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Haitians Reject US, OAS-Supported Henry Administration



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This article originally appeared in Peoples Dispatch on Oct. 11, 2022. It is shared here under a Creative Commons 4.0 (CC BY-SA) license.

On Monday, Oct. 10, under the banner of “Down with Ariel Henry, Down with the Foreign Occupation,” hundreds of thousands of Haitians took to the streets across the country against a resolution passed by de-facto prime minister and acting President Ariel Henry, requesting the international community to send armed help to resolve gang-related crisis in Haiti.

In the capital Port-au-Prince, thousands of citizens gathered in the Cité-Soleil commune and marched towards the Pétion-Ville commune via the Delmas commune, demanding Henry’s unconditional resignation and an end to all kinds of foreign interference in the country’s internal affairs. Protesters raised slogans such as “the United States is the problem, it cannot be the solution.”

Protesters raised slogans such as “the United States is the problem, it cannot be the solution.”

At the Delmas 40 B crossroads, the protesters were brutally repressed by the police. Police officers used tear gas and fired live bullets against them. According to reports from local media, at least one protester was killed in the repression.

Similar massive demonstrations were also organized in other main cities. The mobilizations were held as a part of the week-long protests against the US-backed Henry administration. On Saturday, Oct. 8, various civil society organizations, trade unions and left-wing opposition parties called for nationwide protest actions against the multidimensional crisis facing the country due to the misgovernment of the ruling far-right Haitian Tèt Kale Party (PHTK). Oct. 10 was the first day of the nationwide protests, which will continue until next Monday, Oct. 17.

For the past seven weeks, since Aug. 22, Haitians have been tirelessly mobilizing against increasing poverty and food insecurity amid soaring prices of essential commodities and basic services; acute shortage of fuel amid brutal increase in prices; widespread gang-related kidnappings, killings and violence; and the crushing devaluation of the national currency, the Haitian Gourde, against the $USD.

Watch: Radyo Rezistans live from the protests

Protesters have criticized that during the past one year of Henry’s illegitimate leadership, the economic, political and social crises have deepened in the country. Many have denounced that activation of criminal gangs, following the assassination of the country’s de-facto president Jovenel Moïse in July 2021, is a part of Henry’s strategy to remain in power, where he was put and held up by the US, the UN, the OAS and the Core Group. Several also have stated that Henry’s open call for foreign invasion, using gang-violence as pretext and criminalizing people’s movements demanding his resignation, provides further evidence of his intentions.

Nevertheless, the Haitian people have stressed that they will defend their sovereignty, will not allow another foreign occupation, and will themselves find a concrete solution to their situation. They have clarified that the application of the Montana Agreement is the ultimate goal of their struggle. The Montana Agreement advocates for the installation of a transitional government to govern the country for two years, in order to recover the nation from the institutional crisis caused by the PHTK, rebuild society, and organize elections for the next government.

Henry’s call for foreign intervention

Last week, on Oct. 5, Henry, while addressing the nation, expressed his intention to request the assistance of the international community to deal with the humanitarian crisis caused by criminal gangs. The statement came after the gangs blocked access to the main fuel terminal, limiting the operation of hospitals and water treatment companies amid a resurgence of cholera in the country, which has already left at least sixteen dead.

On Oct. 6, the Council of Ministers met to discuss the PM’s proposal. On Oct. 7, the Council authorized Henry to request foreign military support to curb gang violence. According to the decree published in the Official Gazette, the prime minister is authorized to request the presence of a specialized armed force in the country, “to stop the humanitarian crisis caused, among other reasons, by the insecurity derived from the actions of the gangs and their sponsors.” It also stated that the foreign military presence would help “resume the distribution of fuel and drinking water throughout the country, reactivate hospitals, restart economic activities, the movement of people and goods, and reopen schools.”

On Oct. 9, Henry wrote a letter to the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, officially asking the UN to intervene militarily in the country. It is important to note that in the past weeks, Guterres, on French international radio, seconding Henry’s false claims, said that mass protests in the streets against the Henry government are being led by gangs.

National condemnation of Henry’s call for foreign military intervention

The resolution on the military intervention generated widespread criticism among civil society organizations, political and social leaders, and citizens in general, who considered that the decision put the sovereignty of the Caribbean country at stake.

Former senator and former presidential candidate Jean Charles Moïse, leader of the left-wing Platfòm Pitit Desalin party, pointed out that neither Henry nor his ministers have the authority or legitimacy to request a foreign military presence in the country. Charles Moïse added that the country’s sovereignty had been threatened and called on the people to stand up against it.

The Organization of People in Struggle party (OPL) expressed its disagreement with the entry of foreign military forces and reiterated that the country needs support so that the National Police can carry out its work.

