A documentary review by Jafrikayiti
Watch We Must Kill the Bandits
"We now live in a world where powerful countries - all of them so-called democracies - manipulate multilateral bodies to the great disadvantage and suffering of the poorer developing nations".
Rolihlahla (Nelson) Mandela
As the year 2010 closes the United Nations is facing a serious crisis of credibility. Whether in Ivory Coast, in the Congo or in Haiti, U.N. troops sent to "keep the peace" are repeatedly accused of perpetrating grave human rights violations, including mass murders. This note shall focus on the track record of the Mission des Nations Unies pour la Stabilisation d'Haiti (MINUSTHA), which has been in operation in this Caribbean island nation for the past six years. We shall also see, at the end of this brief text, what all this has to do with Barack Obama.
In a recent interview, Brazilian diplomat Ricardo Seitenfus accused the U.N. of "transforming the Haitians into prisoners on their own island". Within a matter of hours, Seitenfus was called back to Brazil and summarily fired from his post as Special Representative of the Organization of American States in Haiti.
In recent days, former Cuban President Fidel Castro spoke publicly in support of Seitenfus (http://www.escambray.cu/Eng/Special/fidel101228257 ). However, is there tangible evidence in support of Seitenfus' grave assertions? American investigative journalist Kevin Pina has just released a powerful documentary that should help answer this specific question without ambiguity.
Pina's We Must Kill the Bandits is 66-minutes long. Its "in your face" style is both provocative and irresistible. Packed with video evidence, "Bandits" leads the viewer to a desturbing yet unescapable conclusion: As per Patrice Lumumba's 1960 Congo, in 2010 Haiti, the United Nations is mobilized as a deadly tool of repression in the hands of powerful countries that are bent on robbing Haitians of their right to self-governance and democratic rule.
We Must Kill the Bandits is available over the Internet at URL: http://bit.ly/eWFDLd Please be warned! This well-researched documentary is graphic and highly disturbing. The film should not be viewed in the company of small children.
From the onset Pina makes the point that the U.N.-attributed murders documented in his film continue to occur up to the current year.
Among several powerful elements in We Must Kill the Bandits, I propose these segments, listed in chronological order, which are especially deserving of attention:
Pina provides historical context for the term "bandits". He uses archive footages of U.S. invasions of Haiti in 1915 and 2004 (see minutes 5:43 to 8:07)
Pina interviews U.S. author Randall Robinson who shares specific details surrounding the ouster of President Aristide by U.S. military personnel and diplomats, the evening of the February 29, 2004 coup d'état (8:08)
The author painstakingly documents how a campaign of military repression and psychological warfare intensified immediately following Aristide's ouster. He illustrates this with a March 2004 incident whereby U.S. troops gunned down Spanish reporter Ricardo Ortega and maneuvered to have the latter's killing blamed on Aristide supporters (10:09- 12:50).
With a one-of-kind video interview of former Haitian Prime Minister Yvon Neptune, the filmmaker presents indisputable proof that Neptune knew that Haitian President Aristide was taken out of Haiti against his will and that the post-coup puppet president (Boniface Alexandre) was illegally installed by foreign diplomats (13:24-15:00).
Convincingly, Pina describes the process by which former military tough guy and CIA-operative Herard Abraham was remobilized to orchestrate, in conjunction with Canadian Special Forces, a resurrection of Haiti's hated Forces Armées d'Haiti (FAdH) and its paramilitary arm FRAPH, by recycling their membership within the Haitian National Police. (15:50 - 17:55)
The camera follows the campaign to silence popular folk artist and political activist Annette (Sò Anne) Auguste (20:15- 22:08)
U.N. massacres that happened between September 30 and December 2004 as well as the arrest of human rights activist Father Gérard Jean-Juste are presented with graphic details (26:10- 36:00).
The second half of the documentary exposes how the U.N. campaign of repression continued unabated throughout 2005 and 2006. A number of specific confrontations are highlighted: First, between pro-democracy demonstrators and Brazilian U.N. General Heleno (37:00-46:00) - it is noteworthy that Heleno's successor, U.N. Commander Urano Teixeira Da Matta Bacellar, met a tragic end that has never been fully explained at Hotel Montana, on January 7, 2006. Then, between masked Haitian policemen operating with full U.N. support and the journalists, including producer Kevin Pina, whom they try to intimidate into silence. This is yet another "must watch" moment (48:50 - 50:53).
Particularly disturbing and graphic are the final images of the documentary where the producers describe U.N. massacres in Cité Soleil, that occurred May 31, 2005 (50:54 - 54:25), July 6, 2005 (56:11 - 1:00: 43) and December 22, 2006. In the latter piece, a blind man nursing several gunshot wounds grabs a guitar and offers a song to the foreigners ("blan"- "whites") whom he accuses to have shot him and wounded his two children. « blan MINUSTAH sa m genyen ak ou?" - (What have I done to you MINUSTAH foreigners?).
As we ponder the blind man's question, I have not forgotten my promise to address your own. Indeed, what does all of this have to do with Barack Obama? At the risk of confusing you even further, let me answer: "nothing whatsoever!." In these days of Hollywood-style reporting, it is apparently impossible to attract interest in the plight of millions of human beings dying at the end of U.N. guns. That the same "peacekeeping forces" supposedly mobilized to bring peace to an impoverished people has instead caused a deadly epidemic of cholera in their midst isn't deserving of the attention of mainstream media. Even less so is the valiant effort being deployed by Haitians to resist the incredible set of natural and man-made disasters visited upon them since 2004. They will likely never make the screens of CNN, BBC or Radio-Canada. Mindful of this sad fact, a clever producer recently titled his powerful documentary A Marshall Plan for Haiti. Yet, rather that daydreaming about sudden goodwill towards Haiti by its historical tormentors, this film sheds light on the existence of true transformative Haitian leadership in action. Perhaps, Pina should also change the title of his film to "Please Make Haiti a U.N. Protectorate Governed by Bill (Tarzan) Clinton."
I apologize for the misleading title of this article. Unlike We Must Kill the Bandits that focuses on the real fight for power in streets of Haiti, Hollywoodized culture in the US continues to emphasize the immensely attractive theme of black fratricide. We've seen them project that concept onto Africa, Haiti and poor black communities throughout the US. With that in mind, I invite you to partake in Haiti's traditional Independence Day (January 1) "soup joumou" (Pumpkin soup). And, as we do, let us remember and ponder upon the words of His Majesty Jean-Jacques Dessalines, liberator and founder of the first Republic of the Americas to have abolished racial slavery and truly embraced universal human freedom: "and those whose fathers are in Africa, will they have nothing?"