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#4293: Letter to Washington Post from Gerard Jean-Juste

From: gerard jean-juste <njeranjeri@yahoo.com>
Port-au-Prince June 19, 2000

   To the Washington Post Editor

    RE: Misleading editorial article entitled "Broken rules in Haiti" 
published June 17, 2000

     Dear Editor,

     The research has not been done enough before publishing your 
unbalanced, your bias position concerning who are broken the rules in Haiti.
      On May 21, 2000 it was a real democratic, peaceful revolution at 
the polls done by over 60 percent of the Haitian voters. For a nascent 
democracy, it was more than a jog in the right direction, it should be 
headlined: MIRACLE JUMP FOR DEMOCRACY IN HAITI. Remember, Haiti's 
democracy is a nascent one, not even 10 years old subtracting the recent 
years of the bloody coup d'Etat from 1991 to 1994. Imagine the same 
percentage of voters stepping out to vote in USA or some other 
traditionally advanced democratic systems. Even though we are an African 
descendant people in Haiti, please applaud...!
    You mentioned USA government has spent hundreds of millions of 
dollars ...to promote prosperity and democracy. If you had written the 
Clinton administration has tried to find US government money to help 
Haiti I would agree with you. You must know that some racist Republican 
legislators who dominate the US Congress have not given a chance to this 
African descent nation to enjoy the fruits of democracy. To embarrass the 
Clinton administration efforts, they (racist Republican leaders not all 
Republican ones) have frustrated many of us trying to help democracy in 
bringing fruits for the poorest ones particularly and for all in general. 
It's barely that President Clinton has survived the Republican attacks. 
Regardless of all his promises such as miles of road for Haiti, 
reforesting Haiti with the help of his daughter, he could not deliver. 
What appears flagrant is this: He managed to stop the flux of Black boat 
people to USA, that's all. Promotion of unwilling cynicism not 
prosperity. "Blacks get back, that's all."What's else? Have they applied 
a Marshall plan in Haiti? Please, answer.
     Frustrated people paralyzed part of Port-au-Prince, you seem to 
blame former President Aristide and his supporters. Are the Hooligans 
arrested in Charleroi, Belgium on June 17 Aristide supporters? It was 
apparently white men violence. Are the Canadian  demonstrators in front 
of the Toronto Parliament Aristide supporters?  How much destruction of 
property, how many Policemen were hurt? Can you tell me? I am against 
these outbursts of frustrated people in Haiti. It should be more 
organized. The poorest Haitians suffer more from these outbursts than 
anybody else in Haiti. Most of the demonstrations took place within their 
neighborhoods or slums.  Why destroying the little goods you own in your 
area? Empty bellies, contained wrath, hopelessness boiling to a peak 
maybe. History will tell. The coming boats will tell.
       Aristide has invested part of his earnings for the poorest ones in 
Haiti. He is helping Haitians and Haitian-Americans to regain their 
dignity. People are not silly. They know those working in their 
advantages. The Haitian elite usually favored  the Republican racist 
leadership. The democratic masses among Haitians all over the globe side 
with most of the Democratic leaders in USA. If we were under a 
dictatorial regime, there would be two camps within Haiti now. Those 
sided with the Democratic Party would be arrested, beaten even some 
killed or reported disappeared. Check your archives. We do not have 
elephants in Haiti, mostly donkeys. No wonder, they are being hit 
mercilessly on some roads near the capital. Understand my joke. Laugh if 
you can.
    The colonial system used to be cruel toward any slave who think of 
pride, freedom, education and basic human values. Could a slave dream of 
democracy during the slavery? Answer me, please. Most of us, Haitians, 
told "you" what is good for us. The pro-colonists keep telling the 
"nigger" within us Haitians, we are illiterate, violent, voodoo-like. 
Please, are we more violent than the hooligans from England and Germany? 
Are we more violent than the outstanding demonstrators wrongfully 
attacked and clubbed by Police in Toronto, Canada? I say no to violence 
coming from all sides. We must live in peace on Earth as God intends it. 
     I find myself in a position of calming the Haitian poor living by 
the International Airport where lies my parish, Saint Clare's. The wealth 
is passing by us from our street corners and not many want to share. 
Thanks to some friends, my church is feeding some 400 persons a week, 
mostly hungry children. It is a drop in the bucket. Former President 
Aristide is doing his share. We wish the other politicians supported by 
the Republican can help a little, people will certainly appreciate them. 
Usually, a starving person does not discriminate against his food providers.
       No more time to respond to the other points, such as the 
percentage count for the Haitian elected-to-be senators. The counting was 
traditional. OAS President Orlando Marville did not respect the rules of 
diplomacy and has made a chaotic situation worse to handle. God will 
prevail as most of us Haitians are religious people, members of His Family.

         Resph pou ou Edith! Respect for you, Editor!

          *Rev. Gerard JEAN-JUSTE
          St. Clare's Church
          P.O.Box #784
          Port-au-Prince, Haiti
          Tel. (509) 228-2069
          * Former Executive Director of the Haitian Refugee Center in 
Miami, Florida. Back to Haiti since 1990.