Open letter: Canada must stop backing Haiti’s repressive and illegitimate president

Canadian PoliticsLatin America and the Caribbean

Protesters rip an electoral poster of president Jovenel Moïse during a demonstration in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, on November 6, 2015. Photo by Andres Martinez Casares/Reuters.

In recent months, Haitians have demonstrated their overwhelming opposition to President Jovenel Moïse. There have been massive protests and multiple general strikes demanding Moïse leave. We consider their demands legitimate.

A recent corruption investigation by Haiti’s Superior Court of Auditors and Administrative Disputes accused Moïse’s companies of swindling $2 million of public money. Some two billion dollars were pilfered under Moïse’s mentor Michel Martelly from Petro Caribe, a discounted oil program set up by Venezuela. Yet, the people’s demand for justice in this money squandering scandal has been met with fierce repression. Police have killed dozens of demonstrators since anti-corruption protests began last year. In the worst documented case, the UN confirmed the Haitian government’s culpability in a terrible massacre of up to 71 civilians in the impoverished Port-au-Prince neighborhood of La Saline in mid-November 2018.

Let’s remember that Moïse assumed office in 2017, through voter suppression and electoral fraud. Barely one in five Haitians voted. The people have been protesting and voicing their opposition to Moïse since day one, but he clings to power because of support from the US, Canada and members of the so-called “Core Group” (France, Brazil, Germany, Spain, EU and OAS). Canada has provided financial, policing and diplomatic support to the unpopular government. Canadian officials have repeatedly promoted and applauded a police force that has been responsible for countless abuses. Recent Canadian and “Core Group” statements completely ignore Moise’s electoral illegitimacy and downplay the enormity of the corruption and violence against protesters.

The undersigned call on the Justin Trudeau government and Canadian state, member of the “Core Group” - to stop backing a corrupt, repressive and illegitimate president Haitians massively reject.

Please note the situation is urgent, as the people’s access to basic necessities is more precarious everyday while the country is paralyzed and dysfunctional due to the political crisis.

