Dessalines Is Rising!!
Aristide's Letter -
Solidarity with Rev. Father Gèrard Jean Juste
demanding the 22 Billion Haitian restitution from France
Ayisyen: You Are Not Alone!
Pretoria, South Africa
Solidarity with Rev. Father Gérard
After more than a month in jail, the health of Rev. Fr. Gérard
Jean Juste is deteriorating. Once again I join my voice to the
voices of many calling for his release. His unlawful detention,
alongside the unlawful detention of thousands of political prisoners
in Haiti, demonstrates a clear determination to exclude Lavalas,
or the huge majority of Haitian people, from participating in
free, fair and democratic elections.
Again we must ask: In 1994, who could have expected free, fair
and democratic elections in South Africa with Nelson Mandela,
Govan Mbeki, Oliver Tambo and other leaders and members of the
African National Congress in jail, exile or in hiding?
In Haiti, in order to have elections and not a “selection”,
the following steps must be taken:
1. The thousands of Lavalas who are in jail and in exile must
be free to return home.
2. The repression that has already killed over 10,000 people must
3. Then, there must be national dialogue.
Fr. Jean Juste too has echoed this call for dialogue and peace.
He must be freed.
All the political prisoners must be freed.
Dialogue leading to peace through the restoration of constitutional
order – this is the will of the Haitian people. After 200
years of independence it is clear that from this dialogue will
emerge a new Haiti.
Demands From the Grassroots
and Democratic-base in Haiti
from the grassroots and Fanmi Lavalas-base in Haiti for
the majority of people in Haiti to participate in elections.
The US-backed Haitian National Police, U.N. troops (MINUSTAH)
and their ex-army goons and "civilian attaches" are
currently running loose in Haiti shooting and chopping people
to bits with imported machete and turning Haiti into a butcher's
house to attain the peace of the cemetery.
Waking up to over 10,000 dead and walking over corpses everyday,
Haitians know indeed, there is no benign neglect of Haiti by the
US or Western powers. For, Haiti was forced into this de facto
US/UN protectorate on Feb. 29, 2004. But, threading through the
blood of the slaughtered, pushing through starvation and sickness,
retching away heart, nerve and sinew to hold on to dignity and
hope for return to Constitutional rule and respect for their vote,
the huge majority of Haitians continue to tell the world's most
powerful countries and armies that, though they be materially
poor, they are free, not slaves or Western "propery"
and shall not accept the lost of Haitian sovereignty to be formalized
either by a foreign-run election under this foreign-imposed Latortue
government and UN occupation army nor through a UN/US official
Since the coup d'etat the majority of Haiti's people have been
under military rule, US/UN-backed state-sponsored terror and the
reign of impunity. But this August, 2005, even while the killings
and their manner reach horrific genocidal levels, even while all
their leaders are in jail or in exile and the indefinite detentions
and arbitrary arrests intensify, the grassroots movement for democracy
and justice in Haiti continued to resist this Western imported
tyranny and have issued the 5-point Haitian people's requirements
that must be met before there may be free and fair elections,
justice or peace in Haiti. They are as follows:
5-points from the grassroots Lavalas Movement and party-base in
in order for the majority and forces of peoples in Haiti they
to go to elections:
1. Liberation of all political prisoners including Father Gerald
Jean-Juste who the Fanmi Lavalas grassroots-base in Haiti chose
as their candidate for the presidency of Haiti.
2. The Latortue government must go.
3. The repression and killings in the popular neighborhoods
4. Disarmament. Arms must be gone. There cannot be elections
these arms on the streets (even those in the hands of the "no-nationality"
Haitian bourgeoisie, their "anti-poor" thug enforcers
and former military).
5. President Aristide and all those in exile must be allowed
to return to Haiti.These, as we understand them, are the conditions
by which the people in Haiti have stated, through their grassroots
pro-democracy representatives, they will go to elections.Stop
the U.N. and Haitian police killing of Lavalas supporters;
Haitian Lawyers Leadership Network
(A network dedicated to institutionalizing the rule
of law and
protecting the civil, human and cultural rights of Haitians living
at home and
Sept. 1, 2005
Lawyers Leadership Network's Appeal for international support
on the People of Haiti's right to
self-respect, self-determination and self-defense
We Haitian democracy activists
have taken on ourselves a great task.
