Haitian blogs

Protestation des chauffeurs de taxi-moto !

HaitiAnalysis -

Haïti Liberté

Plusieurs centaines de chauffeurs de taxi-moto ont manifesté dans les rues de la capitale le lundi 7 Aout 2017 pour dénoncer non seulement les magistrats des communes, mais également l’exploitation dont ils sont victimes de la part des dirigeants de l’Etat haïtien.

Les chauffeurs réagissent contre une note signée du Secrétaire d’état à la Sécurité Publique, stipulant que « Du 31 juillet au 8 Août tous les chauffeurs de taxis moto de la zone métropolitaine sont invités à retirer leurs casques et gilets de secours dans les différentes mairies de la capitale dans le cadre du processus d’identification lancé par les autorités du pays ».


Les chauffeurs accusent les magistrats, en leur demandant de mieux prendre soin de l’état de la ville jonchée de fatras, et de réclamer de la bourgeoisie import-export de s’acquitter de leurs taxes qui ne sont jamais payées.

Selon les exigences du gouvernement chaque chauffeur doit enregistrer sa moto à la mairie de sa commune et payer 1 750 gourdes. En retour il recevra un gilet et un casque. Pour récupérer ces équipements le chauffeur doit fournir les documents suivants : les papiers d’enregistrement de la moto, la carte d’assurance, les originaux des papiers de la moto, permis de conduire du chauffeur, pièce d’identification du propriétaire de la moto et 2 photos d’identité.

Il est indiqué, poursuit cette note, qu’après la date du 8 Août, tous les chauffeurs de motos retrouvés sans casques et gilets subiront les sanctions prévues par la loi.
Il est certain que cette section du transport public en commun mérite qu’elle soit organisée et structurée pour éviter les dérapages et la surcharge comme on peut le constater dans toutes les villes du pays.

Cependant, dans leur revendication, les chauffeurs ne pouvaient être plus clairs pour indiquer que « tout moto est toujours accompagné d’un casque. Si quelqu’un n’a pas son casque, c’est à lui qu’on devrait s’adresser afin qu’il s’en procure un. » Selon les chauffeurs, l’État haïtien ne se soucie nullement d’eux si ce n’est que d’utiliser des moyens pour leur soutirer beaucoup d’argent légalement, soit par l’augmentation du prix des plaques d’immatriculation et maintenant les invitant à payer une quelconque 1750 gourdes pour l’octroi d’un casque et d’un gilet. « Où nous allons trouver ces 1750 gourdes ; quand nous avons des responsabilités en tant que pères de famille et qui pis est nous sommes à quelques jours de la réouverture des classes »



Il est certain que cette section du transport public en commun mérite qu’elle soit organisée et structurée pour éviter les dérapages et la surcharge comme on peut le constater dans toutes les villes du pays. Sans aucun doute l’État haïtien n’a jamais pris des mesures sérieuses pour éviter des accidents et des pertes en vie humaines. C’est un choix particulier puisqu’il n’a aucun souci d’apporter certaine amélioration aux conditions de la vie des masses populaires.

Cependant, pour maquiller leurs pressions sur les chauffeurs de moto, la Police nationale d’Haïti de concert avec les municipalités et la Plateforme des Associations des Taxi-motos haïtiens (PLAMOTAH), travaillent à la régularisation des motocyclettes. Selon le coordonnateur des Directions départementales de la PNH, Carl Henry Boucher, à partir du 8 août prochain, les propriétaires des motocyclettes seront enregistrés sur une base de données spéciale aux fins d’identifier les véhicules.

Ce n’est pas uniquement des chauffeurs que l’État veut soutirer de l’argent, il y a aussi ces pauvres marchands et marchandes qui sont en train de subir des exactions malhonnêtes de la part des agents de taxe des mairies agissant dans les marchés à l’instar d’un Tibobo, l’un des tontons macoutes de Duvalier.Il est indiqué qu’après la date du 8 Août, tous les chauffeurs de motos retrouvés sans casques et gilets subiront les sanctions prévues par la loi.

C’est dans ce contexte que les chauffeurs accusent particulièrement les magistrats, en leur demandant de mieux prendre soin de l’état de la ville jonchée de fatras, et de réclamer de la bourgeoisie import-export et tant d’autres cadres du pays de s’acquitter de leurs taxes qui ne sont jamais payées. Comme nous pouvons le constater, l’actuel Premier ministre le Dr.Jack Guy Lafontant lui-même ne paye pas le fisc, et il n’est pas le seul.

L’obligation de forcer les chauffeurs de motos-taxis à payer 1 750 gourdes est une mesure inouïe pour exploiter tous les secteurs des masses populaires. La lutte des ouvriers qui revendiquent les 800 gourdes et celle des chauffeurs de taxi-moto est la même. On leur impose un surplus de taxe juste pour plaire à la bourgeoisie patripoche, corrompue ayant à sa tête les Apaid, les Boulos et autres ; l’administration Moise/Lafontant vient de lui faire plaisir en ajustant le salaire de misère à 350 gourdes pour les ouvriers de la sous-traitance.

