Democratic Underground Latest Greatest Lobby Journals Search Options Help Login

HAITI's 10 Demands to President Obama

Printer-friendly format Printer-friendly format
Printer-friendly format Email this thread to a friend
Printer-friendly format Bookmark this thread
This topic is archived.
Home » Discuss » Places » Latin America Donate to DU
magbana Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 04:19 PM
Original message
HAITI's 10 Demands to President Obama
This Week in Haiti" is the English section of HAITI LIBERTE newsweekly. For
the complete edition with other news in French and Creole, please contact
the paper at (tel) 718-421-0162, (fax) 718-421-3471 or e-mail at . Also visit our website at
< >.

"Justice. Verite. Independance."


January 21 - 27, 2009
Vol. 2, No. 27

by Haiti Libert

With some two million people jamming Washington's two mile long National
Mall leading to the steps of the Capitol Building, Barack Hussein Obama was
sworn in this Tuesday as the 44th President of the United States of America,
the first African-American to hold the post.

The inauguration culminated a weekend of inaugural events during which the
birth of slain civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr. was also
fittingly commemorated. It was watched live on television by billions
worldwide, from cities across North America, Europe, Africa and Asia, to
small villages in the Haitian countryside.

Haitians could not but notice that Obama's inauguration was marked by the
same joy, hope and colossal crowds that were witnessed on February 7, 1991,
when Jean-Bertrand Aristide, the victor of another "historic election," was
sworn in as the President of Haiti for the first time.

The parallel also helps to remind us that the power of the Presidency, by
itself, cannot change the state and the realities of a given country or the
world. The forces of reaction and elite economic power still remain deeply
entrenched despite the "Lavalas" outpouring for change the world witnessed
on January 20, 2009. President Obama, just like President Aristide, will
soon discover what kind of vicious system he now presides over if he truly
wants or tries to reform it and put it at the service of people's needs
rather than the interests of the rich ruling class.

Of course, his policy pronouncements and cabinet choices so far show no sign
of such a radical agenda.

What is now needed is a massive popular movement to demand that the
promises, many of them vague, of Obama's two-year presidential campaign
become reality. It is further necessary that many unaddressed matters be
brought to the fore as well.

While President Obama leads the United States and not Haiti, we think it
appropriate for the Haitian people to articulate their demands to the new
U.S. President. It should in no way be interpreted that President Obama has
any right - legal, moral or political - to dictate anything to Haiti. But
since the histories of the two nations are deeply intertwined, Haitians must
make their will known.

Here, we formulate our top ten demands on behalf of Haitians everywhere.

1) President Obama, you should apologize for the 2004 coup d'tat against
Haiti which was principally fomented by the U.S. government. It caused
thousands of deaths and hundreds of unwarranted and illegal political
detentions and exiles, many of which continue to this day. It once again
derailed Haitian democracy, the effects of which will be felt for

You should also explicitly repudiate the Bush Administration policy of
successfully banishing former President Jean-Bertrand Aristide not just from
Haiti but from the Western Hemisphere. You should declare that the U.S. will
facilitate Aristide's return to Haiti and offer a jet to fly him back to his
homeland from South Africa, just as it was an unmarked U.S. government jet
that flew the kidnapped Haitian president and his wife at the gunpoint of
U.S. Special Forces to Africa in the first place.

2) President Obama, you should call and work for the immediate withdrawal of
U.N. occupation troops from Haiti. The U.N. is simply doing the bidding of
the U.S., France and Canada, which were the governments behind the 2004 coup
which brought with it the occupation. U.N. troops have carried out
massacres, abused and humiliated our people, and wasted precious resources
through pointless show patrols aimed at intimidating or creating a false
sense of security. The U.N. military occupation is a violation of Haitian
sovereignty and of international law.

3) President Obama, you should immediately abrogate the shameful 1997
treaties which allow U.S. warships and warplanes to penetrate Haitian waters
and airspace whenever they please. This treaty, which was forced on Haiti
and presents the U.S. as the "policeman" of the Caribbean and the world,
should be condemned. Furthermore, all U.S. claims to the Haitian island of
La Navasse should be abandoned.

4) President Obama, you should immediately grant all undocumented Haitian
refugees in the U.S. Temporary Protected Status or TPS. After the four
storms that savaged Haiti last August and September, Haiti is still reeling
and buried in mud. All repatriations of Haitians must stop immediately.

5) President Obama, you must immediately halt the deportation of
Haitian-born but U.S.-raised felons from the U.S. to Haiti. Often these
criminals have no knowledge of Haiti, don't speak the Krey l language, and
contribute to Haiti's crime problems.

6) President Obama, you should immediately reject and disapprove the
neo-liberal policies which the U.S. government has forced on Haiti over the
past two and a half decades. These include the push for Haiti to privatize
its strategic state-owned enterprises, cut its government services, lower
its tariff barriers, and balance its budget. Even you have said the U.S. may
run a deficit in the trillions of dollars to meet the financial crisis your
country faces. Haiti faces an even worse financial crisis, and this for many

7) President Obama, you must immediately stop U.S. aggression, threats,
sabotage and bullying against our Caribbean neighbors, in particular Cuba
and Venezuela. These two nations are our key allies, providing us with fuel,
doctors, power plants, education, technical support and financial aid. U.S.
aggression against them is unwarranted and illegal. It hurts and outrages
the Haitian people.

