Open letter from Charles Arthur to Jeb Sprague

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Open letter from Charles Arthur to Jeb Sprague

Post by » Tue Jan 03, 2006 9:24 pm

Sent by Charles Arthur

[quote]From: Jeb Sprague <>
Sent: Tue, 27 Dec 2005 14:02:22 -0800
Subject: Haiti Support Group Question

Dear Charles Arthur:
Are you willing to publicly state how much money the Haiti Support Group and your organizations provide in financial support to the Batay Ouvriye?
Thank you.

Jeb Sprague
Freelance Journalist/ Graduate Student

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

Open letter to Jeb Sprague

Dear Mr Sprague

Thank you for your email. The Haiti Support Group is happy to answer your question - we have nothing to hide, we believe in the value of transparency.

Firstly, we'd like to deal with the apparent misunderstandings on your part in relation to the Haiti Support Group
and what sort of organization it is. In your email you refer to "the Haiti Support Group and your organizations", and in your article, "Supporting a Leftist Opposition to Lavalas: The AFL-CIO's Solidarity Center and the Batay Ouvriye", you describe the Haiti Support Group as "a key Batay Ouvriye backer in Europe". The idea that the Haiti Support Group is a large network of organizations with the capacity to act as a "backer" - a term that clearly seeks to imply significant financial power - is absolutely wide of the mark. The true nature of the Haiti Support Group is accurately described on the home page of our web site under the headline, 'What is the Haiti Support Group?', (and it has been there, online, for anybody to read, ever since the web site began in the year
2000!): "The Haiti Support Group is an association of individuals who support the Haitian people in their struggle for justice, human rights, and participatory democracy. It is a solidarity group based in the United Kingdom."

For y
our information, the Haiti Support Group is run by one part-time consultant, who answers to a management committee, currently composed of eight people. The Haiti Support Group is now entering its fifteenth year of existence thanks to the support of 150 or so individuals and organizations who provide financial support by way of donations and annual affiliations to our newsletter and emailed information services.

In addition, the Group also receives annual grants from OxfamGB and Christian Aid to carry out an awareness-raising and advocacy project with aims that can be summarized as follows:

1) to influence opinion and raise awareness in the UK of the problems facing the Haitian poor; and to project the demands, proposals, and initiatives emanating from the country's grassroots and popular organisations in the national and international media and with all relevant national and international bodies, institutions and governments;

2) to work in solidarity with grassroots organisations in Hai
ti. This solidarity is direct, in the form of co-operation between the Haiti Support Group and Haitian organisations, and indirect, in the form of liaison between Haitian organisations and sympathetic organisations and networks in the UK, in continental Europe and in North America.

To give you an idea of the size and capabilities of the Haiti Support Group, you should know that the total expenditure for the year 2004-5 was approximately £24,000 (approximately US$41,000 at the current exchange rate).

The Haiti Support Group has not been - and is still not - in any position to provide financial support to Batay Ouvriye. Would that we could, for we have found Batay Ouvriye to be one of the most dynamic, determined and courageous progressive organizations in Haiti!

We state categorically (and with some regret), for the record, that the Haiti Support Group has not provided any direct financial support to Batay Ouvriye.

In the year 2004 we were though able to raise a very modest sum of m
oney to support the Sendika Ouvriye Codevi Wanament (SOKOWA), a union of workers at the CODEVI FTZ in Ouanaminthe, which is affiliated to the Batay Ouvriye-First of May federation. As you know, the SOKOWA union has been involved in a long and bitter fight for both its own existence and for the right of its members to unite to demand better pay and conditions. After the Grupo M management tried to break the union in early 2004 by firing all the known union members, the Haiti Support Group managed to raise the sum of £1,160 (approximately US$2,000) to help keep the union alive. This total was made up of small donations from individuals all over the world, money put into a bucket at the opening night of a CIIR photo exhibition about Haitian workers, a 'whip-round' at the annual general meeting of the Battersea and Wandsworth trade union council, and a donation from the anti-sweatshop campaigning organization, No Sweat. The total was disbursed in two parts on 2 April 2004 and 6 May 2004. This is the extent of
the Haiti Support Group's financial contribution to the emergency appeal in support of the SOKOWA union.

You may be interested to know that while our precarious financial position prevents the provision of significant funds to organizations in Haiti, the Haiti Support Group has over the last decade done whatever it can in other ways to support Batay Ouvriye''s fantastic work with agricultural laborers, assembly plant workers and other Haitian workers - work that no other organization, political party or government in Haiti has ever carried out to such good effect.

We hope this clarifies things for you. We conclude by asking you to look again at relations between the different classes in Haiti over the last twenty years, and to address what we regard as some very serious flaws in your piece, "Supporting a Leftist Opposition to Lavalas: The AFL-CIO's Solidarity Center and the Batay Ouvriye".

As it appears that you have only recently become interested in Haiti, whereas the Haiti Support
Group has been in existence since 1992 and has been involved with Batay Ouvriye since 1996, can we suggest that you take an in-depth look at the struggle for workers' rights - involving assembly plant workers and agricultural laborers - in Haiti over the last ten years, analyse the roles played by a) the Lavalas Family Party and b) Batay Ouvriye, and then ask yourself who was really acting in the interests of the workers?