The Haitian people have been robbed again, not only of the wealth
country, and not only of the lives and livelihoods of our countrymen,
but of our sense of self-determination.
The very essence of being Haitian is the connection to those freedom
fighters of the revolution who would not lie down and obey the
claimed to be their masters. Today, Haiti is being ruled by a
that was selected by foreign powers. The legitimate officials
are in exile,
in hiding, or in captivity.
All around, voices are telling us to suffer this indignity, to
on our quest for self-governance, that somehow we are unfit to
own leaders or our own style of governance.
We utterly reject this pattern of thought. It is the mental slavery
from which Bob Marley calls us to emancipate ourselves. For the
Haitian "This Song of Freedom" is truly all we have
ever had. And now they
want to take that too.
It is with this sense of insistence and urgency that we set forth
grievances and define our terms for reconciliation in the Haitian
Lawyers Leadership Haiti Resolution. We ask that all Haitian democracy
activists circulate this resolution, and address the issues and
demands of the resolution to their own governments, and to the
United Nations, which
has the responsibility for protecting the right of self-determination.
The Haitian Lawyers Leadership Haiti Resolution:
1. Demand the return of constitutional rule to Haiti by restoring
elected officials of all parties to their offices throughout the
country until the end of their mandates and another election is
mandated by Haiti's Constitution;
2. Condemn the killings, illegal imprisonment and confiscation
property of supporters of Haiti's constitutional government and
that Haiti's illegitimate "interim government" immediately
persecution and put a stop to persecution by the thugs and murderers
from sectors in their police force, from the paramilitaries, gangs
and former soldiers;
3. Insist on the immediate release of all political prisoners
Haitian jails, including Prime Minister Yvon Neptune, Interior
and other constitutional government officials and folksinger-activist
4. Insist on the disarmament of the thugs, death squad leaders
convicted human rights violators and their prosecution for all
crimes committed during the attack on Haiti's elected government
and support the rebuilding of Haiti's police force, ensuring that
it excludes anyone who helped to overthrow the democratically
elected government or who participated in other human rights violations;
5. Stop the indefinite detention and automatic repatriation of
refugees and immediately grant Temporary Protected Status to all
Haitian refugees presently in the United States until democracy
is restored to Haiti; and
6. Support the calls by the OAS, CARICOM and the African Union
investigation into the circumstances of President Aristide's removal.
Support the enactment of Congresswoman Barbara Lee's T.R.U.T.H
which calls for U.S. Congressional investigation of the forcible
the democratically elected President and government of Haiti.
Ayisyen: You Are Not Alone!
No Benign Neglect
HLLN Note: Below is a letter to the Orlando Sentinel
in reference to John C. Bersia's article "Time To End Benign
Neglect of Haiti (also copied below). According to his bio, Mr.
Bersia is also "special assistant to the President (Bush?)
for global perspectives." His article advocates the "temporary
suspension of Haiti's sovereignty" as if Bush's Feb. 29,
2004 regime change in Haiti and disenfranchisement of almost 9
Haitians hasn't already attained that goal.
Mr. Choisil's response outlines for this "special assistant
to the president" a Haitian perspective on Western paternalism
and constant repugnant interference in Haiti's domestic affairs
and why this has kept Haiti's peoples contained-in-poverty, under
a repressive U-S backed army and regimes and in constant Coup
D'etat, although US/Euro interference is consistently explained
and justified as benevolent, selfless and for bringing "democracy,"
"development" "free market", "law in
order" and now
"protectorate" to Haiti. In response to J. Bersia's
missionary point of view as stated in the Orlando Sentinel's "Time
to End Benign Neglect of Haiti," Mr. Paul Choisil emphatically
states: "...There is indeed, no (U.S.) benign neglect of
Haiti.... some sectors pay full attention to the demise of that
Sept. 1, 2005
DATE: Tue, 30 Aug 2005 16:39:25 -0700
FROM: "Paul Choisil" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
To: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
Subject: RE: TIME TO END BENIGN NEGLECT OF HAITI
Dear Mr. Bersia,
I am an expatriate Haitian who spent forty years in Canada and
achieved a successful economic and social life in my adopted country.
