Haiti: ‘Baby Doc’ escapes justice for past abuses

Given the Slugger community’s interest in Haiti, I thought it worthwhile to note the regrettable decision by a Haitian court not to charge the country’s former dictator,  Jean-Claude ‘Baby Doc’ Duvalier, over allegations of torture and murder. Duvalier returned to Haiti this time last year after 25 years in exile in France. Since then, he has been under investigation for serious human rights violations – including torture, disappearances and extrajudicial executions – that took place during his rule from 1971 to …

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Helping Haiti

Regular readers may recall Slugger’s interest in Haiti over the last year, including support for the Great Big Politics Pub Quiz fundraiser last October and Moochin’s pics and commentary from the Iron Market in Port-au-Prince and elsewhere. Later this year Slugger will again be getting behind a few good causes in Haiti, hoping to raise awareness and some funds to help alleviate the situation of at least a few of this earthquake and corruption-stricken people. More about that in due …

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Haiti: Crime, corruption and giving

Second guest post from Ciaran McKeown, recently returned from a week as a Haven Partnership volunteer building houses in Haiti. Here he reflects on the history of Haiti and its present dire situation – not just facing endemic poverty and the after-effects of earthquake, but widespread corruption and crime too. Haiti is a basket-case, economically and politically. It has suffered relentlessly since the Spanish first annihilated the native Taino or Amerindians who populated Hispaniola and developed its sustainable ecology. Spain ceded …

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From Haiti with thanks

Back in October, much of the Slugger O’Toole ‘community’ – Mick Fealty and Paul Evans, bloggers Alan in Belfast and Mark McGregor, politicians of all hues, public affairs company Stratagem, and of course readers / commenters – came together to support the Great Big Politics Pub Quiz, raising money for a house-building project in earthquake-stricken Haiti. The event raised £1,225, all of which went to the Haven Partnership’s Build-it-Week initiative. Due to the cholera outbreak, the week itself was postponed …

Read more…From Haiti with thanks

Self-Determination and the Man to Blame/Credit (delete as applicable)

Exactly a century ago, an American politician, whose career seemed to epitomize the old cliche about biting off more than you can chew, had his great moment. Nine months after the declaration of war on the Central Powers, America’s president, Thomas Woodrow Wilson addressed Congress, setting out his preferred formula for an honourable peace settlement for Europe and the wider world as soon as the fighting could stop. In his 8 January 1918 speech, Wilson compared and contrasted his ideals …

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Know Your Battleground States 9/9: Florida

Florida, the United States’ incredibly flat protrusion into the sub-tropics, is an enormous and rapidly changing state, perhaps about to overtake New York as the third most populous state in the Union, and by far the biggest of the battleground states with 29 Electoral Votes in play. Florida entered political legend when the 2000 Presidential contest in the state came down to just a few hundred votes out of more than 5.8 million cast. Weeks of scrutinising disputed ballots and …

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Gaelscéal : Che Guevara, Galway’s American problem

Tuairisc le Colm Ó Broin, comhfhreagraí polaitiúil Gaelscéal :  Tá conspóid ann i gcónaí faoi leacht in ómós Che Guevara atá beartaithe do Chathair na Gaillimhe. Cháin polaiteoirí in Éirinn agus Meiriceá an moladh – dar leo is ‘oll-dhúnmharfóir’ é Guevara a chur na céadta chun báis i ndiaidh Réabhlóid Chúba. Deir Rialtas Mheiriceá go bhfuil siad ag cur in éadan réimeas Chúba le 50 bliain anuas de bharr an easpa daonlathais atá sa tír sin. Ach fad is a …

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And the winner was …

Haiti was the real winner at last night’s Great Big Politics Pub Quiz where just over £1000 pounds was raised to support the rebuilding of homes on Haiti through Haven Partnership. Over a hundred political anoraks (and friends) gathered in Belfast’s Black Box to tough their way through seven rounds of questions. Which team would have a combined knowledge that could span across international politics, political history, the politics of UK and Ireland, popular culture and the brilliance to decipher …

Read more…And the winner was …

Great Big Politics Quiz kicks off tomorrow Night (Black Box, Belfast)…

Last chance to book your place… We have a stack of great prizes, courtesy of our old friends and consistent supporters Stratagem… All proceeds go to charity, in aid of rebuilding homes in Haiti… In fine old Northern Irish tradition the much revered office of Quiz Master will be rolling (d’Hondt has not been used and no politicians have been hurt in the scrupulously fair process)… Mark Devenport, Jim Wells MLA, Naomi Long MP, Basil McCrea MLA, Alban Maginness MLA, …

