News and opinions on situation in Haiti
HLLN’s Media Letter Writing Campaign: Stop Mainstream Media libelously railroading President Preval and the people of Haiti -Keep writing, denouncing these false accusations
In this post
-HLLN Media Campaign for Haiti: Please Keep writing letters denouncing mainstream media disinformation about the Feb.7, 2006 elections.
1. Letter from Harry to Newsday regarding “Haiti: no easy answers”
2. Letter from Chantal to Newsday regarding “Haiti: no easy answers”
3. Letter from Paul Choisil to Wall Street Journal regarding “Hope For Haiti?”
4. Let Preval Prevail by George Hamilton of Canada to his mailing lists, urging international solidarity with HLLN’s media campaign. George’s Sample letter is below at the very end of this post. Thank you George and every member of your list who are writing to the media about their bias Haiti coverage. Many Hands make a Light a Heavy Load! – Men Anpil Chay Pa Lou
– HLLN’s Statement on Wall Street Journal’s outrageous editorial,”Hope for Haiti” libelously maligning the voters in Haiti as “gangs” and falsely accusing President-elect Preval of wrongdoing
– Editorial – Wall Street Journal
– Newsday – Editorials
– HLLN Media Campaign – POINTS TO MAKE- Please focus on the top five national media outlets, in addition to your local outlet and write often to the mainstream media about their bias Haiti coverage (POINTS TO MAKE are suggested)
HLLN’s COMPREHENSIVE CONTACT LIST FOR HAITI WORK, below
– Canada, Haiti and the struggle for justice: An interview with Patrick Elie
– Letter from NPR Vice President, Andi Sporkin, acknowledging conflict of interest, NPR reporter Amelia Shaw worked both for Voice of America and NPR
– HLLN Statement on US Propaganda infiltrating mainstream press, Feb. 28, 2006
– Let Preval Prevail by George Hamilton of Canada to his mailing lists, urging international solidarity with HLLN’s media campaign.
Sample Letter also from George Hamilton to his listserve.
– LINK: Denise Bernstein first broke the Amelia Shaw “wearing two hats” story
HLLN Media Campaign to Protect the Feb. 7, 2006 Haitian vote.
Mainstream Media is libelously railroading President Preval and the people of Haiti – Please keep writing and denouncing this. Legal action shall be taken if retractions and affirmative actions are not made. To support HLLN’s work and ability to continue to advocate for the people, consider donating to HLLN’s work: www.margueritelaurent.com/donate/donate.html
Network members write to Newsday with reference to Newsday’s bias reporting in “Haiti: no easy answers.” (see letters below)
Thank you Chantal & Harry for your letters to Newsday. Thank you Paul for the letter to the Wall Street Journal.
Folks, please keep writing to media about bias Haiti coverage. You may use any of the letters below from (Chantal, Paul, Harry) as samplesor starting points for your own. Also at the end of this e-mail HLLN Urgent Action Alert: Media Campaign – enumerates the talking points. Please concentrate your e-mails to the following media outlets:
FOCUS: For Network Members living in the USA, in addition to your local media and others you wish to address, please ALWAYS focus on these newspapers. Also Send or copy any and all your Letter to Editors to:
Miami Herald: HeraldEd@herald.com
LA Times: firstname.lastname@example.org
NY Times: Letters@nytimes.com
Associated Press: email@example.com
Wall Street Journal: firstname.lastname@example.org
For your local newspaper: www.margueritelaurent.com/contactinformation/local-national-media.html
For Members living in Canada, please add each of:
Toronto Star email@example.com
Globe and Mail letters@GlobeAndMail.ca
Montreal Gazette firstname.lastname@example.org
Your local newspaper Go to www.flora.org/flora/archive/mai-info/media.htm
A large list of National and Local media contact info, as well as contact info for other relevant authorities involved in Haiti, is below at: HLLN’s COMPREHENSIVE CONTACT LIST FOR HAITI WORK. Our writing campaigns can make a difference. It can save a life, stop some of the suffering in Haiti right now. It can stop this mainstream media disinformation on the elections from gaining momentum. So, please take action.
HLLN MEDIA CAMPAIGN:
The people of Haiti did their part on Feb. 7, 2006. We must help to safeguard their victory and block this media disinformation campaign to undermine Haiti’s new President and destroy the people’s mandate.
We are not surprised that Newsday came up with the wrong answer after enumerating all the negative aspects to make the point that there are no easy answers for Haiti’s problems. Are we to deduce that the United States played a significant role in ensuring that: “Haiti is a failed state, the poorest state in the hemisphere”? History teaches us that Newsday’s solution was applied in the early part of the 20th century when the United States occupied Haiti from 1915 to 1934. What Haiti needs is no foreign interference in its internal affairs as evidenced by the last two coup d’Etat but rather a genuine aid to the people of Haiti.
Date: Mon, 27 Feb 2006
Haiti’s first democratically elected government was systematically taken apart by the U.S., Canada and France on our two hundredth anniversary (2004). Their methods are well documented (and deserve a mention to put the situation in context). What gall to blame the chaos, which followed on the victims; the masses who voted for President Aristide in overwhelming numbers.
You claim that Haiti is a “failed state”, yet you give no perspective of the manipulation, isolation and racial discrimination that have been the root cause of Haiti’s current and past situation.
Your statement that Haiti “Haiti has no natural resources, no strategic significance and poses no real threat.” Does not ring true in the face of the massive international effort to squash the vote in Haiti and impose a foreign controlled government. (see footnote 1)
Your statement at the end:
Sir, Haiti HAD a U.S. led invasion on February 29, 2004. It was as President Aristide stated a “coup-napping”. (www.democracynow.org/article.pl?sid=04/03/01/1521216) Clearly Haiti needs to be saved from its self-described “saviors” (see footnote 3).