I, nevertheless, kept in touch with the development of events
and the historic background that led and kept my native country
in the desperate state in which it is now languishing.
I take exception to your paternalism and your dismissal of the
that brought about the situation we are facing.
Historically, the primary causes of the woes and miseries of Haiti
lie in the policies of the colonial powers that forced, through
blackmail and intimidation, to pay a fictitious debt in an amount
that prohibited any development and plans for the future. It took
Haiti one hundred years to pay this punitive debt, because the
Haitian sense of honor forces its leaders to meet a commitment,
however unjust. This policy was pursued by the newly independent
but profoundly racist American governments that continued a boycott
and refused to recognize and deal with the world's first black
An independent Haiti was a threat to a USA that was prospering
because of the free labor provided by slavery.
After that reluctant recognition, the struggling governments of
Haiti, at the beginning of the eighteen century were the subjects
of harassment by the USA until they finally decided to occupy
that country militarily and administratively, for twenty years.
This occupation did nothing to develop Haiti. It exploited its
resources, established forced labor for American interests and
set out to destroy Haitian culture, with the collaboration of
the local elite. Monopolies were created for this collaboration
which still exists today.
The legacy left by the USA is the creation of an army trained
to protect the interests of that elite and to keep the masses
in the background.
As a result, we have a society where a very small minority controls
all the financial aspects of the country, while keeping the overwhelming
majority in a state of destitution. This minority strives and
prospers by representing goods and services sold by US multinationals.
In turn, they have only support corrupt governments which support
their and US interests while suppressing the claims of the population.
The "dysfunctional past oppressive rule, poverty and environmental
devastation" have their causes in the above.
There, clearly, is a large responsibility by the so-called international
Under these circumstances, poverty is inevitable considering the
wages that are paid to the workers . Inadequate to obtain the
basic foodstuff, these wages cannot cover clothing and fuel. Thus
the cutting of trees to meet that need is the principal cause
of that environmental devastation.
We can also mention the vast expanses of agricultural lands destroyed
by US companies for the exploitation of rubber, sisal and export
agro-industrial projects, as well as the dumping of Florida rice
and cheap foodstuff that drive the Haitian farmers to the slums
of the capital.
USAID shortsighted so-called employment producing projects that
encourage the peasant to abandon his plantation for short term
employment. This destroyed the capacity of the farmers to produce
food for local consumption, as was the case in the past.
In the cities, the assembly factories are still paying a daily
wage that is less than the hourly wage of a US worker, for luxury
items intended for US consumption.
Your recommendations are erroneous because this experiment was
already made and it is one of the causes of the present situation.
Who are you to suggest that the sovereignty of a nation, that
fought so valiantly with its blood, courage and pride, be suspended?
Don't you know that, actually, Haiti is under occupation with
the UN acting as proxy for the US?
I would venture to say that if Haitians were left alone to decide
what their future would be, we would not be corresponding, now.
Since when does the international community concerns itself with
the welfare and future of any nation?
How pretentious can you be to think that you can prescribe the
tools to fix Haiti and, for that matter, the Dominican republic?
If the gap between Port-au-Prince and Santo-Domingo is so great,
why are there more Dominicans fleeing by boat than there are Haitians?
It is true that a better and closer relationship between Haiti
and the Dominican republic would make for a better Hispaniola
and more prosperity and happiness for their two populations. But
what is dividing the two countries have their roots in the big
multinational interests. E.g. the exploitation of haitian workers
by the big agro-industrial and construction companies.
Can those countries not solve their own problems, if not interfered
Please do not blame the victims. As a journalist you could divulge
and publicize the horrendous crimes being committed right now
by the US-backed interim government of Haiti, with the assistance
of the UN and the International community.
