Originally: Aristide Has a Friend and Supporter at the University of Miami


Re: Prof. Irwin P. Stotzky?s January 2, 2003 article in the Miami Herald, ?Haiti?s Problem Isn?t Aristide?

The Haitian people aren?t blind anymore, for they live the everyday reality of their miserable condition, the crumbling of a nation and the chaotic situation that reigns in Haiti. The international community, who unanimously supported Aristide?s Lavalas movement, wasn?t stupid either when it decided to block all financial assistance to the government. After almost ten years of silence regarding the atrocities, the murders, the level of corruption, the unlawful incarceration of opponents and the flourishing drug trade under Aristide?s regime, it was about time that the majority of the media report the fundamental truth to the world. As chairman of the Haitian presidential commission on drug trafficking, Professor Stotzky should have firsthand information on this issue.
It is a fact that the police force is a repressive instrument of Aristide?s government. How can anyone rely on their statistics? Furthermore, their duty and responsibility is to serve and protect. Why didn?t they prevent the paramilitary group from storming and disrupting a peaceful demonstration using clubs, machetes, rocks throwing and burning tires? What is really important is not the number of opponents and proponents but the fact that these demonstrations took place throughout the country by those who voted twice for Aristide. The issue that revolted the students is that the Ministry of Education dismissed the elected officials of the council of the State University and replaced them with a temporary commission. This dictatorial measure was met with strong resistance from all sectors, particularly the teachers? union and the students who organized a sit-in in the locals and closed the universities. While Aristide accepted the resignation of the minister of education and the Commission, most of them were given high-level position in other departments. The most visible one was the nomination of the former minister of education as ambassador to UNESCO. Is she worthy of representing the country at this prestigious world body after she failed to uphold the law, a basic democratic principle?

The director of the Center for the Study of Human Rights at the University of Miami School of Law identified the killers of Lozama Christophe, a justice of the peace in Lascahobas but refrained from mentioning the still-unresolved murders of Mireille Durocher Bertin, a prominent lawyer; Jean Dominique, a renowned radio commentator and disillusioned former Aristide supporter; Brignol  Lindor, an investigative reporter from Petit-Goave; and the list can go on and on. These demonstrations are not the work of small parties and the Convergence because they do not have the means and the resources to do so. This is a spontaneous movement by the Haitian people from all walks of life exposing their lives to say no to the current situation. Unlike Venezuela, where it is the elite deploying their resources to oust Chavez from power, in Haiti it is the masses who are demonstrating while the elite is watching passively from their mountain-perched villas.

The actual problem in Haiti is the work of Aristide, not an international embargo and a U.S.-led financial embargo by the world?s financial institutions. The United States and these organizations know firsthand and have learned from past experience that most of the funds appropriated to Haiti in the past ten years have been diverted by the same government officials who are supposed to manage them for specific projects. Haiti is the poorest nation in the Western Hemisphere because its traditional leaders have a poor mind and a limited vision of the future. The real reason why there is no full-scale civil war in Haiti is not Aristide?s leadership abilities but because the Haitian people must spend their time and energy finding their daily meal. Contrary to Professor Stotzky?s assertion that Aristide is constantly calling for peace and dialogue, he violated the OAS accord, which he signed, that calls for dialogue with the opposition parties, replacement of the pro-Lavalas electoral council, and new elections. As a statesman, the former priest is very clever to portray himself to the international community as a man of peace and dialogue. In reality, Aristide has proven to the world and his former allies and supporters such as Danielle Mitterand, Bill Clinton, Nelson Mandela, Jesse Jackson and many others that he is not sincere and transparent. The Haitian people are tired of Aristide?s fiery anti-American speeches, leftist rhetoric and empty promises. There is no coherence between what he says and what he does, he is deeply convinced and truly believes in his illusionary dreams that he is a messiah. Hallelujah! God have mercy on the Haitian people.