Haiti Payback for France? Non

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French intransigence over
Haiti debt continues
by Anthony Fenton
Tuesday's unsurprising tagline: "France on Tuesday rejected a petition calling for it to pay $17 billion to help with Haiti earthquake " [via Christian Science Monitor]

- Continuing to press the case, Jean Saint-Vil appeared on Democracy Now! yesterday with Vox Sambou to put the independence debt in historical context:

"And so, this demand that just came out is proving that the restitution demand is not something that belongs to a set of Haitians. It’s generation after generation that Haitians and people of conscience are going to rise up to demand that the billions that are required to build the infrastructure of Haiti be restored to that nation. And it’s just a matter of justice"

- So far, with the exception of the Toronto Star's publication of Isabel MacDonald's op-ed, a short piece in the Toronto Sun, and an article in the Financial Post, the mainstream Canadian media has all but ignored the petition, to which anyone can (and should) still sign on
[For complete article features, please see source at Web of Democracy here.]

- Meanwhile, at least three Canadian dailies have re-printed an article (some might say diatribe) by the right-wing Heritage Foundation's Ray Walser, in which he supports the exclusion of Haiti's most popular political party, Lavalas. 

Here's what Saint-Vil had to say about the exclusion of Lavalas:

"Well, first of all, this is proof that the UN mission that is in Haiti today is not there to protect the Haitian people, any more than the UN was in the Congo in the '60s to protect the people of the Congo, but rather to cover up a coup that took place and to impose puppet regimes in Haiti. If you’re having elections, you cannot have political exiles. You cannot have the most popular party in Haiti, by everybody's account, including officials of government with whom we talk in private but who will never admit it in public, that Fanmi Lavalas is the most popular party in Haiti. And as you know, since 2004, they’ve banned Lavalas from participating in every election. They have arrested leaders, such as Father Jean-Juste, who was in jail when the election was taking place in 2006, So An, and many other people. And, of course, the very fact that President Jean-Bertrand Aristide and his family have to stay in South Africa during this period of need of Haiti tells you that what is being reinforced in Haiti is not democracy, but rather the rule by minority, so that the interests of the rich Haitians can be protected..."


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