While President Jean-Bertrand Aristide remains in forced exile in South Africa, his Lavalas supporters continue the campaign to bring him back to Haiti. Amy Goodman of Democracy Now interviews Randall Robinson (founder of Trans Africa Forum) whose book “An Unbroken Agony: Haiti, From Revolution to the Kidnapping of a President” was published in June this year.
The programme includes an interview with President Aristide during the plane journey on his brief return to Jamaica in March 2004 (instrumented by Randall Robinson and US California congresswoman, Maxine Waters.) Aristide and his followers continue to insist that he was forcibly removed from Haiti by the US government. Robinson gives a detailed report on Aristide’s last 48 hours in Haiti and talks about the situation in Haiti today. I urge everyone to listen to this programme.
Reading the period between
1999 1991 and 2004 in Haiti is like reading Palestine in 2007. The same tactics used by the US government and France to destroy the elected government of Aristide is being used to destroy the elected government of Hamas. Denial of aid, denial of debt relief, (today this stands at an incredible $1.34 billion, much of it from loans during the Duvalier regimes) destabilisation, supporting the opposition with money, disinformation, lies, every dirty trick that the CIA have used was unleashed on the elected government and people of Haiti. Reading Haiti’s history from the time of the slave revolt led by Toussaint Louverture to the present tells me that Haitians are still being punished for daring to rise up against their oppression and for achieving independence in 1804. South Carolina Senator Robert Hayne spelt it out at the time and it remains the case today.
“Our policy with regard Hayti is plain. We never can acknowledge her independence. The peace and safety of a large portion of our union forbids us even to discuss it”
In a Democracy Now interview on February 27th 2004, Mildred Aristide made the insightful comment
“it’s because the US has no framework from which to understand a person like Jean-Bertrand Aristide”
not only does the US not have a framework for understanding anyone who has a vision of a different world, but there is this immutable hatred for anyone who dares to to try to realise that vision.
Flashpoints Radio also has a series on interviews on Haiti (July 16th & 17th) with Randall Robinson, journalist Kevin Pina who made the documentary “We Must Kill the Bandits” and Arisitide supporter and former political prisoner, Father Gerard Jean-Juste