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Letter from Haitian leftist to WSWS

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  • les evenchick
    This is a letter I found on the www.wsws.org website. Les evenchick New Orleans Referring to the current conflict in Haiti as a “right-wing” rebellion
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 18, 2004
      This is a letter I found on the www.wsws.org

      Les evenchick
      New Orleans

      Referring to the current conflict in Haiti as a
      �right-wing� rebellion indicates a lack of
      understanding of the opposition movement calling
      for Aristide�s resignation. There are several
      distinct groups in the opposition. In addition to
      the business associations and �wealthy elites�
      the United States left has focused on, the main
      opposition movement, the Groupe 184, consists of
      a wide variety of civil society organizations,
      including numerous peasant organizations,
      syndicates [unions], women�s groups, student
      associations, and writers and artists, some of
      whom worked in earlier Lavalas administrations.
      These groups have traditionally been associated
      with the Haitian left, and the United States
      right-wing would most likely find their missions

      The Groupe 184 has clearly and repeatedly
      distanced itself from the armed insurgents in
      Gona�ves, who were aligned with Aristide until
      their leader, Amiot Metayer, was assassinated.
      The Groupe 184 organizes peaceful demonstrations,
      which have grown ever-larger, particularly since
      thugs (chim�res) affiliated with Aristide�s
      government entered the university, beat students,
      trashed classrooms and broke the legs of the
      university rector on December 5, 2003. Several of
      the opposition demonstrations have ended in
      violence, not because of the behavior of the
      unarmed marchers, but because chim�res, and
      occasionally the police, have attacked them with
      bottles, rocks, tear gas and guns. The Groupe 184
      is unarmed and unaffiliated with the armed
      opposition in Gonaives, and has not called for
      insurrection. Winter Etienne, the spokesperson of
      the Gonaives insurgents, has also clearly stated
      that his group is unaffiliated with the Groupe
      184. He has also explicitly stated that his group
      acquired their weapons when they worked for
      Aristide against the unarmed, civil opposition.

      As a Haitian whose family was persecuted,
      arrested, exiled and/or killed by the Duvalier
      government for being �radical leftists� and
      �communists,� I am dismayed by the knee-jerk
      support the United States left is expressing for
      Aristide. To me, it is part of the same
      colonialist mentality that the United States has
      always had towards Haiti�that foreign whites know
      what is best for Haiti. Rather than blindly
      accepting the Aristide government�s propaganda,
      the United States left should consider why so
      many of Aristide�s Haitian partisans, including
      many who fought hard for his return to power
      after the 1991 coup d��tat, have turned against
      him. The degradation and deterioration of
      everything in Haiti since cannot be blamed on the
      lack of foreign aid alone. In 1994, Aristide once
      again had the opportunity to set Haiti on a new
      path to change and development, and many
      Haitians, both in Haiti and abroad, were eager to
      work with him. He (and Pr�val) squandered that
      chance; instead, Haiti under Aristide and Lavalas
      has become increasingly dangerous and unliveable,
      due to crime and violence perpetrated by the
      government-affiliated chim�res who use their
      government-issued weapons to terrorize both the
      local Haitian population and visitors of Haitian
      ancestry. That is the reason some Haitians are
      calling for his resignation today.

      (I am not affiliated with any organization
      involved in Haitian politics.)

      M-H L.D.

      13 February, 2004
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