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Leslie Manigat, former president of Haiti and founder of Rassemblement des démocrates nationaux progressistes

Michael Deibert's Haiti Blog - Jun. 28, 2014 - 7:58 am
Haïti-Politique : Leslie Manigat est mort 

vendredi 27 juin 2014

(Read the original article here

Le Rassemblement des démocrates nationaux progressistes (Rdnp) rendra publique, bientôt, une note annonçant la date des funérailles du professeur Leslie Manigat, selon un militant (depuis 1987) de ce parti politique joint par AlterPresse.

P-au-P, 27 juin 2014 [AlterPresse] --- L’ancien président (7 février 1988 - 20 juin 1988), issu d’élections controversées du 17 janvier 1988 - après l’avortement sanglant du scrutin du 29 novembre 1987 -, Leslie François Saint-Roc Manigat, s’est éteint à l’aube de ce vendredi 27 juin 2014, après avoir fait face à la maladie pendant de longues années, apprend l’agence d’information en ligne AlterPresse.

Né le 16 août 1930 à Port-au-Prince, Leslie Manigat est mort à l’âge de 83 ans et 10 mois. Il a été le fils de François Saint-Surin Manigat et de Haydée Augustin, tous deux enseignants.
Il est de la lignée du feu général Saint-Surin François Manigat, un homme politique qui a occupé d’importantes fonctions sous le gouvernement de Lysius François Salomon, qui fut ministre de l’Intérieur, délégué de la nouvelle Banque nationale d’Haïti et ministre de l’Instruction publique.

De nombreuses personnalités saluent le départ du professeur Manigat pour l’au-delà

Surpris, le président du sénat, Dieusseul Simon Desras, salue le départ de cet illustre personnage.
Il profite de l’occasion pour présenter ses sympathies à la famille, aux amis et à l’intelligentsia haïtienne.

Des planifications sont en cours pour rendre publique une position officielle, en ce qui concerne les activités qui seront organisées pour saluer le départ de l’éminent professeur Leslie Francois Saint-Roc Manigat, a-t-il souligné.

« Le professeur Leslie Manigat était malade, il n’était plus dans l’activité politique. C’est avec cette surprise que la classe politique s’est réveillée ce matin », indique l’ingénieur-agronome Jean André Victor, coordonnateur du Mouvement patriotique de l’opposition démocratique (Mopod), surpris par la nouvelle de la mort de Manigat.

Le vice-recteur à la recherche de l’Université d’Etat d’Haïti (Ueh), Fritz Deshommes salue « la longueur de l’œuvre de Leslie Manigat ».

« C’est vraiment une grande perte pour le pays, pour les intellectuels du pays, pour les réflexions politiques au sein du pays. C’est l’un des plus grands historiens que le pays a jamais produits », réagit Deshommes.

« A travers l’Université d’Etat d’Haïti, nous avons toujours le regret que le professeur Leslie Manigat - qui a été le fondateur de l’une des institutions de l’Etat, l’Institut national d’administration, de gestion et des hautes études internationales (Inaghei) - n’a pas été professeur en Haïti, de manière permanente, après son retour d’exil. Mais, il ne faut pas oublier qu’il a formé, avant son exil, beaucoup de grands Haïtiens, lorsqu’il a été professeur à l’école normale supérieure », renchérit le vice-recteur à la recherche à l’Ueh.

En 2010, lors d’un colloque sur la refondation d’Haïti, après le tremblement de terre du 12 janvier 2010, le professeur Leslie Manigat a été le conférencier principal, offrant une conférence magistrale pour montrer l’apport des intellectuels depuis la fondation de la nation haïtienne, pour faire avancer la réflexion comme peuple, comme pays, comme nation, se souvient également le professeur Deshommes.

« La perte de quelqu’un, de l’envergure de Leslie Manigat, c’est une perte sur laquelle tout le monde devrait réfléchir. Il y a des hommes, de très grande valeur à l’intérieur du pays, qui nous appellent à produire beaucoup plus, pour que nous nous élevions en tant que peuple, pour que ce pays cesse d’emprunter la voie qu’il occupe aujourd’hui, parce que le professeur Manigat vivait très mal la présence de la Mission des Nations Unies pour la stabilisation d’Haïti (Minustah) », insiste le vice-recteur Fritz Deshommes.

Bref survol du parcours intellectuel de Leslie Manigat

Il a fait ses études classiques à l’Institution Saint-Louis de Gonzague (Islg), dirigée par les Frères de l’instruction chrétienne (Fic), puis des études supérieures à Paris, où il a obtenu un doctorat en Philosophie.

En Haïti, il a mené une double et importante carrière administrative et universitaire.

Exilé en 1963 en France, aux Etats-Unis d’Amérique et au Venezuela sous la dictature de François Duvalier (22 septembre 1957 - 21 avril 1971), il a été maître de conférences à l’Université Paris VIII (Vincennes) et maître de recherches associé au Centre d’études des relations internationales.
En 1970, il a épousé à Paris, en secondes noces, Myrlande Hyppolite - constitutionnaliste, ancienne étudiante de l’Ecole normale supérieure (Ens) et docteure en sciences politiques - qui sera la première femme à faire partie du Sénat de la république (en 1988).

Leslie Manigat a été le fondateur et premier directeur, en 1958, de l’Ecole des hautes études internationales de l’Université d’Etat d’Haïti (Ueh), devenue plus tard Inaghei.

En 1971, il est professeur à l’Université Paris VIII (Vincennes), à Paris I (Panthéon-Sorbonne) en 1988 et à l’Institut des Hautes études internationales de Genève en Suisse, la même année.
Il fut ensuite appelé à enseigner dans plusieurs autres universités, dont la Johns Hopkins University à Baltimore, aux États-Unis d’Amérique, l’Institut d’Études Politiques à Paris, le West Indies Universities à Trinidad, Yale University (pour une brève période) et à l’Université de Caracas au Venezuela (aujourd’hui Universidad Central de Venezuela).

Carrière politique de Leslie Manigat

La carrière politique de Leslie Manigat a démarré au cours des années 1950.

Il a d’abord monnayé ses services au ministère des Affaires étrangères. En 1957, partageant l’idéologie de François Duvalier, il a appuyé sa candidature. Une relation, qui ne tardera pas à tourner au vinaigre, au point qu’il sera l’objet de persécutions politiques.

Sous le régime de François Duvalier, il a été emprisonné deux mois, en 1963, avant de s’exiler en France, aux États-Unis d’Amérique et au Venezuela.

Aussitôt relâché, il gagne l’exil et s’établit aux États-Unis d’Amérique, en France et au Venezuela.

C’est durant ces années d’exil qu’il a l’opportunité de fonder, en 1979, le Rassemblement des démocrates nationaux progressistes (Rdnp), parti politique qui critiquait ouvertement le régime en place et qu’il allait diriger pendant 25 ans.

A la chute de Jean-Claude Duvalier, le 7 février 1986, il rentre au pays et se porte candidat à la présidence à la présidentielle avortée du 29 novembre 1987, sous la bannière de son parti.

Au scrutin du 17 janvier 1988, boycotté par les principaux partis politiques [1], à la suite du massacre électoral du 29 novembre 1987, Leslie François Manigat devient président, issu d’un scrutin controversé.

Du 7 février au 19 juin 1988, il dirige Haïti avant d’être renversé par le lieutenant-général Henry Namphy.

A la présidentielle du 16 décembre 1990, le conseil électoral provisoire de l’époque rejette la candidature de Leslie Manigat sur la base qu’il a été président en 1988.

En février 2006, après son échec à la présidentielle, gagnée dans des conditions particulières par son rival René Garcia Préval, Leslie Manigat se retire de la politique active et cède le leadership du Rdnp à sa femme Myrlande Hyppolite.