8) President Obama, you should call for the immediate cancellation of
$1.3 billion external debt, about 40% of which was rung up by the Duvalier
dictatorships and never served the Haitian people. Most of this sum is owed
to the World Bank, International Monetary Fund and Interamerican Development
Bank. In all three institutions, the U.S. wields the most influence and
votes. Haiti has already qualified for, but not received, debt relief
through the Heavily Indebted Poor Country (HIPC) initiative. Haiti is being
asked to meet difficult requirements while paying about $1 million a week to
the banks while in the midst of a humanitarian emergency.

9) President Obama, you should publicly demand that President Nicolas
Sarkozy of France honor Haiti's 2003 demand for reparations totaling some
$21.7 billion. From 1825 until 1947, France extorted some 90 million francs
from its formal colony, with the connivance of other North American and
European powers. Haiti's demand for restitution of this sum with interest,
which is founded in international law of which you are a student, would be a
first step towards correcting the centuries of punishment Haiti has endured
for being the first and last nation in history to carry out a successful
slave revolution.

10) President Obama, you should offer Haiti, not aid, but reparations for
the damage caused by the U.S. against Haiti in the coup d'tats of 1991-1994
and 2004-2006, which claimed the lives of not fewer than 9,000 people.
Reparations should also cover the damage and hardship caused by U.S. support
of the Duvalier dictatorship for 29 years (1957-1986) and neo-Duvalierist
dictators for another five years (1986-1990), which combined claimed another
10,000 lives. Support of these coups and dictatorships was, in fact, an
undeclared war, which caused vast damage to Haiti's people, development and
democracy. For the nearly four decades in question, at about $250 million in
damages yearly, we would set reparations for this undeclared war at $10

President Barack Obama, if your victory is to be anything more than
symbolic, if your professions of faith in peace, justice, law and virtue are
sincere, if you truly wish to reverse the course of the Bush Administration
and its predecessors, then you will not hesitate to act on our demands. The
Haitian people are watching. The whole world is watching.

All articles copyrighted Haiti Liberte. REPRINTS ENCOURAGED.
Please credit Haiti Liberte.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 04:39 PM
Response to Original message
1. Sure hope there will be an answer for this. Please post it if you see it, and I will, too.
Hope to see him address what has happened to Haiti.

If we can do no good, at the very least we should refuse to continue to harm.

Thank you, magbana.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
Bacchus39 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 04:43 PM
Response to Original message
2. now the demands start (although this isn't coming from Haiti's government)
its not going to happen although I am sure Obama will provide assistance to Haiti in many ways.

I do expect to see "demands" from some governments like Ven, Cuba, and Bolivia in the near future.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 05:26 PM
Response to Original message
3.  Haitian Lawyer Lays Out Haiti Policy Agenda For Obama Team
Haitian Lawyer Lays Out Haiti Policy Agenda For Obama Team
CaribWorldNews, NEW YORK, NY, Tues. Jan. 20, 2009:

President-elect Barack Obama is not yet President but a Haitian lawyer has some strong recommendations for him in dealing with the poverty-stricken nation.

Marguerite 'Ezili Dant' Laurent, President of the Haitian Lawyers Leadership Network, is urging Obama to grant temporary protected status to Haitians living undocumented in the U.S.

She also wants a cancellation of all Haitian debt and the start of fair trading with Haiti. `It is in the best interest of the United States to directly support Haitian democracy, good governance, development, self-reliance and self-sufficiency,` states Laurent. `This cannot be done if the Haitian government has to compete with foreign funded NGOs and charities who are not elected or accountable to the people of Haiti, but are predatory and promoting dependency and their own organizations' interests for self-perpetuation in Haiti.`

Laurent also wants the U.S. Congress and the next President to `support the institutionalization of Haitian laws, not USAID/IRI/NED `democracy enhancement` projects that promote coup d'etat, instability and financial colonialism and containment-in-poverty in Haiti through neo-liberalism - `free trade` , `globalization` and other such `privatization` - schemes.`

And she called for an end to occupation of Haiti by UN military troops.

As Laurent summarized: `The Obama candidacy promised change and a return to the rule of law and diplomacy To grant Haitians TPS, end the UN military occupation, assist Haiti with poverty reduction, domestic agricultural investments, community policing, cancel unfair debt to international financial institutions, all would support stability, participatory democracy, stop the flow of refugees and illegal immigration and meet the policy interests of the United States.`

Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
DU AdBot (1000+ posts) Click to send private message to this author Click to view 
this author's profile Click to add 
this author to your buddy list Click to add 
this author to your Ignore list Tue Jan 23rd 2018, 02:13 AM
Response to Original message
Advertisements [?]

Home » Discuss » Places » Latin America Donate to DU

Powered by DCForum+ Version 1.1 Copyright 1997-2002
Software has been extensively modified by the DU administrators

Important Notices: By participating on this discussion board, visitors agree to abide by the rules outlined on our Rules page. Messages posted on the Democratic Underground Discussion Forums are the opinions of the individuals who post them, and do not necessarily represent the opinions of Democratic Underground, LLC.

Home  |  Discussion Forums  |  Journals |  Store  |  Donate

About DU  |  Contact Us  |  Privacy Policy

Got a message for Democratic Underground? Click here to send us a message.

© 2001 - 2011 Democratic Underground, LLC