Government's "Pre-Budget Consultations"
Liberal Government's "Pre-Budget
Canada Faces Serious Economic Challenges
Minister Bill Morneau recently held the federal
government's "pre-budget consultations" at mostly private gatherings
Canada with those identified as "stakeholders."
The government says it is seeking advice on the
"In your opinion, how can we better support our middle
"What infrastructure needs can best help grow the
economy, protect our
environment, and meet your priorities locally?
"How can we create economic growth, protect the
environment, and meet
local priorities while ensuring that the most vulnerable don't get left
"Finally, is the implementation of these new priorities
realistic? Will it help us grow our economy?"
When an institution, public or private, seeks to consult
others for advice
it must have in mind an aim to solve problems. The methods it uses is
issue but of great importance is the problem it wishes to solve,
bother to consult. What problems does the Liberal government identify
propose solutions on which it wants to consult?
workers whose individual reproduced-value
$45,282 to $90,563 need "our support."
proposed solution on which it wants
to consult: reduce
their income tax rate.
Identify infrastructure needed "to grow the
economy" but on
condition that it "protects our environment" and "meets local
proposed solution on which it wants
to consult: have
the government partner with "green" private interests to build material
infrastructure using investment money from both general taxation and
government borrowing from private moneylenders, generating large budget
deficits and debts. "Local priorities" are a public relations issue
massive propaganda promoting the new government as working in the best
interests of Canadians. The deficits will be partly softened with
funding for the social infrastructure and paid with continuing
borrowing from private moneylenders. This solves in part a problem of
owners of social wealth who at this point have no safe place to park
The most vulnerable must not be "left
"creating economic growth, protecting the environment, and meeting
proposed solution on which it wants
to consult: Look
to former U.S. President George W. Bush's No Child Left Behind Act of
2001 which intensified a U.S.-wide campaign to privatize and
education using such methods as Charter Schools.
Are the "priorities and initiatives of the
and will they help grow the economy"?
proposed solution on which it wants
to consult: Leave
proposals extremely vague at this point and do everything possible to
talking about the concrete conditions and the serious economic
Economic Problems Discussed
The problems and proposals
of the Liberal government appear not to reflect the very serious
political and social conditions the country faces.
The prices of Canada's major
commodity exports such as
nickel, iron ore, coal etc. have declined. Canada's international trade
are stuck in the nineteenth century and need urgent renewal. The global
monopolies have taken over the old trading relations and use them to
their narrow private interests. The prices of raw commodities fluctuate
without regard for their prices of production. Canadians have no
the prices of commodities and no possibility to plan for the rational
and distribution of basic commodities let alone their refining and
transformation into more finished manufactured products. Governments
consistently refused to address the old Canadian colonial problem of
and shipping" the tremendous bounty Mother Nature offers this country.
this demands a new direction.
The market value of the Canadian dollar is out of
control and under attack
from the speculators and parasites. The recent sharp decline of the
relation to other currencies especially the U.S. dollar has led to
in Canada of imported food and other essential commodities. The decline
the relative value of the dollar compounds the decline in raw commodity
prices as they are all priced in U.S. dollars.
The value of the Canadian dollar in relation to the
production of goods
and services in Canada must be stabilized and this value protected from
attacks of speculators and parasites. New bilateral state-to-state
relations based on cooperation and mutual benefit and development
removal of the dollar from the global speculation and intrigue of the
and the need to deprive the global monopolies of their power over trade.
The current widening trade imbalance of imports over
value from the country reflects the concrete condition that the money
imports in Canadian dollars has rapidly risen while the money value and
volume of exports have fallen.
The slowdown in volume of trade with some of Canada's
of basic commodities should also be regarded as a problem of lack of
within the Canadian economy, in particular the necessity to increase
manufacturing sector in all regions of the country including those
raw material production is concentrated. The misguided capital-centred
that looks at Canada's raw bounty as a means to make quick profits from
simply ripping and shipping it out has to change.
The Gross Domestic Product has not grown in a year. This
in spite of an increase in the population. This problem is connected
problems in international trade and the lack of a self-reliant diverse
economy that engages in international trade as complimentary to the
socialized economy, which must be stable and dynamic.
The imperialist stock market has fallen dramatically
since January 1. The
stock market is yet one more arena of speculation of the parasites, who
to fleece others of the already-produced value they possess. This
involves Canadians due to the fact that in recent years the government
allowed pension funds to put their accumulated money in the stock
a scheme to prop up its market value. The current freefall in stock
have a negative effect on the viability of many pension funds.
Concern is growing over the health of the U.S. economy
as it seems
poised to fall along with the global economy in a repeat of the 2008
crisis. As Canada is tied to the U.S. as a junior partner within the
imperialist system of states, defensive measures should immediately be
discussed as to how to extricate the country from the recurring crises
from this control and subservience.
The crisis in the raw
commodity export sector has already resulted in
terrible layoffs. The distress is compounded because the layoffs are
concentrated in smaller more remote locations where local business
heavily on the resource sector. The mounting layoffs add to the already
unemployment across the country of over 1.2 million Canadian workers.
serious crisis of growing unemployment in certain regions requires
measures to alleviate any suffering. The crisis underscores the
increase investments in social programs, public services and public
as an antidote to the economic crisis, unemployment and the anguish it
The crisis in the resource sector also draws attention to the necessity
modern nation-to-nation relations with the Indigenous Nations across
The problems and solutions the Liberal government
identifies and its
proposed solutions do not appear to have any connection with reality
serious economic, political and social problems facing the country. The
proposal to invest in material infrastructure as a general panacea is a
imperialist position serving narrow private interests. The method is to
from private financial institutions and pay private monopoly
companies to build the projects. Upon completion no modern method is
devised to realize the value of the projects other than through general
and individual user fees. No consideration is given to the fact that
both the social and material infrastructure have produced and continue
produce enormous value as means of production that should be realized
directly by those economic units consuming it.
On the front of
infrastructure building, a working class position exists that
would lead to nation-building in opposition to the old imperialist line
serves the private interests of the global moneylenders and
monopolies and will leave the country indebted to private lenders for
Public financing beginning with the Bank of Canada using public funds
invest through Quebec, the provinces and territories in public
firms would be a step in a new direction. This would leave the country
infrastructure from which the value when realized by those economic
consuming it would allow the repaid funds to be used anew for further
investments. This new direction would grow public engineering
their expertise, release the enthusiasm of workers and their
allow public funds to be used consistently to build the country without
value taken out of the economy and country.