Entre-temps, sous l’administration du président Boniface Alexandre et du premier ministre Gérard Latortue, il a présidé, d’août 2004 à janvier 2005, la commission de célébration du bicentenaire de l’Indépendance d’Haïti (proclamée le 1er janvier 1804). Claude Moïse, Georges Corvington, Fritz Daguillard, Michèle Duvivier Pierre-Louis, Suzy Castor, Victor Benoît, Michel Philippe-Lerebours et Michel Hector faisaient partie de cette commission, avec Leslie Manigat. [jep kft rc apr 27/06/2014 12:00]
[1] Après le massacre d’électrices et d’électeurs, le dimanche 29 novembre 1987, les principaux partis politiques étaient regroupés sous le nom de Comité d’entente démocratique (Ced), composé du Front national de concertation (Fnc) de Gérard Gourgue, du Mouvement pour l’instauration de la démocratie en Haïti (Midh), du Parti démocrate Chrétien haïtien (Pdch) du pasteur Sylvio Claude et du Parti agricole industriel national (Pain) de Louis Déjoie II
Categories: Haitian blogs

a life of deprivation? who is to say?

Livesay Haiti - Jun. 27, 2014 - 6:22 pm
I walked upstairs yesterday and Lydia said, "Ma - I gotta show you something. Like.Right.Now."  The tone of her voice left no room for stalling or delay.

I followed her down the steps.  She picked up a half sheet of paper and read it to me.

"Mom - it says this - A party for Callie on June 30th. It says we can come at noon and it says bring a swimsuit."

I said, "Oh fun, that's great."

Lydia said, "So we can go? I can bring a suit?"

"Yes, you can go, yes a suit."

Lydia said, "Well I need to write on here- YES, then!"

She ran to find a crayon and wrote yes three times on the invitation and set it on my desk. I don't know how that piece of paper is getting back to the family that invited them, but she seems to trust it will.

At dinnertime she said, "So is it June 30th yet?  WHEN is June 30th? How many days do I have to wait for June 30th?"

She mentioned the party and the paper about the party thirteen more times before she fell asleep.


~          ~            ~


Most of the funny things that our kids don't know, we don't immediately realize. It is a weird thing about living here in this different normal.  Lydia has never been handed an invitation to a birthday party.  She is 6 years old and has certainly been to birthday parties, but a written invitation was a new thing for her. It pretty much made her life yesterday. She didn't know the paper was called an invitation, but she took the information very seriously when she read it to me.

When I was last in the U.S. Paige informed me that we have failed at making her and her siblings capable of buying things alone.  "Mom, Hope is afraid to go order a french-fry at a counter by herself." I figured Paige was just exaggerating to make me feel like dump, the way moms and daughters do that ridiculous thing they do sometimes. I blew it off.

Later that week I saw for myself that Hope is not accustomed to going to ask questions or order things on her own. When I asked her to she hung back, afraid. In Haiti Troy does all the shopping.  The kids and I rarely enter marketplaces here.  We don't have to be assertive because he is assertive for us. It is for sure an epic failure, one we still have time to fix, I hope. Our kids should probably reach 18 with an ability to order food or buy something at a store.

I can easily see the failures and mistakes - the things they miss out on - but allow me for a brief moment to also recognize the unique and cool things that happen BECAUSE they live here.  First of all, they love their teacher(s) so much - like, these are people that will likely sit at their wedding(s) one day.  We are crazy blessed by Jimmy and Becky Burton teaching our kids. We are excited that they will be back for a fourth year this fall.

The week in photo review ...


One day this week the kids were allowed to don little bee-keeping suits (ignore the bare feet). 

They got to get up close to the hives and taste honey straight from the honeycomb.

Lydia said, "That honey was soooooo good. Now I think that bees are awesome instead of horrible."

I asked Noah to give me a synopsis of what he learned. Without exaggeration he talked for 45 minutes straight - barely stopping to breathe. I so wished the expert was here to know how much of Noah's information is accurate. He seems to have recalled everything he was taught. The most interesting thing Noah said, "Mom, get this, bees have photographic memories - they memorize your face and can remember it later if you return without the mask they will sting you later."

(Joseph Bataille is a friend and beekeeper - some of his bees live on Heartline's property right behind the kids' school building. He bought little beekeeper suits a while back and he graciously taught the kids about his work on Wednesday.)





A veterinarian named Kelly Crowdis came to talk to the kids this week, as did her friend Rhoda, an agronomist. Noah said, "One taught us a lot about plants and then for like 40 minutes we were asking questions about the food chain. We learned words like Oviparous and Viviparous. We were asking a lot of questions and especially Isaac did, then we learned about goats and that they have four stomachs and if you put a stethoscope on the goat you can hear some cool sounds of the liquid moving around their stomachs and their heartbeats are way faster than humans."

Then he said, "Ms. Kelly was asked by Isaac if she ever worked with Crocodiles and I was like, Isaac, don't ask that (rolls his eyes) and then of course Ms. Kelly said, no she hasn't but she has worked with snakes. She told us about helping a snake in a mouse trap."

Phoebe said, "I liked the listening to the goat heartbeat. I listened to Cookie's heartbeats."
(Lydia says the goats are named - Brownie, Cookie, and Pie. This is evidence of her true commitment to an unrelenting sugar obsession. Isaac disputes this claim and says the goats are named Groveretta, Pizza, and Percy.)




A visit to the Maternity Center when newborns are around is one of Lydia's favorite things. All the kids stop by on occasion, but Lydia really loves it. She stopped in to behold the miraculous little Sophonie today.


So they don't know U.S. currency and they cannot confidently order from a fast-food menu or easily go visit a park or playground.  

I still say, this. is. living.


Categories: Haitian blogs

a gift for guerda

Livesay Haiti - Jun. 26, 2014 - 4:24 pm


Storytelling when it is your own story, totally doable.   Storytelling when the story is not yours, but that of a beloved friend, well ... less than totally doable.  
I don't want to over or under tell it.

My sister has let me write about her.  My daughters have allowed me to write about them.  I have not asked Guerda if I can write about her.  My guess is she would smile and give me the "wi wi" routine. (That is "yes", not urine.)

Guerda has longed for a child for many years.  Many.  If I told you how many I would only be telling you one of a few versions of history that have been recorded.  

Guerda is what we lovingly refer to as a "poor historian".   

Surviving the month, the year, the next day ... That is what she and her loved ones focus their energy on. No, I am not suggesting she stands at death's door all the live long day. I am suggesting that life is very challenging and Guerda needs to think about how to make money and to afford shelter and how to get food to eat, hopefully on a daily basis. Keeping track of her long medical and pregnancy history was not first on her agenda or her mind.

Suffice it to say, Guerda has lost many babies. We think seven, but we have also counted eight and nine at different tellings of the stories. We know once it was stillborn twins. We know many pregnancies made it well into the second trimester. It matters we get it right because every life matters.  It sorta doesn't matter because we know enough to know it is very grave and difficult and incredibly sad.



Guerda delivered one of her still-born babies with Heartline midwives (Beth M and Jonna) attending to her in the month of June, the year of the earthquake. Dr. Sizemore of TN helped via phone and internet. That was when we first became intimately involved in her complicated history.  

Not so long after that Guerda began working at Heartline and worked with Andrema (some know Andrema as Cherline) at the Maternity Center doing housekeeping and laundry and sometimes working with the cooks. In early 2013 she had an first trimester miscarriage.

When Guerda told us she thought she was pregnant in December of last year, honestly, we all sort of groaned nervously.  We entered into this pregnancy thinking, "Oh boy, this could end in another heart-break."  Guerda seemed hopeful and we of course couldn't blame her, eventually we all switched gears - and arrived at hopeful and tried not to think about the difficult possibility of another loss.

Early in the pregnancy a midwife/NP from Omaha, NE named Martha came and visited like she sometimes does.  She is hilarious. I love her because she swears. Other people love her because she is blunt and direct and uber smart.   All that to say, we love her. She looked at Guerda's history and gave her educated guess about why Guerda had lost so many babies. After that another visiting midwife from Kansas did tons of research on Martha's (correct) guess and then a midwife in Texas donated the expensive daily injections that Guerda needed. Then as the pregnancy went on and things got more and more complicated the team in Haiti worked with Dr. Jen in Minnesota and we put Guerda on bed rest and gave the baby a little lung boost with steroids and kept asking all of you to pray.  (Side note: One of the posts we shared about Guerda on FaceBook was shared 25 times and seen by 7,500 people.For our little ministry, that was big! If even half of those that saw it prayed; WOW.)