We think you will find that what you describe as "the majority political party of the poor in Haiti" consistently sided with the bosses and foreign companies in their attempts to destroy independent workers' organizations. Just one example, which may not be generally known, epitomises the approach of the Lavalas Family Party. In March 2001, on the back of links created in the UK by the Haiti Support Group, a delegation from the War on Want organization and the GMB union visited St Raphael to meet and build solidarity with newly organized workers at the Guacimal company that supplied
orange extract to the French giant, Rémy Cointreau. As the visitors from the UK climbed down from their vehicle, Fernand Sévère, the local Lavalas Family Party mayor appeared, and pulled a gun to stop the meeting from happening. A few weeks earlier, Sévère - clearly acting in support of the local bosses - had forced Guacimal plantation workers to end a 10 week strike. (Despite the determination and bravery of organized workers at Guacimal, and a spirited and well-supported international solidarity campaign, Guacimal and Rémy Cointreau managed to stall the struggle for decent pay and conditions. You can read one part of this story in the Haiti Progrès article entitled, "Haitian government supports big landowners in clash with peasants" But to return to the story of Fernand Sévère, the Lavalas Family mayor of St Raphael, later in 2001 he was shot dead by the bodyguards of the local Lavalas Family deputy. The response of Jean-Bertrand Aristide, head
of the Lavalas Family Party, clearly signalled that the mayor's brutal anti-union activities accurately reflected national party policy. Aristide not only ensured that the repression of the workers' movement continued by installing the murdered mayor's brother as his replacement, but at the opening of the first 2002 session of the Haitian Parliament, on January 14th 2002, Aristide called for a minute's silence in memory of Fernand Sévère! Less than five months later, in early May 2002, the full extent of the Lavalas Family Party's determination to crush independent workers' activity was revealed with the horrific and murderous attack on a peasant/worker rally at Guacimal, and the Lavalas Family Party leaders' subsequent justification for the attack on the grounds that the rally was composed of "terrorists" - now where have we heard that before?

The issue of foreign funding of civil society organizations in Haiti is an interesting one, but attacking Batay Ouvriye in order to defend the reputation
of the Lavalas Family Party really is 'barking up the wrong tree'.

Charles Arthur
for the Haiti Support Group


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Post by admin » Wed Jan 04, 2006 7:07 am

Dear Charles:

This is not in direct response to your open letter to Jeb Sprague, though I read it with interest and would welcome learning from any further correspondence on the subject.

Rather, I would simply like to communicate to you my puzzlement over the origins of the "Batay Ouvriye / Lavalas" feud, which, I have strong reason to believe, was deeply adversarial and with open manifestation of extreme prejudice against Jean-Bertrand Aristide, before the start of his second administration. How far back did this enmity go? What precipitated it? Were there personal reasons behind it? Quite frankly, I do not know. However, I can attest to the vitriolic discourse the 2000 November Independent Electoral Observers Delegation got while visiting Batay Ouvriye in the week preceding those elections. As observers, we were intent on hearing all sides
of the pre-electoral dispute and were in great anticipation to hear from the fabled Yanick Etienne, who was to me, particularly, a great heroine for standing courageously by the side of poor Haitian workers. I came away from the meeting, disappointed, because while Yanick was expressing her views to us about the worker's movement, and her opposition to the upcoming elections in a calm and rational manner, she kept on being interrupted by someone called "Antoine" (I believe) to whom she obviously deferred to. Whenever he opened his mouth, she would keep quiet in a very deferential way which I found somewhat disturbing, since it was her that we had come to listen to primarily. To say that "Antoine" was 1000% ANTI-ARISTIDE would be an understatement. His tirades sounded viscerally, disturbingly personal. I did not know and do not know to this day what his relationship to Yanick was, on a personal or organizational level. He had not formally introduced himself, and I was not tem
pted to ask. However right he could have been in his denunciations of Aristide, it seemed odd to me that the nominal leader of the organization would quietly assume a meeker voice, in comparison, rather than asserting herself with a forceful expression of her own credo.

Charles, let me tell you the distinct fear I came away with on that day, after what I had witnessed: what possible cooperation would there be, in the Haitian political context, for the benefit of the Haitian worker, between Batay Ouvriye and a government headed by the subject of their obvious organizational enmity: Jean-Bertrand Aristide? Granted, we can expect in the U.S. and the U.K. some standard level of cooperation between the government and a hostile worker union. But Haiti!?! It's like trying to run before learning how to walk. I am sure that you know precisely what I mean... In the end, without being politically subservient, one still needs to learn the political game, for no better reason than the well-being of those yo
u have as mission to protect.

What was the justification for the unmistakable hostility? I would not presume to have the ability to determine the legitimacy of the grievances at that point in time, but I surely would like to know.

As I said before, I was already quite pessimistic...

Afterwards came several major developments of the Lavalas government, which I profoundly deplore. Either I failed completely to understand the government's rationale in those matters (a rationale that was disdainfully not forthcoming) or quite simply, the government was guilty of gross mismanagement. I believe that you and I communicated quite a bit at least on some of those issues, and we jointly tried to get some official (or unofficial) explanations, to no avail. To boot:
  • the secret and inappropriate handling of the FRAPH/FADH Papers, by both the U.S. and HAITIAN governments)
  • the scandalously weak or devious judicial pursuit of the Jean Dominique's mu
    rder case
  • the Guacimal affair, which you relate
  • the Maribahoux deal with a Dominican enterprise, involving the forced dispossession of peasants' land, without any debate by the Legislative Branch or any public debate for that matter prior to the conclusion of the deal, sponsored by the Haitian and Dominican governments[/*:m]
In the above four cases, we should conclude that there was an appalling lack of transparency, to say the least, and quite likely, government mismanagement and/or cover-up of criminal activity.

The Lavalas government certainly has a lot to explain about its role in those and other activities, though I still maintain that it was plainly wrong for any organization to invite disaster upon the Haitian people by aiding and abetting a violent coup d'etat. In the end, in spite of recent victories secured by Batay Ouvriye for union workers, the fate of the Haitian poor has considerably worsened[/b:2b21f
6eb1c] since the forced departure of President Jean-Bertrand Aristide through TERRORIST ACTIONS sponsored by the Haitian Political Opposition and the Governments of the U.S., France, and Canada.

To what extent did Batay Ouvriye lend support to those nefarious activities? I do not know. What I do know, however, was that there was open hostility expressed against the government, back in November 2000.

Was is justified? What were its origins? Was such enmity useful in dealing with the government? (that is highly doubtful!) If you can comment on any of those matters, I would greatly appreciate it for the historic truth.