In 1804 when Haiti declared its independence the U.S. President Thomas Jefferson said to his European allies, “let’s confine this disease to its island” (see footnote 2).
The above statement could be said of the U.S. policy toward Haiti today. Shortly after the Bush administration removed Haiti’s elected government, Bush made the statement “We will turn back any refugee that attempts to reach our shore, and that message needs to be very clear as well to the Haitian people.” (hrw.org/english/docs/2004/02/26/usdom7674.htm). (see footnote 4)
Haitians won the first ever successful slave revolution in 1804 and set the stage for the freedom of all slaves in this hemisphere sixty (60) years before the “emancipation declaration.” 5)
Haiti financed, equipped and sent soldiers to aid Simon Bolivar on his quest for freedom for his country, his actions led to the independence of Venezuela, Columbia, Peru, Bolivia and Ecuador.
The main boulevard in Port-Au-Prince is named John Brown Boulevard for the great abolitionist John Brown, who was executed by the U.S. Haitians followed his saga closely and collected $20,000 for John Brown’s family.
It is not surprising to me that with a history like this that Dessalines’s people are still fighting for and still cherish their freedom and independence. Self-rule is essential to General Jean-Jacque Dessalines’s creed of “live free or die” (see footnote 8), and is what the people chanted as they took to the streets in the time since the February 29, 2004 coup… they risked their lives to protect their freedom, their vote, their president and their constitution (see footnote 6)!
Respect the Haitian constitution, the Haitian people and their proud history. Our ancestors paid a great price for the little we have. What means the most to us is our freedom; self-determination, self-rule and one man one vote! Of the U.S. Haitians have but one request… let Haiti live! You owe us that much (see footnote 7).
1) Haiti Matters! by Charles McCollester www.monthlyreview.org/0904mccollester.htm
2) Haiti as Imperial Prison — The Attica of the Americas by Justin Felux
3) the Destabilization of Haiti, by Michel Chossudovsky
4) The Abuses of Haiti by Edward W. Miller
5) Haiti’s long march toward freedom by J. Damu
6) Spirits of Haiti by Peter Linebaugh
Celebrating the first Black Republic in History – A Moral Obligation by Blackvoicenews.com
7) The U.S. Debt to Haiti by Carlos Wesley
8) General Jean Jacques Dessalines, 1804. “Live free or die!”
Letter to the Wall Street Journal from Paul Choisil on bias reporting on Haiti:
-------- Original Message --------
Attention: Letter to the Editor
In the above editorial, Wall Street Journal writes. “The pro- Aristide gangs began ginning up violence when it became apparent that Mr. Preval might not be installed without a run-off election.”
The above statement is incorrect and unsubstantiated. The people you are referring to were Preval electors, Aristide was not running in this election.
President Preval won by an overwhelming majority, but the attempts to rig the results where so blatant that the people took to the streets in a peaceful demonstration after they found ballots in a municipal dump, with thousands burnt, along with tally sheets. Furthermore, on Feb 15, before Mr. Preval was declared president, a truck full of ballots arrived, one week late from a mysterious holding place. They still have not been counted.
These and countless other maneuvers indicated that these elections where set up to favor some other candidates to the detriment of Mr. Preval. Even some members of the electoral council were denouncing fraud of the electoral council.
Is it such a strange occurrence that it never happened in the U.S. that people would take to the street to demand that their rights be respected? I remember many marches for civil rights as well as the more recent “one million man” march on Washington.
Most local and international journalists reporting, from Haiti, during the days before the announcement of Rene Preval as winner, indicated there were no arms and no violence in the streets at all. The 5,000 people who went to the Montana hotel left peacefully as reported by every journalist.
Desmond Tutu, who was a guest at the same hotel and witnessed the demonstration, expressed the same sentiment and said not one item was broken or stolen.
The inference that the majority who support President Preval are “armed gangs” is reckless and fringes on the slanderous.
Now that the signs of a new beginning are showing, it is time that the mainstream media, like yours, start reporting responsibly what is happening in Haiti. The time when you observed a complicit silence on all the crimes that have been committed in the last two years should come to a close. The reasons for that silence are no longer there. Perhaps some real investigative journalism could be initiated by your journal to uncover the real story of what has been happening in Haiti.
In spite of the flaws, there is a clear choice in that election where Preval received 50% in a contest with 33 other candidates and where the next highest score was 12% of the votes.
Do not destabilize Rene Preval’s presidency even before it begins, even though he is not the president that corporate America wanted. Give Haiti a chance.
HLLN’s Statement on Wall Street Journal’s outrageous editorial,”Hope for Haiti” libelously maligning the voters in Haiti as “gangs” and falsely accusing President-elect Preval of wrongdoing
HLLN attaches herein a Feb. 27, 2006 Wall Street Journal editorial entitled “Hope for Haiti?” These unethical journalists won’t let up. The spin and mainstream media disinformation on Haiti gets worst. This piece contends that: “armed gangs loyal to exiled former President Jean Bertrand Aristide..” forced the OAS and the UN to GIVE the election to Rene Preval. Wall Street Journal writes. “The pro- Aristide gangs began ginning up violence when it became apparent that Mr. Preval might not be installed without a run-off election.” (See Wall Street Journal editorial below)
This lie must be stopped. President Preval won by an overwhelming majority, and but for the incompetence and fraud of the coup d’etat regime, there wouldn’t be any question about this. If all the ballots had been counted,or there had been no burnt ballots, no missing tally sheets, et al, there would not have been a need for pro-rating the blank ballots. (See, Count the missing ballots received Wed. Feb. 15, 2006 by Ezili Danto Why did the CEP choose to COUNT the blank ballots on a pro-rata basis but to not count the missing ballots from Sainte Trinité School, Carrefour-Feuilles, Abricots and other places that had gone missing but recovered and clearly available to be ADDED into the overall tally of votes on Wed. Feb. 15, 2006? www.haitiforever.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=14202#14202)
Nonetheless, Wall Street Journal is reporting there were “armed gangs” in the streets “gining up violence” after the elections demanding Preval be put into office.
