Jovenel Moïse or Freedom? The Struggle for the Soul of Haiti

Includes transcript

“It is sheer white supremacist power that managed to undermine the second election of Aristide because what few people understand in what is happening in Haïti today is that what we are observing is a struggle of White Supremacy against the Black Majority in Haïti and that struggle is the whole history of Haïti and it hasn’t changed.”

Jean Saint-Vil (from this week’s interview)


Click to download the audio (MP3 format)

On February 7, 2021, Jovenel Moïse, was supposed to step down from his role as president according to Haitian legal authorities.

But instead, the 52 year-old politician, according to the Associated Press, announced at the Port-au-Prince airport that he had been the near victim of an overthrow attempt and death instituted by more than 20 people including Supreme Court Judge Yvickel Dabrezil.

This president of Haiti who has ruled by decree since January 13, 2020, the man who has cracked down on protesters, allegedly orchestrated acts of corruption, and instituted police reforms with accelerating tendencies toward oppression, intends to serve one more year citing the five year mandate in the Republic of Haiti’s constitution. Moïse’s analysis, however, discounts the fact that the date of his term is tied with the date of the election, and not the date he started serving.

But in spite of push back from the political opposition, the Haitian Bar Federation, the Supreme Court, and the Higher Council of the Judicial Power (CSPJ), not to mention legions of protesters in the streets of Port-au-Prince, the president does have the backing of the military, the police and one powerful guardian of democracy – U.S. President Joe Biden! [1]

Another notable figure appearing to give Moïse the nod is Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, a man notable for taking a knee during an anti-racism protest on June 5. Considering these two figures are now aiding and abetting Haiti in what some are calling a return to the dictatorial politics of Papa Doc Duvalier is appalling!

This week, on the Global Research News Hour, we are taking a closer look at the latest incident in Haiti’s history, the role of Canada and the United States in these developments historically and the role people in those two countries can play in reshaping the future bondage or freedom of a people.

First up, Kim Ives gives us an update on how Jovenel Moise started securing his dictatorship months ago, and how the big imperialist leaders are backing him. Then in the second half hour Jean Saint-Vil brings us more in depth coverage of the role of Canada and the U.S. historically and how ordinary Canadians and Americans can play a role in backing Haiti’s appeals for democracy and freedom.

Kim Ives is a founder and a writer and editor for Haiti Libré with offices in Port-au-Prince, Haiti and Brooklyn, New York. He was previously worked as a writer and photographer for Haïti Progrès for 23 years.

Jean Saint-Vil was born and raised in Port-au-Prince, Haiti and is currently based in Ottawa. He has been an activist who helped to found the Canada Haiti Action Network. He has been featured as political analyst by Canadian radio and television as well as by Embassy Magazine, ZNet and Rogers Ottawa Television.

The Canadian Foreign Policy Institute is hosting a discussion on February 28 at 7:30pm. Speakers to include Haiti Betrayed film-maker Elaine Brière, and activist Jean Saint-Vil.

(Global Research News Hour episode 306)


Click to download the audio (MP3 format)

Transcript: Interview with Jean Saint-Vil, Feb. 24, 2021.

Global Research News Hour: How did Canadian and US agencies shape the landscape to suit the return of Haïti to a Papa Doc Duvalier dictatorship rule?

Jean Saint-Vil: That first government lasted seven months. And the coup took place by direct intervention of the CIA which used the remnants of what they used to call the Forces Armées d’Haïti, the military, to overthrow, and the president’s life was barely saved. And he spent three years in exile during which the United States government had officials basically pressured Aristide as if he was a hostage to return on the condition that he’s going to apply policies of the candidate who was against him who was the well banked official Marc Bazin. Privatization to stop things like doubling the minimum wage, etc. So, all of the literacy programs, the health care programs, all of this he had to abandon if he accepted to return with the Americans.

The thing is he didn’t have really a choice in the matter. And so, there was a transition in the United States at the time between Bill Clinton and George H. W., the elder. and Clinton returned with President Aristide in 1994, essentially to observe that his mandate was stolen because the Haïtian constitution does not allow you to have two consecutive terms, and so he had to organize elections for someone to replace him.

