Questions for Mr. Fenton and Mr. Elie

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Isabelle_

Questions for Mr. Fenton and Mr. Elie

Post by Isabelle_ » Tue Oct 19, 2004 12:49 pm

Mr. Fenton:

Could you please provide the supporting documentation for the following statement that was inserted in your questions to Mr. Elie:
[quote]They and a 'post-coup' organization called PROMOBANK [made up of several former coup-financiers] [/quote]

In addition, why has Mr. Elie not answered with facts and details to support your points in this question?

What does post-coup organization mean? In my last search on google Promobank was listed as a Haitian bank. Did it change status? Could you please provide the readers with the legal documents and filings that classify the Bank as a "post-coup organization" or whatever that expression means?

If anyone else can post the documentation, including Jaf or anyone who has the documents/references [do not post the article by Mr. Fenton on that very topic], it would really be helpful for the readers of these in
terviews to put the exchanges in the right context.

IsabelleF

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Post by admin » Tue Oct 19, 2004 2:49 pm

Unfortunately, Isabelle, Mr. Fenton who, I believe, is a Canadian journalist, is not on this list. If someone can entice him to come, fine. However, I want to point out that the reason I highlighted this interview was to discuss Patrick Elie's views, not Mr. Fenton's.

As for the charge that Mr. Fenton made with respect to PROMOBANK being <quote> a 'post-coup' organization made up of several former coup-financiers <unquote>, I believe that I have seen that charge challenged by a certain Marina on the Corbett List, and Mr. Fenton either did not notice or did not bother to respond. In addition, on this very forum, I believe that Henri Deschamps, the CEO of PROMOBANK (and certainly a man whom I respect, and we have considered each other personal friends for the past several years) did also challenge a similar notion with respect to PromoCapital (not to be confused with Promobank).

Quite frankly, I am not sure I understand the charge. I do think that it would be untruthful and plain dishonest to pretend that not a single member founder or member director of PromoBank or PromoCapital has ever been associated with either the 1991 coup d'état against President Aristide nor the recent one that resulted in the unconstitutional (and in my point of view, ill-advised, illegal, and criminal) removal of same President from power on February 29, 2004. Anybody who reads about Haitian politics must have seen the undisguised pro-coup declarations or post-coup celebratory remarks of this member or that member, this investor or that investor, of some PROMOBANK venture. I am certainly not going to entertain anyone on this forum with an inventory of such declarations, because quite frankly, I don't have the time for such an imbecilistic exercise. I am not the one making the charges. I am not the one prosecuting anyone. [And we know damn well that there are real, lawless prosecutions going on in Haiti, as we speak!] If someone wants to know my attitude or frame of mind with respect to coups d'état in Haiti, they just have to ask and they will find my answer in every editorial or opinion I have ever written on the subject, right here on the pages of Windows on Haiti. I do not hide my hand. However, to me the question raised here (which is not the issue that we need to debate, only a deplorable distraction) is whether PROMOBANK, AS AN INSTITUTION, or ANY OF ITS VENTURES, such as PROMOCAPITAL, has financed a coup d'etat. I am not aware of such, and if I were, I would be the first to denounce that institution.

But I do not believe in witch hunts, directed in one direction or another. Witch hunts are the bane of Haiti's existence. And I do believe from the evidence of multiple reports, news items and testimonies over the last seven months, that there is a SEVERE REPRESSION of a political movement going on in Haiti at this moment, and I certainly would like to know any poster's point of view about that.

Please, let's not hide our hands, whether we happen to have a preference for Jean-Bertand Aristide or a visceral dislike of the man.

Whether you are Lavalas or anti-Lavalas, are YOU, the reader, in favor of political witch hunts? Are you in favor of hanging people because they have different political preferences or because they may associate with others which you do not like???

If so, you are no friend of mine. And I believe that you are not part of the solution. And if you are not part of the solution, you are definitely part of the problem.

