Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Artists of Grand Rue, Port-au-Prince, Haiti

The Artists of the Grand Rue
E Pluribus UnumAn urban museum in Port-au-Prince, Haitiphotographs© Bill Bollendorf 2005

Artists Resistance, The sculptors of Grand Rue (See top image)

Monday, November 26, 2007

Anyway poem on wall of Mother Teresa's home


People are unreasonable, illogical, and self-centered;
Love them anyway,
If you do good, people will accuse you of
selfish, ulterior motives;
Do good anyway.
The good you do will be forgotten tomorrow;
Do good anyway.
Honesty and frankness will make you vulnerable;
Be honest and frank anyway.
What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight;
Build anyway.
Give the world the best you have and you’ll get kicked in the teeth;
Give the best you’ve got anyway.

On the walls of Shishu Bhavan,

Mother Teresa’s home in Calcutta

Friday, November 9, 2007

Amy's Professional Hair Braiding, Brooklyn

Amy's Professional Hair Braiding, 62 Bond Street, Brooklyn, New York, 718-875-4120
Model: Riva Precil

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Friday, October 5, 2007

Photo book raises money for Haiti : Balance : Boulder Daily Camera

Superior woman donates all profits to feeding programs
By Aimee Heckel, Camera Staff Writer, Friday, October 5, 2007

Murals in San Francisco and Baghdad

Mural in Baghdad

Mural in San Francisco

...to admire. In a city renowned for...of these murals is in their accessibility: enjoying them is free. What makes...smells from the neighborhood, the buildings...Drescher, who was a professor of humanities...of Precita Eyes is on a guided tour...
March 28, 2007 - By MATT VILLANO - 994 words

With Fixtures of War as Their Canvas, Muralists Add Beauty to Baghdad
...visible legacy of the latest war in a city with a long history of wars. For...and sidewalk as they shut...to soften their harsh gray...soldiers working with Iraqi neighborhood...murals are part of wider beautification...organizations as part of an...dangers. Their hope, though...
August 11, 2007 - By STEPHEN FARRELL - World - 1185 words
  • Dozens of artists have been painting murals upon the miles of vast concrete blast walls throughout Baghdad. See Video of Baghdad's Blast Wall Murals

Barred From Public Housing, Even to See Family - New York Times

Michelle V. Agins/The New York Times
Hector Monsegur, 40, was barred from visiting his mother, Irma, 65, at the
Jacob Riis Houses after his drug conviction. “It’s one strike and they give me life,” he says.
Barred From Public Housing, Even to See Family - New York Times by Manny Fernandez, October 1, 2007, The New York Times

Nobody covers public housing quite like The Journal, the New York City Housing Authority’s monthly tabloid newspaper, delivered to 178,000 apartments.Irma Monsegur looking at old photographs of her children.

There are colorful photographs and cheerful stories about the agency’s youth chorus, community center ribbon-cuttings and teenage tenants headed to college.

But there is one widely read feature that residents hope they never appear in: the Not Wanted List.

It names former residents who are “permanently excluded” from Housing Authority buildings — and barred from even an afternoon’s visit to a family member. The Not Wanted are barred for a wide variety of reasons, some of them for criminal arrests and others for being nuisances.

In The Journal’s September issue, Peter Kilpatrick from Hammel Houses in Queens — “formerly associated with the second floor,” the newspaper noted — is first on the list. Next is Tyrone Taylor, “formerly associated” with the fourth floor of Lincoln Houses in Manhattan, followed by more than a dozen others.

Anyone who sees a barred person on the premises is urged to contact the complex management or Housing Authority investigators. Last year, 864 men and women were permanently excluded from Housing Authority properties, and this year, the number is at 772.

Public housing authorities around the country use similar policies, including the agencies in Philadelphia and Portland, Ore. In Chicago, exclusion from public housing is called an “order to bar.”

The practice, public housing advocates and some tenants said, splinters families, preventing the barred from seeing their parents, siblings or grandparents. And in the close-knit world of public housing buildings, they said, the public list is a kind of scarlet letter for struggling families.

“It’s degrading not only for the people on that list but for the family members of those people,” said Damaris Reyes, a resident of Baruch Houses in Manhattan and the executive director of Good Old Lower East Side, a community and tenants’ rights group. “You’re trying to keep your business private, and now the whole neighborhood knows that your son or daughter was arrested.”

Read full story at http://www.nytimes.com/2007/10/01/nyregion/01banned.html

Nassau County protests federal raid and arrest of 186 immigrants

Pool photo by Michael Schwartz (appeared in The New York Times)
Men arrested in a week of raids on Long Island. Nassau County officials
said the police there were misled into participating.

EDITORIAL; Stop the Raids
...catch of peaceable immigrants. Its agents have set...not only among illegal immigrants, but among citizens...agents fanned out across Nassau County, Long Island...him to investigate the Nassau debacle. Mr. Suozzi...that the undocumented immigrants cannot, and will not...
October 4, 2007 - Opinion

Raids Were a Shambles, Nassau Complains to U.S.
...Lawrence W. Mulvey, the Nassau County police commissioner...mistakenly drew their guns on Nassau County police detectives...resulted in the arrests of 186 immigrants on Long Island. Thomas R. Suozzi , the Nassau County executive, said yesterday...
October 3, 2007 - By NINA BERNSTEIN - New York and Region

Officials Protest Antigang Raids Focused on Immigrants
Nassau County officials today will...resulted in the arrests of 186 immigrants on Long Island. They said...than 2,000 suspects from Nassau that we vetted jointly, Mr...Lawrence W. Mulvey, the Nassau County police commissioner...
October 2, 2007 - By NINA BERNSTEIN - New York and Region

Reporting While Black - The New York Times

Photo by Chris Keane for The New York Times

Reporting While Black by Solomon Moore, September 30, 2007, The New York Times

...Last month, while talking to a group of young black men standing on a sidewalk in Salisbury, N.C., about harsh antigang law enforcement tactics some states are using, I had discovered the main challenge to such measures: the police have great difficulty determining who is, and who is not, a gangster.

