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#4571: Lavalas's Popular Organizations Stand Firm (fwd)

From: kevin pina <cariborganics@hotmail.com>

Lavalas's Popular Organizations Stand Firm

by Kevin Pina

In the early hours of Friday, July 7th, two days before the second round of 
voting in the highly controversial parliamentary elections in Haiti, about 
2000 supporters of Lavalas began a peaceful march for peace, justice and 
democracy in their country.  Lavalas is the party founded by former 
president Jean-Bertrand Aristide that has been accused in the US press of 
conducting a campaign of street violence against opposition political 
parties in Haiti?s first round of parliamentary elections. On this day of 
peaceful protest the only journalists to be found were a photographer from 
the Magna Agency and Daniel Morel of the Haitian Times.

The marchers assembled at the Canadian Embassy and proceeded to the US 
Embassy where they stopped for a speech from a spokesman of the Popular 
Organizations (OP), followed by a symbolic ceremony and prayers for peace. 
In front of the main gates of the US embassy an OP spokesman addressed 
marchers, ?Even though many of us have lost our lives we are going to 
continue on. We are ready to sacrifice our lives in order to shelter our 
children in the future? he said in obvious reference to the coup and the 
political violence that has wracked this small Caribbean nation since 
Aristide?s return in 1994. He was direct in his accusation that US foreign 
policy is largely to blame for much of the turmoil, ? We speak directly to 
the international community who we believe is accountable to the United 
States which is a great power. They are clearly responsible for the 
situation in our country now. In spite of their actions to divide the people 
we have remained fast. They have been coming here and trying to divide us 
adding more misery to the people. The people have come through this and in 
spite of this have remained strong and rich.?

The spokesman continued by citing specific examples of tactics used to 
divide the movement for democratic reform in Haiti including the spreading 
of misinformation and the recent upheaval created by the OAS in challenging 
the credibility of the first round of elections. He made it clear that such 
tactics would not work and that Lavalas remains resolute, ?If they do not 
allow real democratic change the game is not going to be easy for them 
anymore. Because even if they have terrifying weapons, chemical weapons to 
use on us, even if they have a lot of greenbacks and diplomatic tricksters, 
they cannot pass over the will of a people who want change, who want peace 
and real democracy.?

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