No one doubts that Canada is facing severe economic
problems left unresolved will eventually affect us all regardless of
or region. A general recurring issue is global monopoly control of the
economy leaving Canadians deprived of the public right necessary to
problems and propose and implement solutions.
If the identified problems and solutions do not emerge
out of the concrete
conditions, where does that leave the Liberal government consultation
Is there a problem with the aim? The aim appears to guide Canadians
from facing the concrete problems and thinking about real solutions. It
be concluded that the Liberal consultation process is designed to
Canadians from looking at the concrete conditions and analyzing what
be done to resolve problems and put the economy and country on a new
direction of twenty-first century nation-building.
Liberal Government's Method of Consultation
Consultation with Canadians is one of the main themes
taken up by the Trudeau Liberal government which came to power in the
October 19, 2015 federal election. This theme, which has been used by
federal and provincial governments in the past, has been reintroduced
on a grand scale in the context of the need to restore credibility to
what are called Canada's democratic institutions and to legitimize the
The crisis of legitimacy in
which what are called Canada's democratic
institutions are mired has been growing since the late 1980s when
wholeheartedly rejected NAFTA which the Mulroney government imposed
nonetheless along with the GST.
The Chrétien Liberals, who
campaigned against NAFTA and the GST in 1993, did not abrogate NAFTA or
the GST once in power. They then proceeded to provide a new basis for
one no longer based on notions of serving the common good, but on
Canadian monopolies number one on global markets. Since that time,
governments have faced the problem of providing their rule with
they find impossible to do. How can putting all the assets of the
society -- both natural and human
-- at the disposal of making everything serve the biggest
monopolies in their inter-monopoly and inter-imperialist
competition be seen to be for the good of all? This crisis has
called into question the basic tenets of
institutions -- that by being elected, the party in power has a mandate
implement its agenda. A serious problem exists once the electors do not
perceive this to be the case.
In this issue, TML Weekly explores the
government's definitions of "Canadians" and "stakeholders" so that
readers can see for themselves what kind of consultations are being
held and with whom. One thing is certain: with the full weight of the
state behind it, the new Liberal government blithely exhibits the
arrogance of power, believing that it can restore Canadians' confidence
in what are called democratic institutions on the basis of its
"consultations," even though their aim to pay the rich remains the
same. Talk about accountability, transparency, consultations and
necessary reform has only given rise to more self-serving measures. The
current government is now going out of its way to pledge to "consult"
"Canadians" and "stakeholders." What does it mean?
"Canadians" and "Stakeholders"
In the third month of its existence the Trudeau Liberal
government has so far pledged to hold consultations in one form or
another on at least eleven policies or areas of concern including
the 2016 federal budget. The government also says it
will consult provinces, territories and municipalities on issues such
as infrastructure investments and negotiation of a new Canada Health
The government began its
"pre-budget consultations" for the 2016 federal
budget on January 6, with a "Google Hangout" between Finance Minister
Morneau and students at eight universities. Minister Morneau has given
"Canadians" three ways to participate: a short questionnaire has been
the government's pre-budget consultation website; "Facebook Live" chat
hosted by Morneau on January 11 and 15 included the possibility to
questions and comments; and people are also asked to post
suggestions on Twitter using the hashtag #PBC16. The government directs
these particular methods at those
identifies as "Canadians." It says
input "received over the course of the consultations will be used to
ambitious economic agenda that is inclusive, sustainable, prudent, and
Meanwhile, a parallel pre-budget consultation process is
those it calls "stakeholders" who are meeting directly with either
his Parliamentary Secretary François-Philippe Champagne
(Saint-Maurice—Champlain). Morneau has travelled across the country
consultations with "stakeholders" and by January 16 will have been in
Montreal, Toronto, Winnipeg, Calgary, Vancouver and Surrey. Morneau's
consultations with "stakeholders" have occurred at private events held
organizations such as the Halifax Chamber of Commerce, the Montreal
Council on Foreign Relations, the Public Policy Forum of the Munk
of Global Affairs at the University of Toronto and the Surrey Board of
did not publicize Champagne's itinerary or the "stakeholders" who
with Morneau's Parliamentary Secretary.
Another example of the
Liberals' consultations relates to the Trans-Pacific
Partnership (TPP) free trade agreement, for which negotiations amongst
member states concluded during last October's federal election. The
launched their consultations on the TPP in January by setting up an
address for "Canadians" to direct their comments. Meanwhile since
International Trade Minister Chrystia Freeland has been traveling to
cities taking part in consultations with "provincial leaders, local
representatives, subject matter experts and members of the public" on
"and other matters to do with international trade." Government news
do not indicate with whom Freeland met, the content of discussions or
the process for participating
consultations but media also referred to the participants as
"stakeholders." At the
time, Freeland said that after Parliament resumes on January 25, she
the House of Commons Standing Committee on International Trade to
undertake a "comprehensive cross-country study" of the TPP.
How does the government distinguish between a "Canadian"
and a "stakeholder"? Is a "stakeholder" someone who receives an
invitation to a private meeting with Morneau, Freeland or another
official while a "Canadian" can communicate with the government via
e-mail, Twitter and Facebook? The method of amassing students to
participate in Morneau's "Google Hangout," which was not reported and
was not facilitated through any recognized student associations,
appears to be very random. It is not a method which permits the
formation of views on how specific problems pose themselves and can be
addressed. In fact, the method seems to be deliberately designed to
make sure this does not take place.
The government's "stakeholder" consultations are also
carried out in a shady area that cannot be called the public arena. The
monopoly media are not aware and are not asking who these
"stakeholders" are, how they are selected or how the meetings are
organized. They have yet to ask what the government is up to with these
consultations or shed any light on them whatsoever. Media reports
mostly limit their coverage to repeating government news releases and
references to "stakeholders" but have not informed about the process.