My reporting, however, was going well. I had gone to Salisbury to find someone who had firsthand experience with North Carolina's tough antigang stance, and I had found that someone: me.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Commercial Companies In Our Children's Schools and Minds

When we moved back to the U.S. and my daughter entered a New York City public high school, I was very surprised, and concerned, to find out that the Tampax company lectured the students on sex education and was pushing their product at the same time. A search on this subject has turned up some good articles on the onslaught of commercial companies in our schools, and the perks schools get, while corporations are pushing their products on vulnerable children in an effort to capture new consumers for their markets. Here's a look at the hundreds of corporations currently in our schools, some of the public relations firms facilitating their entry, the products being distributed to our children, the advertisers involved, how students influence their parent's consumer choices, what schools are getting in exchange, discussions on the pros and cons of this practice, and recommendations for better practices to protect our children.
  • Marketers Are Joining the Varsity by Stuart Elliott, New York Times, June 11, 2007
Athletes, if they are talented, train hard and get a break or two, can climb the sports ladder from high school to college to the pros. Madison Avenue, sensing a lucrative opportunity, is heading the other way.
Decades after marketers began selling products by capitalizing on consumer interest in professional teams, then college teams, they are becoming big boosters of high school sports.
  • Captive Kids: A report on Commercial Pressures on Kids at School
Selling America's Kids: Commercial Pressures on Kids of the 90's (Consumers Union)
Corporate-sponsored teaching materials are reaching more than 20 million students in elementary and high schools every year. Product samples and coupons are distributed to more than two million students. TV commercials and magazine ads in the classroom reach countless millions more. This report describes some current advertising messages and how they're "packaged" in order to gain entry into schools.
  • Who Advertises In Our Schools? These 234 Companies (Consumers Union)
This is a partial listing. U.S. News and World Report quotes one estimate that the total number of companies and organizations in the schools is 12,000. A few companies in this list sell equipment to schools, but the vast majority have their materials in the classroom.
(See list) at
  • RECOMMENDATIONS (from Consumers Union):

Multinationals Fuel Graft in Poor States: Watchdog - CommonDreams.org

Multinationals Fuel Graft in Poor States by Sylvia Westall for Reuters

Multinational companies and financial institutions that use bribery and tolerate illicitly gained wealth are helping fuel corruption in the world’s poorest countries, a global corruption watchdog said on Wednesday.

Berlin-based Transparency International (TI) said in its latest corruption perceptions report that while poorer countries should tackle their own graft problems, richer states are also responsible, and often to blame.
“Bribe money often stems from multinationals based in the world’s richest countries. It can no longer be acceptable for these companies to regard bribery in export markets as a legitimate business strategy,” the report said.

Division and Dislocation: Regulating Immigration through Local Housing Ordinances

DIVISION AND DISLOCATION: Regulating Immigration through Local Housing Ordinances, Summer 2007, Immigration Policy Center, A division of the American Immigration Law Foundation, by Jill Esbenshade, Ph.D. with Barbara Obrzut, Benjamin Wright, Soo Mee Kim, Jessica Thompson, and Edward O'Conner

The last two years have seen an intensified public debate over the issue of undocumented immigrant in the United States...One way in which some policymakers and activists have expressed this frustration is through support for ordinances that target undocumented immigrants. As of March 10, 2007, such ordinances had been proposed, debated, or adopted in at least 104 cities and counties in 28 states. These ordinances encompass a number of measures -- most notably prohibitions on renting to or employing undocumented immigrants and the adoption of English as the official language of the local government. Forty-three of the 104 localities have debated or passed rental restrictions alone or as part of broader ordinances. See report at http://www.ailf.org/ipc/special_report/SpecialReport0907.pdf

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

An 80-Block Slice of City Life - New York Times

John Casey's amazing rubber stamp store included in this New York Times guide to the Lower East Side!

An 80-Block Slice of City Life - New York Times

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Blog the Debt: ‘Economic Terrorism’: Ignoring the Debt Issue in Haiti Part 1

Public Mural in Cayes, Haiti: Yes to Life, No to the Debt! (Photo by Peter Kondrat, June 2007)

Economic Terrorism: Ignoring the Debt Issue in Haiti. Michelle Karshan, the former Foreign Press Liaison for former Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, blogs her perspective on how Haiti's struggle with debt and economic recovery was ignored by the international press.

Blog the Debt: ‘Economic Terrorism’: Ignoring the Debt Issue in Haiti Part 1

by Michelle Karshan

In May 2007, while in Haiti, friends told me of the rising cost of living. As I spent what seemed like a lot of money purchasing food to cook three meals a day, I wondered how folks were feeding their families even one meal a day at those exorbitant prices.

Michelet, a young man, considerably thinner since 2004, pointed out that he had personally seen a rise in TB in his own neighborhood. He explained that with the increase in the cost of living people could not nourish themselves enough to fend off disease.

Dr. Paul Farmer has so eloquently drawn this connection between infectious disease and poverty, yet the international financial institutions have yet to re-prioritize their economic plans.

Former Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide often referred to structural adjustment and the debt as “Economic Terrorism”, because globalization and the way it revolves around creating and keeping impoverished countries impoverished results in starvation, disease, illiteracy and death. And, in the end millions of dollars spent on poverty reduction cannot turn a country around without debt reduction and forgiveness.

Last week, while Haiti and each Haitian there still suffers from the backbreaking debt inherited from the Duvalier regime, former dictator Jean-Claude Duvalier was heard on the airways apologizing for the atrocities and corruption during his administration.

Not coincidentally, his plea for forgiveness came immediately following Switzerland’s announcement that they would extend the Haitian government’s period of time to wage their legal battle to recover the millions of dollars in Duvalier’s Swiss bank accounts.

Haitian President René Préval rightly responded to Duvalier’s maneuvers, stating that while forgiveness is good, justice must prevail. Préval made it clear that his government would continue its pursuit of the monies, and that if Duvalier chooses to return to Haiti he will certainly be brought to justice.

It was extremely frustrating working as the Foreign Press Liaison to presidents Aristide, Préval and Aristide again. All the while, the international press ignored the debt that shackled any efforts towards recovery, ignored the U.S.-led embargo against Haiti’s government, and the economic “death plan” Aristide tried to resist. The U.S. Embassy waged a campaign denying that there was any financial embargo and they harassed press who dared to call the embargo an embargo!

The international press, distracting its readers from the real talking points, lay all blame at Aristide’s door, and characterized Haiti as: “spiraling downward;” “a basket case;” “a failed state;” and “a people unable to govern themselves.”

Yet inside the storm, at the eye of the storm, was globalization, the endless debt, the imposed impoverishment of a country up against a proud nation that believes that justice — economic justice — means accessible, universal health care, schools, literacy programs, and the right to work and farm.

