Originally: Haiti’s Government Deserves Condemnation
Too many African-American leaders seem to have a two-faced approach when it comes to human rights violations, repression and corruption in
Last June, the TransAfrica Forum, a progressive African-American organization, released a letter condemning the ongoing repression orchestrated by President Robert Mugabe in
Aristide’s return to power in February 2001 was preceded by intimidation and massive electoral fraud that guaranteed the lowest voter turnout since the 1990 elections, with barely 15 percent of potential voters going to the polls.
The Aristide regime’s human rights violations are drastically increasing as loyal paramilitary forces threaten opposition leaders, grassroots activists and dissidents, as they impose the president’s will on the Haitian people.
The Haitian police are neither neutral nor independent. Two weeks in office were enough to convince newly appointed police chief Jean-Robert Faveur that refuge in the
Scores of Haitian journalists have fled
And, last but not least, corruption at the highest level of the current administration is rampant. Evidence of collusion between Aristide’s inner circle and those controlling the flourishing drug business in the country abounds.
How can the Congressional Black Caucus, TransAfrica and other groups like these ignore the murder of Haiti’s most prominent journalist, Jean Dominique, the lack of cooperation by the government in investigating the murder, the ensuing silencing of Radio Haiti Inter, his radio station, and the fact that his widow, like the police chief, has had to flee to the United States after she shut the station down?
When Jean Bertrand Aristide was ousted in a coup, only a few months after his election in 1991, supporters of democracy in
Since then Aristide’s performance as a leader has fallen far short of expectations.
Today, Haitians across the socioeconomic spectrum are turning their backs in disgust on “the Prophet” and his cronies. Why aren’t the traditional allies of
Don’t get me wrong. As a Haitian, I am proud of my heritage. We will celebrate and honor the memory of our forefathers, but we will not do so with a despotic regime.
Soon enough, the whole truth about the assassination of Jean Dominique and so many others will be revealed. Soon enough, the details of lucrative telecommunication deals, of money transfers to overseas bank accounts, of scandalous private security and lobbying arrangements – all imprints of the Aristide reign – will come to light.
African-American leaders are doing neither themselves nor their constituency any favors by papering over these embarrassing truths. Worse, it is morally wrong. Aristide is neither a Nelson Mandela nor a Martin Luther King Jr. TransAfrica condemned the repressive government of