Haiti Still Marching to Overturn Stolen Election

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2016 opens with new surge in mass resistance to US/UN interference
Haiti Still Marching to Overturn Stolen Election

By Dave Welsh of Haiti Action 

Jan. 7, 2016 – The seemingly irresistible momentum of Haiti’s mass movement – combined with convincing evidence of widespread election fraud – have forced a surprise delay in the slow-motion theft of the 2015 national elections.

Faced with December’s incredible outpouring of non-stop demonstrations throughout Haiti – and daily revelations of vote rigging and voter suppression in the Aug. 9 and Oct. 25 elections – the authorities were constrained to postpone the run-off that had been set for Dec. 27. But there’s no end to the maneuvering by Haiti’s ruling elite, outgoing President Martelly and their foreign backers, determined as they are to thwart the popular will in this election.

New U.S. Ambassador gives his “OK” to the faked election results

Ambassador Peter Mulrean said he sees “no evidence of massive electoral fraud.” But his “see no evil” pose is contradicted by Martelly’s own new election commission. This body disclosed Jan. 4 that they studied 1,771 vote tally sheets and found 92% had “serious irregularities” amounting to “massive fraud.” Then on Jan. 6 thousands marched to denounce Mulrean and Martelly: “Don’t steal our votes!” Ominously, while the people marched, a plane carrying top State Department operatives Thomas Shannon and Kenneth Merten touched down in Haiti.

The 2015 elections were plagued by endless incidents of ballot stuffing, vote buying, armed coercion, naked vote rigging all the way from polling place to final tabulation. Fanmi Lavalas, long the most popular political party in Haiti, described the Oct. 25 election as “… a pre-planned fraudulent enterprise that stripped the elections of all credibility…” in its petition to the InterAmerican Commission on Human Rights. “These rigged elections of 2015 constitute … an attack on the national sovereignty … and a violation of the political rights of the Haitian people…”

Key facts about the 2015 stolen election
78 out of 78 tally sheets tainted – Dr. Maryse Narcisse, Lavalas candidate for President, called a meeting at the Vote Tabulation Center as part of her party’s legal challenge. In attendance were election officials, observers, representatives of the ruling PHTK party and another contesting smaller party Meksepa. They examined 78 randomly selected vote tally sheets (proces verbaux). All present agreed that every one of the 78 tally sheets was fraudulent, without exception. The US-backed election commission (CEP) then abruptly ended the legally-mandated verification process – invalidating those 78 particular tally sheets, but failing to check the over 13,000 tally sheets still to be verified. With that, the CEP inexplicably accepted the fraudulent election “results” as legitimate.
U.N. implicated – Deputy Antoine Rodon Bien-Aime and two other PHTK candidates made a startling revelation about UNOPS, a UN agency assigned to transport ballot boxes to the Tabulation Center. They charged that while in U.N. custody, the ballot boxes were switched en route with boxes of pre-filled-out ballots. Separately, a National Palace official was involved in a vehicle accident in which pre-filled-out ballots, marked for the Presidential candidate of Martelly’s PHTK party, Jovenel Moise, spilled on the road.
Open Letter to the U.N. – 15 prominent Haitian intellectuals, outraged by “clear involvement of U.N. agencies in the fraud that marred the elections,” wrote an Open Letter to the U.N. Mission stating, “the whole world is discovering, under pressure from the street…the truth of the biggest electoral fraud operation…for the last 30 years in Haiti.”
Experts at election rigging – Kenneth Merten was appointed US Special Haiti Coordinator in August to deal with the election crisis. He was also on the scene as US Ambassador for the 2010-11 elections. Under orders from then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, US favorite Martelly was catapulted from 3rd place into the run-off and ultimately the Presidency. CEP chair Pierre Opont admitted last July that the US “rigged the 2010 election.”
2015 election “cannot be decided by the street,” Kenneth Merten said recently, pointing out the US had committed $31 million to fund the election, plus $2.8 million to the National Police for election “security.” [Some 10,000 police and 2,500 U.N. troops were deployed on election duty.] It’s clear the U.S. Embassy does not want “the street” to decide anything.
For sale: 1 seat in Parliament – Speaking on Radio Metropole (12/17), Gerald Jean, candidate for Deputy (Congressman) for Ferrier, admitted he had paid US$15,000 to CEP member Yolette Mengual to ensure his victory in a disputed election. He told the radio audience he was angry that despite having made his payment, he did not win the seat he’d paid for.
Coup plotters and Occupiers – The self-described Core Group consists of the US, France & Canada, whose troops invaded Haiti in the 2004 coup; Brazil, which heads the U.N. military occupation of Haiti; the EU, OAS and Spain. The Core Group accepted CEP’s fraudulent election results as “legitimate.” -2-
International Days in Solidarity with the Haitian People