It will not be hard for me to begin my fast today. What has been hard is to eat, knowing that more than 8 million people in Haiti cannot eat one meal a day.

Michelle Karshan is the former Foreign Press Liaison for President Jean-Bertrand Aristide

Blog the Debt: ‘Economic Terrorism’: Ignoring the Debt Issue in Haiti Part 2

Mother and Children, Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Photo by Evens Sanon, Copyright 2003

Economic Terrorism: Ignoring the Debt Issue in Haiti.

Michelle Karshan, the former Foreign Press Liaison for former Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, blogs her perspective on how Haiti's struggle with debt and economic recovery was ignored by the international press.

Blog the Debt: ‘Economic Terrorism’: Ignoring the Debt Issue in Haiti Part 2

By Michelle Karshan laughingmaze.blogspot.com

In Part One of my blog I said it would not be difficult to begin my fast but by 9:30 a.m. I had already started experiencing actual hunger pains.

At first I reflected on why I was feeling so intensely hungry after such a short period of time. I thought perhaps it was because I was starting to feel deprived, but then also realized that I had eaten very little the day before — very similar to how most Haitians actually live.

I thought of the homeless children who hang out in downtown Port-au-Prince or hide behind tombstones at the main cemetery while keeping an iron grip on plastic bottles filled with glue which they keep at their noses all day.

Apparently, glue sniffing not only gives one a dangerous buzz, but more importantly it eases the pains of hunger.

And there are the street children, boys and girls, forced to sell their bodies, risk contracting HIV/AIDS, and are subjected to brutality, just to buy a meal to eat. Other children, live in domestic servitude — as slaves — serve hefty meals to their masters, and pray that a few scraps will be made available to them.

And what of those who wear their hunger like a billboard?! The children with orange hair and distended stomachs , the prisoners with swollen bodies dying from Beri Beri, a fatal and painful illness from B vitamin deficiency, children with stunted growth, or even the average Haitian so thin that the bones in their faces protrude and many people collapse in the street from weakness and dehydration.

Why is there still hunger in Haiti if millions of dollars are pouring into the country, as the press would have us believe? In fact, contrary to press releases issued by various donors, and press stories to back them up, much of the funds we read about don’t actually get to Haiti when they say, if ever.

And, as a USAID representative testified before Congress some years ago, 84 cents on every dollar of USAID monies to developing countries actually goes to U.S. workers, consultants, companies, or materials. That means only 16 cents on every dollar actually goes to the receiving country.

Written in the early 1990s, but still relevant today, this extraordinary breakdown and analysis by the Washington Office on Haiti entitled Where Did the Money Go? “AID” Received by Haiti: October 94 – October 1995, explains:

It is not difficult to see how the large infusion of foreign “aid” had relatively little impact on most people’s lives. The economy did recover from the severe negative growth of the embargo years to a positive 4.5 percent real growth rate, but this is still quite slow a rebound from such a deep slump. The influx of foreign exchange has helped to stabilize the currency and therefore inflation. But there was very little in the way of investment in infrastructure, agriculture, soil conservation, education, credit to small farmers and employment creation – the most pressing needs that might improve the economic opportunities of the vast majority. And this is primarily because the money has not been allocated for these purposes.

Also, to understand the extent of the theft of monies and the creation of the debt accumulated by the Duvalier regime, which Haiti is still struggling to pay back today, please see the story of Duvalier, Haiti’s former dictator, and the monies he stole from the Haitian people.

The best piece for an overview and analysis on the imposition of structural adjustment on Haiti, as well as an in depth look at Haiti’s debt, is Democracy Undermined, Economic Justice Denied: Structural Adjustment and The Aid Juggernaut in Haiti by Lisa McGowan for The Development Gap.

Michelle Karshan is the former Foreign Press Liaison for President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, Haiti’s president in 1991, then from 1994 to 1996 and from 2001 to 2004. Aristide was the second elected leader of Haiti.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Long Island Latino International Film Festival at Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center

September 28-29-30

Projecting lots of friends Latino film festival predicts a warm welcome from East End's Hispanics by Gene Seymour, New York Newsday, September 28, 2007

Baby steps are the best that any planner of a fledgling film festival can hope for. And those putting together the Long Island Latino International Film Festival insist that after three years, they're barely beginning to establish themselves as an annual showcase for - and celebration of - the eclectic range of Hispanic cinema.

Still, the fact that the third edition of the weekend-long festival opens tonight at the Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center seems pretty audacious, as baby steps go.

In its first two years, the LILIFF ("Just like lisping the name, 'Lilith,'" jokes festival co-founder and executive director T.J. Collins) played at the Bellmore Movie Theater. Making the move to the glamorous East End is bold, but Collins says it's a logical step backed by market research and demographics.

"Between Nassau and Suffolk counties, there are more Latinos in Suffolk," he says. "So if it's going to be here, it may as well be in the East End."

There are 19 films on this year's schedule, which begins and ends with documentaries involving bats and balls.

The centerpiece of tonight's opening-night festivities at 7 is "Bragging Rights: Stickball Stories," wherein first-time-feature-director Sonia Gonzalez chronicles how immigrant groups of succeeding generations used New York's street baseball to assert their presence in the city.
Sunday's closing-night feature - following the 5 p.m. awards ceremony - is "The Legacy of #21," a tribute to Latino baseball pioneer and Hall of Famer Roberto Clemente.

In between, there are features and short films coming from as far away as Brazil (Fernando Pinhero Guimares' animated short, "A Garota") and Mexico City ("I Like You, Too/Yo Tambien Te Quiero," a romantic-comedy short by Jack Zagha Kababie to be shown tonight before "Bragging Rights"). Other scheduled features include Ivan Velez's melodrama, "Indiscretion" and Miguel Aviles' crime drama "44."

Collins and fellow festival producer Janet Cruz sat in the lobby of the Westhampton Beach theater one recent morning to talk about how the festival arrived at this point in its short history. As founding partners of the Long Island-based Mezcla Media Market, Inc., a nonprofit organization sponsoring the festival, Cruz and Collins have cultivated the LILIFF's growth with careful attention to they way they reach out to the burgeoning and diverse Hispanic audience.

