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U.S. 'replaces' President Aristide with drug kingpins

by Marguerite Laurent

The day after U.S. Marines shot and killed two Haitian heroes, Louis "Poupouch" Frantzy, 20, a Ra Ra musician, and Rosny "Ti Rasta" Hypolite, 30, father of two, in the Belair neighborhood of Port-au-Prince, their friends, standing in front of buildings riddled with Marine bullets, defiantly spread their fingers to demand that President Aristide be allowed to serve out his five-year term. They say the Marines used a "fuse light" to make the night bright as day, then started shooting. The bandages on the arms of Junior (far right) cover bullet wounds.
Photo: William Farrington

Enough! The pro-democracy movement in Haiti has had enough. Through its actions, the U.S. is telling the Haitian people that their duly elected president has no place in Port-au-Prince, but drug and death squad kingpins, Lavalas infiltrators and opportunists, and U.S. Haitian mercenaries do!

2004 is the international year to commemorate the struggle against slavery and its abolition. UNESCO and the Schomburg Library in Harlem are working on several projects to commemorate Haiti's greatest feat lest we forget. Yet, that did not stop the brazen re-occupation of Haiti by U.S. and French forces!

Civilization and Black people worldwide are attacked by this horrific affront to the memory of the ancestors who fought and won against these colonial powers in 1804. Enough! Their blood screams for vengeance and justice as the constitutionally elected Haitian president is flown out in the dead of night like a thief. His residence trashed.

The hands of a young Haitian man remain bound with wire behind his back in a morgue in Port-au-Prince Sunday. Residents say five young men were taken away by Haitian police Saturday night and their bound and hooded bodies found dead this morning with gunshot wounds to the head.
Photo: Ryan Remiorz, CP, AP

Haiti's new medical university is shut down and occupied by U.S. Marines. The president's foundation and everything in it, notably the programs to feed the homeless, malnourished and orphans and provide education through the world's only children-run television station are looted and destroyed. Marines stand by. No schooling for you uppity Blacks daring to be self-reliant, creatively putting together, literally out of thin air, these educational edifices and the new medical university, despite 14 years of U.S./Euro obstructions and embargoes!

President Aristide called for help to strengthen the Haitian civilian police force so it could thwart the advancement of CIA asset Guy Philippe and convicted murderers Jean Tatoune and Louis Jodel Chamblain. But, through a diplomatic charade, Powell, Bush and Noriega sent help for the Haitian people's enemies instead.

Aristide is homeless in Jamaica. But U.S. puppet Latorture visits GonaÔve along with high level OAS representatives, sitting on the same platform with U.S./Euro infiltrators within the Lavalas government and cohorts of the Metayers, the Danny Toussaints, the former Cap Haitian Police Chief Guy Philippe, Jean Tatoune, Louis Jodel Chamblain, sweatshop kingpin Andre Apaid Jr., the unelected mayor of GonaÔve, Winter Etienne - all the rebels with no cause but the dollar and raw power - the puppets the U.S./Euros want Haitians to take on as heroes in place of President Aristide.

These coup supporters can walk about in Haiti today unimpeded, but the majority of Haiti's people are back in hiding. They can't freely speak or demonstrate. That is the democracy the Bush administration has brought to Haiti - the rule of U.S death squad trainees, narco-drug traffickers, sweatshop kingpins and Black overseers.

Justice is something Haitians would have to do themselves, and it would mean exposing U.S./Euro complicity in crimes against humanity in Haiti for decades, no, centuries. So no. Justice must be deferred. Haiti's people, from all sectors, must again reconcile with injustice as they had to do in 1994, 1915, 1957 and 1806.

Thus, on the Thursday prior to the coup, the U.N. Security Council could not send in peacekeeping troops to help Haitian democracy survive. But on Sunday, after the U.S. Marines, under the direction of U.S. Ambassador Foley, forced President Aristide out of Haiti, only then did the U.N. Security Council approved the "peacekeeping" troops.

