Originally: Letter from a Haitian-American to the Black Caucus

To the members of the Black Caucus,


After watching last night (March 3, 2004), with great sadness, the debate
on Capital Hill of the black Caucus addressing the Chairman of the House I
felt compelled to write this letter.

Haiti is an INDEPENDENT COUNTRY.   I don’t understand why the distinguished
members of the Black Caucus feel that the United States has an obligation
to assume the security of a head of state other than their own.  Mr.
Jean-Bertrand Aristide, former president, of the Republic of Haiti has

It is a shame that one man’s agenda dictates the faith of a whole nation.
For the past 15 years, Mr. Aristide has disgraced the presidency by having
foreign troops in the country twice for his own good.  Being elected is a
privilege, not a ‘carte blanche’ to impose to the people your unilateral
views and way of life.  Had Aristide chosen to be, he could have come out a
great leader. He had the respect and love of the majority of the
population.  Unfortunately, his greed grew higher than the people’s
interest and he chose the road of dictatorship.

Blaming the international community for not disbursing the promised loan is
not an issue.  No other Haitian government has received as much
international aid as the Lavalasse Government did.  No other government in
the third world pays 6 to 9 million US dollars to a foreign security
company, in our case the company is based in California, to provide
protection to the president.

In less than a decade, Mr. Aristide rose from a poor priest to a
millionaire dictator.  Has any one asked HOW?  If his government did not
have the money to implement the basic services, (electricity, running
water, daily meal, education etc.) how did Mr. Aristide became so wealthy?
Has any member of the Back Caucus or anyone else asked themselves how the
“chimères” (partisans of Mr. Aristide) got their weapons.  Has it dawned on
anyone why the people’s opinion of Aristide had shift negatively?  As a
proud Haitian woman, born and raise, I am asking how and why?

Mr. Aristide so loved his country so much that he made sure his two
daughters were born in the United States while both he and his wife were
residing in Haiti.  Why?  The Haitian nationality is not good enough for
his children, but he loves Haiti.  His Prime Minister Mr. Yvon Neptune is
also an American citizen; the Haitian constitution clearly states that such
position should be held by a Haitian born that never renounce his
nationality.  Mr. Aristide has never find it necessary to follow the
constitution of his own country.  Does he have his people best interest in
mind, I don’t think so.

Congresswoman Corrine Brown was among the few that asked a very important
question, “What about the people of Haiti?”  It seams that we have
forgotten that Aristide is NOT Haiti but A Haitian.   He is not our savior,
and the country is full of intellectual and capable citizens that can, if
given a chance, do a much better job than Aristide.  Being independent for
200 years gave us the chance to educate ourselves for that long, attending
universities in Haiti, Europe, Asia, Africa and the Americas.
Unfortunately, that privilege has been granted to only a few, and THAT is
the situation that needs to change and improve in Haiti, not restoring into
power to a self centered man that claims he loves his country when his
actions clearly shows the contrary.

Mr. Aristide alleges he loves his country and would die to protect
democracy.  I find that statement to be ridiculous.  Peaceful demonstration
is not even allowed in Haiti under Mr. Aristide’s régime.  It is his way or
no other way! A gun was pointed at my sister, my brother, my cousin and me
during a peaceful demonstration on January 1st, 2004.  Mr. Aristide did not
want the world to see that the majority of Haitians no longer wanted him in
office. The president of the university D’état d’Haiti, Mr. Jean-Marie
Paquiot gave a very touching report of his personal encounter with the
chimères.   Are we choosing to ignore his testimony, similar to so many if
given a chance to talk?

Once again, being elected doesn’t guarantee full term in office at any
means necessary.  I heard Congresswoman Maxine Waters state that the
bourgeoisie did not want Aristide. Did you know, Ms. Watters, that the
majority of the people in these peaceful demonstrations are not part of the
bourgeoisie?  I am sure you know since you were in the country on January
first.  Attacking the motif of Mr. André Apaid is irrelevant; he is not THE
opposition but a member of such party, the coordinator of 184 members of
the opposition.

The words of Mr. Aristide have always been to create a division among the
classes and promote hatred.  This attitude is archaic and has always proven
harmful to the well being of Haiti.  Haitians are of all shapes, sizes and
colors and I am grateful of such diversity.  It is very disgraceful and
irresponsible for anyone to prone division among the different social
classes. The majority of the Haitian and definitely I are very thankful
that at last Mr. Aristide has found within himself the good sense to RESIGN
from his position as President of Haiti.  Then again, part of the free
world chose to listen to the whining of one man instead of the common voice
of a fighting nation.

If the Black Caucus has the interest of the Haitian people in mind they
should help with a plan to prevent a dictator to fool the world and present
himself as the savior of 8 million people for his own political agenda.
Thank you for your interest in Haiti, my country.  Though, this time I
sincerely believe your views are not of the majority of the Haitians (both
inside and outside of the country) I usually think you are doing a great
job for the American society.

With great respect,
Karyne Raymond


C.C.:     Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson, Rep. Sheila Johnson Lee, Rep. Corrine
Brown, Rep. Barbara Lee, Rep. Charles Brown,
     Rep. Maxine Waters