Scottish Conservative politician supports Honduras, Haiti dictatorships


Scottish Conservative Andrew Bowie campaigning with British Prime Minister Theresa May in 2017

By Conrad Landin in Scotland:

Exclusive: Ruth Davidson called to condemn Scottish Tory MP over links to coup-backing lobby group

Andrew Bowie took sponsorship from International Republican Institute accused of links to coups in Honduras and Haiti

SCOTTISH TORY leader Ruth Davidson is facing calls to condemn one of her MPs, after he met with a US lobby group linked to a series of coups d’etat.

West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine MP Andrew Bowie was sponsored by the International Republican Institute (IRI) on a two-day junket to Paris worth £450, the Morning Star can exclusively reveal.

The Tory politician told parliamentary authorities that the purpose of the January trip was “to discuss from a British perspective the response to populism and the changing political landscape in the West.”

The IRI has been linked to the failed 2002 coup against Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez.

It has also been accused of playing a role in the successful removal of Haitian leader Jean-Bertrand Aristide in 2004, and of Honduran president Manuel Zelaya in 2009.

Labour’s Holyrood shadow Brexit minister Neil Findlay said: “The Scottish Conservatives have tried to distance themselves from the more extreme elements in the Conservative Party.

“And yet here we see one of their MPs working hand-in-glove with an organisation that is implicated in the undermining of democracy and sovereign states.”

Mr Findlay said Scottish Tory leader Ms Davidson “should condemn and distance herself from the actions of this MP.”

The IRI is one of several organisations funded by the National Endowment for Democracy, which was established by the US Congress in 1983 after US president Ronald Reagan’s seminal speech at Westminster calling for an international alliance “to foster the infrastructure of democracy.”

It received a US government grant of $339,998 (over £230,000 at the time) for “political party building” in Venezuela prior to the short-lived 2002 coup.

On the day Mr Chavez was temporarily ousted, IRI president George A Folsom said Venezuelans “rose up to defend democracy.”

Stanley Lucas, institute boss in Haiti, was accused by former US ambassador Brian Dean Curran of behaviour which “risked us being accused of attempting to destabilise the government.”

Mr Lucas was an avowed opponent of president Jean-Bertrand Aristide, and counselled the opposition to refuse to work with the social democrat government in order to cripple it, according to the New York Times.

In 2004 a group of right-wing military chiefs ousted the Aristide government in a coup.

In 2009 Mr Zelaya was ousted as Honduran leader in another military coup.

The IRI said the sham election which followed was “free of violence and overt acts of intimidation” and appeared credible.

SNP MP Chris Stephens told the Star: “This revelation demonstrates that the Scottish Tories, far from being centrist, are hard-line rightwingers, whose views on domestic and international issues continue to alienate the electorate.

“Ruth Davidson should distance herself from Bowie. The extremist views held by the Scottish Tories are the reason they have lost 21 elections in a row in Scotland.”

Nine years on from the coup, we still need to stand up for Honduras: here.

Washington presses Central America to militarize and turn away from China: here.

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Haiti elections, stop imperialist meddling


This video says about itself:

15 September 2016

Haiti Elections 2016 – Danny Glover endorses Maryse Narcisse – she talks about the Lavalas Program for the Diaspora.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Haiti: Campaigners calls for end to foreign meddling in election

Wednesday 16th November 2016

SOLIDARITY campaigners have said next week’s Haitian presidential elections must be free of imperialist interference.

Haiti Action Committee [in the USA] spokesman David Welsh said: “There can be no recovery unless there is a government in place that truly represents the people.”

He warned former colonial power France, along with the US, Canada and the United Nations, to stay out of Haiti’s business and stop financing a “terror campaign by a minority elite” against the poor.

Haiti’s first democratically elected president Bertrand Aristide — twice deposed in US-backed coups — is running the presidential campaign of his Fanmi Lavalas party’s candidate Dr Maryse Narcisse.

Mr Welsh welcomed the prospect of “the first woman elected president of Haiti and the first since president Aristide to be chosen by and speak for the impoverished majority.”

On Monday, the Trump Administration announced that some 60,000 Haitian nationals would not have their Temporary Protected Status (TPS) renewed. Under TPS, Haitians that sought refuge after Haiti’s earthquake in 2010 have been allowed to live and work in the United States. The nationals now have until July 2019 to leave the country or face detention and deportation: here.