For instance, the CBC
reports that Morneau's meetings are "a mix of
traditional closed-door sessions with stakeholder groups, ranging from
manufacturing to cultural organizations, plus a couple of public events
location where people will get a chance to offer their opinions
directly to the
federal minister." Morneau's communications director Dan Lauzon told
CBC, "Morneau will be holding the regular private sessions with
groups where both sides can speak frankly." Nothing is said about what
"interest" this might be and what the "frank" discussion is intended to
All of it is designed to be reported in a manner which
states that Canadians have participated on a mass basis and approve the
government's program. The fact is hidden that most Canadians are beyond
the purview of this "consultation." Who precisely has responded and the
calibre of the responses is all subjective. For
instance, a release by the Department of Finance on January 16 says:
"In a speech to the Surrey Board of Trade today, Finance Minister Bill
Morneau announced that tens of thousands of Canadians have engaged and
shared their thoughts through meetings, events and through online
channels -- the highest-ever turnout for pre-budget consultations on
record." The news release says, "the online consultation website has
already received 2,000 official submissions from individuals and groups
[to its four-question online form], including a single-day boost of
over 500 submissions on January 14 alone. [...] The Minister spoke to
full capacity crowds at the Halifax Chamber of Commerce, Montreal's
Council on Foreign Relations, and the Surrey Board of Trade, with a
total attendance of well over 1000 people. [...] Two separate Facebook
Live events hosted by Dalhousie University and the University of
Calgary respectively gave nearly 80,000 Canadians an opportunity to
submit questions to the Minister and view the town hall live."
It is important for working people to understand what
this process is. If it
is indeed legitimate and will restore legitimacy to crisis-ridden
us draw warranted conclusions and participate with confidence. If the
is fraudulent how will it restore any such confidence? If it is not
intended to posture and declare that the Liberals have a mandate from
Canadians to railroad an anti-social agenda and disorganize any
then let the working people make sure they cannot be disinformed and
depoliticized by this manoeuvre.
consultations include: an inquiry into
missing and murdered Indigenous women; the Trans-Pacific Partnership;
security legislation and the Harper government's anti-terrorism laws;
proposed "Memorial to the Victims of Communism" in Ottawa; funding for
CBC/Radio-Canada; electoral reform; a "National Early Learning and
Childcare Framework"; expanding the Nutrition North program; a review
policies and laws affecting Indigenous peoples; new policies on foreign
Supreme Court Justice appointments; a CRTC review of telecommunications
service; and a legal framework for physician-assisted suicide.
New Security Arrangements
Measures Strengthen U.S. Profiling of Canadians
Since the New Year, a number of news reports have raised
the problem of
Canadian children, some just toddlers, being on no-fly lists without
explanation as to why this is the case. The federal
responded by reiterating instructions that airlines are not to subject
under 18 whose names appear on a no-fly list to additional security
This is the very least that can be done but what about
the no-fly lists themselves? What is their aim? Who decides who is on
them? Based on what criteria? What recourse do individuals have to
question the addition of their names to these lists, or to have them
removed as a matter of right? At present, individuals have to spend a
small fortune in attempts to clear their names when even the smallest
infractions of law get them flagged, even though such issues in no way
make them terrorist suspects.
Issues of whose authority determines such things and
where the jurisdiction
lies to contest the decisions which affect their lives are matters of
concern to Canadians. The idea that a passport gives you free passage
as definite objective criteria are met has gone with the wind. The
no longer objective. Far from it, they are secret and serve aims that
nothing about and are outside of their control.
The word "jurisdiction" (from the Latin ius, iuris
meaning "law" and dicere meaning "to speak") is the practical
authority granted to a legal body to administer justice within a
defined area of
responsibility. It is the extent or range of judicial, law enforcement
authority -- the territory over which that authority is exercised.
The current security arrangements began to be put in
place even before
9/11 after which the so-called War on Terror was unleashed by U.S.
George W. Bush. They started with the opening of borders as a result of
trade agreements that demanded all national authorities submit to
decision-making put in place to benefit the integrated energy,
and security corridors. This first took place between Canada and the
then incorporated Mexico, and will extend in due course to encompass
Americas and Caribbean.
Following the 2011 election, the
Harper government used its majority to
swiftly extend various security arrangements put in place under
Liberal governments. It signed the Beyond the Border Security and
Competitiveness Agreement in 2011 with the Obama administration. This
agreement established an executive committee for the integrated U.S.
Canadian economies and security agencies that guarantees the monopolies
based in the two countries can compete against rivals. The agreement
to unify the manner and authority under which regulatory arrangements
between the two countries are implemented in all spheres of life. One
focus is the movement of goods and people with the aim of establishing
is called a "security perimeter" around the two countries. In practice
perimeter has amounted to the extension of control by the U.S. security
apparatus over Canada's land, sea and air as well as
over the movement of its people.
Now we see indications that the new Liberal government
will continue in
the same direction while giving the impression that any abuse of the
data-sharing systems will be kept in check. This deflects attention
fact that it is the very existence of the data-sharing systems that
Along with these developments there is more troubling
news. The Canada
Border Services Agency (CBSA) now reports that in order to fulfill
agreements signed by the Harper government with the U.S. and to
efficiency, it has implemented and begun using a new system to profile
passengers. The system, known as scenario-based targeting or SBT, has
in use by the United States for a number of years. No explanation is
all as to how the new more efficient system will provide security.
However the CBSA tells media that the system "singled out" more than
2,300 passengers for "possible links to terrorism or serious crime" --
0.03 per cent of the more than 7.5 million people flying into Canada
over the course of only three months last year.
The CBSA describes the progression of the systems that
it has put in place
leading up to the new model:
"The Canada Customs and Revenue Agency implemented the
Passenger Information (API)/Passenger Name Record (PNR) program in
October 2002, mandating the collection of prescribed information from
commercial air carriers to identify persons who are or who may be
with terrorism or terrorism-related crimes or other serious crimes,
organized crime, that are transnational in nature. In 2003 and 2004,
established the High-Risk Traveller Identification Initiative (HRTI)
the United States Customs and Border Protection (U.S. CBP) to extend
API/PNR program to identify high-risk air travellers. Both parties
implement a risk scoring methodology within their automated passenger
systems to conduct risk assessment of unknown high-risk air passengers
into their respective countries."
We are now informed by CBSA that "After an extensive
analysis of the
risk scoring methodology and the continued commitment to comply with
agreements made with the U.S. CBP, the CBSA undertook the replacement
risk scoring functionality with scenario based rules functionality on a
basis. In January 2010, the Executive Policy Committee approved the
implementation of a long-term solution for [scenario-based targeting]
Passenger Information System (PAXIS).