David Suzuki, award-winning geneticist/broadcaster
RogerWaters, co-founder Pink Floyd
Amir Khadir, ex-deputy, Québec Solidaire
Maude Barlow, Honorary Chairperson of the Council of Canadians
Linda Mcgaig, author/journalist
Joel Harden, MPP for Ottawa Centre
Will Prosper, filmmaker/human rights activist
Françoise Boucard, former chair, Haiti’s National Truth and Justice Commission
Sid Ryan, former president, Ontario Federation of Labour and CUPE Ontario
Sue Montgomery, Mayor of NDG/Co-creator of #BeenRapedNeverReported
JimManly, Member of Parliament 1980-88
Yann Martel, author
Tariq Ali, author
Frantz Voltaire, editor
André Michel, president Artistes Pour La Paix
Michele Landsberg, journalist/activist
Chris Hedges, author
Frantz André, Solidarité Québec-Haïti #Petrochallenge 2019
Bruce Cockburn OC, musician/songwriter
El Jones, poet
Rawi Hage, author
Robyn Maynard, author
George Elliott Clarke, OC, poet
Greg Grandin, professor history Yale University
Rinaldo Walcott, professor and writer
Terra Lightfoot, singer-songwriter
Jean Saint-Vil, journalist/activist
Alain Deneault, philosopher
Antonia Zerbisias, journalist/activist
Medea Benjamin, co-director CODEPINK
Stephen von Sychowski, president, Vancouver & District Labour Council
Gordon Laxer, author/founding director, Parkland Institute
Èzili Dantò, Haitian Lawyers Leadership Network/Free Haiti Movement
Jord Samolesky, Propagandhi
Janis Alton, Co-Chair, Canadian Voice of Women for Peace
Yves Engler, author/activist
Carmen Rodriguez, author
Elaine Brière, filmmaker, Haiti Betrayed
David Putt, researcher, Haiti Betrayed
Christopher C. Black, Canadian international criminal lawyer, list of counsel, ICC
Peter Hallward, author, Damming the Flood: Haiti and the Politics of Containment
Monia Mazigh, PhD/author
Azeezah Kanji, journalist/legal academic
Charlie Demers, writer/comedian
Renel Exentus, regroupement des haï de Montréal contre l'occupation d'Haïti
Grahame Russell, Co-Director, Rights Action
Wade Davis, Professor of Anthropology, UBC
Eva Manly, retired filmmaker
Pierrot Ross-Tremblay, professeur Université d'Ottawa
Clayton Thomas-Muller Author, Director, Senior Campaign Specialist,
Frederick Jones, retired professor, Dawson College
Marie Dimanche, Solidarité Québec-Haïti #Petrochallenge 2019
Torquil Campbell singer and a songwriter, Stars
Rosina Kazi, vocalist, LAL band
Alexa Conradi, author/activist
Bianca Mugyenyi, activist
Jonathan Kuttab, co-founder, Al-Haq
Kevin Edmonds, educator/activist
Mostafa Henaway, author/Immigrant Workers Centre
Donald Cuccioletta, coordinator Nouveaux Cahiers du Socialisme
Derrick O'Keefe, writer/co-founder Ricochet
Scott Weinstein, health care worker
Bill Ross, activist
Margaret Flowers, co-director Popular Resistance
Jennie-Laure Sully, Solidarité Québec-Haïti #Petrochallenge 2019
Kevin Zeese, co-director Popular Resistance
Ann Rogers, Political Studies Vancouver Island University
Andrea Levy, coordinating editor Canadian Dimension magazine
James Winter, author and professor, University of Windsor
Kari Polanyi Levitt, development economist
Patrick Mbeko, Canadian political scientist of Congolese origin
Rafaelle Roy, painter
Jan J. Dominique, writer 
Gary Klang, writer
Tamara Lorincz, board member, Canadian Voice of Women for Peace
Greg Beckett, Assistant Professor of Anthropology, Western University
Kevin Skerrett, union researcher
Nikolas Barry-Shaw, researcher/activist
Darren Ell, teacher/photographer
Henry Heller, professor
Turenne Joseph, Solidarité Québec-Haïti #Petrochallenge 2019
Richard Swift, journalist
Claudia Chaufan, MD, professor, York University
Robin Mathews, retired Professor/Poet/Playwright/Activist
Jay Watts, co-chair Toronto Association for Peace & Solidarity
Michael S Goodman, activist
Rosemary Hnatiuk, activist
Ajit Singh, lawyer/graduate student
Ali Mallah, former Ontario and Federal NDP Executive member
Raul Burbano, activist
Justin Podur, writer/academic
Elaine Hughes, activist
Trevor Herriot, writer, activist
Ken Collier, Retired academic and current activist Mission, BC
Syed Hussan, Migrant Workers Alliance
Ralph Gastmeier, Retired cooperative housing coordinator
Saul Bottcher, Green Party of Canada candidate 2015
David Heap, Teacher-Researcher & Community Human Rights Advocate
Bev Currie, Past President Saskatchewan NDP
Phil Taylor, Host and producer of Taylor Report, CIUT 89.5 fm Toronto
Nadia Abu-Zahra, Assistant Professor, University of Ottawa
Martin Lukacs, journalist
Youri Smouter, journalist
Sid Shniad, retired union research director/activist
Eva Bartlett, independent journalist/activist
Jooneed Khan, journalist and human rights activist
Barry Weisleder, co-editor, Socialist Action newspaper, chair, NDP Socialist Caucus
William Sloan, ex. refugee lawyer
Dimitri Lascaris, lawyer/journalist/activist
John Philpot, international defense lawyer
Arnold August, Montreal journalist/author on US-Latin America
Antonio Artuso, Front uni contre le fascisme et la guerre
Gary Engler, author
John Wesley Delva, journalist/poet
Jonathan McPhedran Waitzer, consultant in organizational development
Jeanne-Marie Rugira, Professor at the University du Québec à Rimouski
Mouloud Idir-Djerroud, political scientist/pan-Africanist activist
Franklin Lopez, Filmmaker, Voluntarily Unemployed
Nadia Duguay, cofounder Exeko
Amel Zaazaa, feminist and anti-racist activist
Marita Mariasine, activist in Ayiti since 2010
Pascale Brunet, community organizer
Christian Tremblay, anticolonial activist
Christian Gagnon, Bloc Québécois candidate in Papineau
Nawel A. Hamidi,  lawyer, PhD student University of Essex(UK)
Rushdia Mehreen, community organizer
Athena R. Kolbe, Professor of Social Work University of North Carolina
Robert Green, Green Party Candidate for NDG-Westmount
Brian Concannon, Human Rights Lawyer and Board Member of IJDH
Freda Guttman artist/activist
Rael Nidess, M.D.Marshall, TX USA
Khaled Mouammar, activist
Richard Sanders, author/activist
Marv Gandall, activist
Karen Rodman, activist
Larry Hannant, historian/activist
Dave Greenfield, activist
Judith Deutsch, psychoanalyst
Raoul Paul, co-editor Canada-Haiti Information Project
Travis Ross, public school teacher/co-editor Canada-Haiti Information Project
Greg Albo, York professor
Paul Larudee, nonprofit administrator/former academic/US government advisor
Denis Rancourt, Researcher, Ontario Civil Liberties Association
Anthony James Hall, Professor Emeritus/Editor In Chief American Herald Tribune
Peter Eglin, Emeritus Professor of Sociology, Wilfrid Laurier University/activist
Mary Ellen Davis, cinéaste/travailleuse culturelle
Ken Stone, Treasurer of Hamilton Coalition To Stop The War
Samir Gandesha, Associate Professor and Director SFU Institute for the Humanities 
Carmen Aguirre, theatre artist/author
Anastasia Marcelin, activist/politician
Pierre Beaudet, Nouveaux cahiers du socialisme
John Clarke, activist
Harsha Walia, activist/writer
Aziz Fall, President Centre Internationaliste Ryerson Foundation Aubin
Patrice Pierre, Christian/Midwife/Haitian Orphanage Founder


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