you can make enemies, you can damage the group and their credibility. It can create animosity, so it’s better not to talk about…if the media are interested in the greatest number of people coming out…they will talk about how [the demonstration] is just starting.

In this context, one anti-Aristide demonstration organizer reports that at one demonstration in January 2003, “we were 20,” but when they called in to the radio, “we said we were thousands.”

In contrast, many Haitian commercial media organizations did not cover the pro-Lavalas demonstrations that were taking place around the same time and which were, according to independent journalist Kevin Pina, often much larger in size.

In fact, in the lead-up to the coup, they instituted an ANMH-wide ban barring Aristide, the president of Haiti, from speaking on the airwaves. When
the ANMH stations did provide coverage of pro-Lavalas events, meaningful media access for Lavalas-affiliated organizers was completely precluded. The ANMH’s Radio Signal FM continued to report on Lavalas events; however, the goal of this coverage was, in the words of one of its journalists, “to be there at the chimere’s[an epithet commonly used to refer to Lavalas supporters as gangsters] demonstrations because [we] had to inform the population that there was a risk…Aristide’s partisans are known to be violent and we described their violence—that’s all.” ANMH journalists whom I interviewed reported heavy editorial pressures from their bosses.

Several Canadian and international newswire journalists told me they relied on the ANMH radio stations, particularly the association’s Radio Metropole station, around the time of the coup. One deputy bureau chief at a major international newswire agency stated that the agency’s staff reporter in Haiti “relied heavily on Radio… Metropole, [sweatshop owner and coup leader André] Apaid’s radio stations;” it made him “wonder if we could trust any of what we’d been reporting.” However, many international journalists, including Canadian journalists, were relying on this wire service in the lead-up to the coup.

Canadian journalists’ reliance on ANMH sources has a broader institutional dimension. The Haitian media owners’ association has a longstanding relationship with Reseau Liberté, an NGO whose staff includes CBC and Radio Canada journalists, and which is financed by the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA). According to CIDA, this Canadian tax-payer funded alliance between Canadian journalists and the anti-Aristide media owners cartel is sowing the seeds for the development of “professional journalism,” which is a cornerstone of the Canadian government’s promotion of “democracy” in Haiti. US and Canadian government-sponsored “democracy promotion” is generally acknowledged by critical researchers to promote a model of rule by elites, in which popular participation is curbed. In other words, these programs seek to export the very same undemocratic systems that are a hallmark of political life in the US and Canada. It could be said that Canada promotes the “professional journalism” needed for “democracy” by supporting the Haitian equivalents of Conrad Black.

See also: Examples of Neocolonial Journalism

******** http://www.latimes.com/news/
na tionworld/world/latinamerica/
la-fg-haitiarmy30jul30,1 ,7087357.story

From the Los Angeles Times
Haiti debates a homegrown army
The country today is patrolled by U.N. troops. 'We should be doing this
for ourselves,' some say.

By Carol J. Williams
Times Staff Writer
July 30, 2007

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti — "In this land, we are the only masters," the Haitian national anthem proudly boasts of this country that in 1804 overthrew slavery and colonization.

But for more than a dozen years, Haiti has been without an army, dependent on a politicized national police force and foreign troops of the United Nations who protect its leaders, respond to natural disasters and quell violence in some of the hemisphere's most wretched slums.

That galls Joseph Alexandre, a 49-year-old lawyer who saw his military
career and family heritage of service abruptly end in 1995 when then-President Jean-Bertrand Aristide disbanded the army that had been complicit in his 1991 ouster.

"We should be doing this for ourselves," Alexandre, who holds the rank of major, said of patrols here by U.N. military units from Nepal, Croatia, Bolivia and more than a dozen other countries. "Each time I have to pass foreign soldiers in our streets, it's like a knife stabs me in the heart."

