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#5128: Opposition to Aristide: Chamberlain comments (fwd)

From: Greg Chamberlain <GregChamberlain@compuserve.com>

Kathy Grey's dismissal of most of Aristide's opponents as coup supporters
just won't wash any more, if it ever did.  It's the old Haiti-Progres line
in a yet another concerted attempt to fool people.

Are you seriously saying that former fervent Lavalas friends and
heavyweights such as:

Father Jean-Yves Urfié, ex-editor of the Creole newspaper Libète, fighter
for democracy in Haiti for 35 years, who was threatened by Lavalas people
and has now left Haiti.
Father Max Dominique, also a left militant for 35 years and now head of the
Holy Spirit Fathers in Haiti.
Georges Anglade, who drafted the 1990 Lavalas manifesto and wrote the first
modern geography of Haiti.
Father William Smarth, once one of Aristide's mentors and most fervent
Yves Dejean, literacy expert and militant who roundly denounced the way the
country was going under Aristide.
Jean-Claude Bajeux, who fought the Duvaliers and their military successors.
Robert Malval, Aristide's PM who quit in disgust at his treatment by the
exiled Aristide in 1993.
Hervé Denis, information min. in Malval's govt., who denounced Lavalas the
other week.
Chavannes Jean-Baptiste, leader of the country's largest peasant movement
and former top aide to Aristide.
Gérard Pierre-Charles, former communist leader and onetime Aristide
Laennec Hurbon, the country's foremost sociologist.
Gary Victor, the much-praised novelist.
Jean Casimir, Préval's former ambassador to the US.

are all ex-coup supporters??  Pull the other one ("Puh-LEASE").

There is something seriously wrong if all these worthy, thinking people are
up in arms about Lavalas and we should reflect soberly on why they have
turned away from Aristide.  Kathy is right to point out the existence of
the absurd "house parties" but none of the people above belong to them
(unless you wrongly count the OPL and Konakom as such)

BTW Kathy, I wasn't saying you were a fraud.  I was simply making the point
that saying such a thing about you was as absurd as you dismissing Aristide
opponents because their position happened to coincide with the CIA, FBI or
whatever's position.  So no offence meant at all.

I'm glad to see my good friend Simidor getting to public grips with
Haiti-Progrès and its noxious politics.  When the paper's foreigner
éminence grise (Kim Ives) can flatly state that the twisted results of the
recent elections are "legitimate" in the face of clear evidence to the
contrary presented here and elsewhere, then we are dealing with dark
forces.  Let's once more not forget that Haiti-Progrès' boss (Ben Dupuy)
not so many years ago hero-worshipped the appalling god-dictator of North
Korea (Kim Il-sung).  And we are bidden to accept these people and their
newspaper as the heralds of a new democratic Haiti...

Kim's slogan-packed meanderings into the crimes of the rich world against
poor countries are a very handy smokescreen for all kinds of magouilles and
abuses by those in power in Haiti (and elsewhere).  It is a sad fact that
many of those who were FRAPH or macoutes yesterday will be rooting for
Lavalas today.  May Lavalas be aware of that embarrassing fact and not
yield to the temptation to unofficially organise them and their ilk into a
convenient militia.  Unfortunately, the signs are not too good.

Simidor put the problem eloquently, that "the most urgent task for all the
sane forces in and outside of Haiti is to build a culture of democracy and
accountability in order to halt our dangerous slide toward fascism."

However, I wish he would tell us what he would have said to 7 million
Haitians trying to escape death and torture under the military dictatorship
if he was against Aristide (or anyone) making use of the opportunity of a
US invasion to overthrow the generals and return to power.  That they
should just hang on and suffer thousands more dead until the regime
collapsed of its "internal contradictions" since there was no sign (for
various interesting and complex reasons) of any significant resistance to
the regime that would have disposed of it?  What say you from your foreign
armchair, Daniel?

All that the people I've listed and many Corbetteers are asking is
vigilance against crookedness, thievery and arbitrary behaviour.  No-one is
seriously saying Lavalas are murderers, just that they must submit to the
same criteria they hold others to.  Worship of charismatic figures might
provide personal satisfaction for some but it clearly does nothing for the
long-term welfare of a people.  But those who are simply being vigilant are
denounced as enemies and "putchists."  A sad and familiar old story.  

        Greg Chamberlain