Sunday, January 23, 2011

If Duvalier Can Return to Haiti, Why Can't Dr. Aristide?

There is much speculation and attempts to understand why Jean-Claude "Baby Doc" Duvalier has returned to Haiti. A lot of it centers on the political aspects.

There is a web of connections between all three of the presidential candidates and Duvalier. A brief look at the people aligned with the candidates reveals their Duvalierist links:
  1. The camp with Jude Celestin backed his uncle Rony Gilot and historical Duvalierists
  2. The camp behind Mirlande Manigat include the old Leopards Himler Rebu, the military, the police, including Youri Latortue's "Coreh ettoute" band that got Mr. Manigat elected in 1988
  3. Michel Martelly's camp are former elements behind Michel Francois, the entire band of Ninjas1 from beautiful areas and the protagonists of the coup of 1991.
Unbelievably, Henry Robert Sterlin, one of Duvalier's lawyers and a former Haitian ambassador to France has claimed in the media that Duvalier has hopes for running for the Haitian presidency. Should anyone suspect France of manipulating this situation because of this connection? France's Sarkozy is busy incurring the wrath of a lot of folks these days, namely the French citizenry, the Tunisians, the Ivory Coast, a reported threat from Bin Laden and now this Duvalier catastrophe in Haiti. What did the French know and when did they know it? Reportedly, Duvalier is destitute. Where did he get the money to pay for his return? How is it that Duvalier travelled to Haiti on an expired diplomatic passport? In the age of tight airport and "homeland" security, the lapse is incredulous.

Besides the political motives ascribed to him, many believe that Duvalier is in Haiti first and foremost to lay claim to the 7 million which have been held frozen in a Swiss bank for 25 years.

Before the earthquake, the Swiss had been ordered by a court to return the money to the Duvaliers, but after the earthquake disaster of January 12, it would have been "a public relations nightmare" for the Swiss to return the ill-gotten funds. It gives one little hope in the survival of humanity, given the way that some entities behave.

A brief digression to nominate the head of UNESCO for lacking in humanity for this cold-blooded statement: "Bokova added that Haiti has no oil or geo-strategic position, and for those reasons, it is a test to the international community to show its humanism."

Albeit, it is about time that Cuba is recognized (as they are in the abbreviated article cited above) for their stalwart support of the Haitian people. Viva!

Another loyal supporter of Haiti is President Hugo Chavez, who honored Haiti for helping Miranda and Bolivar by supplying safe harbor, funds and men to liberate South America from colonial oppression and slavery in his state of the union address on January 16.

The Haitian government has been fighting to get the stolen money back for 25 years. Haiti's Swiss lawyer, Enrico Monfrini is positive that the money will be returned to Haiti.
"I don't know how a criminal like him goes free," said Enrico Monfrini, a Switzerland-based lawyer who has been representing the Haitian government in a long and drawn out legal battle over Duvalier's cash.
The Swiss have passed a special "Duvalier" law in record time that allows them to return the funds to Haiti. The "Duvalier law" goes into effect on February first.

Duvalier is evidently hoping to prove that he is entitled to the money because of a clause in the new law which allows those who go back to their countries and escape criminal conviction to get back the money believed to be of "criminal origin."

There is seeming confirmation of all the speculation about Duvalier's avaricious motives in a slew of articles written in the past few days: i.e. Duvalier Advised by Ex-Congressman Barr as He Seeks Swiss Funds, Duvalier return tied to Swiss bank funds, Some See a Cash Motive in Duvalier’s Return and Bob Barr Says Haiti Ex-Dictator Seeks to Unlock Swiss Funds.

Prominent in those headlines is Lawyer Bob Barr of Georgia, U.S.A., who bills himself as a long-time "family friend" and supporter of the Duvaliers. Well, if Mr. Barr, a former Republican official succeeds, he stands to gain a hefty and "friendly" payday of $2.1 million at a lawyer's fee of 30% on the dollar -- more for hazardous dictator duty, maybe?

There are other cheerier rumors which say that Jean-Claude Duvalier has suffered a stroke, has pancreatic cancer, and lupus and is dying.