If Mr. Fenton wants to become a member of the list and respond, he is most welcome -- though, I repeat, the discussion is not about him nor his viewpoints. I would most certainly be very pleased to see Patrick Elie come and defend his views, as that is the line of discussion I am trying to promote here.

Thank you.

Post by » Wed Oct 20, 2004 2:59 am

Evidently I'm not the only one overlooking things, as I have been on the [Guy's] list for several weeks, albeit without having posted until now.

In reading the first portion of Guy's last post [having only been alerted to the previous posts of Jaf and IsabelleF], I was going to refrain from posting the following. But now I'll post it anyway, because I think it speaks toward some of the things raised by Guy, and certainly toward the previous posts. I do not intend to distract and most assuredly agree that Patrick's views are the important ones here, but I was asked to qualify some context so I will attempt to do so.

[...]

IsabelleF is right about the use of the term “PROMOBANK,” and Jaf correctly puts this into its proper context. I did mean PromoCapital, though I don't really see the difference in the broader framework, as explored below. As for this issue within the context of my interview with Patrick Elie, I thought
he addressed the question rather adequately when he stated “this type of so-called development is only going to benefit a small fraction of the Haitian elite who will keep selling the Haitian workforce cheaply.” Had I spent more time on the presentation part of the interview, I would have included other “documents/references” for the reader. I suppose to some extent I was presuming Znet readers to be familiar with the general workings of imperialism, neoliberalism, etc.

By ‘post-coup' organization I mean this organization presented itself by way of invading my e-mail inbox after the coup, on March 19th, less than three weeks after the coup, and seven days after what I later learned from eyewitnesses and people in the community, was the Bel Air massacre. My earliest impression, and this has since been confirmed by virtue of a scarcity of counterexamples, was that PROMOCAPITAL was attempting to project itself as somehow “neutral,” which I perceive to be a logical impossibility under the circumstances.

Maybe Henri Deschamps is not being disingenuous when he defends his friends that are on the list and breaks down their makeup for everyone with such good humour. But Mr. Deschamps himself admits that he lacks a political consciousness, that his area of expertise is confined to economics and, evidently, some form of statistical analysis. I would contend that on this basis alone his findings merit serious scrutiny, again, given the actual, prevailing cirumstances of widespread persecution like that mentioned on Flashpoints radio tonight:

"Pina: Cite Soleil is also a place where there have been terrible things that are going unreported. There are, the photos should be coming back to me again to me tomorrow, but there are reports of 45 bodies that were killed over the last week, that were found in a common dumping place on the outskirts of Cite Soleil. There was a report of several homes that are smelling of dead corpses, rotting corpses, where people are actually afraid to go in and check.. Cite Soleil has been ravaged by this.."

That none of the people who were explicitly mentioned in my article have publicly [as far as I am aware] denounced the severe persecution that has been and continues to be meted out against Haitian citizens [with extensive irrefutable evidence explicitly proving this], while at the same time they remain committed "to creat an investment infrastructure with global horizons and limitless potential to contribute to the future welfare of our community in Haiti and in America," this can only lead me to conclude that they are complicit in this persecution, adding that, given the role that my own government has played in these heinous crimes against humanity, I would also be complicit were I to remain silent.

Elites, capitalists, imperialists, however we wish to term them, are fundamentally the same everywhere. This "collateral damage" in Haiti can be written off as "externalities." The "technocrat" Latortue can muse over how 25,000 "bandits" need to be pacified. I'm very concerned that my government will continue to support this pacification through to its logical consequence, because they have supported previous pacification in Vietnam, are supporting it in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Palestine, they supported it in Chile in 1973, and they were about the only country in the hemisphere to support [largely through silence] the unilateral invasion of the Dominican Republic in 1965 [and this hardly exhausts the list, on which we could include complicity in genocide in East Timor, an illegal and heinous 78-day bombing campaign of Kosovo, and others…] Interestingly, it was Paul Martin, Sr., the father of Canada's current Prime Minister, Paul Martin, Jr., who acted as the front-person in providing tacit support for the 22,000 strong US invasion of the DR, strafing some 1,500
civilians, with Dominican pilots flying American planes.

