Free Haiti: Impeach Martelly
by Ezili Danto
This article previously appeared on the author’s web site.
“There’s a small window of opportunity open for the 20 Senators, who are the only active political authority left in Haiti with a semblance of legal power.”
There’s is no acceptable and peaceful solution to the current Haiti constitutional crisis other than the immediate impeachment of Michel Martelly by the only active democratic entity left in Haiti: the Senate. The Deputies are out of session and when their vacation is over, so are their terms in office. The terms of 10 out of the 20 remaining Senators will also be over on January 12, 2015.
The people of Haiti have not remained silent as Martelly-Lamothe tried to sell-off – by decree – the country’s offshore islands, pristine areas, mineral wealth and to give away Haiti assets to the imperialists, amongst other things.
The issue raised is how to legally remove Martelly from office even though he was far from legitimately elected? This is an issue that Haitians participating in the rising protests throughout Haiti have put in the background. It urgently needs to be brought to the forefront. We do not want Haiti’s traditional enemies to capitalize off the current Haiti protests and chaos and launch their military to “bring order back” to Haiti. A Haiti solution must be administrated that is a ratification of the protestors very legitimate concerns for democratic governance and to free Haiti.
Martelly can legally be removed from office through impeachment. Haiti has always added an unofficial public referendum to that official procedure.
For whatever reason, the Internationals have pulled back their UN-PMSC guns in Haiti and allowed more and more space for the people of Haiti to protest against the US puppet regime in Haiti. Almost every day, there are anti-government demonstrations. Some call it Haiti’s “Operation Burkina Faso” and it’s meant as a peaceful, nationwide mobilization, like the one that occurred in Burkina Faso, to take down dictatorship and install a sovereign Haiti. On December 6, 2014, there were major anti-governmental protests in the three major cities of Port au Prince, Aux Cayes and Cap Haitian. Although tear gas was fired at the protesters demanding the marchers actually reached the front of the National Palace.
“A Haiti solution must be administrated that is a ratification of the protesters' very legitimate concerns.”
If the rising protests throughout Haiti are any indication of people power in a democracy, then the people have publicly impeached the Martelly-Lamothe regime many times over. This time, it’s not the fake US-George Soros, NGO-created “populous uprising” of Haiti 2004. This 2014 Haiti referendum – Pèp souvren pran lari, li ba Mateli Kanè – openly and dangerously confronts the military, economic, diplomatic and political commands of the all-powerful United States and their UN troops in Haiti. The UN troops act as the old bloody Haiti army to keep the neoDuvalierist, Martelly-Lamothe regime, in power. We’ve seen this with the OAS sanctions of Martelly’s questionable election in 2011 as well as Bill and Hillary Clinton’s various take over initiatives after the catastrophic earthquake.
Haiti is under occupation with nearly 10,000 foreign troops on its soil. The illegal and unpopular Martelly-Lamothe regime has been allowed to run amok with no Parliamentary oversight for three years.
There’s a small window of opportunity open for the 20 Senators, who are the only active political authority left in Haiti with a semblance of legal power to impeach Martelly and move the country forward with fair and honest elections.
Every other idea out there to handle this sham democracy without taking down the UN presence; every notion to keep the facade going with an extension of the expiring Parliamentary terms of office, or an amendment to the Constitution or for Martelly to remain in office, et al, risks delaying Haiti’s brutal suffering and plunging the country into more crisis, more extra-constitutional institutions and more clashes with the US-trained, Ferguson-style, militarized police; more tear gas killing 3-month old babies and more imprisonment of protestors.
“The UN troops act as the old bloody Haiti army to keep the neoDuvalierist, Martelly-Lamothe regime in power.”
Where are the UN troops in Haiti? Haitians in their right minds see the sudden pull-back as a tactical decision and not a desire, as the head of the UN Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH), Sandra Honoré, has put forward, to respect for the people’s right to peacefully protest.
A Haitian Senator put it correctly: “Why would you expect certain people to care about fair policies in Haiti when in the US Black lives do not matter. Why would they care about Haitians when in the US Blacks are choked like animals and grand juries justify the slaughter.”
Time is of the essence to save Haitian lives and property before the January 12, 2014 fifth anniversary of the earthquake arrives and the repugnant international media lands in Haiti, once again, to feed their ratings on the “failed Haiti” spiel, the “proud and suffering Haitians” spiel and the “failed-Haiti-reconstruction-after-the-quake” chorus line.
To reinforce democratic institutions, the 20 Senators should listen to the people of Haiti who they serve, stop allowing Martelly-Lamothe to make their parliamentary existence futile and in one legal motion, lower the majority to 11, indict and unanimously impeach Martelly before the December 12, 2014 John Kerry visit, or as soon as possible.
The majority of Senators need only reinstate/reconfirm the 2013 resolution they already issued to impeach Martelly for high treason, and remove Lamothe for corruption. The PRI Deputies and other deputies who are out of session may decide to send in a letter of support recognizing the Senate’s authority to indict, impeach and remove Martelly immediately to protect the population, avoid a bloodbath, reinforce democratic institutions, and assure some institutional continuity. But the Senate does not need this input to do their job. As of January 12, 2014, 10 of the Senators’ terms will end and there will only be 10 left.
“The 20 Senators should listen to the people of Haiti.”
Martelly-Lamothe have ruled Haiti by decree and obstruction of Parliamentary duties for three years. They've blocked general elections, unilaterally appointed their cronies to mayoral, municipal and regional offices, imprisoned protestors and blocked indictment for impeachment in the lower house for three years. They have no right to benefit from their ill-gotten gains. Today, the Lower House gridlock can be resolved without their impediments by the only remaining active parliamentary authority with any semblance of legal authority in Haiti: The 20 Senators. And no one is qualified to call into question procedural deficiencies or the integrity of this process if carried out by the Senate to safeguard Haitian life and national security.
The Senators are the obvious legal transitional body to meet the people’s Constitutional demands towards sovereignty, release of the political prisoners, setting up commissions with the people’s participation to investigate corruptions and guard against further foreign interference in Haiti’s political, civil and economic life. This would be the beginning of a Haiti solution to the current crisis.
Ezili Danto is executive director of the Haitian Lawyers Leadership Network. She can be contacted through her web site.