Charles Arthur
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Charles Arthur replies

Post by Charles Arthur » Fri Jan 06, 2006 10:04 am

[quote]I would simply like to communicate to you my puzzlement over the origins of the "Batay Ouvriye / Lavalas" feud, which, I have strong reason to believe, was deeply adversarial and with open manifestation of extreme prejudice against Jean-Bertrand Aristide, before the start of his second administration. How far back did this enmity go? What precipitated it? Were there personal reasons behind it? [/quote]

Dear Guy,

I'll do my best to answer these questions based on my knowledge of Haiti since 1992 and my invovlement with Batay Ouvriye (as a supporter based in Europe) since 1996. By the way, I have met Batay Ouvriye's Antoine on several occasions in Port-au-Prince but I can't tell you anything about him apart from that - as you surmised - he would seem to be one of the leading figures in Batay Ouvriye. This brings me immediately to your observation that Yannick Etienne is the "nomin
al leader of the organization". From what I know, this is incorrect. I understand that Batay Ouvriye doesn't have a hierarchical leadership structure, and that Yannick is therefore not THE leader but someone who has the task of being the organisation's spokesperson and liaison with foreign entities/supporters/journalists.

You express your puzzlement about the antipathy between Batay Ouvriye and Jean-Bertrand Aristide that existed long before his second stint as president - I really don't find it puzzling. From early 1994 onwards, I was an avid reader of 'Haiti Info', a four page newsletter issued every two weeks by the Haitian Information Bureau. This densely packed newsletter sought to publicise the views - in English - of the popular, democratic movement in Haiti. I don't know if you are familiar with 'Haiti Info' but it contained news and views from a great many activists and organisations in Haiti, and the vast majority of them were extremely critical of Aristide, of his politics, and of t
hose who coalesced around him in the post-1994 era.

Long before Aristide took the presidency for the second time, there were a great many critics - from the left - who denounced his political strategies and approach. Many left nationalists were disgusted that Aristide brought the second US invasion of the 20th century. Many progressives were outraged that Aristide signed up to the structural adjustment policies demanded by the IMF/World Bank. Many activists were deeply sickened by the way that Aristide effectively demobilised the already weakened popular movement. And on and on (it needs a book to do the subject justice). It wasn't just Batay Ouvriye that opposed the politics of Aristide - from the left - long, long before his second term. Off the top of my head, I am thinking of the Tet Kole peasant movement, the organizations and individuals associated with the PAPDA, the Collective to Mobilise against the IMF, many of those active in the liberation theology Church movement, many of those active in
human rights work...Even Jean Dominique had - so I am told - not spoken with Aristide for the year before he was murdered. There were big issues of disagreement, long before the second term - the fate of the Si Pa Rele reconciliation and justice report; the question of the privatization of the state-owned enterprises; the rapprochement with sections of the reactionary elite - the Mevs for example; the use of armed lumpen proletariat gangs - Mete Lod Nan Desod, in the Central Plateau, for example; the partnership with Dany Toussaint, and other former FAD'H - for example, why was Youri Latortue, a former FADH officer allegedly involved in the murder of Jean Marie Vincent in 1994, kept on as chief of security at the National Palace even in the year 2000?.... Guy, it's all there for somone to write the history. I don't think there need to be any personal reasons for a left wing organisation like Batay Ouvriye to dislike Aristide.

I am sorry I haven't got time to do your questions more justice.

I think that Batay Ouvriye has shown commendable consistency regarding its political positions and principles.

Also I think we should be able to attempt a more sophisticated analysis of recent Haitian history than a comparison of the fate of the Haitian poor during the Latortue debacle compared with the Lavalas Family Party government debacle....did the fate of the Haitian poor in 2000-2004 considerably worsen since the end of the Preval presidency? -probably. Did the fate of the Haitian poor in 1996 considerably worsen since the end of the Duvalier dictatorshop? - probably...but I don't think such questions really get us anywhere in understanding what routes might be the best ones to take to improve the lot of the Haitian poor.

My understanding of Batay Ouvriye's approach is that it believes that by organising itself to improve its everyday situation, the Haitian poor has a better chance of success than relying on the essentially populist approach of Aristide (or anyone like him). And I agr
ee with that.

all the best to you,


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Post by admin » Mon Jan 09, 2006 4:59 pm


There needed not be personal reasons to dislike the Aristide government, but certainly there were plenty. Does it make a difference? It might, because personal reasons tend to cloud our political judgement and strategic planning.

You don't have to convince me how bad the Aristide years were. What interests me is the ability of groups such as Batay Ouvriye to strategize, based on the fundamental interests of their constituency, and effectively make a bad situation better.

That ability comes into question if they blindly supported the GNB political opposition whose purpose was to rid Haiti of the Aristide government BY ALL MEANS NECESSARY, with scantly a thought about what other dominoes might fall and how to rebuild the country from the not-so-hard-to-anticipate ravages of an armed rebellion, led by a ragtag army of racketeers, bandits, and murderers, equipped with illegal shipments of arms from the United States
, and crossing the border into Haiti from the Dominican Republic, whose inhabitants (or a significant portion of) would welcome with glee the disappearance of all Black Haitians from the island of Hispaniola.

Who's bemoaning the loss of sovereignty in Haiti now? Like they did not see it coming? Please!!!!! To have Human and Worker Rights organizations confounded with "tabula rasa" "rache manyòk" "bay tè a blanch" "grenn nan bounda" dirty work political opposition groups might have brought an unwise, unintelligent and severe blow to said organisation whose paramount interests should have been the steady, if incremental, progress of their constituencies, in terms of economic, social, and political rights. To say, in response to the grave deterioration of human rights in the poor slums of Port-au-Prince and the despicable failure of the Haitian political class (with all the subsidies of their "International Community" patrons) to organize free and fair elections (instead of the masquerade we have been w
itnessing, with the jailing without charges of a suspected front-runner in the tricked up electoral farce in the making), that if the general state of Haitians has worsened after the coup it is equally true that they worsened during the Lavalas periods seems disingenuous. I would think that a progressive and enlightened workers' union would seek not to repeat the same stupid mistakes of the past. That is not arguing that we ever had it good, and I would emphatically side with you in critiquing the abject lack of transparency and high level of corruption during the Lavalas administrations, along with the recycling of former Duvalierist policy makers, but to throw the baby with the bath water, as was done in 2003-2004, should preclude the convenient washing of the hands à la Ponce Pilate as so-called leftist organizations attempt to do in Haiti.

