attack on Pres. Aristide causes pro-democracy Haitians to demand his
by Marguerite Laurent | Haitian Perspectives
Haiti Action Committee
June 24, 2005
Noriega's attack on Aristide causes pro-democracy Haitians to demand
by Marguerite Laurent, Esq.
Roger Noreiga's comments in the recent Pablo Bachelet article published
in the Miami Herald maligns the people of Haiti peacefully advocating
for President Aristide's return; is arbitrary and capricious and based
on no evidence offered, and, is an example of Mr. Noreiga's continued
systemic character assassination of, not only the poor in Haiti, but
of officials from their Constitutionally elected government. We Haitian
pro-democracy, peace and justice advocates demand an apology and request
that the Bush Administration not only censure Mr. Noreiga for his unfounded
statements but demand his immediate resignation.
Just today, a white Canadian MINUSTHA officer was apprehended at the
Haitian airport in Port-au-Prince with a bunch of passports in hand
and is a suspect for masterminding many of the kidnappings in Haiti.
Mr. Noreiga, who, as a former Jesse Helms protégé, is
known for his pathological hatred of President Aristide, not only accused
the President of involvement in directing violence in Haiti, but implicated
the entire Lavalas party as directly responsible for the insecurity
and lawlessness. Noreiga told the Herald that: "Aristide and his
camp are singularly responsible for most of the violence and for the
concerted nature of the violence." Yet many human rights investigators
have uniformly illustrated the current repression in Haiti was brought
to Haiti because of Bush regime change, the Coup D'etat masterminded
by Mr. Noreiga and the U.S. arms, funding and remobilizing of the bloody
Haitian military to re-image them as the current "policeforce."
Mr. Noreiga conveniently failed to mention the role of the U.S.-backed
Haitian "police" in shooting unarmed demonstrators (on February
28, 2005 and April 27, 2005 to name a few dates). He failed to mention
anything about the thousands of civilian killed - from babies, grandmothers,
mothers to handicapped, by said "policeforce" and MINUSTHA
troops in their sweeps in Bel Air and Cite Soleil, nor did he remember
the murder of up to 107 unarmed detainees at the Haitian National Penitentiary
on December 1, 2005 while Colin Powell was visiting Haiti. Noreiga simply
typically, irrationally and with scant qualification lays total blame
for the insecurity and lawlessness in Haiti at the door of exiled President
Aristide, the Lavalas party and "pro-Aristide" gangs.
This is in direct contrast, not only to many human rights reports, but
to the findings of Massachusetts Congressman William Delahunt
whose recent letter to the Bush
Administration would dispute that Mr. Noreiga does not mention 1) the
role of the U.S.-backed government's politicized justice system that
only cracks down on President Aristide's followers in sowing violence
in Haiti, 2) nor mention the role of the gang members, ex-soldiers,
thugs, felons and terrorists who helped overthrow the democratically
elected government of President Jean-Bertrand Aristide in continuing
the violence they started in Haiti when they murdered duly appointed
police officers and emptied the country's jails in the process of the
With the U.N. (MINUSTHA) representative now being implicated in the
kidnappings, it is imperative that the people of Haiti stopped being
so maligned by the likes of Roger Noreiga.
Mr. Noreiga has proven over and over again that he has no competency
to fairly represent the democratic and just interests of the people
of the United States, nor the peaceful interests of all peoples in the
Western Hemisphere. Roger Noreiga must be removed from his position
immediately. (See, also letter below from Father Gerald Jean-Juste,
" KEEP THE AMERICAS TOGETHER. NORIEGA SHOULD GO!")
Marguerite Laurent, Esq.
Chair and Founder,
Haitian Lawyers Leadership Network
(Dedicated to protecting the civil, cultural and human rights of
Haitians living at home and abroad)
June 24, 2005
Regarding Miami Herald Article: "Aristide accused of fostering
"KEEP THE AMERICAS TOGETHER. NORIEGA SHOULD GO!"
Father Gerard Jean-Juste
I've just heard on the Haitian radios about your character assassination
article. I've just found it too on the net. This is a disgraceful article
to such a great Floridian and international media. You've accepted to
crucify President Jean-Bertrand Aristide
without giving him or any member of Fanmi Lavalas a chance to respond
to these false accusations, (former Secretary of State C. Powell's type
on Iraq), of the extreme right winger, Ambassador Roger Noriega. KEEP
THE AMERICAS TOGETHER. NORIEGA SHOULD GO!