Inspired by the Haitians’ strong response to the election debacle, the Haiti Action Committee (HAC) issued a call for solidarity actions on Dec. 16 – the 25th anniversary of Haiti’s first free election in 1990. That was when Father Jean-Bertrand Aristide swept into the Presidency with two-thirds of the vote, on a platform of social and economic justice for the poor majority. But after barely seven months in office, Aristide was overthrown in a US-backed military coup in 1991.

In 2015, after being excluded for 11 years since a second US-sponsored coup in 2004, Aristide’s Lavalas party was finally able to run candidates again, headed by Presidential standard-bearer Dr. Maryse Narcisse. People in poor neighborhoods all over Haiti welcomed the grassroots campaign of Dr. Narcisse with obvious joy. And they marched on Dec. 16 against the brazen attempt to steal the election – in the cities and also in smaller places like Camp-Perrin and Port-Salut in the South.

Meanwhile Haiti’s overseas supporters were organizing. The HAC call for Dec. 16th solidarity actions was widely promoted by the Haiti human rights community – activists, bloggers and organizations – on Facebook, Twitter and their websites. HAC’s Facebook post alone reached over 4000 people. Thanks to this significant response, U.S. officials in Washington, D.C. received a flood of emails, phone calls and tweets on Dec. 16 and beyond. The message: 1) Stop supporting dictatorship and fraudulent elections in Haiti, and 2) Stop the US-financed terror against the poor majority who are fighting for democracy in Haiti.

In Los Angeles on Dec. 16, a delegation led by Global Women’s Strike visited the Consulates of Brazil, which commands the U.N. military force in Haiti, and Ecuador, which supplies troops for the U.N. occupation. Ecuador also trained the special police unit BOID being used to terrorize grassroots Haitian communities. The delegation presented a letter protesting these countries’ interference in Haiti.
In Boston the Haitian community rallied at the Consulate of Haiti, along with members of the Boston School Bus Drivers’ Union, to protest the stolen election. Teach-ins about the history and current election in Haiti were held in Miami, at the meeting hall of the Haitian community organization Veye Yo; in Oakland; and at a university in Windsor, Canada. In Palo Alto (CA) students, many of whom have visited Haiti on solidarity delegations, held a teach-in and press conference.
In New York, a coalition of Haitian groups demonstrated at the United Nations, denouncing the U.N. occupation and role in perpetrating the election fraud in Haiti. In Buenos Aires, the Haitian Democratic Committee in Argentina seized on Martelly’s presence in the country to issue a statement about vote fraud in Haiti.
In London on Dec. 16, Global Women’s Strike and All African Women’s Group held a rally at the U.S. Embassy. Homemade signs said, “Black Lives Matter in Haiti, Too.” Luke Daniels from Caribbean Labour Solidarity said: “Got to tell the Yankees: Get out of Haiti, get out of the Caribbean, let people have their destiny.” Then 19 members of UK’s Parliament signed an Early Day Motion questioning “grave irregularities” in Haiti’s election. -3-
Use of systematic terror against the people

Fraud effectively prevented Haiti’s voters from electing candidates of their choice. Instead, the ruling party’s handpicked Jovenel Moise, a banana exporter and political neophyte, miraculously emerged as the top first-round vote-getter for President. But state violence also played a role in suppressing the vote.