Haiti is today under dictatorship once again, courtesy of another Bush administration. Back in 1991, Bush Sr. was in office when the U.S. backed the first coup against Haiti's first democratically elected government.

Now the Bush administration is squeezing Jamaica because President Aristide is back in the Caribbean. CARICOM must be commended and supported for their stand for democracy, for the ballot not the bullet to rule, for principles of the rule of law to be reinstated in Haiti. No other players on the international scene have stepped up and put themselves on the line against the world's greatest superpowers on behalf of Black democracy and justice.

The question arises, though, if President Aristide has no army and no popular support in Haiti, why is he so dangerous that U.S. Ambassador Foley, now running Haiti through his U.S.-Haitian puppet regime, is squeezing Jamaica and CARICOM with political and economic pressures? Why does he elicit such fear and trembling and concern from the three Western Hemisphere powers now occupying Haiti and supervising the extermination campaign against Aristideís supporters, even while the president is in exile? Why?

Because the group that took over Haiti's towns and forced President Aristide to ask for backup to his civilian police was no popular insurgency from Haiti's grassroots, but a military operation against President Aristide funded and orchestrated by the U.S. The U.S. used the same Haitian military and FRAPH paramilitary that overthrew President Aristide in 1991, except this time they came in from the Dominican Republic, where the U.S. had them waiting in the wings, shadowing democracy in Haiti since 1994; except this time they came in with their own imbedded AP reporter to spin the tale and convince the unsuspecting U.S. public that this was a grassroots popular movement against President Aristide's "corrupt rule"! Other than the fabrications about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, this is the single most horrific lie ever perpetrated on the world by the corporate media and the Bush State Department.

That's why Ambassador Foley in Haiti, France and their allies in Haitian civil society, the sweatshop owners and their criminal leadership, now are waging a campaign of intimidation against the CARICOM countries supporting Haiti's democratically elected, constitutional government. These fascists have no moral authority, just lies and subterfuge to stop decent people from protesting, criminals to do their bidding in Haiti and arms to maintain their undemocratic rule in Haiti.

The fact is, President Aristide must be restored to power in Haiti. The Haitian people won't recognize the illegal U.S./Euro puppet regime.

Colonialism is an act of war. Coup supporters, in this 21st century, do not have any standing in our global society where the peace and justice community is striving for respect for human rights, dignity and social inclusion and against profit over people principles.

The cavalry is not coming for the anti-coup advocates and supporters of the rule of law and its processes in Haiti, who have been rendered catatonic by Bush's Feb. 29 Haitian shock and awe campaign - who, as I write this very line, are being terrorized, taken away in illegal custody, detained, summarily disappeared or killed. These illegitimate and illegal forces claiming to have control in Haiti through pure force must be denounced by decent people the world wide.

The progressive peace and justice community is the cavalry. So let's make some noise for democracy in Haiti. Let it shake down the walls of dictatorship meticulously being erected.

Join the Haitian Lawyers Leadership Network and Haiti Action Committee in their campaign to help millions living on the brink of starvation at least have their country be ruled by the ballot, not the bullet.

Have your organization sign the Organizational Petition on Haiti at www.HaitiAction.net, support CARICOM and Jamaica, write the Haitian Lawyers Leadership Network to set up an affiliate in your town (Erzilidanto@aol.com), write or call your local elected representatives and your local media and request they take a stand and make a statement against the chasing down, killing and jailing of former elected officials, simple Haitian voters, anti-coup d'état supporters and supporters of the legitimate president of Haiti.

Marguerite Laurent, Esq., known as the hip hop lawyer, is an entertainment attorney and chair of the Haitian Lawyers Leadership, a network dedicated to protecting the civil and cultural rights of Haitians at home and abroad. Visit her website at www.margueritelaurent.com. And read more about Haiti on the Bay View website at www.sfbayview.com.

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