Haiti: Crisis and an Ongoing Electoral Farce

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By: Henry Boisrolin / Source: Resumen Latinoamericano / The Dawn News / October 3, 2016

In a few days, there will be another electoral farce in Haiti to renew a third of the Senate and also the Deputy and Mayor seats that are currently void, which compels us to think responsibly about the electoral process. Firstly, I believe that if your starting point is the imperious need of building a project with the goal of radically transforming the Haitian society, then your first obligation is to denounce this election that will be held next October 9, because it’s not oriented towards the emancipation of the people.

haitianos

This election is no way to overcome dependency, neocolonialism, poverty nor the occupation of the country. The campaign speeches are completely void of any criticism against imperialism or oligarchy and, above all, without concrete actions in the class struggle against the enemies of the Haitian people.

It’s also important to highlight that this election is rotten from its roots up, and at its core it represents the continuity of the fraudulent elections held in August and October 2015 by the nefarious former President Michel Joseph Martelly and the previous Provisional Electoral Council (PEC), whose President was a cynic called Pierre-Louis Opont. These elections were repudiated and resisted by the immense majority of the population.

The wonderful day of resistance of January 22, 2016 has already entered history, because the people on the streets prevented an illegitimate “runoff election” with only one contender from being carried out. That round, where the official candidate Jovenel Moïse was inevitably set to win, had been set for Sunday 24 of the same month not only by Opont and Martelly, but also by several representatives of the so-called “international community” led by the US. All criticisms, according to them, were mere inventions of the unhappy losers that didn’t want to accept the verdict of the polls. Jovenel Moïse is accused of embezzlement, illicit enrichment, and other crimes in the same vein, which are clearly proven by a report of an organism of administrative control.

The behavior of the international community has been despicable

However, despite the lies, the strong pressure to impose the will of the PEC and to carry out the presidential “runoff election”, the masses offered a dignified resistance against the unacceptable. Since then, they have made some maneuvers to embellish the farce they’re going to set up on October 9 to make the people believe in a simulacrum of autonomy and control of the Haitian institutions over the elections.

But no Haitian patriot would be so stupid as to believe that this will bring any relief to the pressing problems that affect the impoverished and exploited masses. I often come to think that the cynics and traitors that “lead” the haitian governments and submit to US imperialism and its partners, regard the Haitian people as stupid and incapable of standing for their rights.

From my point of view, the Haitian exploited would be wrong if they considered this new electoral farce as the main framework in which to find a solution to the horrible crisis caused by the neoliberalism that was imposed since the first US military occupation (1915-1934) without making an exhaustive historical and comprehensive analysis of it. A semi-apologetic temptation exists since the Duvalier dictatorship in 1986, which exaggerates the focus on the elections as the only way to think about and build democracy, but never reading it from the perspective of class interests. This is mainly supported by the creators of the crisis, with the deliberate intention of keeping the Haitian people in a complete confusion by installing the fallacy: Election = Democracy.

To my understanding, a bourgeois elections, where the UN troops that are in Haiti since 2004 are the ones in charge of controlling the development of the events, and with the same limitations as the 2015 elections, can by  no means be a panacea. And the curious thing is that the officialism acknowledges that the last elections were fraudulent —with made-up results, deaths and denounces of corruption against several members of the previous PEC— however, nobody has been called to answer to justice for these crimes. On the contrary, each and every one of the authors of these repudiable actions, which have been profusely documented, are still living with calmness in the country, which is against their own electoral decree.

And since this is a comedy, the new advisors, such as the previous ones, swore they are prepared to carry out “clean, honest and democratic elections”. Meanwhile, the executive is now being led by the former head of the Senate, Jocelerme Privert, who is the provisional President who was appointed last February given that Martelly’s presidency was coming to an end without an elected candidate to take his place. So an ad-hoc National Assembly (chosen by using the results of the same rigged elections) appointed him. Privert is still acting as provisional president until today, because the National Assembly, which had to decide on whether to extend his mandate or not after June this year, never met again due to lack of quorum. This is unconstitutional from beginning to end.

