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.
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of "American Hegemony" cartoon.
We have witnessed a river
of blood and senseless killings, detentions and arbitrary 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 his "triumphant
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 rising.
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 Kreyňl as one of our official languages, and Haitians wrote more
books in Kreyňl 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:
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. movement
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.
Coup 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