With its history of military rule and the involvement of politically corrupted army factions in numerous coups, Haiti has a tainted legacy of leadership in uniform. But as security has improved in recent months and Haitian government institutions recover from three decades of political turmoil, talk has turned to reconstituting the national army born of the slave rebellion.

A citizens commission impaneled two years ago to explore the pros and cons of rebuilding the army concluded in its recent report that this nation of 8 million, with more than 1,100 miles of coastline and a 223-mile border with the Dominican Republic, could and should have its own armed forces. A New York management consultancy, Fordworks Associates, also recommended in a review commissioned by the post-Aristide interim government that Haiti create a limited national armed force to handle border, coastal and international security affairs.

The proposals pleased former soldiers and nationalists but met with little enthusiasm in the fledgling government of President Rene Preval.

During last year's presidential campaign, Preval suggested that the army be permanently abolished.

Aristide's 1995 action demobilized the 7,500 troops then in service but failed to address the constitutional requirement that Haiti stand up both police and defense forces. Preval's parliamentary faction has ordered further study of the army issue by a panel of experts yet to be named, putting off any formal decision for months, if not years.

The recommendations have nonetheless stirred public debate, at least among the country's economic, social and political leaders increasingly chafing under the ever-expanding foreign military presence.

Georges Michel, a historian and writer who served on the citizens commission, believes Haiti would benefit from a small armed force, commensurate with its resources, to patrol the coastline and Dominican border, through which Colombian cocaine makes its way to Europe and the United States and contraband weapons flow to a worldwide array of hot spots.

A force of about 2,000 would be both affordable and sufficient, Michel said, describing the overstaffed U.N. mission as wasteful and lacking in the motivation that Haitians have to protect their homeland. He said he had been in contact with officials of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization who are prepared to help train a Haitian force once its structure is reformed to make it less susceptible to political manipulation.

"We are actually quite happy that Aristide erased the blackboard so completely so we can start with a blank page," Michel said.

Still, he expects the preparation of a new force to take at least five years, if an army should ever be approved.

With unemployment afflicting at least 70% of the population, there is broadening sentiment that an army would offer work to young Haitians and restore a professional path proudly trod by generations.

"Military service was always a career option for those who wanted to serve their country and a way to better oneself socially and economically," said Francois Rodnez, who has worked as a teacher since Aristide's action ended a 15-year military career.

"We had an army for almost two centuries before one man chose to disband
it," said Maurice Lafortune, a businessman who served on the citizens panel. "It was an institution mistrusted by one man, not by all Haitians."

Opponents of restoring the armed forces, including Aristide's former interior minister, Jocelerme Privert, argue that Haiti can ill afford to bankroll its own defense.

The U.N. mission's annual price tag now tops $500 million — the equivalent of Haiti's entire budget.

"We have to choose between buying tanks and helicopters or building schools and hospitals," said Privert, one of the few Aristide lieutenants still in Haiti trying to navigate the new political waters.

Preval has said he expects U.N. forces to remain in Haiti throughout his presidency, which runs to February 2011, to maintain peace and security while his government struggles to resuscitate an economy that is the
poorest in the Americas.

A major component of the U.N. mission is the training and equipping of the Haitian National Police, which will need another six or seven years to reach its goal of 14,000 officers, said Fred Blaise, spokesman for the U.N. police, which make up about one-fifth of the foreign forces.

Blaise, a Boca Raton, Fla., police officer on leave to help the U.N. mission in his native Haiti, argues that putting together an army at this point would be a distraction and a drain on resources.

"I can envision, after the Haitian National Police reach their numbers, that the country could use some kind of national guard to respond to disasters," he said. "But it's premature to talk about an army."

Former soldiers such as Alexandre disagree.

"We are ready to put on our uniforms tomorrow," the lawyer said of a 2,500 strong former soldiers association. "Our only reservation is that after so many years, some of them may be too tight."