Weapons enter the country

Amidst this chaotic situation, a few weeks ago it was unveiled that a big cargo of weapons and ammo had illegally arrived by sea to a small harbor near the capital. However, not a single person has been detained until now. Also, a few months ago, an armed command tried to seize control over a Police Department in the South of the country, and there were several dead and wounded. An investigation ordered by the current government pointed at former military Guy Philippe as the intellectual author, but Philippe, who is running for senator of the Republic, is carrying on with his campaign completely undisturbed.

Over the last few days, several candidates were attacked and prevented from carrying out their campaign rallies in some areas. Coincidentally, just days before the elections, the US government decided to deport Haitian criminals and bandits that were on their territory back to our country.

What’s going to happen?

Everything suggests that whoever loses won’t accept the verdict of the PEC, which has scheduled that eight days will pass before they announce the results —allegedly with the goal of verifying and controlling everything. This is a sign that there will probably be violence. Also, nobody’s expecting a great turnover at the polls. On the contrary, well-financed candidates are going to have to keep up the custom of paying people to vote. In a country where most people live in extreme poverty, it’s scandalous and disgusting to see how some candidates waste money. I’m talking fundamentally about the PHTK party, from former President Martelly, whose candidate is Jovenel Moïse, and the LAPEH party, whose candidate is Jude Célestin.

How the US (and Hillary Clinton) meddled in Haiti

In 2010 and 2011, the international community decided to directly intervene to change the results of the elections. Some of the leaked e-mails of the former Secretary of State and current candidate to President of the United States Hillary Clinton confirmed this flagrant meddling (especially by the US) in the Haitian elections, to appoint Martelly as president.

During Martelly’s government, North American and Canadian companies had every imaginable benefit handed to them. Exploitation rights over mining sites were given away to foreign companies. Free areas were installed where the Haitian workers are inhumanely exploited. During his entire mandate, Martelly didn’t organize a single election. That caused the Haitian Parliament to malfunction due to lack of renovation of its candidates. In his last year as President, Martelly decided to govern exclusively through decrees. He wasted away the money of the PetroCaribe (over 600 million US dollars) that the Venezuelan government had given to Haiti in order to help them. Not only are we facing the problem of having to give that money back to Venezuela at some point, but Martelly also left us a country with 70% of its active population without jobs, a money that is completely depreciated, hunger in some departments, massive increase of migration, the lowest food production in the last few years, denounces of corruption at every level of the public administration, and acquisition of multi-million houses and goods for him and his family.

And now, Martelly and his foreign mates are trying to keep the farce up.

In this context, the only valid option for the people is to continue to fight for emancipation. And emancipation is impossible without the dis-occupation of the country, and without destroying the neocolonial structures. This struggle can’t be reduced to an election and much less to an election that has been rigged by the same ones that are guilty for the tragedy that affects the huge majority of the Haitian people.

After the article was translated Haiti suspended its electoral process for October 9, 2016. 

Haiti Cancels Presidential Election for Fourth Time in a Year

(Source:Telesur) Electoral commissions have not rescheduled the vote.

Haiti’s electoral council said on Wednesday it had postponed, for the fourth time, the country’s presidential election – in this case, due to the battering the island nation received from Hurricane Matthew.

The decision to postpone the Oct. 9 election was made after authorities reported that nearly 15,000 Haitians had been displaced in the aftermath of the hurricane that killed at least 10 people, left dozens injured and so far, an unknown number missing.

Elections officials Wednesday did not set a new date.

The impoverished Caribbean nation has been in political turmoil since October of last year when questions surfaced about the validity of a first-round presidential ballot. The poll was overturned after losing candidates complained.

  The political crisis has been marked by violent protests and increasing insecurity, especially in big cities like the capital, Port-au-Prince.

According to analysts, the situation has begun to deepen the grim economic and social conditions of Haiti’s poorest, who represent a majority of the population.

The country had not yet fully recovered from a devastating 2010 earthquake and the infrastructure remains weak. Moreover, there remains the threat of complications like cholera outbreaks or other health crises which have often followed natural disasters on the island.

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