March 21, 2004
Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-California)
I saw your interview on C-Span on the morning of March 17, 2004. Unfortunately, I was unable to call, so I am sending you this e-mail. I wanted to enlighten you on some very important facts and respond to some of your comments on your TV deliberation.
You have been asking for ‘real’ proof, but you refuse to admit or acknowledge any ‘real’ facts that have been presented to you. To date, you are the only person who will not admit to any of Aristide’s wrongdoings, not a single one!
You dismissed the testimony of Mr. Pierre M.M. Paquiot’s presented to the Congress in March 2004. He is the university rector who was beaten up by Aristide’s thugs, to the point where both of his ‘real’ knees were broken.
You downplayed the killings of journalists like Jean Dominique and Brignol Lindor by saying that we keep reverting to these two names. Rep. Waters, these two names had ‘real’ faces, ‘real’ families and ‘real’ people who loved them. What about the ‘real’ Spanish T.V. correspondent, Ricardo Ortega, who was recently murdered by Aristide’s thugs?
What about Mrs. Mireille Durocher Bertin? She was a ‘real’ daughter, a ‘real’ wife, a ‘real’ friend, a ‘real’ lawyer and a ‘real’ mother of four beautiful children. Unfortunately, she also was extremely bright, too involved, and too outspoken, so they decided to shut her down. On March 28, 1995 at 3:45 PM, this young woman met with the most atrocious death at the hands of killers from the Aristide regime. According to the FBI, the assassination order came from Mr. Mondesir Beaubrun, Aristide’s PRIME MINISTER, and was executed by Mr. Eddy Arbrouet (A.K.A. Killer for Hire). The assassins found it necessary to use fifteen (15) bullets to assured themselves that her voice was silenced forever more, but they were wrong because we still heard her ‘voice’ protesting every time this undemocratic regime used terror and murder to control the Haitian population. The autopsy was conducted by FBI specialists, who were specifically flown to Haiti for this purpose and completed on March 30, 1995 in an American camp near the airport in Port-au-Prince. The report confirmed that fifteen bullets were the cause of Mrs. Bertin’s death. I feel compelled to also mention Mr. Eugene Baillerjeau, who lost his life during this massacre just because, as a friend and client, he was in the car with her during the shooting. TALK ABOUT BEING IN THE WRONG PLACE AT THE WRONG TIME! WRONGFUL DEATH. More information about this unfortunate and regretful event can be found in “FAILING HAITI”, written by Charles Lane (Editor in Chief of the New Republic in 1999).
You stated that the marches in Haiti were illegal because the opposition did not have permissions from the Haitian police to conduct the events. I can tell you from personal experience that we had to wait for hours for the same police that claimed they did not condone the marches to show up and protect us from the chimeres. If the Haitian police did not approve the marches in the first place, why would they come to supposedly protect us? Rep. Waters, the policemen who were supposed to protect the peaceful demonstration in Haiti, were the very ones who put our lives in danger. On January 1, 2004, at the same time you were in Gonaives celebrating Haiti’s independence from the French, we, Haitians were marching for the liberation of Haiti. The slogan was:
“INDEPENDENCE 1804, LIBERTY 2004”
This memorial march was disrupted when the CIMO started shooting at people. The car I was occupying, along with my sister and friends, was aimed at and shot upon. The bullets shattered the windshield of the car. The CIMO who pulled the trigger was less than fifty feet away and looked straight at us. He lowered his gun and shot without hesitation and without emotion. This happened in a gas station on the corner of Lalue and Ruelle Nazon. He could have blown up the station and thousands of people that day. I know that you will dismiss my testimony as you have done with many others you have received and will continue to appear on television demanding “real proof.” In fact, Rep. Waters, it is blatantly clear that you refuse to see and hear anything or anybody who does not support your views.
