Haiti-Crisis: Canada again punishes Haitian parliamentarians

CTN News

Senators Rony Célestin, Hervé Fourcand and ex-deputy Garry Bodeau are going to live one of the worst weekends of their lives, on this November 19, 2022. The Canadian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has just announced in a press release that the latter, whom it describes as members of the Haitian political elite, have been sanctioned for having provided “illicit financial and operational support to armed gangs. And not only that.

According to the press release, there are reasons to justify these new measures by Canada, considering that these strongmen of the 50th legislature “use their status as former or current holder of a public office to protect and enable the illegal activities of armed criminal gangs, including money laundering and other acts of corruption.

This confirms the suspicions of corruption and involvement with gangs of many Haitian parliamentarians who, in order to come to power and even afterwards, become accomplices of gangs.

While it is true that these sanctions come at a specific time in the country’s socio-political and security crisis, the fact remains that they were adopted, according to the Canadian government, under the Special Economic Measures Regulations for Haiti, in response to the unacceptable conduct of members of Haiti’s political elite who feed armed gangs.

All assets that Rony Célestin, Hervé Fourcand and Garry Bodeau may hold in Canada, as well as Youri Latortue and Joseph Lambert, will be frozen, the statement said, without mentioning that they are prohibited from entering Canada.

The gangs terrorize, imposing unspeakable atrocities on the population and enjoy total impunity, recognizes the Canadian chancellery. This has prompted Foreign Affairs Minister Melanie Joly to declare that “Canada continues to put pressure on the armed gangs and their supporters to help the Haitian people emerge from this crisis and restore peace and security to their country. We will consider further sanctions against individuals and entities in Haiti as well as other measures to end the ongoing violence,” she said.

According to the Canadian government, the list includes parliamentarians Youri Latortue, Joseph Lambert and now Rony Celestin, Hervé Fourcand and Garry Bodeau are among those responsible for the continuing violence and insecurity in Haiti.

By imposing sanctions, Canada intends to stop “the flow of illicit capital and weapons and to weaken and disable criminal gangs in Haiti.”

The Government of Canada will consider further sanctions against other individuals and entities, as well as other measures, to pressure those responsible for the ongoing violence and insecurity in Haiti, the press release concludes.

In the meantime, it may be worthwhile to explore why Canada is releasing the names of sanctioned individuals in a piecemeal fashion.

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