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Report Back from SOA Watch Delegation to Haiti PDF Print E-mail
Written by Becca Polk   
Thursday, 13 October 2011 16:14

ONE WORLD by Daniel Tillias

This is a call of unity and solidarity to the people all over the earth. It reminds us how the misery of a country like Haiti should bring pain in heart of people in Japan as joyfullness of France should rejoice the soul of Brazil.

There is only one world
Never it has been two
This is why as Haiti is mine
It is also everyone’s

The same sun shining in Africa
Light the flower of Alaska
The morning star in Hinche
Bright the morning in China

In Havana as in Lascahobas
Children laugh and smile the same
When parents remember to take time
Sharing wonderful and magic moments

The world is not huge
The world is small
There is no alien soil
We all belong to the same globe

All harm in the pacific ocean
Will bring pain in the Miragoane lake
But all trees planted in Savane desole
Will send life to the four corners of the world

From October 1-7, 2011, SOA WATCH led a human rights delegation to Haiti with a focus on gaining firsthand knowledge of the effects of a 7-year military occupation by 13,000 troops and police of MINUSTAH (UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti), while also looking at concrete expressions of U.S. foreign policy towards Haiti. In addition, the delegation of 17 activists from around the U.S. visited numerous positive initiatives organized and carried out by Haitians that promote the dignity and sovereignty of their nation.


MINUSTAH is now in its seventh year, having replaced a U.S. military force that had occupied Haiti in the wake of the illegal coup d’etat that ousted the democratically elected government of Jean-Bertrand Aristide in 2004. Classified U.S. State Department cables, recently made public by Wikileaks, have revealed that the U.S. government places a strong strategic importance on MINUSTAH’s ongoing presence in Haiti, and in particular its inclusion of troops from several Latin American governments – in part because the Mission represents a regional initiative that excludes Venezuela, yet involves several left-leaning Latin American countries.

“We began our trip with the knowledge that MINUSTAH is controlled by the U.S. government and serves the U.S. government’s interests,” Dan Beeton of the Center for Economic and Policy Research said. “Since being here, we’ve heard numerous complaints about a wide array of abuses by MINUSTAH troops. We’ve also heard and seen little evidence of MINUSTAH’s positive contributions during Haiti’s greatest hour of need, and that makes us doubt the rationale for a continued MINUSTAH presence.”


For more infromation on MINUSTAH see: Haitians to the U.N.: Please Leave and 10 Reasons Why the UN Occupation of Haiti Must End

“School of the Americas Watch has opposed military intervention for decades, and we are seeing connections between that and what international forces have done in Latin America,” Father Roy Bourgeois, founder of School of the Americas Watch said. “We see the issue of militarization clearly: you cannot bring democracy through the barrel of a gun.”


See Standing Against Militarism and Violence: From Haiti to Fort Benning by Father Roy Bourgeois





it's an occupation force that doesn't help the people,

they terrorize the people in the poor neighborhoods,

they say they are here to help the people of Haiti who are here in misery,

and their sole objective is to support the multinationals

and support the bourgeois in Haiti.”

—Representative from the Grassroots Coalition Against MINUSTAH


More reports from delegates:

Report from Haiti by Bill Quigley a law professor and human rights lawyer at Loyola University New Orleans and with the Center for Constitutional Rights.

Haiti-Ayiti by Lisa Sullivan, SOA Watch Latin American Coordinator

Reflections Following a Delegation: How MINUSTAH Hurts Haiti by Becca Polk, published in "This Week in Haiti", the English section of HAITI LIBERTE newsweekly.

Violence Against Women in Haiti by Ken Jones

More pictures and reflections can be found here!


















Last Updated on Wednesday, 07 December 2011 21:30
 

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