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#3578: Haitian Refugees: Grey replies to Dorsinville
In a message dated 5/12/2000 3:31:07 PM Eastern Daylight Time, Nancy m.
<< namely, why for example are not the refugees who came at the height of the
pernicious military regime (91-94), not considered, de facto, what the
convention terms: prima facie refugee... >>
Because they were fleeing from a US-Republican-party-sponsored dictatorship
of the right, and not a dictatorship of the left! Because they are black,
not white Europeans like Bosnians. Because they are identified with Vodou.
Because they are identified with AIDS. Because because because!
Haitians fleeing Haiti during the Cedras regime of 1991 - 1994 should have
been treated exactly like Cubans fleeing Cuba, or Bosnians fleeing whatever
they are calling that geographic region these days! But I didn't see Hillary
Clinton down on the wharf kissing Haitian babies.
The Geneva-based International Organization for Migration, in whose
Port-au-Prince offices I worked, did "in country processing of political
asylum applicants", which is an oxymoron any way you look at it, since
technically one can not apply for political asylum until one has fled one's
country of origin! Then there were the camps in Guantanamo, where Haitian
women fleeing rape and torture at the hands of the Haitian military were
treated to rape and torture at the hands of the American military. Then
there were the "repatriations" of Haitians back to the dock in
Port-au-Prince, right under the noses of the Haitian Army, who grabbed
whoever they wanted.
It was a scandal, a hypocritical sin and a shame.
But it's nothing new, either - in the mid-1980's when Haitians were fleeing
another dictator, or rather a series of dictators, those who were released
from Krome Detention center were dumped into Belle Glade and Pahokee,
Florida, just south of Lake Okeechobee. They were given five dollars each, I
am not kidding, and a "parole" which included the condition that they remain
Guess who was waiting for them? South Florida orange growers, the vast
majority of whom were Ku Klux Klan members who held it as an article of
religious faith that black people are created by God to be the slaves of
white people, and should therefore never be paid cash money for their work!
Haitian labor picked more oranges and grapefruits than Tropicana can shake a
And to top it all off, the African-Americans of those towns stupidly rejected
Haitians as "rice eaters" and "cat eaters" (they were HUNGRY, a lot of the
town's cats did disappear), instead of uniting and doing voter registration
and getting some long-needed clout in these towns, where the town lines are
carefully drawn to exclude the "black" areas and extended to include the
"white" areas, although black families still took town water, were arrested
by town police, sent their children to schools run by the town school board,
and so on.
Oh, I could go on and on, the things I've seen in my short years...
Peace and love,
Bon Mambo Racine Sans Bout Sa Te La Daginen
"Se bon ki ra",
Good is rare - Haitian Proverb
The VODOU Page - <A HREF="http://members.aol.com/racine125/index.html">http://