Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti

OPINION: Haiti’s election in painful circumstances

By Bob Keeler, Newsday For all their long familiarity with heartbreak, Haitians haven’t seen too many years quite like this one. It began with a killer earthquake, followed by months of snail’s-pace recovery, then a hurricane and a cholera outbreak. Now, it might end with a low-turnout election that produces more controversy than healing. In the diaspora – enclaves of Haitians here on Long Island and in cities like Montréal and Miami – this brew of natural disaster and political uncertainty is a source of deep concern. A few weeks ago, a large crowd gathered at a Westbury restaurant, Mirelle’s, to contribute to the campaign of one of the 19 candidates for president, Jean-Henry Céant. But even one of Céant’s contributors, Georges Casimir, a Rockville Centre psychiatrist who taught him in high school in Haiti, is ambivalent: Should the elections […]

New life for Haiti will mean sustained, honest assistance

Newsday Editorial In this season of new life, the Haitian people, who have endured so many years of crucifixion, deserve a chance to experience a much-prayed-for national resurrection. It’s easy to be skeptical about the prospects for the success of the reconstruction effort. Too many times, aid to Haiti has been ill-spent or stolen by governments too corrupt and despotic to be worthy of their people. Still, the proper response to that tragic history must not be cynicism, but unshakable determination. This perilous moment, a fearsome interval between the calamitous Jan. 12 earthquake and the looming rainy season, is precisely the right time for the community of nations to emulate the inspiring resilience of the Haitian people and match it with an equally persistent long-term commitment. A decent first step took place this past Wednesday at the United Nations. Donor […]

EDITORIAL: Grant Haitian immigrants Temporary Protected Status

SOURCE: Newsday DATE: January 15, 2010 As the extent of the death, homelessness and devastation in Haiti becomes more evident by the hour, there’s one small step that President Barack Obama should take to maximize the ability of Haitians here to help their relatives at home. The administration announced Wednesday that it has temporarily halted the deportation of Haitians who are here illegally. The logical next step is to allow them to work legally until they are sent home.  Obama could do that with the stroke of a pen, by extending Temporary Protected Status to the 30,000 Haitians currently under deportation orders.  He should pick up his pen. Aid for the uncounted victims of Wednesday’s earthquake is flooding into Haiti from the United States and around the world.  As always, compassionate Americans are rising to the occasion.  But in the […]

‘Play for Peace’ Soccer Match Turns Into Massacre

‘Play for Peace’ Soccer Match Turns Into Massacre BY REED LINDSAY SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT Newsday August 28, 2005 PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti — The crowd applauded when camouflaged and black-hooded police officers entered a packed soccer match in the hillside slum of Martissant on Saturday afternoon a week ago. They assumed the officers were there to provide security. Suddenly, the officers ordered the 6,000 spectators to the ground of the walled, dirt field. Gunshots rang out and people began to run for the only exit. Police began firing wantonly, witnesses said, and outside, civilians armed with machetes and more police officers attacked those trying to flee the chaos. Some people were shot and killed by police, according to witnesses and family members; others were hacked to pieces by the machete-wielding civilians. The “Play for Peace” soccer match, financed and sponsored by USAID, an […]

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