FacebookTwitterRedditEmail

Defiant Haiti: “We Won’t Let You Steal These Elections!”

Hooded gangs attacked a large demonstration against election fraud today (November 20) in the Haitian capital. A group of about 20 hooded men in a white pickup (license plate 1-00692), armed with machetes, pipes, hammers and guns, attacked marchers in the Delmas 95 district while police turned a blind eye, according to radio reports. One marcher was wounded in the head by a machete, AP reported.  In the Delmas 40 district a young man in the march was shot and killed by a unit reportedly affiliated with the national police of outgoing President Michel Martelly.

Haitians, determined to thwart what they see as an ongoing “electoral coup d’etat,” have been in the streets almost daily in their tens of thousands since the Oct. 25th first round Presidential elections. There were huge demonstrations, punctuated by police firing into the crowd, wounding several,  on Nov. 18, anniversary of Haiti’s defeat of the armies of Napoleon at the Battle of Vertieres in 1803, which paved the way for independence from France and abolition of plantation slavery on the island. On Nov. 1, a big election protest in the Bel Air popular district, led by a Rara band, was attacked and two marchers shot dead; later that day a third protester was ambushed and killed on the way home.

Massive and sustained protests

“Only continuous mobilization throughout the country can win respect for the people’s rights and their votes. When one person tires, their neighbor must take up the fight,” said Fanmi Lavalas, widely acknowledged as the country’s most popular political party, although banned until now from running candidates ever since the coup that ousted former President Aristide in 2004.

Lavalas presidential candidate Dr. Maryse Narcisse, who is in the streets every day getting teargassed with the protesters,  has officially challenged the results with the National Electoral Litigation Bureau. Other major parties have unofficially protested the fraudulent elections, in which President Martelly’s  handpicked candidate, a political neophyte,  miraculously emerged as the front-runner. A run-off election is due to take place in December.

[This recalled for many the 2010 election, when Martelly was illegally catapulted into the run-off under pressure from then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and the Organization of American States. The US and United Nations forces have continued their in-your-face interference in the 2015 election as well.]

U.N. charged with major role in election fraud

Haiti’s political crisis took a dramatic turn with the mid-November revelations  of Antoine Rodon Bien-Aime and two other candidates for Parliament from President Martelly’s own PHTK party. It has been reported that some 10,000 Haitian police and 2,500 MINUSTAH (UN military mission in Haiti) personnel were deployed during the Oct. 25 voting, and that both MINUSTAH and the UN Office for Project Services (UNOPS) were involved in transporting ballots to be tallied in Port-au-Prince.

Now Deputy Bien-Aime and his two colleagues are accusing the U.N. Mission  in Haiti, headed by Sandra Honore, with direct involvement in the Oct. 25 election fraud. Specifically, they charge UNOPS and its Electoral Logistics Coordinator Sylvain Cote, a Canadian national, with being directly responsible for taking boxes of ballots actually cast by the people, and switching them with boxes of pre-filled-out ballots. Sylvain Cote scurried out of the country the day after the revelations surfaced.

Fifteen well-known Haitian intellectuals were so outraged by the “clear involvement of U.N. agencies in the fraud that marred the elections of October 25” that they wrote an Open Letter to Sandra Honore on Nov. 16, stating:  “…the whole world is discovering, under pressure from the street…. the truth of the biggest electoral fraud operation…for the last 30 years in Haiti.”

But the main force  is coming from the street. Many are comparing today’s non-stop mass demonstrations to the uprisings that led to the 1986 collapse of the dictatorship of “Baby Doc” Duvalier. The people are turning the defense of their vote into a focus of mass struggle against the hated neo-Duvalierists in the Haitian government and their US, French and Canadian backers.

On November 9th there was another General Strike by transportation workers, forcing the government to rescind draconian price and fee hikes and effectively shutting down most of the country. Haiti is defiant and its people determined.

