Haiti Nine Years Post-Coup and Canada’s Black Gold - 04/08/13

8Apr

Coup D’Etat in Haiti

It was nine years ago, on February 29, 2004 that the democratically elected President of Haiti, Jean-Bertrand Aristide was removed from his Presidential Palace by US forces, assisted by Canada and France. In his place an unelected government was installed by the international community.

Thousands of UN ‘peace-keepers’ were assigned to Haiti to protect and enforce the authority of this new government. Many representatives of the Haitian government were jailed. The government of Gerard Latortue,installed at the behest of international forces, cracked down hard on the poverty-stricken population, particularly in the slums of Cité Soleil and Bel Air in Port-au-Prince. Thousands of deaths were estimated to have resulted. [1]

It is critical to understand this background and the subsequent erosion of domestic institutions and government agencies if one is to understand the current human security issues threatening this small Caribbean island country.

It is especially important for Canadians to acquaint themselves with this history. Canadians generally have a positive opinion of their country and role in the world. They are inclined to believe Canada’s role in Haiti has been generally beneficent. Such inaccurate perceptions are aided and abetted by compliant politicians, governing and in opposition, and by a silent media.

Roger Annis has been a long-time activist with the Canada-Haiti Action group, an organization that has been at the forefront of raising awareness about Canada’s true role in Haiti. The Global Research Hour spoke to him while he was in Winnipeg to discuss the nine year old coup, Canada’s role in the coup and other ways the Canadian government and Canadian NGOs and development agencies have undermined Haitian democracy and human rights. Annis also draws parallels between Canada’s treatment of Haitians, and its treatment of its own Indigenous population.

Tar Sands Alberta: The Bitumen Cliff

While opposition to the so-called ‘tar sands’ in Northern Alberta in Canada is generally framed as an environment versus economics debate, a new study from the Polaris Institute and the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives seems to point to an argument that surprisingly reveals the (black) gold rush for bitumen in Western Canada actually putting the Canadian economy at a tremendous disadvantage. Carleton University Graduate student and report co-author Brendan Hayley speaks to the Global Research News Hour about Canada’s Bitumen Cliff.

America’s first African American President: An Obstacle to the Quest for Positive Change and Racial Equality

In this exclusive Black History Month interview for the Global Research News Hour, former Georgia Congresswoman and US Presidential Candidate Cynthia McKinney talks about how America’s first African American President has been an obstacle rather than an asset in the quest for positive change and racial equality, and about what needs to be done to make substantive rather than cosmetic changes in the US political life.