writing to denounce the Montreal Conference
and Canada's appalling role in Haiti
We are receiving some amazing responses to the Haitian Lawyers Leadership's
urgent action alert on the Montreal Conference. It is with great humility
and profound appreciation that we thank the members of our network,
who have written to denounce Canada's hosting, at its highest levels,
the leader of a death squad regime whose only claim to fame is that
their brutality and repression of human rights is unmatched in Haiti
since the Tonton Macoute reign of the Duvaliers and FRAPH holocaust
of General Raoul Cedras.
We urge others in our Leadership Network mailing list to follow these
two examples (other samples to follow in separate e-mails) and write,
even a brief note, to Canadian Prime Minister, Paul Martin and Canadian
Foreign Minister, Pierre Pettigrew about their appalling role in Haiti.
The urgent action alert with background information is on our website
and info on the conference may be found on the right hand column of
our news page at:
However, we have received reports that many of the e-mail address for
the Canadian parliament have been changed since our last writing campaign
a few weeks ago when Paul Martin visited Haiti.
The following addresses are working so, please send your letters to:
Paul Martin at: email@example.com and Pierre Pettigrew at firstname.lastname@example.org,
email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org,
email@example.com, Davies.L@parl.gc.ca, DayS@parl.gc.ca, firstname.lastname@example.org,
(As this is the weekend, we can't verify further. Any new e-mail info
shall be forwarded later.)
Our voices must be heard. The Canadian officials have advertised this
repulsive conference with thugs, killers and Haiti's opportunists-looking-for-handouts
as a conference with the "leaders of the Haitian Diaspora."
They also have decided, just as they did for the defenseless people
of Haiti, who the Haitian leaders of the Diaspora are. And, it includes
only members of the former, un-electable opposition, the coup d'etat
supporters and a few individuals who had connections with Lavalas but
always publicly disavowed they were Lavalas.
Thus, Canada, France and the U.S. are attempting a coup d'etat in the
Haitian Diaspora! Offering as Haitian "leaders" of the Diaspora
individuals no Haitian peace-and-justice advocates or democracy advocates
would say has any credible following whatsoever in Haiti or abroad.
This unsophisticated overseas coup d'etat is laughable.
Any Haitian who stands with Latortue and his death squad cabinet at
this Montreal Conference meeting are enemies of the people of Haiti,
are not about the protection of human rights and the principles of democracy
and the one-person-one-vote principle;
Any Haitian who willingly attends this conference, knowing full well,
- not only that Latortue came to power through violence and that his
regime was never elected or authorized by the people of Haiti;
- knowing full well that this illegitimate and imported regime's only
function, so far, has been to hunt- down, terrorize, kill and destroy
the defenseless people of Bel Air, Cite Soleil, Delma 2 and throughout
Haiti, to bring back the bloody Haitian army, and their tortures, rapes
and summary execution;
- knowing full well that the Latorture regime has filled the Haitian
National penitentiary with over 1,000 political prisoners;
- knowing full well that Latortue has identified the armed wing of the
coup d'etat orchestrators as "freedom fighters" while advertising
that the majority of the Haitian people, that is, all Lavalas, are chimeres
and bandits who deserve to die or be imprisoned!;
- any such Haitian who ignores Haiti's sovereignty, the Haitian Constitution,
the rule of law and decency and sits with this war criminal and his
cabinet to "officially" discuss the fate of the people and
nation of Haiti, and in particular, to discuss putting Haiti under a
"protectorate" are not only treasonous criminals, unworthy
of the African ancestors great legacy as the only slave captives to
successfully revolt against tyranny by defeating the worlds most powerful
armies. Such HHaitians, whether in the Diaspora or in Haiti, put into
question their competence and good judgment and are, like Prime Minister
Paul Martin, and Pierre Pettigrew and the other coup d'etat internationals,
simply spitting on the majestic and glorious legacy of the first humans
to put liberty into application in the Western Hemisphere. Said Haitians
deserve to be denounced from now until the kingdom comes.
