About this statement sent to us in an audio recording by Lavalas militant Ouanche Luc, we are going to listen, just before the ‘Seen’ segment, to this statement that gives us information on the mechanism that has been set up for perpetrating crimes and acts of violence throughout the country and in particular in Port-au-Prince since the month of September 2004. Ouanche Luc, a well-known militant of the Lavalas Family and of people’s organizations, in particular of the Frustrated Base, has called on FL partisans who he thinks do not approve of the orientation of other elements of this party’s grassroots. He calls on them to publicly take a stand and set aside their reservations.
As to those who have chosen the wrong path, he wishes them to regain their self-control, put down their weapons, and negotiate with the authorities their reinsertion into social life. Let us listen to this important statement that gives information on the identities of the persons here, in the Dominican Republic, and in Miami who are in the pay of Jean-Bertrand Aristide to create this situation that we have known and that we have been undergoing for some time.
I am an FL member and I am also the spokesman for the Frustrated Base in Martissant. Today, I stand apart from Lavalas given that two groups of people have taken the party hostage. For example, on 25 September 2004, a meeting was held at the Aristide Foundation for Democracy. Participants in this meeting included Jean-Marie Samedy, Leslie Fareau, Leslie Gustave, and a big crowd. Dismy Cesar was also there. This meeting was held under the pretext that they wanted to intensify the mobilization for President Aristide’s return.
Eventually, on 30 September, it ended up in the disastrous violence that has been developing in the country even today. This violence includes the killing of policemen, burning vehicles, and perpetrating bad actions against people in some areas. This is what they say can lead to a physical return of President Aristide.
As for us, we denounce that and we also denounce a number of people who are under cover in Miami and who are intensifying the movement with money and weapons. The names of these people are Myrlande Liberis and Jonas Petit.
They have an intermediary whose name is Lutes who used to work at that very Foundation. He is now in the Dominican Republic. They contacted him and he brings the messages to the Foundation. When the message is taken to the Foundation, the latter takes it to the bases. The persons whose names I mentioned, like the heads of the FL cells, have directly contacted bandits such as Dread Wilme, Dread Mackenzie, Dread Titi, Ti Yabout, and Kenso since 30 September to do a number of jobs in Bel-Air so that the violence could increase and end up in what we are experiencing today.
Many of them have perhaps fallen. But these last days, people like Kenson in Solino and Ti Yabout in Bel-Air are burning vehicles and doing a number of jobs in the Nazon area. These people have received money and weapons from a number of people in Miami who have intermediaries in the Dominican Republic. When these people are in the Dominican Republic, they open an account with the money that is intended to buy weapons and ammunition to make the violence rate get higher in the country.
For example, there is Barthelemy Valbrun who has a brother whose name is Jean-Claude Valbrun. He often brings messages also to Bel-Air, La Saline, and Cite Soleil. As for Petit, when he wants to intensify the movement and make it stronger, he just speaks on the radio or he calls people here and asks them do such and such in Haiti.
Similarly, there are people who are financing the movement. When I say people who are financing the movement, I mean people who perhaps had links with them like Rose Gabriel and Tit Soeur. All these people were part of the Foundation. Perhaps these people have enterprises and a number of things here. Sometimes they go and order people to give such and such amounts within the Foundation so that the disorder or mobilization can take place or so they can buy T-shirts, make pictures, and distribute the president’s posters.
There is also Cesar who said that FL has several groups of people who are supposed to do politics, people who are supposed to take weapons, and there are also those who are perhaps under cover in Miami and who are doing the job on the international level so that President Aristide can return to the country.
I want to point out also that President Aristide trusts more or gives more credit to the bases. When I say bases, this includes the FL thought cells and the other people’s organizations. I think the reason why he trusts these organizations more than the FL officials is perhaps that he knows these people are indeed marginalized people. They use them the way he wants. He does whatever he wants with them. He can order them to do this or that. He can tell them to go and shoot and so on. So, he does not trust those who are in upper positions.
This is also what has allowed the existence of a division within the Family. The managerial staff members of the FL cannot have the authority or the right to tell the people to do such and such or not to do such and such. The Family is led by bases.
This is why you will see that there are two different tendencies. You will see that a group of people are in favor of elections. However, the bases can stand up and say that they are against elections because they have direct relations with the Miami people, and when the Miami people talk to President Aristide, they directly send the message to a number of leaders they have here.