At the 33 week and 5 day mark, Guerda was transferred to PIH Hospital to prepare for a C-section. They did the C-section last Friday morning.

The little miracle babe never needed oxygen, she was born 4 pounds and 2 ounces.  Her Momma could not be shining any brighter right now.  They are back at Heartline and resting and bonding in the postpartum area.  We expect them to stay for several weeks while baby Sophonie puts on some weight and Guerda has her blood pressure monitored closely.

At times we find that we can get buried in the sad situations and challenges of Haiti.  Today we celebrate something beautiful. We always, always want to thank God and those of you that carry this little Maternity Center in your prayers when we see His goodness and provision.

Please join us in welcoming Sophonie Estives to the world!
Congratulations to Guerda and Wilton!!!


Post Script -
I asked Guerda today before I hit publish.  She said, "Share the miracle on the internet".

When and if there is more news to share about this beautiful family, we will!

with nurses, Wini and Nirva
with midwife, Beth M.
with midwife, Beth J.
Via Beth McHoul - "I woke up feeling so amazed at the goodness of God. Seeing Guerda holding her sweet baby after so many heart wrenching losses is like a dream. Her mothering skills are just perfect and baby knows just what to do. Guerda is a local celebrity with people popping in to visit her. People know a miracle when they see one. Thank you Guerda for holding on and believing what God could do. In this land of so many crushing set backs and disappointments this victory, this baby, this miracle tells us to keep on keeping on!"
Categories: Haitian blogs

can we unravel the will of God? a dumbed down guess

Livesay Haiti - Jun. 25, 2014 - 12:02 pm

Theologians say stuff and think stuff that I am incapable of conceiving. I am glad they have one another to debate and I see that good can come from healthy discourse, even if and when I don't flippin get what they mean a good portion of the time. I tend to like a dumbed down explanation. 

A bunch of us less theological types wonder at times how we can possibly know how, where, when or whom to "serve" - Or - how to "be in God's will".

We lament and groan about "wanting to use our gifts - I mean REALLY USE THEMMMMM".

It is not uncommon to hear friends bemoan how difficult it is to know "where God wants them" or "what He wants them to do".  They are just waiting for the top secret intel to arrive.  When it does, off they will go to their incredibly detailed and well planned out God thing.

I am included in some and eavesdrop on others of these discussions and find that people seem to think they are going to get super explicit instructions from God about His will for them. There is a lot of time spent waiting for that clear direction to come. We pray, "Show us your will" and then we wait for the show part. The vernacular can cause me to squirm a little bit. I don't know for sure for sure what "God's will" is for me, let alone these friends that so desperately await the big reveal in their own lives. 

    ~           ~            ~

Then the letter comes ...


Dear _____, child of Me, the Most High,

Go to _______ and do exactly ____and ___ and ___. Go on the ___ of next month and leave home at exactly_____O'clock.  Eat ____, pack _____, sell ____ and ____ and ____ before you go.  Oh, have $____ in reserve in a bank account for the huge unknowable emergencies that are sure to come.
Love and Direction,
God



No. Not really.  God hates writing letters.

Because God won't write a letter like that, we search the Bible, wring our hands,  and visit the local Christian book-seller to see what the famous people say we should do. Depending on the time, the books will give different instructions. Some years you have to "Embark on a journey of discovery" as you enjoy 40 days of purpose before you answer life's most fundamental question, "What on earth am I here for?". Other years you must kiss your family goodbye and be "Radical". Then, there are years you just have to "Live your best life now".  It gets pretty confusing to say the least.

Here is the thing.  I don't really like the Bible.  It frustrates me.  It contradicts itself and it doesn't make sense to me a lot of the time.  Those books? They also frustrate me. Being radical and living with purpose is so much pressure. That all feels driven by people pleasing to me. Purpose according to whom? All the journeys of discovery I have ever embarked upon seem to end early, and certainly long before the discovery.

Even with all my hangups and Biblical confusion, I like what Jesus said a lot and what He did while he was here makes more sense to me.  Jesus said, "love one another".  Maybe for the sake of technicality and to avoid compulsive correctors that roam the Internets looking to shame and correct and hate on the bloggers, I need to say, Love God. Love others. (Matthew 22:36-39) But for sure, love. 

    ~            ~            ~

When I read and try to figure out anything about God's will, I get diarrhea. It can get super awkward. So much of it feels far too abstract and unreachable. And there I am, running to the dang toilet again. But(t) - when I read this, I felt like I was reading something pretty true - 

"Jesus sets the boundaries of God's will. If it doesn't look like Christ, then it's outside the will of God. Jesus IS the will of God for us.”  ― David D. Flowers
Okay.  Jesus. Let us think about that. 

So wait?  I just love you. And then I just love family, friends, neighbor and others that come into my life and cross my path?  That is the whole thing? I just do that, where I am?

Love one another (the way Jesus did it) sounds too easy or simple or something.  Perhaps we all want it to be more glamorous, more difficult. We are waiting for something that sounds fancier, tangible, and more prestigious ... Something we can put on a business card or a Twitter profile or something.

Global Guru of God's Will Capacity Building
Chief Fixer of All the Sinning Losers in the Greater Metropolis
Development Director of the Universe
Founding Father of Important Things God thinks are Worthy Endeavors

(all currently available)

I don't know. Maybe we all make this much more complicated than was ever intended. 

The big thing we are waiting for clear direction on, simply "love one another" with your own special unique gifting and style (which you posses at all times). Wherever. All over. Like right where you are standing.  Like now. 

Perhaps that is it.  
Like, really, just that. God's will. In a nutshell. 
"See Jesus" stamped over all the will of God questions.

The end, no further instructions. 





Tara Livesay
attempting to love others where I am now
sometimes sucking at it, other times not as much
Categories: Haitian blogs

Philippe Markington, key witness in April 2000 murder of Radio Haiti's Jean Dominique and Jean Claude Louissaint, extradited to Haiti from Argentina

Michael Deibert's Haiti Blog - Jun. 23, 2014 - 10:52 am
Extradition par l’Argentine d’un témoin-clé dans l’affaire Jean Dominique / Jean CLaude Louissaint 

(Read the original article here)

Philippe Markenton est désormais aux ordres de la justice haitienne Publié le samedi 21 juin 2014 Le nommé Philippe Markenton dont le nom a été maintes fois cité dans le dossier Jean Dominique/ Jean Claude Louissaint, a été rapatrié samedi après-midi d’Argentine où il s’était réfugié depuis plusieurs années, à bord d’un vol de la ligne aérienne panaméenne Copa.  

Des membres de la Direction centrale de police judiciaire (DCPJ) avaient été dépêchés en Argentine pour escorter Markenton de Buenos Aires à Port-au-Prince où il est désormais à la disposition de la justice.  

Markenton faisait l’objet d’un mandat international et, de ce fait, était activement recherché par Interpol, aprrend-on de sources judiciaires. Les recherches allaient s’intensifier après le rapport à la Cour d’Appel de Port-au-Prince du juge instructeur Ivickel Dabrézil sur l’état d’avancement du dossier et les inculpations éventuelles, dont celles de proches de l’ancien président Jean-Bertrand Aristide. Ce dernier est lui-même implicitement visé dans le rapport qui fait référence au témoignage de son ancien chef de sécurité, Oriel Jean, selon qui il aurait instruit la sénatrice Mirlande Libérus de régler son compte à Jean Dominique. Les avocats de Mme Libérus ont interjeté appel contre le rapport.  

Les premières instructions du dossier de l’assassinat de Jean Dominique et de Jean Claude Louissaint le 3 avril 2000 à Radio Haiti, avaient mis en cause Philippe Markenton pour l’ensemble des informations qu’il disposait sur le double meurtre, ce qui avait laissé croire qu’il ne pouvait en être tout à fait étranger. La police judiciaire aurait à l’époque manifesté un certain intérêt pour lui à l’instigation d’une ambassade étrangère qui l’utilisait comme informateur et à qui il aurait fourni un luxe de détails sur le double assassinat.  

