mardi 22 décembre 2015

Democracy denied: US turning Haiti into another vassal state

December 21, 2015 by Cynthia McKinney Robert Baer just made an incredibly important admission that for me comes way too late, but still it’s good to know. The former CIA officer admits he was given millions of dollars which he used successfully to bribe politicians in Yugoslavia to betray their country’s interest. Robert Baer describes how the U.S. brought democracy to Yugoslavia by destroying it.
Of course, this policy, financed by my tax dollars, didn’t benefit me or my next door neighbors; but certain individuals in both the U.S. and Yugoslavia benefitted handsomely from the gambit. Oops, too bad about those hundreds of thousands of lives; too bad about Srebrenica. So, now, Robert Baer is trying to make amends, of sort, by exposing the whole affair.
Therefore, it is with this backdrop in mind, that I want to explore how U.S. policy can hurt multitudes of people, yet benefit a small clique, and so be deemed “successful.” U.S. policy in Yugoslavia literally wiped the country off the map. If you are not a peace and justice kind of person, it could be said that the U.S. policy to destroy that country was effective and successful, despite the tremendous loss of life that resulted. And now, the U.S. is attempting to bring “democracy” to Haiti.
Haiti is currently in the midst of an electoral crisis because the U.S. wants to dictate who the next president will be. In 2010, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton interfered in Haiti’s election results, denying the people their right of self-determination.
According to the previous (and now current) head of Haiti’s Presidential Electoral Commission (EC), Pierre Louis Opont, the EC had prepared election results to be publicized; those results were passed on to Cheryl Mills, the chief of staff of then-Secretary Clinton. But, instead of announcing the two winners, who would then compete in a runoff, Mills announced a completely different result.
Opont and the remaining commission members were shocked, but said or did nothing at the time and allowed the fraudulent result to stand.
Haiti is currently in the midst of an electoral crisis because the U.S. wants to dictate who the next president will be.
In July 2015, Opont went public with the saga, just as Haiti was about to commence its presidential campaign for 2015. Needless to say, the U.S.-backed Michel Martelly, an entertainer known onstage as “Sweet Mickey,” went on to “win” the Haitian election, defeating Jude Celestin, who had the backing of outgoing President Rene Preval, a Jean-Bertrand Aristide ally. Democracy denied.
During the 2010 election, the U.S. State Department had made comments like Celestin “was too close to [Venezuelan President Hugo] Chavez.” The U.S. government took it upon itself to deny democracy to Haitians because they had voted for a Chavez ally to lead them.
Well, Hugo Chavez is no longer an issue, nor is the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, which just handed Chavez protégé President Nicolas Maduro a crippling blow in Parliamentary elections on Dec. 10, 2015.
Meanwhile, it was later revealed that Secretary Clinton had awarded, through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), a $100,000 donation to an organization that supported Clinton’s choice for President, Martelly. After his inauguration, one of Martelly’s favorite slogans was “Haiti is open for business.”
The U.S. government took it upon itself to deny democracy to Haitians because they had voted for a Chavez ally to lead them.
For the then-secretary of state that proved to be an understatement. First, there was the revelation that Tony Rodham, the Secretary Clinton’s brother, was awarded a contract to mine Haitian gold. Tony Rodham has no special insights into gold mining except that he is Hillary Clinton’s brother.
Moreover, the Haitians have refused to mine for more gold because they have steadfastly demanded the return of their gold bullion, taken for “safe keeping” by the U.S. in 1915. The U.S. militarily occupied Haiti until 1934, but maintained economic control over the country.
It is this economic control over Haitian resources that is at the center of the Haitian struggle for self-determination. Now, Secretary Clinton is running for president of the United States but has yet to answer the question of how her brother came to gain a gold mining contract in Haiti during her tenure at the State Department. Her official answer is that she doesn’t know.
More recently, another revelation has come to light of the Clinton Foundation having a for-profit peanut business in Haiti. Acceso Peanut Enterprise Corp., known as Acceso Haiti, is a project of the Clinton Foundation and Canadian mining magnate, Frank Giustra.
It is economic control over Haitian resources that is at the center of the Haitian struggle for self-determination.
Candidate Clinton has yet to be asked about her investments in Haiti that have spawned from the 2010 changed election results.
In addition to finding gold in peanuts, as “Sweet Mickey” is on his way out of the Haitian presidency (the Haitian Constitution prohibits presidents to succeed themselves), yet another Clinton Foundation donor was awarded a contract in Haiti. In October 2015, President Martelly awarded an Israeli company, HLSI, the right to secure Haiti’s land and sea borders.
Now, with the prospects of having yet another election stolen, the people of Haiti have erupted to protect their right of self-determination and, moreover, to protect their resources from more Clinton pillage. This Haitian struggle for independence and dignity today is as important for this small Caribbean country as was a similar struggle that resulted in the Haitian Revolution in 1804.
Recognizing that the situation could easily slip from their control, the U.S. Embassy called presidential candidate Jude Celestin in for “consultations.” The result was that Celestin got up and walked out of the meeting. He declared at the time, “I am not a dealer; I am a leader.” Celestin, however, did not reveal the contents of the “deal” that was discussed.
With the prospects of having yet another election stolen, the people of Haiti have erupted to protect their right of self-determination and, moreover, to protect their resources from more Clinton pillage.
There certainly is enough on the table. But the U.S. Embassy should not be in the position of protecting ill-gotten gains of U.S. presidential candidates against the will of the people in the affected country. Jude Celestin has already had one election stolen from him by the Clintons; but this time, he has forged a relationship with the other candidates. They call themselves “the G8.”
So far, the G8 have held firm and called the presidential election, Round One, fraudulent. And they will not recognize any election outcome announced by the already-tainted Presidential Election Commission without an independent investigation of the allegations of fraud.
The U.S. Embassy has not been able to peel away individual candidates who form the G8. On a recent trip to the country, Ambassador Kenneth Merten came away empty-handed.
Jude Celestin has already had one election stolen from him by the Clintons; but this time, he has forged a relationship with the other candidates. They call themselves “the G8.”
Now, a special delegation from the United Nations is on the ground in Haiti trying to fix this mess because neither the U.S. nor the Organization of American States has been able to move the G8 from its united position. Today, the G8 remain united in their call for an investigation of the election fraud that marred the first round of the presidential poll.
The U.S. brought democracy to Yugoslavia, and Yugoslavia no longer exists. The U.S. has spent $5 billion according to the State Department bringing democracy to Ukraine, and today Ukraine is in turmoil.
In the end, neither the people of Yugoslavia, nor the people of Ukraine have benefited from U.S. democracy. And so it goes with the people of Haiti. But the list of non-Haitians who benefit from U.S. “democracy” is long, indeed.
And the Clinton Foundation family and donors top this list.
After serving in the Georgia Legislature, in 1992, Cynthia McKinney won a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives. She was the first African-American woman from Georgia in the U.S. Congress. In 2005, McKinney was a vocal critic of the government’s response to Hurricane Katrina and was the first member of Congress to file articles of impeachment against George W. Bush. In 2008, Cynthia McKinney won the Green Party nomination for the U.S. presidency. She can be reached at Cynthia@runcynthiarun.org and on Facebook at CynthiaMcKinneyOfficial.
This story first appeared at https://www.rt.com/op-edge/325895-haiti-presidential-elections-clinton/.

