In re-ignited Haitian Revolution,
which side is Cruising Into History on?

by Marguerite Laurent

At the Haiti teach-in during the Democratic Convention, Marguerite Laurent (far left) of the Haitian Lawyers Leadership Network faces off with Congressman John Conyers on the touchy subject of Cruising into History, a star-studded cruise originally intended to celebrate the 200th anniversary of Haiti's liberation that was not canceled after the coup d'etat put Haiti back in bondage.
Photo: Dominique Esser

On July 27, at the "To Tell the Truth" Haiti Forum teach-in sponsored by the Haitian Lawyers Leadership Network during the Democratic National Convention in Boston, Haitian pro-democracy advocates and activists met with Rep. John Conyers Jr., D-Mich., and discussed Haiti after the coup d'etat.

One of the topics we discussed is the endorsement by Rep. Conyers and others of Ron Daniel's Cruising Into Haiti, a cruise planned long before the coup to celebrate Haiti's bicentennial. The cruise ship is scheduled to land in Cap Haitien during one of the eight sacred days between the Aug. 14 Bwa Kayiman ceremony (see sidebar) and Aug. 22, the date marking the 213th anniversary of the beginning of the Haitian Revolution.

Haitians at the forum who strongly support democracy and oppose rule-by-force expressed concerns about the mission of the Ron Daniels' cruise, to celebrate Haiti's independence when the Haitian people are today not free and an unelected government is in control with foreign troop support and former FRAPH convicted felons, drug dealers, rapists and ex-Haitian military have appointed themselves judge, jury and executioner of Haitian law and justice in contravention to the will of the peaceful masses in Haiti.

They say Daniels' cruise should not be allowed to be used by the Latortue regime as "evidence" of the legitimacy of their unconstitutional rule nor as pretext to further oppress and brutalize the Haitian people struggling to regain their independence and sovereignty.

In view of the Haitian people's current struggle to break free from these oppressive powers and regain their independence, Bwa Kayiman this August has, once again, become a rallying point for Haitian freedom fighters and their friends throughout Haiti and abroad. Thus, the intended cruise, sponsored by Ron Daniels' Haiti Support Project, cannot simply ignore the fact that Haitiís current government is illegitimate.

Group 184, Guy Philippe, the U.S./France-installed Latortue regime and, in particular, Frandly Denis, Ron Daniel's cruise representatives in the North of Haiti, do not represent the Haitian mass electorate, the Haitian Constitution and or the anti-coup d'etat, anti-violence and pro-democratic and respect-for-Haitian-sovereignty people of Haiti and abroad.

If Ron Daniel's cruise arrives in Haiti to join and celebrate the coup d'etat and its supporters, especially on the anniversary of Bwa Kayiman and the Haitian Revolution, it defiles Haiti's revolutionary legacy, disrespects Boukman and the founding fathers and mothers of Haiti, while reinforcing the Haitian people's current oppression and shall be denounced both in Haiti and abroad by freedom loving people worldwide.

It is in the interest of the cruise organizers, the Haitian people and cruise endorsers not to allow the unconstitutional Latortue government to kidnap their agenda to learn more about Haiti and its long struggle for justice, sovereignty and democracy. There is no doubt that the current 2004 Haitian people's struggle against former colonists and slave holders, the U.S.-supported Latortue dictatorship, Haitian economic elites, and ex-Haitian army officials, death squad leaders and mercenaries is a continuation of the Haitian Revolution.

Marguerite Laurent, known as the hip hop lawyer, is an entertainment attorney and chair of the Haitian Lawyers Leadership, a network dedicated to protecting the civil, human and cultural rights of Haitians at home and abroad. Visit her website at www.margueritelaurent.com.

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