On Oct. 10 interim Haitian prime minister Gerard Latortue announced that the first round of this year's presidential and legislative elections will be rescheduled from Nov. 20 to a date several weeks later, probably the second week of December. "We've had problems," he said. "We've accumulated sizeable delays in implementing the logistics and in finalizing the list of candidates." Latortue insisted that the postponement won't prevent the next president from taking office on Feb. 7, as required by the Constitution. (Haiti en Marche, Miami, Oct. 12 from AFP)
US immigration judge William L. Abbott issued a written ruling on Sept. 26 in El Paso, TX, that the Convention Against Torture (CAT) bars the US from deporting Cuban-born right-winger Luis Posada Carriles to Venezuela. Abbott accepted the contention by Posada's legal team that he might be tortured in Venezuela, where he is a naturalized citizen. Abbott also ruled out Cuba as a destination for Posada but didn't rule out deportation to a third country.
On Sept. 26 Puerto Rican governor Anibal Acevedo Vila told reporters that US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) director Robert Mueller had ordered an inquiry into the fatal Sept. 23 shooting of nationalist leader Filiberto Ojeda Rios by FBI agents in the western town of Homigueros. The announcement came as questions grew about how and why Ojeda Rios died when FBI agents assaulted the farmhouse where he was living, ostensibly to arrest him for his role in a 1983 robbery of a Wells Fargo depot in Connecticut.
Violence continues to escalate in Haiti, with the world paying very little note. In a grim irony, the latest massacre—carried out with the complicity of police forces—took place at a football match organized to promote peace. UN "peacekeeping" forces are also implicated in recent attacks on civilians. Amidst the bloodshed, peasants rallied last week, protesting that a "neoliberal" economic model is being imposed that will further entrench the majority in poverty.
Escalating violence continues to make life unlivable in Haiti, with police forces and foreign "peacekeepers" contributing to the bloodshed--while those who flee to the neighboring Dominican Republic face racist attacks and mass deportations. From Weekly News Update on the Americas, Aug. 21:
At least 18 opponents of the Cuban government were detained in connection with four small protests on or near Havana's waterfront on July 13. Several hundred government supporters, including construction workers on a job at the nearby Hermanos Ameijeiras hospital, attacked the protesters, who numbered a few dozen at most; several protesters were reportedly injured. Dissident sources say the government organized the counter-demonstrators and transported them in official vehicles. The protests commemorated an incident on July 13, 1994, in which 41 people died as they tried to flee Cuba in a stolen tugboat; dissidents say three pursuing government boats purposely rammed and sank the tugboat, while the government says the boats collided accidentally. (La Jornada, Mexico, July 14, 15; AFP, July 13, 14)
The interim Haitian government released right-wing paramilitary leader Louis Jodel Chamblain from jail on Aug. 11. Chamblain, a leader in an armed rebellion that ended when President Jean-Bertrand Aristide was ousted in February 2004, had been imprisoned since April 2004 because of his conviction of several crimes committed under military rule in the early 1990s. An Aug. 17, 2004 retrial cleared Chamblain of charges in the 1993 murder of business leader Antoine Izmery, and on May 6, 2005 the Supreme Court overturned his conviction in the 1994 massacre in the Raboteau neighborhood of Gonaives. He remains convicted of the 1994 murder of a priest, Jean-Marie Vincent.