Haiti’s election circus continues, and Wyclef Jean won’t take no for an answer

FOUNDER’S NOTE: Here is one of those Left-Wing articles from the West Coast of California, written by someone you cannot find on a Google search, but it serves as a good example of bias…that should be read, along with my imbedded comments.


Posted By Mary On August 28, 2010 @ 6:42 pm In Haiti and Latin America | 3 Comments

by Charlie Hinton, with editing assistance from Kiilu Nyasha

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Wyclef Jean is surrounded by security in Port au Prince following the Electoral Council’s rejection of his candidacy. – Photo: Ramon Espinosa, AP

On Friday, Aug. 20, Haiti’s Electoral Council ruled that only 19 of the 34 declared candidates could run for president, eliminating the other 15, including rap artist Wyclef Jean, supposedly because he didn’t meet Haiti’s constitutional five-year residency requirement, but more likely because worldwide reporting of Mr. Jean’s lack of qualifications and financial hanky panky, as well as internal Haitian political wrangling, made him too toxic.

Not Supposedly:  He didn’t meet the constitutional requirement of 5 years residency immediately before filing papers. He has been out of the country for 31 years, except for brief visits.

However, he soon announced that he will sue to get on the ballot, providing the next episode for Haiti’s ongoing presidential election soap opera.

Preval is trying to derail the election. Wyclef claims to be rich, but has financial problems. He met with Preval for 2 hours, immediately prior to his rejection, and made a deal in which he agreed to cause problems…that will increase tension..justifying Preval’s desire to delay the entire process.  Wyclef, the pastor’s son, took “30 pieces of silver” to betray the people he claims to love.

And the election does go on. Even though Haiti lives under military occupation with more than 11,500 uniformed U.N. personnel on the ground, both military and police; even though the earthquake destroyed most election registration records; even though more than a million people remain living in squalid tent and tarp encampments in Port au Prince and points south and would miraculously have to be re-registered in 90 days; even though the money that will be spent on this election could feed and house thousands of these Haitians in extreme need; even though the president’s term has been extended on an emergency basis, despite widespread protest; even though the largest and most popular party, Fanmi Lavalas, has been excluded from running candidates and its leader, twice overthrown President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, continues to be banished from returning to Haiti; even though the “international community” has supported dictators and tyrants throughout Haiti’s history, including the murderous Duvalier family, these elections go on.

If we continue to believe certain things, the patient will never be saved because the diagnosis is based upon false facts.

Let us get away from this “murderous Duvalier” crap when describing  Jean-Claude Duvalier’s presidency. I will quote Ambassador Ernest Preeg, in his monograph on the Caribbesan Basin Initiative. One quote stands out. Preeg stated: “It can honestly be said that the Jean-Claude Duvalier presidency is the longest period of violence free stability in the nation’s history…”

Preeg also mentions the infrastructure that existed, unlike the lack of infrastructure throughout other Caribbean nations.

Duvalier was, and remains popular with the peasants. It was the business elite with the American government, that forced Duvalier out.

The people would welcome him –  and Aristide – in a heartbeat….

The UN should be controlled, or thrown out of Haiti. The UN is a money-making organization that rarely pays any attention to when the nation needs. Haiti does not need a military foce…it needs, and has always needed, a group working to build infrastructure. Instead, the existing MINUSTAH does nothing except buy expensive Landcruisers (2000) for its staff and eat at expensive restaurants.

The election records were not destroyed. They were stored in Gold’s Gym, located in Petionville, and this structure remained undamaged in the January 12 earthquake.

They must be registered in 90 days.

Had Preval acted on the first request, they would have had much more time. As each day passes, there will be less time, until there is none.

That is Preval’s strategy.

Without a proper election there will be no assistance. Everything is frozen until Preval goes.

If he steals the election –  as he plans – the aid will remain frozen and Haiti will die.

Why? There’s a term for it. Instead of holding a free and fair election, where all parties, candidates and voters openly participate, this is a “demonstration election.”

As defined by Edward Herman and Frank Brodhead in their book, “Demonstration Elections,”  the purpose of a demonstration election is to substitute the form of democracy for its substance, in order to prevent real grassroots democracy. Yes, the purpose of a demonstration election is to prevent grassroots democracy.

I like the term DEMONSTRATION ELECTION  and  I describe it as a desire for DEMOCRATIC CONTINUITY as one so-called elected government passes control to another so-called elected government…even if neither is democratic, or reall won an election. Such was the case in 2006 when MINUSTAH gave Preval the presidency by declaring he had 51% when he actually got  23%.

There is no grassroots in Haiti. Foreigners don’t understand the social structure in Haiti and continually refer to grassroots. It isn’t there!!!