And so, logically everybody knew that the Haïtian people are not stupid! They realized that their democracy was stolen from them by the CIA, and we know that G.H.W. Bush was the former Director of the CIA – I mean, we’re not confused about what happened. It’s the same story of what happened in the Congo when the White Supremacists forces overthrow Prime Minister Patrice Lamumba and put puppets in his place. So, they took away Aristide’s first mandate, and the people basically were waiting for the next opportunity to elect him again, which they did. And that’s where we started to see the direct and active involvement of Canadian officials in the undermining of the second Aristide government. He was elected in the same year that George Bush the lesser was also supposedly elected – remember the Florida fiasco.

Two elections. The one in Haïti where anybody could have predicted the outcome months ahead of time because people knew they stole the first mandate from Aristide. And then George Bush who got his brother Jeb Bush to help him win Florida and therefore the U.S. presidency. Yet, you see the reaction. President Aristide is being maligned in political circles, diplomatic circles, the OAS, everybody tweeting him as if he stole the election in 2000. Yet if you ask them, okay, so they say George Bush stole the election in 2000. Yet if you asked them ok, so they say George Bush stole the 2000 elections from Al Gore. Who did Aristide steal the election from in 2000? And then silence, because they cannot point to anybody. It’s a stupid question. It’s not based on fact. It is sheer white supremacist power that managed to undermine the second election of Aristide because what few people understand in what is happening in Haïti today is that what we are observing is a struggle of White Supremacy against the Black Majority in Haïti and that struggle is the whole history of Haïti and it hasn’t changed.

It is seldom discussed, and I’m one of the rare people who talk about it, that there are twelve White families in Haïti that control the economy of that country. In collaboration – because they could not have done that on their own – in cahoots with their cousins in White North America and in Europe.

This is not something that’s particular to Haïti. I mean we saw it play out in Bolivia and in other places. However, in Haïti, it takes a very wicked form. So, if you take for instance one personality, one family, his name in André Apaid, he’s a White American who owns TV stations, the sweat shops, things of the sort in Haïti and he participated in both coups – 1991 and 2004. And to this day, this man is essentially the equivalent of Cecil Rhodes in the old Rhodesia. So, the latest puppet president that they’ve put in place. So you know the Core group in Haïti is for all intents and purposes the equivalent of the Lima Group as they use it to try to overthrow a legitimate government in Venezuela and put a puppet of their own like him.

So, that Core group is setting up a fake president in Haïti, Jovenel Moïse, and you can see, you know, Haïtians have used all kinds of graphic representations to say that this dude is a fake president, he’s a fake entrepreneur, he’s a fake banana farmer, but he’s a real money launderer, a real thief, a real drug dealer. And all of these things are documented! And everybody who does any research about who Jovenel Moïse is have that information. However, he is serving a very good purpose by helping those twelve mafia families in Haïti maintain the economy and sharing it with a few Black Haïtians who are their collaborators, their partners in crime.

GR: There was a story about a group – well, it was a senator’s wife that had purchased about a $4.2 million piece of property and it was really quite controversial. It brings up the whole issue of the ways in which the Duvaliers of the world through money laundering and enabling Haïtian control and other things through the Royal Bank and other crooked accounts are operating. Could you maybe elaborate a little bit on that incident and how…

JS: Yeah!

GR: …that figures into the larger…

JS: Actually, the name of the senator in question is Rony Célestin and his wife Marie-Louisa Aubin Célestin was also consul at the Montreal Consulate, Haitian Consulate. I mean, despotism is the feature of that fake government that was established in Haïti after the coup. See?

What people need to realize is that Haïti had seven thousand elected officials. When the invasion happened in February 2004, and they removed all of these elected officials including the president who was shipped to Africa in exile. Okay? But sometimes people forget about the other seven thousand elected officials. So they were replaced by unelected thugs, some of them convicted criminals. And later when they studied organizing fake elections that are completely under the control of the foreign powers. The United Nations are used for that, the OAS, the Core group, they’re the ones who carry that balance. They control the whole thing. They declare when there is going to be an election.

