Thursday, October 13, 2005

Isaiah, Haiti and Democracy Now!

Good evening. We'll kick things off with Democracy Now! but I'll be flying solo because Dr. Elaine has group on Thursdays for the next few weeks (it may be six). I'm not calling her "Dr. Elaine" to make fun of her but because it just really hit me today that she is Doctor Elaine. I knew what she did for a living. And I think we even talked some about it in our interview that I did here. But I knew her as "Elaine" at The Common Ills like I knew Wally or anyone else. I'd read something she said there or in gina & krista round-robin and I'd think, she's smart. Then she started filling in for Rebecca and I knew she was new to blogging and I wanted to be sure she wasn't having any big problems so I'd call the number Rebecca e-mailed right before she left for vacation and check in. She is really smart and she's really nice but she was always Elaine and just a buddy and we'd talked about how she'd be missing one night because of this new group she's doing but it didn't really register with me and all until I got on to write. I think that makes her more cool. Not because she's a doctor but because she has that training and all and she's still real and down to earth. There was never like any "Hey kid! I'm a doctor! I can handle this." :D
She really is cool and she did a great job last night carrying the load for both of us so I could focus on the interview so thank you, Elaine.

Now we'll get to Democracy Now!

Haiti To Delay Elections
In Haiti, interim Prime Minister Gerard Latortue said that "technical problems" have forced the government to delay elections set for Nov. 20 by three weeks. If confirmed, the delay would be the second time the elections have been postponed. The elections will be the first since the elected government of President Jean Bertrand-Aristide was overthrown in February 2004.

Elaine and I talked on the phone today and I said, "What about Haiti?" and she said Ava had left a message on that for her. Okay, so we know the elections are being delayed again. What else do we know? Do you know that we forced Bertrand-Astride out of the country and that he says we kidnapped him? That's the truth. Hold on and we'll get to that in a bit.

U.S. Millionaire to Run in Haiti, But Not Jean-Juste
Meanwhile, Haiti's Supreme Court has ruled a Haitian-born U.S. millionaire may run in the presidential elections. Dumarsais Simeus, owner of a Texas food services company, had been barred from the race because he is a U.S. citizen. Simeus called the decision "a victory for the Haitian people." Another prominent candidate, jailed priest Gerard Jean-Juste remains out of the race. Representatives of the Fanmi Lavalas, the party of ousted President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, tried to register him last month but were rejected on grounds he wasn't present himself. Amnesty International calls him a "prisoner of conscience."

See we grabbed Aristide and took him out of the country. Why? Because he wouldn't go along with our neoliberal programs that would betray his people is what he says. And now we'll let this guy who is not even a citizen of Haiti because he came over here and all for like over 40 years and became a citizen of the United States but we'll let him run.

And Priest Jean-Juste is jailed because while he was in Florida a murder took place in Haiti and the government is trying to say Father Jean-Juste is involved. But he was out of the country and he is a priest. He is really popular with the people so he returns to Haiti and is at a funeral and the police grab him and say then that they are grabbing him for his own protection but then they toss him in jail and have kept him there. They say he can't run because to run you have to fill out the paper work in front of them and can't have it turned out. But they won't let him out of jail to register and it's because he's popular and the United States doesn't want him to win. We want someone in another country that we can control and that will do our bidding.

You may think "Wow, you know a lot about this." Wanna know why? Because I watch Democracy Now! and because Kat, Ava and C.I. talk about this a lot. Ava did a report on this for the "The Third Estate Sunday Review News Review 9-18-05:"

C.I.: Thank you, Elaine. Now we go to Ava, of The Third Estate Sunday Review, with information on Haiti's upcoming elections.
Ava: In Haiti, Aristide's Lavalas Family party would like to run jailed Catholic priest Father Gerard Jean-Juste as their party's nominee for the presidency. He has been barred from running. Dumarsais Simeus would also like to be president despite the fact that he's lived outside of Haiti, in the US, for over forty years. Marc Bazin, a former Prime Minister of Haiti, is claiming that he has the endorsement of the Lavalas Family party, a claim that some members of the party are rejecting. The BBC reports that in all there are thirty candidates vying for the title of president. Joe Mozingo, of The Miami Herald, reports that there are fears of corruption in the elections due to be held in November.
C.I.: Ava, the reason being given for barring Father Jean-Juste, whom Amnesty International has declared a prisoner of conscience, from running is that every candiate must register in person?
Ava: That's correct. And since he's been jailed for a crime many are skeptical of, he's unable to register in person. Roger Annis of Canada Haiti Action reported the following on September 14th:
The foreign occupation forces in Haiti are preparing to stage three rounds ofelections -- municipal, national legislature and presidential. They hope this will give legitimacy to their neo-colonial rule. They are working intensely, and spending millions of dollars, to create a rightist political party with credibility -- if not in Haiti, then at least abroad. But so far, these elections fall short of having the appearance of legitimacy. Tens of thousands of Haitians have demonstrated for the return of their constitution and their elected government. They have shown they will not accept a sham election. Only 20% of the population, 840,000 out of 4 million people of voting age, have submitted to the occupiers' voter registration. Municipal elections that were planned for October 9 have been postponed to a later, unspecified date. The legislative and presidential elections have been scheduled for November 20.
C.I.: Thank, you Ava. For those needing further information on Haiti, Democracy Now! has covered the region repeatedly and a starting point there would be the interview Amy Goodman conducted with Jean-Bertrand Aristide where he spoke of his ouster as a kidnapping backed by the US. We now go to Kat of Kat's Korner (of The Common Ills) for a report.

Beau e-mailed about Tracey's interview yesterday and wondered if she'd talked about anyone else. She did. She talked about C.I. and she talked about Betty. After the interview she said she wasn't sure C.I. would want any of that in and asked me to pull it. It was all nice stuff about C.I. and about Betty. The reason she pulled Betty's stuff was she was talking about Betty's kids, nice stuff again, but Betty's protective of her kids and Tracey's grandmother Ruth is the same. They have to be old enough to want to go into a Ruth's Morning Edition Report and they have to give their permission too. So Tracey asked if it was okay to pull the stuff on Betty too.

I think it was because people have a right to their privacy and Tracey wondered if it was okay then it might not be and even if it was okay with Betty or C.I. when they saw it, Tracey would still have to wonder until they saw it and I know from one time when I felt like too much might have been hanging out that I worried myself sick on that and that's no good for anyone.

I want to note that Rebecca did a great thing yesterday with all these links to different The World Today Just Nuts cartoons by Isaiah. I love Isaiah's work and I'm going to add one of his comics to the top of this post. I'm going with Karl in handcuffs because it's a favorite of in the house. Ma printed this one up and it's on our fridge with a magnet.