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Open letter calls on Canada to stop supporting a corrupt Haitian president

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Flaming tires on February 11, 2019, in the streets of Hinche, Haiti.Image: Voice of America/Wikimedia Commons

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 $2 billion was 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 neighbourhood 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 U.S., Canada and members of the so-called "Core Group" (France, Brazil, Germany, Spain, EU and Organization of American States). 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 that Haitians massively reject.

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

Signatories,

David Suzuki, award-winning geneticist/broadcaster

RogerWaters, co-founder Pink Floyd

Amir Khadir, ex-deputy Québec Solidaire, responsible for international solidarity issues

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 of Ontario Federation of Labour and CUPE Ontario

Sue Montgomery, mayor of NDG/co-creator of #BeenRapedNeverReported

Jim Manly, 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 Policing Black Lives: State Violence in Canada from Slavery to the Present

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

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 haïtien.ne.s de Montréal contre l'occupation d'Haïti

Grahame Russell, co-director Rights Action

Wade Davis, professor of anthropology and the B.C. Leadership Chair in Cultures and Ecosystems at Risk at University of British Columbia

Eva Manly, retired filmmaker

Pierrot Ross-Tremblay, professeur Université d'Ottawa

Clayton Thomas-Muller, author, director, senior campaign specialist - 350.org

Frederick Jones, retired professor Dawson College

Marie Dimanche, Solidarité Québec-Haïti #Petrochallenge 2019

Torquil Campbell, singer and a songwriter for 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 andMontreal Urban Left

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 in the graduate program in communication and social justice 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, York graduate program director and associate professor School of Health Policy and Management 

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, B.C.

Syed Hussan, Migrant Workers Alliance

Ralph Gastmeier, retired cooperative housing coordinator

Saul Bottcher, Green Party of Canada candidate 2015

David Heap, teacher-researcher and 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, School of International Development and Global Studies 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 defence lawyer

Arnold August, Montreal journalist/author on U.S.-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/anti-racist activist

Athena R. Kolbe, professor of social work University of North Carolina

Robert Green, Green Party candidate for NDG-Westmount/teacher at Westmount High School

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/U.S. government adviser

Denis Rancourt, researcher Ontario Civil Liberties Association, former professor of physics, University of Ottawa

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

Image: Voice of America/Wikimedia Commons

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