Sunday, February 27, 2011

U.S. Must Stop Supporting Fraudulent Haitian Elections

Special representative to the secretary general of the United Nations and chief of the United Nations mission in Haiti Edmond Mulet visits a voting station in Leogane, a town an hour out of Port au Prince, Haiti. Voting stations opened this morning, November 28, 2010, for Haiti's elections.
Photo Logan Abassi UN/MINUSTAH
The November 28 Haiti elections were a "massive fraud." They were not inclusive of all of Haiti's political parties -- particularly its largest party, Fanmi Lavalas.

The planned March 20 run-off is illegitimate. Both of the current "selected" candidates Mirlande Manigat and Michel Martelly protested the elections prior to being told separately by the UN that they were leading in the count!

According to Mark Weisbrot of the Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR), the OAS (Organization of American States) itself, which manipulated the results of the elections in order to allow Michel Martelly into the fraudulent run-off has not spoken out in support of their own flawed recommendations about the elections. That's because the left of center governments of Latin America, he says, do not support the OAS/UN/U.S./France/Canada attempts to control who gets elected in Haiti.

Surprisingly in January of this year, India took the unprecedented step of admonishing the UN for its involvement in elections in Haiti.

In early February of this year, a group of 12 presidential candidates have demanded the annulment of the Haiti elections.

[In mid-February, two candidates Jean Henry Céant and Yves Crystalline lodged an official complaint against the UN's Edmond Mulet for his interference in Haiti's elections. The two candidates want an investigation of Edmond Mulet for violating UN statutes. The candidates charge that the conduct, actions and statements of UN official Edmond Mulet, constitute a violation of Article 41-1 and paragraph 4-5 of the Vienna Convention.

Going against U.S. foreign policy is unusual for the Congressional Black Caucus and members of Congress, but these officials have also lodged complaints, firing-off letters to the State Department to call for the inclusion of Fanmi Lavalas and other excluded political parties from the ballot before the elections and for the annulment of the resulting fraudulent election.

Susan Rice, the U.S. permanent representative to the UN has threatened Haiti, saying the U.S. will stop aid if Haiti does not adopt the OAS' "recommendations" for the elections, i.e. putting their preferred candidate Michel "Sweet Mickey" Martelly on the ballot for a run-off.

The CEPR has reported that the OAS methods for calculating who should be in the run-off are arbitrary and flawed.

On January 21st, the U.S. State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley confirmed that some visas had been revoked and that Haitian officials were among those affected. This is in line with the usual threats that countries are subjected to who do not fall in line with U.S. demands.

Unfortunately, Preval and the rest of the Haitian government have acquiesced thus far to the bullying. Crucially, four out of the nine members of the CEP (Haiti's provisional electoral council) did not sign-off their approval of the November 28 elections, further de-legitimizing the scheduled March 20 run-off elections. A fifth member was absent and did not vote.
As we have pointed out previously, the English language media has all but ignored the news that – as reported by Haitian newspaper Le Nouvelliste – four CEP members may never have signed the document affirming the Council’s decision regarding the second round of elections. Given the major media's neglect in covering this story, one could be forgiven for thinking that the second round is a foregone conclusion, however in Haiti the controversy is very much still alive.

Last week, according to L'Agence Haitien de Presse (AHP), two presidential candidates, Jean Henry Ceant and Yves Cristalin filed a legal challenge that would require Richardson Dumel (the CEP spokesperson) to prove the authenticity of the document he read with the final results on February 3. After failing to come to court, on Friday the police were sent to bring him in. According to AHP, however, he has yet to present the evidence that was asked of him."

Center for Economic and Policy Research | Tuesday, 15 February 2011
The remarkable exception to all the caving in by the Preval administration has been when he issued a new Haitian passport to Dr. Aristide! This is a very encouraging sign of independence. This resonates with many as a sign that Preval is coming to the realization that Haiti does not really need the U.S. in order to undertake reconstruction.

Not unrelated: It is rumored that his erstwhile Prime Minister Jean-Max Bellerive's new office digs are in the luxurious U.S. Embassy -- the 4th largest U.S. embassy in the world! Why is that?

Prime Minister Bellerive is playing second banana these days to Bill Clinton on the Interim Haiti Reconstruction Commission (IHRC) and selling off Haiti's natural assets.

The Visa and other threatened sanctions by the U.S. State Department, Hillary Clinton's "friendly" visit, and Susan Rice's threat to withhold U.S. aid to Haiti aside, Preval must be sweating bullets knowing that last year, an OAS official, Brazilian Ricardo Seitenfus (who was later fired) revealed that the OAS had discussed forcing Preval to resign and planned to fly him out on a plane just as the U.S. had Aristide in 2004.

In reality, Venezuela alone has pledged and given more reconstruction money than the U.S. As Mark Weisbrot points out, the U.S. is no longer the only source of aid money. In less than twenty years, the geo-political dynamics will have changed. Some analysts have concluded that by 2020, China, India and the U.S., in that order, could be the biggest economies in the world.

The Haitian government should consider the big picture and reject the control the West is trying to have in Haitian internal affairs and say: Hell with the IHRC! Get out of Haiti MINUSTAH! Eh, get lost Canada! Au voir France!


thezenhaitian said...

The fact that five CEP members out of nine did not sign off on the November 28, 2010 elections should raise some eyebrows, but "But don’t expect the U.S. Haiti correspondents – who have reported Dumel’s proclamation as fact -- to ask them."

Unknown said...

Preval's government repeatedly denied Aristide a passport, so why now? Perhaps they finally realized that their masters (US / Canada / France) are not friends of theirs, especially how they were ready to throw Preval under a bus if he didn't abide by their imperial recommendations. I guess that was Preval's way of saying screw you to the US government. Whutchu think?

Now the best thing that can happen to Haiti and the Haitian people is that Aristide return before March 20. And if he doesn't, then the people need to rise up against the (s)elections and implement an effective boycott. Lavalas and friends need to get tough, and the last two demonstrations - in PAP and then in the North - is a good start.

I don't subscribe to the "lesser of two evils" paradigm, but if Marthelly gains power, I can say that...peyi d'ayiti fini. No more Haiti.

thezenhaitian said...

Preval is defying the U.S. by approving the passport, that's for sure. He wants Aristide back in Haiti. The main obstacle now seems is South Africa and the pressure the UN/"international community" is putting on them to keep Aristide in Africa for as long as possible.

I'd like to see Aristide get back before March 20 also. That would be a hopeful sign that there is still some degree of institutional democracy in Haiti, instead of the death grasp that the UN/U.S. and "international community" have on everything of significance that happens there.

I like the demonstrations by Fanmi Lavalas thus far. There must be continuous pressure on Preval to annul the fraudulent Nov 28 elections, to order new elections and to speed up Aristide's return.

Agreed. Martelly being elevated to a position of power is death to any hope for dignity, pride and independence for Haiti.

Libra said...

I am so THRILLED to know and see that Pep Ayisien are FINALLY standing up to the playground bullies!! It's about freakin time!!!!!! Now Im not getting ahead of Myself, but these are very crucial steps. This is the Ayiti that I am proud of, the Republic our Founding Fathers and Mothers FOUGHT for in order for it to be tough! We are holding our grounds, realizing that US/France/OAS/UN/Canada ARENT so big and bad after all. And to top this off, we are receiving so much backing, more than ever when its especially needed, from others. Everything that has been done in the dark is alas coming to light, and I can see us prevailing. God help Us prevail. We have been dogged left, right, and center multiple times and it's about time we take control of Our Sovereignty. Ayiti, TRUE Pep Ayisien, nou nan priyeh M....

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