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6295: Lavalas accusations: Chamberlain replies to DorcÚ (fwd)

From: Greg Chamberlain <GregChamberlain@compuserve.com>

I have no brief for "the opposition" and some of the absurd and noxious
figures it contains (along with some perfectly respectable people).  I'm
simply concerned, like many people in many countries since the dawn of
time, about any group of people, whether "opposition" or "government",
right or left, resorting to abuses, violence, theft, whatever in the name
of some high ideal.

Isn't it something we should all be ready to denounce?  In Haiti, many are
guilty of such behaviour -- first, the so-called elite (the "bourgeoisie"),
then the army/police (throughout history), the government (nearly always)
and the "opposition" (though they usually have less  power to do that).

Kathy believes that because someone has proclaimed themselves to be on the
side of "the people" they are pretty much faultless.  Is this not one of
the oldest tricks in the world perpetrated on public opinion by

Aristide should indeed be given a chance to show what he can do, but he and
his people have begun badly by adopting some of the very tactics he's
always denounced.  Though I'm sure he realises, even if some foreign
supporters don't, that resorting to the tactics that nearly all governments
in Haitian history have used, will quickly lose him the support of that
discerning but constantly derided group, the "masses."  If that moment
comes, he will, of course, like any ruler in such a situation, blame anyone
and everyone except himself.  And there will always be plenty of foreigners
to take up that refrain.

Maybe we can stop talking about "the opposition" as if it was some
well-organised body, as in some other countries.  This view of it
conveniently serves the arguments of both the left and the right but the
reality is quite different.  And this mythical opposition doesn't have "a
history of righting the electoral wrongs of the populace."  The
"opposition" had little to do with the 1991 coup, which was carried out by
police chief Michel Francois largely as a personal vengeance, encouraged by
some of the bourgeoisie.  In fact the last time the opposition "righted
(electoral) wrongs," as Kathy puts it, was in 1990, when with an impressive
show of (all too brief) unity, it forced out dictator Prosper Avril and set
the stage for Aristide's election.  

And once more, we should ask the question, why have so many leading
supporters, intellectuals and others who were so fiercely pro-Aristide 10
(even five) years ago, turned against him?  Sour grapes?  Jealousy?  Didn't
get that little job they wanted or didn't  manage to "décrocher un petit
ministère"?  Paid by the CIA?  All too easy to dismiss it as that, but
again it's an old trick.  We should listen to what they say, the evidence
they present.  Is Corbetteer Daniel Simidor CIA?  An opposition stooge?  I
think not.  So why is he saying the things he is saying?

As for "not winning legally and running a smear campaign," which is what
Kathy accuses the opposition of, that also seems an accurate description of
the government/FL behaviour in the May 21 election and the subsequent
trumped-up "coup plot."  No-one doubts that for the moment Aristide is the
most popular politician in Haiti.  So why does he bother to rig election
results?  And can we please stop pretending the Electoral Council is an
independent body.  The Constitution says it is, but the merest examination
of the present CEP's history shows it to be under heavy government pressure
when it isn't plainly a puppet to the powers-that-be.  As is sadly said in
Haiti, "the Constitution is made of paper, bayonets are made of iron."

Worship of somebody and their official line = loss of freedom.  Is this the
best and safest way to run human affairs?  I don't think so.

> I really support the people, democracy and improvment of the quality of
life for Haitians.

So do I.  Let's make sure it moves that way.  We should no more believe the
government's propaganda (election turnout figure, "independent" CEP etc)
than the ravings of Jesse Helms and some elements in "the opposition."

        Greg Chamberlain