On the sidelines of the Francophonie conference in Djerba, Tunisia, Canadian Premier, Justin Trudeau and his Foreign Affairs Minister, Mélanie Joly announced sanctions on Former President Michel Martelly, former Prime Ministers, Laurent Lamothe, and Jean Henry Céant. The Canadian government’s decision is said to be in response to the shameful behavior of the Haitian political elite who are providing illicit financial and operational support to armed gangs that have been causing havoc and holding the nation hostage for quite some time. The announcement came at a time when the Haitian Foreign Minister, Jean V. Généus took the occasion to appeal to the international community to consider the urgency of the country ‘s situation and put an end to the nightmare that the Haitian p0pulation are living through. The Canadian Foreign Minister responded by asking Mexico, Argentina and Rwanda to support Haiti’s request for technical assistance in neutralizing the armed gangs. Other politicians included on the list of those sanctioned by the Canadian government include the former president of the Chamber of Deputies, Gary Bodeau, former senator, Hervé Fourcand, and the current senator, Rony Célestin. The Canadian government has reason to believe that these individuals have been using their status and clout as current or former public officials to protect and enable illegal activities by armed criminal gangs across the nation, through money laundering and other forms of corruption. In recent weeks, both Canada and the US have sanctioned gang leaders, serving ministers who have since been replaced, the president of the Haitian Senate, a serving senator and former parliamentarians who have occupied the highest offices in the Haitian Parliament, all of whom will soon find themselves on a list that the UN is preparing where other names will be added, including businessmen operating in Haiti, according to diplomatic sources. According to Global Affairs Canada, the sanctions further prohibit people in and out of Canada and Canadians abroad from engaging in any activity related to any property held by the listed persons or from providing them any financial or related services.
According to the Miami Herald, the US plan for an international force to intercede in the country to help stabilization efforts and break the criminal gangs’ stranglehold on the economy. According to the article, a US government official who took part in the discussions at the UN stated that the resolution was unlikely to move towards a vote during the holiday season while another official stated that the plan is not dead but the formation of such an ambitious military mission will take time. The proposal came about as gangs brazenly held the country hostage by blocking access to the country’s major fuel terminal at Varreux, controlling critical roadways and terrorizing the capital, Port-au-Prince. After the UN sanction against powerful gang leader; barbeque, the fuel terminal was secured by the national police. The country is now faced with a new cholera outbreak which came about as a result of the blockade that wreaked havoc on a people already suffering from one humanitarian crisis to another. The US did not want to commit its forces to the resolution that it championed at the Security Council, offering instead the choice of an unidentified country to lead the efforts. Recent visits by US Secretary of State Antony Blinken to Ottawa, suggested that it is likely that Canada will lead the effort, but the history of foreign intervention in the country has left Canadian politicians and Haitian natives living in Canada hesitant for yet another foreign intervention. But the Canadian Prime Minister said that there has to be consensus within Haiti and among the political players before any foreign intervention can be undertaken.
Elsewhere, the US embassy in the Dominican Republic has issued a travel alert for US citizens wishing to travel to that country because of racial profiling incidences reported to the embassy. According to the embassy, travelers to the DR have reported being delayed, detained, or subjected to intensive questioning at entry gates and other encounters with immigration officials based on their skin color. Reports of the disparate treatment of US citizens by Dominican authorities are of constant concern to the US Embassy. Citing local newspapers, the embassy confirmed that agents of the Dominican Migration (DGM) have carried out large operations aimed at detaining those they believe to be undocumented migrants, especially people of Haitian origin.
In recent days, there has been a drastic increase in the arrests of Haitian migrants in the Dominican Republic, as they are usually embarked, then parked in overcrowded trucks to be deported to Haiti. A spokesperson for Ziles Foundation, Edwin Paraison explained that the arrests of migrants by the Dominican authorities are based on profiling, because when they talk about repatriation and migration control, it’s the Haitians who go to their heads, adding that as soon as the DR authorities see someone who responds to a Haitian profile, they are targeted. On November 11, former Haitian Chancellor Claude Joseph wrote to Volker Turk, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, in which he mentioned a significant increase in forced and discriminatory evictions of Haitians in the DR. Mr. Joseph said he was not surprised at the alert by the US embassy, but rather delighted by the echo that this note will make about abuses suffered by Haitians. According Mr. Joseph has always denounced systemic racism against black people in the Dominican Republic. Now that the American Embassy has documented the repeated abuses against black people traveling in the country, the Dominican authorities cannot pretend to ignore this problem.
Finally, there’s turmoil in the world of football as the World Cup 2022 begins and the giants who are favored to easily walk over smaller teams have found themselves wanting. England had an easy opener, but the US had to contend with an underrated Wales for a draw. But the biggest surprise was Argentina with Messi as the captain that was surprised by a heroic Saudi Arabia who surprises the Albiceleste 2-1. It was the game of two halves, with a quick penalty converted by Messi in the 10th minute, sending an uproar in the 80,000-seat stadium in Lusail. Argentina was one of the favorites of the tournament, as pundit after pundit touted them aa the Copa America champions with a 36 games unbeaten streak, and the sure chance for a one last mission to embellish Messi’s historic career with the crowning glory of a world cup that has eluded him all along. But the unexpected performance of Saudi Arabia, led by Herve Renard, stunned the Argentines who were equality frustrated by the physicality of the game. The French however held their ground by overpowering Australia 4-1.