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29422: Dailey re Montas (fwd)

From: Peter Dailey <phdailey@msn.com>

Michele Montas is one of Haiti's most original and incisive voices whose views are always of interest, whether one agrees with her conclusions or not. In February 2004, an interviewer from In These Times noted "In 1986, the people pushed out Duvalier. In 2004, they are the bystanders." Her precise and succinct assessment of what was unfolding at the time would be hard to top:

"They (the people) are aside and just looking at the whole thing. It's Aristide's thugs against the other thugs. Many certainly feel betrayed by Aristide. People won't fight to have him back. But most don't find anything in the opposition reassuring them, either.There are drug-dealers, convicts, ex-generals, and mass murderers among them. To me, the danger right now is that the popular movement that brought Aristide to power is mistaken with the "chimeres" out in the street attacking people. There was a tremendous amount of hope among people that things would change for the Haitian majority. The dream is still there. What people worry about now is a return to the old system where Haitian elites control everything.

Colonel Holmstead charged earlier that the people calling for justice in the Jean Dominique case were abruptly silenced by Dany Toussaint's political volte face. Several of us appealed to the Col. to let us have a peek at his evidence for this, but he has so far kept it to himself, selfishly in my opinion. There is one aspect of this situation that I continue to find puzzling. Many people, myself among them, assumed that the reason that Aristide was sabotaging the investigation was to protect a powerful political ally- Toussaint, in addition to being the top vote getter in the May, 2000 parliamentary elections had, with his lieutenant Richard "ChaCha" Salomon, an unrivalled network of connections with Port-au-Prince's 200+ street gangs. However, if this was the case, why, after Toussaint turned on him, did Aristide continue to suppress the investigation, when allowing it to go forward would have redounded to his credit internationally, as well as showing Toussaint that there was a price attached to betraying him.

Does anyone have any theories?

Peter Dailey