More articles by:

Dave Welsh, a delegate to the San Francisco Labor Council, was a member of a Human Rights and Labor Fact Finding Delegation to Haiti in October, that reported on systematic voter suppression, violence and intimidation in the election process.

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550
November 14, 2019
Laura Carlsen
Mexico’s LeBaron Massacre and the War That Will Not Cease
Joe Emersberger
Oppose the Military Coup in Bolivia. Spare Us Your “Critiques”
Ron Jacobs
Trump’s Drug Deal Goes to Congress: Impeachment, Day One
Paul Edwards
Peak Hubris
Tamara Pearson
US and Corporations Key Factors Behind Most Violent Year Yet in Mexico
Jonah Raskin
Love and Death in the Age of Revolution
Robert Hunziker
Climate Confusion, Angst, and Sleeplessness
W. T. Whitney
To Confront Climate Change Humanity Needs Socialism
John Feffer
Examining Trump World’s Fantastic Claims About Ukraine
Nicky Reid
“What About the Children?” Youth Rights Before Parental Police States
Binoy Kampmark
Incinerating Logic: Bush Fires and Climate Change
John Horning
The Joshua Tree is Us
Andrew Stewart
Noel Ignatiev and the Great Divide
Cesar Chelala
Soap Operas as Teaching Tools
Chelli Stanley
In O’odham Land
November 13, 2019
Vijay Prashad
After Evo, the Lithium Question Looms Large in Bolivia
Charles Pierson
How Not to End a Forever War
Kenneth Surin
“We’ll See You on the Barricades”: Bojo Johnson’s Poundshop Churchill Imitation
Nick Alexandrov
Murder Like It’s 1495: U.S.-Backed Counterinsurgency in the Philippines
George Ochenski
Montana’s Radioactive Waste Legacy
Brian Terrell
A Doubtful Proposition: a Reflection on the Trial of the Kings Bay Plowshares 7
Nick Pemberton
Assange, Zuckerberg and Free Speech
James Bovard
The “Officer Friendly” Police Fantasy
Dean Baker
The Logic of Medical Co-Payments
Jeff Mackler
Chicago Teachers Divided Over Strike Settlement
Binoy Kampmark
The ISC Report: Russian Connections in Albion?
Norman Solomon
Biden and Bloomberg Want Uncle Sam to Defer to Uncle Scrooge
Jesse Jackson
Risking Lives in Endless Wars is Morally Wrong and a Strategic Failure
Manuel García, Jr.
Criminalated Warmongers
November 12, 2019
Nino Pagliccia
Bolivia and Venezuela: Two Countries, But Same Hybrid War
Patrick Cockburn
How Iran-Backed Forces Are Taking Over Iraq
Jonathan Cook
Israel is Silencing the Last Voices Trying to Stop Abuses Against Palestinians
Jim Kavanagh
Trump’s Syrian See-Saw: From Pullout to Pillage
Susan Babbitt
Fidel, Three Years Later
Dean Baker
A Bold Plan to Strengthen and Improve Social Security is What America Needs
ADRIAN KUZMINSKI
Trump’s Crime Against Humanity
Victor Grossman
The Wall and General Pyrrhus
Yoko Liriano
De Facto Martial Law in the Philippines
Ana Paula Vargas – Vijay Prashad
Lula is Free: Can Socialism Be Restored?
Thomas Knapp
Explainer: No, House Democrats Aren’t Violating Trump’s Rights
Wim Laven
Serve With Honor, Honor Those Who Serve; or Support Trump?
Colin Todhunter
Agrarian Crisis and Malnutrition: GM Agriculture Is Not the Answer
Binoy Kampmark
Walls in the Head: “Ostalgia” and the Berlin Wall Three Decades Later
Akio Tanaka
Response to Pete Dolack Articles on WBAI and Pacifica
Nyla Ali Khan
Bigotry and Ideology in India and Kashmir: the Legacy of the Babri Masjid Mosque
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail