Aristide is as bad as or worse than the Duvaliers by Harry Comeau, HLLN Haiti Perspectives, Jan 22, 2011
It is extensively documented that when a lie is consistently and continuously repeated people tend to believe it.
A couple of examples to demonstrate this point: 1) right after Barack Obama’s election, some operatives spread the rumor that the new American president was not qualified to be the Commander in Chief because he was not born in the U.S. This lie started the birther movement and subsequent polls on that subject revealed that a significant section of the population believed that was the case. 2) Iraq’s WMD (weapons of mass destruction) is another case of misleading information. Common sense was totally absent because whoever attacks Irak should expect mass casualties. It did not happen because there were no such weapons.
Let us go to Haiti: 3) Aristide is believed to be a dictator and his administration has repressed the opposition. The Lavalas Movement or Party has participated in the past 20 years in worsening both the economic and political situation. Aristide is so abhorred by the Haitian people that a popular movement toppled him in 2004. Consequently, most Haitians are opposed to his return in Haiti.
Again it seems that common natural understanding is hard to find. For Aristide to be a dictator he had to exercise absolute power. There was absolute power from 1957 to 1986 under the Duvaliers where there were no political parties, no freedom of the press and no rule of law. Under Aristide, several media: newspapers and radio stations (Radio Kiskeya, Radio Metropole, Radio Vision 2000, Le Matin, Le Nouvelliste) were openly against the government. There were also numerous demonstrations against his regime. Which dictatorship anywhere in the world allows such liberties? Of course, at times, there were police interventions to control people in the streets like I have seen in Montreal, New York City and Washington D.C.
4) There is a so-called descent to hell during the past 20 years initiated by Lavalas. It is widely recognized that Aristide was the first democratically elected President in Haiti whereas the elections of September 22, 1957 were controlled by the army. Jean Claude Duvalier was never elected to any position in Haiti. No one in Haiti could protest in April 1971 when he acceded to the presidency upon his father’s death. No protest on the streets, no political analyses on any newspapers or radio stations. Elected on December 16, 1990, Aristide only served 23 months out of a 60-month term (5 years). Reelected at the end of 2000, he only served 36 months out of 60 months. In other words, although Aristide should have spent 10 years as President of Haiti he did not even complete one full term. In addition, Aristide was elected under the banner of FNCD Political Party in December 1990. He created the Lavalas Party in 1996. So technically, the Lavalas Party was only in power for 3 years from February 2001 to February 2004. What about his twin brother Preval? Which Chief of State would keep his “twin brother” in exile? This is another delusion for sure because there are no historical documents to prove that Lavalas was in charge even before its creation.
5) In 2004, the US media namely the New York Times, the Washington Post and CNN extensively reported that Haitians were fed up with Aristide and that he got to go. Our history has so many documented instances of Presidents overthrown by the people. The latest one being Jean Claude Duvalier and ironically he returned 25 years later. Aristide was not overthrown. He was kidnapped.
So, what is preventing Aristide’s return? A recent cable released by Wikileaks shed some light: “In a 8 June 2005 meeting of US Ambassador to Brazil John Danilovich, joined by his political counselor (usually, the local CIA station chief), with then President Lula da Silva’s international affairs adviser Marco Aurelio Garcia, we learn that:
“Ambassador and Brazil Political Counselor stressed continued US Government insistence that all efforts must be made to keep Aristide from returning to Haiti or influencing the political process … [and that Washington was] increasingly concerned about a major deterioration in security, especially in Port au Prince.”
More recently, on January 21, 2011 we learned that: “The U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Susan Rice, made it clear that Washington wants the OAS report implemented.
“Sustained support from the international community, including the United States, requires a credible process that represents the will of the Haitian people,” Rice said.
So according to Ms. Rice, the will of the Haitian is to accept Baby Doc and accept the so-called elections because both Professor Manigat and Singer Martelly are clearly approved by the State Department.
By continuously repeating what the State Department wants, non-thinking and non-common sense people will believe it is the will of the Haitian people. Revisionist elements are claiming that MINUSTAH is in Haiti because this is what Haitians want. Consequently, the Security Council’s vote extending the UN’s presence is also the will of the Haitian people! Keeping the government weak and propping up the NGO’s is also what the Haitians want. The annulment of the elections is not the will of the State Department, consequently, they cannot be void and it becomes the will of the Haitian people. So many fallacies!