Interestingly, the news that the Provisional Electoral Council (CEP) has made the decision to allow Jude Celestin to oppose Mirlande Manigat in a runoff, has taken a back-seat to all the rumors and speculation about "Baby Doc."
"The Provisional Electoral Council, however, said it would not be obliged to follow the OAS's recommendation that Celestin yield to Martelly, but insisted Celestin go to the second round."
The November 28 Haiti elections, have been almost universally recognized as flawed (read Congresswoman Waters' report for an abbreviated synopsis of the CEPR report), fraudulent (there was blatant ballot stuffing) and illegitimate.
"The Only Way To Solve The Imbroglio Created By The Preval Administration On November 28, 2010 Is To Annul The Elections."
OAS analysis is statistically insignificant to make a recommendation...
Haiti's most popular political party, Fanmi Lavalas was barred from the November 28 "selections." Once again and in light of the Duvalier return, the leadership of Fanmi Lavalas released a statement demanding the return of Aristide.
"Leaders of the Fanmi Lavalas political organization require of the Haitian authorities the renewal of the diplomatic passport of former President Jean Bertrand Aristide, who lives in exile in South Africa."
Ever since his forced departure in 2004, Dr. Aristide has periodically asserted his right of return and expressed the hope that he will be allowed to return. In an exclusive interview in November with Nicolas Rossier (filmmaker of Aristide and the Endless Revolution), Aristide intimated that he lived as a virtual prisoner in South Africa.

Jean-Bertrand Aristide has a medical emergency. He has undergone six operations in six years while living in South Africa for an eye disorder. He could lose his eyesight if he is not given a diplomatic passport to travel where he can get delicate eye surgery for his condition.

Brazil, which heads the UN mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) is implicated in a scheme to keep Dr. Aristide in South Africa by a Wikileaks cable. In an article in today, India urged the UN to stay out of Haitian politics and do the job they are mandated to in Haiti, i.e. a humanitarian mission. By all measures, the UN has failed in that mission due to numerous failures in protecting the haitian people and providing "humanitarian" security, including incidents of the rapes, killings of unarmed Haitian citizens at protests, funerals and in their homes, the July 6, 2005 massacres in Cité Soley (warning: intensely violent video) and more recently the cholera outbreak resulting from waste matter dumped into a tributary of the Artibonite river by the Nepalese UN troops.

The OAS report says Martelly defeated Celestin by only 0.3% of votes reported on 919 tally sheets they chose to count. Since the Haitian authorities have announced their intention to keep Jude Celestin on the ballot, the U.S. has been putting pressure on the Haitian government to drop Celestin by revoking the visas of dozens of Haitian officials. In reality, is the U.S. defending democracy in Haiti? This has not been the historical legacy of U.S. involvement in Haiti's internal political affairs.

Despite Préval’s role in these failed and fraudulent elections, the OAS, the U.S. and international agencies have no right to dictate election outcome and have no right to plot exile of the President of Haiti. Shockingly, former Brazilian OAS official Ricardo Seitanfus revealed (before his coincidental dismissal), that OAS officials wanted to force Préval to leave Haiti via plane similar to the Aristide 2004 coup.

The only way to solve the mess created by the Preval administration on Nov 28, 2010 is to ANNUL THE ELECTIONS.

What a shame that the Obama administration has either covertly, or with impunity allowed the return to a mortally wounded Haiti, of a corrupt, murderous and brutal dictator, while barring Dr. Aristide from returning. He has stated on numerous occasions that he has no political aspirations, but wishes to serve his country in the capacity of a teacher.

A former Catholic priest, before Dr. Aristide became Haiti's president, he ministered to homeless street children and defended the rights of the poor from his pulpit. Dr. Aristide was Haiti's first democratically elected president, in what international observers said was Haiti's first free and fair election.

If Duvalier can, without issue, travel on an EXPIRED Haitian passport, Why can't Dr. Aristide do the same?

1- Ninjas: This is a pretty revolting scenario. Think of the historical "dark ages" when English nobleman joined secret societies that took their pleasure from plotting mayhem, except substitute mulattos from Haiti's rich class accompanying the murderous Haitian police to popular neighborhoods.

UPDATE 01.26.2011:

A look back and forward to what the neos want for Haiti.
The slavery in Haiti the mainstream media won't cover:
An inside look at Haiti's business elite


N3 said...

Very informative blog - quite the primer for those unfamiliar. How much of a hand do you think france has in haiti since its independence?

thezenhaitian said...

