For the sake of Haiti, Aristide must step down

The time has come for Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide to step down and allow the country to move forward toward unification, progress, reforms and democracy. No longer should he struggle to maintain power at the country’s peril. Haiti’s people have suffered enough because of his rejection of concessions and desire to keep power by all means.

Aristide has allowed his militia, infamously known as chimere, to forcefully enter the state university on Dec. 5 and harass the students who were peacefully gathered to demand his resignation. Many students were stoned or beaten with sticks. University Rector Jean-Marie Pacquiot was beaten with iron bars. Both of his legs were broken.

Aristide has given orders to distribute more guns to the chimere; some of them are not even 12-years old. Instead of educating the Haitian population in the literacy program as he proclaims, Aristide is infecting these young people with a thirst for blood and violence. We are witnessing the bones and marrow of his dictatorial nature that was once clouded by a false project for restoring democracy.

Today, Aristide is abusing the people and the country that he claims to love so much. In reality, he is protecting his interests and enriching himself. What more does Aristide promise for Haiti on the eve of our 200th year of independence? The time for demagogy and political speech has ended. The time of corruption and targeted crimes has ended. Aristide’s time in the political spectrum of Haiti has ended. I ask, I plead, I demand that Aristide step down.

GERALD ORIOL JR., Port-au-Prince, Haiti