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The Trump administration is criminalizing Haitian refugees

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By: Boston Globe Editorial, May 14, 2017

It didn't take long for Haitians to find out how President Trump really feels about them. While campaigning last fall in Miami’s Little Haiti, he said: “The Haitian-American community adds so much to our country: dedication to family, perseverance, entrepreneurship.”

Now they, too, have fallen victim to his administration’s relentless efforts to criminalize immigrants and refugees left and right.

About 58,000 Haitian beneficiaries of an emergency immigration program will see their status expire in July unless the administration approves an extension. As the Homeland Security secretary John Kelly weighs his decision, internal communications reported by the Associated Press last week reveal a malicious and unprecedented effort by the federal government that seems designed to find disingenuous reasons to cancel the program.

The real crimes of Guy Philippe

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By Jeb Sprague, Haiti Liberté, May 10, 2017

Subtitle: Selections from “Paramilitarism and the Assault on Democracy in Haiti” - Part 2 of 3

Last week, we learned how a cabal of Haitian police chiefs, who had been trained in Ecuador (therefore known as the “Ecuadorians”), attempted to organize a preemptive coup in October 2000 to prevent former president Jean-Bertrand Aristide’s reelection in November 2000 and return to power in February 2001

The Venezuelan people are dying in the streets again

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By Jim Hodgson & Steve Stewart, rabble.ca, May 13, 2017

"The Venezuelan people are again dying in the streets as they battle an on-going coup d'état being carried out by a group of politicians who oppose our government, and who since April 19, have been carrying out acts of violence, killing people and destroying our national patrimony, just as they did in 2002 and 2014."

These are the words of Bishop Elida Quevedo of the Evangelical Pentecostal Union of Venezuela (UEPV), but hers is not a story that you will see in major media. Instead, facts are distorted to make it appear that it is government forces who repress a "pro-democracy" movement. Bishop Quevedo goes on to describe the April 20 attack by anti-government activists on a maternal and child hospital, and sniper shootings of pro-government demonstrators and security forces.

As a coalition of Canadian civil society organizations long engaged in solidarity, social justice and development work in the Americas, we call for a more even-handed approach to issues in Venezuela than that shown recently by Canada and several other members of the Organization of American States (OAS).

Canada and the pirates of the Caribbean

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By Yves Engler, Canadian Dimension, Vol. 51 Issue 2, May 8, 2017

Perhaps a new rule is in order: Everyone must take a history lesson before seeking some fun in the sun.

Recently, NDP Member of Parliament Erin Weir asked if Canada should try to expand into the former British slave colonies. “The slush we’re getting in Regina is no fun. Right about now, a lot of people are wondering — would Canadians benefit from a tropical territory?” Former NDP MP Max Saltzman proposed welcoming the Turks and Caicos Islands into Confederation if its people make a democratic decision to join Canada. Former Conservative MP Peter Goldring recently endorsed this proposal.

But, Canadian imperialism in the Caribbean is no joke and should not be ignored or taken lightly by left-wing leaders.

Author Jeb Sprague on Guy Philippe

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By: Roger Leduc & Kim Ives interview Jeb Sprague, May 1, 2017

On the May 1, 2017 edition of WBAI-FM’s “Lanbi Call,” Jeb Sprague, author of “Paramilitarism and the Assault on Democracy in Haiti,” talks about paramilitary leader Guy Philippe, who pleaded guilty on April 24, 2017 in Miami to money laundering in connection with drug trafficking. Philippe’s real crime, however, is the murder of Haitian democracy and of hundreds of Haitians in the 2004 coup d’état against former President Jean-Bertrand Aristide. Jeb Sprague lays out about this bloody paramilitary legacy. With Kim Ives and Roger Leduc, “Lanbi Call” co-hosts.

Venezuela and the OAS: The logic of withdrawal

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By Mark Weisbrot, Huffpost, April 28, 2017

Venezuela’s announcement that it would withdraw from the Organization of American States (OAS) has been greeted with the usual derision in the U.S. media, most of which long ago abandoned any pretense of journalistic neutrality on that country.

But if we step back a bit from the major media narrative, there is a logic to Venezuela’s decision. The OAS, especiallyunder its current secretary general, Luis Almagro, is not the multilateral body that it pretends to be. Almagro, with backing from the U.S., has been on a jihad against Venezuela for years now. In 2015, he spent months trying to delegitimize the Venezuelan National Assembly elections, claiming that they would be stolen without “help” from OAS observers.

His behavior was so out-of-bounds and repugnant that José Pepe Mujica, ex-president of Uruguay, denounced Almagro, his former foreign minister. “I regret the line you have taken and I know it’s irreversible, so now I formally say goodbye,” wrote Mujica, who is widely loved and respected in South America for his honesty and integrity. Almagro turned out to be completely wrong, as the Venezuelan elections were conducted without problems, with the opposition winning 56 percent of the vote.

“You Live Under Fear” – 50,000 Haitian people at risk of deportation

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By Darlene Dubuisson & Mark Schuller, Huffpost, April 25, 2017

“With TPS, it’s like you live under fear,” thirtysomething aspiring nurse Michaëlle explained. “You don’t know what’s going to happen. I live with stress because of that.” Michaëlle’s situation just got worse on April 20, when Trump’s immigration agency recommended an end to Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for 50,000 Haitian people living in the U.S.

After the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, President Obama granted temporary relief status to undocumented Haitians who had arrived in the U.S. before 2011. Given the slow pace of recovery efforts and subsequent disasters – notably the cholera epidemic that has killed over 10,000 and counting, and Hurricane Matthew that hit Haiti last October – TPS has been extended several times. The latest TPS is set to expire on July 22, 2017.

In essence, the Trump administration’s policy would amount to kicking out 50,000 people who have, despite their fear, put their faith in the U.S. government to legalize, like fifty something child care provider Wideline. She recalls that “[We were told to] tell all fellow Haitians they don’t need to fear because they are going to give Haitians who are illegal in this country papers so they can work.”