Haitians overseas know who their activists for justice and peace are.
It is not those invited and actually attending Canada's new Ottawa Initiative.
We, who collaborate with hundreds of grass roots justice and peace organizations
in Haiti and internationally, charge the Canadian government with racism
and a lack of basic understanding for the principles of decency, democracy
Most of Haiti's destitute population can't write to Mr. Paul Martin,
Pettigrew and their Canadian Foundation for the Americas (see "The
Role for Canada in Post-Aristide Haiti: Structures, Options and Leadership,
and tell them their opinions about this new attempt to completely steal
Haiti's sovereignty from it, on the 200th year anniversary of its independence.
They cannot express their desolation and revulsion that Canada is simply
spitting on their ancestors legacy and the Haitian people's dignity
so casually. They cannot tell the authors of the Focal report that it
was the Internationals who failed Haiti, by funding and creating an
anti-democratic opposition. It was the U.S. Embassy who once even presented
Toto Constant, the bloody founder of FRAPH, as a legitimate candidate
for Haitian presidency just a short time after the return of President
Ariside to Haiti in 1994.
It was the Internationals, who after forcing the People's government
to integrate former coup d'etat military and paramilitary into the newly
formed Haitian civilian police to destroy its effectiveness, then proceeded
to starve the Haitian people by withholding humanitarian loans and aid
for years, conducting an international propaganda campaign to say that
President Aristide and Lavalas had no support and then arming and unleashing
death squads from the Dominican Republic on the weary Haitian combatants
for liberty and democracy. These destabilization maneuvers and criminal
activities and interference were not done by the Haitian populace. If
Haiti's democracy failed in Haiti in 2004, the lion share of the blame
lies with those powers who had the resources, even as late as February
27, 2004, but chose to support death squad leaders and non-Haitians,
such as Andre Apaid, Jr. rather than the Constitutional government and
the will of the Haitian electorate.
These day, nine months after this international crime, Haiti's poor
find it painful to breath, to walk, to smile, to touch, to live without
a heavy, heavy heart and have no Internet facilities or abilities to
reach Paul Martin, Pierre Pettigrew and the chalabis of Haiti. They
are simply showing us all how free men and women die. Trudging through,
right at this moment, with as much dignity as they can and not on their
knees, however short a life that's left these days for a Haitian to
live, writing their resistance in blood.
Spartacus tried to do it. Dessaline did it and for that Haitians are
still dying. We in the Haitian diaspora and our friends and solidarity
network simply won't put up with this quietly.
Help us to stop the bloodshed by giving these freedom fighters a voice
in the citadels of power. Please continue writing to denounce this Montreal
Conference and Canada's appalling role in Haiti. Be sure to send your
letters also to local and national media. Thank you.
Men Anpil Chaj pa lou!
Marguerite Laurent, Esq.
Founder & Chair, Haitian Lawyers Leadership Network
December 11, 2004
December 10, 11th Conference in Montreal with the so-called Haitian
Date: Thursday, December 9, 2004 7:01:58 PM
To: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
cc: email@example.com, Davies.L@parl.gc.ca, DayS@parl.gc.ca, firstname.lastname@example.org,
Honourable Members of Parliament:
it has come to my attention that you will be meeting with members of
current interim government of Haiti. As these are people who have not
elected and are in their positions contrary to the Haitian constitution
believe it is my duty to be appalled.
You have also decided to exclude members of Lavalas who represent the
grassroots and the will of the people, who in 2000, elected Aristide
their leader, to govern until 2006. This was done under the constitution
Haiti. That you would support interim leaders who have involved themselves
with the oppression and killing of Haitians who would have Aristide
returned, tells me that you support violence as a means to govern. Again,
must say, that it is my duty to be appalled. I would also say that I
ashamed, but I believe that that has become your duty.
Please support the return of Aristide and the return to a democratically
elected government for the people of Haiti.
