Monday, March 22, 2004

Hti: Yo, Maxine!

Here are some excerpts from Caroll Abrahams's open letter to Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D, CA). It's published in Haiti Democracy Project in its entirety. Read it. I can't wait to see what Congresswoman Waters will say in response.

Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-California)
I saw your interview on C-Span on the morning of March 17, 2004. Unfortunately, I was unable to call, so I am sending you this e-mail. I wanted to enlighten you on some very important facts and respond to some of your comments on your TV deliberation.
You have been asking for 'real' proof, but you refuse to admit or acknowledge any 'real' facts that have been presented to you. To date, you are the only person who will not admit to any of Aristide's wrongdoings, not a single one!

You dismissed the testimony of Mr. Pierre M.M.  Paquiot's presented to the Congress in March 2004. He is the university rector who was beaten up by Aristide's thugs, to the point where both of his 'real' knees were broken.
You downplayed the killings of journalists like Jean Dominique and Brignol Lindor by saying that we keep reverting to these two names. Rep. Waters, these two names had 'real' faces, 'real' families and 'real' people who loved them. What about the 'real' Spanish T.V. correspondent, Ricardo Ortega, who was recently murdered by Aristide's thugs?
You stated that the marches in Haiti were illegal because the opposition did not have permissions from the Haitian police to conduct the events. I can tell you from personal experience that we had to wait for hours for the same police that claimed they did not condone the marches to show up and protect us from the chimeres. If the Haitian police did not approve the marches in the first place, why would they come to supposedly protect us? Rep. Waters, the policemen who were supposed to protect the peaceful demonstration in Haiti, were the very ones who put our lives in danger. On January 1, 2004, at the same time you were in Gonaives celebrating Haiti's independence from the French, we, Haitians were marching for the liberation of Haiti. The slogan was: "INDEPENDENCE 1804, LIBERTY 2004"
You keep referring to the Group 184 as though they were the only one involved in the opposition and you refuse to admit that the civil society (which Group 184 is a part of) also includes the following:
1- The Haitian Clergy
2- The Haitian Media
3- The Haitian Students and Teachers
4- The Haitian Lawyers, Doctors and Professionals
5- The Haitian Artists
6- The Haitian Women Group
7- The Haitian Factory Workers
8- The Haitian Farmers
How can so many social sectors be wrong and only Aristide and you are right? Did you ever think that he might be fooling you as he fooled the Clintons, the Kennedys, and so many others? We cannot all be wrong, Rep. Walters, NO…NO…NO!
You talked of Andy Apaid with a personal disgust. Spending a few hours in his presence discussing his views on the situation in Haiti does not make you a good judge of his character. You have been totally biased against Mr. Apaid and the Haitian people. You have been saying that Mr. Apaid, as an American citizen, cannot go and protest in Haiti.

What about the following people?

A) Yvon Neptune, American citizen; U.S. passport #035349148; DOB: 11/08/1946; PRIME MINISTER under Aristide?

B) Mr. Joseph Phillipe Antonio, American citizen; U.S. passport #46890596; DOB: 07/22/1939; MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS under Aristide?

C) Martine Deverson, American citizen; U.S. passport #28021088; DOB: 11/11/1959; MINISTER OF TOURISM under Aristide?

D) Leslie Goutier, American citizen; U.S. passport #044776893; DOB: 10/19/1942; MINISTER OF COMMERCE under Aristide?

E) What about Aristide's wife, Mildred Trouillot Aristide? American citizen?

F) What about Aristide's daughters, Christine and Michaelle? American citizens?
Scare tactics and intimidation were Aristide's ways of governing the nation. By kidnapping people like Mrs. Isabelle R. Wawa, Mr. Lionel Gardere, Mr. Lauture (who was killed and mutilated), to name a few. Even a twelve-year-old little boy, Luigy Leroy, disappeared on his way to school, and many, many more. If you want "real" proof, contact Mrs. Wawa. She is currently in the USA seeking political asylum. Mrs. Wawa is a physician who had her own office in Haiti, owned a beautiful home in the mountains and was part of the "elite" that you hate so much. Do you really think that she could leave her practice, family, friends, and change her children's lives just to lie about being kidnapped by Aristide's people and that she was released only after the ransom money was paid to the government?
You overlooked the fact that Haiti became a place where 'real' drugs could be shipped to the U.S. and that Aristide's government and Aristide, himself, were involved in the drug trafficking process. Judith Truonzo, the spokesperson for the US embassy in Haiti, stated: "The state employees are involved in drug trafficking, and actively participate in delivering the merchandise." She also stated that money from the drug proceeds was being used to pay state employees (the New York Sun June 20, 2003). Many other US official government documents have stated the same. However, there is one person, Mr. Jacques Beaudoin Ketant, who was tied to this notorious criminal activity and he is currently spending time in a federal prison in Florida. Ketant stated it best on the day of his conviction when he said: "He [Aristide] controlled the drug trade. He turned the country into a Narco-Country. It's a one-man show. You either pay Aristide or you die". (The New York Sun: The Arrest of a Drug Kingpin in Haiti or (Nick Caistor, BBC, 2004-03-19, Haiti's Drug Money Scourge).
Rep. Waters, where should the people in Haiti have gone to complain about the abuse of human rights and continuous murders during the Aristide regime? Should they have gone to the POLICE who were administering the abuse? Should they have gone to Aristide's paid THUGS, the executioners themselves? Or should they have gone to EX president ARISTIDE, the one giving out the orders? I am glad to inform you that today, the new "REAL DEMOCRATIC" government in Haiti just set up an office to investigate all allegations of past complaints of abuse and murders committed during the Aristide era. I will be waiting for the conclusion of these inquiries and will send you the results if you are still looking for REAL PROOF at that time.
Rep. Waters, I heard you saying that President George W. Bush will lose the election this year. I can assure you that most Haitian Americans will either vote for Bush or boycott the 2004 U.S. election due to the refusal of the Democratic Party to acknowledge what was really happening in Haiti under the Aristide regime. Another reason why most Haitian Americans may take these actions is because the Democratic Party constantly makes an effort to support Aristide and will not accept the fact that a vast majority of the Haitian people are relieved that he is gone. I believe it is unwise and unhelpful to try to push Aristide's agenda, your agenda, the Black Caucus or the Democratic Party by using the blood of the Haitian people.


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