I and many other Haitians, Haitian-Americans, have called for Noriega's
resignation long time ago. (See Herald's article by J. Charles on 04-23-'05)
Ambassador Noriega is a disgrace contributing largely to the downfall
of the Republican Administration and to the bad reputation of USA in
the Americas. I love my continent, the Americas, so much and I feel
bad to see the extreme right wingers within the Bush Administration
continue to hurt it, destroy it as they have started during Baby Bush
AFRICA, REFUGE OF THE "LITTLE" ONES
Please, get your hands off Grand Mother continent, Africa. President
Thabo Mbeki did a marvelous deed in the tradition of Africa by receiving
a beloved son of the African Diaspora. Recently, Pope Benedict XVI reminded
us the Holy Family (Jesus, Mary and Joseph) were gratified hospitality
in Northern Africa, Egypt. AFRICA, AFRICA, AFRICA, KEEP UP THE TRADITION
FROM NORTH TO SOUTH! You are the refuge of the "little" ones.
Gérard Jean-Juste Pastor
St. Clare's church Tiplas Kazo, Haiti
Aristide accused of fostering violence
A U.S. diplomat accused former Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide
of stirring up violence in his home country, the boldest accusation
of Aristide since his ouster early last year.
BY PABLO BACHELET
WASHINGTON - A top U.S. diplomat Thursday accused former Haitian President
Jean-Bertrand Aristide of personally stirring the violence there and
said Washington has expressed its concerns to South Africa, where he
is living in exile.
''We believe that his people are receiving instructions directly from
his voice and indirectly through his acolytes that communicate with
him personally in South Africa,'' said Roger Noriega, assistant secretary
of state for Western Hemisphere affairs. ''As a longtime observer of
Haiti and a longtime consumer of information about Haiti, it is abundantly
clear to me . . . that Aristide and his camp are singularly responsible
for most of the violence and for the concerted nature of the violence,''
His statement was the strongest so far blaming Aristide for the violence
that has rocked the country since his ouster early last year amid an
armed uprising. In the past, Washington has blamed the violence more
generally on Aristide's Lavalas Family Party. The violence, which has
increased significantly since September, is threatening to affect the
Oct. 9 local elections and Nov. 13 legislative and presidential elections.
Hundreds are estimated to have died in clashes involving armed gangs
of Aristide supporters and foes and U.N. peacekeepers.
''A few hundred principal bad guys'' are behind the violence, Noriega
said in a telephone interview.
He made a quick visit to Haiti two weeks ago for a close-up look at
the political and security situation.
Asked if the U.S. government had expressed its concerns to South African
officials, Noriega said, ``We have had the diplomatic contacts that
you would expect us to have with the key actors, explaining that Aristide's
role is not a helpful one.''
A South African government spokesman in Pretoria declined to comment.
Noriega also urged the U.N. peacekeeping force, known as MINUSTAH, to
take a more ''proactive role'' in going after the armed pro-Aristide
gangs. He said the gangs were not many in numbers but were strategically
based in slums near the airport road and commercial
districts, allowing them to damage the Haitian economy.
A CENTRAL ROLE
He said there also were some ''opportunistic criminal organizations''
that engaged in kidnappings and other crimes, but that it was ``also
extraordinarily apparent that Aristide and his gangs are playing a central
role in generating violence, and trying to sow insecurity.''
Noriega said Aristide had a 15-year ''pattern'' of using political violence
and that it was not surprising that he was making ``this one last stand
to terrorize the Haitian people and deny them good government.''
On Wednesday, the U.N. Security Council voted to send 1,000 more security
forces to bolster the 8,300-strong force already there. The Brazilian-led
peacekeeping force has been widely criticized for doing too little to
disarm criminal gangs.
He praised the U.N. decision but added that the success or failure of
MINUSTAH ``depends on what they do in the next days and weeks.''
Asked if there was a resurgence
in drug trafficking through Haiti because of lack of security, Noriega
said, ''I don't know that we can say that it's gotten appreciably worse''
but that there was a sense that drug traffickers were trying to set
a stronger foothold in Haiti.
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