I take no pleasure in seeing the sad developments of the feud between Batay Ouvriye and the "Jeff Sprague/Ben Dupuy/Haiti Progrès/International Tribunal on Hai
ti" camp. The whole thing is sad, sad, sad... because in all this back and forth, I fail to recognize the voice of the disenfranchised Haitian voter who is thought to be too stupid to participate in straightforward referendums about the political direction he would prefer to see the continuance of the never-ending struggle for a better life.

Political chaos, bloodshed, partisan witch hunts, ideological clean up of slum areas, governmental improvisation designed to put an indigenous face to cover up a de facto surrender of sovereignty, hardly seem the kind of fertile ground for the respect of workers' rights in Haiti or anywhere else on the planet. Haitians need civic leaders to do more than showing them an exit door to the hell they experience. One would naturally presume that such leaders have taken a look at what resides on the other side of the door before urging their constituency to take a leap of faith. Credibility, once lost, is exceptionally hard to restore. In that, I wish those "devil may c
are as long as they have their way" so-called leftist organizations the best of luck as they have made their task considerably harder for themselves. Even with the availability of funding while it lasts, they may find the public realignment of their stated purpose and their political strategies one of the hardest acts to perform convincingly in front of a jaded audience.

If Batay Ouvriye does not fit the profile... mea culpa, for even suggesting it.

I am communicating to you my general impressions. You are welcome to correct them where they may be faulty.

Guy S. Antoine

Michel Nau_

Post by Michel Nau_ » Mon Jan 09, 2006 7:31 pm

Guy wrote: [quote]I take no pleasure in seeing the sad developments of the feud between Batay Ouvriye and the "Jeff Sprague/Ben Dupuy/Haiti Progrès/International Tribunal on Haiti" camp. [/quote]
Serge and I were at George Washington University auditorium when Jeff Sprague, a young graduate student from California State University made a PowerPoint presentation that shown the financial connection between USAID and NED, both US government organizations and certain Haitian nonprofit organizations. The money was distributed to those organizations, and they didn't find out the origin and the purpose of the money. Or they practiced the monkey theory.
See nothing, say nothing, and hear nothing.

As a board member of a few nonprofit organizations, the first thing I learned in theory and in practice is “beware of the donors”.

Do not have an attitude of Sot ki bay imbecile ki pa pran”

Follow the trail of the money before accepting it!!
Find out where the money comes from and the donor's intent!!

Jaf and elatriye felt betray by Charles Arthur's organization for taking money from the US government, period.

Jaf we bagay sa kankou Batay Ouvriye van'n nan'm li by diyab la pou lajan. Le Jaf fand nan bouda youn moun,ou biyen youn organizasiyon ki pedi kompa li e fe youn rout a dwat intensiyonelman ou biyen egareman, li pap manke trouse ponyet li e di youn bagay ke youn pa ta remin tande. Se legin pou bali.

Mwen mem e lot moun kap gade e tande, nou we 2 leftist organizasiyon, (mo leftist la se pa mwen ki vini avek li, se we mwen we'l sou sit la) youn sitiye nan U.K. e lot la nan Kaliforni kap lonje dwet sou lot pou lajan e an mem tan doute te kredibilite de travay lot la e avili li piblikman.

Jeff Sprague e mesiye kaliforni yo konnin tre biyen ki efe negatif ke bagay sa ap genyen sou fund raising Haiti Support Group. Nan beyin tou
touni pa gen kache lombrit!! Verite sou tambou e tout moun nan plain kou nan mom ap tande koze a.

Jan Guy di a “bagay sa tre tre trist”. 2 bon jan organizasiyon kap defand dwa pep e ouvriye Ayisiyen dan le mond, the Haiti Support Group as "a key Batay Ouvriye backer in U.K. Europe e Haitiaction Group, HaitiProgres, Ramsey Clark e latriye ki sitiye an kalifoni, USA.

Jan Serge di a : li le pou jouman an piblik sa yo sispan.

E mwen kap ajoute ke Lesiv sal se an fanmi e lakay ke nou lave sa. Nou pa ale nan la riviye (media, la press) pou tout nove je we e nove zorey tande zafe nou.

Se blan yo konniyen la kap griyen dan sou nou a loske lakay pa yo nan Washington, zafe Jack Abramoff sa ap fe politisiyen demokrat kou repiblikin vole gage kankou kok kap pran move zepon.

Bagay sa se pa lakay nou selman ke li ye. Kidonk, nou pa bezwen lonje dwet sou lot. Se sa blan vle memm poul sa detounin nou,
fe nou bliye vre problem peyi d'Ayiti.
Mwen souhete ke sa a sevi tout lot organizasiyon yo leson pou avan ke yo lonje kouwi yo pou resevwa donasiyon, gade figui moun yo avan ke yo pran lajan sa.
Si youn manje pwa, fok w kk pwa kanmemm.
Se pa mwen ki di li, se konsa ke jwet la jwe!!
That's the rule of the game!!
Guy wrote:[quote]The whole thing is sad, sad, sad... because in all this back and forth, I fail to recognize the voice of the disenfranchised Haitian voter who is thought to be too stupid to participate in straightforward referendums about the political direction he would prefer to see the continuance of the never-ending struggle for a better life[/quote]
Stay focus !! Pa pedi bousol w!!
Stay focus !! Pa pedi bousol w!!


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On Sprague's Alleged “Smoking Gun”

Post by admin » Mon Jan 09, 2006 10:49 pm

Coincidentally, I just received this e-mail from Batay Ouvriye which appears to dispel the presumption of having
[<i>compromised our line of complete working class independence by entering into cross-class coalitions such as the 184 group... in favor of “collective measures to redress the national boat” which initiated the movement to overthrow Aristide's regime</i></b>]

[quote]Jan. 9, 2006

On Sprague's Alleged “Smoking Gun”

As some may know, our Batay Ouvriye workers' movement has recently been under the attacks of a questionable political current based in the United States. This current has published several articles, individually intervened on the internet, hosted presentations and debates, and held various other activities questioning our sources of funding.

