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by Lavalas (flood) will drown Andre Apaid
Thursday, Mar. 02, 2006 at 2:33 PM
Some reasons why Group of 184 participated in the coup against democratically elected Arisitide..
The group of 184 in Haiti mostly consists of wealthy Haitian businessmen and most of their funding comes from overseas import/export business interests..
"We are concerned for two main reasons:
· The Group of 184, while including some representatives of various sectors of civil society, is in fact dominated by one specific sector with very particular interests - private sector business associations;
· A vast array of other civil society organisations are being ignored, their important views are not being sought, and their experience and expertise are not being utilised.
1) The Group of 184 is an extension of the Groupe d'Initiative de la Société Civile (GISC, Civil Society Initiative Group), a coalition that formed in 1999 and played a prominent role in the failed attempts to resolve the political crisis that paralysed the country from May 2000. The GISC was wholly unrepresentative of the Haitian majority, and was predominantly a collection of business and religious elite organisations.*
In December 2002, what was the GISC widened its membership to include some peasant organisations, student groups and non-governmental organisations, and became the Group of 184 (according to its leaders, the Group of 184 takes its name from the "184 representatives of organisations from 13 sectors of Haitian civil society" that signed its first communiqué.)
However, despite its pretensions to represent a variety of social sectors, the words and the actions of the Group of 184 suggest that it remains under the control and direction of its initial instigators and original driving force - the private sector. It is led by André Apaid jnr., an industrialist from a family business empire with interests in the assembly industry and the import/export business."
"We are also motivated by the publication in September of the National Coalition for Haitian Rights policy report, "Yon Sel Dwet Pa Manje Kalalou: Haiti on the eve of its Bicentennial" which contains the following sentence concerning the Group of 184:
"It is not yet clear who finances the group's activities -- whether it receives funding from abroad or if its entire budget comes from its membership or another arrangement altogether."
Thanks to information provided to the Haiti Support Group by the European Commission (EC) staff in Brussels and the EC delegation in Port-au-Prince, we are able to shed some light on this subject:
· The European Commission is co-financing a Human Rights / Democracy project with Haiti's Initiative de la Societe Civile (ISC) group. The European Commission's contribution is 773,000 Euros (US0,374 at today's exchange rate). The duration of the contract is from 21/12/2001 to 21/12/2003."
Since Group of 184 is a group of wealthy investors friendly with business interests outside of Haiti, it follows that they have good reason to dislike Aristide and may possibly motivate Group of 184 to participate with an outside interest that seeks to destabilaze the democratically elected Aristide/Lavalas coalition..
"The Group of 184 (G-184), is headed by Andre (Andy) Apaid, a US citizen of Haitian parents, born in the US. (Haiti Progres, http://www.haiti-progres.com/eng11-12.html ) Andy Apaid owns Alpha Industries, one of Haiti's largest cheap labor export assembly lines established during the Duvalier era. His sweatshop factories produce textile products and assemble electronic products for a number of US firms including Sperry/Unisys, IBM, Remington and Honeywell. Apaid is the largest industrial employer in Haiti with a workforce of some 4000 workers. Wages paid in Andy Apaid's factories are as low as 68 cents a day. (Miami Times, 26 Feb 2004). The current minimum wage is of the order of .50 a day:
"The U.S.-based National Labor Committee, which first revealed the Kathie Lee Gifford sweat shop scandal, reported several years ago that Apaid's factories in Haiti's free trade zone often pay below the minimum wage and that his employees are forced to work 78-hour weeks." (Daily News, New York, 24 Feb 2004)
Apaid was a firm supporter of the 1991 military coup. Both the Convergence démocratique and the G-184 have links to the FLRN (former FRAPH death squadrons) headed by Guy Philippe. The FLRN is also known to receive funding from the Haitian business community.
In other words, there is no watertight division between the civilian opposition, which claims to be non-violent and the FLRN paramilitary. The FLRN is collaborating with the so-called "Democratic Platform."
Also, Andre' Apaid is a plain old sweatshop owner and Aristide support unionizing sweatshop workers. Therefore Aristide is a threat to Apaid's financial profit margin..
BTW, PBS (now receives funding from British Petroleum, who are committed to finding solutions to global warming by drilling for oil in the Gulf of Mexico) just ran a program called "Failed Haiti" where the World bank and Apaid chastize the Haitian people for not knowing how to run their government, briefly showing some Lavalas supporters, probably so the US installed regime of Gerard LaTortue (we see his tyrant face also) knows who they are..
Am more interested if finding out how PBS scored such a sweet deal with multinational corporations than their endorsements of Group of 184's Apaid. Maybe the show should be called "PBS Failed Haiti"..
"PBS's "Commanding" Conflict of Interest:
Enron & other corporate giants sponsored new globalization series"
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