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Cruising Into History Changes Course
English and Kreyol

HLLN Note: Yesterday the Haitian Lawyers Leadership forwarded the new Ron Daniel's statement entitled "Cruising Into Haiti Changes Course." Today, particularly for our brothers and sisters in Haiti and around the globe, we are sending out the kreyol translation we commissioned of this very important new statement.

Find it below as well as the original English version for your information. We thank Papa Desalin's son for his dedication to Haiti's liberation and this double quick but excellent translation. Both the English and Kreyol translation are to be - "gaye prese, prese" - immediately and widely distributed by our Network supporters and participants.

Haitian Lawyers Leadership Network
August 12, 2004


August 11, 2004
Cruising Into History Changes Course

for immediate circulation

Introduction/Background

The following statement "Cruising Into History Changes Course" is a response to the legitimate concerns raised by the Commission on Communications of Fanmi Lavalas and representatives of the Pro-Democracy Movement in the U.S. and abroad that our Pilgrimage could be construed as endorsing or legitimizing the U.S. installed government in Haiti. This impression resulted from the interaction with officials of this administration in our request that the commitments made by the Aristide Government to provide logistical and security support for CIH be honored. Then as now, we understood that given conditions in Haiti, certain activities could not be undertaken without the support of the government. And, we always made it clear that our acceptance of support should not be seen as an endorsement of the government, a particular party or political movement. However, given the tragic events of February/March, we must be self-critical in not fully assessing the implications of accepting support of this administration to conduct tours to the Citadel and Sans Souci Palace as originally envisioned. Certainly there was never any intent that CIH be seen as endorsing the current regime in Haiti or that it be used for that purpose. Accordingly, as a result of an extensive and productive dialogue with the Commission on Communications of Fanmi Lavalas and leaders of the Pro-Democracy Movement, and in the spirit of unity in struggle, we have changed course. It is our sincere hope that our Statement and actions will be accepted in that spirit!

Cruising Into History Changes Course
Commemorative Visit to Haiti
August 19, 2004

Statement by Ron Daniels, Director of the Haiti Support Project

From its inception Cruising into History (CIH) has been a non-profit, non-government sponsored, cultural, educational and civic project intended to express solidarity with and support for the masses of the Haitian people. It has never been our intention that this extraordinary journey be used to endorse, promote or support any particular government, political party or political movement. The Haiti Support Project has worked, against great odds, to mobilize nearly 500 Haitian Americans, African Americans and friends of Haiti to join us for an extraordinary Caribbean Pilgrimage to salute Haiti and the Haitian people and share in the year long bicentennial observances of the independence of the first Black Republic in this hemisphere.

We have always viewed our Commemorative Visit to Haiti August 19th as the climax and highlight of this Pilgrimage. As we embark on this journey, however, it has come to our attention that the U.S. backed "interim government" is attempting to showcase our arrival in Haiti to bolster its legitimacy. This is certainly not our intention. Accordingly, the Haiti Support Project would like to once again condemn the U.S. government orchestrated overthrow of Jean Bertrand Aristide as the democratically elected President of the Republic of Haiti and the installation of a government in violation of the Constitution of Haiti.

Moreover, rumors are circulating that a warrant for the arrest has been issued for another Minister of the Aristide Government, who was instrumental in securing commitments from the Government of President Aristide to provide the necessary logistical support and security to make CIH a success. A few weeks ago Yvon Neptune, Prime Minister in the Aristide Government, was also arrested, and there is a documented pattern of intimidation, arrests and killing of Lavalas members across the country. The Caribbean Community (CARICOM), the Congressional Black Caucus and international human rights organizations have condemned the lack of protection for and overt singling out of Lavalas supporters for arrest and intimidation. This is occurring in the face of the failure to capture, arrest, disarm and prosecute the "so called" rebels and known drug dealers and murderers. The Haiti Support Project lends its voice to the growing international outcry against these human rights abuses.

To guard against any impression that we endorse this administration and its practices, we have decided to confine our commemorative activities to the grounds at Labadee, which does not require any logistical support, security, assistance or participation from this regime. Though this will come as a disappointment to many who had hoped to visit historic sites in Cap Haitien and to visit the Sans Souci Palace and the Citadel near Milot, in the end, we are confident that as people of conscience and concern, our group will realize, that in the name of celebrating the bicentennial of Haiti's independence, we do not want to do anything that may be interpreted as undermining democracy and the welfare of the masses of the Haitian people.

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Forwarded by the Haitian Lawyers Leadership
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