Archive for February, 2014

Haiti: What’s left of the popular movement?

Thursday, February 20th, 2014


((Martelly and Duvalier))

((Martelly and Duvalier))

[Translation of an article from Haïti Liberté of Port-au-Prince for February 12, 2014.  See original here and related articles here, here, here, here and here.]

By Francklyn B. Geffrard

Last February 7 was the 28th anniversary of the fall of the Duvalier dictatorship.  Targeted by a popular revolt and abandoned by the Americans, Jean Claude (Baby Doc) Duvalier and his associates had to flee the country early in the morning.  For close to three decades, François Duvalier (from 1957 to 1971), then his son Jean Claude (from 1971 to 1986), had ruled the country with an iron fist.  To facilitate the departure of Jean Claude Duvalier and his associates, a U.S. Air Force plane had been placed at their disposal by the administration of President Ronald Reagan.

During the long years that Haiti was ruled by the Duvaliers, the country faced serious economic, political and social crises.  Arbitrary arrests and assassinations carried out against thousands by the Tontons Macoutes sowed fear, in its most basic form, in the hearts of the people.  No opposition was tolerated.  Every opponent of the regime was condemned either to imprisonment in the regime’s numerous torture centers, to disappearance, pure and simple, or, for the lucky ones, to exile. This explains, furthermore, why it is outside the country that Haitian exiles tried to create a movement in opposition to the regime, which had enjoyed the unfailing support of France and the United States. (more…)

El Salvador: The crisis on the Right

Saturday, February 15th, 2014
((Salvador Sánchez Cerén))

((Salvador Sánchez Cerén))

[Translation of an article from Proceso of Mexico City for February 11, 2014. See original here and related articles here, here and here.]

By Juan José Dalton

San Salvador – The Salvadoran Right, joined together as the Alianza Republicana Nacionalista (ARENA), is in a crisis following its disastrous electoral failure in the first round of the presidential election of February 2.

This does not come as a surprise; their arch-enemy since the civil war (1980-1992), the governing leftist Frente Farabundo Martí para la Liberación Nacional (FMLN), won by ten percentage points, an advantage hard to overcome in the contest scheduled for next March 9.

As of a year ago, the outlook was different for ARENA and its presidential candidate, the current mayor of San Salvador, Norman Quijano, a staunch anti-communist in the McCarthyite tradition. The polls and the analyses were then giving Quijano the leading position as the sure winner in the first or second round over the FMLN, whose candidate was professor and former rebel commander Salvador Sánchez Cerén. (more…)