Another "Election" at Gunpoint

September 4, 2005

The U.S. and the U.N. are trying to give a facade of legitimacy to their occupation of Haiti by advertising a "democratic election" which they are organizing in October. Already the foreign occupying powers have invested more than $40 million in these elections.

But just as in Iraq, the entire project is a contradiction in terms. No country can have democracy when the people's most fundamental right to sovereignty is denied and elections are organized by the armies of occupation.

In Haiti, the "election" fraud is being carried out while the armies of the U.N. and the U.S., along with the Haitian National Police, are imposing fascism on the people. Over the last 18 months since the U.S. invasion, more than 10,000 Haitians have been murdered. A continuous reign of terror is carried out in the poor and working class neighborhoods and the primary target of these raids are political supporters of the Lavalas party and other opponents of the occupation. Lavalas is the largest party in Haiti; it is the party of President Aristide who was elected by an overwhelming majority in 2000 only to be kidnapped by U.S. marines and his government replaced with U.S. puppets. More than 1,000 political prisoners, including the Prime Minister of the constitutional government, remain in prison.

In a recent press release, August Fanmi Lavalas, the leading political party in Haiti, underscores: "Today in 2005, who can expect free, fair and democratic elections in Haiti while thousands of Lavalas members and supporters are in jail, exile and hiding?...

"Because the people refuse to follow the de facto government's logic of "election-by-selection", Fanmi Lavalas is asking the people not to stand in line for the rigged electoral card.

"Furthermore, Fanmi Lavalas asks its members not to stand in line to be assassinated once more, as has occurred in Solino, Bel-Air, Cite Soleil, Grand Ravines, La Saline, Barriere Bouteille, etc. People will not bring themselves to the butchers. Remember November 29th, 1987 in Ruelle Vaillant; remember September 11th, 1988 in Saint Jean Bosco. Remember, the one causing the pain may forget, but the one who bares the scar always remembers."

At the same time, the U.S. has handpicked the current government from amongst the Haitian elite, American citizens and people on the C.I.A. payroll. In addition, the U.S., through the National Endowment for Democracy and other government agencies, continues to provide millions of dollars in financial support and unlimited media backing to political groupings of its choice.

Yet more. The vast majority of Haitians will not be able to vote in the October elections. As of June, only 60,000 people had registered to vote out of an eligible pool of 4.5 million. At last count, the Provisional Electoral Council had only opened 14 of 436 planned registration centers; none have been opened in the poor neighborhoods. In the 2000 elections, won by Aristide, there were more than 12,000 registration centers.

No, the October "elections" being held in Haiti are not seeking the voice and will of the people. Rather they are being held at the point of the gun with the aim of trying to legitimize fascism and colonial occupation.