De nombreux autres présumés témoins de l’assassinat de Jean Dominique ont mystérieusement disparu ou ont trouvé la mor
Categories: Haitian blogs

U.N. Chief Served Papers in Suit by Haitian Victims, Lawyers Say

New York Times on Haiti - Jun. 21, 2014 - 12:00 am
Secretary General Ban Ki-moon’s spokesman denied that the official had been served.
Categories: Haitian blogs

Presidents Martelly and Clinton to Be Honored and Protested in NYC

HaitiAnalysis - Jun. 20, 2014 - 7:01 pm

by Kim Ives (Haiti Liberte)On Jun. 19, model Petra Nemacova’s Happy Hearts Fund will honor Haitian President Michel Martelly and former U.S. President Bill Clinton at a star-studded fundraiserat a Cipriani chain restaurant on 42nd Street in Manhattan.            But Haitian community groups and their supporters in New York are planning to demonstrate outside the event to call attention to Mr. Martelly’s corruption and repression, and Mr. Clinton’s responsibility for the largely bungled international relief effort which he headed after Haiti’s Jan. 12, 2010 earthquake.            The Happy Hearts Fund, which was created 10 years ago by Ms. Nemacova after she survived the Indian Ocean tsunami, will give Martelly a “Leadership in Education Award” for “his transformational leadership after the devastating earthquake and commitment to uplifting the country’s future through education,” the HHR explains on its website.
            Mr. Clinton will receive a “Lifetime Achievement Award” for “his leadership and life-saving work ensuring that children and communities are not forgotten after disasters strike.”            Ms. Nemacova is the girlfriend of Martelly’s Prime Minister and longtime business partner Laurent Lamothe, who will also reportedly attend the event.            “Already this month, there have been two massive demonstrations in Port-au-Prince demanding that Martelly and Lamothe resign for looting state coffers and jailing critics,” said Ray Laforest of the International Support Haiti Network (ISHN), one of the groups sponsoring the protest outside Cipriani. “Teachers are striking and students are marching to denounce how the Martelly government is strangling education in Haiti. Now the clueless glitterati are going to toast him for supposedly promoting education. It’s an outrage and a disgrace.”            This is not the first time that Ms. Nemacova’s charity has been criticized. “After surviving the 2004 tsunami in Thailand by clinging to the top of a palm tree, the supermodel wanted to pay it forward by founding a charity to build schools in Latin America and Indonesia,” reported the New York Post on Nov. 9, 2008. “Instead, it seems an outrageous portion of the donations have gone for lavish parties at Cipriani. Bruce Willis, Uma Thurman and Eva Mendes have attended the black-tie affairs. According to the most recent tax filing, for 2006, the organization spent more than half of its funds on administration and fund raising, including its annual star-studded Heart of Gold ball, and gave nothing in aid. Glen Nordlinger, a director of Happy Hearts Fund, said the group raised $4.5 million in 2007 and spent $2.1 million on programs, including building schools... But even those figures raise red flags with charity watchdog groups, which use the almost universal standard that a well-run charity should spend 65 to 75 percent of its donations helping people.”            Mr. Clinton has been roundly criticized for his leadership as co-chairman of the Interim Haiti Recovery Commission (IHRC), which coordinated disbursement of billions of dollars contributed to Haiti after the earthquake.            “Four years after a magnitude 7.0 earthquake toppled the capital city of Port-au-Prince and heavily damaged other parts of the country, hundreds of millions of dollars from the State Department's U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), allocated to the IHRC, are gone,” wrote Mary O’Grady in a May 18 column in the Wall Street Journal. “Hundreds of millions more to the IHRC from international donors have also been spent. Left behind is a mishmash of low quality, poorly thought-out development experiments and half-finished projects.”            As a result, “Haitians are angry, frustrated and increasingly suspicious of the motives of the IHRC and of its top official, Mr. Clinton. Americans might feel the same way if they knew more about this colossal failure. One former Haitian official puts it this way: ‘I really cannot understand how you could raise so much money, put a former U.S. president in charge, and get this outcome.’”            Four years after the quake, “more than 170,000 people are estimated to still be living in more than 300 displacement camps, in the majority of cases in appalling conditions with no access to essential basic services such as clean water, toilets and waste disposal,” wrote Amnesty International in a Jan. 9, 2014 statement.            Demonstrators will gather on Thursday at 5 p.m. in front of Cipriani, which is at 110 East 42nd Street in Manhattan, between Lexington and Park Avenues.            Also being honored at the event are United Airlines CEO Jeff Smisek and philanthropist John Caudwell.
            “Under Martelly, demonstrations in Haiti are almost always broken up with the police firing teargas into the crowd and beating people,” said Henriot Dorcent, a leader of the Dessalines Coordination (KOD), a new Haitian party which is also supporting the demonstration outside Cipriani. “Martelly won’t be able to do that in New York. He has enriched himself and his cronies from the Haitian treasury and PetroCaribe account, while Clinton has monopolized, squandered, and misdirected Haiti’s precious earthquake funds. Haitians in New York won’t allow those two men who have so damaged Haiti’s present and future to be honored without people knowing the truth.”
Categories: Haitian blogs

Head of OAS Electoral Mission in Haiti: International Community Tried to Remove Préval on Election Day

HaitiAnalysis - Jun. 20, 2014 - 6:56 pm

by the Center for Economic and Policy Research
Speaking in early May at the “Who ‘Owns’ Haiti?” symposium at George Washington’s Elliot School of International Affairs, Colin Granderson, the head of the CARICOM-OAS Electoral Mission in Haiti in 2010-2011 confirmed previous accounts that the international community tried to force then-president Réné Préval from power on election day.            That the international community had “offered” President Préval a plane out of the country during Haiti’s chaotic first-round election in November 2010 was first revealed by Ricardo Seitenfus, the former OAS Special Representative to Haiti. Seitenfus subsequently lost his position with the OAS, but Préval himself soon confirmed the story, telling author Amy Wilentz: “‘At around noon, they called me,’ he said in an interview at the palace recently. ‘It’s no longer an election,’ they told me. ‘It’s a political problem. Do you want a plane to leave?’ I don’t know how they were going to explain my departure, but I got rid of that problem for them by refusing to go. I want to serve out my mandate and give the presidency over to an elected president.”            Despite accounts of the story from three different high-level sources who were there, the story has gained little international traction in the media.
            In filmmaker Raoul Peck’s documentary “Fatal Assistance,” Préval revealed that it was the head of the UN mission in Haiti at the time, Edmond Mulet, who made the threat. (Seitenfus recently offered his recollection of discussions with Mulet and other high-level officials that day in an exclusive interview with CEPR and freelance Georgianne Nienaber.) For his part, Mulet categorically denied the event, telling Catherine Porter of the Toronto Star: “I never said that, he never answered that,” Mulet told the Star when asked about Préval’s allegation. “I was worried if he didn’t stop the fraud and rioting, a revolution would force him to leave. I didn’t have the capability, the power or the interest of putting him on a plane.”            The election, plagued by record-low turnout, problems with voter registration and massive irregularities, was in doubt on election day when, around noon, 12 of 18 presidential candidates held a press conference calling for the election to be cancelled. Speaking at last month’s symposium, Granderson discussed what happened next:            “The international community intervened, working with representatives of the private sector, and managed to get two of the candidates to reverse themselves, to renege on their commitment, and this rescued the electoral process. But what I think was most unsettling, was that following this attempt to have these elections cancelled, was the intervention of certain members of the international community basically calling on President Préval to step down.”            This wouldn’t be the end of the international community’s intervention in the electoral process. After first-round results were announced showing Mirlande Manigat and Préval’s successor Jude Célestin moving on to the second round, a team from the OAS was brought in to analyze the results. Despite having no statistical evidence, and instead of cancelling the elections, the OAS team overturned the first round results, replacing Célestin in the second round with Michel Martelly. Seitenfus has described in detail how this intervention was carried out, in his recent interview with CEPR and in his forthcoming book, International Crossroads and Failures in Haiti.

Categories: Haitian blogs

unplanned

Livesay Haiti - Jun. 18, 2014 - 10:46 pm


The time has come to write about something other than Chikungunya. The month of May and thus far into June have been consumed by fighting this virus and the feelings of depression that come with it.  I know I am not alone in walking around thinking, "What tha!?!? Can't this place catch a break?" My fist shaking and abhorrent resistance to the reality of the virus has proven to be less than effective, so I'll lower my fist and let someone else take the indignation job today. (They won't be as good at it as me, that needs to be noted.)