Well, Haïti is not an independent country right now. Okay? So, this guy, Rony Célestin, was first elected as a lower chamber member of parliament –  député – in those fake elections of 2011, which gave us also as president someone who doesn’t actually qualify because he has U.S. citizenship: Michel Martelly. But Hilary Clinton came into Haïti and said that he has to be the one who goes to the second round and eventually he became president. So, it’s in those same fake elections that Rony Célestin became a member of the lower chamber, and then he was given the title of senator in the second set of fake elections in 2016.

And now, when they found out, and it’s actually a local Haïti an activist who does a Facebook blog and YouTube blog in Montreal – his name is Marvin John Coleman – who put out the information about this outrageous situation. I mean, people from all over the place are calling me and saying, “Jean. Can you actually buy a house, cash, for $4.2 million in Canada?” And I’m saying I didn’t know that I could do that! Ha ha.

GR: Ha ha!

JS: Of course, I never asked myself the question because I know I don’t have that kind of money! But, you know, you have all of the media that is available to us here and none of them put out the story. You know, this guy had the story out for several weeks, and eventually it became too embarrassing to ignore it and it made it to La Presse and so in the news.

And you know what this guy had said to defend himself? He said that he was always rich – not that he was always rich, but he was rich before he became a member of the ruling party. And that he made his money because he has a special contract with the government to produce oil. Haïti doesn’t produce oil, okay? So what it means is that this fake government, they distribute all the contracts among themselves, and so he’s saying that he makes about $8 million a month. So, you know, this $4.2 million people are making a big deal out of this – this is like money that he uses to buy spices for his cooking. That’s what he said, actually! Okay?

So, now the question is, who facilitated such a thing in Montreal? Because I mean you don’t go and buy houses like that, and it’s not just one house. He has a lot of houses that his wife has purchased in Montreal, etc, so it will be interesting to see what the investigation shows. But often what is not talking about is the underlying story of the corruption that we were talking about here. That is, the money that became very evident in circulation in Haïti since 2008, it’s origin is actually Venezuela.

There’s a Petro-Caribbean fund, which is an arrangement that President Hugo Chavez started in the Caribbean, and several countries have used those funds to invest in their infrastructure. And if there’s one thing that Haïti always needed, it’s the opportunity to invest in its physical infrastructure – roads, healthcare, things like that – because as you understand, to what its history, Haïti has been at war with White Supremacy. So whenever Haïtians had a progressive president or leader, we had what they call “gun-boat diplomacy.” If you look at the whole 19th century when it’s not a German boat that heads up in the Port-au-Prince harbor and says that they going to blow the national palace with the president unless a ransom of one million dollars is paid, a few months later it’s the British who show up, and then a few months later it’s the Spanish, etc, etc. So – and the French collected from 1825 to 1947 the equivalent of $40 billion from the impoverished people of Haïti.

So you understand that it is in that context that when the Petro-Caribbean funds were mobilized, Haïtians saw an opportunity for them to finally move away from that situation, ridiculous situation such as when President Aristide was elected in 1991, where the national budget of Haiti was the equivalent of some kind of a high school in Canada. Okay? You can’t do much. And of course, when we had the government of Aristide, he was boycotted by the IMF, the World Bank, you know. In fact Haïti was being ransomed by the IDB, because the IDB was pressured by the United States, Canada and the European Union to say that before Haïti can access loans that were approved for its health care and for structure, etc, the government of Aristide had to pay loans that were taken by the Duvalier dictatorship, and which were never paid. Because of course, Duvalier was a dictator who stole the money and went to France with it, and put it in Swiss banks.

So, this is the context that this Petro-Caribbean funds came in. And what happened is that Hilary Clinton and Bill Clinton were very much present in Haïti at the time. And that’s why Hilary Clinton insisted that Michel Martelly becomes president of Haïti. Although he was fifth in the group of people who were moving from the first round to the second round, and only the first top people are supposed to win in the second round. Hilary Clinton, and the OAS – you know this is well documented – you had even officials like Ricardo Seitenfus, the Brazilian member of the OAS, who actually wrote a book to say, “This is outrageous! You guys are playing with the lives of Haïtians, because this is not the result of the election. It’s the White men and women who went in there and changed the election results.”