Continue article at (and see trailer of The Little Cyn, entered in the Short Film Competition):

Saturday, September 15, 2007

The Shock Doctrine, The Rise of Disaster Capitalism

From Commondreams.org NewsCenter

The Shock Doctrine
The Age of Disaster Capitalism
by Naomi Klein

The following is excerpted from Naomi Klein’s recently published book:

"As George Bush and his cabinet took up their posts in January 2001, the need for new sources of growth for US corporations was an urgent matter. With the tech bubble now officially popped and the DowJones tumbling 824 points in their first two and half months in office, they found themselves staring in the face of a serious economic downturn. John Maynard Keynes had argued that governments should spend their way out of recessions, providing economic stimulus with public works. Bush’s solution was for the government to deconstruct itself - hacking off great chunks of the public wealth and feeding them to corporate America, in the form of tax cuts on the one hand and lucrative contracts on the other. Bush’s budget director, the think-tank ideologue Mitch Daniels, pronounced: “The general idea - that the business of government is not to provide services, but to make sure that they are provided - seems self-evident to me.” That assessment included disaster response. Joseph Allbaugh, the Republican party operative whom Bush put in charge of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (Fema) - the body responsible for responding to disasters, including terrorist attacks - described his new place of work as “an oversized entitlement programme”.Then came 9/11, and all of a sudden having a government whose central mission was self-immolation did not seem like a very good idea. With a frightened population wanting protection from a strong, solid government, the attacks could well have put an end to Bush’s project of hollowing out government just as it was beginning."
See rest of excerpt at

College Drinking a National Epidemic

Photo from http://www.medicineworld.org/

College drinking is a national epidemic. Drinking and alcohol poisoning are regular occurrences at most college campuses across the U.S. The byproduct of this epidemic is death, expulsion, fires, sexual assault, etc.

March 2007 press release reveals findings of The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University study entitled Wasting the Best and Brightest: Substance Abuse at America’s Colleges and Universities
The report found that half of college students binge drink, abuse prescription and illegal drugs and nearly one in four meet medical criteria for alcohol, drug abuse and dependence.

"Forty-nine percent (3.8 million) of full time college students binge drink and/or abuse prescription and illegal drugs, according to Wasting the Best and the Brightest: Substance Abuse at America’s Colleges and Universities, a new report by The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University.

"The study also finds that 1.8 million full-time college students (22.9 percent) meet the medical criteria for substance abuse and dependence,[i] two and one half times the 8.5 percent of the general population who meet these same criteria.

"The comprehensive 231-page report, the result of more than four years of research, surveys, interviews and focus groups is the most extensive examination ever undertaken of the substance abuse situation on the nation’s college campuses." See rest of press release or link to actual report at http://www.casacolumbia.org/absolutenm/templates/PressReleases.aspx?articleid=477&zoneid=65


This September 12, 2007 New York Times education article, Calling the Folks About Campus Drinking by Samuel G. Freedman, a professor of journalism at Columbia University, looks at how one university is addressing the problem.

Quote from the article:
"UNAMBIGUOUSLY, alcohol abuse is the No. 1 health and safety problem on every college campus,” Chancellor Wiley said in a recent interview. “I don’t even know what would be No. 2. Just about every unpleasant incident, every crime, involves alcohol abuse by the victim or the perpetrator. The question is, what do you do that’s effective to prevent it? And there’s no magic bullet.”


National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) College Drinking: Changing the Culture website explains
What is alcohol poisoning? What are the symptoms? What to do if you think someone has alcohol poisoning...

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Haiti's Kesler Pierre appears in today's New York Times

Haiti's Kesler Pierre, a stained-glass artisan, is shown in today's New York Times article, Synagogue Window Returns for Rosh Hashana, about the restoration of a stained glass window at the Eldridge Street Synagogue in Manhattan.
Photo of Kesler borrowed from the La Troupe Makandal website at http://www.makandal.org/)

The photograph of Kesler Pierre and Raymond Clagnan reinstalling the 15-foot-wide rose window over the entrance of this historic synagogue on Manhattan's lower east side is featured prominently on the upper left hand corner of page 2 in the Times' Metro section. Click below and scroll down to second photograph and click on it to enlarge the image:

Kesler Pierre was trained in stained glass art while he still lived in Haiti. Kesler also is a former longtime key member of the famous Makandal band, and is the creator/photographer and archivist of incredible images from Haiti and historical documents relating to Haiti.

A bio of Kesler Pierre on the La Troupe Makandal website at http://www.makandal.org/ states that:

"Kesler Pierre (Percussionist, Third Drum, and Artist), born in Port-au-Prince, is a self-trained artist who worked for a stained glass studio in Haiti. Since migrating to the United States, Mr. Pierre has compiled an extensive dossier of work in and around the New York metropolitan area. In 1997, he began to study the Haitian drum with Master Drummer Frisner Augustin of La Troupe Makandal and went on to play third drum and percussion with the group. Mr. Pierre has created clothing for the musicians and props for stage sets, most notably the sacred bottles that adorn Vodou altars. His elaborate designs derive from cosmograms traced on temple floors during Vodou rites. Scintillating with color and movement, they have drawn the admiration of audiences in the United States and France. Please visit Kesler Graphic Arts, where you can walk through galleries of his photographs on Haitian themes, restorations of historical documents, and images of Makandal's work."

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Join Jubilee USA's Cancel the Debt Fast

Fasters Urge Congress to Cancel Poor Countries' Debts by Haider Rizvi, One World US,
Fri., Sep. 7, 2007
New York, Sep 6 (OneWorld) - A coalition of faith-based human rights groups has launched a nationwide campaign to win congressional support for legislation that would cancel debts owed by the world's poorest nations. Click here for article:

Blog the Debt
Jubilee USA's notes on debt and economic justice. Cancel debt. Eliminate poverty. http://jubileeusa.typepad.com/blog_the_debt/

Paul Farmer commentary in Forbes feature Solutions: Health Care

Commentary, 09.04.07, Forbes Magazine

Paul Farmer interviewed by Sonia Narang

I was lucky enough to make my first trip to Haiti almost 25 years ago. Haiti has been the best teacher I've ever had (and that's saying a lot).

