Originally: Lavalas supporters disrupt Caravan of Hope meeting in Les Cayes
The Caravan of Hope had a hard time starting normally in Les Cayes over the weekend. The departmental delegate and many members of Lavalas people’s organizations stood near the Saint-Louis Cultural Hall in order to disrupt this meeting. The members of the Group of 184 civil society organizations had to spend the night in the cultural hall, because of the threats and acts of intimidation against them by Lavalas OP members. The Lavalas militants chanted many slogans hostile to the organizers. The policemen, who were present, looked powerless when faced with the Lavalas militants.
Departmental Delegate Jacques Mathelier and the OP members proved to be very angry, because of the presence of the representatives of civil society groups in Les Cayes. Mathelier said that the G-184 was not working in the country’s interests. He accused civil society of being responsible for the terrible situation Haiti is experiencing today. Mathelier’s statements follow:
They are people who are certainly in another camp, the camp that is asking for the suffocation of the Haitian people. So, as delegate, I am over here because I have learnt that the people are on the streets. Given that I am the delegate and representative of the president of the republic, my duty is to lead the department properly.
I got in touch with the police. Given that the people are on the streets and that there are people in the Saint-Louis Cultural Hall who are shouting down with President Aristide, we think that those people do not respect the law. They are people who do not respect the people’s vote because – you should not forget this – the people voted for President Aristide for five years and President Aristide will remain in power for five years.
Delegate, Delegate, the G-184 has presented a draft project which it calls the new nine-point social contract to change the structure of the government.
There is no new social contract that you just mentioned. But what I know is that – you should not forget – the majority of those who make up the G-184 are leaders, people who are in charge of NGOs and who have no interest in seeing that the Haitian people – that the crisis is resolved and that the Haitian people can live. The reason is that, when the crisis is resolved, it is certain that assistance will be given to the government. However, when the crisis persists, it is normal – that the countries that do not want to give assistance to Haiti and that would like the crisis to last forever will give money to the NGOs.
So, I do not have a new social contract. I do not know what they mean and what they say in it. But what is certain is that the people’s wishes must be respected, because the people’s voice is God’s voice. Whether they want it or not, no matter what they do, President Aristide will spend five years in power and that is what the people asked for.
It should be recalled that the Caravan of Hope had a hard time entering the south of Haiti. The police searched all the vehicles which were used by the G-184 delegation. In Mariani, in particular, Carrefour Police Superintendent Franck Laplante stopped the convoy of vehicles for half an hour, which made many members of the delegation angry.
We must also say that in the Saint-Louis Cultural Hall in Les Cayes, the audience started shouting down with Aristide during the speech of the president of the Chamber of Commerce of the South. At the same time also, a group of Lavalas OP members who were in front of the premises made a lot of noise. Lawyer Nerva Cassion mentioned the pressures that were put on him to prevent him from taking part in the G-184 Caravan of Hope. Let us listen to a report by Jean-Francois Alexis to find out what the atmosphere was like:
I ask everybody, I ask everybody, I ask everybody. I ask everybody. they told me: Lawyer Cassion, you cannot pass, get out. I answered him. I told him the following. Why are you not listening? If that interests you, you must listen in Creole. No, I answered him in French, telling him: I am like Mrs de Noailles who always said: I am already dead because I have to die. I do not fear anything.
At the same time, the Lavalas OP members said that the G-184 had hatched a plot to destabilize the current government. They shouted: Aristide or death! A powerful Lavalas OP member led them: Lucien Orgella also known as Ti Pistol. While the organizers said the opening prayer, the Lavalas OP members chanted: Aristide or death! Aristide or death! Aristide or death! Aristide or death! Aristide or death!
We do not negotiate Aristide’s five-year term and we are ready to burn down the city. In the meantime, we see that what is being done here today is a provocation. We are ready to – After that, we are going to beat those people with whips. We shall hit their heads.
Fuck you, Convergence! Fuck you, Convergence!
In broad daylight in Les Cayes, 184 organizations, that is 184 werewolves, 184 bad men are moving around in Les Cayes,. Aristide for five years. For those who do not want that, for life!
This is how the situation was. The Lavalas OP members were saying that the G-184 was plotting the destabilization of the current government and chanted: Aristide or death! They were led by Orgella, alias Ti Pistol, the Lavalas OP leader in the Department of the South. We must also say that at the Saint-Louis Cultural Hall, the audience started shouting down with Aristide during the presentation of lawyer Cassion, the president of the Chamber of Commerce of the South as he was describing the pressures exerted on him to prevent him from participating in the G-184 Caravan of Hope.