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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 10/28/19

Remarkable Haitian Revolt Targets Canada

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Haitian revolt targets Canada
Haitian revolt targets Canada
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Haiti is the site of the most sustained popular uprising among many that are currently sweeping the globe. It's also the most explicitly anti-imperialist, which is part of the reason why it has received the least coverage.

For six weeks much of Port-au-Prince has been shuttered in the longest in a series of strikes since the revolt began 15 months ago. There have been innumerable mass protests by diverse social sectors calling for president Jovenel Moïse to go.

Last week protesters reportedly threw rocks at the Canadian Embassy in Port-au-Prince. On Friday Radio Canada's Luc Chartrand highlighted the widespread hostility towards the US and Canada: "The walls of Port-au-Prince are covered with graffiti against the UN and also against what everyone here knows as the 'Core Group', a group of donor countries, including Canada, the United States, European Union and the Organization of American States, without the support of which no Haitian president can remain in office long. During protests it is common to see people disparaging foreigners and symbols of their presence such as hotels."

While Haitians have repeatedly criticized Canadian policy over the past 15 years, the Radio Canada report was a rare event in the dominant media. But the intensity of the popular uprising has been making it harder to ignore. The other reason is activism in Canada, an imperial centre. Solidarite' Quebec-Haïti #Petrochallenge 2019 founder Marie Dimanche and I met Chartrand and a Radio Canada colleague before they left for Haiti and sent them critical information. They wanted to hear our point of view because Solidarite' Quebec-Haïti has aggressively criticized Canada's role in Haiti by among other means occupying Justin Trudeau's electoral campaign office.

Since detailing some of Solidarite' Que'bec-Haïti bold actions that generated coverage three weeks ago in "Canadian imperialism in Haiti in the spotlight" the group held a press conference covered by CTV and a rally at Trudeau's office covered by Global, TVA and other news outlets. We also attempted to disrupt Trudeau's final election rally, which prompted Radio Canada to describe 10 of us chanting "Canada out of Haiti". At this point no Canadian journalist covering Haiti can reasonably claim to be unaware that there is criticism of Ottawa's policy towards that country.

Adding weight to Solidarite' Que'bec-Haïti's criticism, 150 writers, musicians, professors and activists recently signed an "open letter calling on the Canadian government to stop backing a corrupt, repressive and illegitimate Haitian president". The signatories include David Suzuki, Roger Waters, Linda McQuaig, Amir Khadir, Will Prosper, Tariq Ali, Michele Landsberg and Yann Martel.

In another sign of dissent, the Concertation pour Haïti, a collection of mostly government funded NGOs who were cheerlead ers of Canada/Quebec's important role in violently ousting Jean-Bertrand Aristide's government in 2004, has called for a transitional government. Last week's statement noted: "Haiti is at a pivotal moment. The current government is decried by the overwhelming majority of the population. Nearly all civil society groups have spoken out for the departure of Jovenel Moïse. ". However, the current government seems to have the full support of the international community " We invite Canada to make the right choice and use its influence in the international community to support" a presidential transition.

Despite growing challenges to its policy, Ottawa seems to be staying the course. On Wednesday a new Canadian ambassador was accredited at the national palace and reportedly "renewed Canada's commitment to continue to accompany President Jovenel Moïse in his efforts to improve the living conditions of his people." Earlier in the month the government put out an outrageous, if correct, travel advisory, warning Canadians that Haitian "police have used tear gas and live ammunition to disperse crowds." Apart from this message to Canadians, the government has yet to directly criticize the killing of Haitian demonstrators by a police force that Canada has funded, trained and backed diplomatically since the 2004 coup. On October 15 the UN estimated at least 30 Haitians had been killed since mid-September. Most of them were likely killed by police.

Beyond its involvement with a repressive police force, Canada has provided financial and diplomatic backing to the neo-Duvalerist criminals subjugating Haiti's impoverished masses. Two weeks ago Le Devoir reported that Canada has given $702 million in "aid" to Haiti since 2016. In February international development minister Marie-Claude Bibeau, who travelled to Haiti on multiple occasions, said "Haiti is one of the biggest development programs we have. Our ambassador in Port-au-Prince is in constant contact with the government."

The Canadian Embassy has put out a stream of statements defending Moïse (though they are becoming softer). Amidst the general strike in February Bibeau was asked by TVA, "the demonstrator s demand the resignation of the president. What is Canada's position on this issue?" She responded by attacking the popular revolt: "The violence must stop; we will not come to a solution in this way." But the violence is overwhelmingly meted it out by the Canadian backed regime.

At that time Canadian special forces were quietly deployed to the Port-au-Prince airport. The Haiti Information Project reported that they may have helped family members of President Moïse's unpopular government flee the country.

Haitians are engaged in a remarkable popular revolt against Canadian policy. Solidarity activists across the country should try to amplify their message.

 

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Yves Engler Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Yves Engler is a Montre'al-based activist and author. He has published ten books.  His newest one is Left, Right: Marching to the Beat of Imperial Canada.  Some of his other best-selling books include The Black Book of (more...)
 

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David William Pear

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You won't see this on Fox & Friends. Or CNN or MSNBC. Just like you won't see the Yellow Vests, Brazil, Chile, Honduras, Ecuador and elsewhere.

The mainstream media goes along with the government's narratives. There are things they don't want the American people to see.

Submitted on Monday, Oct 28, 2019 at 11:35:27 PM

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shad williams

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For six weeks much of Port-au-Prince has been shuttered in the longest in a series of strikes since the revolt began 15 months ago. There have been innumerable mass protests by diverse social sectors calling for president Jovenel Moïse to go.

I asked a co worker whose family is in the Dominican Republic what she thought about the Haitian revolt. Despite the fact that the worker was there four months ago, there was no recognition that any troubles were going on. Another person who went on vacation to the DR this past summer were barely aware that Haiti is a neighboring country on the same island.

Such invisibility is only possible if some thing as vicious as the ruling elites were in charge of slavery and public education...And why ask for Jovenel to go? Hell no he can't go! That would be a kiss on his ass. He needs something much less touching with a final punishment of both physical and financial CLAW back.

Submitted on Tuesday, Oct 29, 2019 at 6:59:54 AM

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The imperial powers have never forgiven Haiti for its slave revolt in 1801. It has been forced to pay "reparations" ever since.

Submitted on Tuesday, Oct 29, 2019 at 2:17:04 PM

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shad williams

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The rulers of the Canada masks have slipped a bit. Could the progeny of Pierre is a bit slippery himself.

Submitted on Tuesday, Oct 29, 2019 at 7:08:15 AM

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kappie

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I still remember a few years back that the US spirited a popular elected socialist president out of the country for fear he was about to suffer an imaginary revolt.The US then installed a corrupt new president.So while the article damns canada,it could just as well damn the US,the biggest supporter of dictatorships around the world

Submitted on Tuesday, Oct 29, 2019 at 1:43:38 PM

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The author is a Canadian and writes mostly about Canadian imperialism, which has a very long and despicable history all the way back to when it supported British colonialism in the Caribbean and Latin America.

The president you are referring to a man of the people, similar to Chaves. He was democratically elected in 1993 and in 2001. The US abducted his both times and replaced him with a puppet. Canada was instrumental both times.

Canada is a corrupt vicious imperialist country, and has been for hundreds of years. See Engler's book: Black Book of Canadian Foreign Policy.

It is worse than most people realize.

Submitted on Tuesday, Oct 29, 2019 at 2:15:31 PM

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