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7659: Haiti: The Premises of a Low-Intensity Dictatorship (Anonymous please) (fwd)

From: Stanley Lucas <slucas@iri.org>

Haiti: The Premises of a Low-Intensity Dictatorship

Working Paper by Former Senator Rosny Mondestin
April 2001 


· General Context 

· Factual Review 

· Factual Reinterpretation: The New Militia and Political Police

· Political Control of the Police

· Destruction of Chain of Command and Promotion 

· The New Mayors' Militia and their Political Control of the Police

· The Misleading Path of Negotiations

· Convergence Loses Time, Lavalas Wins Ground 

· The Design of the Negotiations Provides Legitimacy to Lavalas

· J.B. Aristide Does Not Take the International Community Seriously 

· Negotiations Under OAS Leadership

· The Victim Must Negotiate with his Tormentor

· Aristide Will Obtain a Favorable Report from Cesar Gaviria

· OAS/Luigi Einaudi Wants to Marginalize the Convergence

· True Negotiations 

· Justice for the Victim and Condemnation of the Tormentor

· The Premises 

· Neutralization of Aristide Plan by the Convergence 

· Media Account of Problems Between Aristide and PNH

· How to Rescue the PNH

· Diplomatic Campaign against Resurgence of Militia 

· Conceptualization of a Political Communication Plan on this Issue 


This document is a contribution of the National Revolutionary Movement (MRN) to the struggle of the Haitian people and their leading organizations against the re-emergence of totalitarianism in Haiti. It is not hard to see the symmetry between the birth of Papa Doc's system forty years before and that of Aristide today. Yet while there are parallels, today's struggle is linked to specific critical factors in the behavior of actors, to international constraints, and to internal dynamics. Starting from the disruption of the elections in 2000 the struggle as we see it has gone through four distinct stages:

1. Electoral Struggle (May-August 2000)

2. Political Struggle (Oct-Nov 2000). Boycott of presidential elections

3. Emergence of Alternative Political Program (Dec. 2000-Jan. 2001)

4. Development of Alternative Political Program (Feb 7, 2001-)

The fourth phase is the most delicate because it requires a course correction by the Democratic Convergence. It is necessary that the Convergence avoid mistakes regarding the struggle, the adversary, and the battlefield. A struggle against a dictatorship, contrary to a simple electoral battle, is a laborious and long one. Its implies a civic engagement. It is conceived and executed on the basis of domestic values and principles and not by foreign embassies. 

The success of the mobilization campaign launched by the Convergence in March is not at first visible because this was more a strategic mobilization than a political or diplomatic one. The campaign forced J.B. Aristide to tip his hand too early. In general, totalitarian regimes are built anonymously and with discretion. From March 17 to March 21, Haitian society got an advance look at Aristide's system. From the breaking of windshields, kidnaping of school children, pillaging of small businessmen's stores, and profanation of religious places, the Haitian people saw and understood what awaits them. Aristide's program and that of the Haitian nation are mutually exclusive. To be coherent, we need to quickly break off the process of false negotiations which strengthen Aristide in his duplicity and only confuse the international community and civil society.

2. Factual Review

1. On April 3, 2000, the assassination of Jean Dominique, owner and founder of Radio Haiti Inter. According to the Inter-American Press Association, this crime was carried out by people close to Aristide.

2. On May 21, 2000, use of PNH units by night to steal ballots, falsify legal documents, and sabotage the elections. The electoral coup.

3. On May 22, 2000, assassination attempt on Paul Denis, senator and senatorial candidate, by a USP commando from the National Palace. Paul Denis is incarcerated without cause and abruptly released afterwards.

4. By the beginning of June 2000, a Lavalas terror campaign throughout the country promoted by President R. Préval and J.B. Aristide to make CEP President Léon Manus publish fraudulent results. The flight of Léon Manus.