V5N 5K1Subj: crisis in Haiti
Date: Thursday, December 9, 2004 10:36:14 PM
To: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com,
cc: Reynolds.J@parl.gc.ca, Strahl.C@parl.gc.ca, firstname.lastname@example.org, Lalonde.F@parl.gc.ca,
10 Garden Pl.
Spring Valley, NY 10977
Prime Minister Paul Martin
Foreign Minister Pierre Pettigrew
John Reynolds, leader de l’opposition à la Chambre des
Chuck Strahl, leader adjoint de l’opposition à la Chambre
Josée Verner, Agence de développement économique
du Canada pour les régions du Québec, la Francophonie
Francine Lalonde, Affaires étrangères et présidente
du caucus des Affaires étrangères
Odina Desrochers, Amérique latine et Afrique
Jack Layton, chef du NPD
December 9 2004,
I am writing to you regarding your involvement in the political crisis
in Haiti. This is a crisis which was caused by a destabilization campaign
led by the United States, and aided and abetted by your country, Canada.
The destabilization campaign consisted of three separate but integrated
parts: the denial of assistance or even loans to the government of Haiti,
the funding of opposition groups, and the assistance given to armed
revolutionaries in the Dominican Republic.
It should be noted that even the monster Duvalier received assistance
from the USA and the IMF, that you would never tolerate foreign interference
in the internal affairs of your own country, and that instigating the
violent overthrow of another government is a violation of the U.N. charter.
The government of Haiti is a constitutional democracy. The people have
chosen senators, legislators, mayors, deputies, and a president. All
of these elected officials representing the combined will of the Haitian
people are now in exile, in hiding, in prison as a result of foreign
interference. Of course not every elected official is honest, and even
the best ones make mistakes, but the will of the people was respected,
and real work was being done, such as roads, schools, hospitals etc.
Unfortunately, the greatest obstacle that the Haitians had to overcome
was not their own shortcomings, but rather a covert campaign of destabilization
which drained the government’s resources, sewed chaos and confusion,
and instilled doubt even amongst longtime friends of democracy in Haiti.
It is my understanding that you will be hosting members of the de facto
government of Haiti in the near future. It is my understanding that
you intend to work together with these antidemocratic forces to continue
to frustrate the will of the people of Haiti. This is a path which will
surely lead to more misery and suffering for the Haitian people. If
you have any sense of human decency at all you’ll renounce this
band of thugs and call for the reinstatement of constitutional order
in the nation of Haiti.
General Augusto Heleno Ribeiro, commander of the U.N. forces in Haiti,
has stated that he felt pressure from your country to use force in the
slums of Haiti. He has refused, claiming that it would take an army
of 100,000 to crush the resistance. If you attempt to establish a protectorate
in Haiti you will find yourself in a situation not unlike that in which
the United States now finds itself in Iraq.
Please choose the path of peace. President Aristide is willing to talk.
There’s nothing he wants more than to avoid bloodshed. That is
his way. I truly believe that there’s hope for peace in Haiti,
but only if the international community respects the choice of the Haitian
Subj: Why are you hosting the leader of a death-squad regime?
Date: Saturday, December 11, 2004 2:56:31 AM
To: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org,
cc: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org,
email@example.comPrime Minister Martin and Minister Pettigrew,
I find it shocking that you will be hosting members of the Haitian
cabinet, as well as the illegitimate leader Gerard Latortue this weekend
an exlusive gathering in Montreal today. The fact that you are rolling
the red carpet for a leader who has come to power in an illegitimate
d'etat is contrary to the most basic understanding of human rights and
Latortue was placed in power following a coup d'etat lead by the
former paramilitary Guy Phillippe. Mr. Phillippe was known for being
involved in human rights atrocities committed during the brutal regime
Raoul Cedras. He received training in the United States at the notorious
School of the Americas, and the paramilitary force he lead were able
brutally take over the country using American-made weapons. As you know,
President Jean-Bertrand Aristide was forced from the Presidential palace
by Phillippe's men, but by US Marines. He was then forced at gunpoint
resign and board a US jet bound for the Central African Republic. Aristide
WAS the legitimately elected leader of Haiti, a fact which has been
confirmed by every credible observer of the 2000 parliamentary elections,
and which the OAS initially confirmed, before making an about-face in
midst of US pressure.