Haiti on the outside looking in at 'Star Wars' delirium

Port-au-Prince (AFP) - Without a single functioning movie theatre in their country, Haitians have been feeling left out in recent days, while much of the rest of the world swoons over the latest "Star Wars" movie.
The debut past this weekend of "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" was a worldwide event -- except in remote and impoverished corners of the globe like Haiti, where fans of the epic film franchise are out in the cold.
"This is a situation which really brings me down," said Vladimir Desir, 30, a long time Star Wars fan.
"I may have to wait five or six months until they show it on television, since I don't want to watch a poorly made pirated version," he said.
The seventh episode of this hit series has attained blockbuster status in its first weekend, with an estimated $238 million tickets sold in the US and Canadian -- a box office record -- and more than a half-billion dollars worldwide.
Haiti's last cinema closed its doors in 2009, after failing to make a profit, in large part because of rampant film piracy.
"This is a real problem that I regret on a personal level, but also for all the movie fans in this country, said Emelie Prophete, director of the Haitian Copyright Office, known under the French acronym BHDA.
"The piracy problem is not specific to Haiti but pirate DVDs are even sold outside the presidential palace and other state institutions," Prophete said.
There was hope that a newly renovated theater, the Triumph, which reopened this past summer after being repaired to fix damage sustained in the 2010 earthquake.
The theater so far has screen movies only sporadically, all of which have been domestic films.
"Screenings of Star Wars at the Triomphe? I doubt it," Prophete said.


