Friday, February 17, 2006

Preval Declared Winner of Election

Miami Herald among other sources is reporting that Preval has been declared winner of the Haitian election by the Haitian Election Council. All I can think is, the Haitian people did it, again, but it is important for a Haiti solidarity movement to take this moement and build long term connections and goals so that a stronger network is in place the next time powerful actors try to violate the sovereignty and the will of the Haitian people.

Also interesting is the following line in the Herald piece "But U.S., U.N. and Organization of American States officials had been leaning strongly on the council to somehow break the counting impasse and declare Préval the outright winner."

This suggests that the tireless work of solidarity activists in the U.S., Canada, and Latin America helped create the environment in which massive repression in response to the Lavalas uprising wasn't really possible. Time to pat ourselves on the back, and not skip a beat. It's time to go to Haiti and do some Paul Farmer style "pragmatic solidarity."

P.S. Below I a letter I sent to the BBC over factual errors in their reporting.

I found the recent article on Haiti to be rather strange and filled with inaccuracies and poor analysis that has plagued BBC reporting on Haiti. In particular, the piece contains the following passage.

"Mr Aristide later returned to power, but with allegations of corruption and vote-rigging accompanied by increasing instability and violence, he took a US flight in early 2004 to South Africa, where he remains in exile."

This suggests that Aristide took a US Airways flight to Capetown because he was tired of governing. In fact, he is quoted as saying "Tell the world it is a coup. I've been kidnapped." Whether or not this is entirely true, surely BBC's representation of the event is misleading. Furthermore, the American plane that flew Aristide from Haiti did not take him to South Africa. Cursory research shows that the Americans took him to the Central African Republic where he remained for several days before being allowed to leave freely.
>Simon Fitzgerald, USA

While I am glad BBC factcheckers found and corrected the factual error hours within publishing it, the false assumptions of the author convey troubling, consistent errors in fact and analysis. The stories disproportionately take information from State actors in Haiti, the United States, or the United Nations peacekeeping force (MINUSTAH). The resulting misinformation is biased in favor of the coup government and its actors including Guy Phillipe and other war crime criminals and suspects.


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