According to the latest article published:

“Instead of supporting unions which did not call f
or the overthrow of the elected government of Jean-Bertrand Aristide, the AFL-CIO, along with mainstream international labor centers… has sought to strengthen marginal groups like Batay Ouvriye…”.

Here, at long last, we have reached the bottom of this current's reasoning. According to it, these funds, regularly funneled to Haiti through the NED-ACILS relationship ($250,000 in 1997, for example – whose utilization, as all others, except perhaps for those of 2005, thanks to the ‘researcher' -, we are completely ignorant of) should have been allocated elsewhere.

But where?

For us, of Batay Ouvriye, who have never, ever, compromised our line of complete working class independence by entering into cross-class coalitions such as the 184 group, the claim is revealing because actually: every single major Haitian union federation, regardless of their internal divisions, EXCEPT US, participated in this reactionary alliance's notorious Dec. 26, 2002 statement in favor of “collective measures to re
dress the national boat” which initiated the movement to overthrow Aristide's regime (

Here is the full list of 184-affiliated Haitian unions, (

Centrale Autonome des Travailleurs Haitiens
Autonomous Central of Haitian Workers

Confédération des Forces Ouvrières Haitiennes
Confederation of Haitian Working Forces

Centrale Générale des Travailleurs
Workers General Central

Confédération Indépendante des Syndicats Nationaux
Independent Confederation of National Unions

Congrès des Ouvriers d'Haiti
Haitian Workers Congress

Confédération Indépendante des Travailleurs Haitiens
Independent Confederation of Haitian Workers

Coordination Syndicale Haitienne
Haitian Union Coordination

Confédération des Travailleurs Haitiens
Confederation of Haitian Workers

Fédération des Travailleurs de la Grand'Anse
Grand'Anse Workers Federation

Fédération des Travailleurs Agricoles de Gros-Morne
Federation of Agricultural Workers of Gros-Morne

Fédération des Travailleurs Agricoles de Saint-Michel de l'Atalaye
Federation of Agricultural Workers of Saint-Michel de l'Atalaye

Fédération Nationale des Travailleurs Syndiqués
National Federation of Unionized Workers

Fédération des Ouvriers Syndiqués
Federation of Unionized Workers

Fédération des Travailleurs du Nord
Federation of Northern Workers

Kombit Motosiklis ak Kondiktè d'Ayiti
Haiti Assembly of Motorcyclists and Drivers

Konfederasyon Ouvrye Travayè Ayisyen
Haitian Workers Confederation

Mouvement National des Travailleurs Haitiens
National Movement of Haitian Workers

Mouvman Peyizan Patriyot Ayisyen
Haitian Patrio
tic Peasants Movement

Mouvement Inter-Syndical Indépendante d'Haiti
Haitian Independent Inter-Union Movement

Mouvement des Travailleurs du Cap-Haitien
Cap-Haitien Workers Movement

Organisation Générale des Travailleurs du Nord-Ouest
General Workers Organization of the Northwest

Organisation Générale Indépendante des Travailleurs Haitiens
Independent Organization of Haitian Workers

Organisation des Travailleurs pour l'Avancement de l'Anse-à-Foleur
Workers Organization for the Advancement of l'Anse-à-Foleur

Réseau National des Femmes
National Women's Network

Syndicat des Chauffeurs Coopérants Fédérés
Federated Cooperative Drivers Union

Syndicat des Chauffeurs et Coopérants et Fédérés
Union of Cooperative and Federated Drivers

Syndicat des Chauffeurs et Propriétaires de Transport d'Eau Potable
Union of Owners and
Drivers of Drinking Water Transport

SOS Transport

Union des Travailleurs du District de Limbé
Workers Union of Limbé District

[/quote]All the more grotesque is that the Haiti Progrès' propelled or favored CGT union federation also participated in this tragic farce.

We so far refused to attain this level of argumentation in order to avoid falling into the Sprague-Haiti Progres current's favorite practice of finger-pointing. Singly confronted with this harrowing and unending defamation, however, we simply must put forward what to us has always appeared evident: Batay Ouvriye has obtained, and will continue to obtain support for the manifest reason of its being the only present active union movement in the field. Period.

Bottom Line
For us, these are sums recuperated. We don't care how many figures are involved (agreeing, finally, in this with Kim Ives in his note to Mitchel Cohen on the Haiti Corbett list:
“The point here is NOT the amount of money given”), how much may come to exist and/or how long they may last. We are determined to continue receiving all funds available for working class organization. In fact, the present debate has reinforced us in this resolve. One of our spokespersons, Paul, recently discussed the issue with the “free-lance journalist” Anthony Fenton - who we we're glad to have discovered as an extremely unethical undercover agent, since, when questioned as to the objectives of the interview, he denied it having anything to do with the present debate. To Fenton's surprise, Paul openly stated that yes, firmly armed with our line of working class independence, we are prepared to accept any amount, even if it were a million dollars (!) coming from wherever it may come. (The million dollar figure was “erroneously” given to Fenton by the NED, it seems, instead of the $100,000 “targeted beneficiary” sum).This stand has been unanimously approved at every level of our organization.

Ouvriye has never, nor intends to appeal to the NED, the US State Department or USAID and has NO relation with any of these bodies. In this sense, Sprague's illustrated comment that our organization is “funded by the U.S. Department of State, USAID, and the Solidarity Center” is purposely misleading and deeply dishonest. It's unfortunate (but telling) that we haven't had access to any of these NED “recently declassified” documents, which we haven't able to find on the internet either. So we aren't even notified. But as we said in our statement on solidarity, where supporters obtain their funds is their problem, not ours. In our line of working class independence, we deal directly with those we are directly in contact with, such as the Solidarity Center whose line and practices we have unequivocally confronted in all situations.

And just as Mario of the Batay Ouvriye Solidarity Network pointed out, it's up to providers to decide when and if they're fed up with us. They aren't obtaining any information
from us, nor collaboration. We continue our practices in unswerving conformity with our line, nationally and internationally. We certainly won't alter an inch from this line (and duty) due to the pressure of North-American petty bourgeois knee-jerk reactions either.

