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7902: Current political crisis had its origins in 1997 (fwd)




From: Max Blanchet <maxblanchet@worldnet.att.net>

1.   Haiti: Radio commentary says current political crisis had its origins
in 1997

Haiti: Radio commentary says current political crisis had its origins in
1997
BBC Monitoring Service - United Kingdom; May 15, 2001

Text of report by Haitian Metropole radio on 15 May

Once again, a new OAS mediation mission has left without being able to bring
the protagonists together. The seventh failed OAS attempt, which was
reinforced this time by Caricom [Caribbean Community], does not surprise
anybody. It is the same old story that both the Lavalas Family [FL] and the
Convergence have been telling. They both blame each other for the crisis.
Journalist Jean Numa Goudou comments on the situation:

[Goudou - recording] The Haitian people do not lack proposals for resolving
the crisis. They have plenty of those, according to the OAS and Caricom
representatives. [OAS and Caricom Assistant Secretaries-General] Luigi
Einaudi and Albert Ramdin said: "We are impressed."

But how can one negotiate a problem that is insoluble on its own terms? The
OAS and Caricom emissaries held only one meeting with the Convergence and
three working sessions and a long telephone conversation with the head of
the Lavalas Family in four days. But the diplomats said: No concrete,
effective steps have been taken. And yet, time is running out. The people
are suffering. As time passes the situation is getting more and more
difficult for everybody.

Time is running out, yet they had time to hold meetings, seven times in all.
In fact, this OAS attempt to find a solution for all, the way out of the
crisis, the political compromise, the patriotic sacrifice, all those things
have been a remarkable failure. The Civil Society Initiative Group [GISC]
can hardly stand it. Rosny Desroches does not hide his feelings: I must say
honestly that there was a time when I felt humiliated as a Haitian to see
that foreigners are obliged to commute between Trinidad, Washington and
Port-au-Prince, three to six times while we are like adolescents and childre
n, incapable of resolving our problems.

In fact, the protagonists never accept their own mistakes. They blame their
opponent for their own mistakes. As a matter of fact, it looks as if neither
the Lavalas Family nor the Convergence has responsibility for the
persistence of the crisis. Everybody is clean [previous word in English].
Jonas Petit pleads the cause of Lavalas and Evans Paul defends the
Convergence. Petit said: "Because of the frequent refusals of the
Convergence to meet the head of state, HE Jean-Bertrand Aristide, the FL
delegates have, therefore, concluded that the Convergence is still sticking
to its proposition, which is the annulment of the year 2000 elections.

And Paul of the Convergence said: In the Convergence it is clear that there
are concessions which we want to make. But they cannot tell us to make the
concessions before the negotiations start. Nor can they tell us to deal with
an adversary whom we do not trust.

It will soon be a year since the crisis started, since the challenge of the
21 May elections. But they often forget that the Haitian crisis is much
older than that and more political than that. This struggle between fellow
enemies issued from the same political party started on 3 November 1996 with
the birth of the Lavalas Family in Jacmel. And the break-up with the
Struggling People's Organization [OPL] was sealed on 9 June 1997 with the
resignation of Prime Minister Rosny Smarth. And since then, the door has
been open to any crisis.

Source: Radio Metropole, Port-au-Prince, in French 1145 gmt 15 May 01

/BBC Monitoring/  BBC.