Posts Tagged ‘NGOs’

Diplomat in Haiti to be dismissed for criticizing OAS, NGOs

Friday, December 31st, 2010

Ricardo Seitenfus claims coup against Préval was suggested

[Abridged translation of an interview by BBC Brazil as published in Folha for December 29. See orginal here and related article here.]

By Fabrícia Peixoto

The representative of the Organization of American States in Haiti for two years, Brazilian Ricardo Seitenfus is due to be fired from his position soon, a development he himself interprets as a response to his “critical position” on the role of the international community in the Caribbean nation’s recovery…

BBC Brazil – Have you been notified officially of your dismissal from your position?

Ricardo Seitenfus – No, not yet. I had decided not to take a vacation in December so I could be in Haiti during this delicate phase of the election. But the secretary general (José Miguel Insulza) asked me to take a vacation. I conclude that for the two months, February and March, that I was supposed to remain in Haiti I would no longer be there. But that is not the problem. The most serious thing is what is happening now: the OAS representative is not in Haiti during an electoral crisis. And I have an ability for dialogue with the Haitian government that no one else in the OAS has and that few in the international community have. (more…)

OAS representative in Haiti sharply critical of foreign aid and occupation

Thursday, December 30th, 2010

Ricardo Seitenfus – Le Temps photo

Ricardo Seitenfus: “Haiti is proof of the failure of international aid”

[Translation of an interview from Le Temps of Geneva, Switzerland, for December 20. See original here and related articles here and here. Several sources reported immediately after the Le Temps interview that Seitenfus had been fired but in an interview in the December 29 Folha of Brazil (here) Seitenfus said he had received no official word on his status.]

By Arnaud Robert

A graduate of the Institut de Hautes Études Internationales (Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies) of Geneva, Brazilian Ricardo Seitenfus is 62 years old. He has represented the Organization of American States in Haiti since 2008. He makes a genuine indictiment of international presence in the country.

–Le Temps: Ten thousand Blue Helmets in Haiti. In your opinion, a counterproductive presence…

–Ricardo Seitenfus: The system of dispute prevention within the framework of the UN system is not suitable for the Haitian context. Haiti is not an international threat. We are not in a state of civil war. Haiti is neither Iraq nor Afghanistan. And nevertheless the Security Council, lacking any alternative, has imposed the Blue Helmets since 2004, since the departure of President Aristide. We are here on our eighth UN mission since 1990. Since 1986 and the departure of Jean-Claude Duvalier, Haiti has been in what I call a low-intensity conflict. We are faced with power struggles by political actors who do not respect the democratic process. But it seems to me that essentially, on the international scene, Haiti is paying for its close proximity to the United States. Haiti has been the object of negative attention on the part of the international system. For the UN it was a question of blocking power and turning Haitians into prisoners on their own island. For many, the anxiety of the boat people explains the international community’s decisions concerning Haiti. One wants them, at all costs, to stay home. (more…)

What is Washington planning for Haiti?

Wednesday, March 24th, 2010

[Translation of an article from Haïti-Progrès for March 23, 2010.

René Préval, Barack Obama

On Thursday, March 11, the day after the the end of President René Préval’s visit to Washington, the Barack Obama government issued a report through the state department concerning human rights and corruption in the Préval/Bellerive government. The report covered the year 2009. Unfortunately, no country that we know of has yet produced a report on human rights and corruption in the United States. That might have curbed the arrogance of the leaders in Washington.

Let’s take a brief look at the contents of the Washington report. It says in the introduction, “The civil authorities in general have effective control over security forces. But occasionally elements of the Police Nationale d’Haïti (PNH – Haitian National Police) act independently.” Farther along, in the second paragraph of the 21-page document, the US authorities broach the subject of human rights. “The following problems concerning human rights have been reported: parliamentary elections were not held on schedule… PNH agents are presumed to have engaged in killings… participation of the PNH in kidnappings… violence and social discrimination against women, abuse of children, human trafficking, violations of workers’ rights.” It seems like a fairy tale. What irony! Washington talking about violations of the rights of workers, children and women? When that country is the largest supplier of sophisticated weapons, which kill women and children in particular throughout the world. (more…)