"The scope of the [scenario-based targeting] project is
to make changes to
PAXIS, which previously used a risk scoring methodology, to accommodate
a scenario-based methodology to enhance the processes which identify
suspected high-risk travellers in the air mode. [Scenario-based
more effectively direct the focus on a smaller segment of the
population who represent a potential high risk.
targeting]-related enhancements to PAXIS will increase
the efficiency, effectiveness and accuracy of the targeting officer's
manual and labour-intensive work, and thereby help facilitate the more
efficient movement of legitimate people while safeguarding the border
security of Canada. The enhancements also dramatically reduce scenario
deployment times and costs enabling the CBSA to respond to imminent
The problem with integrating Canada's traveller
profiling with that of the United States is that the authority now lies
outside of Canadian jurisdiction. Once the jurisdiction of the
authority is no longer national, who will uphold the rights of
Canadians and according to what criteria? Canadians feel more insecure
than ever with an increasing number of people complaining about being
arbitrarily flagged at the border based on their mental health
background, national origin, appearance, religion, names or countries
where they travel.
The annual report by Canada's Privacy Commissioner
submitted to Parliament on December 10, raises a number of concerns
the new system. Amongst other things, he points out: "The new
method uses Big Data analytics -- extensive number-crunching to
patterns -- to evaluate all data collected from air carriers. Designed
harmonize with the system used by the U.S., it could allow the operator
example, search for all males aged between the ages of 18-20 who are
Egyptian nationals and who have visited both Paris and New York."
Therrien says his office provided advice on the
potential pitfalls, including
the possibility of "false positives" that could result in unnecessary
screening for travellers. His recommendations include:
- Demonstrate the necessity of scenario-based targeting,
beyond the general
purpose of aligning Canada's system with that of the U.S.;
- Be more transparent by fleshing out the privacy impact
general descriptions of the types of scenarios that might be used to
potentially high-risk travellers;
- Conduct regular reviews of the "effectiveness and
scenarios," including an examination of impacts on civil liberties and
- Prepare a broader privacy assessment of the overall
program used to
collect passenger information from airlines.
These measures are surely necessary. However, they do
not address the
experience of Canadians which is that targeting is not based on
criteria and infractions of the law. It is based on racial profiling
outlook that all those countries and peoples who do not accept U.S.
notions of democracy and human rights are threats to security and thus
violation of their rights is justified.
Now that the new federal Liberal government is taking
over from where
the Harper government left off it is expressing the desire to stem
egregious abuses the profiling system gives rise to. Minister of Public
Ralph Goodale has told airlines that "additional security screening
is not required for individuals under the age of 18." The Minister has
understands "the frustration of law-abiding travellers whose plans are
interrupted as a result of false positives arising in the security
airline passenger manifests. We have heard the concerns of those who
gone through additional security screening that this situation can
confusion and feelings of stigmatization."
From this, it is clear
Canadians cannot expect better protection. What they
want is not the fine tuning of profiling. They want it ended, along
the integration of Canada into the U.S. security apparatus.
Will Goodale, for example, act to ensure that while
travelling in the United
States people labelled as false positives will not be harassed by U.S.
agencies or even disappeared? Will he take responsibility for
Canadians that is handed over to the U.S. and used to violate their
impunity, a system which is already sanctioned?
Once the system is justified in the name of the high
ideal of security and
the fight against terrorism, then violations of rights are considered
damage," "unfortunate mistakes," "unintended consequences," and so on,
the case with targeted assassinations conducted through drone warfare.
It is the
phoniest possible definition of what constitutes the "greater good." It
is a farce.
The issue of which authority presides over what
jurisdiction is key to
establishing who will defend you under what circumstances. Over what
territory is Mr. Ralph Goodale exercising his
authority is he exercising? For that matter, what is the federal
definition of authority? Providing answers to these questions will
Canadians' ability to secure their lives.
1. CBC reported the case of "a six-year-old Markham,
Ont., boy named
Syed Adam Ahmed, whose parents say has been flagged on a no-fly list
he was a toddler.
"His father, Sulemaan Ahmed, snapped a picture on an
screen showing his son had been flagged on what's known as a 'deemed
profile' list when he tried to take him to the NHL Winter Classic game
between the Canadiens and Bruins on New Year's Day in Boston.
"Since then, the parents of two other Canadian-born boys
-- both under
three years old -- have come forward saying their children are on
and have faced airport security delays as a result.
"Ahmed, and his wife, Khadija Cajee, said they never got
a straight answer
from staff at the Transport and Public Safety departments about exactly
list their son might be on -- or whether he is even on it."
Developments in Venezuela
President Maduro Takes Action to
Safeguard Bolivarian Revolution
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro on January 15 issued
Economic Decree and later made his annual State of the Union address to
National Assembly to elaborate on the threats facing the Bolivarian
nation-building project that make the Emergency Economic Decree
The decree was presented at Miraflores
Presidential Palace by Vice President for the Economy Luis Salas.
The Economic Emergency Decree is aimed at protecting the
right of all
Venezuelans to health care, housing, education and food, thereby
social progress despite the slump in oil prices. The loss in revenue
production has been aggravated by the wave of speculative inflation led
business sectors linked to right-wing opposition parties, the
The preamble to the decree
states that the measures "must be of a high
magnitude and impact on the national economy, without affecting the
to health, food, education, work, and all that has been gained for
by the Bolivarian Revolution through class struggle that imposed the
the people over the interests of the bourgeoisie."
Practically speaking, the decree involves making
resources from the 2015
financial year available, assigning extra funds to health, education,
housing; designing and implementing measures to prevent tax evasion;
giving the executive the "authorization to address the causes of the
The measure also allows the administration special
temporary powers to
boost production and ensure access to key goods, including taking over
companies' resources, imposing currency controls and "other social,
or political measures deemed fitting."
In its first article, the decree provides that the
government, acting in
accordance with the powers granted by the Bolivarian Constitution, can
"appropriate measures to effectively address the unique and
economic situation the Venezuelan state is currently facing."
It also establishes that the Venezuelan people must be
able to enjoy "their
rights and free access to basic goods and services" and that the decree
also mitigate "the effects of induced inflation, speculation,
fictitious value of
currency, [and] sabotage to distribution systems for goods and
Furthermore, the decree seeks to "counteract the
consequences of the war
on oil prices, which has [...] created a serious economic crisis."
President Maduro's Speech to National Assembly
State of the Union speech, President Maduro outlined a series of
reforms to strengthen Venezuela's economy, while criticizing the
neo-liberal model the opposition intends to impose on the country.
"There are two models, the neo-liberal model which destroys everything
the Chavista model which is centred around people," he said.
