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News :: International
Seeking an "Even Playing Field" in Haiti: Washington and UN build Anti-Lavalas Coalitions
14 Apr 2006
This article appears at Narconews and in French in Haiti Progres Weekly.
By Jeb Sprague
April 13th, 2006

As Haiti’s legislative run-off elections approach, it is worthwhile to review elements of Washington’s campaign to build the vote in favor of its local client parties. This “democracy promotion” – which is anything but that – is strategically critical to winning the Haitian parliament, with which President-elect René Préval will name the new prime minister, Haiti’s most powerful executive post.

In the years leading up to Haiti’s 2006 presidential and legislative elections, whose second round are now set for April 21, the International Republican Institute (IRI) helped form and coach three coalitions of right wing and social-democratic parties, which were all partisans of the Feb. 29, 2004 coup d’état against President Jean-Bertrand Aristide and his democratically elected Fanmi Lavalas (FL) government.

IRI’s goal was the “strengthening [of] democratic political parties,” according to an October 2004 IRI document I obtained through a recent Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request. But in the past, as pointed out in Irwin Stotzky’s Silencing The Guns in Haiti, the IRI proposed “leadership training exclusively for non-Lavalas centrist political party representatives,” considering supporters of Lavalas as “undemocratic.” All of the client parties trained and facilitated by the IRI were arrayed against the FL in the Democratic Convergence political front, supporting the 2004 coup.

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Re: Seeking an "Even Playing Field" in Haiti: Washington and UN build Anti-Lavalas Coalitions
14 Apr 2006
Can somebody define what an even playing field is? What is wrong with you people? Wake up to something. Cliches like "even playing field" do not constitute policy.