By now the world has heard of the catastrophic earthquake that struck Port-au-Prince, Haiti on January 12, 2010... but there is recent troublesome political NEWS out of Haiti that is eclipsed by the tragedy.
After the USA and the UN worked so hard for nearly two decades to instill democracy in Haiti, the latest NEWS (1.11.2010) out of the carribean island nation that shares its landmass with the Dominican Republic, was that the current president Rene Preval was excluding the competition from the upcoming February 2010 election.
According to the Dominion Paper Californian Congresswoman, Maxine Waters, "qualified the Haiti's upcoming election to be a set back for Haiti's democratic development".
The U.S. Representative, Californian Congresswoman, a long-time supporter of democracy in Haiti Maxine Waters, qualified the Haiti's upcoming election to be a set back for Haiti's democratic development if these elections will not be fair and credible. Congresswoman Waters expressed her concerns about the upcoming elections in a letter addressing to Haitian President, Mr. Rene Preval.
Representative Waters' letter is one of dozens of letters that have been sent to President Preval, U.N's Secretary General and OAS' Secretary General about the upcoming flawed election in Haiti, scheduled for the months February and March.
Coming soon, more analysis about other letters on Haiti's undemocratic upcoming elections as already qualified by national and international political leaders and human groups.
Below is the Letter of Rep. Waters to President Preval.
December 23, 2009
His Excellency René Préval - President of Haiti
c/o Embassy of Haiti
2311 Massachusetts Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20008
click image below for story
I am writing to express my concerns about the decision of Haiti’s Provisional Electoral Council (CEP) to exclude more than a dozen political parties from the Parliamentary elections scheduled for February and March 2010. I am concerned that these exclusions would violate the right of Haitian citizens to vote in free and fair elections and that it would be a significant setback to Haiti’s democratic development.
As you know, I have a longstanding commitment to supporting democracy and development in Haiti. I led efforts in the United States Congress to obtain debt cancellation for Haiti. These efforts culminated in the World Bank’s announcement last June that Haiti reached the “completion point” for the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) Initiative and would receive complete cancellation of its multilateral debts. I am also working to increase United States bilateral assistance to Haiti.
It is imperative that Haiti’s next elections be free and fair and that they be perceived as free and fair. Political parties should not be excluded from an election without a legally compelling reason, determined through a transparent, impartial process.
The CEP, to my knowledge, has not provided a public, written explanation for the exclusions of the political parties from the upcoming elections. The CEP’s failure to explain the justification for the political parties’ exclusions for almost a month raises questions about the validity of these exclusions. The fact that the decision was made by a provisional CEP – one chosen by your office from a list of nominations from organizations selected by your office rather than according to the 1987 Constitution – also raises questions about the fairness of the process.
I urge you to take appropriate action to ensure that the upcoming elections in Haiti are free and fair. This includes taking appropriate action to ensure that the CEP: a) provides a complete, public explanation for the exclusions; and b) allows any political party that was excluded for anything less than a clear, compelling legal reason to fully participate in the February elections.
Please communicate with The Honorable Hillary Clinton, Secretary of State of the United States; The Honorable Eliot Engel, Chairman of the Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere; and myself regarding the measures you take in this matter. I look forward to continuing to work with you to support democratic development in Haiti.
Member of Congress
cc: Hon. Hillary Clinton, Secretary of State of the United States
The Honorable Eliot Engel, Chairman of the Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere
"These efforts culminated in the World Bank’s announcement last June that Haiti reached the “completion point” for the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) Initiative and would receive complete cancellation of its multilateral debts."
I suppose this may be overly cynical in light of the human tragedy, however, though the national debt may be forgiven, the rebuilding of Haiti by companies from around the world will ensure long term return and profits for those companies that participate in rebuilding the devastated nation.
The earthquake also ensures that the entire world, touched by the human tragedy, will equally contribute aid, medical supplies and food to the devasted nation.
The earthquake that struck Port-au-Prince, had aftershocks centered on the Champ de Mars plaza area that caused severe damage to the Presidential Palace.
and I'm sure we'll see the upcoming election be more open to all-comers and political parties - no matter who they may be beholden to.
Let's hope that the leaders of the nations of this world learn a valuable lesson from this terrible event. You cannot squirrel away the income of your nation, without playing ball and while your citizens wallow in misery, poverty and starvation and, whether by act of God or technology, be allowed to remain in power over a stable intact nation.