We, at Batay Ouvriye, resent being put on the line for accounts that our challengers don't publicly divulge themselves - what sort of arrogance does this reflect, especially in terms of inversing North-South relations?!! But in the end, if this may help to settle the qualms of upset supporters, and also perhaps (though we doubt it) quiet the dogs barking up the wrong tree, we comply. First: it appears Haiti's Batay Ouvriye union may be a “targeted beneficiary” for $100,000 this year, through the Solidarity Center which solicited the NED. In this bulk amount, $20,000 (of which $13,000 remain to be disbursed – there is no $13,000 or $20,000 “further funding”) have been allotted for a Ouanaminthe Work
ers' Center. Presently in discussion is a possible additional $50,000 we've been offered for a potential free trade zone practice in Port-au-Prince; this amount has not yet been signed and we haven't received a cent of it. The Ouanaminthe funds being strictly destined to this locality and the procedures bureaucratic, we hope such central funds may at least help cover Port-au-Prince long outstanding debts and phone bills (our phone line being presently cut off) while also providing for meeting spaces, perhaps a fax, the internet only occasionally paid and so on… but especially worker militant stipends. The free trade zone practice is not one of Ouanaminthe but rather one of national dimension, demanding much coordination and travel.

Since this is the first time we're in such a position, to claim we're “heavily dependent on “foreign ‘democracy promotion'” is just ludicrous. And the affirmation that we we've been recently linked, because of this, on the reactionary “Haiti Democracy Project” website, is a
patent lie that can be proved a simple link click – the site merely references an article on this debate on Indymedia, amongst numerous others articles they chose to blog that week such as Corporate Watch's Lucy Komisar article on the Aristide Telecom lawsuits!

On being deaf, dumb and blind to obvious internal contradictions
Perhaps the obtuseness evident here reflects the noticeable incapacity of some North-American progressive organizations, as yet, to live up to their immense challenge, that of nationally and internationally proposing genuine alternatives to the Republican / Democrat false dichotomy, the AFL-CIO / Change to Win impasse and others... Such Manichaeism, insensible to manifest contradictions in historical and political development, appears to be part and parcel of other strategic and tactical limitations. The frequently dismally low level of this debate on the San Francisco Bay Area Indymedia internet commentary section, for example, reveals a high deg
ree of team back-patting and regurgitation conducive to a rather gloomy outlook on the “left”'s advancement in North America. It's clearly much less difficult to scapegoat others than to lucidly examine and address the clearly progressing contradictions of limited social movements that even we may have participated in.

Defending Aristide
The messiah Aristide's defense consequently ends up as this supposed left's last holding rampart concerning Haitian progressive politics. “Throngs” demonstrated for Aristide – but it is indifferent to our detractors whether these individuals were workers, masses, demonstrating in their own interests or recruited lumpen proletarians, often defending quite opposite interests. In fact, the very debate appears dull for them.

Although we've already said we're determined not to be prey to the provocateurs' lure and remain resolute in avoiding sterile debates where we repeat key positions that seem to fall on deaf ears, we repeat never
theless that: for us, the issue of clearly recognizing populist opportunists sectors reconstructing the bureaucratic bourgeoisie as a reactionary fraction of the Haitian bourgeoisie is crucial. As we already showed, the “legitimately elected” President argument doesn't hold with respect to the preservation of workers' interests (as we said: what of Bush? What of Chirac?). Helping the workers and masses to quite distinctly draw the line between their interests and those of all new bourgeois fractions which may be just as negative as the ‘traditional bourgeoisie' with regard to their medium- and long-term interests, is vital to avoid repeating errors of the past. That the Lavalas current, alongside the bourgeois “opposition”, repeatedly called for Haiti's occupation, that it favored the concentration of capital and the application of neo-liberal policies such as the free trade zones, that it repressed workers' mobilizations… are all extremely important points we need to scrutinize in the interest of the workers
. And our general stand on this debate guides us, as a line, in permanently exposing all the ruling classes' various forms and disguises, in complete working class independence.

In fact, several Haitian progressives are beginning to sincerely question the deep-lying interests of American progressives in defending such frankly exposed “Lavalas family” politics. Certainly, being mistaken by the mainstream media is understandable. But to remain entrenched in such fallacy is beyond us, leading to the question of whether the problem might not rather be related to class nature and composition...

On the presentation of facts
Several progressives have indicated reserve with respect to Batay Ouvriye's gradual presentation of the facts and stands we've taken in the finances debate. Given the importance we have always given their support and the negative effects we realize this situation may have created, we considered it important for us to clarify. But we also want to po
int out two things that may help to explain how this situation came about. First, that this debate has gradually grown into a full-blown discussion of numerous issues, that is being followed by a good number of sincerely concerned progressives. We learned this. At first, we had no knowledge of who was participating and/or following it and in what objective. Secondly, related to this, is the fact that the debate evolved by parts. When it started out, it concerned the question of whether we had obtained funds from the AFL-CIO to participate in the Aristide regime's “destabilization”. We demonstrated quite clearly ( that we hadn't received any funds from the Solidarity Center before Aristide's departure in February 2004 and that only several months later did this organization offer $3,500 to the Free Trade Zone striking SOCOWA workers in response to a public appeal. The debate then came to concern whether a genuine workers' movement could accept any funds from the American gov
ernment or the AFL-CIO's Solidarity Center. We again responded to this with our “Clarification” document (, establishing clearly what we exactly understand to be relations of solidarity and working class independence (“On Solidarity” - and addressing numerous other points as well. At present, since the Dec. 22nd debate in San Francisco, we are solicited to open the books and state precisely what our solidarity funding is, has been and may be. Once again, we've fully complied, in the interest of unity and solidarity, and with respect for the struggles of the workers and popular masses in Haiti and internationally.