Nous nous solidarisons avec les travailleurs et les chauffeurs de taxi contre cette injustice programmée. Seule la mise en place d’un outil de combat des masses exploitées contre les laquais locaux au service du capitalisme international peut nous affranchir de ce banditisme d’Etat.

Canadian military to construct refugee camp as hundreds of Haitians flee US

HaitiAnalysis -

By: World Socialist Website
Canada’s armed forces announced Wednesday that soldiers are constructing a camp near the Canada-US border in Saint-Bernard-de-Lacolle, Quebec to house asylum seekers.Tents to house up to 500 people are being erected in Saint-Bernard-de-Lacolle, close to a border crossing where up to 300 refugee claimants—most of them Haitians—are arriving daily. Although the majority of troops engaged in putting up the shelters will return to their barracks afterward, a CBC report has suggested that an unknown number will remain on-site to help with security.The influx has been triggered by US President Donald Trump’s vicious clampdown on immigrants. In May, he vowed not to renew beyond January 2018 the Temporary Protection Status (TPS) accorded to Haitians following the devastating 2010 earthquake.
Despite the desperate plight faced by the approximately 60,000 Haitians staying in the US on TPS, including the imminent threat of being rounded up in Trump’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement raids and unceremoniously deported to conditions of poverty and misery in Haiti, Canada’s government has responded with callous indifference. Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen blandly declared August 4, “We discourage people from conducting irregular crossings of our borders. It’s not safe, it’s not something that we want people to do. We want people to claim asylum in the first country that they’re in, which in this case is the US.”Prime Minister Justin Trudeau struck a similar tone, stating that the refugees should apply for asylum in the proper way and that Canada has to defend the “integrity” of its immigration system.Such statements are deeply cynical. The hundreds of Haitians and other refugees crossing the border daily are being forced to cross “irregularly” because the Trudeau government continues to enforce the Canada-US Safe Third Country agreement, according to which refugees who make an asylum application at a regular border crossing are automatically turned back to the United States. They can only make a claim in Canada if they cross the land border independently, often at considerable risk. The refusal to abandon the agreement is bound up with the Trudeau government’s determination to deepen Ottawa’s strategic partnership with the Trump administration on the basis of stepped up military collaboration and enhanced North American economic protectionism, via a “modernized” North America Free Trade Agreement.For Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard, the main concern is getting the asylum applications processed as fast as possible so as to limit the provincial government’s financial liability. “We give them social assistance, help to find housing. We give them healthcare, even education for the children,” he complained. “All that is expensive, and we don’t want the delay to be unduly prolonged. We’re talking about many millions of dollars.”The right-wing Coalition Avenir Québec (CAQ—Coalition for Quebec’s Future), meanwhile, is agitating for the refugee claimants to be summarily expelled. “The Liberals,” said CAQ leader François Legault, “are sending a very bad signal to illegal migrants by opening arms to them, as if Quebec can welcome all the misery of the world.”Although Canada’s government was made aware in briefings as early as March of a potential influx of refugees, it has failed to provide adequate resources, forcing many of those crossing the border having to wait days in makeshift, ramshackle facilities to be processed.Evidence suggests that the Trudeau Liberal government is already moving towards reaching some kind of an agreement with Haiti’s right-wing government to deport the asylum seekers after their applications have been summarily rejected. Two Haitian government ministers visited Montreal Wednesday and met with the city’s mayor, Denis Coderre.A former federal Liberal Immigration minister, Coderre played a major role in the negotiations that led to the reactionary Safe Third Country agreement. Moreover, as Canada’s Representative to La Francophonie and “special adviser” to Prime Minster Paul Martin on Haiti in 2003-4, Coderre played a major role in fronting and organizing Canada’s participation in the US-led 2004 “regime-change” invasion and occupation of Haiti.Jean Sebastien Boudreault, head of the Quebec Association of Immigration Lawyers, warned against the Haitian ministers having any contact with the asylum seekers. “We need to make sure, first and foremost, that we are protecting the people we are supposed to be protecting,” he told CBC, “which are the people who are seeking a refugee status.”In contrast to the indifference and outright hostility from the authorities, the Haitian refugees have been met with an overwhelmingly positive welcome by residents of Montreal. On Sunday, hundreds of people gathered at the Olympic Stadium, where many of the refugees are being housed, to welcome the new arrivals, carrying signs that read “Refugees welcome” and “Haitians welcome.”Many of the Haitians now fleeing Trump’s reactionary anti-immigrant policies were forced out of the impoverished Caribbean nation following the 2010 earthquake, which killed over 200,000 people and displaced half a million more. But Haiti’s endemic poverty and related social problems go back much further than that and are bound up with the ruthless exploitation of the country by American and Canadian imperialism.American Marines first occupied Haiti in 1915, remaining for 20 years and leaving behind a trained Haitian army that for decades formed the backbone of pro-US dictatorial regimes.In 2004, 500 Canadian troops intervened alongside US military forces to oust the elected president, Jean-Bertrand Aristide, working in tandem with a bloody uprising based on elements drawn from the disbanded Haitian army and death squads active under the Duvalier military dictatorship and successor military regimes.Canada’s determination to support the coup was bound up with its imperialist interests in the Caribbean, which has long been a major destination of Canadian foreign investment. Canada’s major banks have been active in the region since the early 20th century.Following the 2010 earthquake, Canada deployed 2,000 troops and two battleships to the impoverished country in what was one of the largest overseas deployments by the Canadian Armed Forces since World War II. The Conservative government of Stephen Harper ensured that Canada obtained a leading role in the so-called rebuilding of Haiti, which amounted to developing plans to establish the country as a cheap-labour haven and a source of super-profits for big business.The lack of concern within Canadian ruling circles for the fate of ordinary Haitians is further illustrated by the callous treatment of Haitians who found refuge in Canada following the 2010 earthquake. Little more than four years after the disaster and under conditions where the country remains an effective ruin, Ottawa canceled its own temporary residency program, forcing Haitians to leave “voluntarily” or be expelled.The Trudeau government’s treatment of those fleeing the Trump administration’s anti-immigrant witch hunt underscores the bogus character of its much-publicized “refugee-friendly” stance. In 2015, shortly after coming to power, Trudeau made a great show of welcoming the first group of Syrian refugees flown into Canada as part of a resettlement program. In reality, Canada was extremely restrictive in the number of Syrians it accepted as refugees, allowing just 40,000 to enter the country. Many were only allowed in thanks to private sponsorships by churches, mosques and community groups.Conditions for refugees in Canada are abysmal. Many are forced to rely on food banks and other charities to make ends meet. In addition, successive Canadian governments, including the Trudeau Liberals, have illegally locked up immigrants and refugees indefinitely if they are deemed to be a flight risk, a danger to the public, or if their identities cannot be confirmed. Reports have denounced the practice, which has led to children being confined to conditions comparable to medium-security prisons. (See: Report documents Canadian government’s abuse of immigrant and refugee children)Trudeau has used his pose as a pro-refugee leader concerned about “humanitarian” problems as political cover for vastly expanding Canada’s military deployments around the world, from the sending of additional Special Forces to the Mideast war in Iraq, to leading one of NATO’s battalions on Russia’s borders in Eastern Europe, and bolstering Canada’s naval presence in the Asia-Pacific to help the US threaten China. In June, the Liberals unveiled a 70 percent hike in military spending and declared that “hard power,” i.e. war, must be a central part of Canada’s foreign policy.

