demonstrations calling for President Michel Martelly to step
down are growing in size, scope, and frequency. On Nov. 7, a
march of many thousands, called by the Patriotic Force for
Respect of the 1987 Constitution (FOPARC), marched up the Delmas
Road from La Saline and burst through the barricades which
Haitian police had erected to prevent the crowd from marching
through the tony streets of Pétionville.
“We proved today that we don’t
need a visa, we don’t need a passport, to go to Pétionville,”
said demonstrator and journalist Wendel Polynice after the
symbolically powerful victory.
The demonstrators then marched
back down to Port-au-Prince along the Bourdon Road. When they
reached the central Champ de Mars, police dispersed them with
teargas and shots in the air.
The slogan of the Nov. 7 march
was: “Dessalines is paying a visit to Pétion.” Jean-Jacques
Dessalines, a former slave, led the masses of former slaves into
an alliance with Alexandre Pétion, who headed the forces of St.
Domingue’s largely mulatto affranchis or propertied
freedmen. This alliance was what allowed the “indigenous army”
to defeat the French legions of Napoleon in a decisive battle at
Vertières, near Cap Haïtien, on Nov. 18, 1803, paving the way
for Haiti’s Jan. 1, 1804 declaration of independence.
On the 210th
anniversary of Vertières, Haiti’s most nationalist holiday,
another huge demonstration filled the streets of the capital.
Estimates ranged from 10,000 to 50,000. The principal calls were
“Down with Martelly” and “Down with MINUSTAH,” the acronym for
the 9,000 soldier occupation force known as the UN Mission to
Meanwhile, Martelly and Prime
Minister Laurent Lamothe traveled to Cap Haïtien where they
spoke to a largely bussed in and paid crowd after police
aggressively broke up the anti-Martelly demonstrations that had
demonstrations were held on Nov. 18 in other Haitian cities
including Aux Cayes, Jacmel, Miragoâne and Petit Goâve.
“There were some 1.7 million
people marching in the streets of Haiti today,” said Sen. Moïse
Jean-Charles, one of Martelly’s most outspoken critics,
surrounded by a throng of demonstrators in the Nov. 18 march in
Port-au-Prince. “And there were only 700,000 who supposedly
voted for Martelly” in the illegal and controversial Mar. 20,
2011 presidential run-off election.
“It is clear that Martelly does
not have the legitimacy or the credibility to lead the country,”
Sen. Jean-Charles continued. “We are asking the Americans,
French, and Canadians to come an collect their errand boy
because he cannot lead the country any more.”
The next major demonstration in
the capital is planned for Nov. 29, the 26th
anniversary of the 1987 election massacre carried out by a neo-Duvalierist
military junta. For that day, Moïse called on Haitians to
“prepare your chairs, your gallons of water, and your sleeping
mats” because “we are going to set up our headquarters across
from the U.S. Embassy.”
On Haitian radio shows, there
is increasing discussion of what would follow Martelly’s
resignation. However, the first proposal for a transitional
government was made during a Sep. 29
Popular Forum of grassroots
organizations, where the keynote speaker was Sen. Jean-Charles,
held at the Fany Villa in Port-au-Prince, the only such large
public meeting to take up the matter to date. The proposal was
drafted by the Dessalines Coordination (KOD), a new influential
political formation made up of militants who have distinguished
themselves over the past 25 years of Haiti’s struggle for
In previous weeks, Haïti
Liberté has published in Kreyòl and French the proposal,
which was adapted and then adopted by the participating popular
organization on Oct. 7. In light of the growing prospects of
Martelly’s resignation, we present the KOD’s proposal in English
Popular Forum, September 29, 2013,
The Proposal of the Dessalines
Coordination (KOD) for a Provisional Government
The government of President Michel Martelly
and Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe was never legal because the
Provisional Electoral Council (CEP), the final arbiter of any
Haitian election, said that it was Mirlande Manigat and Jude
Celestin who should have gone into a run-off election. It was
Washington, the Organization of American States (OAS), and the
occupation force known as the UN Mission to Stabilize Haiti (MINUSTAH),
as represented then by Edmond Mulet, which then gave Haiti
orders as to how to do its election and who should be in it.