Michel Nau_

Post by Michel Nau_ » Tue Jan 10, 2006 6:04 pm

Min kou manman!!!
Gade konbiyen organizasiyon de travayer ki genyen nan youn peyi kote genyen apepre 90 % moun nan chomaj!!!
Tout konpayi sa yo:

Ki sa moun sa yo jan fe pou kreye travay nan peyi d'Ayiti???
Yo chita la ap tan moun seririye kreye travay pou yo memm vin'n anmerde patron ak travaye, kreye iniyon, syndika, e answit kreye deziniyon e kraze biziniss.

Tout moun pedi ni sak, ni krab.

Kreye travay dabor, ans'wit, na chita pale e nogosiye condition e amelorasiyon vi sosiyal e ekonomik travaye Ayisiyen yo.

Se sak fe blan pap jan pran nou o seriye paske nou toujou fe bagay yo a lanve.!!!

Jaf ekri:[quote] Michel w
ap fè ti dife vole epi ou abiye an ponpye. [/quote]
Jaf, w we lwen papa!!
Dife sa se blan yo ki mete'l paske yo konnin ke La jan se pwazon kap mete fre ak se do za do!! E li kite nou ap dechire youn ak lot e mete plis gazolinn nan dife a.

Sak pa di nou ke se yo ki intensiyonelman limin dife sa nan Washington jou presentasiyon Jeff la.

Sete youn kou biyen monte e voye youn mesaj bay e pou diskredite organizasiyon kap travay sou terin an e kap pran la jan e pa fe sa blan di yo pou yo fe.

Kidonk kom dabitid, yo chazi youn fre de komba pou fe travay la pou yo, kraze youn lot fre, e kreye zizani sa.

Sa ke yo pa di nou e petet ke nou pa konnin, blan petet bay lajan des 2 kote.
Yo abituye fe sa deja.
Yo toujou di ke sa nou pa konnin pi gwan pase nou.

Nou tout tombe anko nan piege blan an.

Se sak fe mwen di nou pou nou konsantre nou sou problem peyi d'Ayiti.
Iraq, Afganistan e lot zafe global e int
ernasiyonal sa yo pa problem pa nou.
Biyen ke nou okouran de yo, min sa pa problem pa nou sa.

An nou fe aliyans avek ti organizasiyon grassroot e kominoter kap construí lekol, lopital, bay dlo ak manje e ki gen koneksiyon direk avek pep la.

Mwen we ak 2 je'mn sa moun sa yo kap fe.
Yo viv e domi nan provins avek pep la. Yo fe jefo pou pale kreyol e konpran e viv mize pep la.
Se moun sa yo pou nou ede e bay donasiyon nou. Kwemm si w vle, se pap youn kob pedi. Nou kap jwen yo sou internet la.

Pale avek yo e poze yo anpil kestiyon sou problem peyi d'Ayiti e ki jan nou kap patisipe e ede pep la.
Politik pa telman interese yo.
Youn lot ti bagay pilot ke nou kap fe se Ann Pale ki kap kreye prop organizasiyon pa li e kole koli avek 2 e 3 organizasiyon sa yo ki pa direkteman nan apolitik.

Gwo mesiye sa yo ki nan U.K. e US kap batay pou move la jan govenman etranje pa jammin fe anyen directeman pou developman pep la. Yo pa memm sou terin an egsepte 2 e 3 ladan yo, apre
sa tout lot yo se teory e pale bel kondisiyon sosiyal e utopik mete la pou epate moun egare, e fanatize pou youn koz ke yo pa konnin e ke yo pa viv. Yo pa jan fe anyen de konkre, youn bagay ki vizib ke moun kap we. Se pale bel bagay mete la.
Memm youn latrin'n yo pa construí.

Se politik, politik,....pale anpil mete la like a circus of clowns going from town to town. Sometimes, they put themselves in a position to be part of our problems instead of being part of our solutions.

Jiska prezan, Yvon Neptune, Pe Jean Juste, So Ann e tout lot prizoniye yo anba kad'na e yo voye kle a jete.

Si mesiye aktivis sa yo te kontiniye fe bon jan presiyon e jwe jwet la biyen kom sa dwa tet, prizoniye sa yo ta lage deja.

Jaf ekri : [quote]Pou ki òganizasyon w ap travay oumenm ?[/quote] Si mwen di w, w pap vle kwemm! Min map di w kan memm.
Mwen se youn simp sitwayen kap travay pou biyennet pep Ayisiyen e pou limanite.
Mwen pa youn neg ki
remin fe eskandal ni pale fo.

Kenbe la Jaf e pa kite mesiye international sa yo vire loloj w, ni fe w pedi kompa w.

Konsantre w sou Ayiti pou li pa mouri:)



Post by Gelin_ » Wed Jan 11, 2006 10:24 am

[quote]Min kou manman!!! Gade konbiyen organizasiyon de travayer ki genyen nan youn peyi kote genyen apepre 90 % moun nan chomaj!!![/quote]
Sanble li pi fasil pou kreye òganizasyon travayè pase pou kreye travay pou chomè ka tounen travayè. Amwenske ke òganizasyon sa yo se djòb menm ke yo ye pou kont pa yo. Granmoun lontan toujou di ke si w manje lajan channgo, fòk ou peye channgo.


Michel Nau_

Post by Michel Nau_ » Wed Jan 11, 2006 2:28 pm

Apre sa mwen fin'n di sou mesiye iniyon, komite,foudasiyon, organizasiyon ouvriye, e travaye'r Ayisiyen Bidon e inegsistan sa yo ki konpran'n ke se Jimmy Hoffa ke yo ye, fok mwen rale zorey klas Patrona e klas Leta tou.

Se premiye fwa ke mwen we youn patrona ki organize youn grev kont prop tet li.
They stick it to themselves. Yo fe youn arakiri, youn suyisid ekonomik tanpore'r.
Yo fe li non pa pou reklame ameliorasiyon e kondisiyon travaye'r yo min pou mande sekou a Leta, la police e MINUSTAH pou protégé yo kont kidnapping e touyaj kap fet nan peyi a san ke yo pa rand yo kont ke gen yon korelasiyon direk ant patrona e ouvriye..

