Originally: Most Haitians Reject Aristide’s Leadership
|Posted on Fri, Dec. 26, 2003|
Letter to the Editor
The Haitian community loves lawyer Ira Kurzban as he was the lead attorney who in the 1980s won for us a landmark court decision paving the way for our community’s political success today. But it is Kurzban’s current lobbying that our community can’t fathom, because the Haitian government that he represents has lately unleashed a wave of repression against students and the opposition.
Kurzban’s Dec. 22 column, Great powers attempt to undermine Aristide, all but seeks to cloak the role of Jean-Bertrand Aristide in Haiti’s social and political crisis. It is not true that “Haiti has faced an international embargo by all the great powers.”
What embargo, when all types of commerce are thriving between Haiti and the rest of the world? As to the withholding of international assistance, Aristide is the prime one responsible for not acquiescing on time to the international community’s demand to recount ballots in seven Senate races in the 2000 elections.
Why is this government begging for international assistance today when in 1990 Aristide told us that Haiti could develop itself with its own means? It is not true that ”there is a small, well-financed but vocal opposition that is out of step with the vast majority of Haitians.” Literally hundreds of thousands of Haitians have been taking to the streets to protest the Aristide government.
Certainly democracy is not flourishing in Haiti. More journalists have been exiled and killed during this government than during the Duvalier dictatorships. Students have been attacked more so today than at anytime in Haiti’s history.
I always thought a lobbyist’s job is to lobby. Kurzban has just proved me wrong.