Mr. Martin and Mr. Pettigrew, it is clear that you are both allowing
my country to be used to legitimize a brutal regime in Haiti in order
provide cover for a US-assisted overthrow of a leader who was not deemed
compliant enough with the dictates of the United States. This, I realize,
a sort of penance for the fact that Canada did not participate in the
Iraq, owing to the will and action of the majority of the Canadian populace.
Not even the Caribbean Community, or CARICOM, is willing to recognize
regime of Latortue as legitimate, and these are the countries that share
borders with Haiti, which trade with this country. The African Union
been similarly staunch.
And now Canada is hosting the second round of the "Ottawa Initiative,"
with Latortue as its special guest star. None of the official
representatives of the Lavalas party, which still carries the support
overwhelming majority of the Haitian populace, nor any grassroots or
rights leaders will be represented at this meeting, despite the claims
being attended by the "leaders in the Haitian community abroad."
January 2003 meeting of the "Ottawa Initiative," it appears
as if the
purpose of this meeting will be to decide the future of Haiti without
bothering to gain any sort of direction from the Haitian people themselves.
The idea of establishing an international "protectorate" in
tantamount to a re-colonization of this state by Canada, the US, and
The Haitian people should decide the fate of their own country, and
have already given overwhelming support to Aristide to serve out the
his five-year term.
The Latortue regime has been committing literally hundreds of attacks
upon Haitians, usually from the poorer areas of the country, who are
be pro-Lavalas. On November 11th, Amnesty International issued a report
documented numerous examples of members of the National Police Force
are currently being trained by the RCMP) entering houses within poor
neighborhoods, and performing summary executions of men, women, and
children. Today, on international human rights day, over 700 political
prisoners are currently being held within Haitian jails, most of whom
not been charged, nor have been given access to legal counsel. Members
the Haitian police have fired upon numerous peaceful demonstrations
for Aristide's re-instatement, while the international community has
Hosting a leader who has allowed attacks to be carried out on
political opponents, who came to power in a military coup d'etat, would
to be contrary to the "Canadian values" which were repeatedly
during your respective election campaigns.
Your enthusiastic support for a death-squad regime will become a
source of shame for this country. The crimes being committed in Haiti
not remain hidden for long.
Halifax, Nova Scotia
Dear Mr Martin,
I am appalled by the attitude and behaviour of the
Canadian Government with respect tob Haiti.
First, there is your connivance in the violent
overthrow of the elected president, then your support
for an expatriate Haitian faction which is using
murderous methods in an attempt to intimidate and
destroy their political opposition. Now, you are
hosting a meeting in Montreal to discuss the future of
Haiti, to which no representatives of Fanmi Lavalas,
which represents the majority of the poor, have been
invited. There is talk of a long-term "protectorate";
goodbye to elections!
Of course, President Aristide had his faults; but he
had the backing of the majority and was doing a lot to
help them. He lost the support of the United States
because he would not facilitate US business plans. The
US then encouraged (and equipped, via the DR) the
rebels, and let them proceed against the president.
I cannot understand why Canada, once noted for its
constructive and conciliatory work in international
affairs, still a member of the Commonwealth of
(democratic) nations and (like Haiti) partly
french-speaking, should join in suppressing democracy
in a Caribbean state!
Are you unaware of what is happening there? Do any of
your overseas staff speak creole? Have I been
misinformed? Or is our government's policy influenced
by the short-term economic opportunities for Canadian
Forwarded by the Haitian Lawyers Leadership
"Men anpil chay pa lou" is Kreyol for - "Many hands make
light a heavy load."
See, The Haitian Leadership Networks' 7 "Men Anpil Chay Pa Lou"
campaigns to help restore Haiti's independence, the will of the mass
electorate and the rule of law. See, http://www.margueritelaurent.com/campaigns/campaigns.html
and http://www.margueritelaurent.com/law/lawpress.html .
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