"What we want for the year 2016 is that our country
proceeds along a path
of development and economic growth that generates wealth and
Maduro stated, adding that the Economic Emergency Decree is necessary
Maduro stated that the government is formulating an
alternative to the
current model of economic growth that will not contradict the ideals of
country's social revolution. Social investment will be maintained and
negotiable, he said.
The President criticized those from the private sector
production who have joined in economic speculation as part of the
warfare against Venezuela. He pointed out that the Bolivarian
always created mechanisms for communication and dialogue with the
sector on economic matters, adding that the socialist model is the only
can overcome the economic difficulties. He also pointed out that
promoted from abroad have conditioned the current economic situation.
Despite the complex economic situation, Maduro duly
opposition majority in the National Assembly, while reaffirming that
Bolivarian Revolution will continue to build on its values and that
is a country of peace. Notably, the opposition forces have sought to
social unrest and violence as a means to overthrow the Bolivarian
President Maduro also pointedly criticized the President
Henry Ramos Allup, for the "abuse that was given to the symbols of the
commander Hugo Chávez and Simon Bolivar," referring to the
Ramos Allup that all portraits of Chávez and Bolivar in the
be taken down. He added that Bolivar's ideas are a constant source of
inspiration and that no Venezuelan would reject honouring his legacy at
National Assembly. Maduro underscored this point by presenting Ramos
with a figurine of Bolivar.
The President of Venezuela denounced the opposition's
law to free those responsible for the guarimbas, the deadly
unrest incited by the opposition in 2014. He called on the
to remember the murder of "43 people, 900 injured, and 300 people left
disabled." He called for a Joint Commission for Justice and Peace to
a legal basis for a peace process.
Maduro also called for the parliament's support in
opposing the March
2015 decree of U.S. President Barack Obama in which he declared
a threat to the U.S.
Outlining the government's major goals for 2016,
President Maduro stated
that the social investments that ensure the well-being of the
will be continued. In this context, the government will work for a
the oil market, diversifying production to break the country's
oil revenues. He affirmed that the government will continue to provide
socialized housing, calling this program "a spiritual engine of the
and that it will continue to protect seniors.
1. The decree was initially supposed to be presented to
Assembly on January 5. However, provocative actions by the opposition
forces, including defying a Supreme Court order not to swear-in three
suspended deputies due to allegations of vote-buying, disrupted the
functioning for several days.
New Measures to Develop and Strengthen
the National Economy
Demonstrations outside opening of National Assembly,
January 5, 2016.
The Venezuelan government is taking important measures
to strengthen the
country's economy to overcome the economic war being waged by the
country's reactionary oligarchs and provide stability for the
In an interview with state media, Minister for Industry
and Trade Miguel
Perez Abad emphasized that the country requires the efforts of
well as workers, entrepreneurs, universities and research centres to
Venezuela into a powerful country and achieve economic diversification.
Perez Abad said that the government will enhance and
productive initiatives of communal councils, socially-owned
artisan, and small, medium and large industries. All of these, he
have been proposed to replace imports, increase food production and
new technology to further develop the country's capabilities and
He indicated that a new financial system will be
implemented to support
these initiatives and gradually reduce any obstacles for entrepreneurs,
to control by the State.
Perez Abad stressed that the basic industries in the
Guyana region of
Venezuela -- iron, steel and aluminum production -- are important for
industrial development of Venezuela and non-traditional exports beyond
In that regard, he announced a meeting January 13 in Bolivar state with
management board and employees of these companies to collect proposals,
plans and projects in order to devise a joint plan to improve the
of this economic group in this important region.
He said the purpose is to use the basic industries for
the development of domestic added-value and that includes
generating more jobs.
Concerning the development of the oil industry, the
Minister noted that
there are many factories producing goods in the country that are
imports "and creating well-paid jobs, achieving technological and
sovereignty." He referred to the Orinoco Oil Belt, where he said there
joint ventures being put in place to replace imports.
He added that state oil company PDVSA "remains one of
buyers in the country, and we are developing production chains around
sector" and thus adding value to the country.
New Plan to Recover Oil Prices
Nicolas Maduro announced in a January 12 television and radio broadcast
he had charged Oil and Mining Minister Eulogio Del Pino with coming up
with a new plan of action to recover crude oil prices, along with
non-member countries of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting
(OPEC). Oil prices have reached their lowest point in 12 years with an
of $24 per barrel.
The President criticized efforts by the U.S. in the oil
market to undermine
the economies of those states with which it does not agree through
oil production from fracking. He stated that these countries "are
be free, independent and sovereign and we're not going to kneel to
The President stressed that even with oil prices at $24
rights -- he specifically mentioning the right to work, housing and
pensions -- will
remain. He compared this to the situation with other countries and oil
companies which -- facing a 70 per cent oil price slump -- have engaged
mass layoffs, as is the case with UK-based BP that on January 12
the termination of 4,000 jobs.
He stressed that the sharp drop in oil prices opens
opportunities to start a
new phase of the country's economic revolution.
Addressing the country's oil workers from Miraflores
Palace on January
12, Maduro stated that efforts must be made to create new sources of
in dollars, which is already being done, and the pace must be
made these remarks in the context of signing a new collective agreement
PDVSA oil workers for 2015-2017. The contract followed more
than 35,000 proposals raised in meetings of the regional trade unions
includes a wage increase of 143 per cent, with back pay from October
It covers more than 83,000 men and women working in the oil industry.
Boosting agriculture and fisheries
during 2016 will also be a fundamental objective of the Venezuelan
At the Miraflores Presidential Palace in Caracas on
President Nicolas Maduro
announced the creation of the Ministry of Agricultural Production and
to be led by Wilmar Castro Soteldo which, with the support of the
work to consolidate the production of 19,551 tons of food, cultivated
The inauguration of this ministry later took place in
Socialist Productive Technical Center, in the state of Barinas, and was
farmers from the states of Miranda, Bolivar, Barinas and Monagas, who
organized workshops and discussed strategies to boost food production.
"As a result of capitalism and the imposition of the oil
model from the
north, the culture, knowledge and work in the fields and the land was
for about 100 years. But in the Bolivarian Revolution, fundamental,
conditions have prepared the ground to take the leap and move in a
progressive and timely way in food production," said the President,
Maduro also spoke of the need to revolutionize the
country's fishing and
"Venezuela has a very important fishing [industry ...],"
Maduro said. He
appointed Executive Vice President Aristobulo Isturiz to create new
comprehensive models of productive fishing communities to include
in the process of economic transformation.