Working there taught me several things: that all enduring, good work is done by teams (no doctor can be effective alone); that public health and public infrastructure is always important (even the biggest and most beautiful mission hospital cannot serve the people of an entire region, much less a nation); that community-based care, relying on village health workers is the secret to success for programs for chronic diseases, including AIDS and tuberculosis; that some services should not be sold, even for the tiniest price, because there will always be some who cannot pay these "users' fees," as they're called, and the ones who cannot pay are precisely the people we came to serve in the first place. These are also the people who are, often enough, hungry. There's only one treatment, we learned, for that affliction: food. See full story at:
Read the Partners in Health January 2007 report on their work in Rwanda at
Read the Partners in Health January 2007 report on their work in Haiti at

Edwidge Danticat & Junot Diaz new books reviewed by New York Times

A Haitian Tragedy: Brothers Yearn in Vain

Michiko Kakutani reviews new books by Edwidge Danticat and Junot Diaz

By MICHIKO KAKUTANI, The New York Times, Books of the Times
Published: September 4, 2007
When Edwidge Danticat was 2 years old, she recalls in this deeply affecting memoir, her father, Mira, left her and her brother in Haiti to move to New York City. Two years later, when her mother followed him to America, she left Edwidge with 10 new dresses she’d sewn, most of them too big for the little girl and meant to be saved to be worn in the years to come. During the following eight years Edwidge and her brother Bob lived with her father’s brother, Joseph, and his wife, Denise, in their pink house in Bel Air, a Port-au-Prince neighborhood caught in the crossfire between rival political factions and gangs. See

Femmes en Democratie exhibit in Haiti/Haitian crafts produced by women

Photos by Michelle Karshan of items displayed at this year's Femmes en Democratie exhibit in Haiti (images not connected to below article)
Creole Creations, Colors and Flavor
By JUDY LUTZ, Naples News, Tuesday, July 24, 2007

The annual assembly of Haitian art enthusiasts and business women was held recently in Petion-Ville, Haiti at the Karibe Convention Center that showcased a wide variety of art and homegoods created by Haitian women from around the country... (article includes short video)

September 11th and 30th -- anniversaries of violence against the poor in Haiti

Weekly demonstration for justice for the victims of the September 30, 1991 coup d'etat,
Photo by Michelle Karshan

The anniversaries of the September 11, 1998 massacre at Father Jean-Bertrand Aristide's church, St. Jean Bosco, and of the September 30, 1991 coup d'etat against President Aristide are approaching. Here is an old press release I wrote which is still key today.
From: MKarshan@aol.com
Press Release Date: August 1, 2001
Contact: Michelle Karshan, Foreign Press Liaison for President Jean-Bertrand Aristide
Tel. (011509) 228-2058

Photo Exhibit Depicts the Horrors Endured by the Haitian People at the Hands of the Haitian Military and FRAPH

A traveling exhibit of photos of victims of the brutal Haitian Army and the paramilitary organization, FRAPH, was exhibited in the Place des Martyrs around the monument for the victims of the coup d’etat that was erected by President Jean-Bertrand Aristide at the end of his last term.

One photo depicted the image of a mural of President Aristide on a wall that had been shot at. Next to it was written, “The criminals could not get Titid, so they shot at his picture.” The gruesome photos of Alerte Balance with her face split wide open as well as her neck and arms, were displayed. The words told the story, Arlerte Belance. “They took her from her home. They attacked her with machetes, they cut her up, they beat her with a stick, and then they dropped her in Titanyen.”

The victims’ organization, Fondation 30 Septembre (named for the date of the coup d’etat against President Aristide in 1991) has been putting up this exhibit around the country for the past few months in response to the growing resurgence of the former military and the call by the Democratic Convergence for the return of the Army. Convergence member Gerard Gourgue, who they refer to as their provisional president, called for the restoration of the army in his speech at their party headquarters. Since then former military have been visibly aligned with the Convergence, and were even seen at the Convergence headquarters shooting at demonstrators in the street during a March incident. More recently, former army general Prosper Avril attended one of their well-publicized events to demonstrate his support.

Every Wednesday, without fail, the Fondation 30 Septembre rallies around the monument for the victims to keep the memory alive and to demand justice for the victims and their families. Today’s rally marked their 198th rally for justice and against impunity.

Today’s exhibit in the main square of Port-au-Prince was particularly key, just four days after former military apparently attempted to stage a coup d’etat attacking police stations and the Police Academy. The Fondation’s coordinator, Lovensky Pierre-Antoine, took the opportunity today to demand justice for the five police officers who lost their lives, and the fourteen who were seriously injured, in the pre-dawn attacks.

On this day, the message of the victims and the Haitian people was clear as they denounced the attacks made against the police on July 28th and rejected any new coup d’etat against their elected government. The accompanying words to the exhibit said, “They unleashed the Army against the people,” and,” The Haitian Army is gone, they cannot return!”

With activists songs playing, hundreds of men, women and children huddled around the images, studying the photos of the horrors that occurred during the three years of the coup d’etat and other incidents that have occurred since the people’s movement forced the former president, Jean-Claude Duvalier to flee Haiti in 1986.

Some stood in silence mourning the memory of the fellow countrymen, some explained the gruesome images to their young children, all were pointing to the atrocities documented before them. Walking through the crowd I saw many shaking their heads in disbelief at the violence that they themselves have lived through. It was written somewhere, “They destroyed the faces to the point that people could not identify them.” Struck by the photos of the military and FRAPH shooting, beating, and gassing innocent people, the viewers are confronted with one poster asking, “What protectors do they have?”

“Under the Army, children got the same baton as adults.” Numerous photos of children being shot at, wounded or dead were displayed. In one photo a woman lay in a hospital bed with her baby girl by her side. Both were bleeding from gunshot wounds. Someone had written beside the photo, “For either adults or children, same bullets, no difference.” Another photo showed a badly injured man forced to sit up. “In the hospital there weren’t any beds left to lay down.”

Some of the massacres represented in the exhibit included: Jean Rabel (July 23, 1987), the coup d’etat against President Aristide which left 5,000 dead (Sept. 30, 1991), massacre at Au Bornge (April 25, 1994), the attack and burning down of Father Aristide’s church, St. Jean-Bosco (September 11, 1988). The words read, “They burned the church, St. Jean Bosco. They thought they could destroy the dreams of the people.”

Some of the victims displayed included: Evans Paul, Jean Auguste Mesyeux and Marino Etienne with grossly swollen faces after having been beaten by order of General Prosper Avril; Father Jean-Marie Vincent (assassinated); a foreign journalist shot; Haitians forced back into Haiti through the Dominican border during the coup d’etat period; Colson Dorme, an activist journlist who reported during the coup period, with head injuries; Claudy Museau, the activist student who was beaten to death; Yves Volel, the teacher from New York who returned in 1986 to help his country and was assassinated by the military; Antoine Izmery, the activist businessman assassinated in front of the Sacred Heart Church; and, Guy Malary, the Justice minister gunned down near the Ministry of Justice during the coup d’etat period.

