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9307: Haitian President Jean Bertrand Aristide*s message tothe nation (fwd)

From: Stanley Lucas <slucas@iri.org>

Haitian President Jean Bertrand Aristide's message to the nation 
on the occasion of the 17 october 2001 celebration 
(JSR tanslation)
Dear citizens, Ladies, Gentlemen

The First Lady and myself are honoured to welcome you
today on behalf of the Great Emperor Jean-Jacques

The 17 october celebration, far from being a tradition
rooted in immobilism, speaks to all victims of today's
terrorism, and of yesterday's slavery.

Analysis of terrorism reveals exactions and cruelty
that transcends borders and flow through humanity's
long history, all the way to homo habilis' first

Closer to us, the most horrible ethnocide ever
observed on our continent, helps us to better
understand the miseries inflicted to our ancestors:
Dessalines, Christophe, Toussaint, Geffrard

Because it was the most densely populated area (of the
continent) at the time, Central Mexico saw terrorism
destroy the indigenous population. If in 1519 one
could estimate the population at 25.5 million
inhabitants, in 1523 there were only 16.8 million
people left. In 1568, 2.6 million inhabitants; in 1605
1 million people. Only 1 million of the original 225.3
million inhabitants managed to survive !

Here at home, when Las Casas sought in 1515 to obtain
a more favourable set of laws and regulations that
would be more beneficial to the Indian population, it
was already too late, as only 10 % of the of the
original inhabitants were still alive.

Genocide ! Barbarism ! Auri sacra fames ! Despicable
hunger for gold !

In fact, forced labour destroyed the Amerindian people
and murderered our ancestors

 All of Dessaline's body bore the traces of the whip
! All of his skin bore testimony to the marks of cane
whippings ! His skin resembled  an animal's hide
marked with a red hot iron"! 

The colonization of America in the XVI th century 
remains the worst case of ethnocide ever recorded in
human history

Dear Citizens

 The roots of terrorism lie there ! There, in the
heart of slavery"

"The slavery of old  or the slavery of modern days"

In breaking the shackles of slavery, Jean-Jacques
Dessalines fought heroically against terrorism under
its multiple guises.

And we, proud sons and daughters of the Great
Jean-Jacques Dessalines, we are also struggling
against terrorism, with lucidity and wisdom.  Whether
one considers geopolitical terrorism or economic
terrorism, it is necessary to articulate a rational
strategy, respectful of human rights.

Strength without intelligence disappears under it's
own mass, once said Horatio. In relying on his
strength and intelligence, Dessalines built in 1804
the arch of triumph where Liberty, Equality and
Fraternity are intermingled.

In not Slavery a crime against humanity ? How great
this Man was, who fought (this crime) until this Land
became the First Black Republic of the world.

May a special homage be given to the Emperor ! and in
his name, we will protect the essential liberties,
economic, civil and political rights, 

All human beings are born free and equal in dignity
and in rights

In Dessalines' footsteps, this struggle for Liberty
implies as much the brain as well as human
consciousness. Without the brain, human life loses the
basis of it's superiority: in other terms, it's
consciousness, will power and ability for rational

All those who, like Jean-Jacques Dessalines, reject
contemplative life, rise to heights so that none may
ever again be held in slavery. Our heroes contribute
objectively to humanism.

At the dawn of this new millennium, ever so fragile
and vulnerable, the brain may, if needed, be
re-educated towards the construction of a more humane
society and a less violent world.

This requires deep beliefs and control, decision and
commitment. In his own lifetime, Dessaline relied on
his own abilities. Two hundred years later, economic
violence has changed form, but it hasn't changed
direction. The memory of Dessaline won't let it sleep

After Independence, poverty continued to afflict the
population. When, in the years 1804-1806, Desssaline
was demanding land for the peasantry, today in 2001,
he would ask: "what of all the illiterate ? what of
all the people's children who are in the dark,
unemployed and hungry ? What of us, the majority of
the people, who are thirsthy for literacy, economic
justice, employment, health, justice, and security 24
hours a day ?
As long as the cauldron was boiling on only one side,
Dessaline would struggle with determination to change
this state of affairs. 

In any case, he was not a leader seeking personal
interests, nor a man interested in wearing pants
because of their fine cloth ! 

In 1791, he joined Boukman's struggle. In October
1794, on Toussaint's recommendations, Governor Laveau
appointed Dessaline to the grade of Batallion
Commander. In 1795 he was appointed Colonel. In 1797,
he became Brigadier General. In 1802, he became
General in Chief and led the army directly to

When one has a good heart, it is impossible to close
one's eyes to the sufferings of one's brothers and
sisters. It is this consciousness that we discover in
Father Dessaline, when one day, General Bazelais 
brought in a doctor named Miranbeau before him:

The Doctor was scared ! trembling out of fear, like a
leaf ! Dessaline asked him:

Doc !  Why are you shaking so ? The Doctor answered:
"Governor, medical science has yet to invent a remedy
against fear ! "

Dessalines smiled and said: "Give the Doctor his life,
so that he may save the sick and wounded. The Doctor
was appointed Chief Surgeon in the hospital. And that
is how many doctors and pharmacists were protected, so
that they could take care of the sick.

This year, the 17 th of October reminds us that
Dessaline never had the opportunity to find medical
attention from any doctors, when the treachery of
individuals without conscience killed him on the Pont
Rouge, on October 17 1806.

It's been 195 years since ! 

We remember Defile, this brave woman who was insane !
Insane for Dessaline !

They murdered Dessaline's body, they could not kill
the dream of Freedom. Because he did not die and
simply disappear, his Spirit is still alive amongst us

May a special homage be paid to the Emperor !

In remembrance, on this 17 th of october 2001, by
Presidential Decree, I proclaim :

Article 1- The Dessalinienne must be played in the
morning, when the flag is being raised, in all public
and private schools.

Article 2 All Citizens, Directors and Teachers at
these educational establishments, at all levels of the
national educational system, to insure that all
students memorize perfectly the Dessalinienne.

Dear Citizens : For the Country, For the Nation, Let
us march united ! United beyond our ideological and
political differences ! For the Country, For the
Nation, Let us march united !

To the Emperor, Honor and Respect !

To Jean Jacques Dessalines the Great, Honor and
Respect ! To the Defendor of our Race, Honor and
Respect ! To our nation's Founding Fathers, Honor and
Respect !

To us all, proud sons and daughters, respect and
REPAIR, for a Civilization of Peace.