Hurricane Matthew, disaster in Haiti, elsewhere


This video says about itself:

Aerial Footage: Haiti Town Destroyed By Hurricane Matthew

6 October 2016

The pilot who took this video, which was provided by the non-profit organization Haitian Health Foundation, said Jeremie is “wiped out. Barely 1 percent of houses are standing. The people are alive … they survived. But soon, they may starve. They’re cut-off.”

Haiti death toll from Hurricane Matthew passes 1,000: here.

TAKING SHELTER IN THE CAVES OF HAITI “For much of the world, Haiti is known more as a crisis than a country. Disaster, whether man-made or natural, has come to define the nation, where progress is often just a prelude to another step back. Dictators, corrupt officials and international meddling have competed with earthquakes and hurricanes to destabilize the country.” [NYT]

Hundreds of preventable deaths caused by Hurricane Matthew in Haiti: here.

Haiti’s hurricane devastation: A tragedy rooted in capitalist oppression: here.

After killing at least 800 people and displacing some 60,000 in Haiti last week, Hurricane Matthew battered the southeastern US, pelting coastal areas with torrential rains and winds of 120 mph in some areas claiming at least 19 lives: here.

THE FLOODING CONTINUES IN NORTH CAROLINA “The poorest of the poor in North Carolina are the ones who are being hurt the most by these floods,” Gov. Pat McCrory said. [NYT]

The class issues exposed by Hurricane Matthew: here.

HURRICANE MATTHEW COULD COST $10 BILLION IN DAMAGES Insurance companies will be liable for $4-6 billion of that. And the World Health Organization is sending 1 million doses of cholera vaccine doses to Haiti as cases surge, while the United States has paused deportations to the country. [Reuters]

Tens of thousands in the southeast United States continue to be impacted in the wake of Hurricane Matthew, which came ashore late last week. Thirty-eight people have died due to circumstances caused by the storm, including record flooding: here.

What Happens To Birds Caught In Hurricanes Like Matthew? Here.

Haiti and South American slavery


This video says about itself:

How Haiti Helped to Free South America’s Slaves

2 June 2016

On June 2, 1816 Simon Bolivar decreed the freedom of slaves across independent South America. But Haiti‘s first president Alexandre Pétion had a lot to do with this commitment.

Stop occupation of Haiti, London demonstration


This video from London, England says about itself:

Are Haiti polls rigged? Protest in front of the US Embassy in London

17 December 2015

Selma James says: “Haitians were the first to revolt against slavery… So, imperialists don’t accept the existence of this country”.

By Joana Ramiro in Britain:

Protesters call on US to get out of Haiti

Thursday 17th December 2015

Rally marks 25 years since first democratic poll

DOZENS of people assembled outside the US embassy in London yesterday to mark the 25th anniversary of the first democratic elections in Haiti.

The event both celebrated the resounding victory of president Jean-Bertrand Aristide in December 1990 and told the United States to “get out of Haiti” amid the country’s 2015 elections.

Feminist author Selma James described her meeting with Mr Aristide and his wife on the day of his election, when she happened to be in Haiti.

“Lavalas, their party, means ‘The Flood’,” Ms James told the crowd. “We saw the flood.

“Hundreds and hundreds of people, most of them young people, crowding into the house — before the car arrived, with the car and after the car — and it was an hour or so before he actually could walk from the car to the front door and always with a smile on his face.

“The first thing that Ms Aristide said to me was: ‘This victory — they can’t take it back’.”

The Global Women’s Strike co-ordinator added that the faces of Haitians “bore the stamp of the revolution as if it happened the day before, in fact, as if it was happening on that day.”

She demanded that the US get its hands off Haiti in 2015, where President Michel Martelly now rules after a second coup that deposed Mr Aristide in 2004.

“The debt that we owe to Haiti is an international debt,” Ms James said.

“Defending Haiti, in fighting alongside Haiti, we defend ourselves — we do it for ourselves.”

On the London protest, Global Women’s Strike was accompanied by the All African Women’s Group, the Payday Men’s Network and Caribbean Labour Solidarity (CLS).

“Got to tell the Yankees: Get out of Haiti, get out of the Caribbean, let people have their destiny,” said CLS president Luke Daniels at the rally.

Haiti’s ongoing parliamentary and presidential elections go into the final round on December 27.

But campaigners have labelled the whole process a sham as the US is accused of having funded the elections with a reported budget of $30 million (£20m).

Haiti: What the Clinton e-mails reveal about US election-rigging: here.