In the case of Haiti, Fanmi Lavalas and the Lavalas movement have overwhelmingly demonstrated their popularity and influence in every election since 1990, when Aristide was elected with 67 percent of the vote. The Haitian majority loves President Aristide. He said he wanted to raise Haitians from a state of misery to “poverty with dignity,” and he practiced what he preached, building schools, parks, housing, hospitals and clinics, and a medical school, despite having his government starved of funds and loans, because he put the needs of poor Haitians ahead of the demands of international bankers (see http://haitisolidarity.net/downloads/We_Will_Not_Forget_2010.pdf [3]).

The Haitian majority loves President Aristide because he put the needs of poor Haitians ahead of the demands of international bankers.

Aristide said he wanted to raise Haitians from a state of misery tp “poverty with dignity.” This is word game. Press releases described projects that did not exist. It was a game with smoke and mirrors.  The nation slid downwards, under Aristide’s control” and now crash dives under the dictatorial government of Preval.

With the Electoral Council banning candidates from Fanmi Lavalas, we are presented with an election, in the name of “democracy,” where the most popular party in the country is prevented from participating – providing the illusion of electoral “democracy” as a front for a military occupation whose goal is to repress the forces calling for the democratic sharing of power and wealth in the first place – the precise definition of a “demonstration election.”

The banning of the Lavalas party is a stupid move and should not have been accepted by the international community. The outside world can dictate certain standards of fairness, and should.

Preval controls everything – with money he has stolen from the treasury.

He controls the electoral council – the CEP – totally. His mistress is a member. An earlier CEP had his first cousin as chairman. Preval doesn’t even try to hide these things.

He controlled the parliament via ex-Prime Minister Jacques Alexis, the guy who carried cash to members when a vote was required.

Now Preval has stolen $107,000,000 – that’s right..one hundred and seven million American dollars… from the Petro Caraibe Fund – supposedly to buy construction equipment.

Instead, he will distribute this to his political party’s candidates so they can buy their local communities and control the government – again.

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His head wrapped in the Haitian flag, Wyclef on Aug. 26 released on Twitter a song protesting the ruling removing his name from the presidential ballot. He recorded it in Haitian Kreyol, the primary language of the Haitian people. He’s been criticized for not being fluent in either Kreyol or French, which is also spoken widely in Haiti.

Wyclef does not speak French: Period. His Kreyol sounds like that of an American tourist with a phrase book.

Hir role, in this election, is that of a spoiler, denying any hope to his people, the 9,000,000 disenfranchised Haitians who never really participate in the elections. If truth were accepted, less than 10 % have ever cast ballots. The real figure hovers around 5% before the foreign community expands it to “Landslide Victories” or “Overwhelming Majorities”…neither of these have ever existed.

Aristide probably won th 1990 election, but he was declared victor with less that 1% of the vote actually counted. The French embassy declared him winner, with their illegal FM station, at 11AM – 7 hours before the polling stations were to close.

So much for a democratic election!

After the United States conquered Cuba, Puerto Rico and the Philippines in 1898, the powers that be decided to create an “informal empire” as a means of control, rather than the kind of direct colonial occupation that the European powers had used in their conquests of Africa, Asia and the Middle East. The U.S. would use elections during an occupation to legitimate its preferred candidate, then use economics and other means of coercion to maintain a loosely knit system of neo-colonial dependency.

The is the standard Left Wing garbage

In “Demonstration Elections,”  Herman and Brodhead explain the template that has been developed for these sham elections, analyzing the elections in the Dominican Republic in 1966, Viet Nam in 1967 and El Salvador in 1982. We can see this template at work for recent elections in Iraq, Afghanistan, Honduras and now Haiti, where the boycotted senatorial elections of 2009 and the upcoming presidential elections fit this pattern perfectly.

This concept, of course, assumes some sort of control over the process.

The International Community has absolutely no control over Preval or his band of criminals. They have given “the finger” to the International Community and  the outside world accepts.

Preval has boldly stolen a fortune. He took $198,000,000 from Petro Caraibe funds, dedicated to rebuilding Gonaives, etc, after the 2008 hurricane disaster. He has now stolen $107,000,000 from the same fund, to buy the elections.

He has stolen hundreds of millions elsewhere and no one says anything.

A demonstration election is a media event above all else. The media sell the election to taxpayers at home to show “progress” and justify spending the money for the occupation. They feature the election as BIG NEWS, when it’s really propaganda, a smokescreen for the harsh realities on the ground.

Theswe guys are so focused on the concept of a DEMOINSTRATION ELECTION  and their hate for anything that is not totally left of center, that they cannot see the forest for the trees. They believe they are helping the poor Haitian peasant but do absolutely nothing to improve their lot.