This is a blatant, reckless and criminally negligent LIE. An irresponsible and unethical reporting from a paper know for its credibility.
Most, if not all, the journalist reporting, from Haiti, doing the days before the announcement of Rene Preval as winner, indicated there were NO ARMS to be seen in the streets at all. The 5,000 people who went to the Montana hotel left peacefully as reported by every journalist. Desmond Tutu, expressed the same sentiment and said not one item was broken or stolen. And yet, without any basis at all, the Wall Street journal is maligning the overwhelming peaceful peoples of Haiti who took to the streets when even members of the electoral council were announcing fraud of the electoral council. It is nothing less but racist, lazy, unprofessional and unethical to be painting all the people in the streets on February 13, 2006 demanding their votes for Preval not be negated, when even CEP members themselves were saying Jacques Bernard, Executive Director of the CEP was committing fraud and falsely reducing Preval’s percentages to below 50%, This idea that the poor majority who support President Aristident and now President Preval are “armed gangs” is reckless, if not criminal slander. This is the sort of lies that allowed momentum and embolden the morally repugnant elites and their IRI/Washington Consensus backers to conduct the Feb. 29, 2004 coup d’etat in the first place, causing the death of over 10,000 Haitians.
In “Hope for Haiti?,” The Wall Street journal is strumming division, polorazing our Haitian society further with these lies, spins and half-truths that, again emboldens the tiny anti-democratic bourgeoisie of Haiti whose position they seem to always articulate. They are destabalizing the Rene Preval presidency even before it begins. Haitian cannot afford another coup d’etat in Haiti.
Please, we encourage one and all to write a brief letter to the editor of the Wall Street Journal demanding a retraction and requesting they stop printing such outrageous lies and disinformation.
ACTION REQUESTED: Email letters to the Wall Street Journal to: “Attention Letter to the Editor” at: email@example.com or Fax to: 212 416 2255
Marguerite Laurent, Esq.
Wall Street Journal Feb 27, 2006
Election fixers from the United Nations and Organization of American States may have thought they dodged a bullet in Haiti last week by arranging for the first-round victory of presidential candidate Rene Preval even though his ballot count in the Feb. 7 election had not topped the required 50% of the vote.
But the source of the problem that sparked their intervention — armed gangs loyal to exiled former President Jean Bertrand Aristide — is still out there and more trouble is on the horizon.
The pro-Aristide gangs began ginning up violence when it became apparent that Mr. Preval might not be installed without a run-off election. The U.N. and OAS solved the problem by making use of ballots that were cast blank to put Mr. Preval over the top. But to do so, they violated an important Haitian electoral law.
This throws a shadow of doubt on Mr. Preval’s legitimacy. Worse, it had the effect of rewarding the gangs’ use of violence to dictate political outcomes.
The next test for the president-elect will come in next month’s second round of voting when all parliamentary seats will be decided. Add the looming threat by Aristide that he intends to return from South Africa, and the odds of Mr. Preval putting down the thuggish factions and governing as his own man are sharply diminished. Even Mr. Preval seems to understand this. The LA Times reports that “Preval is said by confidants to have little interest in having Aristide back in the country, fearing that his presence would set off new unrest in the slums ruled by gangs armed and empowered by Aristide.” Though he publicly has said Aristide and his minions are free to return, Mr. Preval also warned that they must consider the likelihood of “any legal complaint against them.”
That’s a subtle but clear message from the president-elect that he doesn’t want the deposed tyrant back in the country. It also keeps open the possibility that Mr. Preval’s intentions as president are to begin the process of building Haitian democracy. Stay tuned.
Newsday – Editorials
February 27, 2006
In a chaotic and flawed election that resulted in a brokered deal, Haiti now has a president. René Préval is a populist whose appeal and support among Haitians was beyond dispute. But what is in serious doubt is whether Préval has a viable country to govern, let alone even the skeletal outlines of a democracy.
An election does not make a democracy, as has become obvious in the Middle East. Without a functional civil society, the institutions necessary to make it work and an economy robust enough to support it, a democracy has no future.
It would take a massive and well-coordinated international effort to return Haiti to a minimal level of functionality – a process that could take years. But the hopes for such an effort coming soon are chimerical. Haiti has no natural resources, no strategic significance and poses no real threat.
It’s simple to articulate what Haiti needs: security and order, foreign investment, massive aid, and a ruling class willing to make political compromises with its opposition. But achieving those aims is far from simple, or certain.
Haiti is a failed state, the poorest nation in the hemisphere. Its economy is virtually dead, save for the illegal transshipments of narcotics, which account for 14 percent of all U.S.-bound cocaine. Despite the presence of 7,200 United Nations peacekeepers, gangs of armed thugs make the streets of its capital, Port-au-Prince, almost as dangerous as those of Baghdad. It’s the scene of a dozen kidnappings a day. AIDS has ravaged its population. Deforestation, unchecked pollution and lethal mudslides have devastated its environment.
There is a natural and human desire to help Haiti out of its miserable predicament. But there also needs to be a realistic assessment of what it will take to make a difference. That might well include, for instance, a U.S.-led invasion and long occupation. Clearly, there’s no stomach for that now. Some problems don’t have clear solutions.
HLLN Media Campaign – Please write often to the mainstream media about their bias Haiti coverage.