Newsletter from UNIFA, the University of the Aristide Foundation

HaitiAnalysis -

UNIFA (University of the Aristide Foundation) needs your help to complete construction of its Diagnostic & Primary Care Center.  Please DONATE today!As the 2016-17 academic year draws to a close, here is an update of another year of challenges and progress achieved through the hard work of our professors, students, support staff, academic leadership, Board of Administration and you, Friends of UNIFA.  

See here for a full update on UniFA.

Going Home

Livesay Haiti -

*Written by Tara Livesay, CPM, Heartline Maternity Center Director One of the most beautiful moments in the process of getting to know these strong ladies is the joy of being allowed an opportunity to take them home. It is my favorite assignment.After spending months getting to know the women at the Maternity Center, it is a blessing to enter into their space and sit with them in their homes.  Sometimes we are rushed and we simply say a quick prayer and get back on the road. Other times we sit for a long while and get to meet the whole family.   When we take the new momma home, we have overcome the inherent risk of pregnancy in Haiti, the large risks of giving birth, and we are past the initial days of learning breastfeeding. It is a joyous occasion, one worth celebration.It used to be intimidating to me to wind deep into neighborhoods uncertain if I’d ever find my way out.  I remember averting the job of discharging and transporting in the beginning, leaving it to others whenever possible. Avoiding visiting their homes saved my heart from pain, their suffering and living situations are difficult to see. Truth be told, it’s much easier not to see it up close. Something changed once I recognized that sorrow and joy and pain and triumph all constantly dance together. They are a paradox far too intertwined to experience one without the other.  While it might bring a measure of heaviness, I now know what an honor it is to be on their turf, to see and experience life sitting in their chairs, in their homes.It can be culturally and socially awkward, but as we sit there all fidgety and unsure and we are willing to be a bit uncomfortable together and allow that awkwardness, it almost always builds relationship and trust.I won’t ever fully comprehend the lives of these precious families – but they allow me to peek in, they allow me to see the paradox dancing, and that in and of itself is a gift.Part of what we hope to do during our time with the women that pass through the Heartline Maternity Center programs is to offer them an unusual comfort and kindness. Bringing them home, instead of having them take crowded public transportation is one way we can love and comfort them.The word comfort is from two Latin words that mean “with” and “strong.”  God is with these women and He makes them strong.  He is with us and He makes us strong.
Amy Carmichael said, “Comfort is not a soft, weakening commiseration; it is true, strengthening love.”  I hope that sort of comfort is what Haitian women are experiencing as they are brought home after giving birth.
Thank you for reaching out with love to comfort and strengthen families in Haiti. We are forever grateful for your support and partnership.TaraTo learn more or consider a donation: http://heartlineministries.org

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