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a331: Father Aristide's Gospel of Violence by William F. Jasper(fwd)

From: Robert Benodin <r.benodin@worldnet.att.net>

Father Aristide's Gospel of Violence
by William F. Jasper
Father Jean-Bertrand Aristide's fondness for notorious dictators -- the more
totalitarian and anti-American the better -- is well documented. One of the
first regimes he initiated contact with upon taking office was that of
Libyan niceguy Moammar Gadhafi. Fidel Castro is another esteemed comrade.
Aristide's speeches are peppered with paeans to the bearded one. Here is a
We should have discovered in the electoral campaign of this devil called
Reagan, the satanic spirit was dancing in Reagan's head ... The same spirit
that Jesus chased while he was on earth ... Isn't this the same bad spirit
that danced in the head of Batista whom Fidel Castro fought?... [D]uring
Reagan's campaign ... there were certain individuals ... who were working on
a special project, which resulted in attracting 600,000 individuals who were
against the Cuban Revolution. It was done to stop the good work that the
revolution was doing in Cuba ... Can they dare come to Cuba? Can they touch
the ground of Cuba?... Cuba draws the line and dares America to cross it.
The Clinton-Christopher State Department can prattle all it wants about
promoting democracy and human rights in Haiti, but it knows full well that
its own Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 1991 and 1992 both
show Aristide for the butcher he is. In the 1992 volume, we read, for
In the case of the killing of former Duvalierist cabinet minister Roger
Lafontant, the Haitian army officer who was the penitentiary commander at
the time of Lafontant's murder claimed in a 1992 discussion with U.S.
Government officials to have received a personal telephone call from
President Aristide on the evening of September 29, 1991 ordering him to kill
Aristide has made much political hay over the human rights abuses of Raoul
Cedras' military junta. "President Aristide, however," notes the State
Department's 1991 report, "appeared less concerned about prosecuting members
of the military accused of human rights abuses if they were supporters or
appointees of his Government." The report continues:
The police on July 26 tortured and murdered five young men who were in
police custody; following an investigation, the Army recommended to
President Aristide that a lieutenant and the enlisted men under his command
at the time be brought to trial for the killings. The President attempted
publicly to exonerate the officer, believed to be a militant Aristide
supporter .... The Aristide Government made no effort to identify and bring
to justice those responsible for the wholesale killing, looting, and burning
that occurred after the failed Lafontant coup in January.
Moreover, reports the State Department document, "The Aristide Government
repeatedly attempted to interfere with the judicial process or usurp it
through 'mob justice.' Shortly after assuming office, and without
consultation with the Senate, the Aristide Government attempted to appoint
five new justices to the Supreme Court" in violation of the Constitution. So
much for the "role of law." But there is more:
On July 29, Roger Lafontant was tried after he was charged with attempting
to overthrow the Government by force in January. In public comments prior to
the trial, President Aristide said that he believed Lafontant should be
condemned to life in prison for his crime, although Haitian law calls for a
maximum sentence of 15 years. On the day of the trial, hundreds of people
demonstrated in front of the courthouse, carrying tires and gasoline cans
and threatening to kill the judge in the case if Lafontant were not
condemned to life in prison.
It came as little surprise, then, when the judge ignored the law and
promptly sentenced Lafontant to life in prison at hard labor. But, as we
have already seen, Aristide dramatically shortened Lafontant's sentence a
couple months later -- with a telephone call ordering his execution. Judges
weren't the only ones terrorized into abandoning Aristide opponents to the
will of the divine mob. "Lawyers and human rights groups were afraid to take
on such cases because of Aristide's continued ambiguity about mob violence,"
says the State Department report. Ambiguity? The president publicly,
explicitly calls on his frenzied mobs to terrorize, torture, and murder his
opponents, and they enthusiastically carry out his commands.
There was nothing ambiguous about the cruel fate of Silvio Claude, head of
Haiti's Christian Democratic Party, who fell victim to Aristide's "Lavalos"
(mobs) in September 1991. He was beaten, necklaced, and mutilated, and his
body then dragged through the streets by the Lavalas.