Read more…Great Big Politics Quiz kicks off tomorrow Night (Black Box, Belfast)…

POTD – Demolition by hand

A team of workers demolish a building that collapsed during the January 2010 earthquake. Across Port-au-Prince similar sights can be seen as any building materials that can be reused are salvaged when possible. One of the difficulties facing Haiti is that the government buildings that held records of land ownership were destroyed along with the records. This has led to many disputes over ownership and is another factor slowing the rebuilding of Haiti.

POTD – Children at Henri Christophe Park

Living in a makeshift camp at Henri Christophe Park these children will know little of the story of one of the leaders of the revolution which saw Haiti become the second country, after America, to break free from colonial shackles. An aid worker i spoke with told me that there are always spikes in birth rates after natural disasters. The child at the front is playing with a condom which the children often use as ballons. Thursday night is the …

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Great BIG Politics Quiz: latest news!

An unofficial ‘Haiti Week’ is underway on Slugger, with Moochin’s terrific photo-series on POTD, with further shots to be featured as wall projections during Belfast Culture Night on Friday, and more from me later in the week on Haiti and human rights. And, of course, there’s just days to go until the 2011 Great Big Politics Quiz night gets underway in Belfast’s Black Box (Thursday 22 September, 7:45pm). Latest news… new prizes have been added to the pot (already looking …

Read more…Great BIG Politics Quiz: latest news!

POTD – Portrait of a blockmaker

Across Port-au-Prince and Haiti you see blocks offered for sale along the roadside. This man makes 600 of these a day for something in the region of £2 a day. Thursday night’s Big Political quiz will hopefully raise a good few pennies for the Haven Partnership who build houses in Haiti

POTD – Pitched tents and makeshift shelters on a football pitch

Haven Partnership who build homes in Haiti, are the charity of choice for the Big Political Quiz this Thursday. In the run up to Thursday night i’ll be posting photographs from my trip to Haiti in mid April to early May. Here a football pitch has been enveloped by a makeshift tented camp. Across Port-au-Prince, camps sprung up in the aftermath of the earthquake on any suitable flat areas. Most public parks, football pitches and the like have some sort …

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Great BIG Politics Quiz: prizes to vie for!

Courtesy of Stratagem, here’s the awesome prize list for the Great BIG Politics Quiz, supported by Slugger O’Toole, and being held next Thursday, 22 September at 7:45pm in the Black Box, Belfast. There’s enough in this valuable prize hamper to keep even the most anorakish of political anoraks going for quite some time – and plenty to share amongst your triumphant quiz team-mates. “The Thick of It Series 1 & The Special Boxset” DVD “Last Mitterand,the [DVD]” “Pistols at Dawn: Two …

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Great BIG Politics Quiz: tickets now on sale!

Former (edit: see comment #1) Belfast City Councillor Niall Kelly reckons the SDLP South Belfast team are out to retain their Great Big Politics Quiz champions title: I know that ballot box brainiacs from other parties, campaign groups, public affairs companies and the media will be out to prove him wrong. Indeed, there might even be the odd blogger who fancies getting a team together for a tilt at the title. Well you can all now pre-book your places as ticket …

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Save the date: the Great Big Politics Pub Quiz is back!

Who has the sharpest political brains in Northern Ireland? We’ll soon find out. Yes, it’s time to pit your wits against the finest minds(!) at Stormont as Slugger O’Toole brings the return of the Great Big Politics Pub Quiz. Date: Thursday 22 September at 7:45pm. Venue: The Black Box, Hill Street, Belfast. This is what happened last year, according to Alan in Belfast, as over £1,000 was raised for charity in Haiti and Stoops to Conquer, the South Belfast SDLP …

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POTD – Parade

With the Lord Mayors parade taking place in Belfast today i thought i’d post a photo from a parade i saw in Leogane Haiti which was the closest town to the epicentre of the Jan 2010 earthquake. On Easter Sunday i was taken there ostensibly because i wanted to flavour some of the local Rara music. What i wasn’t told was that every year the town holds a parade which commemorates the history of Haiti, from the first slaves arriving, …

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