Offenders portrayed included: General Philip Biamby, Raoul Cedras, Pastor Leroy yelling “Viv Lame” in front of the military headquarters, Toto Constant, the leader of the paramilitary group FRAPH, Luc Desir, Duvalier’s famous chief of torture, Samuel Jeremy, Jodel Chamblain, Army Police Chief Michel Francois, and Colonel Franck Romain.

A wanted poster was hung prominently which read, “Wanted: Toto Constant, Leader of FRAPH. Wanted for Crimes Against Humanity."
- 30 -
Two recent writings by Lovinsky Pierre-Antoine, the National Coordinator of Fondasyon Trant Septanm (The September 30th Foundation) can be found on the Fanmi Lavalas communications website at http://www.hayti.net/tribune/ Part I and II of an interview with Lovinsky Pierre-Antoine in ENGLISH can be found on the Haiti Information Project webite at http://www.haitiaction.net/News/HIP/2_18_7/2_18_7.html and http://www.haitiaction.net/News/HIP/3_4_7/3_4_7.html

Monday, August 27, 2007

The Flawed ABCs of PEPFAR by Michael Stulman, Foreign Policy In Focus

World AIDS Day 2006 in Nairobi

The Flawed ABCs of PEPFAR
Michael Stulman August 21, 2007
Editor: John Feffer
Foreign Policy In Focus, a project of the Institute for Policy Studies
Several months ago, President George W. Bush called on Congress to reauthorize funding for the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). The request was to double current funding levels to $30 billion for five years. The money is slated for prevention, treatment, and care programs.

This announcement generated immediate applause from celebrities. Rick Warren, pastor of Saddleback Church and author of the mega-bestseller The Purpose-Driven Life declared, “Certainly one of the President's greatest legacies will be his insistence on putting compassion into action.” Irish rock star Bono wrote, “This is great news at a time when good news is hard to find. These AIDS drugs are a great advertisement for American leadership, innovation and the kind of John Wayne 'get it done' mentality that the greatest health crisis in 600 years demands.”

Although the president received accolades from all sides, his AIDS plan is still fraught with miscalculations and unwarranted assumptions. Its major blind spot has to do with youth. An estimated 9,000,000 youth around the world live with HIV/AIDS. This is equal to the entire population of Sweden, or just larger than the population of New Jersey. Over half of these people infected are women. Today, youth account for almost half of all new HIV infections. In addition to being underfunded and poorly targeted, PEPFAR fails to address this critical constituency. For rest of story see http://www.fpif.org/fpiftxt/4484

Law Professor Bill Quigley on Father Jean-Juste's return visit to Haiti

Father Gerard Jean-Juste in detention. Photo by Evens Sanon (copyright)

Distributed by Haiti Solidarity listserve:

Haitian Prisoner of Conscience Returns - Beloved “Mon Pere” Jean-JusteComes Home by Bill Quigley

Bill Quigley is a human rights lawyer and law professor at Loyola University New Orleans. Bill assists Mario Joseph of the Bureaudes Avocats Internationaux in Port au Prince and Brian Concannon of the Institute of Justice and Democracy in Haiti in representation of Pere Jean-Juste.

Pere Gerard Jean-Juste, an outspoken Haitian voice for human rights, economic justice and democracy, returned to Haiti last weekend for the first time since being hustled out of a prison cell by heavily armed guards and put on a waiting plane to Miami in January of 2006. PereJean-Juste, a Catholic priest, had spent nearly six months in a series of Haitian prisons for refusing to stop his public criticisms of human rights abuses by the coup government which overthrew elected President Jean-Bertrand Aristide. Once in Miami, Father Jean-Juste was immediately hospitalized for treatment of leukemia by Dr. Paul Farmer, a long-time friend, who had secretly performed a biopsy on Jean-Juste in his prison cell.

Now, a year and a half later, Pere Jean-Juste was coming home, not knowing how he would be received. As the plane landed in Port au Prince, Father Jean-Juste quietly blessed himself as he saw his home parish, St. Claire, from the window.

As he walked towards the entrance to the Toussaint L’Ouverture airport, dozens of people waved and clapped from the balconies overlooking the landing space. Inside, airport officials, police officers, media and church members crushed in on him. Patting his back, shaking his hands, giving him hugs, the crowds pressed in and called out “Mon Pere!”

A new Haiti greeted him. The unelected coup government had finally left the country. The people elected President Rene Preval. Democracy had returned.

Inside, TV cameras, microphones, and tape recorders were thrust in his face. Many wanted to know if he was going to be a candidate for Presidency of Haiti in the next election. Father Jean-Juste laughed and said, “The only election in the Catholic Church is for Pope – and since thePope is in good health, I do not see an election anytime soon.”

Father spoke of the disappearance of the human rights activist Lovinsky Pierre-Antoine, called for the return of President Aristide, and urged people interested in human rights in Haiti to keep the pressure on –nonviolently. He was returning to Haiti on a pilgrimage. Was he afraid of death he was asked? “I am a Christian,” he replied. “I know where I am going. If I die, I know the struggle will continue. The struggle must continue for human rights and democratic principles.”

As he tried to leave the airport, a mob of hundreds of celebrating people surrounded him, cheering and chanting his name, trying to touch him. Dozens of UN blue helmeted troops with plastic riot shields pushed the huge crowds back to allow his car to exit as the crowd ran alongside.

A makeshift wooden platform was set up at a nearby park to allow Father Jean-Juste to speak to the crowd which had grown to well over a thousand people. On the front of the platform was a big handmade sign –FIDEL KATOLIK YO DI’W BON RETOU PE JANJIS [devoted Catholics greet the good return of Jean-Juste] – celebrating his return. The blazing mid-day sun did not stop the celebration. Ra-ra bands made up of drums and horns of all types wandered through the crowd as Father Jean-Juste spoke. When it was time to leave for his church, the crowds surged in again and it took many helpers to clear a path for his car to leave.

People of all ages lined the highway along the way to the church,waving and cheering. Black and white photocopied pictures of PereJean-Juste were plastered to cement walls next to full color pictures of the Haitian flag.

