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


From: Carl Fombrun <carlfombrun@iopener.net>

( Published in the Haitian Times, New York, N.Y., online edition 19 December - 25 December, 2001)

 > CARL'S CORNER   (carl@fombrun.com    http://www.fombrun.com    fax: 305 270-3799)
 > Quagmire of Haitian Politics
 > I woke up at 6 a.m. Monday, Dec. 17, to learn about the attempted coup
 > against
 > President Jean-Bertrand Aristide. A group of armed men had taken over the
 > National Palace in Port-au-Prince at about 2 a.m. By Monday afternoon, the
 > palace was back in the hands of the government. In the meantime, many
 > travelers were stuck in Miami and the grapevine was working full blast, as
 > always.
 > One of those stranded travelers was Gerard Pierre-Charles, coordinator of
 > Organisation Populaire Lavalas and member of the Convergence, which is part
 > of the opposition against the Aristide regime.
 > Pierre-Charles' plans to leave Miami on Monday were derailed after his 
 > was canceled. He was in Florida as a guest of the Organization of American
 > States, which held a conference on various problems facing Latin-America, 
 > the Intercontinental Hotel in downtown Miami.
 > Pierre-Charles said that what happened in the wee hours of Monday was a 
 > organized by the Aristide administration. The government action was an 
 > to strengthen its grip of power and take revenge on its enemies,
 > Pierre-Charles said.
 > He claims that Aristide took this opportunity to burn down opposition
 > headquarters in Port-au-Prince, Cap Haitian and in other towns and to
 > threaten
 > journalists. Pierre-Charles' home and a research facility were destroyed by
 > mobs. It's rumored that opposition leaders such as Serge Gilles and K-Plume
 > have or will experience similar damage.
 > Since early Monday morning, Aristide supporters in Little Haiti lined up on
 > Miami's 54th Street, protesting the attempted coup.
 > Marie Thérèse Guilloteau, Haitian general consul in New York, accused Guy 
Philippe, an ex-police officer in Port-au-Prince and exiled in Dominican 
Republic, of
 > being the leader of the palace attack. Philippe called Radio Carnivale in
 > Miami from the Dominican Republic, to deny that he had anything
 > to do with the attempted coup. He said he is still against Aristide, and 
 > if he was involved, the coup would have been better coordinated and would
 > have succeeded.
 > One does not know what to believe with all these theories and accusations
 > flying around.
 > My conclusion: The United States is too immersed in its search of terrorist
 > suspect Osama bin Laden to give Haiti a second thought. Haiti's 
 > disaster will be largely ignored by the superpowers, especially America.
 > More violence and more boat people heading to Florida are in the cards. 
 > numbers have increased 20 percent this year, according to the U.S. Coast
 > Guard.
 > Accept it or not, Aristide won the presidency. The elections were the best
 > that could be expected in Haitian history, regardless of the 
 > The problem involves the unwillingness of many Aristide supporters to 
 > the opposition, but Aristide himself has made some concessions.
 > Whatever opinion one may have of Aristide, let's face the indisputable fact
 > that he is the idol of the masses. As part of a loyal opposition, I dare 
 > that the political game must change from "Ote-toi que je m'y mette" to "A
 > chacun/chacune son tour aux urnes."  ("Move out so I can get in" to "Each 
 > his/her turn in a fair and free election.")
 > The Aristide administration is paralyzed and 8 million people are starving.
 > The economic aid should be released immediately.
 > According to a Dec. 17 editorial in the Chicago Tribune, "The U.S. ought to
 > pressure the parties into an early resolution of Haiti's political impasse 
 > that economic aid can begin to flow. Compassion should be a compelling
 > argument for the United States - and if not compassion, certainly
 > self-interest."
 > Carl Fombrun can be contacted at carl@fombrun.com, http://www.fombrun.com 
 > by fax at (305) 270-3799.

--------- End Original Message ---------