LA Times on a Haitian Army - An example of how LA Times spin the truth, manipulates information, promotes the views of the Haitian elites and Bush Neocons and sell it to their unwary readers as the "Haiti's view"

Ezili Dantò's Note on the LA Times' bias coverage of Haiti news, August 7, 2007

Below are two "Letters to the Editor" (one from Joan W. Drake and the other
from Ezili’s HLLN) published on August 6, 2007, by the LA Times. Both letters
are responding to a July 27, 2007 LA Times article, written by LA Times
reporter, Carol J. Williams entitled "Haiti Debates Homegrown Army"

Notice how in printing Marguerite Laurent/HLLN's letter to the editor, the LA
Times fairly gutted the original to edit out our opinion that the LA Times
has a history of voicing the minority perspective of the tiny morally
repugnant Haitian elites and dishing it up to the American public as
"Haiti's" view, while simultaneously pushing the Bush State Department
propagandas and profit-over-people policies in Haiti.

In this case, though the LA Times has deigned to print our criticism, the
portions it deleted illustrates and emphasizes how it is still merrily
continuing its shabby and bias coverage of Haiti along with sneakily and
self-servingly appearing to generously print opposing views to unwary readers
who have no idea what was deleted or edited out.

Contrary to the article's spins, HAITI is NOT debating the desirability of
remobilizing the Haitian army. The Bush State Department and the Haitian
sycophants and unelected Haitian “technocrats” and “experts” imposed on
Haiti, brought there by the 2004 Bush-orchestrated coup d'etat and carried
into office while Haiti was under occupation, they are the ones needing the
bloody Haitian army and foreign forces to maintain their control over the
Haitian masses. They are the ones discussing and trying hard to push forward
with re-establishing the Haitian army, over, that is, the objection of the
majority of Haitians. But you won't learn this from reading Carol Williams’
article on Haiti. That article tells the opposite of what's true in Haiti. It
puts forward the wishes of the Haitian elites, coup d’etat folks and U.S.
State Department in an effort to manufacture consent and acceptance for
another US-made Haitian army in Haiti.

Below, we copy HLLN's original letter to the LA Times, in its entirety.First, notice how the LA Times completely deleted our comment about Williams’
presumptions and implication that President Aristide alone, (like a
dictator), de-mobilized the bloody Haitian army without the Haitian masses’
full blessings and favor.

Then, remember how Williams’ article had cited a report commissioned two
years ago (in 2005) under the Latortue Regime by a “citizen commission” as if the imposed Boca Raton regime was a legitimate Haitian government able to voice the views of Haiti’s citizens and not a US puppet government, imposed through force, on the people of Haiti. Two years ago, when the masses of Haiti’s citizens had no liberty whatsoever and where being slaughtered in the poor and populous neighborhoods, and where fighting for their lives against the remnants of the former Haitian military and paramilitaries given jobs and integrated in
Haiti, as “police” by the US/UN occupiers, this was when the then in-power
U.S. puppet government (interim government) and officials, most of whom
still, today, hold their same political positions in Haiti and abroad, concluded Haiti should have its own armed forces and commissioned the report
recommending to remobilize the Haitian army.

Finally, combine this with Ms. Williams inexcusable errors (i.e. Ms. Carol J.
Williams completely spun a tall tale, virtually writing that the demobilized
Haitian army was a "homegrown army,” that is, “the national army born of the
slave rebellion.”) and you’ll see how the LA Times cleverly manipulates
information to express the views of the Haitian elites, but sells it as the
national Haiti view.

The LA Times double standards and biases are obvious. Its paper has liberally
criticized President Aristide and his U.S.-ousted government. But even in the
portions of HLLN's letter, which the LA Times chose to print, its editorial
board, tellingly edited out the names HLLN cited of the "tainted...Haiti
leadership (in uniform)" - the military tyrants of Haiti (Cedras, Philippe,
Francois), trained by the United States of America. Thus, blunting,
obfuscating our criticism, cuddling the Bush/Neocon State Department and
covering up the Haitian elite’s tyrannical role in present day Haiti.

