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From: Jeb Sprague <jebsprague@mac.com>

To: “revolisyonè vre”  AKA Daniel Simidor

Your assumption that the International Confederation of Free Trade
Unions (ICFTU) supported "workers as opposed to politicians" is
patently false.  The ICFTU with the help of ORIT, ILO, and the AFL-
CIO was instrumental in founding & maintaining the CSH, a labor
central utilized to co-opt Haitian labor leaders towards the platform
of the Group 184, whose activities have been denounced by multiple
trade unionists across the political spectrum in Haiti.   CSH leaders
worked closely with the politicians of the Group of 184.  As Kim
Scipes and other labor academics point out the ICFTU/ILO/ORIT/AFL-CIO
have a long and deeply involved shady past.  Today they "support"
nearly exclusively trade unionists organizing in the private sector
while turning a blind eye towards persecution against public sector
workers in countries undergoing neo-liberal austerity “reforms”.

When trade unionists, who supported the democratically elected
Haitian government were persecuted by armed paramilitaries and
subsequently laid off by the Latortue government (some being jailed
and placed on arbitrary police wanted lists) the ICFTU and these
other "official" labor institutions turned a blind eye, failing to
provide even a single investigation (thus the title of my LABOR NOTES
article).  You assume, without any verifiable evidence, that this
massive lay off and campaign of persecution against public sector
workers was a house cleaning operation, clearing out the old network
of patronage.   Numerous journalists and human rights reports now
document the persecution of REAL workers, from hard working families
with wifes, husbands, children.  Teleco, the only institution you
mention, was not the only public sector agency to undergo the loss of
employees.  Numerous other public sectors. I.E.: Port, Garbage
collection, Health Ministry, Security forces, Tax services, etc.
Yes, obviously, corruption was present and government in a country as
poor as Haiti serves as a valuable career path but this does not
absolve the Latortue government from its clear persecution of
worker's who supported the overthrown government.  Also, I did not
mention this in my article, but the layoffs also worsened the ability
of the Haitian state to provide the few support services that it had
provided previously.  This acknowledges the fact that these fired
workers provided REAL services.

The IMF agrees. The IMF pushing for privatizations throughout the 3
years of the second Aristide Administration (and long before that),
disengaged from Haiti upon the failure of the Aristide government to
negotiate privatizations in 2001 and 2002.  Anoop Singh, Director of
the Western Hemisphere Department at the International Monetary
Fund,  on July 20, 2004 after praising the Latortue government for
its "commitment to macroeconomic stability" states "However, recent
expenditure cuts have been very ambitious and have adversely affected
the ability of the authorities to deliver basic public services."

So not only were thousands of workers laid off but the IMF even
admits this "commitment to macroeconomic stability" harmed the
ability of the government to provide the meager services that been
provided previously.  Regretfully many other workers around the world
have experienced the IMF's commitment to "macroeconomic stability".
This is nothing new.  I am currently gathering information and a full
analysis of all the jobs that were in fact cut in this "ambitious"
plan by the Latortue government supported by the IMF, World Bank, and
Inter American Development Bank.  For an interesting analyisis on the
World Bank (which supports the IMF model) read Susan George's "Faith
and Credit".  In it she writes, "Forty years of development, which we
would define as the programmed and violent change through outside
intervention in vulnerable and permeable societies, has marginalized
people on a scale previously unheard of, while simultaneously
undermining their political capacity to fight back."

This is not a "highly imaginative tapestry of omissions,
misinformation and outright lies" as you state (This statement by the
way matches up closely, word for word, to a statement D.Simidor made
in  March of 2006).  The laid off workers interviewed by numerous
journalists and human rights delegations attest to this untold story
of biased labor "solidarity" and the "ambitious" plans of the
Latortue government.  An untold story, which the ICFTU, AFL-CIO,
ORIT, and ILO have never cared to investigate. Furthermore the quote
you attack me for “Telecommunications D’Haiti (TELECO), the 90%
government owned public telephone company, had announced plans to lay
off 2,000 workers, half of its workforce,”  was a quote I sited from
the New York Times.

I am not seaking to hide the story of Jacqueline Charles and Lucy
Komisar, as you argue, which have both been WELL publicized.  But
neither of which discuss the topic of my article: persecution against
public sector workers and support for pro-coup labor.  Also I am
hesitant to rely on Komisar "editorial consultant" contracted by the
Haiti Democracy Project for the sole source on this story. Once again
I do not deny that corruption may or may not have occurred but this
does not overshadow the persecution and violence leveled against
thousands upon thousands of Haitian public sector workers.

As for Guacimal,  I was stunned by the reaction of the Solidarity
Center official who claimed that Aristide flew over shooting at
workers, another claim made without verifiable evidence;  Much like
the Reporters Without Borders claim that Aristide "ordered" the
murder of journalists,  I can find no evidence backing up these
claims.  These murders were obviously atrocious events.

You make another strange claim against my article stating it "is also
interesting as he fails to come up with a single human rights group
that was a member of the Group of 184."  Once again you are making
sideswipes at a topic, which my article is not discussing but once
again you are wrong.  My article was not an investigative piece on
the organizations making up the Group 184 and I don't think LABOR
NOTES would want to print the 100 pages that a study of that
magnitude would require.  But you can see <http://
www.haitisupport.gn.apc.org/184%20EC.htm> , which discusses European
Union funding for M. Rosny Desroches and the Fondation Nouvelle
Haiti.  It states, "Rosny Desroches is the spokesperson for the
Initiative de la Societe Civile. The Fondation Nouvelle Haiti (FNH)
is a member of the Initiative de la Societe Civile group...It is
known that Rosny Desroches is head of the Fondation Haitienne de
l'Enseignement Prive (FONHEP), and that the FNH is run by M. Andre
Apaid Jnr. Both FONHEP and FNH are members of the ISC. All members of
the ISC are also members of the Group of 184. Indeed, Andre Apaid
Jnr. is the Group of 184's main spokesperson."  This provides just
one of the many connections which can be irrefutably shown.

Lastly, you will see in my LABOR NOTES article that I write: "While
labor conditions remained extremely poor and corruption persisted, as
foreign backed destabilization plunged Haiti’s economy, "  and "For
years the same rebels had been running violent raids, into Haiti
killing police, government officials, and civilians alike – sparking
violence and reprisals."  I do not deny that violent reprisals took
place, not only from some opposition forces but also from some
government supporters.  I also do not deny that corruption, to what
extent it is not certain, occurred under the Aristide government (as
it did under the Latortue government) but I believe that the foreign
and elite role in destabilizing popular democracy in Haiti has long
been obfuscated for a number of reasons, which maybe you can speak on.

More later.


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