National police and paramilitaries fired automatic weapons into working class areas like Arcahaie and Cite Soleil in the lead-up to the August 9 and October 25 elections. Scores of people were killed, including two pregnant women and a 7-year-old boy. Some were “disappeared,” never to be heard from again. Later, hooded paramilitary gangs attacked marchers in Port-au-Prince with machetes, pipes, hammers, and guns, killing young election protesters as police turned a blind eye.

Now, people are noticing a rise in killings of local neighborhood organizers. During the Christmas holidays, the newly created special police unit BOID continued their killing spree in Lavalas strongholds of Port-au-Prince. But these death squad-type actions – reminiscent of those carried out by the Duvalier dictatorship, or under the murderous Latortue regime after the 2004 coup – have not deterred the resistance.

Still fighting for the goals of the 1804 Haitian Revolution

Many have commented that the Haitian people, in their vast majority, are very aware of their history – proud inheritors of the Revolution of 1791-1804, when Haiti defeated the army of Napoleon, ended plantation slavery and declared independence from France. The story of the Haitian Revolution has been passed on, in the oral tradition, from generation to generation.

How does this connect with their battle in the streets today, to stop the ongoing “electoral coup d’etat” – to have their votes counted, their choices honored, and their country’s sovereignty respected?

“It’s on every lip,” said one Lavalas activist we spoke with. “People are saying that in rejecting this stolen election, we are lighting the fires of struggle, continuing the fight for equality and sovereignty that our ancestors fought for 200 years ago.”
The author, a delegate to the San Francisco Labor Council, was a member of a Human Rights and Labor Fact Finding Delegation to Haiti in October, which reported on systematic voter suppression, violence, fraud and intimidation in the election process.

For more information, connect with the Haiti Action Committee:
http://www.haitisolidarity.net @HaitiAction1 and on Facebook

Take action – Tell U.S. officials:
1. Stop supporting fraudulent elections in Haiti
2. Stop support for police terror in Haiti

White House 202 456 1111 @POTUS Members of Congress 202 224 3121
State Dept @JohnKerry Kenneth Merten 202 647 9510 HaitiSpecialCoordinator@state.gov

Activism in Camp Acra, Delmas 33

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A short video by German TV station ZDF on activism in Camp Acra following the death of camp activist and co-founder of CHAL housing action, Elie Jean-Louis on June 11th this year. The video ends with the interview of Serge Supre the new coordinator of CHAL and Elie’s widow, Esther Pierre.

http://www.zdf.de/ZDFmediathek/beitrag/video/2588200/Chaotische-Wahlen-in-Haiti

Camp Acra was one of the first post earthquake camps set up in Delmas 33. It has over 30,000 residents and is also one of the camps that is highly organized with a number of action orientated groups including CHAL the housing action organization.

Summer Camp for Kids

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92 children aged between 2 and 12 attended a week’s summer camp at Camp Acra.  The camp organizers, CHAL would like to thank the people who donated materials – crayons, coloring books, paper and other stationary, tennis racquets, balls, and swimming pool.  This is the first time in the camps five year life that children have had access to play materials and generally have a time of organized group fun with each other.

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Adieu Elie, Nou P’ap Janm Bliye

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Seremoni Fineray pou Elie – Funeral ceremony of our comrade Jean-Louis [Elie] Joseph

Today 5th July 2015 members of CHAL and all the residents and friends of Camps Acra & Adoquin came together to honour and say goodbye to our comrade, Haitian warrior, Elie Jean-Louis Joseph who transitioned on 11th June 2015.   Elie was loved and well known across Port-au-Prince in all neighborhoods and camps and beyond in cities across Haiti; this was reflected in the huge numbers of people that came to pay their respects.

Solidarity

At the end we all are alone except for those with whom we broke our daily bread, wiped our daily sweat,  spoke our daily words, shared our daily fears and laughter! 

