The Ottawa Initiative on Haiti

Haiti 2004 – Life Under President Aristide (days before the coup)
September 20, 2016
Crimes of Guy Philippe in Lascahobas, Haiti
March 7, 2017

The Ottawa Initiative on Haiti

“Colin Powell has lied to the world over the last few years so many times…”
As announced earlier, I will be sharing some images and sounds I recorded in Haiti during my December 2003-January 2004 trip. That period has had a significant impact on my life, as the events which unfolded then continue to affect the lives of the people for whom I care the most.

A few weeks after my return to Canada, the dreaded coup d’état happened on February 29, 2004.

Counterspin, the CBC show in which I participated alongside Ezili Danto (Marguerite), Jean Fils-Aimé and Chlotilde Charlot, is indicative of the deep wounds inflicted on the Haitian people by “The Ottawa Initiative on Haiti” (code word for the secret meetings held to plot the 2004 coup and foreign occupation of Haiti).

ARISTIDE MUST GO & HAITI PUT UNDER U.N. TUTELAGE – Thus spoke “The Ottawa Initiative on Haiti“.

More than a decade later, after having counted over 1 million Haitian victims of U.N. cholera, countless rapes and murders at the hands the foreign occupation forces, the perverts in blue helmets, having seen the return of Duvalier ahead of President Aristide… I wonder if my brothers and sisters who were once either supporters or deniers of the coup, have a different assessment now, than they had then.

Records of the Canadian Parliament show that on March 10, 2004, ten days after the coup, Stockwell Day, then-foreign affairs critic for the Conservative opposition, declared in Parliament: “… we have an elected leader Aristide. We may not have wanted to vote for him… But the (Canadian) government makes a decision that there should be a regime change. It is a serious question that we need to address. That decision was based on what criteria? We must have this discussion…This was clearly a regime change. Whether we like to admit it or not, we took part.”

The Coup was followed by several documented massacres and arbitrary arrests of pro-democracy activists. It dismantled Haiti’s entire elected government structure, and U.S.-appointed post-coup regimes — backed financially, militarily and diplomatically by Canada — are marred by serious human rights abuses.

One of the most disastrous consequences of the Coup and subsequent U.N. tutelage is that Haiti, a country with no known cases of cholera for the past 100 years, now has one of the worst cholera epidemics in the world. The cholera death toll has already reached 8500 and as of January 2014, more than 700,000 have gotten sick from the deadly bacterium.

Several independent scientific studiesunequivocally implicate the UN for introducing cholera to Haiti. According to these studies, UN soldiers stationed near Haiti’s La Mielle and Artibonite Rivers contaminated these major water sources in October 2010 with improperly disposed feces.

To date, the UN refuses to assume responsibility for this grave act of criminal negligence.


Unfortunately, this March 3, 2004 show was one of the last episodes of Counterspin. Now, the spin goes on mostly unchallenged, on CBC (Radio-Canada).

In addition to the archived video footage, I encourage you to check  some excerpts from Anthony Fenton’s post on Corbettland: http://faculty.webster.edu/corbetre/haiti-archive-new/msg19792.html

Also noteworthy is the February 2014 Counter Ottawa Initiative on Haiti whereby, 10 years after the Coup, over the course of 10 days, 849 people signed an online petition titled: “Canadian Apology to Haiti” which begins as follows: “We sign this statement to tell the world, and especially the Haitian people, that we are ashamed and outraged by the Canadian Government’s active participation in the February 29, 2004 Coup d’Etat that toppled the duly-elected Government of Haiti led by President Jean-Bertrand Aristide. On behalf of all Canadians, the great majority of whom are kept ignorant of this Coup and its aftermath, we sincerely apologize for the terrible, lasting damage it has caused“. See: http://www.apologytohaiti.ca/

 

 

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