Another Regime Change in Trouble
Coup backers in
panic - NCHR (Jocelyn McCalla) calls for UN trusteeship--"It's
not just PNH that needs to be taken over-it's the whole government"
June 17, 2005
Haiti: Another Regime Change in Trouble
by Jim Lobe
While the violence in Iraq continues unabated, the situation in Haiti,
where the George W. Bush administration also played a key role in engineering
regime change, is going from bad to desperate, according to increasingly
worried analysts here.
The UN Security Council, which will decide the terms for extending its
peacekeeping operation (MINUSTAH) in the Caribbean nation, had hoped
to have as many as three million people registered by now for a series
of elections that begins in just four months and that is supposed to
culminate in the installation of a democratically elected government
by early next year.
As a result of deteriorating security conditions, however, only about
65,000 people have registered to date.
An even more distressing indication of the chaos and insecurity that
now pervade the Americas' poorest nation is the escalating number of
"boat people" who are trying to flee the island.
The U.S. Coast Guard picked up and forcibly returned more than 400 Haitians
found in the seas around the country in May, a sharp rise from the monthly
average of 200 who were swept up since January. In just the first 10
days of June, the Coast Guard, which has escalated in its deployments
in the area, picked up nearly 300 more.
"There are Haitians spilling out all over the place, going to places
they've never been before," according to Jocelyn McCalla, the director
of the National Coalition for Haitian Rights (NCHR) in New York. "St.
Kitts, Dominica, Barbuda, in addition to the Virgin Islands, Turks and
Caicos, the Bahamas, and Jamaica, which is becoming quite scared by
what is happening."
UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan and Washington are asking the Security
Council to increase the MINUSTAH's size from the 7,400 soldiers and
police by about 10 percent in the coming weeks to enhance security,
and the Bush administration is considering deploying a rapid-reaction
force of about 500 of its own soldiers either to Haiti or just offshore
in the run-up to the elections.
But some analysts insist that such steps will be insufficient given
the reigning anarchy and criminality despite MINUSTAH's increasing aggressiveness
in confronting the armed gangs of ex-soldiers, criminal syndicates,
and supporters of former President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, whose ouster
and exile were arranged by the U.S. and France at the end of February
2004. Last Saturday, for example, 11 kidnappings were reported to have
taken place in the capital, Port-au-Prince, alone.
"If the Security Council merely continues where they are today
when they meet next week, the situation is going to fall apart,"
according to Mark Schneider, the director of the Washington office of
the International Crisis Group (ICG), whose May 31 recent report, "Spoiling
Security in Haiti," calls for much stronger measures to halt the
country's slide into chaos.
"We believe time is running out for any transition to save the
country from becoming a permanent failed state," said Schneider,
who urged the Security Council to greatly expand MINUSTAH's size and
In particular, the ICG has called for MINUSTAH to assume control of
the 5,000-man Haitian National Police (HNP) and add 3,000 more international
police monitors to the 1,300-man force that is currently there. He said
the HNP also needs to be thoroughly purged of violent or corrupt members.
Schneider also urged that the UN bring in international judges to deal
with critical cases involving major political figures, including former
Prime Minister Yvon Neptune, who has been a prolonged hunger strike
to protest his detention without trial for the past 11 months.
As noted by the New York Times in a feature article Thursday, the continued
detention of Neptune, who was formally charged less than two months
ago for his alleged involvement in killings at St. Marc during the insurrection
by ex-soldiers that eventually forced Aristide into exile, "has
become an embarrassment to the Bush administration and a symbol of the
failures of what was supposed to be Haiti's transition to a fully functioning
Schneider charged that Justice Minister Bernard Gousse, who resigned
his post Wednesday, had "politicized his ministry" by primarily
targeting leaders of Neptune and other leaders from Lavalas, Aristide's
party, rather than ex-soldiers and corrupt HNP officers. He said Gousse's
departure, which had also been urged by the Bush administration,
was a "positive step."
ICG is also calling for MINUSTAH to make the disarmament of illegal
groups a much higher priority and to carry out the disarmament according
to a specific timetable between now and before the elections.
To help accomplish that, according to Schneider, the Security Council
must add at least two brigades of rapid-reaction forces –
or about 1,000 men – who would be focused on taking on
"the spoilers," including drug traffickers, ex-soldiers, and
"There is no way for elections to take place on time if the security
situation is not resolved," said Schneider, who added that the
Bush administration had been late in recognizing the seriousness of
the situation and is still not pushing for the measures needed to redress
McCalla, however, told IPS the ICG's recommendations do not go far enough.
"It's not just the Haitian police force that needs to be taken
over; it's the whole government," he said. "The ICG
is recommending an incremental takeover of the government, while what
is needed is UN trusteeship and a delay in holding the elections."
"Let's admit that [Prime Minister Gerard] LaTortue did not deliver
on his promises to create conditions for elections – many
people, for example, are not seeking jobs with the electoral authority
because they're afraid of being killed or kidnapped,"
he said. "You've even reached the point where the U.S. is pulling
out its Peace Corps volunteers and nonessential personnel, including
the ambassador's wife who has been spirited out of the country."
"Under these circumstances, the guy who will be elected will be
[ex-army officer] Guy Philippe [a leader in the military uprising against
Aristide] or somebody like him because his people control the politics
on the ground," said McCalla. "And then, once elected, he
will raise the banner of Haitian nationalism in order to fend off pressure
from the international community at the latter's expense. That's what
(Inter Press Service)
"Transformation is only valid if it is carried
out with the people, not for them. Liberation is like a childbirth,
and a painful one. The person who emerges is a new person: no longer
either oppressor or oppressed, but a person in the process of achieving
freedom. It is only the oppressed who, by freeing themselves, can free
Pressed not to engage with Death regime
May 18, 2004
Barbados' Shameless Path-
Pressed Not to Engage Haiti by Dawne Bennett
Caribbean Net News - Barbados Coresspondent
Solidarity Day Pictures & Articles
May 18, 2005
and Articles Witness Project
May 18, 2005
unarmed Haitians died from Bullets on Haiti's Flag Day
May 19, 2005
May 18, 2004
least 9 demonstrators killed during huge march on Haiti's Flag
May 19, 2004
|Ezili Danto Witness
form Haiti - Jean's Report on the May 18, 2005 Demonstration
18, 2005 Pro-democracy anti-occupation demonstrations flare across
Haiti Progrè, This Week In Haiti
May 25 - 31, 2005
Vol. 23, No. 11
group solid with Haiti
May 19th 2005
Occupation and Solidarity
by Jean St.Vil
May 16, 2005
Tiger, Rising Dragon
China's Deployment in Haiti Treads in Familiar Footsteps
by Pranjal Tiwari
May 19, 2005