Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Empty Streets, Empty Boxes: Haitians Reject Manipulated Election

By: Wadner Pierre - HaitiAnalysis.com

June 20th, 2009. Haitians appeared skeptical of the recent senatorial elections.

In Gonaives, sitting in a tap tap days prior to the election, Kener Docteur told Haitianalysis "I don’t feel or see this so-called election, I am not going to vote on Sunday.” Similar attitudes were echoed in conversation after conversation. This was ever more clear listening to people on the bus traveling back and forth from Port-Au-Prince to Gonaives.

On Sunday, the day of the elections,supporters of Fanmi Lavalas’ launched a campaign, they titled “Operation Closed Doors and Empty Streets”. With such a tiny turn-out, even according to foreign observers and journalists, the Lavalas organizers are now claiming their campaign was effective. Their call for the election stems from the earlier banning of the participation in the election by the countries CEP.

Early Sunday morning ,the boulevard Jean Jacques Dessalines was completely empty. Similarly empty, Lalue, Delams 33, boulevard Toussaint Louverture and so forth. During the election day, Haitianalysis visited the biggest electoral centers such as Carrefour Airport and Nazon.

The voter boxes were practically empty. One electoral guard said ”from the time we opened until now, around 50 people came to vote,” This was similar in other places: Lycee Marie Jeanne in Turgeot, the building 2004 on Delmas 2, the Lycee Antoine and Georges Yzmery in Ti Plas Kazo, the Lycee Petion-Ville. People even nearby the voting booths told us that the election was a total shame. “There is no election today because of disqualifying of Fanmi Lavalas,” cried out a man near an electoral center.

Although, Preval voted at Lycee Marie Jeanne, he agreed that people did not turn out to vote, but argued, it was not because of the actions of politicians’, but rather that the political leaders need to ask why people did not go out to vote. Esentially he side stepped the issue of the exclusion of Fanmi Lavalas.

On the other hand, Fanmi Lavalas Senator Dr. Rudy Herivaud complimented the Fanmi Lavalas’ supporters for not taking part in this so-called election, which he qualified as a exclusive poll.

A popular grassroots Fanmi Lavalas leader, Rene Civil, answered President Preval’s question. He said “People did not turn out to vote because they were excluded them from the poll, and the president has a short time to put the things in the right way, and to quickly give the date of the return of he former Fanmi Lavalas President, Dr. Jean-Bertrand Aristide,” Mr. Aristide has lived in his exile in South African since 2004, after he was forced to leave his country in Feb. 29, 2004 by U.S special forces.

Some activists from the poor neighborhoods worry of corruption in the voting process. "[t]he corruption of this process is clear, for the first senatorial round of seections [they] filled the electoral boxes with more people who were even supposed to vote at a center, and tonight they will probably do the same,” said Faubert.

In the recent second senatorial election, Haitian authorities allowed public transportation to operate, and city life often returned to normal. For example, streets merchants in Port-au-Prince, sold their products to other poor residents, such as bread, boiled eggs, bananas, little plastic bottles of water.

From Port-au-Prince to Gonaives and in some areas of the Plateau Central where Haitianalysis correspondents visited, banners and the advertisements for the recent election were often hard to find. There was nothing that motivated people in term of a electoral campaign. “ I stopped turning out to vote after 2001, I tried to do it in 2006’s election, but I did not believe that election would change anything for this country,” according to Guerda, a nurse on her way to Gonaives.

For the government bureaucrats there may be some shift in who sits in office after the recent senatorial elections (19 April and 21 June), nonetheless, people and some political leaders who followed those electoral days now claim that 95% of the population did not turn out to vote.

“There was only a selection, not an election,” said Jule, and for others, it was a way for those in the Preval/Pierre-Louis’ electoral council and the international community to make money and to continue to destroy Haiti socially and politically.

In addition, two people died in election violence, and the irregularities and the violence were observed in many departments, but lower than the first turn, in the southeast, Marigot, Jacmel, a brother of the former senator Joseph Lambert, a member of the presidential party, Lespwa arrested for driving with a loaded weapons in his car. All in all, Haitians have given little credibility or validity to recent senatorial election, and it parallels a noticeable drop in the popularity of Preval.

Monday, June 29, 2009

The funeral of Rev. Jean-Juste in Haiti, Part 2

All pictures by Wadner Pierre

Reverend, Fr. Gerard Jean-Juste's Funeral in Haiti, in Photo

By Wadner Pierre

It was crowded and people came to celebrate his life as you asked them to do when he died, but this celebration had been with tearfully and painfully, from Port-Au-Prince to Cavillon, the late priest hometown people cried, and could not resist even the Fr. Jean-Juste asked them to do not cry when he passed away. That was a big loss for those who loved and will continue to love him, and for the entire Haiti, people were from all over the country to celebrate the life this Icon, "I will never forget him," said a young woman while she was crying inf font of the church in Cavaillon.

Although, UN soldiers killed a man who came to celebrate the passing away of Fr. Jean-Juste, he was wearing a t-shirt that had Fr, Gerry's photo on it. Poeple cried justice for him and for Fr. Jean-Juste, because they believed the death of the late priest had begun while he was jailing two times 2004 and 2005-2006.
The story is coming...

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

The Funeral of Father Gerard Jean-Juste

By Wadner Pierre-www.haitianalysis.com

People were there from the USA, Canada, and all over the Caribbean - people of different religions and cultures. Veye Yo, his organization, organized a viewing as did his family at Notre Dame D'Haiti church in Miami,

It was crowded for the two days as approximately 3000 people gathered. Catholic bishops from Haiti and United States were in attendance. People tearfully marched for hours in Little Haiti in front of Veve Yo headquarters where a stage was set to receive his body for the last time.

Lavarice Gaudin, a close ally in his struggles, cried out during the funeral service that "Father Gerry" was poisoned.

During a sermon that honoured Father Gerard Jean-Juste, Father Reginald Jean-Mary condemned the hypocrisy within the Haitian community in the US. He wondered who could fill the priest's shoes - continue his humanitarian work in Saint Claire's parich in Haiti or his political activism on behalf of the most vulnerable. Father Reginald Jean-Mary said "they killed Father Gerry for power, because he represented a threat to them as someone who could lead Haiti."

In attendance during the sermon were Ira Kurzban and Dr. Paul Famer, both close friends and allies of Father Jean-Juste. Some Haitian officials were in attendance but not in any official capacity.

Father Adonai Jean-Juste, the late priest's cousin, said "Father Gerry did not die for his family, but for the people of Haiti and the Haitian immigrants in the USA. He did not live for himself, but according to the gospel: feed people who are angry and preach the good news to the poor. He was a father to all in his life."

I, who consider him my adoptive father, will remember most of al his belief that "A new Haiti is possible." He forgave those who mistreated him and prayed for their repentance. I will endeavor to follow his path and respect all Haitians whether they be rich or poor.