~                ~                   ~

For many years I have been meeting Haitian women from varied backgrounds. Some arrive with unique stories, others share grief and trauma and all too similar stories. Most of the women we interact with are sitting in front of us because they are pregnant. Many of those women would say they did not try or want to get pregnant, but they did and they are.

Without reserve I embrace these women. After all, I understand becoming pregnant while not "planning" or "wanting" to and I also understand deciding to have the baby that you didn't plan for or expect.

My life experiences make me naturally empathetic to their stories. It feels right and even holy to sit with someone that feels they have made a mistake and is looking for the hope and the chance at redemption while also feeling defeated, embarrassed or ashamed.  Something about hope is addictive, we grasp it wherever we can find a piece of it.

Occasionally someone will email or comment on a post on the blog making sweeping generalizations that lack cultural context and lamenting the fact that we "encourage women to have babies".  I then get all whipped up and rant to Troy while eating way too many potato chips. I say, "Wait a minute?  So because we will love them while they are experiencing an unplanned pregnancy and will help them deliver in a way that preserves their dignity and possibly their life, we are 'encouraging women to have babies' ?!?!? They were already pregnant before we ever met them!"

Troy will stare back at me and nod with his concerned, 'Oh she's on the broom now' look.

It seems people that have never made THIS particular mistake have applied for and received their license to judge.  Many of them, if they could be so honest, might recall having sex at a young age, and prior to their marriage, but because they didn't get pregnant and caught, they sit in the seat of judgment.

If I am a recovering alcoholic, I don't judge the struggling drunk.  If I am former debt-ridden materialistic over-spender, I feel a little sorry for my neighbor with the insatiable appetite to buy happiness in the form of a new car or vacation they cannot technically afford.  If I am a formerly pregnant and single 17 year old and 22 year old, I probably have no trouble loving on the habitually pregnant young women of Haiti.

The hard lesson for me has been realizing that what I feel empathetic about, is not what everyone feels empathetic about.  Within the last week I had a conversation with a woman that wanted proof that we are sufficiently discouraged or sorry by (about) our family's current unplanned pregnancy. I have not stopped thinking about it or her.

Even with my own built in reasons to empathize, something interesting took place when I learned about my daughter's unplanned pregnancy. Some sort of giant exposing light was shining on us as we walked into the weeks of feeling the feelings and sorting through that news.

It became apparent that it is easier to love, serve, show mercy, grace, and kindness to a stranger than it is to ourselves our those we love most.  The righteous "I cannot believe you would do this" indignation takes hold of us when we have a history and an investment in someone. The temptation is always there to try and be someones conscience, sin-barometer, or judge. Having lived under some of that back in the days of my two unplanned pregnancies, I know that isn't what draws anyone to Jesus.

I sensed right away that I needed to be to my daughter exactly what I am to strangers at the Maternity Center, and WAY more.  I knew right away that staying sad, or hurt for very long would permanently damage our relationship.  Being mad changes nothing except a good relationship.  When you learn something about someone you love that disappoints you, there is a small window in which to choose to forgive - to be love and mercy.

Thank God for the people in my life that taught me forgiveness by offering it freely to me.

Thank God my unplanned daughters are a living testament to God's goodness.

Our unplanned and already cherished grandson is set to arrive in October.

May he grow up knowing kindness, love, and forgiveness just as his old Mojo has.






Categories: Haitian blogs

Urgent Appeal for the Protection of Haitian Human Rights Lawyer Evel Fanfan

HaitiAnalysis - Jun. 16, 2014 - 5:29 pm
URGENT APPEAL FOR THE PROTECTION OF THE LIFEAtty. Evel Fanfan, Activist Lawyer, Defender of Human Rights, Director of the Executive Council of  AUMOHD (Action Units Motivated for a Haiti With Rights)________________________________________________________________________
Haiti, June 12, 2014Ladies and Gentlemen,
Atty. Evel Fanfan is an Activist,Lawyer, Defender of Human Rights, Executive Director of the Executive Council of AUMOHD (Action Units Motivated for a Haiti With Rights), an Organization for Human Rights which has as its main mission to promote the personal rights and dignity of Haitians.
Since 2005 because of his involvement in the battle for the establishment of a rule of law in Haiti, his family and his office staff continue to be the constant target of threats and intimidation to the point where in July 2006, following requests for protection by Amnesty International, OAS and Front Line, International the Director General of the National Police of Haiti then saw it was obliged to detach a policeman to his office for protection.
Despite this decision, his life, his family and the staff of his office have become increasingly prey to death threats, intimidation by anonymous phone calls, texts and voice messages from unknown individuals.

Worse, on the night of Sunday, June 1, 2014, unknown individuals climbed onto the building housing the Central Headquarters of the organization, to set fire in the rear of the building burning all materials and objects that were there as they tried in vain to get into the main office.
That same day they took all the materials, the power supply (solar energy);  two mixers; two microphones; one equalizer; four speakers; two CD decks; two CDs with recording spots for awareness and civic education; all making up the Mobile Civic Education unit for worker mobilization and the struggle for social justice.
Worse, Sunday, June 8, 2014, eight (8) days after the sabotage of the Central Headquarters of the Organization AUMOHD, three (3) armed individuals on motorcycle came to ambush and murder Atty. Fanfan in front of his residence.
When Atty FANFAN headed for his car, one of the three men told the two others, “look, Atty. FANFAN is coming out”, and then the other two came up to put their plan into action.
Thanks to the solidarity and sudden intervention by residents and neighborhood friends, Atty.FANFAN was spared, but the offenders were lucky to get away.  However they left their motorcycle registration plate: MTTB. 4544, gray.
 It is important to note that these threats are increasing at a time when Atty. Evel FANFAN and his team are involved in key issues such as the case of the workers of Haitel SA, the reparation to victims of the government involved Grand Ravine massacres, and the defense of poor citizens arrested and kept in prison for having participated in protest movements against the current Haitian government in defense of media persecuted by the government.
Faced with these repeated and blatant attacks, it is urgent and imperative to appeal to the Haitian authorities to take adequate measures for the protection of Atty Evel FANFAN, his family and the staff of his office.
NOTE FROM TOM LUCE
In order to help a variety of needs are now urgent.  At the moment we have no place to send money or addresses of government officials to lobby.  That will be forthcoming on my old website: <hurrah.org>.  Please check there.
1.) Replacement of mobile public education materials; 2) travel money for the 3 children of Atty. Fanfan.
          