Kidonk sa yo vle vreman se geyen sekirite total capital a larond bade 365/52/7/24.
Si la Police ak MINUSTAH pa gen grenn pou metrize pep la e biyen yo mande pou .
Police ak MINUSTAH kanp
e devan biziniss yo 24/24.
Police ak MINUSTAH kanpe devan pot kay yo 24/24
Police ak MINUSTAH kanpe devan lekol pitit yo24/24.
Police ak MINUSTAH kanpe devan plaj lanme e diskotek pou yo danse 24/24.

Kidonk milliard dola sekirite sa kap fet nan peyi d'Ayiti se pou yo selman ke li ye??
E pitit Dessalines ak Petion yo, yo pap jwen sekirite tou??

Sekirite styl safari sa kote mesiye MINUSTAH ak la Police ap grennin jen gason Ayisiyen a te kankou zannimo nan la jungle pap rezoud problem sekirite nan peyi d'Ayiti.
Fok ginyen youn dialog sinse'r e onet permanan (pa selman nan period de criz , min permanan) ant patrona e klas defavorize yo e sitou partisipasiyon ekitab e inpasiyal de Leta nan mitan koze sosiyete a.
Fok afe moun pa sa fimi paske tout moun se moun.

Jan pawol la di : si nap anpeche yo manje, yap anpeche nou KK e la police ak la MINUSTAH pap gen fos ase pou yo kontinuye jwe rol “laxativ” pou klas posedant la.
asiyon fose e stratejik sa ke pep la mete sou yo a sanle pete fiyel yo.

This is very deep thinking; this is a do or dies situation and it should not have to be this way.
Nou pa nan peyi a se vre min, just imaging the picture!!

Mwen ta soyete ke prochin gouvenman kap vini an, si lap vini tout bon vre, ramase karakte li e fe fas ak responsabilite li devan pep la e devan Leternel etan ke dirijan.



Post by Gelin_ » Wed Jan 11, 2006 3:21 pm

[quote]...Mwen ta soyete ke prochin gouvenman kap vini an, si lap vini tout bon vre, ramase karakte li e fe fas ak responsabilite li devan pep la e devan Leternel etan ke dirijan.[/quote]
Si lap vini tout bon vre...? Ou pa janm konnen. Li ka deja la deja wi....

Bon, Michel, apa ou vle foure Leternel nan kesyon an? Mesye sa yo pa pè Leternel paske yo deja mete l nan pòch dèyè yo. Bondye pat janm te met madichon sou do yo, e se sa k lakoz zafè yo ap byen mache konsa a. Bondye beni yo, e bondye pa yo a se lajan yo anmenmtan.


Michel Nau_

Post by Michel Nau_ » Thu Jan 12, 2006 12:46 pm

Gelin ekri : [quote]Bon, Michel, apa ou vle foure Leternel nan kesyon an? [/quote]
Leternel e GwanMet la!! Se 2 mo sa yo ke pep Ayisiyen itilize nan kilti nou le nou an danje tout bon vre.
Kel ke swa w se fran mason, evanjelist, catolik, voudouyizan, ou biyen lougarou, le yap mouri, se Leternel e GwanMet la ke yo rele.

Mwen we avek 2 je'm gwo zotobre e gwo bandi ki tap simin la tere, pandan ke yap agonize e mouri, premie bagay ki sot nan bouch yo se Leternel e GwanMet la.

"Leternel est Grand"
Li tou patou Gelin! Get use to it!


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Post by admin » Thu Jan 12, 2006 1:17 pm

You're asking Gelin to get used to it??????????

Michel Nau_

Post by Michel Nau_ » Thu Jan 12, 2006 1:33 pm

I am just kidding!!

I know Gelin is a man of God.

Kite'm defoule' m youn ti gout mon fre!!

Tansiyon an two di nan Washington, DC se jou si.

Si mwen di w , w pap vle kwen'n.



Post by Gelin_ » Fri Jan 13, 2006 9:38 am

Apre m fin li pawòl Michel yo, m te gentan ap touse pounyèt mwen pou m al atake....:-)

Koze serye: li bon lè yon moun gen lafwa nan bondye. sa ki pa bon an se lè yo mete chay sou do bondye, on fason pou yo menm yo ka pa fè devwa yo.


Michel Nau_

Post by Michel Nau_ » Sat Jan 14, 2006 8:56 pm

Gelin ekri:[quote]Koze serye: li bon lè yon moun gen lafwa nan bondye. sa ki pa bon an se lè yo mete chay sou do bondye, on fason pou yo menm yo ka pa fè devwa yo.[/quote]
Mwen pa jamb mande Bondiye pote chaj pou mwen!
Le map priye mwen toujou remesiye Bondiye pou sal bonyen e pou 'm pataje'l avek sak pa genyen.
Le 'l ap priye Bondiye mwen di'l : Si w gen chaj pou mwen » bring them on » selman ba'm fos ak kouraj pou mwen ranpli responsabilite'm san grate tet e san la perez. Mwen pa jamb di li pou'l retire chaj la sou zepol mwen e mete'l sou do youn lot fre.
Si Bondiye ban'n nou chaj se paske li konnin ke nou kap pote'l.

Mwen te gen chans grandi kom ti vagabon nan Petion-Ville anba souta'n pe Arthur Volel nan St Jean Bosco, pe St Vil e monsiniye Garnier nan College St Pierre.
Mwen konsidere tet mwen kom youn neg ki chanse.
Si'm la ko
te ke'm ye la se gras a pe sa yo e anpil lot moun e sitou a Leternel.

Mesi Gelin de's ke w pataje ti moman relijies sa ave'm.


Leonel JB

Post by Leonel JB » Sun Jan 15, 2006 2:26 am

Mesye, fi fE, nou sOti pou nou Bondyeifye topik ki tap diskite a.
Nou kOmanse vire lOlOj mwen. Mwen pa fouti sonje sak tap diskite.

Stay focus!

I believe the Religious thread is somewhere else!

Banm on chans pou m ka patisipe tou.

Ann rete nan Oganizasyon travayE ki tap diskite a.

MEsi davans, vye frE m yo.

God only bless America!!!!


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