5. After Manus's departure, on July 5, 2000 the mayor of St-Louis du Sud forcibly prevented Hervé Denis, professor and former prime ministerial nominee, from holding a meeting in the presence of the local population. 

6. On October 2, 2000, the man known as Ronald Camille, alias Ronald Cadavre, an employee of the port authority, and the suspected murderer of Senator Yvon Toussaint in 1999, attempted to necklace Delmas police chief Jacky Nau during a meeting of Aristide's people in front of the CEP headquarters.

7. Some weeks after, on October 18, a group of police chiefs, among them Nau, are forced to seek political asylum in Ecuador. Prime Minister Jacques E. Alexis used the false pretext of a plot against state security to justify the persecution of the police chiefs. In truth, this was a maneuver of Donald Steinberg of the State Department (according to the Wall Street Journal) to purge the PNH of people considered harmful to the Lavalas Movement. These same police chiefs had in fact organized and supervised the sabotage of the electoral process on May 21, 2000.

8. By the beginning of January 2001, the so-called Lavalas militant Paul Raymond publicly launches death threats against peaceful citizens.

9. Some days later, Port-au-Prince Civil Court members had to flee because the threats of a mob tied to Paul Raymond during his court appearance.

10. On February 8, 2001, at Aristide's instigation, an effort was made to remove the commanders of the palace guard (USPGN, Security Unit of the National Palace). This specialized PNH unit is almost exclusively made up of former members of the Haitian Army. It has discipline and is well equipped. Aristide does not trust it anymore and hopes to dismantle it as soon as possible.

11. By mid-February 2001, Judge Claudy Gassant (in charge of the investigation of the murder of Jean Dominique) receives a death threat from Deputy (by contested election) Milien Romage, who is an ex-member of Aristide's personal security detail and presumed assassin of Pastor Leroy and J. Fleurival (1995), MDN members.

12. By the end of February 2001, the installation of Harvel Jean-Baptiste, a Lavalas militant as PNH general director. His mission is to threaten policemen's careers and to make them to submit to the Lavalas government. 

13. By mid-March 2001, Ronald Camille is voted in by popular organizations as security chief of the Port-au-Prince port authority. This is part of an attempt by Lavalas fanatics aiming to intimidate business sectors and force them to accept Ronald Cadavre as a chief supervisor of the authority.

14. On March 14, 2001, armed Lavalas fanatics paid by the mayor of Petionville violently interrupt a peaceful protest by the Convergence in front of the OAS office. These fanatics neutralize the Petionville police with stones.

15. Armed civilians paid by Lavalas repress a peaceful protest at Desdunes. One person is shot dead. 

16. Lavalas fanatics, paid by the executive branch, go on a rampage of burning, windshield breaking, and assaults of students from March 19 to March 21. The police merely watch. The mayors of Port-au-Prince, Petionville, Delmas, and Carrefour coordinate this turmoil.

17. On March 17, 2001, attack on the private residence of Pastor Luc Mesadieu, Mochrena Leader, by Lavalas people.

18. On March 19, 2001 ,Lavalas militants attack Protestant churches in Gonaives.

19. On March 20, 2001 there is an attempt to burn down the Convergence office at Pont-Morin by Lavalas fanatics in the presence of the police.

20. Lavalas armed groups try to attack the private residence of the provisionsl president Gerard Gourgue. For two hours, they terrorized two hundred students in the Gerard Gourgue School.

21. On March 21, 2001, a threatening statement by JB Aristide with an allusion to the conspiracy of Catiline in 63 B.C. 

22. On March 21, 2000, Mayor Dongo Joseph of Maissade, with his aides, beats a judge in Hinche. Some days later he issues a death threat to the government commissioner in Hinche.

23. On March 27, 2001, the installation of Nesly Lucien, Aristide's former security guard and palace guard (USP) as PNH chief. According to foreign intelligence services, the USP has conceived and carried out all political assassinations in the country from 1994 to 2000. Nesly Lucien's mission is to put the PNH under Aristide's exclusive control and to transform it into a tool for intimidation, repression, and extra-judicial execution.

