Thursday, 15 December 2005

Human Rights Watch and Haiti

Quasi-government and direct government "democratization" funding has a well-documented influence on Human Rights organzations. Opposition oriented affiliated "human rights" organizations in Haiti and Venezuela for example often ignore the persecution of pro-chavizta or pro-Lavalas citizens - these groups have been heavily financed by foreign donors.
Joe Emersberger, has been writing monthly letters to Human Rights Watch, in regards to their policy in Haiti and Venezuela. He has brought HRW to task on its policies in Venezuela and Haiti. See his letters to Human Rights Watch archived on a
Medialens forum. They still have not replied to a single one of his letters.

Gabriele Zamparini's recent article Watching Human Rights Watch discusses a State Department official now working at HRW. Before coming to HRW, Marc Garlasco, Senior Military Analyst at Human Rights Watch, spent seven years in the Pentagon as a senior intelligence analyst covering Iraq. His last position there was chief of high-value targeting during the Iraq War in 2003. Marc was on the Operation Desert Fox (Iraq) Battle Damage Assessment team in 1998, led a Pentagon Battle Damage Assessment team to Kosovo in 1999, and recommended thousands of aimpoints on hundreds of targets during operations in Iraq and Serbia. He also participated in over 50 interrogations as a subject matter expert. Seems a little strange for a human rights analyst?

Al Giordano, founder of Narco News, had a fascinating back and forth with an
HRW intern
a few months back.

From an HRW email: "HRW did not have a researcher in Haiti from 2000-05. HRW does not normally have researchers based in the countries that they cover; instead, we collect information via fact-finding visits, telephone and email contact with people in country, and press etc. monitoring. The only Latin America or Caribbean country
in which we have a researcher is Chile (and he is there for personal reasons).

We sent research missions to Haiti in June/July 2000, July 2001, March 2004 and April 2005. Joanne Mariner conducted the first three visits; Anna Neistat, one of HRW's emergencies researchers, conducted the last one."

So now we need to know who are these telephone and email contacts in country? Could it be NCHR, the well known elite Haitian "human rights" group which has not said a single word about the thousands in jail and massacred, since the 2004 coup.

Also, why does HRW, while criticizing the Venezuelan government for taking Sumate to court (a U.S. funded opposition group which participated in the 2002 coup of the democratically elected govenrment), while it has not said a SINGLE word about the imprisonment of Father Jean-Juste or the kangroo court trails of democracy activists in Haiti? It is clear that Jean-Juste is a political prisoner, even Amnesty International (who has let a lot of things slide) has acknowledged this.

Wednesday, 14 December 2005

US Democracy Promotion

Democratization or "Democracy Promotion" are widely used terms to describe the programs run by the US and other core countries to intervene politically through training/financing oriented civil societies, effecting governance, et cetera. Here is the beginning of a U.S. research graph, tracing where the funding slides. Image hosted by

a "consensual mechanism of transnational social control"

-W.Robinson, Promoting Polyarchy: Globalization, US intervention, and hegemony

CLR James & The Black Jacobins

This book inspired an interest in Haiti, the Caribbean and thoughts on democracy, nation forming and philosophy. A friend gave it to me in December 2003 just months prior to the 2004 coup d'etat in Haiti. I later had the opportunity to meet Selma James, CLR James’ widow.

On the slavetrade

”...In 1789 the French West Indian colony of San Domingo supplied two-thirds of the overseas trade of France and was the greatest individual market for the European slavetrade. It was an integral part of the economic life of the age, the greatest colony in the world, the pride of France, and the envy of every other imperialist nation. The whole structure rested on the labour of half-a-million slaves…."

On the revolution

"....In August 1791, after two years of the French Reovlution and its repercussions in San Domingo, the slaves revolted. The struggle lasted for 12 years. The slaves defeated in turn the local whites and the soliders of the French monarchy, a Spanish invasion, a British expedition of some 60,000 men, and a French expedition of similar size under Bonaparte’s brother-in-law. The defeat of Bonaparte’s expedition in 1803 resulted in the establishment of the Negro state of Haiti which has lasted to this day (chapter 1).”

On democracy and realism

”....Pericles on Democracy, Paine on the Rights of Man, the Declaration of Independence, the Communist Manifesto, these are some of the political documents which, whatever the wisdom or weaknesses of their analysis, have moved men and will always move them, for the writers, some of them in spite of themselves, strike chords, and awaken aspirations that sleep in the hearts of the majority in every age. But Pericles, Tom Paine, Jefferson, Marx and Engels, were men of a liberal education, formed in the traditions of ethics, philosophy and history. Toussaint was a slave, not six years out of slavery, bearing alone the unaccustomed burden of war and government, dictating his thoughts in the crude words of a broken dialect….Personal ambition he had. But he accomplished what he did because, superbly gifted, he incarnated the determination of his people never, never to be slaves again (pg. 198).”

-C.L.R. James.The Black Jacobins