This was in response to the pro-constitutionalist call for the restoration of their democratically-elected leader Juan Bosch, who had been overthrown by a CIA and Pentagon assisted coup in 1963, circumstances with which I'm sure readers of this list are familiar. Canada supported this pacification just like they are supporting the pacification that is going on today in Haiti. [See: william Blum's "Killing Hope" and "Marines in Santo Domingo" by Victor Perlo on the 1965 invasion.]

If Isabelle wants to imply that Promocapital, who obviously have extensive resources and with these resources could obviously have their voices heard in many circles were they to loudly denounce the actions that are being perpetrated against the Haitan people today, that they are not somehow culpable in these crimes, then she can go ahead and do so, I'm in no position to judge her.

Certainly, if the “council of sages” had chosen Promocapital partner Axan Abellard to be the interim Prime Minister rather than Latortue, things might be markedly different today. I rather doubt that he was ever considered though, especially after reading the leaking of Latortue and Abraham's names on February 28 [Sun Sentinel, was it?] as “potential” fill-ins. Nevertheless, I'd sure like to think that Abellard was rejected for the PM position because of his staunch opposition to the foreign occupation of his country. If this were true, surely by now we would have heard something.

I'd also like to think that former U.S. based water-bottling giant Gilbert Bigio did not at any point use his connections to the Bush family so as to ensure that his considerable investments would be safe in Haiti.

In the documentary film “The Corporation,” Noam Chomsky points out that slaveholders used to be considered nice, kind people in their communities, hard-working, good family men, etc, even though in their institutional role as slave-owners they were monsters. This analogy is drawn out in considerable detail by the film's producers, who conclude that the corporate institution is clinically diagnosable as psychopathic. And yet the people working within these institutions cannot recognize that while they are perfectly “normal” they perform, through their role in the institution, insane, genocidal, violent, exploitative, polluting, destructive acts. Most notably, when confronted by these realities, most of these people recoil into a ball of denial, justification, deflection, and the like.

References:

*the Office of Foreign Assets Control Listing of Specially Designated Nationals
and Blocked Entities since December 7, 1993
http://www.treas.gov/offices/enforcemen ... dnew94.txt

Several names on this list match with those of the PromoCapital partners. Obviously at this point the documentation has not yet emerged to concretely implicate these individuals in financing the 2004 coup, but I never suggested that there was definitive proof, just serious questions to be raised given history and what is known publicly about some of these people, but most importantly, what is known about imperialism and international terrorism, past and present.

*I stand behind my feeling that “I expect that further investigation will yield some considerable insight into the "modus operandi" of the planning and execution of the recent coup.” On this, I would refer interested parties to the International Cooperative Framework [emerging from the July "donor's conference" where it is put forth that all of the industries that Aristide refused to privatize will now likely be privatized with haste. It states that they anticipate 20,000 police officers to make up the PNH. It also stated that disaster relief would be back in place by September, mind you...amongst many other revealing "plans" for Haiti by these imperialist institutions. The full document is downloadable here: .

*Also, since it was admitted by Democratic Convergence representative in the DR, Paul Arcelin [March 9th, Montreal Gazette], that he had been conspiring with Guy Philippe to overthrow Aristide for at least 2 years, logically, the PromoCapital list should be examined by official investigators as toward potential accomplices or financiers of the nefarious activities that were planned in the DR under spurious auspices, hidden behind the facade of a “bipartisan” Democratic Convergence. See: www.iacenter.org, or contact them for details of their delegation to the DR's findings on coup-plotting in the DR, 2000-2004.

Sincerely,

Anthony Fenton

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