Forward as BACKGROUND INFORMATION:
“Media Disinformation Campaign Against Haiti by New York Times, LA Times, Miami Herald, Associated Press emboldens The Washington Chiméres
Points to make:
1. Demand retractions, request the mainstream media stop citing the losers of the Feb. 7, 2006 elections as independent and credible sources, including Acting US Ambassador Timothy Carney, the discredited CEP director, Jacques Bernard, or any of the coup d’etat orchestrators. Request that the mainstream media cease printing outrageous lies and disinformation blaming the victims who transformed and triumphed over electoral fraud in Haiti (the Haitian people who voted and President Preval, the winner) rather than the perpetrators (inept coup d’etat regime and their Haiti Democracy Project, IRI, Bush Administration-backers) of the electoral crisis.
2. President Preval won by an overwhelming majority, and but for the incompetence and fraud of the coup d’etat regime, there wouldn’t be any question about this. If all the ballots had been counted, or there had been no burnt ballots, no missing tally sheets, no missing ballots, et al, there would have been no need for pro-rating the blank ballots. (See, Count the missing ballots received Wed. Feb. 15, 2006 by Ezili Danto Why did the CEP choose to COUNT the blank ballots on a pro-rata basis but to not count the missing ballots from Sainte Trinité School, Carrefour-Feuilles, Abricots and other places that had gone missing but recovered and clearly available to be ADDED into the overall tally of votes on Wed. Feb. 15, 2006? www.haitiforever.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=14202#14202)
2. Most, if not all, the journalist reporting, from Haiti, doing the days before the announcement of Rene Preval as winner, indicated there were NO ARMS to be seen in the streets at all. The 5,000 people who went to the Montana hotel left peacefully as reported by every journalist. Desmond Tutu, expressed the same sentiment and said not one item was broken or stolen. Yet, the mainstream media revels in reporting that it was fear of mob violence that forced international authorities (UN and OAS officials) to make a “deal.” This is not true. If there was wrongdoing, it was on the part of the coup d’etat regime and not the voters of Haiti or the wining candidate, President Preval. Their fraud should not be casually and cavalierly imputed on President Preval and the people of Haiti.
3. This idea that the poor majority who support President Aristide and now President Preval are “armed gangs” is reckless and libelous. This is the sort of misinformation that allowed momentum and embolden the morally repugnant elites and their IRI/Haiti Democracy Project/Washington Consensus-backers to conduct the Feb. 29, 2004 coup d’etat in the first place, causing the mass murder of over 10,000 Haitians.
HLLN’s SELECTED LIST LOCAL & NATIONAL US MEDIA E-MAILS
US Local and National Media:
Should you wish to do so, please consider also sending e-mails, snail mails and/or phoning any of the following as well
Go to HLLN’s website for further details on contacting US Congress – www.margueritelaurent.com/contactinformation/uscongress.html
(See below: HLLN’s COMPREHENSIVE CONTACT LIST FOR HAITI WORK )
Canada, Haiti and the struggle for justice: An interview with Patrick Elie
Patrick Elie is a former cabinet minister in the government of Haiti, a leading social justice activist in that country and a fierce opponent of the 2004 coup d’état against the democratically-elected government of Jean-Bertrand Aristide, a regime change which was supported by the United States, France, and Canada.
Elie is currently on a five-week speaking tour across Canada, visiting over twenty towns and cities. Derrick O’Keefe, co-editor of Seven Oaks, recently interviewed Elie by telephone.
Derrick O’Keefe: Patrick, your visit to Canada was delayed as a result of events in Haiti. And then when you did arrive here you were subjected to rough treatment. Could you explain what happened?
Patrick Elie: I was scheduled to come to Canada on February 14. But, what happened was, with the election and the attempted fraud that followed, the people of Haiti took to the streets and voted with their feet after having voted with their ballots. And, as a consequence, Air Canada cancelled its weekly flight to Port-au-Prince. So I had to start the tour one week late.
I left on February 21 and arrived in Montreal in time for an event at Concordia University. But when I got to Customs I was detained and searched. All my papers were examined ñ I’m talking about personal papers, and notes, agenda and everything. These were even taken away from me. I insisted on being present when they were going to examine these papers, but they refused. I had a TV camera and they insisted on viewing the film that was in it. They took my laptop. All kinds of stupidity. And of course they couldn’t have anything against me, so then the supervisor of Customs came and told me I was cleared but now CSIS wanted to talk to me.
O’Keefe: How long did CSIS take with you and what was their attitude towards you?
Elie: It was an attitude that was not aggressive, I would say. But they wanted to know a bunch of things that were none of their business. They wanted to know who invited me, who my contacts were in Montreal, etc. They also wanted to know where I was staying in Montreal and what was my phone number. I said it’s none of your business. They also, and this is even more interesting, asked me about the content of my private conversations with President Aristide since his exile. So after about a half an hour I told them, éI’m tired of this, I’m already late. So unless you’re going to arrest me I’m going.’ So I just picked up my luggage and I left.
But because of this I missed my event at Concordia, because I was only able to clear the airport at 10p.m. Fortunately, the next morning we had a press conference in Montreal that was quite well covered.
O’Keefe: The election of René Préval strikes me as yet another amazing victory by the Haitian people. Do you think that the United States, France and Canada, who helped engineer the regime change in the first place, could have foreseen this outcome? And how will these countries now try to maintain their control over Haiti?
Elie: I think they started to get a bit edgy, first when people started registering [for the election] in higher than predicted numbers, and then when that registration process accelerated after Préval had declared rather late in the process. I believe that, had he declared as early as the other candidates, they would have devised some kind of plan to actually deal with his candidacy.
And when you can’t derail or sabotage an election upstream, then what you do is go downstream. After Aristide was first elected in 1990, they went downstream and did the coup. I supposed a coup was not yet in the plans this time, so they went downstream and started tweaking the results. For me, there were two victories by the Haitian people. The first was that swift maneuver around the trap that was this election by coming out in droves to vote on February 7. But even more significant, and more beautiful in my view, was the coming out on February 13 to really state their decision that their vote was not going to be stolen. I think this was even a greater proof of the determination and political savvy of the Haitian people.