They imposed a Mar. 20, 2011 run-off between Mirlande Manigat
and Michel Martelly. This Martelly regime, which came to power
through a bogus election, doesn’t have any legitimacy in the
eyes of the majority of the Haitian people.
Since Hillary and Bill Clinton
put Martelly in power, the people have been squeezed, as if
through the eye of a needle, by all kinds of tribulations. The
first illegal act of Martelly was to brazenly take money without
Parliament’s assent on all the international money transfers and
telephone calls that Haitians overseas make to their families
On top of that, Martelly has
flexed his ill-gained authority with intimidation, violence, and
repression, as on Oct. 22, 2011 when he threatened a neighbor in
an effort to take his home. On Oct. 26, 2011, he arrested a
sitting deputy with immunity. On Feb. 17, 2012, Martelly led a
band of thugs from the airport through the streets of
Port-au-Prince to the University’s Ethnology School, where they
physically attacked and fired on students.
Through a bunch of fake
projects, inflated travel per diems, and other “legal banditry,”
Martelly has stolen state funds. But that’s not all. The
Dominican journalist Nuria Piera revealed a lot of documents
which clearly showed that Martelly during 2011 took $2.6 million
in bribes from Dominican Senator Felix Bautista.
There are a lot of drug-dealers
in this government. We haven’t forgotten the testimony of
Sherlson Sanon who charged Senators Edo Zenny and Joseph
Lambert, both close Martelly aides, with involvement in
drug-running, killings, and other criminal acts. Until now, the
leader of a kidnapping ring, Clifford Brandt, has never gone to
trial since his arrest a year ago, and both Martelly’s son
Olivier and one of his security officers have been accused of
being part of the ring.
Attacks against journalists are
too many to even count. The latest was the attack Judge Lamarre
Belizaire made against Radio Kiskeya.
But the biggest government
crime is the death of Judge Jean Serge Joseph. Martelly, Lamothe,
and Justice Minister Jean Renel Sanon met with the judge on
Thursday Jul. 11, 2013 in the offices of lawyer and Martelly
legal advisor Garry Lissade. Two days later, the judge died,
either from the tension caused by the threats they made against
him or by poison they gave him. But what is even worse, they all
lied to the nation, completely straight-faced, as if they didn’t
even know the judge much less meet with him.
That is why two Special
Parliamentary Commissions, after in-depth investigations, issued
official reports calling for Martelly, Lamothe, and Sanon to be
indicted. Thirteen deputies signed a call for an impeachment
indictment against Martelly. But, everyone knows that President
Martelly has bought a majority among the deputies with the money
he has stolen from the public treasury not to mention from the
PetroCaribe fund. Thus he has blocked the deputies from
indicting him, which would allow the Senate to judge him and his
Thus the legal road to unseat
Martelly via the Parliament is blocked. The only way which
remains is for popular power to exert its will because we cannot
take it anymore. Enough is enough!
Martelly took power illegally.
Unfortunately, he promulgated the amendments to the 1987
Constitution, thus the amendments cannot be valid. For us, all
decisions to be taken to bring a change for the better in the
country, without confusion, should be done on the basis of the
Popular organizations today
want to take up their historic responsibility to engage in a
fight against this illegal power which doesn’t have any
legitimacy but continues to everything it can to soil Haiti’s
face in the interests of the imperialist countries.
It is Washington, the OAS, and
the UN occupation which have put us in the situation we are
today. The government doesn’t have the capacity to deliver
anything to improve the life of he people, and that is why we
popular organizations, who are gathered today at Fany Villa,
have decided to bring a change.
We in the Dessalines Coordination
propose that all national sectors join together to form a
“Council of State” to lead the country forward. We are not
proposing a coup d’état or a kidnapping. We don’t have guns in
our hands to fire on anybody. We aren’t here for that, that is
not our practice. We are Haiti’s children. If the nation’s life
is in danger, if the nation is stuck, about to die, it is us,
her children, who should bring the remedy, the solution.
