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8923: Lavalas supporters criticize US interference in internal affairs (fwd)
Haiti: Lavalas supporters criticize US interference in internal affairs
BBC Monitoring Service - United Kingdom; Aug 21, 2001
People's organizations close to the Lavalas Family [FL] on Saturday [18 August] staged a sit-in in front of the US embassy to ask the US government to stop interfering in Haiti's internal affairs. Several hundred people gathered in front of the embassy to demand that the US administration respect the results of the 21 May 2000 elections. On this occasion, Lavalas Deputy Lionel Etienne sent an SOS to all foreigners who are helping bandits to create unrest in the country, according to what he said. The deputy thinks that cooperation between Haiti and Cuba should continue the same way despite [Republican Congressman] Porter Goss's statements. Etienne's statements follow:
[Etienne - recording, in progress] ...to inform the foreigners who are our friends that we were the subject of a failed coup d'etat on 28 July. When a coup fails, nobody claims it. When money is lost in a house, nobody says who has taken it, but when gifts are being distributed, everybody holds out their hands. Today, nobody claims [responsibility for] the coup d'etat because it failed. We want to let the foreigners know that the inquiry continues and that they should help us with it because some people have gone to other countries. As international conventions provide for how to repatriate fugitive criminals, we ask them to help in this regard.
Second, they must understand that the people, who voted, have confirmed their votes and are sensitive to them. I would like them to help us continue practising democracy, because the most important thing is that the people have to vote. Voting is...[changes thought] One of the things they ask people to do to establish democracy is to express their will through a ballot. They have done that already.
[Unidentified correspondent] We also know that Republican Goss has asked US Ambassador [Brian] Dean Curran to question what we can call head of state [President] Jean-Bertrand Aristide's tilt towards Cuba. Are you not concerned about that?
[Etienne] I understand the concern. Haiti is free to cooperate with all its neighbours. By the way, Cuba is one of the most beautiful countries in the Caribbean, because it takes care of itself. No country that has clean friends and neighbours and that wants to be clean or to have experiences can prevent itself from going to its friends to ask them how they did. So, Haiti is having democratic experiences and needs to be beautiful. (It is normal that) it ask all its friends how they did. Nobody can prevent us from asking our friends how they did.
We have been friends of the United States for a long time and it has occupied us for a long time. If it knew what cleanliness is it would do some cleaning-up for us. It left the house dirty. We are cleaning it. We are asking all our friends how they can help us. Nobody can prevent Haiti from having ties with its friends. Nobody can prevent us from doing that. [End of recording]
Several people's organization members, who were part of the crowd, did not hide their indignation at US interference in Haitian internal affairs. The demonstrators, who were very hostile to US officials, expressed their support to Haitian head of state Aristide...
Source: Signal FM Radio, Port-au-Prince, in Creole 1230 gmt 20 Aug 01
/BBC Monitoring/ © BBC.
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