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Help Aristide return: Forced exile and democracy are incompatible

March 16, 2011

Banishment and democracy are incompatible

An open letter from Haiti

A woman holds a photo of Haiti’s exiled President Jean-Bertrand Aristide during a demonstration in Port au Prince, on Friday, March 11. Supporters intend to clean the streets of the city in anticipation of Aristide’s return, which, according to a South African official, is expected Thursday. Aristide has been living in exile in South Africa since he was kidnapped by U.S. Marines in a coup on Feb. 29, 2004. – Photo: Dieu Nalio Chery, AP
We, grassroots organizations located in the south of Haiti, congratulate the religious, solidarity and community organizations and leaders who signed the letter published in the Jan. 23, 2011, Miami Herald calling for the return of President Aristide. We thank the anti-apartheid activists who signed a letter sent to South African President Zuma. We add our voices to theirs.

Many thanks to the religious leaders who sent a beautiful letter to our brother President Aristide; we join our voices to theirs in prayer, so that President Aristide can join us this week, as announced in the press by the South African government. We invite all those who signed – as well as those who did not have the opportunity to sign these letters but are motivated by the same sentiments – to join their voices to those of the majority of Haitians to make President Titid come back to us healthy and able this week as expected by us.

We call on all people and leaders the world over who believe in democracy to help President Aristide return promptly this week. Banishment and democracy don’t mix. Forced exile and democracy are also incompatible.

We call on all people who believe in democracy to help President Aristide return promptly – to make President Titid come back to us healthy and able this week as expected by us.

A special thank you to President Jacob Zuma and the South African brothers and sisters who we know have endured similar hardships and know and understand our pain. As they celebrated the end of apartheid with the liberation of Nelson Mandela and the return of the jailed and exiled ANC leadership, the Haitian people are ready to celebrate the end of President Aristide’s exile.

Signed by the following organizations:

Kodinasyon Peyizan Sid [KPS] (Southern Peasant Coordination)

Asosiyasyon Fanm Vanyan Okay [AFVO] (Valiant Women Association)

Asosiyasyon Machann Aken [AMA] (Aquin’s Merchants Association)

Gwoupman Plante Senlwidisid [GPS] (Saint Louis du Sud’s Agricultural Workers Organization)

Solidarite Jenn Kavayon [SJK] (KAvayon’s Youth Solidarity)

Asosiyasyon Peyizan Gwomaren [APG] (Gros Marin’s Peasants’ Association)

Asosiyasyon Fanm Senlwidisid [AFS] (Saint Louis du Sud’s Women’s Association)

Mouvman Tet Kole Kavayon [MTKK] (Cavaillon’s “Tet Kole” Movement)

Oganizasyon Devlopman Solon [ODS] (Solon’s Development Organization)

Baz Fanmi Lavalas Okay (Cayes’ Fanmi Lavalas Chapter)

Baz Fanmi Lavalas Aken (Aquin’s Lavalas Chapter)

Baz Fanmi Lavalas Senlwidisid (Saint Louis du Sud’s Lavalas Chapter)

Baz Fanmi Lavalas Kavayon (Cavaillon’s Lavalas Chapter)

Baz Fanmi Lavalas Anike (Arniquet’s Lavalas Chapter)

Baz Fanmi Lavalas Kanperen (Camperin’s Lavalas Chapter)

Baz Fanmi Lavalas Torbec (Torbeck’s Lavalas Chapter)

Baz Fanmi Lavalas Maniche (Maniche’s Lavalas Chapter)

Baz Fanmi Lavalas Port Salut (Port Salut’s Lavalas Chapter)

Baz Fanmi Lavalas Tibiron (Tiburon’s Lavalas Chapter)

The open letter in the original Haitian Kreyol:

Ekzil fose pa mache ak Demokrasi

Banisman pa mache ak Demokrasi

Nou menm oganizasyon de baz ki chita nan Sid Peyi Dayiti.Nou felisite Lide Relijye ak oganizasyon Kominote ki te siyen deklarasyon ki te soti nan jounal Miami Herald 23 Janvye 2011 lan.Nou remesye,Aktivis kont apatheid nan Afrikdisid ki te siyen let voye bay Prezidan J,Zuma.Nou mete vwa nou ak moun ki te siyen let 27 fev 2011 lan.

Yon gwo mesi bay Lide Relijye ki te voye bel let bay Fre nou Prezidan Aristid,nou ini vwa nou avek yo nan lapriye, pou Ex Prezidan Aristide kapab rejwenn nou,nan semenn sa a,jangouvenmanSid Afriken an anonse sa nan lapre.Nou envite tout moun sa yo ak tout ki pat gen opotinite siyen let sa yo.Men ki gen menm santiman,pou mete vwa yo ak vwa majorite Pep Ayisyen an.Pou fe Prezidan Titid retounen jwenn nou anfom,anfom nan semenn sa a ,jan nap tann li an.

Nou mande tout Pep ak Lide nan lemonn ki kwe tout bon nan demokrasi,pou ede retou Prezidan Aristid prese,prese nan semenn sa a.Banisman pa mache ak demokrasi.Ekzil fose pa mache ak demokrasi.Yon gwo mesi bay Presidan Jacob Zuma ak fre,se nou yo an Afrikdisid,yo te pase moman difisil yo menm jan ak nou e yo konprann nan ki doule nou ye.

Menm jan yo te selebre lafen apatheid avek Liberasyon Nelson Mandela ak tout lot Lide ANC,ki te nan prizon,Ekzil fose,kite retounen.Se konsa Pep Ayisyen pare pou selebre fen Ekzil fose Prezidan J B Aristide.

This open letter was forwarded by the Haiti Action Committee. Learn more and get involved at www.haitisolidarity.net and on Facebook.

Democracy Now reports from South Africa on Aristide’s plan to return to Haiti


Former Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide has decided to return to Haiti this week ahead of Sunday’s presidential runoff election. Aristide has lived in exile in South Africa since 2004, when he was ousted in a U.S.-backed coup. Despite U.S. pressure on the governments of Haiti and South Africa not to allow him to return, Aristide and his family are planning to leave on Thursday.

Amy Goodman is in South Africa to cover Aristide’s return trip to Haiti. She joins us from Johannesburg along with K.K. Kean, an award-winning filmmaker.

As President Aristide and his family prepare to return to Haiti, the U.S. State Department has once again released a statement aimed at blocking the return of the former Haitian president to his homeland. It is clear that the United States is exerting enormous pressure on the government of South Africa:

“We would urge former President Aristide to delay his return until after the electoral process has concluded, to permit the Haitian people to cast their ballots in a peaceful atmosphere. A return prior to the election may potentially be destabilizing to the political process. We encourage the South African government, as a committed partner to Haiti’s stability, to urge former President Aristide to delay his return until after the elections.” – U.S. State Department spokesperson Mark Toner

Yes to Aristide’s return, No to fraudulent elections

It is crucial to keep up the pressure and support the demands we hear consistently from the grassroots in Haiti!

– Former President Jean-Bertrand Aristide must be allowed to return to Haiti immediately.

– The fraudulent November 2010 election must be annulled and new elections that are free, fair and inclusive of all parties, including Haiti’s largest party, Fanmi Lavalas, must be scheduled.

Please call President Obama, (202) 456-1111, and Secretary of State Clinton (202) 647-4000, as well as your member of Congress, (202) 224-3121, and ask them to support these two demands.

For timely updates, friend Haiti Action Committee on Facebook, sign up for our email list at action.haiti@gmail.com and visit the Haiti Action Committee website.

 

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