O’Keefe: What do you foresee in terms of the results of the National Assembly elections?
Elie: From the partial results of the first round, it looks like the party of Préval was leading everywhere they had presented candidates, and leading by a sizable margin. If the second round is not rigged, and if Préval is able to find some allies, he will have a majority parliamentary block. And that will mean that he will be able to find a Prime Minister who will be cooperative rather than adversarial. But of course this is if there is no further éhanky panky’ with the results.
The Haitian people traditionally give more importance to the presidential election, and tend to slack off when it’s time for the parliamentary election. So I hope that Préval’s party will really mobilize strongly so that the vote comes out for that second round, and ensure that all the candidates of the platform are in fact elected.
O’Keefe: You mentioned the issue of a new Prime Minister. What happens now to the Lavalas political prisoners, including Prime Minister Yvon Neptune. Is there any chance that he will be released in the near future given the election results?
Elie: I think that President-elect Préval said that this was among the priorities, and that this was an easy enough issue to resolve. I understand that Prime Minister Neptune, I haven’t read the letter myself, wrote to Préval saying that the release should happen before the president is inaugurated lest it be construed as a political decision of favoritism rather than a decision based on justice. So I think we should keep on pushing for the de facto regime, which actually jailed these political prisoners, to release them, rather than waiting for President Préval’s inauguration.
O’Keefe: Two of the questions on people’s minds now with respect to Haiti are: when or will the UN troops leave and when or will Aristide return to Haiti?
Elie: Both questions are to be answered by the elected officials of Haiti. When you are in charge of a country, when you are the President, and the Prime Minister and the Minister of Justice of the entire country, you have to weigh whatever action you are going to take. You set the right course, but the rhythm of what you do has to be realistic. So, for example, when you take the UN, their presence has been so massive that to require them to leave in a swift fashion might introduce an element of destabilization. So, I think President Préval has indicated that the mission should change, and I suppose also that a timetable should be established for its fading out. My opinion is that one of the first things that should be done is to get rid of that Jordanian battalion which has been a plague really.
O’Keefe: You are doing an extensive tour of Canada. What is your main message to the people here, and do you see any opening for a real change in Canadian policy towards Haiti?
Elie: There is always a possibility when you have a change in government, but that will only remain a potential for change if the Canadian people don’t step in and say éwe don’t want our tax money to be used against another people’. And for that to happen, Canadians have to be informed about the real situation, about the real Haiti and the real Haitian people, who have been so misrepresented by the mainstream press and also by the so-called experts on Haiti, who have been proven wrong over and over again by the Haitian people. Reality flies in their face, and yet on CBC and Radio Canada, they are always the ones being given the microphone, when they are completely incompetent and have been proven so by the last election. So, as they are the ones presenting Haiti to Canadians, it’s no wonder that either Canadians are indifferent to Haiti or even hostile to the Haitian people. And that allows for the kind of misguided policy that Canada has applied in Haiti over the past five years.
O’Keefe: As minister in Haiti democratic government in the 1990s, you played a historic role in dismantling the notoriously repressive Haitian army that was associated so many dictatorships.
Elie: It’s something I did out of necessity. I am a chemist by trade, I have a PhD in organic chemistry. But my country needed me. It needed me in the most difficult jobs, which were the fight against drug trafficking, and then after that in trying to dismantle the state security apparatus, the army, and set up a new police. It had to be done. I had no formal training, but that’s the way it is. When you have to learn on the job you learn on the job, and you do the best that you can, and that’s what I did.
O’Keefe: I don’t know what your relationship is with the president-elect, but do you see yourself ever again taking on government-level responsibilities in Haiti?
Elie: First of all, about my relationship with Mr. Préval, we have known each other for thirty years now, and we have been comrades in the political struggle. There’s no problem there. However, I think I’m more useful on the outside pushing in. Because if everybody gets into government, then who is out there to keep watch? I would, however, consider only one position, which is that of Ombudsman. Haiti’s judicial system is in such a shambles that I think I could be helpful while it is being redressed. Meanwhile, a lot of people, especially poor people, are being victimized by this system. And I think the Ombudsman’s role can be part of alleviating these problems.
For more information on Patrick Elie’s cross-Canada tour, see www.canadahaitiaction.ca.
– HLLN Statement on US Propaganda infiltrating mainstream press – NPR reporter Amelia Shaw is wearing two hats
Denise Bernstein first broke the story that Amelia Shaw was working both for US government outlet “Voice of America” and feeding the same stories to NPR. Thank you Denise Bernstein. www.haitiaction.net/News/HNW/2_17_6/2_17_6.html
National Public Radio, VP, Andi Sporkin, acknowledged, in a letter to Paul Miller, (attached below) the conflict of interests from Amelia Shaw wearing two hats ñ working for government owned Voice of America and NPR. Let’s keep vigilant folks.
Keep writing to the mainstream media about feeding the public the US State Department party line and morally repugnant elites biases in their Haiti coverage.
– Challenge the corporate media’s editorials.
– Said editorials on Haiti are normally simply re-hash biased opinions cobbled together from recycled bits of old negative mantras about “deeply flawed elections,” “Aristide’s gangs” or self-serving pronouncements of US/Euro heroic efforts to guide seemingly incompetent blacks in Haiti incapable of self-governance and who should be put under long term protectorate for their own good!! (See, Wall Street Journal’s Feb. 27, 2006 editorial “Haiti: no easy answers” and Newsday’s “Haiti: no easy answers.”)
