18 Nov, Aristide, democratic opposition, grassroots, grassroots opposition, grassroots protest, Haiti, Laurent Lamothe, Lavalas, Michel Martelly, MONOP, MOPOD, National Movement of Popular Organizations, popular movement, President Martelly, Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe, protest, social class, Vertieres
The National Movement of Popular Organizations (MONOP, close to Lavalas) directed by Andre Fado, denounced the violence exercised on Thursday the 7th of November, in Port-au-Prince, against anti-government protestors. The MONOP says that at least three people were injured by gunshots and by rocks. The coordinator of the organization Andre Fado, denounced the government and its partisans in relation to this violence.
Fadot announced that organizations which are members of MONOP will protest again on the 18th of November in the capital, in order to demand the departure of President Martelly. He profited from the moment to deny that the movement, to which he belongs, wished to make use of the delicate question of color to attain its objectives.
The majority of the organizations and political parties making up the opposition have announced protests against President Martelly on the 18th of November, day of the Battle of Vertieres (1803), celebrating the final victory of the Haitian army against the French army in the Haitian Revolution.
A counter-demonstration (CONASOVIC) in support of President Martelly has been announced for the same day. It will be directed against the democratic-grassroots opposition, that is against MOPOD (National Movement of the Democratic Opposition) and Lavalas Family-MONOP (National Movement of Popular Organizations).
In the north of the country, in Cap-Haitian, the police made it known to members of the opposition, who are calling for a protest, that it cannot guarantee the security of the protestors, since a good part of its numbers will be engaged in security, during official ceremonies, for the occasion of the 18th of November. Seeing in that a political manoeuvre (maneuver), the former deputy of the Morin/Limonade neighborhood, Hughes Celestin, declared that the protest would be held “per fas et nefas” (whether permitted or not permitted).
[The above is based almost completely on the original French uploaded on November 15, 2013 on Radio Kiskeya’s youtube channel, in association with the below video and originally published on the 13th of November 2013. Original French text was by jmd/RK. Original French text also available here: http://www.radiokiskeya.com/spip.php?article9871 For per fas and nefas: http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Per_fas_et_nefas ]
In the above video associated with the same youtube page, Newton St. Juste observes that Cap Haitian Police saying that they cannot guarantee the safety of the protestors is a slap in the face of citizens and is like telling the bandits that they can attack citizens. He shows the parade permit which announces the route. He also thanks those who have acted in solidarity in the case of his colleague lawyer Andre Michel. The arrest warrant against Andre Michel was withdrawn, apparently under international pressure.
In our opinion, while the Cap Haitian police could be short on officers on a holiday, the announcement that they cannot protect citizens certainly appears as a tacit threat to the protestors.
Although the Haitian President gets blamed for everything, it is the Prime Minister who is head of the government of Haiti. So, blame for many problems should fall squarely upon Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe, because it is his government:
“The Prime Minister of the Republic of Haiti is the head of government of Haiti. The Haitian Prime Minister is appointed by the President and ratified by the National Assembly. He or she appoints the Ministers and Secretaries of State and goes before the National Assembly to obtain a vote of confidence for his declaration of general policy. The Prime Minister enforces the laws and, along with the President, is responsible for national defense.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prime_Minister_of_Haiti
In Haiti the power tends to be in the hands of the Prime Minister, except, as in the case of part of President Preval’s tenure, as well as some of the post-coup governments, there is rule by decree.
Furthermore, both the Senate and Chamber of Deputies Inquest Commissions, into the suspicious death of Judge Joseph, called for impeachment (trial) of BOTH President Martelly and Prime Minister Lamothe. This was approved by the Haitian Senate but must still be voted upon by the Chamber of Deputies.
Before becoming President, Martelly earned his living honestly as a nightclub – popular singer. Laurent Lamothe, on the other hand, seems to have (have had) as his primary “telecommunications” business a sort of spy-ware, tracking, which governments can put on all phone calls, allowing the calls to be taxed per call or per minute. Haiti had such a system installed. Although, Lamothe denies that his company installed it, no one seems to know what company did install it. Furthermore, it is estimated that tax monies collected on the phone calls have disappeared. This telecommunications monitoring equipment is said to potentially allow spying as well as taxation. How about that? Haitians PAY to potentially have their telephone calls spied on!
If only Martelly goes then Lamothe becomes President.
Furthermore, although the democratic protestors do not mean to use color to advance their agenda, one cannot get around the color problem in Haiti. The Haitian super-elites are mostly descended from immigrants from Germany (e.g. Helmcke), the Near East (e.g. Apaid, Bigio), and England (Baker), who came mostly in the second half of the 1800s or early 1900s. The old mulatto elites descended from French colonists appear still alive and well and sometimes intermarried with these new elites. In Haiti and in Louisiana the French sent their mixed-race children to France to study, so the old mulatto elite have a long tradition of education, lacking for the Haitian majority. For that matter Haiti’s old mulatto elites have an older and longer educational tradition than most people in the world. The new elites seem to have inter-married with the old mulatto elite in order to gain citizenship. They appear to have little to no African blood. However, in general, in Haiti, it is said that “Money lightens” which means that you can be dark-skinned and if you are rich you are “mulatto”. You can be light-skinned but if poor you are not “mulatto”. Because skin-color and class so overlap it may appear a question of color but is mostly a question of the poor majority of African and indigenous ancestry being left out of both the economic and political system.