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  Print view: The New York Times Endorses Haiti's Coup d' Etat ''Elections''
WHO BENEFITS?

The New York Times Endorses Haiti's Coup d' Etat "Elections"

by Stephen Lendman
Wednesday, 1 December 2010
Preval's hand-picked Provisional Electoral Council rigged the election by banning 15 parties, including by far the most popular, Aristide's Fanmi Lavalas. Doing so violated Haiti's 1987 Constitution.

Two previous articles explained the sham, outrageous enough to make a despot blush, accessed through the following links:

No matter for The New York Times, a notorious voice for wealth and power. On November 30, its editorial titled "Haiti After the Vote" endorsed the sham, saying:

Despite elections "sullied by low turnout, polling-place confusion and accusations of voter intimidation, ballot stuffing and other fraud....international observers from the Organization of American States and the Caribbean Community agree with Haiti's national election council (the Provisional Electoral Council - CEP), which has declared that the election was fundamentally sound."

So did MINUSTAH's head of mission (UN Blue Helmets), Edmond Mulet, calling the election "fairly good....in many ways," his way of endorsing brazen coup d'etat rule.

Preval's hand-picked CEP, in fact, rigged the election by banning 15 parties, including by far the most popular, Aristide's Fanmi Lavalas. Doing so violated Haiti's 1987 Constitution.

Besides the above abuses, voter names were left off rolls. Those of dead ones were included. Required ID cards weren't issued to most Haitians losing them in January's earthquake. Voting stations opened late, closed early, and in some cases had faulty or no ballots. Premarked INITE party ballot stuffing was widespread. Individuals using several ID cards voted multiple times for INITE candidates, hand-picked Preval ones.

Largely financed and orchestrated by Washington, the entire process was farcical and outrageous, evident to those on the ground observing it, and, of course, for Haitians - again denied democracy to institutionalize coup d'etat rule, serving local elites, Washington, and America's corporate exploitation of Haiti's resources and workers.

They're paid a below subsistence 25 cents an hour (about $2 a day, 70 gourdes), ensuring extreme poverty and for many too little to survive. It's less than one-fifth the 1980 minimum wage under dictator Baby Doc Duvalier in violation of Haiti's Labor Code, Article 137, requiring annual inflation adjustments. However, corporate interests blocked changes to assure the Hemisphere's lowest wage, (virtual slave labor), a benchmark to keep other regional ones from rising.

The Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti (IJDH) called yesterday's elections "no surprise." They were "consistent with the (CEP's) history throughout the electoral process. Haiti has been on the course of undemocratic elections since the CEP was handpicked by President Preval in October 2009, in violation of Constitutional requirements for an independent Council."

IJDH's conclusion: "New, credible elections should be organized immediately, by a new, credible CEP."

No, for The New York Times, saying:

"Re-running elections this large - not just for president, but for 11 members of the 30-member Senate and the entire 99-member lower house of Parliament - would lead to months more of confusion and government inaction. Unless compelling evidence of fraud is found, it is not necessary and clearly not in Haiti's interests."

No time ever did The Times express more arrogance, more contempt for democracy, more disdain for a people denied any measure of equity and justice for over 500 years, except for two brief interregnums:

  • after its successful 1791 - 1803 revolution, turning slaves into citizens by establishing the world's first Black republic, and
  • during Aristide's tenure as president, abruptly ended on February 29, 2004 when US marines forcibly deposed him at gunpoint.

At issue only for Times management is "press(ing) ahead with an open and honest vote count" - what's impossible after a sham process. Yet its editorial concluded, saying:

"Haitians, whose patience has already been grievously tested, need to believe that their next leaders were legitimately elected. That appears to be the case. Haitians also need for those leaders to get on with the business of governing and rebuilding."

Ignored is brazen injustice, institutionalized illegitimacy, coup d'etat rule, and Haitians again denied what people everywhere deserve - officials serving everyone equitably and fairly. Instead they got government of, by and for wealth and power alone, what no one should ever tolerate, especially in countries like Haiti - impoverished, ravaged, and exploited as ruthlessly as any people anywhere. It's long overdue time that changed.


Stephen Lendman

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. His blog is sjlendman.blogspot.com.

Listen to Lendman's cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.

Mr. Lendman's stories are republished in the Baltimore Chronicle with permission of the author.



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This story was published on December 1, 2010.
 

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