Tag: Guy Philippe
Sept. 30 marks the 25th anniversary of the coup that overthrew Haiti’s first democratically-elected president, Jean-Bertrand Aristide. Aristide was the candidate of Haiti’s popular movement Lavalas in the 1990 presidential election; he won with 67 percent of the vote. Aristide’s Feb. 7, 1991, inauguration marked a huge victory for Haiti’s poor majority after decades living under the Duvalier family dictatorship and military rule.
On June 7, the office of Dr. Maryse Narcisse, the presidential candidate of Fanmi Lavalas, the party of former President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, who publicly endorsed her, was sprayed with gunfire. This blatant violence against the movement that has long represented Haiti’s poor majority sparked outrage in Haiti but was met by silence in the mainstream media in the U.S.
Confidential U.S. diplomatic cables from 2005 and 2006 released this week by WikiLeaks reveal Washington’s well-known obsession to keep exiled former President Jean-Bertrand Aristide out of Haiti and Haitian affairs. “All efforts must be made to keep Aristide from returning to Haiti or influencing the political process,” the U.S. embassy told Brazil, which heads the U.N. occupation of Haiti. Did those efforts include covering up the assassination of the Brazilian general in charge who had no taste for slaughtering Haitians who simply want their president back?
Two things we know for sure: Hollywood and hip hop get media attention. And for Haiti, that translates into big media hype for actor Sean Penn and rapper-turned-presidential candidate, Wyclef Jean. How may we use this media glare to help the 2 million Haitians made homeless by the earthquake?