The article, "Haiti Deserves Better from the United Nations" (written by Alex Deceanu) in the Apr/ June issue of Peace Magazine was excellent. It seems to me that there has been a conspiracy against exposing the horrors that have been inflicted on the poor in Haiti. During the last federal election I phoned in to the Cross-Canada CBC show to express my dismay that the Haiti situation was not being discussed by any of the parties except the Greens and the Canadian Action Party. I made contact with the station but was never called back. Perhaps there was a sanction against opinions such as mine.

I already knew the disastrous policies of the Duvalier dictators when I read the following in the Globe and Mail, Jan. 30, 1988: "Many U.S. and international companies [including Canada] send electronics and textiles for assembly to Haiti, where the the minimum wage is $3.00 a day, thus lowering their labor costs. Haiti worked hard to attract these companies but recent political instability has frightened off some investment..."

The "instability" was the attempt to improve the living and working conditions of the poor. It seems that during those earlier, stable times, the US supported Duvalier while people who opposed him were imprisoned, tortured, and murdered by the Ton Ton Macoutes. Our former Govenor General, Adrienne Clarkson, produced an episode of The Fifth Estate about the ruthless Duvaliers.

The miserable conditions continue and were the motivation for people to vote for Aristide, who tried hard to improve conditions. He increased the minimum wage, infuriating those who own the sweatshops that are still paying miserable wages.

Canada sided with that rich elite when it helped to plan and carry out the latest coup of the democratically elected government of Aristide. We should be defending other democracies, not destroying them. Is democracy under threat from our own government?

Jean Smith


Peace Magazine Jul-Sep 2006

Peace Magazine Jul-Sep 2006, page 5. Some rights reserved.

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