Reyneld Sanon, coordinator of Radio Resistance and Haitian Popular Press Agency, in a statement, rejected the decision of the PHTK and its allies “to request international imperialist forces to occupy the country for a third time.” Sanon denounced that the decision insults “our ancestors, who fought to break the chains of slavery.” He assured that “in the case that the foreign military occupation force arrived in Haiti, all Haitians, progressive groups, popular organizations, and left-wing political parties, will stand to fight.”

Reyneld Sanon, coordinator of Radio Resistance and Haitian Popular Press Agency, in a statement, rejected the decision of the PHTK and its allies “to request international imperialist forces to occupy the country for a third time.” Sanon denounced that the decision insults “our ancestors, who fought to break the chains of slavery.”

Jean Launy Avril, a Haitian political science professor and anthropologist, emphasized that “the Haitian people do not need humanitarian refuge from any country. They have the right to live in peace in their country, without intervention, without interference, without gangs, without anti-popular governments and sepoys.”

In a series of tweets, Launy Avril said that “the solution to the Haitian crisis must be in the hands of the Haitian people, their social and political organizations and must be recognized by the UN.” “We demand that the international community respect the right of the Haitian people to mobilize and demand a more promising future. The Haitian people are sovereign, they have been in the streets for more than a month demanding profound changes to put an end to the bad governments and the system that oppresses them,” he added.

He recalled that “in a recent letter to the UN, Haitian social and political movements assured that it is the people, who are in the streets protesting, and that they are not bandits, and denounced the political persecution by repressive forces of the de-facto PM.”

Launy Avril pointed out that “military intervention has never been a solution; in Haiti the evidence is clear. The UN brought it Cholera, mass killings, more poverty, more people forced to seek bread in other countries.” “The UN with its MINUSTAH (Stabilisation Mission) soldiers raped girls, and have left countless boys and girls without parents, living in more poverty, the invasions of Haiti have only left pain,” he added. He also said that “the MINUSTAH massacred the civilian population, between 2004 and 2008, with multiple massacres in Cité-Soleil, and with a new invasion they are going to massacre the townspeople who fight for Haitian sovereignty.”

He stressed that “the Haitian people do not want and will not accept more elections organized by foreigners. They are always fraudulent and place their puppets against the interests of the people.”

Likewise, Madame Boukman, an Haitian anti-imperialist blogger, in a series of tweets, rejected the call for military intervention and exposed the collusion between criminal gangs, the government and the imperialist forces.

“Haiti’s US-controlled police force is under-equipped by design through an arms embargo. All weapons must be approved by the US State Department. Meanwhile, an unlimited flow of illicit high caliber weapons enter Haiti from the US to arm the gangs to keep Haiti permanently destabilized,” Boukman denounced.

“The gangs are low-level foot soldiers that take orders from the high level gangs in suits (imperialists, bourgeoisie and politicians). The system that upholds them needs to fall for them to fall, just like Duvalier Tonton Macoute’s gangs fell when the masses overthrew him,” she added.

“Ariel Henry, a de facto, unelected puppet imposed on Haiti after he participated in the assassination of Jovenel Moïse, was ordered by his imperialist bosses to publicly call for a foreign invasion. He does not represent the masses,” she criticized.

In another tweet, she pointed out that the “2004-2019 UN proxy military intervention to “stabilize” Haiti resulted in Cholera, child sex rings, massacres, mass rape, endemic kidnapping, electoral fraud, chronic insecurity, gang infestation, indefinite detention, and chronic inequality, among other issues.”

World News

Sanctioned Son Of Russian Tycoon Records ‘I’m A Ukrainian’ Video Appeal





Mikhail Fridman’s son Alexander Ozhelskiy accused Kiev’s “f****** bureaucrats” of sanctioning him despite his stance

Alexander Ozhelskiy, son of a Russian business tycoon Mikhail Fridman, has called on Kiev to lift “unfair” sanctions against him. In a YouTube video address, recorded in English, the 22-year-old businessman accused the “f****** bureaucrats” of ignoring his pro-Ukrainian stance.

I can’t believe that my position regarding the war wasn’t even taken into consideration. And I can’t believe that the sole reason for these sanctions is my relation to another person,” Ozhelskiy said.

He emphasized that he is “appalled and offended” by the Ukrainian authorities’ October 20 decision to include him in their list of 256 sanctioned Russian businessmen and their relatives.

Ozhelskiy explained that he has been opposing the Russian military operation in Ukraine “since day one,” left Russia immediately after its launch on February 24 and has no plans to return.

I left a lot, I left my friends, I left my business and I left it because I value my freedom more,” the businessman explained, revealing that he is now based in Dubai and lives in an Airbnb apartment, rather than in a “f****** mansion.”

Ozhelskiy said that in the past he had participated in “pro-Ukrainian protests” in London and in some demonstartions in Russia and that he doesn’t understand why “a bunch of f****** bureaucrats” is ignoring those facts.