There are numerous reports, documented by photographs and video
pictures which are not published by the mainstream US media. If
you are concerned about Haiti, you might look into them and perhaps,
investigate their truthfulness.
There is, indeed, no benign neglect of Haiti.
Indeed, some sectors pay full attention to the demise of that
Time to end benign neglect
BY JOHN C. BERSIA
The Orlando Sentinel
(KRT) - The size and scope of Haiti's problems demand at least
20 years of hands-on assistance by the global community. When
nature raises its voice - as it did with Hurricane Katrina in
recent days, the freak monsoon floods that struck India earlier
in the summer and a tsunami of epic proportions late last year
- one cannot help but listen. Such disasters, which suggest evidence
of a planetary protest, typically send people scurrying to the
assistance of the afflicted.
In more peaceful times, though, when no compelling threat - natural
or human-made - looms, public concern often diminishes or disappears
altogether. I am reminded of Haiti, which seems to find itself
not only in a perpetual crisis but invariably marginalized. The
rest of the world tends to pay attention and react only when Haiti's
woes spill into the Caribbean and make their way to other shores,
including those of the United States.
I would like to see that benign neglect end and encourage a chance
for Haitians to enjoy stable, productive lives. To begin, the
international community should take a more aggressive stance in
helping Haiti separate itself from a dysfunctional past of oppressive
rule, poverty and environmental devastation. In addition, a tighter
bond should be established between Haiti and its neighbor on Hispaniola,
the Dominican Republic.
The ideal opportunity to resolve the Haitian conundrum came in
early 2004, with the departure of former President Jean-Bertrand
Despite apparently good intentions, Aristide accelerated Haiti's
plummet toward failed-state status. The international community
dutifully expressed alarm and dispatched troops, but unfortunately
its quick-fix technique has not succeeded in creating an environment
that will allow free, fair and safe elections later this year.
Even a recent decision to boost the size of the United Nations
stabilization force in Haiti falls short of the challenge.
The size and scope of Haiti's problems demand at least 20 years
of hands-on assistance by the global community. Now, I suspect
that such a proposal will resonate poorly among Americans who
already clamor for the United States to withdraw from other nation-building
enterprises, notably in Iraq. But if they desire long-term security
for nations bordering the Caribbean, they would be unwise to handle
Haiti hastily and fade away. That approach merely would guarantee
a repeat of past failures.
The most promising solution lies in the temporary suspension of
Haiti's sovereignty and in the imposition of a comprehensive plan
that would remove the influence of past regimes, bolster the society,
revamp education and training, and build a constituency for democracy
and free markets.
At the same time, it would help for Haiti and the Dominican Republic
to work more assiduously to reduce the historical tensions that
plague them. They have a common interest in dealing with just
about every issue, from hurricanes to economic development. Expanding
critical discussions at the national leadership level would make
Beyond that, the two countries would stand to gain from establishing
a permanent institute devoted to research on Dominican-Haitian
affairs. I am not talking about a make-work, one-person office
that would generate insipid trivia about the two countries. Rather,
I envision a serious, public-private partnership that would produce
ongoing, substantive assessments for the use of policy-makers
and other interested parties.
In the panorama of worthwhile issues, fixing Haiti and narrowing
the gap between Port-au-Prince and Santo Domingo deserve a closer
look and a proactive sense of urgency.
ABOUT THE WRITER
John C. Bersia, who won a Pulitzer Prize in editorial writing
for the Orlando Sentinel in 2000, is also the special assistant
to the president for global perspectives and
a professor at the University of Central Florida. Readers may
write to him at the Orlando Sentinel, 633 North Orange Ave., Orlando,
Fla. 32801, or by e-mail at
© 2005, The Orlando Sentinel (Fla.).Visit the Sentinel on
the World Wide Web at
http://www.orlandosentinel.com. On America Online, use keyword:
Distributed by Knight Ridder/Tribune Information Services.
Forwarded by the Haitian Lawyers Leadership Network
"Men anpil chay pa lou" is Kreyol for - "Many hands
make light a heavy
Ayisyen: You Are Not Alone!