24. Installation of the former director of the port authority of Cap Haitien, M. Rosemond Fabien, to head the Judicial Police. His mission is to control police investigations along the lines desired by the executive branch and if necessary to close the embarassing ones. Political assassinations will never be solved. The opponents of the government will be continue to be persecuted. The friends of the executive branch, even those involved in illicit activities, will be protected.

25. On March 26, 2001, after an anti-Lavalas protest, the contested mayor of Petit-Goave Emmanuel Antoine shoots at the participants and a passing police patrol.

26. On March 28, 2001, J.B. Aristide issues a honeyed declaration on dialogue and peace.

27. On March 29, 2001, the mayor and government commissioner of Mirebalais prohibit any protest not authorized by the Lavalas Party.

28. By the intercession of Yvon Bonhomme, who is an associate of Rene Civil, an employee of the mayor of Port-au-Prince and a court staff official, a drug trafficker of Jamaican nationality is released. To hide the affair, the Justice Ministry fires the second commissioner who argued that he only executed orders of his supervisor, Commissar Josué Pierre-Louis.

29. Firing-Sanction whithin PNH under the signal of the "President" without the Superior Police Council, as requested by law. It is possible to name the St-Gourdin, Alexandre, and Charlier cases.

30. Installation of Auriel Jean, USP member, to head USPGN. Former SSP member, A. Jean is a close of Jean-Bertrand Aristide. USPGN is presently demobilized at the Dessalines Barracks while awaiting its pure and simple dismantling.

31. On March 31, 2001, transfer of a Petit-Goave Inspector because of Emmanuel Antoine request. This latter, two days before, denounced the inspector as favorable to the Convergence because the Police had protected a peaceful protest.


This apparently incoherent dynamics of events reflects at bottom the deep and unshakable will to set up a system based on PNH obedience to a militia spearheaded by the mayorships and the local municipalities. For that, the Lavalas Movement has conceived a plan to distort PNH through its structures, its functioning, and its mission.

PNH Vassalage

To Aristide, PNH represents the only structure able to oppose resistance to its totalitarian aims through its specialized units: CIMO, USPGN, SWAT TEAMS mostly made up of former Haitian Army members. Aristide plans to neutralize them, to dismantle them for reconstituting them with faithful people, without arousing concerns of interested people, of its political adversaries, and

international tutors. The initial phase of PNH vassalage has been fulfilled without trouble by three apparently insignificant appointments, namely:

1. Harvel Jean-Baptiste as General Inspector

2. Nesly Lucien ,Général Manager

3. Rosemond Julien, Judicial Police Director 

These three people have two major qualities which make them eligible to Aristide:

- They are not policemen

- They strongly believe in him.

In the Aristide kingdom, the selection criteria for a job is not competence but the level of devotion to the Supreme Leader. In a normal country, placing at the Police higher levels people not having Police training is like letting an handicaped person not knowing how to drive driving a car. In the Aristide kingdom, this is characterized as "dynamizing the peace momentum" and this deserves an invitation at the Americas Summit. 

Destruction of Command Lines and PNH Promotion

This phase included PNH ouster of disciplined, educated, and trained people who represent potential sources of resistance whithin the Police Corps. Alexandre from CIMO, Charlier at the General Inspection, Latortue from USGPN are ousted or excluded. Auriel Jean, close associate of JB Aristide, is promoted to head USGPN. The same process will affect the Corps other structures, namely the Department Direction, and the Commissarships. JB Aristide will become in truth PNH genuine boss. Police promotion standards will not be based anymore on merit and civic devotion but on devotion to the Supreme Chief and excessive enthusiasm in executing unlawful actions (intimidation, assassination, illicit drug traffic operations).