I think that this decision should be overturned,” he said.

Fridman’s son emphasized that he considers himself Ukrainian and “can’t believe” that he cannot visit his relatives in the country anymore.

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Ozhelskiy is the only son of Lviv-born Fridman. In May, he, along with his four sisters, featured on the Forbes’ list of the richest heirs of Russian billionaires, with his inheritance share estimated at $2,6 billion.

Fridman, however, made it clear several years ago that he was going to leave almost all of his wealth to the charity rather than to his children.

In March, the $13-billion worth magnate said that the sanctions imposed against him and  against other Russian businessmen by the Western countries are “unfair” and “useless.”

He also described an assumption that being close to the Kremlin is paramount to make billions in Russia, as a “very typical and inappropriate” myth.

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World News

US-Led Force Might Intervene In Ukraine Conflict – Ex-CIA Chief





The US and its allies may join the conflict between Moscow and Kiev even if there is no threat to NATO, David Petraeus believes

The US and its allies might directly intervene in the ongoing conflict between Moscow and Kiev, even when there is no threat to any NATO member states, retired US Army general David Petraeus told France’s L’Express weekly on Saturday. Washington might form a new coalition of the willing in such a scenario and use it instead of NATO, Petraeus, who also briefly served as the CIA director, believes.

Russia could take some actions in Ukraine that would be “so shocking and so horrific” that it would prompt a response from the US and other nations, he said, adding that they “might react in one way or another, but as a multinational force led by the US and not as a NATO force.”

The military alliance would still likely be bound by its treaty and would only join the conflict if Article 5 is invoked, i.e. if one of its members is attacked, the general believes. Petraeus also said that Moscow is not interested in escalating the conflict and turning it into a global war. A wider conflict is “the last thing” Russian President Vladimir Putin needs right now, he added.

Earlier in October, Petraeus claimed that the US could wipe out all Russian forces in Ukraine, alongside with the Russian Black Sea fleet, if Moscow uses nuclear arms in Ukraine. On Saturday, he doubled down on these words by saying that Washington’s response to such a move on Russia’s part would involve “more than diplomatic … economic and legal actions.”

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Ex-CIA chief outlines potential US response if Russia uses nukes

At the same time, Petraeus said that his earlier words had described “just one” of “many options” America has in store in case Russia resorts to the use of nuclear arms, which he called an “extremely bad decision.”

The general also said that he still thinks there is nothing Russia could do to change the situation on the frontlines, which, according to Petraeus, is unfavorable to Moscow.

Petraeus commanded US forces in Afghanistan from 2010 to 2011, presiding over America’s highest death tolls during the 20-year war, and increased civilian casualties.

The general helped persuade then-President Barack Obama to deploy an additional 30,000 US troops to the country, but his counterinsurgency plan, which hinged on “securing and serving” the local population, flopped.

He then became CIA director in 2011, only to resign the following year after having an extramarital affair with the woman who was writing his biography.

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World News

Russia Offers ‘heating Points’ In EU Cities





Russian cultural centers in Finland and Luxembourg have welcomed their first visitors

Russian cultural centers in Finland and Luxembourg are welcoming visitors who need to “warm up” as energy prices continue to skyrocket, according to the country’s federal agency for compatriots living abroad and international humanitarian cooperation.

The agency, Rossotrudnichestvo, has opened “heating points” in its centers, which provide those in need with an opportunity to warm up while enjoying tea or watching a movie.

“Little by little, [the people] are coming. In Finland, Luxembourg, they were already warming up yesterday. The film program is up to February,” a spokesperson told the Russian media on Saturday.

As the energy crisis continues in the European Union, exacerbated by anti-Russia sanctions and a sharp decrease in Russian energy supplies, Rossotrudnichestvo said on Friday. It added that “human warmth from Russia” and its “traditional hospitality” is what “freezing European families” need.

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While the agency emphasized that its Russian houses “are outside of politics,” the head of the agency, Evgeny Primakov, made it clear who he believes is responsible for the unfolding crisis.

Europeans, do not freeze because of your stupid and evil leaders! If your children are wrapped in jackets at home and you have started to save heavily on electricity because Ursula [von der Leyen], Olaf [Scholz] and Emmanuel [Macron] gave away your money for weapons for the Ukrainian Nazis, come and warm up in our cultural centers in your capitals,” he wrote on Telegram.

Apart from having tea and enjoying movies and cartoons, visitors to the Russian houses will also be able to recharge their phones and get involved in “a lot of interesting things going on,” Primakov said.

Following the launch of Moscow’s military operation in Ukraine, the EU authorities pledged to end their dependence on Russian energy supplies as quickly as possible. 

President Vladimir Putin likened the bloc’s attempts to cut itself off from Russian fossil fuels to economic “suicide.”

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