Many observers see this smear campaign as media sour grapes because the corporate media’s repugnant allies in Haiti lost the Feb. 7, 2006 election. But, these negative mantras and lies are emboldening the losers into setting plans to put Haiti back into impasse and political and economic gridlock. We have seen this clearly with reports citing Jacques Bernard’s accusations against Preval as if these accusations were coming from a credible Haitian source with a constituency in Haiti beyond the coup d’etat folks. The discredited Bernard, supported by powerful friends in Washington and whisked out of Haiti by former Haiti Democracy Project (HDP) board member, Timothy Carney, is being paraded around Washington and placed on high-level panels to deliver this message: “President-elect Rene Preval manipulated tensions from the Feb. 7 ballot to avert a run-off. “ HDP is using Jacques Bernard to undermine the Preval presidency in the same way they used Leon Manus and Pierre Paquiot to undermine the Aristide government. (See, “Top election official backs original count: The leader of Haiti’s electoral council surfaced in Washington and said the president elect and others manipulated ballot counting changes,” by Pablo Bachelet, The Miami Herald, Feb. 23, 2006; See, Bernard surfaced in Washington to do HDP/Bush Dept bidding winterludes.net/forum/viewtopic.php?p=14276#14276 )
If the mainstream media continues to act like the tabloids, this should have the credibility of the tabloids. Statements by the mainstream media accusing Rene Preval of fraud in the elections or of inciting “mob violence” to win office, must not be allowed to take momentum, with total impunity. Haiti Democracy Project (HDP), the Bush State Department, Timothy Carney, IRI and their mainstream media allies must not be allowed to railroad President Preval, as they did President Aristide’s government.
Irresponsible reporting has a legal cost that’s measured in libel and tort damages. Over 10,000 Haitians have already died because of the media’s lies and spins about President Aristide, the people of Haiti and the Lavalas Movement.
Last time the international community starved the people of Haiti, supported a humanitarian embargo because of what the US/Euros deemed was “deeply flawed” 2000 parliamentary elections. This led to the death and suffering of many Haitians from 2000 to 2004.
In 2000, the US/OAS/European Union, Canada, France, UNDP and IMF treated a dispute with seven senators, who clearly were way, way ahead of their fringe elite opponents, but who debatably should have gone to a second round in the May 2000 Parliamentary elections as if it were Aristide’s November 2000 Presidential election that was in dispute. For this reason, the Euro/US authorities put impoverished Haiti under a humanitarian embargo. This, even though the seven senators resigned, even though only these 7 out of a total of over 7,000 government positions filled by the 2000 elections were disputed.
Moreover, the mainstream media and US generally cited the May 2000 contested Parliamentary elections interchangeably with Aristide’s undisputed 200 November presidential election results. This relatively minor dispute became the “deeply flawed election” mantra, dishonestly pushed by the US, corporate media and the mostly Middle Eastern Haitian elites in Haiti. It was the excuse used not only to place poverty-stricken Haiti under an international embargo but the excuse used to cobble together and finance a fringe opponent, generally creating conflict and impasse in Haiti from 2000 to 2004. This impasse eventually led to the forced ouster of President Aristide on Feb. 29, 2004 and the death of over 10,000 Haitians from 2004 to the present.
Another election has just been completed, Lavalas Movement and the people’s President has won again, and already, even before President Preval is sworn into office, Haiti Democracy Project and the acting US ambassador are making statements to the effect that if President Preval does not perform he too may be removed as Mr. Aristide was twice already. These threats must not go unanswered. Too many Haitian lives have already been sacrificed because of the “good intentions of these do-gooders and benefactors.” (See, Media Disinformation – https://lists.riseup.net/www/arc/ezilidanto/200602/msg00024.html
To support HLLN’s work, please donate to the Haitian Lawyers Leadership Network at www.margueritelaurent.com/donate/donate.html
For further background info on Media disinformation on the elections, go to:
------ Forwarded Message
Dear Mr. Miller,
Thank you for taking the time to write and express your concern.
NPR’s lead reporter on the Haiti election story has been longtime NPR Foreign Desk staff correspondent Corey Flintoff. We have also had Amelia Show, a back-up freelance reporter, doing work for us. Last week, we learned that Amelia has also freelanced for other organizations including VOA. While contributing to several organizations is necessary for freelancers to make a living, it is NPR policy that freelancers who report for VOA or any government-controlled news organization cannot do work for NPR. In this case, NPR was not aware she had reported for VOA and Amelia was not aware there was a prohibition. Immediately upon learning of this, she volunteered to stop her work for VOA and did so.
Amelia might be contributing to other news organizations such as the BBC or the wire services, but that is permissible per NPR policy.
While Amelia’s work might have been a violation of our policy for freelancers, it did not in any way compromise our coverage of the election. Her work for NPR News has been accurate, thorough and fair.
Since you and your organization’s membership are clearly interested in having the media provide substantive coverage of the situation in Haiti, let add that NPR News’ commitment to exploring this significant story – which has included segments throughout all our news programs and has featured on-the-ground reporting from journalists, commentary, roundtable discussions and interviews with leaders, experts, journalists and others – has offered an in-depth, thoughtful and comprehensive examination significantly beyond that of any other major U.S. broadcast news organization.
Again, we appreciate your comments.
Let Preval Prevail by George Hamilton
This is the message I promised you, and the message for you to please send, together with the addresses to send it to. That follows the explanation of Haiti’s right to final autonomy. Please send your messages by no later than Friday of this week. Two or three a day would be much appreciated, more if you have time.
Thanks very much for your follow through on this. It should help the Haitian cause considerably and by flexing our letter-writing muscle, also put pressure on the US to get out of Afghanistan and Iraq as a side benefit.
On Feb. 7, 2006, the people of Haiti braved rampant insecurity and two years of coup d’etat repression to cast their votes for a new government and a new future.
However, since the declaration of Rene Preval as the people’s choice, the mainstream media, as noted below in this HLLN post, has not stopped editorializing and predicting his removal from office “if he fails” to satisfy his “opponents.”