Categories: Haitian blogs

A Neo-Duvalierist Dictatorship à la Martelly Takes Shape

HaitiAnalysis - Jun. 12, 2014 - 3:57 pm

Justice Minister Sanon plays an important roleby Thomas Péralte (Haiti Liberte)
The regime of President Michel Martelly, which came to power through the electoral meddling of the United States and its "Ministry of Colonial Affairs" the Organization of American States (OAS), is currently planning to replace the current 6,600 UN occupation troops of MINUSTAH with a new Haitian military force trained by the U.S. and Brazil over the next two years.            In May 2013, Nigel Fisher, then head of the UN Mission to Stabilize Haiti (MINUSTAH), said that there would be about 3,000 UN troops in Haiti in 2017. Currently, UN officials are talking with Haitian officials about speeding up troop withdrawal and “five options [for the UN] to perform the political and peacekeeping functions that are likely to remain relevant beyond 2016," said Sophie Boutaud de la Combe, MINUSTAH’s spokesperson.
            MINUSTAH was deployed on Jun. 1, 2004 [some months following the U.S. orchestrated coup of Haiti's elected government], and Brazil has always provided its commanders and the majority of its troops.            Now, Brazil will begin training 200 Haitian soldiers for a so-called "corps of military engineers." That agreement was signed between Brazil’s Defense Minister Celso Amorim and Haiti’s Foreign Minister Duly Brutus in Port-au-Prince on May 29.            Beginning in July, the U.S. will train 20 Haitian officers at the Inter-American Defense College in Washington, DC. The military school is similar to the infamous "School of the Americas" at Ft. Benning in the state of Georgia and is run by the Inter-American Defense Board (IADB).             These soldiers will all be part of a projected "National Guard" (Garde nationale), which is similar in name and proxy nature to "the Guard of Haiti" (Garde d’Haïti), conceived, trained, equipped, and set in place by U.S. Marines in 1934 at the end of their 19-year military occupation. Haiti’s “National Guard” will begin with 3,500 soldiers.            Furthermore, according to Radio Zenith, Reginald Delva, the Minister of Interior and National Defense, has resurrected Haiti’s National Intelligence Service (SIN), which was dissolved 20 years ago. The new SIN will deploy 10 informers in each of Haiti’s 565 communal sections for a total of 5,650 spies.            Meanwhile, Justice Minister Jean Renel Sanon, a former officer of the demobilized Armed Forces of Haiti (FAdH), is restoring the infamous section chiefs (chefs de section), again according to Radio Zenith. Each of the 565 section chiefs will have 10 deputies, who were called during the Duvalier era, "chouket lawoze" (dew breakers).            So, "official" networks for spying and repression, similar to the Tonton Macoute legions of the Duvalier regimes, are already being set up by the Interior Ministry, Justice Ministry, and the Communications Ministry, headed by Rudy Hériveaux, a former leader in the Lavalas Family party who has opportunistically joined the government of President Martelly and his Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe.            Alongside are “informal” networks of so-called "legal bandits" directed by regime strongmen like Calixte Valentin, Youri Latortue, Joseph Lambert, and Ronald "Roro" Nelson, who just last week arrested six students who dared to pass his vehicle on the Ruelle Nazon in the capital.            Meanwhile, progressive grassroots activists and organizations have been targeted in recent weeks. Lucien Anerville, an inspector of the Haitian National Police (PNH), led a commando unit which tried to search and, some say, assassinate Sen. Moïse Jean Charles in Gressier on May 8. On May 24, Officer Anerville illegally arrested (many say kidnapped) Rony Timothée, spokesman for the Patriotic Force for the Respect of the Constitution (FOPARC), a mass organization. Prison guard Frantzy Julien attacked Sen. Moïse Jean Charles in Arcahaie on May 30.            On May 29 in Delmas 49, as Lavalas grassroots groups met at the offices of the Association of University Students Committed to a Haiti with Rights (AUMOHD), they were surrounded by armed, masked men. A few days earlier, the office had been robbed and burned by regime thugs, according to AUMOHD’s president, lawyer Evel Fanfan. Mr. Fanfan, who defends political prisoners including protestors arrested in a demonstration on May 1, also says he was threatened on Jun. 4 at the courthouse by government prosecutor Kerson Charles who said: "You are among those who are creating disorder in the country. You defend troublemakers." Mr. Fanfan was also attacked by three gunmen on a motorcycle in Delmas 65 on Jun. 8 at around 9:00 a.m..            Volcy Assad, an activist with the Heads Together Organization (OTAN), was also threatened with arrest by the shadowy agents who threatened Sen. Moïse Jean-Charles in Gressier on May 8. In an open letter to President Martelly published last week in Haiti Liberté, Mr. Volcy described the threats and intimidation endured by many progressive activists in recent months.            "On Monday, May 19, four armed individuals in a pickup without license plates forced my driver to stop after he had just dropped off my children at school," Mr. Volcy wrote. "Even my family’s lives are in danger."            Unfortunately, some political organizations, through anarchic practices and a lack of security and organizational discipline, allow anyone to participate in their meetings, thereby facilitating the task of regime spies. These organizations function more like a church and often do not know who are members and who are not. This is how, on May 25, Jocelyn Dorval, a liaison officer working for the Justice Ministry and the State Secretary for Public Security was easily able to infiltrate and spy on a regular meeting of FOPARC.            Similarly, on May 23, the regime managed to penetrate a weekly meeting at the Aristide Foundation for Democracy, commonly called "Lavalas Family Fridays." The regime-linked individuals videotaped and recorded everything said at that meeting. Ten days later, on Jun. 2, their tape was broadcast on some of the capital’s media, including Radio Zenith and Scoop FM. Journalist Garry Pierre-Paul Charles, owner of the latter station, not only broadcast what was said in a private space but also accused two Lavalas Family leaders – Coordinator, Dr. Maryse Narcisse, and executive committee member, Joel Edouard “Pasha” Vorbe – of "preaching violence." However, it was meeting participants who, at the end of the meeting, loudly chanted: "Grenadiers, to the assault, for those who die, we’ll avenge them.”            Twenty-four hours after the radio broadcasts, on Jun. 3, the Justice Ministry released a long press release signed by Minister Jean Renel Sanon. It reads: "The Ministry of Justice and Public Security (MJSP) is surprised and very concerned about the recent violent and incendiary statements by two senior officials of the executive board of the Fanmi Lavalas party. In order to maintain public order and prevent at all costs the return to a chaotic period of which the nation still has painful memories, the MJSP feels obliged to alert the public and deter any potential troublemakers. The Ministry reminds people that the mission of political parties is, among other things, to maintain the health of democracy while using peaceful and legal strategies for taking state power. When the most senior leaders of a party use media microphones to chant slogans like ‘Mache pran yo’ (Go get them), the Ministry believes that it is all of society, and especially the other political parties themselves, which need to be concerned. The MJSP is the guarantor of national security, and these thinly veiled slogans were used to inflame the country in the darkest moments of violence and killings in the past two decades. Under no circumstances nor for any reason should such periods reappear in Haiti today, and we should devote ourselves to the restoration of the rule of law and stability, the sine qua non for attracting foreign investment. Recalling that the Haitian Penal Code punishes inflammatory statements and incitements to violence, the Ministry of Justice and Public Security, invites everyone, especially politicians, to show a sense of responsibility, tolerance, and moderation, to assist in the conservation of peace and stability which are key to development in any country."            In response, Ms. Narcisse, accompanied by Mr. Vorbe and Lionel Etienne, another Lavalas Family Executive Committee member, gave a press conference on Jun. 6 in which they denounced government intimidation of their party. "The Lavalas Family will not allow itself to be intimidated by the regime,” said Ms. Narcisse. “We will not let the image of the Lavalas Family be tarnished. We speak the truth, and we will continue to speak the truth, and the people must continue to mobilize to defend the truth. We denounce the base intimidation and threats carried out by the Lamothe government against honest citizens, the leaders of the Lavalas Family. This is further evidence that demonstrates that they are afraid and panicked."            Ironically, on May 30 in Kenscoff, Prime Minister Lamothe, reportedly sang with the former Macoute leader of that town, Father Jeanty Oxide alias Pè Siko. "Go get them, Martelly. Go get them, Pè Siko. Go get them, Lamothe, go get them."            These songs harken back to the terror during the Duvalier regimes (1957-1986) when dictatorship supporters used to sing: "Go get them, Duvalier, go get them."            There are many disturbing things in the record of Minister Sanon, who today would like to give democracy lessons to others.             ● In October 2013, he reported that there was a subversive meeting, organized by people hostile to elections, on Avenue Pouplard in the capital, in which the murder of journalist Jean Monard Metellus of Radio Caraïbes FM was discussed. Despite this detailed disclosure, Minister Sanon has never managed to name the would-be killers or bring them to justice.            ● Also in October 2013, on Minister Sanon’s orders, Government Prosecutor René Francisco ordered the arrest of opposition lawyer André Michel. A note from the Justice Ministry said the arrest was carried out before the arrest deadline specified by the Constitution, 6:00 p.m. But Mr. Michel was arrested at 7:30 p.m. Nonetheless, Sanon disingenuously said the arrest was carried out in strict compliance with the law.            ● In September 2012, Sen. Edwin "Edo" Zenny, a regime ally, spat in a judge’s face in Jacmel. Rather than denounce Sen. Zenny, Minister Sanon fired the judge, Bob Simonise. The incident occurred in front of witnesses at a Jacmel radio station.            ● In late 2013, Government Prosecutor Jean-Marie Salomon was fired after he arrested in flagrante delicto a suspected drug trafficker, hotelier Evinx Daniel. Minister Sanon dispatched his lawyers to release Mr. Daniel. Mr. Salomon was then fired and forced to seek refuge overseas. Mr. Daniel has been missing since January.            ● Minister Sanon took part in an infamous Jul. 11, 2013 meeting in which President Martelly and Prime Minister Lamothe reportedly threatened Judge Jean Serge Joseph for investigating a corruption case involving Sophia and Olivier Martelly, respectively the president’s wife and son. Judge Joseph died two days later under very suspicious circumstances.            ● On Mar. 29, 2014, Minister Sanon, accompanied by Government Prosecutor Gerald Norgaisse, personally went to the women's prison in Petion-ville in order to illegally release the wife of Woodly Ethéard aka Sonson La Familia, who was accused of involvement in money laundering, drug trafficking, and conspiracy. Since then, Marie Taïssa Mazile Ethéard has disappeared while the examining magistrate Jean François Sonel, who is the only person who can legally release her, has called for her to return to prison.            ● Former Government Prosecutor Jean Renel Sénatus accused Jean Renel Sanon, a former FAdH officer, of being involved in sexual encounters and parties (zokiki) with minors.            The regime’s emerging repression and threats have brought about a change in the political position of some organizations, particularly the Lavalas Family. Party leader Maryse Narcisse used to say that President Martelly should complete his mandate despite widespread calls for his resignation. The party even expelled Sen. Moise Jean-Charles for his clear and consistent denunciations of the budding dictatorship. Now, the Lavalas Family is being targeted, and recent declarations by some of its leaders suggest it may soon publicly join the call of the vast majority of the Haitian people that President Martelly and Prime Minister Lamothe step down so that a provisional government can conduct free, fair, and sovereign elections.