I write this blog sometimes with the same goal as a soap opera; I anticipate that new readers do not yet know the plot...

France has played a major role in Haiti since it's independence. Many economist believe that the "Independence Debt" that France extorted with "gunboat diplomacy" from Haiti has kept the country poor and underdeveloped. It really was just another form of slavery for the poor majority. The "debt" was "reparations" for the loss of the riches from slave labor . Perhaps the first time the victor has been forced to pay the loser.

Haiti never missed a payment from 1825-1947. The U.S. took over administration of the debt during it's occupation of Haiti from 1915-1934, until the "debt" was paid in 1947.

The "debt" was calculated to be worth about 21 billion in today's dollars by the Aristide government. Dr. Aristide demanded the debt be repaid - probably the main reason France participated in regime change.

France urged to repay Haiti billions paid for its independence
Most recently, France, U.S. and Canada planned and executed regime change in haiti. They plotted with Haiti's rich oligarchy to remove Haiti's first democratically elected government. The planning is documented from info leaked about "The Ottawa Initiative."

The Other Regime Change by Max Blumenthal
Mixed Signals | NY Times

How Washington's Plot Against Haiti Worsened The Earthquake Disaster by Max Blumenthal

Nadege said...

Apparently, the story I read previously that claimed the US was negotiating the return of Aristide was false. There are no negotiations, although I still believe they're still trying to invoke a divide and conquer / civil war strategy amongst the people.

If Jude Celestin is out, then that means nothing since the puppet masters still have Manigat and Marthelly. If the puppet masters did not believe in Manigat and Marthelly, then they would have not recommended the elimination of Celestin.

The US and its imperial allies have a bunch of puppets in the Middle East and Africa that have been able to allow them to carry out their geopolitical interests, but the people are revolting, and the fall of these puppets means the loosening of America's imperial grip in the region. Certainly, these protests seem a bit too calculated, so I have to admit to the fact that I've wondered who's really behind them – at the same time I don't believe the US is silly enough to destroy its puppets, especially since there has been no sign of defiance by any of them.

With that said, If Fanmi Lavalas is still the most popular political party in Haiti, then it needs to do a better job re-mobilizing the people who seemed to have slipped into an apathetic slumber, in order to uproot the puppet regime in Haiti. This needs to be done without Aristide. In other words, is Aristide a person or a movement? A major problem I see with major grassroots / freedom movements all throughout history is that whenever the major leader dies (or jailed…or exiled…or suppressed in other ways) the movement dies also. Why should it be that way? Do corporations die when their founders die? Nope. Not to mention the global elite train their predecessors to take over and continue their criminal imperial / colonial enterprises, hence the continuous struggle against them for the past 500 years or so. Funny, France’s policy towards the same than it was 200 years ago. Woodrow Wilson’s 1915 invasion of Haiti greatly mirrors the UN’s proxy invasion of Haiti, and the list goes on.

Aristide needs to return to his country, yes, but the movement cannot just end because Aristide is not in Haiti. I hate to say this, but instead of the return of Aristide being the focus of the movement, why not implement another strategy and perhaps Aristide will return as a consequence of this new strategy? The imperialists are bold, dedicated, and innovative because they’re determined to carry out their neo-imperialist / neo-liberal / modern-day slavery plan for Haiti, with hotel chains and industrial parks (sweatshops) and all. It’s time for the freedom movement, both in Haiti and worldwide, to be the same: bold, dedicated, and innovative.

thezenhaitian said...

The U.S. is not negotiating the return of Aristide.. au contraire: they gave the green light for the return of Duvalier, but are blocking Aristide.

Letters: US blocking Aristide return to Haiti | World news | The Guardian

"Interview: Aristide’s Lawyer, Ira Kurzban, Says US Gave “Green Light” for Duvalier’s Arrival in Haiti"

Jude Celestin is not out: He is not confirming that he will quit because the UNIT party has been pressured by the U.S. to not back him -- frozen assets, revoked visas of Haitian officials, including Preval...
Letters: US blocking Aristide return to Haiti | World news | The Guardian

Madam Secretary Clinton is taking a trip down to Haiti on Sunday to do some arm twisting re: impasse...