Haiti’s electoral council postpones Sunday’s presidential vote

PORT-AU-PRINCE (Reuters) – Haiti’s Provisional Electoral Council yesterday postponed until January this Sunday’s scheduled presidential run-off election amid accusations by the opposition candidate of fraud and irregularities.
“The Provisional Electoral Council informs the general public, political parties and candidates in particular, that the elections of local authorities as well as the partial legislative and presidential elections that were to be held December 27, 2015 are postponed,” the council said in a statement.
Ruling party candidate Jovenel Moïse and former government executive Jude Célestin were due to face each other on Sunday.
Instead, the vote will take place in January, possibly on January 10, two of the council members said.
“We are technically ready for the election but the election has been postponed because there is a commission assessing the process,” Pierre Manigat Jr, vice president of the electoral council, said. “This commission will make recommendations to the electoral council. We could not go on organizing the election without waiting for the recommendations of the commission.”
The winner will succeed President Michel Martelly in February as the head of Haiti, the Western Hemisphere’s poorest country.
If the postponed election goes well, it will mark the first time in Haiti’s rocky political history that three democratic elections have been held in succession without interruption by fraud or armed rebellion. Moïse and Célestin came out on top in a field of 54 candidates in the first round on October 25.
The third-place candidate in the first round alleged that ballots supporting him had been destroyed.
The Caribbean nation of about 10 million people has struggled to establish democratic rule after decades of dictatorship, military coups and election fraud.
Martelly, a popular singer, oversaw the slow recovery from a devastating earthquake in 2010, but critics have said that he allowed corruption to run rampant and failed to resolve political divisions that led to the dissolution of parliament in January.
Moïse represents the ruling Parti Haitien Tet Kale (Haitian Party of Bald Heads), named after Martelly’s smooth scalp. He won nearly 33 per cent of the vote in the first round.
Célestin, of the Alternative League for Progress and Emancipation of Haiti, won 25 per cent.
The election will also determine a few remaining Senate and lower house seats that required a run-off in addition to local positions for hundreds of municipalities.

AP Interview: Haiti President Defends Questioned Elections

Haitian President Michel Martelly has defended much-criticized elections in the divided country and asserted that the opposition has spread unsubstantiated allegations about widespread electoral fraud purely to strengthen its position.
During an interview with The Associated Press, Martelly said he believed that disputed results from the October presidential round that put the government-backed contender on top for a two-candidate runoff was a genuine reflection of voters' will.
"We feel confident enough that what happened the first time will happen again because it's the vote of the people," the outgoing president said Monday on the grounds where the domed National Palace once stood before it pancaked in Haiti's 2010 earthquake.
Haiti's Provisional Electoral Council reported that Jovenel Moise of Martelly's well-financed Tet Kale party received nearly 33 percent of the Oct. 25 vote to clear the packed field of 54 presidential candidates. Official results have the political newcomer getting 117,602 more votes than second-place finisher Jude Celestin, an ex-state construction chief who was eliminated from a runoff during the last election cycle after a contested count was reviewed.
In recent weeks, growing allegations of rampant fraud have brought sometimes violent street protests and so many broad accusations from civil society, religious and opposition groups that Haiti's Dec. 27 runoffs were postponed late Monday.
For now, no immediate resolution to Haiti's electoral tensions is in sight. A new election date won't be announced until a special commission formed by presidential decree can review Haiti's electoral process and make recommendations.
On Monday, Martelly said political opponents and critics have been wildly exaggerating the extent of irregularities on Oct. 25. On a whole, he asserted, balloting was remarkably "free and fair" in a country where votes have never been easy and are often marred by violence, intimidation and other blatant irregularities.
Martelly noted that after polls closed on Oct. 25, international electoral missions and local groups hailed it as an apparent success. It contrasted sharply with an earlier legislative round in August that suffered from various violent disturbances, even though international monitors said it was not enough to disrupt the legitimacy of the overall vote.
His assertion is that the opposition was so troubled by Moise's status as the leading candidate that leading figures started denouncing the elections as a mockery of democracy. Celestin has called the first-round results with agricultural entrepreneur Moise on top a "ridiculous farce."
"It looked like the potential winner was not what the opposition expected, so the same minute, the same night, they started building that perception (of fraud)," said Martelly.
Opposition factions and some observer groups suspect that fraudsters used some of the roughly 900,000 accreditations issued for political party representatives to facilitate multiple voting. There are also accusations that electoral council officials accepted bribes to secure spots in runoffs, among other fraud allegations.
The various accusations have raised so many suspicions here and abroad that Martelly, under pressure, announced the creation of an evaluation commission to hopefully provide a way out of the impasse. He said his priority is a "credible" final round that will be recognized as legitimate.
This year's three rounds of balloting for nearly all of Haiti's public offices have been the first elections under Martelly's tenure. Despite pressure from the U.N., U.S. and others, previous efforts to hold legislative and local votes were snarled by bitter infighting between the executive and legislative branches.
Although Celestin's opposition alliance has called for resignations at the electoral council and judicial investigations, Martelly asserted that this Provisional Electoral Council has proven itself to be "strong enough and independent enough." He noted that the council was loudly praised when it rejected first lady Sophia Martelly's bid to run for Senate. The move was heralded as a sign the body known as the CEP was independent.
"(They said) that this was the best CEP, particularly at the time that they kicked my wife out of the race," he said.
Constitutionally due to leave office on Feb. 7 because he can't run for a consecutive term, Martelly told AP that his main remaining task is handing over the reins to a legitimate government. He said he's seeking compromises with Celestin's camp, sitting senators and the electoral council to ensure runoffs occur soon. He warned that some opposition factions were trying to derail elections so a transitional government could instead be put in place.
"They believe this is the only way they can get in power and also the only way they can organize elections for themselves," he said.
——— David McFadden on Twitter: http://twitter.com/dmcfadd