The articles generally do not alert the reader that it is the losers in the elections and the opponents to Haitian democracy who are making these dire predictions and using the mainstream media to pressure the newly elected government to give political power to opponents who lost at the polls, thereby denying the people their well-earned victory.
All signs point towards another coup in Haiti with Preval being removed from office this time. Preval’s legitimacy is not questioned by the masses who voted for him, but by the coup d’etat government and officials running the elections, (particularly Jacques Bernard, the discredited Electoral Council director, and the powerful anti-Lavalas lobbying group in Washington, Haiti Democracy Project) who had to acknowledge his win, despite attempted interference in the process by burned ballots, blank ballots, missing ballots, and the fact Haiti’s Electoral Council was composed only of representatives from political opponents to Preval and neither the Fanmi Lavalas or L’espwa party the people wanted to vote for had any representation in the electoral commission. Yet, despite all this, the people showed up in record numbers to vote in Rene Preval, whatever those others may think. “Others” referred to include Timothy Carney, Jacques Bernard, Haiti Democracy Project, IRI, USAID, US Embassy, France, Canada, UN and their various NGOs.
Please read the following HLLN (Haitian Lawyers Leadership Network) post and then send a message, either of your own composition, or use the sample letter provided below. You may edit the sample letter adding as many points from the HLLN post as you care to, and please observe the 150-word limit to the media.
BUT PLEASE DO SEND A MESSAGE.
The Haitian people are being robbed of their votes, sovereignty, dignity, and self-determination once again. As Dr. King once said injustice anywhere affects the entire human family. We can help stop this latest effort to pressure and destabilize the newly elected Haitian President, even before he takes office by demanding that 1) The mainstream media do their job and stop promoting the interest of the tiny wealthy few in Haiti and their powerful international backers in the US, Canada, France and at the UN; 2) that the mainstream media covering Haiti give voice to the democratic will of the majority in Haiti, not inundate the world with the anti-democratic views of the opponents to Rene Preval and the people of Haiti as illustrated in the HLLN post below. (The Washington Chiméres Reloaded and Haiti Democracy Project planning another coup d’état against Haiti even though Rene Preval has not even taken office yet! Mainstream press, New York Times, where are you? Will the mainstream press remain dumb, deaf and blind, AGAIN?)
Please take action and write to your media and government representatives about their shortsighted policies to undermine Haitian democracy and justice, once again. Ask them to respect the Haitian peoples’ vote. Respect their choice of leaders. Urge the media to give voice to the people of Haiti and Rene Preval and less to his opponents at the US Embassy, in France, Canada or the UN. Ask the media to cover the concerns of the people such as the arbitrary detentions, summary executions and repressions that have been prevalent throughout Haiti under the US, Canada, France-supported Latortue government.
(Sample Letter from George Hamilton of Canada to his mailing lists, urging international solidarity with HLLN’s media campaign )
Twice now, in 1990 and in 2004, the US deposed President Jean Bertrand Aristide, Haiti’s duly and democratically elected, by a substantial majority, president.
Supposedly this was for the betterment of Haiti. Yet the most recent coup in 2004 resulted in devastating conditions for Haitians, including women and children being shot by UN personnel from armored tanks in Cité Soleil – unthinkable, but there are definitely bullet marks on the walls of the houses there.
Though universally acknowledged as the duly elected President of Haiti both in 1990 and, in 2000, the US treated a minor dispute with seven senators, who clearly were way, way ahead of their fringe elite opponents, but who these elites said should have gone to a second round in the May 2000 Parliamentary elections as if it were Aristide’s November 2000 Presidential election that was in dispute. The US and mainstream media generally cited the 2000 contested Parliamentary elections interchangeably with Aristide’s undisputed November Presidential election results. This minor dispute became the “deeply flawed election” mantra, dishonestly pushed by the US, corporate media and the mostly light-skinned upper class in Haiti. It was the excuse used to place poverty-stricken Haiti under an international embargo. It was the excuse used to finance a fringe opponent, generally c reating conflict and impasse in Haiti from 2000 to 2004, which eventually led to the forced ouster of President Aristide on Feb. 29, 2004.
Another election has just been completed, and once again the elite’s candidate ran a distant second with 11.8% to Mr, Preval’s 50%+, but the man accused of trying to steal the vote from Mr. Preval and force a runoff vote, Mr. Bernard, appears to have Washington’s ear, perhaps because of his pale complexion.
One would think that the US, if they cared about Haiti at all, would recognize the devastating conditions they left the country in after the last coup in 2004, and concede that Haitians are entitled to the president of their choice, Mr. Preval.
Already, however, even before he has been sworn into office, the US ambassador is saying that if President Preval does not perform he too will be removed as Mr. Aristide was twice already.
“If he does not perform?” sp;If he does not perform satisfactorily for whom? Does Mr. Carney care if he performs for the Haitian populace in improving roads, supplying good drinking water, electricity, schools for the children, health services and a decent standard of living for all Haitians? Or does he only care if President Preval slavishly follows Washington’s instructions?
Haitians are no longer slaves! They won their freedom in 1804 and those of us in the world who congratulate them on that happy accomplishment will not stand idly by while imperialists from the US, Canada, France and the UN try to enslave them again!
For the sake of humanity in Haiti, we ask the media in the US and Canada to print this message and send a clear message to any who would try to impose another coup on Haiti that if it happens it will be publicized around the world this time, and not treated as a secret as it was in the past.
Haitians are enti tled to the benefits of the democratic rule of the new president of their choice, President Preval. No foreigner has the right to tell Haitians who their leaders should be and who can or cannot return to Haiti from exile. Certainly NOT France, the country from which Haitians won their independence, nor the US, nor Canada nor the UN!