For the first time in over two years, Pere Jean-Juste was going home to St. Claire’s Church in Port au Prince.

The last time he was in his home church was July 21, 2005. That day Fr. Jean-Juste went to the funeral of slain journalist Jacques Roche at St. Pierre’s church. During the funeral services in the church, Fr. Jean-Juste was attacked by a mob, chased through the church building, spit on, beaten, and nearly killed. The unelected Haitian authorities arrested Father Jean-Juste for the second time in less than a year and kept him in a succession of prisons in an attempt to silence him. Amnesty International designated him a Prisoner of Conscience and a world-wide campaign was launched to protect his life in prison and to help win his release. When he was released for medical treatment in Miami the authorities would not allow him to visit his church on the way out.

Hundreds waited at the church for the return of their long-time pastor. When he finally arrived, people sang and cheered. Soaking wet, Father Jean-Juste tried to greet as many people as possible and thank them for their support and good works while he was away. After greeting as many as he could, he went up to his small room in the upper part of the church. There, he fell to his knees and prayed silently for several minutes.

The celebratory mood was hushed by the arrival of several trucks of armed police. Ten men in the uniform of the Haitian National Police marched up the stairs to see Pere Jean-Juste. To the joy of all, each of the police officers went up to Father, shook his hand, and promised to protect him while in Haiti. A 2005 visit by police to the church resulted in Father’s arrest and another six months in prison. This was quite a change. Democracy worked a wonderful change in the police.

Human rights lawyer Mario Joseph told Father Jean-Juste that the prosecutors had dropped all the bogus criminal charges levied against him to keep him in jail and silent during the coup government. But some judges insisted that he return to Haiti for a court hearing on November 5, 2007 to have all the charges formally dropped.

All evening, people came to the upper room of the church to greet and pray with Pere Jean-Juste. At one point nine women holding hands were circling Father in prayer. Other times there were cameras and taperecorders. Outside the church, women walked up the dusty paths with plastic buckets of water on their heads. The air was smoky and darkness settled in quickly.
At 9:30, Father Jean-Juste unlocked the door to his bedroom. For the first time in twenty-five months, he was home.

The next day started sunny and hot. There were reports that Hurricane Dean was in the vicinity of Haiti but there was no evidence of it yet. As Father Jean-Juste arrived at early morning mass, the gathered women burst into song thanking God for his return. Another priest who is a good friend said the Mass while Father Jean-Juste prayed along from the choir seats. Invited to concelebrate the mass, Fr. Jean-Juste declined, and the priest praised him for his dedication to the church and to the people. At the priest’s invitation, Father Jean-Juste distributed communion.

Around noon, Father arrived at the Aristide Foundation building tospeak to hundreds of hot but cheering supporters. The crowd was full of energy. They passionately sang the Haitian national anthem, prayed and danced and clapped to a series of songs, had a long moment of silence for the thousands who lost their lives opposing the coup of 2004. One person in the front row held up a double frame of pictures – one of former President Aristide and another of Father Jean-Juste. Dozens wore red, white and blue t-shirts saying “Welcome back Father Jean-Juste.”

Pere Jean-Juste, dressed all in black, spoke to the crowd for nearly an hour. They cheered, laughed, fell somber and then became excited as he told of his experiences and the challenges facing all in Haiti. As he finished and left people surged in again.

Back at the church, group after group came to visit. Beautiful music soared above the conversations as the choirs practiced in the church below. People from Cite Soleil and other parts of Port au Prince and Haiti came and asked Father Jean-Juste to come visit their neighbors. TV crews, youth groups, church members, politicians, other priests, and the members of the choir all came. As darkness fell, Father led those still at the church in a spirited forty minute rosary.

During the night, the winds of Hurricane Dean arrived with force. Trees were bobbing and weaving – rain was coming into the church rooms sideways.

Despite the high winds and rain, 6:00 am mass was a full house of people cheering and signing in thanksgiving for Father’s return. Aftermass, visiting resumed and the hurricane did not slow down the flow of visitors either.

Pere Jean-Juste greeted every one, child or grandmother, politician or journalist, with a smile. He was confident and comfortable. After two six month jail terms and enduring over a year of cancer treatment, he was clearly enjoying every second of his return and every person he could meet.

As darkness fell on his last night in Haiti, Pere Jean-Juste attended the closing celebration of the church’s summer camp. During the year, hundreds of children are fed daily by the church members with funding from the US-based What If Foundation. In the summer camp, the number of children and meals swells to over a thousand a day. Fifty community members serve as counselors and the children learn painting, sewing, crocheting, and other arts and crafts.
Yellow paper streamers hung under the tin roof that sheltered the kids and counselors and family from the rain during the end of the summercamp celebration. Children cheered as “Mon Pere” arrived and sang him spirited songs. The children performed skits and counselors, by candlelight, showed Father their arts and craft creations. Particularly gratifying was the installation, while Father was away, of several outdoor toilets for the community including one with full underground plumbing.

Throughout his last night, people continuously knocked on the door of the church to come and see him. A robust midnight rosary was sung by the community. Father said he got three hours of sleep but that seemed doubtful.

In the early morning, the first plane since Hurricane Dean’s winds slowed down, arrived in Port au Prince. While waiting for the plane and while on the plane, people continued to come up to Father to greet him and touch him and welcome him. As the plane took off and his country receded from view, Pere Jean-Juste closed his eyes and prayed for Haiti.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Pacifica photographer inspires Haitian street kids

Candid snapshots
Pacifica photographer inspires Haitian street kids

By Sasha Vasilyuk, Pacifica Tribune

For the past 10 years, Sharp Park-based photographer Jennifer Cheek Pantaleon has been paying regular visits to Haiti. Her goal was neither to capture the chanting mobs and the burning tires nor to tan on the palm-lined beaches. Instead, Pantaleon went to Haiti to teach the multitude of children who inhabit its streets to take another look at their world — through the lens of a camera. See http://www.pacificatribune.com/localnews/ci_6631483

The Zanmi Lakay website: http://www.zanmilakay.org/

Friday, August 3, 2007

Guatemalan National Police Archive Project

"The dimension of the archive is truly gigantic," Alberto Fuentes, assistant project director, told National Public Radio in the U.S. "They say there are 80 million pages of documents here. So in every possible space, in every alcove, there are just stacks and stacks and stacks of these police records."

