Complicity in the Haitian Crisis
by Marie-Jeanne D'Haïti
Haiti Progrès, May 25 - 31, 2004
Vol. 23, No. 11
As federal elections in Canada become more likely, it is timely to
turn our attention to the role played by Canada, along with the
United States and France, in Haiti's deteriorating political and
Since 2000, the Canadian government has suggested in various forums
that Haiti be put in trusteeship. On March 15, 2003, the magazine
L'Actualité published an article by Michel Vastel in which the
overthrow of Jean-Bertrand Aristide's government was proposed, not by
the Haitian opposition, but by a coalition of countries convened by
In April 2003, in an interview given while he was in the Dominican
Republic, Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chrétien declared that
"international community" should not have to wake up with
power on January 1, 2004, Haiti's bicentennial.
In Montreal, shortly before Aristide's kidnapping, the current
international affairs minister Pierre Pettigrew met Paul Arcelin, an
opposition representative, a close associate of "rebel" chief
Philippe, and a mastermind of the coup d'état.
Meanwhile, Denis Coderre, Prime Minister Paul Martin's special
counselor for Haiti, was part of the delegation of " last chance,
charged with presenting an exit plan to the crisis which peaked in
February 2004. This mission did not put pressure on the opposition,
which refused the plan, but on Aristide, who accepted it.
Finally, when the coup happened, Prime Minister Martin was at UN
headquarters in New York and quickly accepted Aristide's resignation,
without knowing its circumstances.
If Paul Martin's liberal government is sincere about wanting to help
Haiti, it must unite Haitians in Canada around a project aimed at a
viable and sustainable solution for Haiti. It must cease its politics
of "divide and conquer," which is bad and counter-productive
Haiti. Canada's Haitians and friends of the Haitian people must
remember: O Canada. Je me souviens.
The author is a member of the Quebecois Committee to Recognize the
Rights of Haitian Workers in the Dominican Republic, based in
All articles copyrighted Haiti Progres, Inc. REPRINTS ENCOURAGED.
Please credit Haiti Progres.
THIS WEEK IN HAITI
May 25 - 31, 2004
Vol. 23, No. 11