So much innocent Haitian
blood has been spilled since January 1, 2004. But throughout
history, Haitian blood has paved the way for African dignity
and survival. It's a crushing weight, but one that we and our
ancestors have borne as Haitians over the past 200 years.
to view entire "American Hegemony" cartoon
have witnessed a river of blood and senseless killings, detentions
arrests. Despite it all, 2004 is already Haiti's miracle
year: she has united the African Union and CARICOM.
Like founding father Jean-Jacques Dessalines' army, we are rising.
French Foreign Minister Dominique de Villepin has suddenly cancelled
visit" to Haiti because his government suffered a major loss in the
French elections. We have to wonder whether the French electorate is sending
the French government a message about its military intervention into Haiti.
The French are beginning to realize that the Haitian people's
demand for $21.7 billion in restitution hasn't gone away,
despite the coup d'état orchestrated
by the U.S. and France on February 29, 2004. In fact, the cycle of debt,
dependency and foreign domination tearing Haiti apart for 200 years has been
highlighted by the intervention. All the world can see how the constant
interference by the Euro/U.S. nations is intended to keep Haiti impoverished.
The blood of the African ancestors is at work. Frantic and desperate
pressure by the neocon clique – Roger Noriega, Colin Powell, and Condi Rice – has
failed to move CARICOM... for now. Its 15 member nations, along with
Venezuela, have refused to recognize the de facto government which
Washington set in
place in Haiti.
Dessalines' army is
Despite ten years of a constant U.S./Euro destabilization campaign
from 1994 to 2004, Haitians still built more schools than ever
in Haiti's history.
We built hospitals and public parks in the poorest neighborhoods. We put
more electricity in more towns than ever before. The government recognized
the Vodun culture. It brought the literacy rate down from 85% to 48%. It
recognized Kreyòl as one of our official languages, and Haitians wrote more
books in Kreyòl than ever before. Haitians from the Diaspora sent to Haiti
more than $850 million a year. These are our accomplishments. We may celebrate
them. They are the facts hidden behind the headlines. Let's not forget
our miracles accomplished despite the past ten years of U.S./Euro destabilization.
In 2004, despite imperialism's
coup d'état in Haiti, let us commit to:
Celebrate our ancestors' great victory and our rich Vodun-based
culture. Despite the lies, Black civilization, beauty, law
and justice in Haiti shall rise.
2. Empower the poor and now disenfranchised in Haiti. We shall continue to
mobilize human rights monitors to help save the lives of the Haitian poor,
who are now in the greatest jeopardy since the last U.S.-backed dictatorship
years in Haiti.
3. Mobilize the vote against Bush, Jr. We shall continue to mobilize
the Haitian-American vote and to connect it with the grassroots U.S.
working to reclaim U.S. democracy. We will lift the boot Bush has put on
our Haitian dream for democracy, on our people's neck in Haiti and on those "indefinitely
detained." This time the Black vote shall count!
4. Support the people of Jamaica for their stand for Haitian democracy. Let
us thank the nations of CARICOM and the African Union who recognize that
the will of the Haitian majority was not respected by the powerful nations
in the world.
5. Call for the $21.8 billion debt owed by France to Haiti not to be forgotten.
This restitution, on the contrary, should be expedited.
6. Call for the murderers, ex-army and FRAPH mercenaries to be deported to
the U.S. or France where they may join their bosses.
7. Use this opportunity to show the world that democracy in Haiti is not
just about President Aristide. The Haitian people, and Haitian women in particular,
have a right to life, shelter, security, education, health care, justice,
and freedom of association and speech.
d'état or no
coup d'état, Haitians have the richest culture in the Western
Hemisphere and defeated Napoleon, Britain, Spain and a U.S.
embargo back in 1803. We were the first to put liberty into
application in the Western Hemisphere. No other. That is part
of what it means to be Haitian. That is the Haitian identity
that has survived embargoes, 32 U.S./Euro-sponsored coup d'états
and slavery before that. We shall overcome this U.S./France
orchestrated coup d'état also. No matter how many dollars and
euros France, Canada and the U.S. mobilize against us, we will
continue our struggle for liberty and rights for the wretched
of Haiti and the earth.
was born in Haiti. She is a lawyer, an award winning playwright
and performance poet. She heads the Haitian
Lawyers Leadership Network – a network of lawyers, journalists,
artists and people dedicated to protecting the civil and cultural
rights of Haitians living at home and abroad. Contact her at [email protected].
(c) April 2004, Marguerite