Marguerite "Ezili Dantò" Laurent, Esq.
Chair, Haitian Lawyers Leadership Network (HLLN)
August 7, 2007


Printed Letters To The Editor, from
LA Times

Let Haiti decide what it needs

- Re "Haiti debates having a homegrown army," July 30

The Haitian army was not homegrown. It was formed by an act of the U.S. Congress. Its most memorable officers were only distinguished by their bloody history of disenfranchising and suppressing the interests of Haiti's masses on behalf of the economic elite they protected and the U.S. interests they were created to secure. The people of Haiti suffered unimaginable torture, arbitrariness and death under the former Haitian army, which never defended the interests of Haiti, but only those of its creator, the U.S.

Marguerite Laurent Stamford, Conn. The writer is the founder of the Haitian Lawyers Leadership Network.


- In response to your article on a Haitian army, I can only ask, why would Haiti choose to fund an army when it cannot fund a national infrastructure? Haiti lacks schools, hospitals, roads, potable water and sewage systems, and adequate electric power, not to mention jobs.

Haiti is very unlikely to enter into international combat with a 2,000-member force and, if attacked with modern weapons systems, would have fragile defenses specifically because it lacks the items mentioned.
Lacking roads, power and an educated and literate public sector workforce, Haiti is unlikely to be able to staff an efficient and ready armed force of any strength sufficient to ward off an attack either from without or within.

You refer to a study commissioned with a New York City firm under Haiti's previous administration that recommends an army. I rather think that President Rene Preval is in a better position to determine the needs of his country.

Joan W. Drake Washington
Original HLLN Letter to LA Times:

Dear Editor,

In an article entitled "Haiti Debates Homegrown Army", Ms. Carol Williams of the LA Times writes, "...talk has turned to reconstituting the national army born of the slave rebellion."

The Haitian army, Carol Williams, is writing about, was not HOMEGROWN, it was formed by an Act of US Congress while Haiti was under occupation for nineteen years (1915-1934). It's most memorable officers (Cedras, Michelle Francois) were all trained at Fort Bening in Georgia or by US Special Forces (Guy Philippe) and are only distinguished by their bloody history of disenfranchising and suppressing the interests of Haiti's masses on behalf of the rich multinational corporations and the economic elites in Haiti they protected and the US interests they were created to secure. Ms. Williams writes a gross lie, shows tremendous incompetence and insults Haiti's great warrior ancestors, who took up arms against Euro-US slavery and colonialism, when she identifies this foreign-created Haitian army as "the national army born of the slave rebellion." Also, contrary to the information in the article, President Aristide did not get rid of the US-created Haitian army nonchalantly as an arbitrary one-man decision as Williams indicates.... The people of Haiti suffered unimaginable torture, arbitrariness and death under the former Haitian army and after a US/Bush-sponsored Coup d'etat in 1991, which cost more than 5,000 Haitian lives, the PEOPLE of Haiti wanted nothing to do with the bloody Haitian army that NEVER defended the interests of Haiti, but that of its creator, the U.S.

One can only surmise that Ms. Carol Williams is either careless in her writings or that the LA Times is purposely taking on the State Department's interests to re-mobilize the bloody Haitian army to serve its neoliberalism purposes and sweatshop kingpins interests in Haiti. How do such embedded journalists keep a straight face, for as usual, they quote Haitians with a vested interest in the Haitian army's remobilization and not any of their millions of innocent Haitian victims.

Marguerite Laurent, Esq.
Haitian Lawyers Leadership Network ("HLLN")
August 1, 2007

See also: It's Neither Hope nor Progress when the International Community is Running Haiti (See Ban Ki-moon's "Hope At Last For Haiti")

Media Lies and Real Haiti News

Vodun: The Light and Beauty of Haiti

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

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