"I give this task to Aristobulo Isturiz, to design new
fishermen. Let's see how much we impact in the first half of this year,
them all the services and support," he said.
The government will include fishermen in its major
social missions --
Housing Venezuela, Barrio Nuevo and Barrio Tricolor -- and in the
security system, to ensure them a retirement pension, full care and
He also announced that in the coming days, working and
sessions will be held with public and private companies to create
boost the fishing sector and thus the goals set by the Venezuelan state
when "the Bolivarian Revolution will face a great economic storm."
These meetings, he said, will seek suitable methods to
export fish to bring
in foreign currency. He stated that it is a major goal to turn
Venezuela into a
fishing power for domestic consumption and for export. To that end, the
Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture has been created "as a great tool
solving all issues and to double the fishing production capacity of
The new Ministry for Fisheries and Aquaculture, which
will be led by
Angel Belisario, was inaugurated on January 9 in Sucre state, close to
fishermen to give them the attention and training necessary for the
their duties with respect to the goals set by the nation.
Venezuela's new Agriculture and Lands Minister Soteldo
launched a series of measures on January 9 aimed
getting the country's national food production back on track.
At least 19 different points of action were put forward
including providing increased technical and financial assistance to
increasing urban agriculture and planting 50,000 hectares of soy.
He also took the unprecedented move of decentralizing
some of the
country's most important agrarian institutes such as the National Land
(INTI) and the National Institute of Rural Development (INDER).
Both bodies will be transferred from the capital to the
rural states of
Cojedes and Portuguesa respectively. Four Agropatria regional support
will also be opened in Merida, Portuguesa, Guarico and Zulia to promote
finance small-scale agricultural production amongst citizens.
Minister Soteldo said the measures were aimed at
longstanding reliance on imports and ensuring the availability of "fair
food" for the most vulnerable. He added that the government hoped to
eventually begin exporting Venezuelan produce abroad.
According to Soteldo, the ministry's goal for 2016 is to
2.5 million hectares of the nation's countryside and produce 19.5
tonnes of food. This will involve a 7 billion Bolivar investment
creation of the mission "My Well Equipped Farm" to provide financing to
farmers in a number of areas. State-level authorities will also be
ensure that these goals are being met, alongside state governors.
"Let the people decide what to do with those who fail to
fulfil our harvest
goals," stated Soteldo, who invited grassroots Campesino Councils and
national Presidential Campesino Council to help with the supervision of
measures and the 2016 harvest.
In other comments Soteldo revealed that an immediate
investigation into the costs of national meat, milk and sugar
begin the week of January 10. He said his ministry will also intervene
costs in a bid to incentivize producers.
"Producers have been teaching me, because at times we
have to be humble
in these issues, to be able to learn about the reality of our people,"
the Minister, who explained that he had been in the field with
he took office.
Venezuelanalysis.com reports that the Bolivarian
repeatedly attempted to build a national state-run food production and
distribution network. But the importation, production and distribution
is still largely controlled by private monopolies and particularly by
Opposition Attacks the Functioning of the State and
Supporters of the
Bolivarian revolution gather outside opening of the National Assembly,
January 5, 2016.
The coalition of Venezuelan opposition parties known as
the MUD has
made serious attacks on the normal functioning of the Venezuelan state
the rights of the people since its victory in the December 6, 2015
Defiance of Supreme Court and Disruption of National
The National Assembly, which opened on January 5, has
been severely disrupted by the self-serving antics of the opposition
including the new President of the National Assembly, Henry Ramos
The MUD was initially considered to have won 112 seats,
super majority, in the December 6, 2015 legislative election. This
given it the ability to pass motions and legislation virtually
increased the threat to the Bolivarian Revolution. However, allegations
vote-buying resulted in the Supreme Court temporarily barring all four
legislators in Amazonas state -- including a government affiliated
Patriotic Pole (GPP) candidate -- pending a full investigation.
Nonetheless, the opposition used its majority to impose
swearing-in of its three deputies and negated the legitimacy of the
This forced a further intervention by the Supreme Court
which ruled on
January 11 that the country's National Assembly is void because the
coalition violated the previous court ruling. "Decisions taken or to be
the National Assembly while these citizens are incorporated will be
null," read a statement from the court. It also ordered the National
to "proceed to the immediate divestiture of [the three MUD candidates]
Guarulla, Julio Ygarza and Romel Guzamana, which must be verified and
recorded in regular session." The entire National Assembly was
The decisions by the MUD invalidated by the ruling
include the unilateral
decision by opposition leader and speaker of the House Henry Ramos
to remove the portraits of former Venezuelan President Hugo
national liberation hero Simon Bolivar from the congressional chambers.
On January 12, the opposition agreed that its three
would resign and the National Assembly was permitted to reopen.
this was only a manoeuvre to launch further attacks on the functioning
The resignation of the suspended deputies should have
meant the MUD's
two-thirds super majority was also pre-empted. Ramos Allup now claims
the resignations are equivalent to reducing the total number of seats
National Assembly and has proclaimed that on this basis, the MUD has a
Meanwhile, the MUD-affiliated governor of Amazonas
Guarulla, filed a motion against the Supreme Court decision to suspend
deputies, which he claims, "has practically eliminated a federal state
represents 20 per cent of the country's territory."
The machinations of Ramos Allup and Governor Guarulla
are in denial of
the serious matter facing the Supreme Court. Regarding the court's
response to the challenge of the results in Amazonas state that led to
suspension of the four deputies, TeleSUR writes:
"In the decisions posted online, the court did not
specify the reasons for
upholding the challenge, however the candidates who submitted the
cite a number of electoral irregularities, including possible fraud, a
number of blank votes, and, most importantly, vote buying.
"The allegation that candidates and politicians were
engaged in vote
buying in the state of Amazonas emerged shortly after the elections and
before the court ruled to suspend the four candidates.
"On Dec. 16, Jorge Rodriguez, a leading figure inside
party and the head of that party's campaign, released a recording that
provides evidence of vote buying and implicates Victoria Franchi, an
of the opposition governor of Amazonas.
"In the recording Franchi can be heard speaking to an
described as an undercover agent, concerning a plot to pay people to
accompany seniors and people with low literacy on voting day in order
ensure that these people vote for candidates from the opposition
"Franchi is also heard offering to pay for people to
pose and vote on
behalf of the deceased.