PNH Subservience to Mayorships Militia

For Lavalas, the mayorships represent the premises of a militia whose goal is to control PNH at the local level. In this system, the ideal Police Comissar is a militant who precedes the Supreme Chief expectations. Harvel Jean-Baptiste at the General Inspection will quickly select the docile associates ready to play the game and will rapidly spread them on the national territory depending on the Mayorships demand. As an illustration, at Petit-Goave, after the bloody events of March 26,

2001, "Mayor" Emmanuel Antoine sollicitated (March 28) and got (March 31) the transfer of an inspector perceived as too "convergent" to his eyes. In Mirebalais, the system wonderfully works because the Police commissar decided to interdict the non authorized protests by the Lavalas Party. Who can do better ? As things are moving, some weeks from now, PNH will be under the control of JB Aristide and will become a smooth intimidation, repression, and extra-judicial execution tool. The Lavalas fanatics will be able easily to wear police uniforms to ransom businessmen, to violate private houses, and to undertake multiform illegal actions.


The word "bluff" is defined as "an artifice aiming to attract somebody to deceive him." Negotiations, as they are developing with Lavalas, simply aim to deceive the vigilance of the nation and of the Convergence.

Convergence Loses Time, Lavalas Wins Ground

To set up his system, JB Aristide expects the lack of lucidity of his political adversaries and trusts his astuteness which hides his true intentions. He needs time and discretion. For that, he must lead his adversaries to spend their energies on a secondary ground to his eyes (the negotiations), to prevent them for unveiling his game (militia establishment), and to finally appropriate benefits of fake negotiations (national recognition), and to create time (for fine tuning the repressive system).

The negotiation dynamics legitimates fait accompli politics. Negotiations as they are developing do not harm at all Lavalas objectives, convictions, and options. The adopted dynamics is very coherent and insures repeated diplomatic successes over the opposition. It is possible to sum up that in

some points:

1. JB Aristide promises everything and does not give nothing

2. The victim (The Haitian people and his avant-garde orgnizations) and the

tormentor (Lavalas) are placed at the same level.

3. Repeated negotiations legitimate his fait accompli politics

JB Aristide does not take the international community seriously

On February 13, 2001, President Bush accept through a letter to JB Aristide his eight pledges formulated to President Clinton. Yet, nobody cares about the fact that he has not respected these pledges. In fact, in the meantime, JB Aristide, violating the first three points of his famous letter:

· set up a Lavalas government

· established a CEP with his personal friends

· appointed his body guard to head PNH

As a result, paradoxically, he is invited to the April 20-22 Americas Summit. OAS sends him flowers through Luigi Enaudi as intermediator. JB Aristide won't change attitude because he does not take the international community seriously and does not fear sanctions. To Lavalas, this is the Convergence tied to the Whites which blocks international aid and as a consequence the country. Convergence is assisted by "civil society" interventions which calls upon the two sides to negotiate. This conciliatory attitude allows Lavalas to dodge his electoral coup and to downgrade the political struggle to a simple power battle.

This means that the victim should negotiate with his tormentor (Lavalas) and this with the harasser conditions. Given expressed contempt by JB Aristide to the international community and his written pledges, how can they ask to the Convergence to trust him ? Can Enaudi get that Aristide respect the eight pledges accepted on February 13, 2001 by President Bush ?


The present negotiation structure is highly favorable to JB Aristide and he would be wrong to not exploit that. The victim must negotiate with his persecutor. Convergence has anything to lose by accepting Clinton diplomacy guidelines pursued by OAS and which establishes a symetry (two protagonists) between the tormentor and the victim. This diplomacy dodges Lavalas wrongdoing and puts pressures on the Convergence and leads it to negotiate an useless accord to save face. The supporters of this diplomacy are the OAS, the civil society, the religious sector, some press sectors. Consciously or not they relay the "international community too much engaged with Lavalas in more or less licit affairs and so do not hope that this Lavalas movement leaves power even if

that is against popular will. After seven years of uninterrupted Lavalas rule, Lavalas has established in some international sectors occult relations which are used as useful relays for his diplomacy and his political marketing.

