Noreiga's attack on Pres. Aristide causes pro-democracy Haitians to demand his resignation
by Marguerite Laurent | Haitian Perspectives

Also published:
Haiti Action Committee
June 24, 2005

Noriega's attack on Aristide causes pro-democracy Haitians to demand his resignation

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 Coup D'etat.

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


Dear Pablo,

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 first mandate.


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.

Respectfully yours,
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.


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,'' Noriega told
The Herald.

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.

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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