Open Coffin

Open Coffin

Members of CHAL & residents of Camp Acra & Adoquin

Members of CHAL & residents of Camp Acra & Adoquin

Mother of Elie

Mother of Elie, Mdm Brice Yolene

Elie's son, Junior Jean-Louis

Elie’s son, Junior Jean-Louis

Esther Pierre

Elie’s wife Esther Pierre

Elie's wife Esther with their youngest daughter

Elie’s wife Esther with their youngest daughter

Preparing the stage for the funeral

Preparing the stage for the funeral

Opening procession Delmas

Opening procession Delmas

CHAL members

CHAL members

CHAL members

CHAL members

Serge Supre [CHAL organizer ]

Serge Supre [CHAL organizer ]

Mdm Rea Dol of SOPUDEP & her husband Jean-Jacques Bataille

Mdm Rea Dol of SOPUDEP & her husband Jean-Jacques Bataille

HNP in solidarity with CHAL

HNP in solidarity with CHAL

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Elie's son with friend

Elie’s son with friend

Sergelene Supre

Sergelene Supre

 

All photos copyright by Association des journalistes Haitien freelance tête ensemble

R.I.P Jean-Louis [Elie] Elijah Joseph

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Jean-Louis [Elie] Joseph

Elie [Jean-Louis Elijah Joseph] passed away in the early hours of Thursday 11th June in Port-au-Prince aged 43 years. Elie is survived by his wife and 7 children plus another child on the way. Elie who has been a political activist for all of his adult life,  lived at Camp Acra & Adoquin for the past 5 years along with 30,000 other displaced people from the 2010 earthquake.  After the 2004 US led coup overthrowing President Aristide, Elie along with thousands of other political and human rights activists fled in hiding to the Dominican Republic.   It was therefore no surprise that within days following the earthquake he immediately began to organize the camp residents to get water and basic amenities including tents and other forms of shelter.

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Over the years he has been responsible for mobilizing residents in the fight for compensation for cholera and in demanding housing for all displaced people.   In 2013 the housing action group CHAL was formed in the camp specifically to advocate  for housing from the Haitian government and international community.  In addition to campaigning for housing for IDP, CHAL has been actively involved with a range of social justice struggles as well as encouraging  members to participate in the political process. In 2014 CHAL finally obtained the documents to a piece of land in Gressier outside of Port-au-Prince.

Elie was the driving force behind these initiatives at Camp Acra & Adoquin and was totally dedicated to the struggle for liberation in Haiti. He never compromised and never gave up despite police harassment including being forced to attend court and threats on his life.  His passing is a huge loss to the camp, to Haiti and the struggle for liberation.

Elie will be buried on the 26th June and the camp would like to honour him at this time. Any donations you are able to make will be appreciated.

Donations can be made by via our websites Donate button. Please include your name and Funeral as the subject. Thank you from all of CHAL, the residents of the Camp

 

Elie

Elie

Elie at press conference calling for the end of the UN occupation

Elie at press conference calling for the end of the UN occupation

Members of CHAL Sunday meeting

Members of CHAL Sunday meeting

Elie

Elie

Elie in Cap Haitian

Elie in Cap Haitian

Elie and Serge Supre

Elie and Serge Supre

Elie

Elie

 

Mobile clinic comes to Camp Acra

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On Thursday 26th March, the Sopu Fanm pou Famn mobile clinic came to Camp Acra & Adoquin at Delmas 33.   The clinic was held in the Camps small community center with the help of women from FASA and SOPUDEP as well as other volunteers nurses from Jalouzi.

Altogether 213  people attended:  83 women [7 pregnant women]  55 men, 75 children women attended the clinic and were treated for diabetes, blood pressure, pain, vitamins and treatments for various infections.

 

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IMG_5387 Continue reading

MILDRED ARISTIDE, FORMER FIRST LADY OF HAITI

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VIA HAITI SOLIDARITY INTERVIEW:

Mildred Aristide is an attorney, who as former First Lady of Haiti, headed the country’s National AIDS Commission and authored a book on the root causes of child domestic service. Since her family’s return home from forced exile in 2011, Ms. Aristide and her husband, former President Jean-Bertrand Aristide (known throughout Haiti as Titide) have focused their efforts on developing the University of the Aristide Foundation.

