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    Haiti's former President Michel Martelly says goodbye as he accompanied by his wife Sophia at the end of a ceremony marking the end of his presidential term in the Haitian Parliament in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, February 7, 2016

    Haiti Crisis: Another Example of US ‘Empire’ Undermining Progress Abroad

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    Haiti President Michel Martelly stepped down on Sunday, leaving the country without a successor. Journalist and filmmaker Kim Ives told Radio Sputnik’s Brian Becker that fundamental changes are required to take Haiti out of crisis.

    Ives called the current uncertainty about the country's future a result of decades of political struggle between democratic forces who represent the working class, peasants, and unemployed citizens, and what is considered a dictatorial, neo-duvalierist sector represented by the traditional bourgeoisie. When Haiti was on the ropes after the 2010 earthquake, during the second presidency of Rene Preval, the US saw an opportunity for neo-duvalierists to return to power.

    Having overruled the Provisional Electoral Council of Haiti, "they more or less brought Martelly in through illegal means", Ives told Loud & Clear host Brian Becker. Pressured by OAS and then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Martelly had a shaky start, and, during his presidency, managed "to duplicate the duvalierist regime of repression, corruption, arbitrariness and increasingly became unpopular." The fraud and violence marking the 2015 elections was a breaking point, as people didn't trust the results. A third voting round was blocked by demonstrations, ending when Martelly left office with no government to replace him.

    "Every 30 years or so Haiti seems to go through this kind of birthing of a Democratic (or not) government. In 1956 the government of Paul Magloire fell, and there were a number of provisional governments. In 1986 the dictatorship of Jean-Claude Duvalier fell, and there were a number of provisional governments. And now the neo-duvalierist regime of Michel Martelly has fallen, and it is probably going to be another series of provisional governments, until Haiti finds its political balance," Ives suggested.

    "People came to see very quickly that if you don't change the fundamentals in the country: the ownership of the land, the ownership of the means of production, etc, you are not going to get far," Ives stated.

    "We've seen the same process in other countries that kind of followed Haiti's example, like Venezuela, Bolivia etc, where the empire of the United States and its allies with their local minions have found ways to undermine, either rapidly or over long term, a progressive president."

    He noted that there have been changes among Haitians that give hope for a balance to be reached.

    "Now people are really starting to think ‘We need to go further and faster'. There are a lot of popular organizations… They are talking to each other and trying to form…a new kind of front," he said. "I'm very optimistic that given Haiti's history…this could happen very quickly."


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