UN peacekeepers help prepare for election in Haiti
The United Nations says its peacekeeping mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) is helping the impoverished Caribbean country prepare for upcoming legislative elections.
The UN said MINUSTAH is providing secondary support in logistics, security and raising public awareness, "while leaving the primary organising role to the national authorities".
The senior UN official in the southern region, Marco Donati, told a recent meeting to encourage young people to participate in the February 28 polls that it is the responsibility of the Haitian authorities to organise good elections.
"MINUSTAH is merely playing a secondary role in the elections," he added.
The UN said the mission is also helping the authorities to maintain a "stable political atmosphere, conducive to electing the country's legislators." ...more at story link above
Will Smith, the Horus-like character of the movie Hancock, recently led an event in Oslo, Norway during the Obama Nobel Peace Prize award, and was offering his art to aid in poverty relief for Haiti.
"The artwork will be sold by UN's World Food Programme (WFP) and the Will & Jada Smith Family Foundation on eBay."
Bill Clinton: Haiti Quake Tragedy for Millions, United Nations
Former President, Now a U.N. Special Envoy, Calls on Americans to Donate Cash
By DEVIN DWYER
Jan. 13, 2010
The disaster in Haiti, affecting more than 3 million people, may be one of the most devastating tragedies ever to hit the United Nations, former President Bill Clinton told ABC News' George Stephanopoulos in an interview for "World News."
Clinton, who was appointed the United Nations' special envoy to Haiti in May 2008, said the U.N. itself has been hit hard.
"Our U.N. hotel, as you know, [was] five stories [and] completely collapsed. Today, only 10 people [were] recovered alive," Clinton told Stephanopoulos.
At least 16 U.N. employees, including chief of the U.N. mission in Haiti, Hedi Annabi, have died, with at least 56 more injured, a U.N. spokesman told ABC News.
"It's highly likely to be the highest mortality count we've ever had," Clinton said. ... more at story link above
and from the nation next-door to Haiti, the Dominican Republic:
Dominican Drugs Adviser again cites ex U.S. Ambassador in major drugs scandal
*** Be sure to check out the phenomenal work by Andre Heath @ thealienproject.blogspot.com
MYSTERY: Symbols of an Alien Sky, Manmade or Natural Phenomena?
'Fox News Sunday' Transcript: Presidents Clinton, George W. Bush Discuss Haiti Challenge
In this age of bold trickery and deceit in the face of tremendous human tragedy (Like the Haiti EQ, Indonesia Tsunami and Hurricane Katrina - to name just a few) it is difficult for the average person to know exactly which charity will actually make proper use of donations - Which charitable organization will put the money to uses other than the administration and perpetuation of its own existence...
Well, for the immediate future stillerstrong.org (operated by the actor Ben Stiller) is claiming that 100% of all donations will go DIRECTLY to the Haiti relief effort.
A GREY AREA of charitable aid and relief can also occur when one organization (NGO/NFP) raises money and then bulk donates portions of that money, after operating expense deductions to yet another larger or more well known charitable relief organization.
Take time to investigate the percentages of money received versus the percentage of money used for the cause to which you are donating before donating to ANY charitable organization. Remember that bigger or more in-your-face through advertising, TV spots etc. also means more operating / administration expense and often less percentage making it out of the NFP corporation to the people that need it.
Wyclef Jean, a Haitian singer (famous for his song with SHAKIRA - "Hips Don't Lie"), defending his charity YELE HAITI which has raised more than $2 million for relief efforts since the earthquake.
Wyclef Jean Defends His Haitian Foundation on CBC
BBC - Strong aftershock shakes Haiti, week after earthquake
A strong aftershock has rocked Haiti, sending screaming people running into the streets, eight days after another quake devastated the country.
The extent of the damage is not yet known. The magnitude 6.1 tremor struck west of Port-au-Prince at 0603 local time (1103 GMT).
An estimated 200,000 people died in last Tuesday's quake and another 1.5 million were made homeless.
Despite an international aid operation, supplies are slow to reach survivors.
However, international teams are still rescuing people alive from the rubble, including a 69-year-old woman pulled from the ruins of a church in the capital. ...more at story link above...