[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

9910: Reply to Fr. Michael Graves re: Toto Constant's extradition(fwd)

From: Pierre Jean <pierrejean01@yahoo.com>

I am not a Convergence member, and I don't consider
myself anti-Lavalas. So I technically may not be
qualified to answer your question. If you have read my
earlier post, I have made it clear who I am and where
I stand EXACTLY. However, as a Haitian who has lived
almost all my life in Haiti (I am not sure how simple
my life has been compared to yours), I think I am
allowed to answer. This answer is not simple, because
your question is not as simple as you make it out to
be, and furthermore, I believe your question is

Living in Haiti is a constant struggle for me, no
matter how fortunate I may be compared to others. As a
result, it requires a constant effort on my part to
react to events occurring in my daily environment.
Events that occur HERE become my priority; events that
occur outside of the country are then a secondary
priority. I monitor them as best I can but that's
about it.

When we went through that tumultuous period that
spanned from the end of 1995 to the return of
President Aristide after the coup, I can safely say
that most people in Haiti wanted to get the rascals
out dead or alive. That happened with the
controversial "invasion" by the US military. We saw
many coup participants and coup supporters leave the
country in what I surmise was a brokered deal.

With Toto Constant, Raoul Cedras, Michel François,
Williams Regala, Sonson Elysee et al out of the
country, they have become secondary to me. As much as
they may have committed crimes, and as much as they
deserve to be punished for these crimes, they are at
least far enough that they no longer represent the
formidable threat to our daily lives that they once
were. In other words, "out of sight, out of mind."

On the other hand, the government officials that have
replaced them are now looming large in my life because
they have the power to shape my environment for better
or for worse. And the OP chiefs and other assorted
scoundrels who choose to wield their power in a
negative way (as they have in some parts of La Saline
and Cité Soley, just to name these two areas) have
become the new Toto Constants in those areas.

With limited time and energy and resources, I guess
that most people will first size up the immediate
threats to their lives, i.e those who are HERE, before
they can even think about trying to get the others
back to Haiti to be tried.

This is my "short" answer.

Now allow me to comment and expand on your question:

1. Your post actually contains a partial answer to
your question, if considered from a Convergence or
anti-Lavalas point of view. Why should they deflect
the attention of the people on Toto Constant when
their only  goal is to knock off Lavalas? Nothing in
their agenda points to a specific economic and social
agenda that would translate into justice for the
people, so there is no reason to believe that they
would care about Toto Constant or the other coup
participants. Furthermore, the make-up of the
Convergence alone indicates that calling for the trial
of Toto Constant would lead to yet another point of
contention within COnvergence. So, out of sheer
political necessity, they cannot and will not mobilize
on this issue.

In truth , I am more scared of Convergence coming to
power (if they remain intact) than Lavalas staying on,
because Convergence has not convinced me that they
have ANY agenda other than to get rid of Aristide. At
least, Lavalas presented a plan, which they are not

2. Why do YOU and everyone else focus on Toto Constant
almost exclusively? Is it because he lives in the US?
I have watched in amazement (and horror) as the whole
focus has been on FRAPH. Yes, FRAPH committed
hundreds, and maybe thousands of murders, although I
believe FAdH probably committed the majority,
especially in the waning days of the coup. And they DO
deserve to be tried bceause we need some form of
closure to this whole thing, which we will not get as
long as these people are free.

However, I am just stunned that I have not seen ONE
call for the extradition and trial of Sonson Elysee.
After all, HE was the economic brain behind the coup.
Elysee and Michel Francois established the first
large-scale contacts with the Colombian drug cartels
that led to the current situation of Haiti as a drug
haven for traffickers. He was one of the men
responsible for ordering FRAPH to commit murders, so
in that respect, he is even more guilty than Constant
who was the executioner. Elysee is the man who
humiliated Jean-Bertrand Aristide by ordering him
stripped naked during the coup and would have had him
executed weren't it for the intervention of one
subordinate. Elysee is one of the largest exporters of
sugar, powdered milk, beans, and other staples to
Haiti, so much so that he has hiw OWN private label
brand called RYKA (sp?), just look for it at any
"marché". Elysee's influence is such that he has more
power at the Port (APN) and at the Customs Office of
the port than the ministers of TPTC and Economie et
Finances, respectively. Manifests will show that his
trading corporations send more containers to Haiti on
a monthly basis than any other company. Why is he not
named in any of the Haitian government documents
calling for the extradition of murderous officers? Why
aren't human rights organizations calling for his
extradition? Is it because he was able to buy his way
out of the situation and put current administration
officials on his payroll? SO ON TOP OF ORDERING
TRIED TO DESTROY. Why? What makes him untouchable? Why
isn't Ira Kurzban following up on the trail of a man
who lives so close to him? I forgot to mention that
Elysee also lives in the US, in Miami to be more
precise. He owns a stunning million-dollar-plus condo
with private elevator (actually two condos merged into
one) that overlooks Biscayne Bay. It is actually not
that hard to locate, if you ask the right people ...
and he doesn't try to hide.

Father Graves, your question is probably well
intentioned, but there is more to it than meets the
eye. Rather than perpetuate the myth of a "pure"
Lavalas fighting against the evil Convergence and the
former military, one would do well to ask: what are
the real links between these three groups that no one
else sees and that they do not want us, common people,
to see? After all, if I were to follow your logic,
than we should also be calling for the trial of
Minister of Commerce Stanley Theard, who was guilty
beyond the shadow of a doubt of embezzling the funds
that allowed him to start ITALA during the JC Duvalier
years. Yet, Lavalas made him a minister, no less ...

Politics makes strange bedfellows indeed.

Pierre Jean

Do You Yahoo!?
Send your FREE holiday greetings online!