"'We want to win by any means necessary,' says Franchi
toward the end
of the recording.
"Should the allegations of vote buying be proven to be
true, it would
constitute a crime under Venezuela's electoral law. Authorities would
need to determine if the crime was severe or significant enough to
new elections in the affected state."
Opposition Attack on the Right to Housing
With the National Assembly once again operational,
leader of the MUD Julio Borges took the opportunity on January 12 to
introduce a law that would hand over the property deeds of homes
by the Great Venezuelan Housing Mission (GMVV) to the residents, who
the opposition says at present only retain a permanent lease that
cannot be transferred or sold. This bill will be debated the week of
Borges claims that turning the massive social investment
into a scheme for
private ownership would generate jobs and speed up construction,
"democratization of property." Opposition lawmaker Delsa Solorzano
in to say, "We believe in a Venezuela of property owners."
Ricardo Molina, former Minister for Housing and Habitat,
pointed out the
dubious nature of the proposed law, stating that it "is founded on
or manipulation." He clarified that Articles 9 and 13 of the current
Property Law allow
families, if they have the need or the wish, to sell their house. "That
house is property of the family," he explained.
Molina further explained that the existing Property
Law prevents houses built by the GMVV from entering the speculative
and removing this block is the actual aim of the opposition bill to be
The GMVV is considered one of the main initiatives of
Maduro and his predecessor Hugo Chávez. It has built more than
houses for Venezuelan families since it was founded in 2011, with
given to poor families.
Opposition Tables Self-Serving Law to Release Convicted
While the MUD's election platform claimed the coalition
would undertake economic reforms to assist the people, their actions in
National Assembly indicate that their only priority is to seize
to further their narrow aim of overthrowing the Maduro government and
On January 14, the opposition tabled a bill to grant
amnesty to Leopoldo
López, convicted and sentenced to 13 years in prison for his
role in inciting violent social unrest in
which 43 people were killed and many hundreds more injured, some
The head of the GPP parliamentary bloc Hector
Rodriguez denounced the
proposed Amnesty Law as an affront to all those killed or injured, and
Rodriguez also rejected the interference from the U.S.
hegemony in the region, the Organization of American States (OAS),
attempting to portray López as a political prisoner. "There are
prisoners in Venezuela, there is no-one in prison for thinking
Those imprisoned are people who have committed crimes," he said.
GPP legislator Tania Diaz pointed out that a motion
approved January 14
by the opposition majority that exhorts Venezuela to be in compliance
international resolutions, preceded the tabling of the Amnesty Law as
well as one
on "National Reconciliation." All of these are part of a strategy to
crimes of those who incited the deadly violence against the people, she
Renewed Attack by Organization of American States
OAS Secretary General Luis Almagro, on January 11 threatened to expel
Venezuela from OAS using the Inter-American Democratic Charter because
of the just stand taken by the Supreme Court. In a letter to President
Almagro called the suspension of the three opposition deputies a
to the will of the people." He also warned Maduro not to "distort" the
results. Notably, Almagro had nothing to say about the serious
vote-buying that may have distorted the outcome of the election. His
makes clear the connivance between the opposition MUD and foreign
to betray the national interest and their violation of the Venezuelan
right to sovereignty.
The OAS is notorious for its ongoing interference in the
internal affairs of
Venezuela and other countries. In the leadup to the December 6, 2015
elections, Almagro called into question the fairness of Venezuela's
internationally renowned electoral system, fueling unfounded rumors of
circulated in the international press which were later silenced by
Maduro's immediate recognition of the landslide opposition victory,
Venezuelanalysis.com points out. The fact that allegations of fraud and
vote-buying have led to a suspension of four deputies should instead be
an indication that the Venezuelan electoral system takes such matters
The declarations by the OAS general-secretary were
roundly dismissed by
the GPP parliamentary bloc. "The OAS has no place meddling in Venezuela
[...] it's an organization totally lacking in legitimacy," asserted
of Venezuela legislator and former National Assembly President Diosdado
Government Denounces Media War
The Minister for Foreign Affairs of Venezuela, Delcy
Rodríguez on January 15 denounced the campaign of private media
monopolies being waged against that country.
In a statement published on the website of Venezuela's
Foreign Ministry, Rodríguez said the real aim of this crusade in
support of the opposition forces is a foreign intervention.
She said that Venezuela also faces other pressure being
abroad through diplomatic missions in Venezuela. She added that the
actions of opposition deputies confirms that they are following a
directed from abroad, as previously stated by President Nicolas Maduro.
Rodriguez condemned the incessant interference and
aggression of the U.S.
in recent months, pointing out how it uses coercive methods against
countries that seek their own path. She noted that a similar script is
followed of permanent
aggression in the financial and economic spheres.
She warned that all invasions and military attacks by
the U.S. and its allies
against countries such as Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan and others, have
preceded by strong media campaigns.
New Initiatives to Communicate the Revolution to the
As part of combatting this media war, President Maduro
called for the deepening of the Bolivarian Revolution's communication
to report its achievements.
On January 9, Maduro announced the formation of the
General Staff, as part of the new communication policy that the
will undertake during 2016.
"The Communication General Staff was installed today,
with a group of
guests, intellectuals, experts to build the new communications policy
truth of our country, the new communication policy of the Revolution.
were just receiving the report, and commenting, guiding and making
key elements to have our people well-informed, well-prepared," he said.
He reiterated that the Bolivarian Revolution faces a
right-wing majority in
the National Assembly, which has threatened to repeal laws won by
power over 16 years of continuous work.
"The Parliamentary right want to impose the old
neo-liberal model, to
privatize everything, to regularize labour rights of global
de-industrialization and economic disaster that other countries are
again, such as Argentina," he said.
However, the right faces a major obstacle: organized
people willing to
defend the Bolivarian project introduced by Commander Hugo
1999, and led today by President Nicolas Maduro.
"People's power is the government, we are instruments of
for people to have direct access to power and be sure that, trusting
we will not fail," said the President.
Haitian Presidential Elections
Political Crisis Deepens
The political crisis in Haiti continues to intensify as
the ruling circles try
to give legitimacy to a thoroughly discredited electoral process that
to impose a government in the service of foreign private monopoly
Runoff Election Further Delayed
The second round of the
presidential election, initially planned for December 27 and delayed to
17 has now been postponed a second time until January 24. As even more
detailed revelations of massive irregularities and fraud in the
came to light with the release of the report of the Independent
Evaluation Commission, the Provisional Electoral Council (CEP) of
Louis Opont said it would be impossible to organize elections on
January 17. The Haiti Sentinel reported on January 6:
"But four days later, following a meeting with President
and with no changes made to the electoral process, he would write the
National Palace and the nation to say he was ready to guarantee
January 24, 2016.