OAS/Luigi Einaudi Wants to Marginalize the Convergence

The March 30, 2001, Communique by which OAS announces Ambassador Luigi Einaudi's arrival is very significant of the international community's state of mind regarding the denouement of the political crisis in Haiti. Thus, Convergence leaders must establish a trade off between private opinions of diplomats and the well understood national interest. According to the communique, Einaudi "will make a visit in Haiti from April 4 to undertake, under the General Secretary guidance, consultations with government and other sectors of the political community and civil society". No word is written regarding the opposition and the Convergence. Adjunct General Secretary stated that "the pause requested by President Aristide could largely contribute to create conditions favorable to dialogue and to reconciliation." Aristide is now the good, the gentle, the democrat who has his legitimate place in the international community. This will be confirmed on May 2, 2001, in the Secretary Cesar Gaviria report. They will probably ask to lessen sanctions which penalize the people and that's it ! Einaudi visit is the consequence of a diplomatic visit aiming to show that JB Aristide is a democrat concerned about his country interest and that the opposition is made up of a conglomerate of extremist parties which should be marginalized.

Einaudi's Real objectives are: 

- to favor the emergence of a low intensity dictatorship in Haiti around JB Aristide

- to get from the Convergence a pretext, under the form of an insignificant agreement, to get rid of the sanctions, and give carte blanche to Aristide. 

- to favor the emergence on the political scene of apprently moderated sectors (civil society) to eliminate any real opposition to JB Aristide.

JB Aristide Must Obtain a Favorable Report from Cesar Gaviria at the Beginning of May. J.B. Arisitide again wants to exploit this new round of negotiations to project a democracy image on the international scene some weeks from the publication of a report in Haiti by Cesar Gaviria. One should expect anything from Aristide until the publication of this report.

Aristide Objectives during April will be:

- to multiply intent statements for the international community to justify his presence at the Summit of the Americas (April 20-22, 2001)

- to temporarily use OAS direction which is favorable to him to marginalize the opposition and definitively dodge the eight pledges to the US executive

- to obtain a favorable report from General Secretary Cesar Gaviria which will serve as a starting point for a lessening of sanctions.

- to exploit the negotiation dynamics to keep on the fait accompli politics ceaselessly legitimated after every negotiation cycle.


Sooner or later, one should compel J.B. Aristide to effectively negotiate and this according a process which will take into account facts and will respect fairness principles.

Setting: Compensation for the Victim and Condemnation of the Tormentor to be credible should show determination to undertake a diplomatic struggle to reestablish truth and a negotiation setting which demands compensation for the victim (the Haitian people and its avant-garde organizations) and condemnation of the Executioner (Lavalas). From the forced and unlawful installation of JB Aristide at the National Palace, he has not respected pledges. Indeed, the following moves prove it:

1. formation of a government with his political friends

2. formation of a subservient CEP

3. Launhing by JB Aristide of a terror campaign (March 19-21, 2001) which culminated with the fire destruction attempt of the Port-au-Prince Convergence headquarter and profanation of religious protestant temples in Gonaives.

4. appointment by JB Aristide of his body guard, Nesly Lucien, to head PNH.

5. transformation of mayorships into Lavalas militia headquarter to replace Police (Petit-Goave incident).

6. Total impunity for Lavalas Militants (Paul Raymond, Ronald Camille, Emmanuel Antoine, Dongo Joseph, Wilio Joseph) guilty of crimes and infringements.