____________________(address and contact info)
HLLN’s COMPREHENSIVE CONTACT LIST FOR HAITI WORK
US Local and National Media:
firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org,
SELECTED EDITORS, NEWS OUTLETS AND JOURNALISTS:
For Members living in the USA, in addition to other places, please focus on these newspapers. Send or copy your Letter to Editors to:
Miami Herald: HeraldEd@herald.com
LA Times: email@example.com
NY Times: Letters@nytimes.com
Associated Press: firstname.lastname@example.org
Wall Street Journal: email@example.com
For your local newspaper:
For Members living in Canada, please add each of:
Toronto Star firstname.lastname@example.org
Globe and Mail letters@GlobeAndMail.ca
Montreal Gazette email@example.com
Your local newspaper Go to
& search by province for the address
Should you wish to do so, please consider also sending e-mails, snail
Go to HLLN’s website for further details on contacting US Congress –
CONSIDER SENDING COPIES TO:
Email: U.N. officials and International officials
firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, BanksD@state.gov, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, KonareAO@africa-union.org, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
U.N. officials and Canadian Members of Parliament
firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, Martin.P@parl.gc.ca, email@example.com, Pettigrew.P@parl.gc.ca, firstname.lastname@example.org, Duceppe.G@parl.gc.ca
email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com,firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org,email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
OTHER RELEVANT HAITI CONTACT INFORMATION:
United Nations: 212-963-4879, email@example.com
UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH)
Or, Fax, Office of General Secretary (New York) – 212.963.4879
Ambassador Anne Patterson
Acting Permanent U.S. representative to the United Nations:
212-415-4050 or Peggy Kerry: firstname.lastname@example.org
Bacre Waly Ndiaye
Director-New York Office of the UN Office of the High
Commissioner for Human Rights
ph: 212-963-1583 or 212-963-5930
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.
1211 Geneva 10, Switzerland
Fax: 41 22 917 9006
Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General,
Head of Human Rights Division
Juan Gabriel Valdés
United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH)
385, Ave. John Brown, Bourdon, B.P. 557,
Port-au-Prince, Haiti (W.I.)
Fax: +509 244 3512
Human Rights Division, MINUSTAH
385, Ave. John Brown, Bourdon, B.P. 557
Port-au-Prince, Haiti (W.I.)
Fax: +509 244 9366
+509 244 9367*
U.S. Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice
U.S. Department of State
2201 C Street NW
Washington, DC 20520
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights
1211 Geneva 10
Hon. Kofi Annan, Secretary-General
United Nations Headquarters
First Avenue at 46th Street
New York, NY 10017
email@example.com; press office: (509) 510-2563 ext. : 6343
UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH)
Or, Fax, Office of General Secretary (New York) – 212.963.4879
Embassy of the Republic of Haiti
2311 Massachusetts Ave.NW.
Washington DC 20008
Fax: 1 202 745 7215
U.S. Charge D’affairs, Timothy Carney
United States Embassy
Telephones: 011-509-223-4711, or 222-0200 or 0354
Fax: 011-509-223-1641 or 9038
Email to Dana Banks, Human Rights Officer:
Canadian Ambassador to Haiti
Embassy of Canada
Telephone: 011-509- 249-9000
For Canadian Officials contact info:
Ezili’s Recommended Links:
Urgent Alert: Media Disinformation Campaign Against Haiti by New York Times, LA Times, Miami Herald, Associated Press emboldens: The Washington Chiméres and Haiti Democracy Project coup d’etat plans against Haiti even before President Preval takes office!
HLLN’s position on foreign-sponsored elections under coup d’etat, dictatorship and occupation | Haitian Perspectives by Marguerite Laurent, October 31, 2005 www.margueritelaurent.com/pressclips/withoutfear.html
Sham Elections followed by What, Politique De Doublure? by Marguerite Laurent for Haitian Perspectives, Feb. 7, 2006
Haiti’s election crisis was made in Washington but transformed by the people of Haiti: HLLN questions MINUSTHA’s credibility, OAS’s credibility, Washington’s credibility and their allies’ credibility, willingness and ability to legitimately support and safeguard the people’s landslide mandate to President Rene Preval
HLLN’s predicts the 3 scenarios for these elections, dated Feb. 7, 2006
Fraud anticipated to compel a second round, Feb. 7, 2006
HLLN Report on Haitian Election Laws, Feb. 14, 2006 – the CEP is no authority to COUNT or EXAMINE ballots, this is left to the polling stations. Go to:
Jacques Bernard, the Frenchmen accused of ballot stuffing and electoral fraud in Haiti is Welcome to the US by Haiti Democracy Project and Scheduled to Address HDP Seminar | J.Bernard, another Zealot, like Manus and Paquiot, HDP will use to destabilize Haiti’s elected President
The Smoking Gun – Photos of STOLEN ballots found in garbage dump in Haiti | Brazil backs Preval as victor in elections | Smashed ballot boxes found in Haiti, et al
Count the missing ballots received Wed. Feb. 15, 2006 by Ezili Danto Why did the CEP choose to COUNT the blank ballots on a pro-rata basis but to not count the missing ballots from Sainte Trinité School, Carrefour-Feuilles, Abricots and other places that had gone missing but recovered and clearly available to be ADDED into the overall tally of votes on Wed. Feb. 15, 2006?
Jacques Bernard, the Electoral Council’s director accused of stuffing ballots with blank votes, flees Haiti – Haiti Election Chief Flees Country
– FREE SO ANN!!!! FREE YVON NEPTUNE, FREE JACQUES MATHELIER, FREE HAITI’S CHILDREN, SUPPORT HAITIAN self-repect, self-defense and self-determination
– Pozisyon Prensip Sou Respe Vot 7 Fervriye 2006|Principled position on respect for the February 7th 2006 ballot. (Kreyol and English)
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