I will also point out a situation that is developing inside the neighborhoods, especially inside the poor neighborhoods. These neighborhoods include many people’s organizations. For example, if you take Bel-Air, Martissant, La Saline, Cite Soleil, and Carrefour-Feuilles, there a is nucleus of FL cells in these areas, and this nucleus has all the things. It holds all powers. Once an organization or members of an organization or members of the family choose not to participate, they will have to leave the area. This is why many militants have now gone into hiding or are away from their areas. They have either gone to the provinces, have innocently fallen, have gone to jail innocently, or are in jail innocently while the bandits are operating and are not arrested.
So, I think that if these militants arm themselves with courage to denounce the bandits, that will help because we are now at a point when we must make a firm decision to identify the bandits so that the militants are not victimized when the police or the UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti, MINUSTAH, are conducting interventions.
So, I encourage— I am going to mention some names here — Henry, Raram, Zamor, Willy in Solino who does not agree with him, Rivelino Marie and Fanfan in Solino, and many other militants in other areas like Fanfan Rakete in Cite de Dieu and Cite L’Eternel. I know that he is against these things. But he cannot speak. So, he has to go into hiding. I urge all these people to talk, to denounce violence, and to allow the police to find the bandits so that normal life can return to the country.
We are pointing out that the FL is divided into two groups. I want to talk about a number of extremist Lavalas supporters who are perhaps marginalized people who smoke marijuana, who are doing a number of bad things, who are involved in acts of violence, and a number of other people who are perhaps managerial staff members and some of the FL grassroots members who are not in favor of violence.
Today, I think that it is clear that President Aristide needs to identify which one of these Lavalas groups he supports, because in the last statement the president made in Bangui he said that the roots are deep and numerous. He added that he thinks that even if the head is cut off, the roots will keep growing. So, I wonder who the roots are for President Aristide. Is it the bandits or the people who are in favor of peace and elections, the nonviolent people the roots for President Aristide? If it is the people who are carrying out violence, I think that what is taking place today is the result of the statement President Aristide made in Bangui. But similarly, I think that if it is the people in upper positions, perhaps there is a chance for the FL to be rescued.
But if this is not the case, I can assure you that the FL will not be a political party, because no honest people will dare speak on behalf of the party. We also ask that President Aristide clearly identify which of these two groups of people are the roots. Lavalas is divided into two groups. Which one of them is a true Lavalas group? Then we will add that on 25 September a group of people entered the Foundation. They were very excited and wanted to take up weapons to fight to do a number of things. Indeed, they actually did what they wanted. As of 30 September, mayhem began to be carried out. The attack on the Teleco telephone company office on Rue Tiremasse was done by these bandits. We are taking this opportunity to say also that it is time for all the people whose names I am going to cite here— valuable militants, staunch militants who I know are against violence, are in favor of peace, and who are in favor of Lavalas participating in elections— to clearly identify themselves and say whether they will leave Lavalas to bandits or to honest citizens to have the right to be part of Lavalas. So, the time has come— we did not sign any diabolical treaty with Lavalas— for Nadege Mesias, Patrice, Mario, Henry Raram, Emmanuel Zamor, Daniel, and Yvon Baz Choy to clearly state whether they will leave the party to bandits or they will take care of the party because the time has come for us to make a choice either to save this country or to leave the country to bandits. I think that to save this country, we can cooperate with the police to identify the bandits, because when the bandits perpetrate wrongdoing, they do not identify them as bandits, but they just attribute them to Lavalas because they are seated in the same place as you and are considered the same as you. I think that if you identify the bandits, cooperate with the police as a Lavalas supporter, and allow them to find the bandits in Bel-Air, La Saline or wherever they might be the country will have relief.
If I have a last message to send it is that I ask all other Lavalas supporters to do the same. I am a clear example. I had weapons. I turned them in to the UN Development Program, which has a community support program for the reduction of violence and insecurity in Haiti. I turned them in on 22 June. I wish those who are in favor of peace, those who are really in favor of change in this country in Bel-Air, La Saline, Cite Soleil, and so on to make a choice. If you are not in favor of violence, if you are a bandit, you must turn in your weapon and thanks to this community support program, I think that you will be reinserted into society. Thank you very much.
This was the very important statement from Luc who was giving information on the important connection between the incidents, the acts of violence, and the FL hierarchy disseminated throughout Africa, the United States, the Dominican Republic, and Haiti. Obviously, we will return to this statement during another newscast.