That is why the candidacy of Wyclef Jean is so important – it makes this Haitian election a media “event” and gives it the illusion of credibility, when it’s real goal is to suppress the Lavalas movement, put a democratic front on a brutal military occupation, install a friendly face who will obey the will of the “international community” investor class, and continue the neo-liberal economic direction of the current Haitian government, all the while presenting the face of “democracy” to the outside world.

This comment convinces me that the writer has never been to Haiti!

Perhaps he has never met a Haitian.

For him to seggest that Preval’s theft of the election will put “a friendly face in the palace” shows a complete and total lack of understanding. We get a lot of these lunatic views from the west coast of the United States…as far away from Haiti as one can get, unless they retreat to Hawaii.

So now we have 19, possibly 20, candidates lined up, most of them with a tiny or no constituency, and all willing to play ball with the forces of occupation, while Lavalas supporters demonstrate to denounce the elections as a fraud, and U.N. troops shoot up the neighborhoods where they live.

All but three or four of the candidates –  Celestin, Voltaire, Ceant and one other have no real backing or hope.

Lavalas will back one of these.

But the media will never report on this. They have “on-agenda” items – basically anything about Wyclef – and “off-agenda” items – basically everything else, but especially any analysis of the background, context and Real Purpose of the election and, in the case of Haiti, that the Lavalas movement even exists. But it does. Stay tuned.

The media does have an agenda. They report little of what is happening in Haiti. They never mentiuon that Preval’s candidate, Jude Celestin was his wife’s lover and is now married to his daughter. (Keep it in the family) They don’t mention that Jude Celestin is tied to several high-profile murders, including thsat of the French Consul. Preval is also tied to these murders and the International Community knows this.

The writer of this article is observing the “shell game” but is searching for the wrong shell.

Preval’s effort to buy the entire electoral process is the prize beneath the key shell….not a DEMONSTARTION ELECTION.

The World Community is about to lose the game – yet again…in Haiti.  By doing so, the people of Haiti lose – yet again.

Charlie Hinton is a member of the Haiti Action Committee (http://haitiaction.net/ [5] and http://www.haitisolidarity.net/ [6]) and works at Inkworks Press, a worker owned and managed printing company in Berkeley. He may be reached at ch_lifewish@yahoo.com [7].

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Article printed from San Francisco Bay View: http://sfbayview.com

URL to article: http://sfbayview.com/2010/haiti%e2%80%99s-election-circus-continues-and-wyclef-jean-won%e2%80%99t-take-no-for-an-answer/

URLs in this post:

[1] [Translate]: http://sfbayview.comjavascript:show_translate_popup(

[2] Image: http://sfbayview.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/08/Wyclef-Jean-surrounded-by-security-after-Electoral-Council-rejects-candidacy-082010-PAP-by-Ramon-Espinosa-AP.jpg

[3] http://haitisolidarity.net/downloads/We_Will_Not_Forget_2010.pdf: http://haitisolidarity.net/downloads/We_Will_Not_Forget_2010.pdf

[4] Image: http://sfbayview.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/08/Wyclef-Jean-head-wrappen-in-Haitian-flag-releases-Kreol-protest-song-0826101.jpg

[5] http://haitiaction.net/: http://haitiaction.net/

[6] http://www.haitisolidarity.net/: http://www.haitisolidarity.net/

[7] ch_lifewish@yahoo.com: mailto:ch_lifewish@yahoo.com

[8] Pierre Labossiere on Haiti: ‘This is criminal’: http://sfbayview.com/2010/pierre-labossiere-on-haiti-this-is-criminal/

[9] Wyclef Jean for president of Haiti? Look beyond the hype: http://sfbayview.com/2010/wyclef-jean-for-president-of-haiti-look-beyond-the-hype/

[10] The Haitian tragedy and mainstream media response: http://sfbayview.com/2010/the-haitian-tragedy-and-mainstream-media-response/

[11] Allow Aristide to return to Haiti now: http://sfbayview.com/2010/allow-aristide-to-return-to-haiti-now/

[12] Haiti’s largest political party banned from election process: http://sfbayview.com/2010/haiti%e2%80%99s-largest-political-party-banned-from-election-process/


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2 thoughts on “Haiti’s election circus continues, and Wyclef Jean won’t take no for an answer

  1. You will be very surprised to see what will hapen in Haiti.The country will stay very calm and quiet.Preval will be very active playing his game to disband any social and political groups all over the country.

    Outside of Haiti, they will find a way by any means to eliminate whoever against Preval. Preval will stay in power for life. Remember that.

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