In March 2007, the Guatemalan National Police Archive project formed an International Consultative Commission. This commission, which includes Dr. Patrick Ball, is made up of archivists and researchers from Europe, Asia, North and Latin America. The HRDAG team will present their first round of data analysis of the archive to the office of the Guatemalan Human Rights Ombudsman by May 31, 2007. The Ombudman's office will then issue their official report on the archive in July 2007.
Human Rights Data Analysis Group

Guatemalan National Police Archive Project
Text: Ann Harrison, Photos: Tamy Guberek and Ann Harrison

An Astonishing Discovery

In July 2005, an explosion at a military munitions dump near Guatemala City raised concerns about the storage of explosives in nearby residential areas. People who lived in the neighborhood asked investigators to inspect a building at the Guatemala City compound of the National Civil Police. A team from the government-backed Guatemalan Human Rights Ombudsman (PDH) entered the decaying structure and discovered an enormous cache of documents. Full article with photos:

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Drummer's Grove - Prospect Park, Brooklyn, Sunday afternoons

Every Sunday afternoon (while the weather is good) more than 50 drummers from varying music backgrounds, countries and generations join together in one continuous jam session under the trees at Drummers Grove in Brooklyn's Prospect Park. Regulars jump in with their instruments or tapping feet or dance interpretation and park strollers and people new to the park participate to the extent they feel comfortable whether it be by dancing, sitting around the circle on wooden benches, watching from afar with their baby strollers or filming it all. Lots of women drummers, children, and yummy African and Caribbean food sold nearby.
Photos by Michelle Karshan

Sugar Slaves: 1,108 freed, 14 in jail (Brazil)

Sugar Slaves: 1,108 freed, 14 in jail
Posted on July 24th, 2007 by Saulo Araujo
Grassroots International blog

Much of the sweat that goes into cutting cane for sugar to eat and increasingly as a primary ingredient for ethanol comes from low-wage and slave (bonded) labor. This month, the Brazilian government freed 1,108 sugar cane cutters in the state of Pará in the Amazon region. In the western state of Mato Grosso, 14 farm workers from an ethanol producing plant were incarcerated for protesting the delay in payment of their salaries. The average salary of a sugar cane cutter is less than $ 300.00 per month. See http://www.grassrootsonline.org/blog/sugar-slaves-1-108-freed-14-jail

Illegal Immigrants: Uncle Sam Wants You (In These Times)

In These Times
July 25, 2007
Illegal Immigrants: Uncle Sam Wants You
Latino teenagers, including illegal immigrants are being recruited into the military with false promises.
By Deborah Davis
(From In These Times) Fernando Suarez del Solar Escondido, Calif., stands next to a picture of his son, U.S. Marine Lance Cpl. Jesus Suarez, during a press conference Aug. 13 2003, in Washington, D.C. Suarezz died March 27, 2003 in Iraq.

In 1996, Jesus Alberto Suarez del Solar was a 13-year-old boy, up from Tijuana on a family shopping trip, when he stopped at a Marine Corps recruiting table at an open-air mall in Chula Vista, Calif.
Jesus had been an easy mark for the recruiter—a boy who fantasized that by joining the powerful, heroic U.S. Marines, he could help his own country fight drug lords. He gave the recruiter his address and phone number in Mexico, and the recruiter called him twice a week for the next two years, until he had talked Jesus into convincing his parents to move to California. Fernando and Rose Suarez sold their home and their laundry business and immigrated with their children to Escondido, where Jesus enrolled at a high school known for academic achievement. But the recruiter wanted him to transfer to a school for problem teenagers, since its requirements for graduation were lower and Jesus would be able to finish sooner. He was 17 and a half when he graduated from that school, still too young to enlist on his own, so his father co-signed the enlistment form, as the military requires for underage recruits. See story at:

You Were There!


199___ photo by Michelle Karshan, taken at Haiti's National Palace, of (left) Kathie Klarreich (Madame Dread) and (right) screenwriter that Jonatham Demme had sent to Haiti to get ideas for writing a screenplay for a movie (sorry, I can't remember her name right now but remember that she was a highly respected screenplay writer).

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Emeline Michel to sing in SF Sunday, July 29th

Emeline Michel to play in San Francisco this Sunday at the Stern Grove Festival

Sunday, July 29 at 2:00 p.m.
Stern Grove, 19th Avenue and Sloat Boulevard, San Francisco ADMISSION FREE,

Andy Palacio and the Garifuna Collective bring the Afro-Caribbean soul of Belize to Stern Grove. The all-star, multigenerational lineup of Garifuna musicians captivates audiences with their enchanting rhythms and powerful melodies.

Singing both in French and Haitian Creole, reigning Queen of Haitian song Emeline Michel captivates audiences with her blend of traditional rhythms and inspirational lyrics.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Haiti: Workers Protest Privatisation Layoffs by Jeb Sprague and Wadner Pierre (IPS)

HAITI: Workers Protest Privatisation Layoffs By Jeb Sprague and Wadner Pierre

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Jul 24 (IPS) - "Late last month, President René Préval announced that Haiti's public telephone company, Téléco, would be privatised. Meeting recently with the Haitian Chamber of Commerce and Senator Jean Hector Anacacis of Preval's Lespwa political party, the president finalised plans to sell off the aging enterprise..." FOR FULL IPS ARTICLE: http://www.ipsnews.net/news.asp?idnews=38646 Photo of Téléco headquarters in Port-au-Prince by Wadner Pierre

Monday, July 23, 2007

Democracy Now! Interview of Randall Robinson on his new book An Unbroken Agony: Haiti, From Revolution to the Kidnapping of a President

From Democracy Now! Monday, July 23, 2007: Randall Robinson on "An Unbroken Agony: Haiti, From Revolution to the Kidnapping of a President"

TransAfrica Founder Randall Robinson chronicles the 2004 U.S.-backed coup that ousted Haiti's democratically elected president Jean-Bertrand Aristide. Robinson challenges the Bush administration's claim that the Aristides voluntarily left Haiti and recalls his trip to the Central African Republic to bring the Aristides back to the Caribbean. He also reveals new details on the U.S.-backed coup militants armed and trained in neighboring Dominican Republic, including the accused drug smuggler Guy Philippe. As the Aristides remain in exile, Randall Robinson joins us in the Firehouse studio for the hour to talk about the coup, the history of Haiti and the state of affairs there since the 2004 coup.

Read, hear or see entire interview at : http://www.democracynow.org/article.pl?sid=07/07/23/141241