GR: So, what is that…

JS: The reason why they did that is that the United States wanted to squander the Petro-Caribbean funds. They wanted it to fail. And what better way to do it than to put a puppet in there who they know to be corrupt, and of course, no investigation has been able to be conducted since in detail, although there has been some studies that show that, you know for instance, that Martelly, his wife, his son, all of them were involved in stealing millions and possibly billion of dollars in cahoots with Bill Clinton when the Clinton Foundation was inescapable in anything that has to do – especially after the earthquake where if you are friends of Bill, you couldn’t get a contract in Haïti. And that’s why people need to ask for the CBC and other instances in our country to go and investigate…

GR: Well, what if…

JS: …where the money went.

GR: Well, you’re getting to the next thought that I had. The issue of solidarity with the Haïtian people? Because this would strike most people as an outrage! I mean we saw how much animosity there was towards the killing of George Floyd, and yet now with the protests there have been scores of people who have been subjected to it by the police, trained by the Canadian authorities. What needs to come together in Haïti and in Canada to ensure restoration for the Haïtian people?

JS: Yes, so with Solidarité Québec-Haïti , Montreal and Ottawa based group that we’ve been trying to educate ourselves and fellow Canadians about what’s happening in Haïti. We focus on dignity, justice and reparations, because Haïti is an international crime scene. It’s an ongoing crime! And our country unfortunately participated in this crime. It’s documented.

You have tons of books like Yves Engler’s Canada in Haïti: Waging war Against the Poor (Majority), (Upholding a coup: ) Haïti’s New Dictatorship by Justin Podur, or Jeb Sprague’s Paramilitarism and the Assault on Democracy in Haïti – I mean, it’s well documented. Okay?

The Ottawa Initiative on Haïti where the meeting took place here at Meech Lake to overthrow the legitimate government of Haïti and replace it by these thugs like Rony Célestin who bought this $4.2 million mention in Montreal – I mean, all of this is known to us. So, now what we asking is for people to become citizens, and that means to take a closer look at Canadian foreign policy, and ask ourselves, “Have we done everything in our power to remove, to banish any trace of racism and White Supremacy in Canadian foreign policy.” Because in 2021, we cannot pretend to be obfuscated and walking the streets because of what happened in Minneapolis about George Floyd, and pretend not to see that this is also happening in the realm of international politics. Okay?

I mean, Haïti currently have knees on its neck, and those knees have been on the Haïtian neck for centuries, and it is related to race, because like I mentioned, it is not a coincidence that the richest person in Haïti, his name is Gilbert Bigio, and he’s not of African descent whereas the Haïtian population is 99 percent of African descent! It’s not a coincidence, because these guys have their own private ports, and they inherit those ports, those contracts where they have exclusive rights. So Jovenel Moïse just issued a decree on February the 8th where he allocated eight thousand six hundred hectares of land to André Apaid, the same guy who participated in the coups and participated in a fraudulent election. And when you do fraud, according to the Haïtian electoral law, they were supposed to be banished for at least ten years, and put in jail for at least two years. But, of course, the Core group, the OAS, and the United Nations intervened, and so instead of banishing the people who were caught because there was an investigation – that’s why the election was delayed – they were caught cheating in the election, and instead of applying the law and putting in jail, the Haïtians who were put in power were so cowardly, they accepted the pressure from the United Nations and the OAS, and really the U.S. Embassy – that really runs the show down there. And they allowed him to remain as president, and now the Haïtian people are demonstrating on a regular basis, and they are being killed.

Today I am watching the news because kidnappings are happening in high numbers every day, and the phenomenon we’ve never had before is that these kidnappings are not only happening in the capital city, but they’re happening in the country-side. There are some areas that were very productive for agriculture, in particular rice production, and now the peasants are leaving those places because gangs have taken over. And Haïti doesn’t produce guns. So how come this island is receiving so many weapons and ammunitions on a regular, steady pace. Okay?

