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What Special UN Envoy Bill Clinton may do to help Haiti

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Ezili Dantò analyzes Vodun through the song -Going Back to Root - Lasous O M Pwale - I'm Returning to the Beginning

Haitian culture - The Sanba Movement and Roots/Rasin Music & Drumming

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What Special UN Envoy Bill Clinton may do to help Haiti,
by Ezili Danto/HLLN

Bill Clinton was in Miami Sunday, August 9, 2009, making a presentation before Haitians and we'd written a piece entitled What Special UN Envoy Bill Clinton may do to help Haiti where we outlined seven points - stating that Bill Clinton may help Haiti by helping to change US draconian foreign policy in Haiti, that is, by helping grant TPS and equal treatment to Haitians; to end the UN military occupation; free the thousands upon thousands of post-Bush 2004 coup d'etat political prisoners in Haiti; to cancel immediately and without onerous "privatization" or neoliberal conditions all Haiti debt to international financial institutions; to protect, not dilute the $2 billion in annual remittances Haitians from the Diaspora send to Haiti; to support Haitian sovereignty and the institutionalization of the rule of law, not impunity; to establish fair trade and nix fraudulent free trade and stop failed US/USAID policies of fleecing US taxpayers and handing aid money to USAID - or effectively trading through USAID, churches and predator NGOs, etc...

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We wrote that: "It is in the best interest of the United States to directly support Haitian democracy, good governance, development, self-reliance and self-sufficiency. This cannot be done if the Haitian government has to compete with foreign funded NGOs and charities who are not elected or accountable to the people of Haiti, but are predatory and promoting dependency and their own organizations "interests for self-perpetuation in Haiti."

All of these points, were replicas of the seven-points made in HLLN's Haiti Policy Statement for the Obama Team, with added emphasis on demands, now that Clinton is the UN Special Envoy to Haiti that are already made in our FreeHaitiMovement Demands, particularly asking for the release of Haiti's political prisoners, return of President Aristide and investigation of the Bush 2004 kidnapping and coup d'etat in Haiti.

Subsequent to Ezili's HLLN issuing the 7-point statement on What Special UN Envoy Bill Clinton may do to help Haiti, we posted an article, from the Nouvelliste paper in Haiti, that reported that 600 checks being given out at the Ministry of Public Health in Haiti were given to folks who never worked there. We posted the article (which is in French) and noted that NO ARREST were made or being contemplated by the puppet Preval/Pierre Louis government.

These criminals are getting paid every day; these "zombi" employers get away scott-free with this crime. Meanwhile, our poor people are dying on the open seas, being eaten alive by sharks, rammed by Turk and Cacaos Coast Guards for just trying to find a better life elsewhere. Or, our 9 million are starving in Haiti in intense hunger where they are so hungry their stomachs burn as if they've swallowed Clorox or battery acid. Thus, the post pointed out how in Haiti the educated and well connected commit crimes with impunity and are not sent to jail.

We contrasted that, in particular, with the over 6,440 very poor Haitians in jails, many since 2004, most for no crimes at all, never, ever, seeing a judge or having a trial and pushed, again, for speedy trial and immediate release. We referred to our statement - The slavery in Haiti the mainstream press won't expose - about how the rich get away with murder in Haiti while the poor suffer mercilessly, die and get imprisonment, setting forth the following example taken directly from the FreeHaiti Demands' resolution:

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Release of all political prisoners - Many Haitians from poor neighborhoods were summarily rounded up into preventive or indefinite detention during the 2004 Bush/Bicentennial coup d'etat without ever being charged, tried or convicted of any crime. As of 2008, it is reported that there are 8,204 prisoners in Haiti and of this only 1,764 have been convicted of a crime. Before the 2004 coup d'etat, Haiti barely had 3,000 prisoners throughout the country. [During the coup, the military and their militias emptied the jails, killed police and guards to recruit members to bolster up their small ranks. So, most of the 3,000 were freed by the US-financed coupnappers and Boca Raton regime imposed on Haiti, first with US firepower then through this UN proxy military power for the Western powers].

Today in UN-occupied Haiti, more than 6,440 still await trial, remain in jail, some going on for five years of prolonged detention, without ever having been charged, tried or convicted of any crime. These prison population statistics come from the 2008 US State Department Human Rights Report on Haiti and do "not include the large number of persons held in police stations around the country in 'preventive detention' (without a hearing or filed charges)." Also, many Haitians were summarily disappeared post the 2004 coup d'etat. There must be a complete investigation of such disappearances and political kidnappings, including the disappearance of Lovinsky Pierre Antoine.

Release Haiti's children - At end of 2008, approximately 88 percent of the country's 316 incarcerated minors were in prolonged detention, not charged, or having seen a judge, or been tried or convicted on any crime, some "since 2005." This figure does not account for children confined with adults or held in indefinite detention at police stations around the country. (See, State Department 2008 Human Rights Report: Haiti)."

We noted, as a preamble to the posting, our consternation. I wrote:

Ezili Danto's Note: 600 "zombi'' checks and no arrest? But if this included some ti malere - poor guy or gal - from Site Soley, he/she would be vilified and the jail keys thrown away as so many are experiencing right now for never having committed a crime - just put in jail, post coup detat 2004, for being poor and suspected of having voted for Aristide. But the suited criminals ak kravat e bon rad - the "good," literate, well-connected and (educated?) folks enjoy complete impunity as they fleece the poorest...and the beat goes on.

An HLLN reader sent us an email giving us more examples of such injustices, expounding more on the vile systemic corruption in Haiti supported by the UN occupation and US coup d'etat authorities and implemented by the "schooled" and suit-wearing bourgeois Haitian. The reader suggested we should have translated the piece I was referring to where 600 checks were being paid out to educated and connected folks who never worked at the Ministry of Health, yet no arrests. (See: 600 chèques ''zombi'' recuperes, aucune arrestation.)

This detailed HLLN comment by one of our members (who prefers to remain anonymous out of fear of being marginalized, or worse) gives a good picture of the impunity raging in Haiti that is carried out just by the tiny few, emboldened by US policies favoring dictatorship and military rule. The majority are just turned into restaveks - servants - by the ruling Haitian oligarchy. That's the real slavery in Haiti, and the mainstream won't ever expose it!

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Human Rights Lawyer, Ezili Danto is dedicated to correcting the media lies and colonial narratives about Haiti. An award winning playwright, a performance poet, author and lawyer, Ezili Danto is founder of the Haitian Lawyers Leadership Network, (more...)

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