The work to build UNIFA, has taken place in the midst of growing repression within the country. Long overdue elections have not taken place. Police and UN troops using live ammunition, chemical agents and clubs have attacked demonstrators protesting against the Martelly government. President Aristide, Haiti’s first democratically elected president, has been threatened repeatedly with arrest, with heavily armed police surrounding the Aristides’ home.

Yet UNIFA has persevered. In this new interview, Ms. Aristide details progress made by this groundbreaking university over the last few years. Forged in the fight for democracy and inclusion, UNIFA is a true example of popular education in action.

Haiti Solidarity: First of all, thank you so much for your time. It is an honor for us at Haiti Solidarity to be conducting this interview. Looking back four years ago, to March 18, 2011, the date of your family’s return from exile in South Africa, what do you remember about that moment?

Ms. Aristide: Without a doubt, our accompaniment home from the airport to the front door of the house – where we sat in the car for 15 minutes until a passage could be cleared through the crowd to get inside! It is a moment and a feeling that I’ll never forget. The four of us like to refer to it as a ‘tsunami of love.’

Q: Why was reopening UNIFA the central priority of President Aristide’s work upon your return to Haiti? Why is UNIFA so essential to the movement for real democracy in Haiti?

Ms. Aristide: Let me start with some background. Titide created the Aristide Foundation University (UNIFA) in 2001. It was an extension of the Haiti-Cuba cooperation in health care. Instead of sending Haitian students to med school in Cuba we would train more doctors and health professionals in the country. We broke ground on the campus in 2002. By 2003 the first phase of construction was completed; approximately 247 medical students began classes. Early February 2004, the university teaching hospital, Hopital Universitaire de la Paix, opened. Then there was the coup d’etat. While Titide and I were forced from our home and the country, UNIFA students were forced from the campus. University classrooms and dorm rooms were transformed into military barracks by soldiers of the multi-national force deployed to Haiti. Remarkably, most of the students made their way to Cuba and completed their training. When the earthquake struck on January 12, 2010, some of these young doctors staffed emergency clinics at the Foundation auditorium; two are part of our staff at UNIFA.

In the month before we returned to Haiti, Titide wrote: “A year on [from the earthquake], young people and students look to the Foundation’s University to return to its educational vocation and help fill the gaping national hole left on the day the earth shook in Haiti … I will return to Haiti to the field I know best and love: education.” Education has always been at the center of his life work – as teacher/priest, creating Lafanmi Selavi (center for street children), his writings, social justice activism, tenure as Haiti’s first democratically elected president, his scholarship in South Africa. And today, he brings all of that to UNIFA.

Right now, in the moment that Haiti is living, the university is essential. Haiti vitally needs a safe space where young people can come together, think country and construct a future under very difficult circumstances. A place where they can learn from and interact with national and international professionals. An institution that will address national issues and seek viable solutions to national problems. Dreams of working, prospering and changing Haiti – not chasing after a foreign visa or a job with a foreign NGO. This is UNIFA’s commitment.

Q: Could you describe the growth of UNIFA over the past four years, and the impact it has made in Haiti in this period?

Ms. Aristide: UNIFA’s first admissions exam in 2011 drew over 1,000 applicants – when we could only accept 126 students for that first class! One hundred and twenty six is a tiny fraction of the approximately 50,000 students who complete high school every year in Haiti; it speaks to the urgent need for access to quality university education in Haiti. Last year it was reported that there are about 30,000 Haitians attending university in the Dominican Republic at a cost of 80-90 million dollars a year. So an immediate – albeit limited – impact that UNIFA has had is to offer Haitian parents more options in the education of their daughters and sons.