Categories: Haitian blogs

MUST WATCH Debate: Is Human Rights Watch Too Close to U.S. Gov’t to Criticize Its Foreign Policy?

HaitiAnalysis - Jun. 11, 2014 - 3:12 pm
   Why did Human Rights Watch (HRW) not call for evoking the OAS charter following the US carried out coup d'etat of Haiti's constitutional government? Why was HRW silent over the thousands of people killed in the wake of the coup?
Categories: Haitian blogs

...on fear and parenting

Livesay Haiti - Jun. 11, 2014 - 8:45 am
Written by Kim Brooks
Excerpt:

Later on in the conversation, Skenazy boils it down to this. “There’s been this huge cultural shift. We now live in a society where most people believe a child can not be out of your sight for one second, where people think children need constant, total adult supervision. This shift is not rooted in fact. It’s not rooted in any true change. It’s imaginary. It’s rooted in irrational fear.”The problem is, I understand irrational fear. In fact, irrational fear and I are old friends. Some things seem dangerous and others don’t, and often, it has little to do with statistics or data. No matter how many people reassure me that flying is the safest form of travel, so much safer than driving, I will always be more nervous at 30,000 feet than en route to the airport. Likewise, it won’t matter how many statistics or how much analysis on low crime rates or the importance of fostering independence Skenazy or people like her spout; for many parents at this moment in our culture, leaving kids unsupervised just doesn’t feel safe. Anything could happen, is a common refrain voiced by such parents. And I know what they mean. We’ve seen the television movies about abducted children. We’ve heard the heart-rending stories of kids injured in carjackings, or forgotten in sweltering cars. And once you imagine something, imagine what it must have been like for that parent or child who suffered it, it’s not a great leap to imagine it happening to you or your child, and then, if you’re like most parents, you will do anything in your power to prevent it. It’s not a matter of likelihood or statistical significance, but the terrible power of our imagination.See entire post here: The day I left my son in the car
Categories: Haitian blogs

DON'T

Livesay Haiti - Jun. 10, 2014 - 8:38 pm
























Today I read these words, 


"Fear does not prevent death. It prevents life."  (Naguib Mahfouz)I don't know why such simple words (obvious words?) spoke (screamed?) so loudly to my heart and soul, but they did.

I have been afraid of a handful of things the last couple of months. Among other stuff, there has been fear of my fast-approaching final test, and fear over our kids and the various things going on in their lives. Lately, much (like way too much) fear energy has been expended on this dang illness in Haiti. I have been holding my breath for weeks hoping and praying that my little ones and the brand new babies at Heartline and the momma on bed rest would somehow be spared. 

When my kids get ill here, there is so much condemnation spinning in my head. I know it is meant to discourage me. The messages and accusations say, "If you didn't bring them here, they wouldn't have this." My rational side knows that car crashes and illness and freak accidents happen to people that never leave the safest house in the safest city in the safest place in the world. 

Troy did enough counseling when we were in the USA to get super duper wicked smart. I have seen him forget some of what he learned on certain days, so don't hear me elevating him to the very highest pinnacle. He is like three steps down from the highest spot. Recently when I was angry at a situation I asked him if he was upset by someone's unkind and disappointing response to him, he said, "I am only responsible for my actions, my words and my responses. She is responsible for hers, and I cannot change that and I shouldn't try." 

Maybe my issue is that I am wanting to control more than just me. By holding onto my fear so tightly, I am taking false control. That would explain the exhaustion of late.

Fear prevents life.

Here is a simple reminder for me (mainly me) and you - if you were looking for a reminder that is: We don't have control over anything but our own responses to the things, situations, people, and stressors around us.  

and ...

Sometimes we are going to want to give up.

Don't. 


(Photo taken by Esther Havens of our friend, Marjorie, who has not given up.) 
Categories: Haitian blogs

Haiti peasants rally against industrial agriculture, especially Monsanto, and in favor of peasant agriculture

Michael Deibert's Haiti Blog - Jun. 9, 2014 - 9:43 am
Haïti : La détermination paysanne à lutter contre l’agriculture industrielle et en faveur de l’agriculture familiale 

samedi 7 juin 2014

(Read the original article here)

P-au-P, 6 juin 2014 [AlterPresse] --- Les paysans ont affiché leur ferme détermination à lutter contre l’agriculture industrielle et en faveur de l’agriculture paysanne lors d’une série d’activités organisées les 4 et 5 juin par le Mouvement paysan Papaye (Mpp), dans la localité du même nom près de Hinche, (128 kilomètres à l’est de la capitale).

Réalisées à l’occasion de la journée internationale de l’environnement (5 juin), les activités se sont déroulées sous le thème « Tè, semans natif natal, anviwonman se chemin lavi » (en français : « Terres, semences natives, environnement : tel est le chemin de la vie »).

L’idée pour le Mpp, qui a reçu plusieurs dizaines d’invités, était de sensibiliser la communauté paysanne sur les mécanismes à mettre en place pour la sauvegarde de la production nationale face aux assauts de grandes compagnies transnationales, plus intéressées, selon l’organisation, à détruire la planète.

« Aba Monsanto, non aux semences hybrides, vive l’agriculture paysanne, vive l’agro-écologie, non à la production de l’agrocarburant, vive une Haïti souveraine » sont quelques-uns des slogans qui ont été inscrits sur des pancartes dans le cadre d’un sketch.

Les organisateurs ont voulu faire part des actions que les organisations paysannes comptent mettre en œuvre pour libérer le pays des produits de consommation importés souvent dangereux pour la santé, tels les cubes de bouillon de poulet ou encore les semences hybrides.

Ils ont profité pour critiquer les grandes organisations internationales comme le Fonds monétaire internationale (Fmi), la Banque Mondiale, la Mission des Nations Unies pour la stabilisation d’Haïti (Minustha) et l’Organisation mondiale du commerce (Omc).

Les bienfaits de l’agriculture paysanne ont été soulignés à travers une foire axée sur la biodiversité, où ont été exposées des plantules, des plantes médicinales, des semences locales. L’agriculture paysanne est considérée comme le véritable moteur pour sauver l’environnement.

Le leader du Mpp, Chavannes Jean Baptiste, a indiqué que l’initiative de son organisation s’insère dans une campagne de la Via Campesina, un mouvement paysan international qui regroupe près de 185 organisations dans près de 80 pays.

Trois organisations locales sont membres de la plateforme Via Campesina : le Mpp, , l’organisation « Tèt kole ti peyizan » (Union des petits paysans) et le Mouvement paysan nationale du congrès de Papaye (Mpnkp).