Thus, every sector will be able
to participate in this work of unity. What makes the nation work
are different forces: peasants, students, women, youth, unions,
political parties, civil society, religious sectors, and so on.
We propose that leadership of
state be taken over by a Supreme Court Judge with a Council of
State of 13 members, which would have representatives of:
1) peasant organizations
2) popular organizations
3) political parties
4) womens’ organizations
6) business owners
7) Vodou practitioners
12) civil society
13) non-aligned parties
All parliamentarians, that is the deputies
and two-thirds of the Senate, would remain in their posts until
their mandate finishes in January 2015. They would continue to
do their job in Parliament. The Council of State would have the
right to convoke them in extraordinary session if necessary, the
same way the President does.
Although we see this road is
blocked for the moment, we propose that we continue to put
pressure on the deputies, above all the pro-Martelly PSP
deputies, to make them pass the impeachment indictment just as
two commissions, 13 deputies, and the Senate as well has asked,
in the latest vote it took on Sep. 26. It would be ideal for the
PSP deputies to stop avoiding the issue and take responsibility
before history to vote on the parliamentary reports and the
indictment, just as the Senate has.
The Role of the Council of State
The Council of State will sit with a
Supreme Court Judge to find a democratic formula for them
to name a government, that is a Prime Minister and the ministers
That government would put in
place a democratic Provisional Electoral Council which
would have the task of holding a general election for all empty
posts in a not less than six months.
If there was a vacancy on the
Council of State, that is, if a person left or died before the
Council finished its work, the sector affected could always
appoint a new representative.
Haiti shouldn’t accept money
for the elections from any foreign government or international
institution which sets conditions. Any country which chooses for
whatever reason to give their solidarity to the Haitian people,
we won’t refuse them, but they can’t meddle in Haiti’s internal
affairs. They can give their support, but without conditions.
MINUSTAH would not have any right to meddle
in this process, even if it hadn’t yet had time to get all its
troops out of Haiti. The last MINUSTAH soldier should not remain
in Haiti any later than May 2014, as the latest unanimous Senate
resolution has demanded.
The Martelly Administration together with
other international institutions, above all the embassies of
imperialist countries like the U.S., France, and Canada, will
say that what we propose is not legal, not receivable.
The Haitian people have to
stand up to defend what they have given birth to. When the
imperialist countries make a coup d’état or an illegal election,
even if the people reject it, they never take that into account.
Now they must allow the Haitian people to take their destiny in
What we propose is more
democratic, more authentic, more honest, and more sovereign than
all the machinations which the imperialists have carried out in
Haiti. It is time for the Haitian people to stop taking orders
from the colonists and to construct our own democracy, because
we are a nation, not a colony, and we are our own masters.
As Thomas Sankara said: “Let us
dare to invent the future!”
We the organizations who took
part in the Popular Forum agree with KOD’s proposal and resolve
1) Not go into elections with Martelly and
his clique in power.
2) Strengthen the mobilization against
Martelly and the UN occupation force MINUSTAH.
3) Prevent from returning to their
districts all PSP deputies who won’t vote for the indictment
against Martelly, Lamothe, and Sanon.
4) Continue working with all organizations
to reinforce their capacity for reflection and action.
5) Set up a follow-on committee with all
the organizations which participated in the Forum to continue
planning for solutions to our national problems.
Port-au-Prince, October 7, 2013
Oganizasyon Tèt Ansanm nan Nip (OTAN)
Rasanbleman Popilè pou Chanjman (RPCS)
Oganizasyon Jèn Aktif pou Devlopman (OJAD)
Mouvman Revolisyonè pou Devlopman Nòdwès (MRDNO)
Oganizasyon Jèn Patriyotik pou Devlopman
Mouvman pou Libète, Egalite ak Fratènite
tout Ayisyen (MOLEGHAF)
Tèt Kole Oganizasyon Popilè yo
Platfòm Nasyonal Popilè