A few days ago, the Quebec newspaper Le Devoir published a column entitled « We must stop supporting Jovenel Moïse in Haiti ». The media mentioned that the text was endorsed by about a hundred artists, activists and academics, including Noam Chomsky, Naomi Klein, Roger Waters, Svend Robinson, Will Prosper and Alain Deneault. While it is good news that other people are paying attention to what is happening in Haiti, it is still sad to see the manipulation of such great people as Noam Chomsky.
Indeed, the petitioners of the tribune have been fooled by actors in Haiti who do not report what is happening here with all the objectivity that this requires. We will point out several lies related by the article in question. While hoping that the editorial staff of Le Devoir will take note of them.
First of all, the article designates the 3 months of lockout as massive demonstrations and general strikes to demand the resignation of Jovenel Moïse. In all objectivity, there was no general strike in Haiti but a situation of terror and barricades held by armed people. This forced the population to stay home. A United Nations report documented the abuses committed by armed opposition gangs against the population during this episode.
The article argues that « Moïse’s request to extend his mandate for another year was rejected by the Superior Council of the Judiciary, the Federation of Haitian Lawyers and other constitutional institutions. Jovenel Moïse did not ask any institution for an extension of his mandate. No institution in Haiti can authorize an extension of the president’s term. Jovenel Moïse maintains that his term ends on February 7, 2022, relying on Article 134-1 of the constitution which sets his term at 5 years, and taking into account that he took office on February 7, 2017.
The article says that the police occupy the Court of Cassation, while this is not the case. In addition, it is written in this column that « Jovenel Moïse recently pressured the entire Electoral Council to resign, and then unilaterally appointed new members ». First, the members of the former CEP resigned of their own free will or at the request of the sectors they represented. In addition, Jovenel Moïse contacted the traditional sectors to ask them to send new members to the new CEP. Since some refused for political reason, the president consulted other sectors to form the electoral council.
Contrary to what is stated in the article, the UN has never demonstrated the government’s guilt in the acts of violence that were committed in La Saline. Although two former public officials are accused, the report did not demonstrate any link between what happened and the government. These two officials have been removed from office and are at the disposal of the Haitian justice system.
In light of all of the above, the sincerity and objectivity of this column should be questioned. Did the petitioners lie? Have they been manipulated? Or did they lie in order to manipulate Canadian public opinion by using the audience of the newspaper Le Devoir? These are questions that need to be answered.
John Ronal Maximilien Montreal