Prerequisites for Negotiations

To inspire a minimum of trust, JB Aristide should give proof of his will to respect at least his pledges towards the President of the United States. He should moreover forge a propitious climate to negotiations by concrete actions. For that, he should commit himself to:

1. send to justice M. Ronald Camille, guilty of murder on Police Commissar Jacky Nau

2. send to court M. Paul Raymond, for death threats against peaceful citizens

3. dismantle organized militia and armed groups within mayorships

4. send to court M. Dongo Joseph guilty to have ordered the beating of Hinche Judge

5. free all political prisoners

These apparently insignificant requests cannot be agreed by JB Aristide because, by doing that, he would undermine the foundations of his system based on fanatic militant supremacy over the policeman and total impunity for the enthusiastic Lavalas militant. By bringing JB Aristide on the justice ground, one proves to public opinion the perverse Lavalas double game who speaks about justice while he establishes an unlawful system, speaks about peace when he plans the phagocyting of the Police, massive elimination of his opponents, suppresion of rights and civic freedoms. In fact, he prepares the peace of corpses( and this is probably because of that De Facto Culture Ministry announced to the radio that JB Aristide will talk about "cultural diversity as peace culture" at the Americas' summit). By requesting justice for policemen and judges victims of fanatics, the Convergence struggle changes its tone and becomes a proximity civil battle with a more general and

mobilizing scope.


The ultimate goal of JB Aristide is to get rid of disciplinated people, essentially former military. This process is going on as USGPN demobilization proves it. 

Média Consideration of Problems between JB Aristide and PNH 

The Convergence must in the following days raise an important public debate on PNH. They should prevent at any price that the Lavalas fanatic fear paralyse PNH, as this was the case in 1961 when the Army faced the Tontons Macoutes. The public debate will strengthen the less convinced people and reinforce the most determined because in truth some indicators clearly show that:

- Policemen will be physically eliminated as the military under Papa Doc.

- Young people won't be able to develop a career in an institution under the influence of Lavalas fanatics

- Businessmen will be ransomed by Lavalas fanatics disguised into policemenles

- The simple citizen will stay without security guaranty for his life and properties.

- The opinion will be informed on the imminent creation of a militia like the VSN (Tontons Macoutes) to which the police will be subordinate.

The struggle for PNH integrity is a struggle for restoration of the moral, social, and institutional order destroyed by Lavalas. JB Aristide represents a general threat against which society reacts by building a counter political project headed by Convergence.

Diplomatic Campaign against Militia Reconstruction

.A diplomatic campaign aiming to unveil JB Aristide in his attempts to reinstall the Militia should bring results and raise support to honest and disciplined policemen. The international community should distance itself from a totalitarian regime which use taxpayers funds to finance a militia, a

political police, and armed bands for intimidating opponents.

Political Communication Plans: Two Mutually Exclusive Projects

Profanation of religious places, breaking of car glasses, violation of private property, state terrorism, distorsion of the judicial apparatus, institutional perversion, generalized coruption represent for Lavalas a normal form of power management. Thus, Lavalas is incompatible with a minimal

necessary rule of law for expressing political pluralism. In the Aristide kingdom, the values are reversed compared to ours. Milien Romage is Carrefour congressmen because he assassinated Pastor Leroy and Fleurival. Ronald Cadavre will be Security Chief at Port-au-Prince APN because he assassinated Senator Toussaint and is co-author of Jean Dominique murder. The one who executed Jean Dominique on April 3, 2000 is presently adjunct "Mayor" in the metropolitan area. With Lavalas in power, the Jean Dominique murder will never be elucidated.

The electoral system in action in the Aristide kingdom according to the new schedule proposed on March 14, 2001 will be operational in November 2002 under OAS supervision. It will be a repetition of the 2000 year with new actors. M. Dongo Joseph will be the next Maissade congressman for having beaten the Hinche Judge. M.Emmanuel Antoine will be the next Petit-Goave congressman for having wounded with weapons five citizens after a peaceful anti-Lavalas protest. The incumbent Milot "Mayor" who declared non grata all Convergence militanta will be Senator of the North. Paul Raymond will be Government Commissar, Rene Civil Justice Minister. If anyone thinks that is

fiction politics, he only has to remember the present Aristide Police Chief profile.