The U.S. loves it's dictators! They're doing a two-step in regards to the revolt by the Egyptian people. The revolts started with Tunisia. I don't think it is staged. A young man in Tunisia set himself on fire and died of his injuries to protest the Tunisian government. That started a few copycats in other authoritarian regimes... has ended up with this all-out revolt in Egypt.

The latest is that Mubarak has dismissed his government... best response to this on Twitter: "Denial is a RIVER in Egypt... Mubarak blames government and dismisses them."

Last snippet of news I heard on CNN, the State Department cancelled a briefing on the situation in Egypt in order to give their "partner" Mubarak a chance to fix the mess he made... doesn't sound like they support the people, as they've been saying!

thezenhaitian said...

I meant to put in this link, not to repeat the "letters.." one under the Jude Celestin paragraph above:

AFP: Haiti candidate refuses to confirm exit

thezenhaitian said...

I agree, it's time for the freedom movement to be bold, innovative and dedicated... the people of Tunisia and Egypt are setting the pace right now.

They are being cut down in the streets like dogs, but they are not backing down. It's exciting times, Nadege!

thezenhaitian said...

Nadege, I think Ira Kurzban, Aristide's lawyer has it right. The return of Duvalier was green lighted by both the U.S. and French intelligence and it is an attempt to solidify right-wing Duvalierism in Haiti.

Interview: Aristide’s Lawyer, Ira Kurzban, Says US Gave “Green Light” for Duvalier’s Arrival in Haiti, But Blocked Aristide’s Return

Here is an audio link to Ira Kurzban's interview with Scott Harris

thezenhaitian said...

Oh and get this, the right-wing/Duvalierist website "" published a letter from Duvalier's lawyers today in which they ask Ira Kurzban to join them (as time is of the essence) in retrieving the 6 million the Swiss are planning to return to Haiti and that Duvalier hopes to "help" himself to.

Why these tea party lawyers (Bob Barr, et al) of Duvalier are publishing this letter is a question that is up for debate -- probably to try to make Ira Kurzban look bad...

I say right-wing website because there are many stalwart defenders getting their comments of support in on that website ( for Baby Doc Duvalier, yet they did not publish my comment which was just a couple of links to victim's testimony and other evidence of Duvalier's crimes. Of course, if you've ever been to that website their editorial leanings will be clear to you.

thezenhaitian said...

I just checked back and they posted my second comment.

Unknown said...

Bob Barr is the same former congressman who helped the Republicans screw Americans for years and then ran for president under the Libertarian ticket after "repenting." Funny how Barr - a so-called liberty lover - is now assisting a tyrant in regaining power.

Madame Clinton posed with the three stooges: Celestin, Manigat, and Marthelly. I'm sure they've worked out a deal, which is why I think Fanmi Lavalas need to strategize and get tough.

thezenhaitian said...

Bob Barr is also in the "tea party" movement and a supporter of Jesse Helms. Jesse Helms was the racist SOB who used a doctored document to paint JB Aristide as mentally unstable and pushed for his removal.

JB Aristide happens to be in the Western Hemisphere... he is in Cuba according to the Spanish press.

I have a one finger salute for Condileeza Rice who threatened Aristide if he stepped foot in this hemisphere.

Unknown said...

I have no interest in politics on either end of the spectrum, but I love learning about what is going on all over the world. Being Haitian myself, this blog looks like this will now be my Haiti News go-to. Thank you.

My best, Lynn

thezenhaitian said...

Hi Lynn. Thanks for visiting.

I also post news and comments on Facebook at "The Haitian Blogger" --
Twitter @thezenhaitian

Mesi anpil.
The personal is political.

thezenhaitian said...

Nadege said "Certainly, these protests seem a bit too calculated, so I have to admit to the fact that I've wondered who's really behind them – at the same time I don't believe the US is silly enough to destroy its puppets, especially since there has been no sign of defiance by any of them. "

I have to give it to you Nadege. You were absolutely right in your assessment about the so-called "revolutions" in the middle-east. The more I learn about it, the more I realize they are not as "indigenous" as the U.S. media would have us believe. Particularly in the case of Libya, which very well might have been the target of all of these seemingly "popular uprisings."

LIBYA - The Real Deal

For the love of Qaddafi

Western Journalists Fail to Report the Facts about Libya Objectively

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