You keep referring to the Group 184 as though they were the only one involved in the opposition and you refuse to admit that the civil society (which Group 184 is a part of) also includes the following:
1- The Haitian Clergy
2- The Haitian Media
3- The Haitian Students and Teachers
4- The Haitian Lawyers, Doctors and Professionals
5- The Haitian Artists
6- The Haitian Women Group
7- The Haitian Factory Workers
8- The Haitian Farmers
How can so many social sectors be wrong and only Aristide and you are right? Did you ever think that he might be fooling you as he fooled the Clintons, the Kennedys, and so many others? We cannot all be wrong, Rep. Walters, NO…NO…NO!
You talked of Andy Apaid with a personal disgust. Spending a few hours in his presence discussing his views on the situation in Haiti does not make you a good judge of his character. You have been totally biased against Mr. Apaid and the Haitian people. You have been saying that Mr. Apaid, as an American citizen, cannot go and protest in Haiti.
What about the following people?
A) Yvon Neptune, American citizen; U.S. passport #035349148; DOB: 11/08/1946; PRIME MINISTER under Aristide?
B) Mr. Joseph Phillipe Antonio, American citizen; U.S. passport #46890596; DOB: 07/22/1939; MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS under Aristide?
C) Martine Deverson, American citizen; U.S. passport #28021088; DOB: 11/11/1959; MINISTER OF TOURISM under Aristide?
D) Leslie Goutier, American citizen; U.S. passport #044776893; DOB: 10/19/1942; MINISTER OF COMMERCE under Aristide?
E) What about Aristide’s wife, Mildred Trouillot Aristide? American citizen?
F) What about Aristide’s daughters, Christine and Michaelle? American citizens?
Can this happen in your own government? I can keep adding names, but I’ll stop here. If you’re really interested in finding out more, read “the freedom of information act.” Under the Haitian Constitution, no one should have these high positions in the government if they are NOT Haitian citizens. We do not have dual citizenship to date in Haiti, but Aristide spat on the Haitian Constitution for his own gain, for his own crooked agenda!
The Constitution gives you the right to freedom in general. Aristide tried to kill freedom of speech by slaughtering journalists, destroying radio stations, burning Vision 2000, and making death threats against radio personalities who bravely and consistently exposed his acts of terror.
Scare tactics and intimidation were Aristide’s ways of governing the nation. By kidnapping people like Mrs. Isabelle R. Wawa, Mr. Lionel Gardere, Mr. Lauture (who was killed and mutilated), to name a few. Even a twelve-year-old little boy, Luigy Leroy, disappeared on his way to school, and many, many more. If you want “real” proof, contact Mrs. Wawa. She is currently in the USA seeking political asylum. Mrs. Wawa is a physician who had her own office in Haiti, owned a beautiful home in the mountains and was part of the “elite” that you hate so much. Do you really think that she could leave her practice, family, friends, and change her children’s lives just to lie about being kidnapped by Aristide’s people and that she was released only after the ransom money was paid to the government?
Another scare tactic used by the Haitian police was blocking traffic for no apparent reason, without giving any reason or explanation, keeping everyone on edge, guessing at the outcome. This happened to me personally. One night, they closed the only road from the mountains and re-opened it four hours later. There was no reason given and let me tell you that it was extremely spooky and scary; especially because my children were with me and I feared that at any moment the police could start shooting and killing everybody. I was the one who put my children in this tragic situation by trying to bring them closer to their country and trying to familiarize them with their culture. We found out the next day that the police created the blockade to facilitate a drug shipment.
