The UN in Haiti: Part of the
problem, not the solution
Haiti Information Project
Haiti Action Network, www.haitiaction.net/,
August 30, 2005
When doing a news search of Haiti today,
you will find two very different articles about soccer in Haiti.
An Associated Press dispatch headlined
"Soldiers use soccer to win over Haitians" by Alfred
de Montesquiou tells how U.N.-deployed Brazilian troops are playing
soccer with residents in Bel Air to counteract fierce popular
resistance to the Feb. 29, 2004 coup against President Jean-Bertrand
Aristide and the ensuing foreign military occupation of Haiti.
Another article entitled "Massacre
of football fans raises state terror fears," written by independent
journalist Reed Lindsay, tells how a machete-wielding paramilitary
death-squad and Haitian National Police (PNH), under the nose
of U.N. forces, attacked spectators on Aug. 20 at a soccer match
sponsored by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID),
killing at least eight. The discrepancy between these two news
accounts goes to the very heart of the question: what is the U.N.'s
role in Haiti?
Who's really in charge?
As reports continue to surface about the
human rights hell that Haiti has become, any independent observer
must ask how many massacres the Haitian police will commit under
the tutelage of U.N. forces before the U.N. is held accountable?
Are U.N. forces in charge of the PNH, as their mandate states,
or do we simply accept their excuse of being unable to stem police
violence against Aristide's supporters.
Why would you reward the perpetrators?
As HIP has reported, the Haitian police
have gunned down unarmed Lavalas demonstrators on several occasions
over the past year and even planted weapons on their victims'
corpses. The police chief during these operations was Léon
Charles, anointed by the US, accepted by the U.N. and forced upon
the Haitian people. If anyone is responsible, Charles is.
So where is Charles today? He is the de
facto government's Chief of Security and Arms Procurement at to
the Haitian Embassy in Washington D.C. with an annual salary of
$150,000. Charles was given this plum position despite allegations
that he ran a scam to collect the salaries of phantom PNH employees
to line his own pockets. He is also being rewarded for overseeing
the massacre of Lavalas supporters during peaceful demonstrations.
And who pays Charles' salary in Washington?
U.S., Canadian and European taxpayers, who provide their governments
with "international donor money" collected under U.N.
auspices to build "democracy" in Haiti. The U.N. would
rather have Charles parked in a well-paid job in Washington than
hold him accountable for killings, where he might reveal U.N.
The Bush "fix" is in
Another case of hypocrisy was recently
provided by outgoing US Ambassador James B. Foley. He lamented
the recent release of Louis Jodel Chamblain - convicted murderer
and vice-president of the CIA-funded paramilitary death-squad,
the Front for Advancement and Progress in Haiti (FRAPH). Foley
failed to mention that his government continues to harbor the
FRAPH leader Emmanuel "Toto" Constant somewhere in the
New York metropolitan area. Since 1996, Constant has had political
asylum in the U.S. If Foley really wants justice in Haiti, he
should start by demanding that "Toto" Constant be deported
to Haiti to be judged and jailed. Alligator tears are plentiful
in Haiti today at the U.S. embassy and the U.N. mission. Sound
bites replace reality as Lavalas supporters are slaughtered or
made political prisoners.
Meanwhile, the Bush administration has
entered its own candidate in the U.N.-run Haitian presidential
elections scheduled for November. Texas-based businessman Dumarsais
"Dumas" Siméus will have his campaign run by
Rob Allyn, a Republican political consultant and hit-man for Bush's
2004 re-election campaign. Allyn falsely announced that Venezuelan
President Hugo Chavez had lost the referendum for his recall last
year and was the architect of President Vicente Fox's 2000 election
victory in Mexico.
The Real Questions
How many massacres, like the one U.N.
forces carried out on July 6 in Cité Soleil, must be committed
before we acknowledge that their role in Haiti is far from altruistic?
How many more political prisoners need to rot away in Haitian
jails, as the U.N. continues to support and bolster the U.S.-installed
regime of de facto Prime Minister Gérard Latortue? How
many times has the U.N. called for investigations into human rights
violations by the Haitian police only to have it lead nowhere
as the slaughter of innocent Haitians continues? When will we
admit that the U.N. mission itself is fundamentally corrupt?
The U.N. is responsible for creating the
very environment that has given rise to the police state in Haiti.
Some human rights organizations believe that the U.N. can play
a positive role, if pressured to do so. They think that only the
U.N. stands between the naked repression of the Haitian police
and the majority of the population that continues to demand Aristide's
return. But this thinking is naive and dangerous.
It is dangerous because it ultimately
views the poor majority as powerless and serves the interests
of those who wish to further take power and voice away from Haiti's
poor. This is precisely the role being played by the U.N., whose
fundamental goal is to legitimize last year's coup with sham elections
this fall. The U.S.-installed Latortue regime would not stay in
power for more than a week without the guns of the U.N. protecting
it in the Presidential Palace. And the sham elections would not
be possible either.
Objectively, the U.N. has proven time
and again that it is enforcing Washington's coup agenda and is
ultimately responsible for the human rights nightmare in Haiti