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Haiti's senate president under fire over letter to Chilean counterpart
Published on December 7, 2013 Email To Friend    Print Version

By Joe Colas

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (HCNN) -- The senate president in Haiti has been accused of treason after inviting the Chilean parliamentary leader to use his influence to make sure that Chilean UN troops deployed in the Caribbean country take the side of demonstrators who are seeking to overthrow the elected government.

Senate president Simon Dieuseul Desras
Simon Dieuseul Desras wrote on November 6, 2013 to the president of the Chilean National Assembly, Jorge Pizarro Soto, to denounce the Haitian executive branch which, he said, is in the process of establishing a dictatorship in the country, while planning to dissolve Parliament.

Desras, a fierce opponent of the government leadership, said the parliament was concerned about the stance Chilean troops could take in relation to public disturbances, linked to the Haitian people's struggle to defend the country's sovereignty and their rights to public liberties.

"The Haitian Parliament is convinced that the troops from your country would choose, should it be necessary, to defend the Haitian people, thirsty for democracy, against the excesses of an arbitrary and totalitarian regime," wrote Desras to Pizarro Soto.

Desras, who called the unrests and mobilization to overthrow the government understandable, predicted that the lack of confidence in the executive branch and other aggravating accusations about the handling of public affairs could plunge the country into a chaotic situation, in the coming months.

Many interpreted Desras' appeal to the Chilean Parliament as a call for military action by Chilean UN troops against the democratically elected Haitian government, led by President Michel Martelly and Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe, but government opponents viewed the initiative differently.

"The call by Sen. Desras to invite Chilean troops deployed here to interfere with Haitian internal affairs in a move to overthrow democratically elected authorities is an act of treason against the Haitian sovereign state," Wencessclass Lambert, a Senator close to the government, told HCNN.

"Desras should be removed from his position as president of the senate because he wrote such a shameful letter on behalf of Parliament without even informing the legislative assembly," said Lambert.

However, others who oppose the government expressed support for Desras' initiative.

"Sen. Desras has a right to seek solidarity and support from other Parliaments around the world to counter president Martelly's dictatorial enterprise," said opposition Sen. Jean-Baptiste Bien-Aimé, who has repeatedly called for Martelly's resignation.
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