Duvalierist dictatorship back in Haiti?

This video says about itself:

Haitian authorities will investigate former dictator Jean-Claude Duvalier for crimes against humanity allegedly committed under his 16-year rule.

By Kevin Edmonds and Roger Annis:

Haiti: President Martelly must not waive Baby Doc‘s crimes

June 22, 2011

The inauguration of Michel Martelly to the Haitian presidency on May 14 should sound serious alarm for those concerned with human rights, justice and the rule of law in the country. In a pre-inaugural interview with the Montreal daily La Presse on April 18, Martelly put forward a plan of national reconciliation which would include granting amnesty to former Haitian ruler Jean Claude Duvalier.

The president-elect later backed away from this idea on advice from his counsel. But his connections to the former dictator present some worrying potential for ongoing efforts to prosecute him.

In the La Presse interview, Martelly was asked about the return this year of Mr. Duvalier and former president Jean-Bertrand Aristide to Haiti. On amnesty, he said, “… we won’t take hasty decisions, but I’m leaning toward the side of amnesty and forgiveness so that we can think about tomorrow and not yesterday.”

While this appears as an admirable tone of reconciliation, the position expressed by Martelly is deeply problematic. Firstly, he cannot legally grant amnesty to Duvalier for the killings, disappearances and political prisons for which the former dictator is responsible. They are crimes against humanity under international law.

Secondly, as concerns Aristide, there are no charges against the former president — neither in Haitian nor in international law — for which he could be pardoned.

Duvalier’s crimes are documented by human rights agencies such as Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, and by the United Nations, the United States government and reams of credible media reports.

In these circumstances, amnesty would not be an act of national reconciliation. It would have all the appearance of a favour towards Duvalier, and further fictitious allegations against Aristide’s name and reputation.

During the recent election, Martelly — the former kompa singer — campaigned as a champion of “change,” a “political outsider.” In a March 2, 2011 interview with Agence France Presse, the self-proclaimed outsider raised alarm by stating he was “ready” to work with officials who had served under the Duvalier regimes.

One of his advisors, Gervais Charles, currently serves as Jean-Claude Duvalier’s lawyer, and Daniel Supplice, co-ordinator of Martelly’s transition team, is a childhood friend and former schoolmate of Jean Claude Duvalier. He served as minister of social affairs under Duvalier.

Martelly’s nominee for prime minister, Daniel-Gérard Rouzier, is a member of the Haitian elite that violently opposed the elections of Jean-Bertrand Aristide and the social reforms his governments sought to implement. Rouzier’s father also was a minister in Duvalier’s government.

Martelly’s open support of the 1991 and 2004 coups against Aristide clearly shows his selective taste for democracy.

The crimes of Jean Claude Duvalier

With Duvalier’s return to Haiti in January 2011, the Haitian government under President René Préval opened two criminal proceedings, one for financial crimes and the other for crimes against persons. There are none against Jean Bertrand Aristide.

François Duvalier and his son, Jean Claude (who inherited the Haitian presidency in 1971) were responsible for the deaths of an estimated 60,000 people. The vast majority were political opponents or innocents suspected of subversion. Thousands more were brutally tortured at the infamous Fort Dimanche — one of three notorious prisons that formed Duvalier’s “triangle of death.”

Wikileaks exposes US profiteering after Haiti earthquake: here.

Disaster capitalists flocked to Haiti in a “gold rush” for contracts to rebuild the country after the January 12, 2010 earthquake, wrote the current US ambassador Kenneth Merten in a secret Febuary 1, 2010 cable obtained by WikiLeaks and reviewed by Haiti Liberte: here.

Haiti: US embassy knew of earthquake vulnerability: here.

Memories of a Duvalier Massacre, 50 Years Later | By Edwidge Danticat: here.

12 thoughts on “Duvalierist dictatorship back in Haiti?

  1. Deputies reject PM candidate

    HAITI: The Chamber of Deputies rejected President Michel Martelly’s proposed prime minister on Tuesday.

    Deputies voted 42 to 19 against US-educated entrepreneur Daniel-Gerard Rouzier, with three abstentions.

    The president will now need to nominate another candidate. Mr Martelly said he was “deeply disappointed” by the decision.

    But deputy Patrick Joseph said: “His papers weren’t correct. We need to stop wasting time and they need to submit an appropriate choice.”



  2. On “Wikileaks exposes US profiteering after Haiti earthquake“

    I wish WSWS would do an investigative report on Canada’s role in supporting the USA’s imperialism in Haiti.

    At the time of the hurricane and destruction, Canada’s Governor General was Michelle Jean (who was born in Haiti).

    Michelle Jean supported Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper in proroguing Canada’s Parliament, when opposition members were on the verge of ousting Harper.

    Canadian troops took over control of the airport in Haiti (on behalf of the USA), when Aristide was kidnapped and flown to Africa.

    The Canadian International Aid Agency (CIDA), which was always benevolent toward Haiti, seemed to change to support US goals in Haiti, at the expense of the Haitian people. Please check the number of businesses from Quebec, Canada, that are exploiting Haitians.

    Under PM Stephen Harper, Canada has been supporting US imperialism in Haiti (and elsewhere) by flying under the media radar.

    Your attention to Canada’s role in Haiti would be a benefit to Canadians, who are being lied to, and kept in the dark, by the Stephen Harper Conservative government. And since Harper recently won a majority government, things are bound to get worse.


    New Brunswick, Canada
    24 June 2011



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