Deadly politics in Haiti: new allegations against Lavalas invented as PM announces the scheduling of elections

January 19, 2014
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19 year old Elie Cliford lays under the midnight glow of the streetlamps. The lastest victim of the political violence in Haiti. ©2014 Teledyol

Deadly politics in Haiti: new allegations against Lavalas invented as PM announces the scheduling of elections

by Randall White - Port au Prince, Haiti — On the street today, in Haiti’s Cite Soliel, the mention of political murders and “insecurity” bring up the memory of a recent string of politically-motivated assassinations. The Reuters News Agency hyped assassination of Radio Haiti-Inter owner and journalist Jean Dominique of April 2000 was not germane to them, until just yesterday, when Reuters stringer and veteran journalist Guyler C. Delva advocated for the indictment of the former President of Haiti, Jean Bertrand Aristide, in a new government-led game plan to attack the Fanmi Lavalas political organization.

With most victims of the political violence today — too young to remember the assassination of Jean Dominique and his driver, Jean-Claude Louissaint — they are just as vital to any emerging leadership of the nation as those of the older generations who command the political headlines. To the young activists, the Jean Dominique assassination is just another senseless killing like any of the other politically-motivated slayings that they have been experiencing; almost weekly.

This last Monday, January 13, a young man was gunned down in the Labonté neighborhood of Cité Soliel perceived as part of an ongoing conflict has been described as a “Cold War” by the militants. Elie Cliford — age 19 — was shot three times by his assailant around 9:30 in the evening. As the young residents of the neighborhood stood around the lifeless body, they reflected on the sad news of their daily situation — “L’insécurité fait l’écran a Cité Soleil” — they wish that a government would arrive that thinks about them as they “continue to live a life that is unlivable.” The injustice continues and the killers are not found.

The victims are friends and family of the political activists who fill the street demonstrating against the political instability that they blame on the intrigues of The US Embassy and an unconstitutionally elected government.

This is the tenth anniversary of the US directed Coup d’État of 2004. A former Fanmi Lavalas Senator, Mirelande Libérus — named in the recommendations of the Investigative Judge Yvickel Dabresil read yesterday — escaped the political executions of 2004 from US-armed insurgents escorted into the capital of Port au Prince by undercover US Special Forces as officials from the US Embassy kidnapped President Aristide and began the complete foreign occupation of the country with the US Marines.

Even the tragic Earthquake of 2010 could not change the deadly US policy to keep exiled President Aristide from returning to his country. The Wikileaks files show that Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, kept a short leash on Haiti’s government to keep Fanmi Lavalas out of participation in the political direction of the country.

In the week before Dr. Aristide returned to inspire the resurgence of the medical program at the University at the Aristide Foundation — UniFA — President Obama called President Jacob Zuma of South Africa TWICE to pressure them not to return Aristide to Haiti. When that didn’t work, Obama/Clinton leaned on Nicolas Sarkozy and Ban Ki Moon to make similar calls to South Africa. article on the return of Aristide

Certainly, the last month has been a wild ride for the “diaspora” of Fanmi Lavalas. Look for a realignment within the ranks as these new charges will actually cause some reflection by former Lavalas firebrands who will discover that their new allies aren’t friendly at all. Election season in Haiti has always been treacherous, but the Fanmi Lavalas political organization has been busy over the last three months, organizing their base throughout the country to activate on a grassroots level for a resurgence.

In Cité Soliel — a Fanmi Lavalas stronghold — has seen a nonstop assault by thugs who support the Martelly government seeking a return of the military, Ton Ton Macoute and Duvalierism. Over the last three months the young pro-democracy activists have seen similar politically-motivated violence and murder.

Why are these charges coming to the forefront at this particular time?

Did the US government have a role in pressuring Oriel Jean to fabricate testimony for the investigating cabinet of this case?

There are many questions, like this, that need to be asked about these accusations.

For two shows, this coming week, Flashpoints Radio producer Kevin Pina will be investigating the background of the Jean Dominique case. On Tuesday at 6PM (PST) his guest will be Human Rights attorney Brian Concannon (IJDH) on KPFA - Berkeley. On Wednesday, once again, there will be more guests and will publish that information as it becomes available.

In July of 2004 the Institute of Justice and Democracy in Haiti published a Human Rights Report on that consisted largely of similar killings and abuses against young Lavalas activists in the first three months after The February 29th, 2004 Coup d’État.

What is interesting about who is mentioned in the new accusations by Judge Yvickel Dabresil is who is not mentioned. The Jean Dominique case is frequently used by anti-Lavalas hacks as a vehicle to emit preposterous disinformation about Aristide’s leadership. In 2006 a right wing “astroturf” organization, Reporters Without Borders, first raised the groundless suspicion of Annette August (Sò Anne). That was also part of another Flashpoints Radio investigation by Kevin Pina and published here on



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