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a188: Re: Sun-Sentinel article on CRESFED (fwd)

From: Karioka9@cs.com

A word of thanks to Deborah Ramirez for her article in the Miami Sun-Sentinel 
on Dr. Gerard Pierre-Charles and the destruction of his research center in 
Port-au-Prince.  The destruction of CRESFED is a unique loss for Haiti as a 
whole.  Yet one cannot truly blame the barbarians who carried out the act 
itself: they had probably never been on the inside; they had no real idea of 
what they were sent to destroy. When a tree is cut down in the forest, one 
should look for the hand that wields the ax.  That hand, or rather the 
individuals who ordered the destruction of CRESFED, they knew quite well the 
value of what they condemned to fire.  Jean-Bertrand Aristide, to name the 
ultimate culprit, knew quite well the value of CRESFED because he benefited 
from it in the past.  As a matter of fact, he used to praise CRESFED's work 
and the minds behind it. But one can only imagine the mindset of those who 
would dispatch a mob to burn down such a center of knowledge!  Papa Doc for 
one had more respect for the artifacts of knowledge: his m.o. was to get rid 
of any intellectual who would get in his way . . . but to incorporate their 
library to his own!

I visited CRESFED in May '98 and bought several hundred dollars of 
publications and resource material for myself and friends.  There were loads 
of other publications I promised myself to return for when I had more money.  
Too late now.  On my way out of CRESFED, I briefly saw Dr. Pierre-Charles 
coming in.  I waved curtly but did not stop to chat, because I disagree most 
deeply with many of his actions and political choices since 1989.  Still, I 
respect and admire the historian and the man of learning.  I grieve today for 
his losses.  More importantly I grieve for the intellectual youth of Haiti 
who have lost an important center of learning.  To paraphrase Billie Holiday, 
it is so easy to dismantle but so hard to construct.  

Daniel Simidor