And you see this young man who are you know not dressed in any rich way and they have, you know, weapons that are like seven thousand, eight thousand dollars. It’s not a mystery because a few cases have happened where they found the weapons cash and invariably it’s those twelve families that have access to the ports that control the import-export business in Haïti who bring in those weapons. And a characteristic of this situation is that they’re asking sometimes a million or two million dollar ransom per kidnapped person. Yet, they have never kidnapped a millionaire in Haïti…

GR: Could you…

JS: …but Millionaires exist, ha ha.

GR: Just to bring it…

JS: But they don’t kidnap millionaires. They’re kidnapping people who go on vacation as a diaspora, or even some of the most impoverished people. Because the idea is that they’re not really looking just for money, they’re creating a situation of terror especially along the border, that being near the waterfront, okay? So that people can sell their land cheaply to those families and so they can take it over. So they’re creating – that’s why they’re setting up those guns in those areas.

GR: Just bringing it back to our topic of solidarity, I know that there’s an event coming this weekend.

JS: Yes!

GR: Do you want to say a little bit about who’s in it and what they’re doing?

JS: Yes! So, on Sunday the 28th of February, we are having a showing of the film Haïti Betrayed, which Canadian film-maker Elaine Brière produced and it’s the first work that documented – I mean the film work – that documented so well what happened and what is happening in Haïti. Featured in that film, several other people have participated in it. You will see some Canadian officials like Denis Coderre, Denis Paradis who participated in some of these outrageous meetings. And it’s actually available online now.

So, what the week people can go on They will see the announcement, and then Haïti Betrayed is the name of the film. And after, at 7:30 EST, we will have an open discussion about Canadian Foreign Policy towards Haïti and what we suggest should be done. And I have repeatedly made the call to several Canadian Prime Ministers and governments to really, really think about an overhaul of Canadian foreign policy towards Haïti.

We could have influence in the region! I mean, we’ve had so many stupid bids to get a seat at the United Nations that never went anywhere because we are trying to get there by being subservient to the United States. This is a ridiculous strategy! Canada is too beautiful of a nation for that kind of an approach.

I mean, Haïti needs to develop its mining industry, okay? Haïtians want to exploit their gold reserves. But they don’t want the same model that is being applied in Guatemala or in the Congo. Where the natives are impoverished, and they have a proper government in their country that is there to mobilize the military to control the natives whose lands are being stolen. And then the multi-national companies shows up, you know, exploits the land, takes the gold and leaves nothing for the people, especially without any sort of remediation for environmental protection.

What we’re saying is that we want a normalized relationship between Canada and Haïti. So, Haïtians and Canadians should mobilize so that Haïtians have the last word as to who is their president, who is their prime minister, who is their government, and whether or not they will exploit their minds, their natural resources. If they decide to not exploit it that’s their business. But if they want to invite Canadians to participate, it should not be on the old colonial terms!

I mean, I particularly think that, in the day when people are talking about the end of white supremacy and George Floyd and all of this Black Lives Matter, it will need to really take seriously what it means that Black Nationhood matters! I mean, we don’t treat countries in Europe like that!

Why? Why is it we understand that it wouldn’t make sense for a bunch of Black diplomats in Ottawa to meet and have a discussion about removing the Queen of England from power? We understand that would be stupid! Barbaric! Unacceptable! Then why is it that people who are supposedly intelligent people can have a meeting here at Meech Lake, all of them White, and they decide they’re going to kidnap the president of Haïti, not only that, but they’re going to do that in the year of the bi-centennial of the end of racial slavery!

GR: Yeah…

JS: But, you know, the same people will be out there in the streets, Black Lives Matter! Heh heh Heh.

GR: Jean Saint-Vil, its been a real pleasure speaking to you again! Thank you so much for sharing this information with our listeners!

JS: Thank you! And thank you for the beautiful work that you guys are doing in!

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