You overlooked the fact that Haiti became a place where ‘real’ drugs could be shipped to the U.S. and that Aristide’s government and Aristide, himself, were involved in the drug trafficking process. Judith Truonzo, the spokesperson for the US embassy in Haiti, stated: “The state employees are involved in drug trafficking, and actively participate in delivering the merchandise.” She also stated that money from the drug proceeds was being used to pay state employees (the New York Sun June 20, 2003). Many other US official government documents have stated the same. However, there is one person, Mr. Jacques Beaudoin Ketant, who was tied to this notorious criminal activity and he is currently spending time in a federal prison in Florida. Ketant stated it best on the day of his conviction when he said: “He [Aristide] controlled the drug trade. He turned the country into a Narco-Country. It’s a one-man show. You either pay Aristide or you die”. (The New York Sun: The Arrest of a Drug Kingpin in Haiti or (Nick Caistor, BBC, 2004-03-19, Haiti’s Drug Money Scourge).
Another person, Oriel Jean, the one-time security chief of former Haitian president Jean-Bertrand Aristide arrived in Miami Friday night to face a drug-trafficking conspiracy charge. Oriel Jean, detained earlier this month after arriving at a Toronto airport, waived extradition from Canada and boarded a commercial flight bound for Miami International Airport. [Tere Fifueras, The Miami Herald, March 20, 2004].
Rep. Waters, where should the people in Haiti have gone to complain about the abuse of human rights and continuous murders during the Aristide regime? Should they have gone to the POLICE who were administering the abuse? Should they have gone to Aristide’s paid THUGS, the executioners themselves? Or should they have gone to EX president ARISTIDE, the one giving out the orders? I am glad to inform you that today, the new “REAL DEMOCRATIC” government in Haiti just set up an office to investigate all allegations of past complaints of abuse and murders committed during the Aristide era. I will be waiting for the conclusion of these inquiries and will send you the results if you are still looking for REAL PROOF at that time.
Remember Saddam? If we had given Aristide twenty-five years of power like him, Haiti would have been worse than Iraq. Right now in 2004, in addition to all of the corruption mentioned above, Haiti has an 80 percent illiteracy rate, diseases, no top soil, no food, no clean water, and so on. Is that what you really want in the name of democracy?
Rep. Waters, I heard you saying that President George W. Bush will lose the election this year. I can assure you that most Haitian Americans will either vote for Bush or boycott the 2004 U.S. election due to the refusal of the Democratic Party to acknowledge what was really happening in Haiti under the Aristide regime. Another reason why most Haitian Americans may take these actions is because the Democratic Party constantly makes an effort to support Aristide and will not accept the fact that a vast majority of the Haitian people are relieved that he is gone. I believe it is unwise and unhelpful to try to push Aristide’s agenda, your agenda, the Black Caucus or the Democratic Party by using the blood of the Haitian people.
Rep. Walters, IF you really want more proof, read the article in the Washington Times by Steve Miller. It is called “Rich Lobbyists for a Poor Country.” In this article, Mr. Miller provided information about the money paid by Aristide to keep Aristide in power. That money should not have been used for that purpose because it was not Aristide’s to use. Those funds belonged to the Haitian government, not Aristide. Between 1997 and 2002, $7.3 Millions U.S. dollars was used to pay off lobbyists. The firm called Dellums, Brauer, Halterman & Associates LLC #5442 received funds in the amount of $521,323.40 in 2001 and 2002. I believe Mr. Dellums is a former Democratic Congressman and was once the leader of the Congressional Black Caucus. The firm by the name of Ross Robinson & Associates #4992 was paid a sum of $367,967.14. In addition, Mrs. Ross Robinson was also paid $46,117. Many more firms, lawyers, companies, and personal bodyguards were paid off at the expense of the sweat and blood of Haitians. What a nice paycheck! It’s enough motivation to keep defending Aristide. No wonder some people don’t want to see him gone. It’s going to be really hard to live in St. Kitts, or buy land in Jacmel, or travel first class while sipping champagne without that personal allowance from Aristide. Let me take a wild guess…no more “cruising back to history” (the program planned for August 2004)?
Rep. Waters, concerning the looting and destruction of commerce and Haitian establishments, which were estimated at USD $300 million, no one else is to blame, but Aristide’s thugs. They even looted his house, where they found four safes in a secret chamber. One of the safes contained $350,000 U.S. dollars in cash, which was rotten from moisture.
