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This Article Originally Appeared in Mawo Newsletter #12

“Mr. Bourque [a former RCMP officer killed in Haiti] was in Haiti
as a part of Canada’s efforts to promote good governance and
– Canada’s PM Paul Martin (Dec 20, 2006)

In February 2004 Haiti’s first ever democratically elected President, Jean Bertrand Aristide, was overthrown by the United States, France and Canada. In June 2004 the United Nations took over ‘stabilization’ operations in Haiti, with Canada contributing 125 active and retired Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP).

Canada pledged $180 million to Haiti for “reconstruction and development”. This meant training the Haitian National Police and supporting Haiti’s installed Prime Minister Gerard Latortue to maintain the occupation. Since overturning Aristide, the Latortue government has cut the minimum wage. This meant that Canada-based company ‘Gildan Activewear’ could cut its production costs in half by moving its sewing production from Honduras to Haiti. Latortue also eliminated the Ministry of Literacy in Haiti, where only 53% of the population is literate.

Is this the “good governance and democracy” Paul Matin talks about? Despite ‘democratization efforts’, the ever-promised elections have already been delayed four times, and are now set for February 2006. Former president Aristide, who according to the CIA, received 92% of the vote in the last Haitian elections, is not allowed to participate. Massacres by the Haitian National Police trying to ‘stabilize’ the occupation of Haiti have made any sort of ‘elections’ under occupation impossible.

Since the overthrow of Aristide, thousands world-wide have been protesting against the occupation. The loudest voice comes from the Haitian people, who won the world’s first independent Black republic in 1804 and continue this proud history today with their refusal to give up their right to self-determination. As the government of Canada steps up its war drive and the Haitian resistance continues, we demand: