Members of Parliament,
Dear Foreign Minister Marc Garneau,
On Sunday Haitians will commemorate 35 years since a popular uprising ousted the brutal 3-decade long Duvalier dictatorship. Unfortunately, however, February 7 portends the revival of Duvalierism. A neo-Duvalierist president who should be leaving office is extending his term against the wishes of most Haitians and constitutional experts.
In his time in office President Jovenel Moïse has restored many aspects of the Papa Doc and Baby Doc Duvalier regime, criminalizing protests as “terrorism” and instigating a gang alliance to instill fear in the slums. Soon after parliament was disbanded because he failed to hold elections, Moïse picked individuals to rewrite the constitution in violation of the law. In November Moïse decreed the creation of a new intelligence agency with anonymous officers empowered to infiltrate and arrest anybody engaged in ‘subversive’ acts or threatening ‘state security’. The new agency may become analogous to the Duvalier dictatorship’s infamous Ton Ton Macoutes.
Ottawa has barely criticized any of these measures all the while offering significant financial and diplomatic support to Moïse. Canada has funded and trained a police force that has violently repressed anti-Moïse protests.
In Fall 2019 David Suzuki, Maude Barlow, Roger Waters, Amir Khadir, Will Prosper, George Eliot Clark, Yann Martel, Linda McQuaig and 100 others signed an open letter calling on “the Canadian government to stop backing a corrupt, repressive and illegitimate Haitian president.”
The Federal government needs to heed that call and stop supporting the revival of Duvalierism in Haiti.
Vice President Global Peace Alliance