Every year, we work to expand those options. Since beginning with the medical school, we have added a school of nursing, law and this past September, in partnership with Stony Brook University in NY, Haiti’s first school of physical therapy. Our student population stands at approximately 1,200. We grew from a handful of instructors to over 65 instructors across the 4 different schools. Our Haitian instructors are complemented by a visiting instructors’ program. American and Haitian-American professionals who spend up to a week teaching on campus. Last year we had the privilege of welcoming Jeffrey Brand, former dean of the University of San Francisco Law School. As well as Dr. Henri Ford, Haitian-American chief of pediatric orthopedics at LA Children’s Hospital. Our 3rd and 4th year medical students are enrolled in clinical training at area hospitals, plus the Mirbalais Hospital established by Partners in Health. Third year nursing students as well.

In terms of student services, we now have a fully functioning cafeteria for students and staff, we have increased our broadband width – although it’s still not enough – and are actively working with our partners at Rosalind Franklin University of Medical Sciences (Illinois) to have access to their online library and human anatomy program. The partial renovation of the residential campus has meant that we have been able to lodge visiting instructors. And this year 10 students are residing on campus.

Q: Can you discuss the health care issues facing Haiti right now – and UNIFA’s role in helping to meet those challenges?

Ms. Aristide: Of course cholera remains a very serious public health crisis. At the end of 2014, several reports indicated spikes in the number of infections and deaths attributable to cholera across different parts of the country. I wouldn’t be surprised if we passed 9,000 deaths already. That, added to chronic infectious diseases like AIDS and TB, makes for a very difficult health outlook. All this against the backdrop of a hugely insufficient number of physicians for the population. Existing and new hospitals built since the earthquake function well below 100% levels because of staff shortage. The clinical support that responded to the earthquake has left. Haiti counts only a handful of trained physical therapists, when the need for therapy skyrocketed after the earthquake. The capital’s General Hospital does not have a properly functioning morgue. There is an urgent need for Haitian trained health care providers, nurses, technicians, pharmacists, and administrators – at every level. Education and training in the health sciences must be a priority in any viable national health plan.

Q: In Haiti, university education has traditionally been the province of the elite. How has UNIFA begun to break this mold?

Ms. Aristide: When UNIFA opened in 2001, government support allowed us to be tuition free. When we reopened in September 2011 (without government financial support) it was clear that we would not be able to survive without tuition. The current tuition at UNIFA (less than 1,500 USD a year) is less then what other private universities charge. So that is already broadening access. Still we know that for Haiti, in these most difficult economic times, that tuition is still a lot. And the solution may be making more need-based scholarships available; to do that we have to raise more money. Beyond the economic factor, there is a psychological and social barrier that UNIFA is committed to overcoming: The notion that only some people can be doctors or can go to university. And in fact the student body at UNIFA is representative of a broader spectrum of Haitian society than you might see at other Haitian Universities. Students and their families know that UNIFA’s doors are open to all. Both the Foundation and UNIFA are built on this guiding principle: “Tout moun se moun”. Every person is a human being. Every young person should be able to go to university, every person has the right to health care. #BlackLivesMatter.

Q: One of the impressive features of the University is its gender balance. Each of the schools – law, medical, nursing and physical therapy – has at least 50% women students. Could you discuss the significance of this for Haiti and how this has been achieved?

Ms. Aristide: Another social barrier to tear down: That the university is the domain of men. We start the year with a 50-50-gender balance (except in nursing where the pool of applicants is overwhelming feminine) and we have no difficulty finding qualified female candidates. One thing we have seen though is that there is a certain amount of attrition along the way, and attrition among female students is slightly higher, which means that the balance is not always maintained. So here is something we are looking at, asking what additional barriers to completing their studies do female students face? How can we as a University address that? Our commitment is always for gender parity.

Q: In the past period, there has been a growth in repressive measures against political expression in Haiti, including threats to arrest President Aristide. How has this impacted you and your family? How has it impacted UNIFA?

Ms. Aristide: Unsettling, but not surprising. Sadly, the absence of the rule of law means that anything is possible; anything can be said. Human rights are routinely violated, like what happened to Titide. There is a Creole expression: The dogs bark, the caravan rolls by. In August, as the political machine spewed its lies, here is what he was doing: Preparing for a 4th year at UNIFA; registering students; overseeing construction of the school of physical therapy (which is now 95% complete); working with the new dean of the medical school; assessing completion of the second 3-week international social medicine summer class. Committed as he has been all his life to working with the people of Haiti.

