Forum Haiti : Des Idées et des Débats sur l'Avenir d'Haiti
Forum Haiti : Des Idées et des Débats sur l'Avenir d'Haiti
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 The infamous "Sprague fiasco" on Haiti

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MessageSujet: The infamous "Sprague fiasco" on Haiti   The infamous "Sprague fiasco" on Haiti EmptyVen 25 Jan 2013 - 3:57

From: daniel simidor <danielsimidor@yahoo.com>

http://www.grassrootshaiti.org/News/HaitianLaborGroup.html Haitian Labor
Group
Confronts US Lavalas Backers


NEW YORK, Nov. 11 2005
Long-standing differences in the Haitian left began to emerge as an
issue among US progressives this fall as the well-known Haitian labor
organizing group Batay Ouvriye ("Workers' Struggle") responded to what it
called a "slander" from US supporters of the Lavalas movement of deposed
Haitian president Jean-Bertrand Aristide.

During an "International Tribunal on Haiti" in Washington, DC on
the weekend of Sept. 23, a panelist charged that Batay Ouvriye had been funded
by the US Agency for International Development (USAID) as part of a
program for "creating a leftist opposition" in Haiti in the months
leading up to Aristide's overthrow in February 2004. The money came
through the AFL-CIO's Solidarity Center and was part of a $3 million
package for subverting the Haitian government, according to Jeb
Sprague, an independent journalist and a graduate student at
California State University at Long Beach. Batay Ouvriye was "working
with co-conspirators overthrowing a democratically elected government," Sprague said.


The tribunal was organized by several large left and solidarity
groups, including International ANSWER, the International Action Center and
the Latin America Solidarity Coalition. Sprague's presentation
was aired in New York on Sept. 28 on WBAI-FM's popular morning
program, "Wakeup Call."

Batay Ouvriye responded on Oct 1 [see below]. The group ridiculed
the idea that it had been paid to be part of "an unholy alliance fabricated
by the State Department." In fact, the statement said, Batay
Ouvriye has a long, very public record of opposition to "the
Lavalas leaders, who we certainly exposed to be reactionaries,
swindlers, complete frauds, anti-popular and fundamentally anti-
worker." Sprague--who claimed to have conducted 30 interviews in
his research--"never once contacted our organization for
information," Batay Ouvriye charged.


Batay Ouvriye has worked with a number of international solidarity groups over the years, including the National Labor Committee and the Campaign for Labor Rights. Among its best-known campaigns were unionization drives at Grand Marnier and
Cointreau plantations in northern Haitian and the recent unionization of a Dominican-owned factory
in a "free trade zone" by the Dominican border in Ouanaminthe.
During the Ouanaminthe struggle Batay Ouvriye received $3,500
from the AFL-CIO Solidarity Center, in response to public appeals
for funds to help fired workers. This was apparently the funding Sprague
was referring to.


Stressing that it focuses on grassroots struggles "against the
bourgeoisie concretely in the factories, sweatshops, plantations," Batay Ouvriye asked why the International Tribunal had chosen to target it rather than a number of much less militant
Haitian unions that "closely resemble...the pro-imperialist and pro-bourgeois Confederation of Venezuelan Labor (CTV)," a major force in the 2002 US-backed effort to overthrow
Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez.

Batay Ouvriye noted that two of its supporters were killed in northern Haiti in May 2002 by goons led by a local Lavalas
mayor. Aristide's government responded to the anti-union violence by arresting several Batay Ouvriye organizers and two journalists; some were held in the National Penitentiary until December 2002, when they were released following an international campaign to press the Lavalas government for their release.


The controversy between Batay Ouvriye and US supporters of Lavalas comes at a time when many US progressives are beginning to question the picture of the Haitian situation presented here by both mainstream and alternative media, including the well-known national radio and television program "Democracy Now!"

The image of Lavalas as a unified militant force on the
left has been shaken recently by disarray within the movement over elections scheduled
to be held in December by a US-backed interim
government. A number of "grassroots leaders" in Port-au-Prince neighborhoods are supporting the presidential candidacy of former president Rene Preval, a personal friend
of Aristide's. Many former Lavalas office-holders,
meanwhile, are backing former World Bank official Marc
Bazin, a cabinet minister in the government of deposed dictator
Jean-Claude Duvalier ("Baby Doc") and a longtime proponent of US-backed neoliberal economic programs for Haiti. Meanwhile groups around the New York-based weekly Haiti Progres are calling for a boycott of the elections.
All factions are claiming the support of the Lavalas base.
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MessageSujet: Re: The infamous "Sprague fiasco" on Haiti   The infamous "Sprague fiasco" on Haiti EmptyVen 25 Jan 2013 - 4:00

From: mitchelcohen@mindspring.com

I want to add my own views to Daniel Simidor's on-target critique of the Jeb Sprague fiasco concerning Haiti, below.

