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#899: Disruptions at election events, etc. (fwd)
Haiti123 shares views of people living and working in Haiti:
Basic question is who profits from these outbursts that have been seen at the
two recent events. What is the motive? And who has what to gain from these
There are many in the forefront, who are heavily funded and endorsed by
foreigners, who are heavy handed in terms of influence and publicity -- but
yet are without any base whatsoever and therefore have nothing to gain by
holding free and fair democratic elections.
These same folks spend all their time attacking Aristide as responsible for
all evil in the universe and never talk about ways to resolve the crushing
misery of the majority of the country. At the same time, many of these same
folks are the ones who participated in the preparation or maintenance of the
Just like in the late 80s regarding election time, foreign money has gone to
propping up those best for the foreigners and little-nothing organizations
were approached by the NED (in early 1999) (for example) to become political
parties at their service. So in this sense there is a general anger at the
collusion once again in force to block the will of the people.
Now, capitalizing on that anger, it appears clear to many that some folks
within the clique I have just described could profit well by portraying Fanmi
Lavalas as anti-democratic and violent.
To the contrary, Fanmi Lavalas has been not just giving lip service to
elections but has held departmental meetings throughout the country and is
working very hard to prepare for their three-day congress in December. Their
Aristide Foundation for Democracy newspaper, Dignity, is chocked full of news
on the elections.
All the messages coming out of their party are supportive of elections and
urging rural and other folks to register to vote. They have issued press
releases and make strong statements condemning the violence. On the very day
of the rally in Petit-Goave this weekend when the disruption broke out,
Father Devalcin of Fanmi Lavalas predicted that Fanmi Lavalas would be blamed
for the violence. He was clear in his interview that it was not Fanmi Lavalas
but as many are alleging, a deliberate effort to discredit Fanmi Lavalas and
to throw off the elections.
On the other hand, I saw the rally in Petit-Goave on the television and it
was a small handful of people chanting for Aristide. This is acceptable
behavior in the US when a counter-demonstration appears to express its views.
Of course physical violence is another thing. However, again, people are
saying that they were not Fanmi Lavalas people but deliberate saboteurs. I
would never condone the throwing of urine at people but to put things in
perspective, a former MICIVIH person raised the question on the Corbett list
about the atrocities committed under the coup and how does urine compare with
And when they say Fanmi Lavalas people are disrupting the events, do they
mean people? Isn't that what they mean? When most of the people are with
Fanmi Lavalas doesn't that reference mean the people? How much money are
those other folks paying out to get people to attend their rallies when the
overwhelming majority of the people are with Aristide?
These maneuvers are not in the interest of Fanmi Lavalas who by all surveys
taken by anyone and everyone has the support of the majority of the
population. But when free and fair elections result in the putting aside of
those folks who are in the spotlight right now, they will loose speed and
funding and the potential to further secure power.
Secondly, compounding the problem is the perception that the US is
controlling the elections by its contract with the Canadian firm on the voter
cards. Many foreigners have asked me if the US is still controlling the
elections because they heard about the direct contract. I was surprised how
this perception took hold so widespread. Further, the perception that IFES
controls the CEP reinforces the people's anxiety over elections that are not
by them and not for them.
Repeatedly, I hear allegations of coup d'etat electoral alluding to how the
elections are designed to block the people.
This has further shaken the confidence of the Haitian people and I believe
those who are trying to destabilize the elections are capitalizing on this as
In terms of motivation we have to ask ourselves why would Fanmi Lavalas do
such things? Would they want to discredit themselves? Would they want to
appear un-democratic? Wouldn't they overwhelmingly win in free and fair
elections? This would give them the opportunity to gain seats in Parliament.
Now, who doesn't want Fanmi Lavalas to have seats in Parliament? Those
concerned with privatization? Those who want the army back? Those in
control of drug trafficking and money-laundering? Those who control
We have to look also at the whole picture which includes the Operation
Columbus mission just completed here and the impending "pullout" of the US
military. Prior to every "pull out" there is a marked increase in violence
and currently those same folks who so cleverly and with the help of the IRI
and other such groups, have wangled a space for themselves, are calling for a
US military intervention and demanding the resignation of President Preval.
We hear those same Macoutes, like the MPSN, who carried out the coup for
three years appealing for an intervention now!
[I was marveling this week at how those "political prisoners", like Claude
Raymond, that had been in prison so long got so much international publicity
and sympathy and yet, when they were plotting against the nation and killing
people and picking off a new and young police force -- very few people
outside Haiti seemed to care.]
Its all a grand act. And Fanmi Lavalas is the scapegoat. A list in a
current article of La Reforme makes clear the amount of Fanmi Lavalas people
recently assassinated. Who is assassinating the Fanmi Lavalas people?
The same sector who has carried out the repression against the people (of
which Aristide is synonymous with) are the same now saying 'no to violence.'
This is a textbook case right out of the book about how the Contras built up
The timing is all so perfect. All in the name of non-violence and democracy!
Yesterday, there were many murders in Port-au-Prince! All this to
consolidate and strengthen their destabilization campaign while pinning
everything on Fanmi Lavalas. And surprise, surprise, mass repatriations of
Haitians from the Dominican Republican! Now, they are saying that the
Dominican army is amassing at the border. And doesn't that just feed into
the call for the return of the Army?
Another view was a quote from a CEP member who suggested that disruption at
the gym was sabotage planned by disgruntled CEP members!