Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Haiti

http://www.counterpunch.org/weisbrot03072005.html

MARK WEISBROT writes in www.counterpunch.org about Haiti.

Aristide, Haiti's president, was overthrown twice 'by thugs supported by the United States'.

1991 : The leaders of the coup 'were on the CIA payroll'. The death squad that killed thousands of Aristide's supporters between 1991 and 1994 was led by Emmanuel Constant, who told the world on CBS' 60 Minutes that the CIA hired him for the job.

2004 : Jeffrey Sachs of Colombia University said, "The United States turned off the tap... They did that deliberately to bring down Aristide."

The Inter-American Development Bank and World Bank cut off funding from 2001-2003.

The USA gave tens of millions of dollars to the opposition, which included former military personnel - including convicted murderers.

In 2004, US forces reportedly forced Aristide to go to the airport where he boarded a plane to the Central African Republic.

What is Haiti like now?

The Center for the Study of Human Rights at the University of Miami Law School conducted an investigation in Haiti in November 2004.

Among the findings: "summary executions are a police tactic,"

the jails are filled with political prisoners,

many prisoners are held without charge, beaten and denied medical help.

Cite Soleil, a slum of 250,000 people, is under lockdown. Young men cannot leave for fear of arrest.

Dead bodies can be seen in the streets.

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The pro-Aristide population appears still to be the majority .

The silence among major U.S. human riights groups is deafening and shameful.

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http://www.counterpunch.org/reeves03052005.html

TOM REEVES also wrote about Haiti.

Most of Haiti's poorest people continue to demand Aristide's return.

When thousands poured out of Bel Aire slum, the Haitian National Police 'opened fire on singing, chanting men, women and children'; five people were killed.

Father Gerard Jean-Juste works among the poor in Haiti. He was seized by Haitian police, wearing hoods, while feeding poor children in his parish last. He was held in deplorable conditions without a trial.

Witnesses have spoken of spoken of massacres of Aristide supporters in several poor Port au Prince neighborhoods. These are have been documented police raids into Aristide strongholds, accompanied by UN troops, resulting in hundreds of deaths of Aristide activists and bystanders

Rep. Maxine Waters, of the Congressional Black Caucus: "Haiti today is in total chaos. The interim government put in power by the U.S...is a complete failure....Human rights violations are commonplace throughout Haiti....(M)embers of President Aristide's government have been detained illegally, including former Prime Minister Yvon Neptune...As of February 18, there were over 700 political prisoners in Haiti's jails...most...without formal charges."

The United States sent marines to Haiti a year ago to force out of office a government that was democratically elected. The self-styled "rebels" committed massacres and rapes across the country, using weapons traced to U.S. stockpiles in the Dominican Republic.

The US installed the puppet regime of Gerard Latortue.

There have been vast cutbacks in the already impoverished education, health and other human services systems of the public sector.

The puppet regime represents the old landed and military elite and the sweat-shop owners and other business elite.

'A full-scale terror campaign is going on in Haiti - by the government, against the people; by the rich, against the poor; by those trained and funded by the U.S. and guarded by the U.N., and against the mass movement called Lavalas - the cleansing flood - that Aristide promised would someday bring justice for the poor of Haiti'.

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