"In a press note dated January 5, 2016, Opont said he
believed it is
important to respect the constitutional dates of January 11 and
2016, the dates a new legislature should be seated and a president
The UN, the Organization of American States (OAS), the
U.S., Canada, France and other foreign governments that continue to
directly interfere in the internal affairs of Haiti are desperate to
give credibility to the sham electoral process and support holding the
final round of elections in January to meet the February 7 deadline.
For its part Canada has said nothing about its role in overseeing the
sham elections, but is now knee-deep in trying to legitimize them. The
Trudeau government's silence on its direct involvement compared with
its talk about transparency appears to indicate that it does not want
its role to be exposed. The OAS said on Janaury 7 that the scheduling
of the runoff for January 24 was a "step in the right direction."
Independent Electoral Evaluation Commission
Irregularities in First Round
presidential elections October 25, 2015.
The Haiti Election Blog reports that on
"Sunday 3 January, the Independent Electoral Evaluation Commission
its report on the 25 October presidential elections. Appointed on 22
by President Martelly in response to demands for an independent
the Evaluation Commission met over the holidays with electoral council
members, government officials, election observers, candidates and other
concerned groups, and conducted a verification of 1771
"The report concluded that the October 25 vote was
indeed marked by
'grave irregularities' that were 'akin to fraud.'
"The testimonies gathered were unanimous in recognizing
that the 25
October 2015 elections were tainted by irregularities, and that several
candidates benefitted, through their representatives at polling
these irregularities comparable to fraud. (p. 10)
"The sample of tally sheets examined by the Evaluation
painted a picture of a deeply flawed electoral process. 92% of the 1771
randomly-selected tally sheets examined by the commission had at least
'serious irregularity' and 54.1% had three or more serious
According to statistics compiled by the Commission, 56.7% of tally
showed evidence of erasure and modification ('rature avec
while 28.3% of tally sheets had not been plasticised, a measure meant
prevent post-vote alterations.
"The Commission also found that many votes had been cast
proper documentation. 57.1% of tally sheets had votes without the
corresponding signature or fingerprint of the voter recorded on the
46.8% of tally sheets examined had votes that were cast using an
Identification Card] number, 30.6% of tally sheets had votes that
lacked a CIN number altogether. The scale of these
potentially massive. Commission member Rosny Desroches stated in a
interview with Radio Vision 2000 that at one polling station in La
people voted without providing CIN numbers, while only 25 voted with a
"The report confirmed the accusations of a number of
observer groups that
the system of mandataires (political party representatives) was
exploited to cast fraudulent votes on election day [...]"
The Haiti Election Blog notes, however, that
Commission shied away from evaluating the full scope of the problems on
October in its report. The report never clearly establishes the degree
the presidential election results were compromised by such
to fraud.' Nor does the report ever identify the candidates that
most from these irregularities, only timidly noting that political
general revealed themselves to be 'potential sources of irregularities,
corruption in electoral competition.' (p. 6) The Commission's report
ambiguous about whether the widespread and serious irregularities it
actually constituted 'fraud.' [...]
"The report included in its recommendation an ambiguous
call for 'a more
in-depth examination on the technical level of the responsibility of
electoral apparatus for irregularities often described as massive
Its recommendations, however, avoided calling for a full recount of the
or the rerunning of elections, an omission that prompted Commissioner
Gédéon Jean of RNDDH [National Human Rights Defense
Network] to refuse
to sign the final document. [...]
"The Evaluation Commission noted in its report that the
of foreign powers had damaged Haitians' confidence in the electoral
'The perception of meddling by international actors in the major
the nation causes confusion and discredits the country's established
"Overall, the report is a contradictory document that
will likely deepen
rather than resolve the electoral crisis. The Commission itself is
what going forward without correcting the results of previous elections
'A President of the Republic and other elected officials issued from
tarnished by major irregularities would further aggravate the political
instability of the country.' (p. 1) Yet beyond a general statement that
of the electoral law should be punished, the Commission makes no
recommendations for rectifying the presidential elections, even while
that 25 October was marred by serious irregularities."
Withdrawal of Jude Celestin from Runoff Election
campaign team of candidate Jude Celestin, the candidate for the
under the banner of the "Alternative League for Progress and the
Emancipation" (LAPEH) who finished second in the first round of the
has said he will take part in the January 24 runoff only if sweeping
recently recommended by the Independent Electoral Evaluation Commission
adopted, the Associated Press reported on January 8. Celestin told the Miami
Herald on January 7 that outgoing President
have to do an election with just one candidate." The CEP states that
Celestin officially withdraws from the race his name will appear on the
ballot whether he chooses to campaign or not.
Spokesperson for the Commission Rosny Desroches said he
has seen very
little progress to improve the process and ease tensions since the
recommendations were released on January 3.
Celestin's withdrawal leaves only Jovenel Moise, the
candidate backed by
President Martelly, in the running. Should he become president, Jovenel
will presumably continue the Martelly regime's illegimate rule on
behalf of U.S. and other foreign interests.
Swearing-In of National Assembly and Senate
Violates Electoral Law
A National Assembly, consisting of 92 deputies, and
a Senate comprised of 14 members were sworn in on January 10, with
elected on August 9 and October 25, 2015. There are still several seats
legislature and the Senate to be filled, with these elections also
scheduled for January 24.
The Haiti Sentinel points out, "The Electoral
Constitution of Haiti state clearly that the installation of members of
Parliament is to take place after elections have taken place.
the lack of confidence Haitians have in the process, elections are
incomplete with three senatorial contests and several deputy races
to be held.
"Furthermore, the Haitian Constitution requires that the
installation of the new Chamber of Deputies take place on the second
Monday of January, which would have been January 11, 2016. Due to
planned protests against the installation and a boycott by the
candidates themselves, the Martelly regime rushed to swear-in the
supposed winners a day earlier."
For this reason, "The ceremony, which began at 10:00 am
local time in the
Parliament building and which had not been publicly announced, was
out with the utmost discretion for fear of opposition demonstrations," Haiti
Liberté informs. Nonetheless, a
protest took place outside
the Parliament to denounce the illegitimacy of these proceedings.
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