Rep. Waters, regardless of how you would like to attempt to justify the legitimacy of Aristide’s presidency, there is an undeniable fact that screams his hypocrisy, moral void, and cruel intentions. When Aristide made a statement, “YOU HAVE A TOOL IN YOUR HAND…ISN’T THAT BEAUTIFUL? DOESN’T IT SMELL GOOD?” Was he referring to a certain practice of putting a burning tire around someone’s neck with the intention of burning them alive? This practice is called ‘necklacing’ and was used by followers of Aristide throughout Haiti. The ‘real proof’ is a bunch of calcified bodies lying around the streets of Haiti. Rep. Waters, do you know Aristide’s real agenda? If so, shame on you. If not, maybe you should stop speaking on his behalf.
Please keep in mind that in July 2000, Leon Manus, the head of Haiti’s election commission, refused to certify the country’s parliamentary elections because of evidence of widespread fraud, illegal tabulations and voter intimidation. Manus was forced to flee the country amid death threats emanating from Aristide supporters and because the Haitian police was conducting a manhunt for him.
I know that you are a personal friend of Aristide. You have constantly mentioned this over and over again. You are in a lot of pictures with him, always by his side. However, I think there is more to your “friendship.” There must be, because nobody is more adamant to fight Aristide’s fight than you. The majority of Haitians is accepting our new government and is trying to move on to a better future, but you are still fighting for Aristide. LET IT GO!!! You are not helping the Haitian people. You never did and never will. I can also tell you that you are no friend of Haiti or the Haitian people because you are using this terrible situation to spur your hatred towards the Bush Administration. Your political agenda is putting millions of Haitian people at risk. With friends like you, Haiti does not need enemies!
Rep. Waters, if you are so enamored by Jean-Betrand Aristide’s policies, you should start implementing them in the United States of America, especially in California. The people of California voted you into the Congress, Aristide did not. Can you explain to them why most of your time and energy is spent supporting and defending Aristide? You are in almost every picture in Haiti, in Central Africa, in Jamaica? When do you take care of the matters of your own constituents in California? Should the U.S. taxpayers be paying you to befriend a foreign leader? The Haitian people did NOT vote for you. The Haitian people do not want you to represent them. The Haitian people have their own leaders and advocates and I can guarantee you, you are NOT one of them.
Don’t the taxpayers in California, who voted you in office, have any problems or issues that they would like you to resolve as their representative? It’s about time for you to start working for the people who are paying your salary.
Perhaps it is our turn, ‘REAL HAITIAN PEOPLE’, to ask you, ‘Maxine Waters’, for ‘real proof’ of good governance by Jean-Betrand Aristide? Do you have anything to back his claim of democracy in Haiti during his term or is your intention to simply enforce a mockery of democracy upon our country while you are safe and sound in your own?
To conclude, I was informed that the new Haitian government was charged for USD $180,000 for the expenses of the departure and transport of EX-President Jean-Bertrand Aristide to Jamaica. $180,000 was used for the rental of a private jet and fuel in addition to other expenses encountered during the transport of Aristide, his wife, his associates, 2 journalists, Ira Kurzban and none other than Randall Robinson, Sharon Hay Webster of the Jamaican Parliament, YOUR HUSBAND! Sidney Williams and YOU, Rep. Maxine Waters!??? (Airlift Aristide: A Flight to Exile. Stranded in Africa, Haiti’s Ousted Leader Inspires Friends to Dash to His Rescue – Peter Eisner,Washington Post Foreign Service -Friday, March 19, 2004). Is this legal? Is this ethical? I hope that an investigation is done and most of you repay the Haitian government -$180,000 would feed a lot of hungry children in Haiti!!!!
Rep. Waters, I do not expect you to read this or answer it because this is not the first time that I write to you, but it sure feels good to write it anyway.