Des engagements pour l’avenir

Les trois organisations ont signé une déclaration conjointe dans laquelle elles s’engagent à « travailler ensemble pour créer plus d’unité entre les organisations paysannes du pays, ainsi que toutes les organisations qui veulent la souveraineté alimentaire, pour défendre les terres qui se trouvent entre les mains des paysans et lutter en faveur d’une réforme agraire intégrale le plus vite possible ».

« Les semences ne doivent pas être des marchandises, parce que les semences portent les germes de la vie. La vie n’est pas à vendre », lit-on dans cette déclaration conjointe.

Elles demandent au gouvernement haïtien, dirigé par Laurent Salvador Lamothe, « de stopper tout projet visant l’accaparement des terres du pays, d’arrêter de faire de la démagogie avec l’environnement du pays (...), d’arrêter de se moquer de la production agricole et la protection de l’environnement, alors que le budget de ces secteurs diminue ».

Elles exigent que l’Etat haïtien mette 20% des ressources dans la production agricole familiale agro-écologique prenne des dispositions pour la protection de l’environnement. [jep kft gp apr 07/06/2014 21:00]


Categories: Haitian blogs

Haiti Elections in Doubt as Ex-Presidents Stir Pot

New York Times on Haiti - Jun. 8, 2014 - 12:00 am
Political uncertainty reigns as the current president jousts with opponents over the staging of an overdue election, which has brought waves of foreign dignitaries to attempt to defuse the crisis.
Categories: Haitian blogs

a link, a cruddy illness, and a baby BOY

Livesay Haiti - Jun. 7, 2014 - 10:50 am
you MUST read this .... if you want to

My friend, G., wrote about a recent airplane ride.  I loved this story. 

~          ~           ~

When he started back in on non-profits and how they were all money grubbing thieves, I said, You know, I run a group like a non-profit, and we give back 100 percent of what we raise. No overhead. We all work for free.He raised his eyebrow and didn’t respond for a minute.He looked out the airplane window. He was remembering something. His tirade stopped. His voice changed a little.Then he turned back and said, “I haven’t given a penny away for fifteen years. I used to. Every Christmas I used to buy ten turkeys and deliver them to the homeless shelter myself.  But I don’t do that anymore. I don’t give anything away anymore.”What changed? I said.He looked out the window again and I thought- HERE we go. HERE we go- here comes the real stuff. Here politics die and the person behind them introduces himself.Scruffy angry man said, “When my daughter was little, we left a candle burning in our house and the whole house burned down. With all of our things. We had nothing. We lived in our car for seven months with our daughter and no one reached out to help us. Not our neighbors, not our families, friends. Not even our church. No one.”Read the post in its entirety HERE.

~          ~            ~

The happenings in Haiti are somewhat bleak feeling this week.  

Chikungunya is an utter jerk and we flip in and out of fighting it with courage and feeling like it may never end. It is not linear in any way. Starting and finishing is how we like our illnesses, but this seems to be start, finish, start again. Two steps forward, one step back. It is frustrating to say the least. 

Our Noah currently has a worse case of it than his little sisters had earlier in the week. He loves to win, but maybe not at this competition.His fever beats the others, he cannot move, he has been throwing up. It is hard to throw up without moving, but he is even perfecting this. Some (not all) others that had it a week or more ago are facing night fevers and restlessness and sore joints. As if Haiti doesn't make you feel old and tired enough already. 

Yesterday Beth asked for a show of hands of those women that had already had "the fever". 80% of the women gathered raised their hands. Maybe Port au Prince will be saturated and finished with (the first finish of)this nonsense soon?

The Maternity Center had a rough Monday with a baby that aspirated meconium, but the rest of the week went by without huge dramas; we all really needed that.(For those that don't know, meconium is shit. Welcome to the world, you inhaled your own poop.Things can only improve from here.

We have three women due and overdue. We are all hanging out nearby in anticipation of their labors/deliveries. 

My niece, Whitney, is in Haiti. She is preparing for her MCAT and is studying when we are not at work at the Maternity Center. She is supposed to motivate me to study for my next test. That's sort of happening. I cannot even explain how fun it is to have her here. 


Paige is coming to Haiti next week.  There are a handful of folks that are super stressed out by her decision to come.  She and I talked at length in Texas when I went to take my skills test (I passed!) and I assured her that she did not need to come to Haiti this summer.  

Because this is her home, she was unwilling to to cancel and said it is important to her to come. Her boyfriend (Michael) is coming later in the month to do a five week volunteer job as a driver with Heartline Ministries. She so wants him to see her home and learn about her life here. They are starting to talk marriage and this visit is important to her heart.  I don't want her sick of course and realize there is a decent chance she could be ill while she is here.  

Thankfully she is second trimester and at a safe place in her pregnancy. I will be slathering her in bug spray and fumigating her room daily. The biggest danger with Chik V. is in very early pregnancy and right at delivery. 

If you are one that is wrapped up in concern for Paige, I want to say - THANK YOU for loving her.  At its core, your worry is kindness, I know that. Please use your concern to fuel your prayers. She wants to come. 

This Mojo (granny)and Tito (grandpapa) will be doing Paige's prenatal care and enjoying the rare chance to get to spend a bunch of weeks with her and our future son-in-law.  



(If you missed the news of our first grandbaby, you can go back to this post. It is a boy!) 

Categories: Haitian blogs

Short-Term Missions Article (source: Relevant)

Livesay Haiti - Jun. 4, 2014 - 9:34 am
Full Article found here, at Relevant  By Michelle PerezExcerpt:We have learned that perhaps how we go might matter more that what we do. Here are a few things you may not have heard about being more effective on short-term mission trips:You're Not a Hero.First of all, before you go and when you get there, your team must commit to getting rid of the hero complex. Developing countries do not need short-term heroes. They need long-term partners. And if your group just wants to be a hero for a week, then you may be doing more harm than good.DEVELOPING COUNTRIES DO NOT NEED SHORT-TERM HEROES. THEY NEED LONG-TERM PARTNERS.Poverty Can Look Different Than You Expect.If at the end of your trip you say, “I am so thankful for what I have, because they have so little.” You have missed the whole point.You’re poor, too. But maybe you’re hiding behind all your stuff. There is material poverty, physical poverty, spiritual poverty and systemic poverty. We all have to acknowledge our own brokenness and deep need for God before we can expect to serve others.
Read more at:  
http://www.relevantmagazine.com/reject-apathy/things-no-one-tells-you-about-going-short-term-mission-trips
Categories: Haitian blogs

On One-Upping and My Niece

Livesay Haiti - Jun. 3, 2014 - 9:57 am


Have you seen the Penelope skit on SNL?  We are all a little bit Penelope at times. But I am more like her than you, sooooooo ...  Read more about it here, my June post at A Life Overseas.

Today our niece comes to Haiti for ten days.  We are giddy to have her to ourselves. For those that love  adoption and a good reunion story, read about her here. 

Chikungunya is probably a word you are incredibly tired of trying to pronounce and read.  We are finding that it is a word that has meant a heaviness hanging over us all. Day after day new women and children are showing up in pain, with high fevers.  We need to find some brightness in all the clouds this virus is bringing to our friends and families.  
Categories: Haitian blogs

Resistance & the Lavalas Movement

HaitiAnalysis - Jun. 2, 2014 - 11:54 am
HAITI ACTION COMMITTEESTUDY GROUPJoin HAC as we explore Haiti’s history, current political situation, and the connections to parallel struggles throughout the U.S. and around the world. We will be meeting regularly to examine texts and films, analyze the latest resources, and utilize discussion and reflection.
Come to our first meeting!
Resistance & the Lavalas Movement
What is Lavalas? Do people in Haiti support the current government? Who is involved in Haiti’s fight for democracy? Why do the world’s superpowers fear the people’s movement? Who is really in power in Haiti? What does activism look like in Haiti?
Saturday, June 7th2:00 - 4:00pmNiebyl Proctor Library6501 Telegraph AveOakland, CA
Future Topics include:The return to dictatorship; mass incarceration and political prisoners; sweatshops and privatization; the ongoing pillaging of Haiti’s resources; labor activism; COINTELPRO tactics in Haiti and the U.S.; racism; parallel struggles in Latin America; and many more!
For more see:
www.haitisolidarity.net and on FACEBOOK
Categories: Haitian blogs