Student Jeb Sprague gave a talk, based on research he is doing for his Ph.D. thesis, at the Haiti War Crimes Tribunal in Washington D.C. that promised to elaborate on charges he'd made earlier against Batay Ouvriye, which were widely published within the Left in the U.S. With the help of a number of groups including, sadly, Haiti Progres, Jeb Sprague smeared this small, hard-working group as having been paid-off by various U.S. government agencies. When activists in the Haiti freedom movement challenged him to document his charges which, as Daniel Simidor points out, endanger the lives of activists in Haiti, Sprague swore he had the documentation and would present it.

Now it turns out that Sprague's "documentation" was a complete lie. But instead of apologizing, Sprague and those who have glommed onto his dissertation research (shades of the Downing Street memos!) to pursue their own political agendas are pushing it still, even though there is no truth to it. This is a shameful way for a "researcher" to conduct himself (and note should be taken by his Ph.D. committee about this), let alone for other leftist groups to recklessly continue the deception and smear tactics.

One does not have to agree with Batiye Ouvriye's entire program to understand what Sprague et al.'s unscrupulous behavior is really about: That there are those who have vested themselves in Pres. Aristide's politics and organizational formations inside Haiti, and cannot tolerate activists who criticize Aristide's pro-IMF policies FROM THE LEFT and demand an end to the U.N. occupation there.

My only disagreement with Daniel Simidor is that I would not describe Ben Dupuy as LaRouche-like; I think that clouds the issue politically, even though I understand that Daniel is referring to the "Big Lie" technique that LaRouche and Dupuy both use ....

Jeb Sprague, Haiti Progres, and other organizations and individuals who are spreading this lie need to retract it immediately and apologize for their reckless, sectarian behavior.

Mitchel Cohen
Brooklyn Greens / Green Party
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MessageSujet: Re: The infamous "Sprague fiasco" on Haiti   The infamous "Sprague fiasco" on Haiti EmptyVen 25 Jan 2013 - 4:12

Tankou nou renmen di lakay: "CHEN KI ABITYE MANJE ZE, AP TOUJOU MANJE ZE."

MENTEUR UN JOUR, MENTEUR TOUJOURS.


“Clever liars give details, but the cleverest don't.” (Anonymous)
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MessageSujet: Re: The infamous "Sprague fiasco" on Haiti   The infamous "Sprague fiasco" on Haiti EmptyVen 25 Jan 2013 - 5:11

wi;

Wi ma vin kwè sa DANIEL SIMIDOR di; pi gwo TRÈT sou LABITASYON.
Mwen abitye ak DANIEL SIMIDOR ki te konn sou EMISYON L'HEURE HAITIENNE sou WKCR FM ,Radio Columbia University an;lan LANNE 1970S.
Zafè BATAY OUVRIYÈ sa a se yon bagay ki koni lan GOCH AYISYEN lan DYASPORA a.Te gen LIS ki t ap sikile ki di ke mesyedam sa yo sou PEWÒL.Yo te menm di ki konbyen KÒB yo te resevwa.Sa pa gen anyen pou te wè ak JEFF SPRAGUE,ou byen AYITI PWOGRÈ.

Se te yon EPIZÒD KLASIK bagay BATAY OUVRIYÈ sa a.ENTELIJANS AMERIKEN te ize sa lan CHILI.
Yo te ize taktik sa a tou lan VENEZUELA ak yon Òganizasyon de GOCH ki rele ""BANDERA ROJO"".Se te pou jistifye KOUDETA 2002 an kont CHAVEZ.
Se te pou bay ENPRESYON ke OPOZISYON kont CHAVEZ lan te ""broad based""
Tan kou yo di ,""TRY AGAIN""
Pa avèk DANIEL SIMIDOR ak BATAY OUVRIYÈ.

Apre kolaborasyon l lan KOUDETA 2004 lan ;milye GOCH AMERIKEN yo te mete BATAY OUVRIYE a LENDÈKS ;yo konnen ki wòl li te jwe lan KOUDETA 2004 lan.
Ou wè se an 2005 ke DANIEL SIMIDOR te ekri bagay li an ;LIV JEFF SPRAGUE lan parèt an 2012

Lè m bay DAT yo ;se yon BAGAY EKSTRÈMAN ENPÒTAN.
Wòl AMERIKEN yo te jwe ;sitou de NÈG ki te AKTIF lan AMERIK SANTRAL yo ke menm yon JOUNAL ""mainstream"" tankou NEW YORK TIMES rapòte an 2006;ou pa li NÈG tankou DANIEL SIMIDOR yo ankò.

Pa t gen ANTI-ENPERYALIS ke mesye sa yo ;sou WKCR premye bagay ou te konn tande lan BOUCH yo se ENPERYALIS AMERIKEN limenm ak LIONEL LEGROS.
Mesye sa yo DISKREDITE lè yo kolabore ak ENPERYALIS lan.
Yo paka eskize yo ,pou yo di yo pa t konnen
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