There are people that are visibly surprised when they visit our campus. They see students in white lab coats bustling to and from class. They stare at these young women and men sitting on benches, studying, eating lunch, hanging out, checking their email. An eyebrow is raised when they see a well-known practicing physician or lawyer step into class. Normal, everyday events for us, yet UNIFA has to push back against false perceptions. The wheel is turning. I like to tell visitors that they are standing on sacred ground. This is not hyperbole. The stakes and the country’s needs are too high. UNIFA cannot be a pawn in political fighting. There should be no attempt to use or manipulate our students to serve political ends. UNIFA is a national project that is slowly revealing itself to be a national institution in the service of the country.

We have 3 goals: (1) to prepare doctors to care for the poorest of the poor (2) to increase the number of doctors practicing in rural areas and (3) to break down long tradition of exclusion of the poor majority in Haiti from access to higher education.

Q: What are some of UNIFA’s goals for the next few years? How would you like to see the University’s reach expand?

Ms. Aristide: There are no lesser priorities, but in my book, these are five top priorities: First, UNIFA’s own teaching hospital. Second, a sizeable endowment that can allow us to lower or better yet eliminate tuition. Third, a school of science (biology, chemistry, math and engineering). Fourth, complete renovation of the residential campus so that we can accommodate students from all across the country. And fifth, a stand-alone library.

Q: We know that UNIFA has done all of this work with such limited resources. What are the ways in which people and organizations outside of Haiti can help further UNIFA’s work? How can people with ties to universities and medical institutions help?

Ms. Aristide: Well, the most straightforward cooperation is financial. While a portion of the budget comes from student tuition, we depend on international and national support for the rest. We also encourage donations/contributions of teaching material, like anatomical models and charts, laboratory equipment, etc. I recently came across an article online titled “Learning surgery in Haiti”. A group of surgeons and 2 American med students came “to Haiti” (no hospital or medical school is mentioned) for 5 days and performed 46 surgeries. This was a wonderful and most likely life-saving event for the 46 patients treated. According to the article, the students had “opportunities unavailable to them back home.” To perform the surgeries, “the team shipped 18, 50-pound boxes of instruments and materials.” Now, imagine if that group had gone one step further and partnered with a Haitian medical school to train Haitian students too. That is the kind of engaged cooperation and support that UNIFA seeks to strengthen.
……………………………..

Sent by Haiti Action Committee
http://www.haitisolidarity.net and on FACEBOOK
Follow us on twitter @HaitiAction1

Public transport strike – unions make a deal

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On Monday 2nd February public transport in Haiti came to an almost standstill with a nationwide strike.   The strike was a protest against the government of Michel Martelly and his failure to manage fuel prices which, unlike in other parts of the world have been steadily rising.   To date the unions had not passed on the fuel price rise on most routes but this may not continue.

However the strike will not continue as a deal was made with the government to reduce the price of petrol.   The unions had been calling for a 100 gourde reduction against Martelly’s offer of 15 gde.   Yesterday the unions agreed for 20 gds which is less than 25% of their original amount.  Many people are disappointed with the deal  but it is now an internal matter within the unions and driver associations to decide on what next.

Parliament was dissolved on the 12th January and presently Martelly is ruling by decree as some 5000 officials wait for an election date.

Photos from Delmas and Gerald Bataille by JC Merisma

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Release of the Florestal brothers – political prisoners under Martelly government

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The Florestal brothers, Enol and Joshua,  were imprisoned by President Martelly after they filed a lawsuit against the president’s wife and son accusing them of corruption and using treasury funds for personal use.

The brothers on their release

Florets Brothers on their release

Florets brothers

With Senator Moses Jean Charles

Senator Moses Jean Charles

 

Report by Serge Supre, photos All Rights Reserved by JC Merismas

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