Tag: Rene Preval
At great personal risk, Haitians demonstrated massively in cities throughout the country on Sept. 30 and Oct. 17, calling for President Michel Martelly to step down. By choosing historically significant dates marking past coups, the Haitian grassroots majority is clearly saying they want an end to 10 years of military occupation. Martelly’s police force brutally broke up some demonstrations with tear gas and beatings.
The Feb. 29, 2004, kidnapping and coup d’état began a brutal ongoing U.S.-U.N. occupation that aimed to suppress Haiti’s people’s movement and roll back the hard-won democratic gains since the ouster of Baby Doc Duvalier in 1986. Soldiers from other nations, including Ecuador and Brazil, later joined this occupation army, named MINUSTAH, which currently numbers 9,357 uniformed personnel.
"I was at his (President Aristide's) house, we heard a roar of shouts of joy, and then over the walls people started coming in, pouring into the courtyard of the house when they saw the car. People were accompanying the car as many as three miles from the airport to his house," relates Pierre Labossiere of the jubilant welcome that greeted the Aristides on their return to Haiti ending seven long years of exile for them and brutal repression of the people they had to leave behind. Pierre tells the story of the Haitian people and how their never-say-die spirit continues to inspire the world.
“Haiti: Harvest of Hope” is an exceptional must-watch film which documents the brutal regimes of Francois and Jean Claude Duvalier, Papa Doc and Baby Doc, and the rise of Jean Bertrand Aristide's Lavalas movement and the coming of democracy to Haiti.
A United Nations army still occupies Haiti six years after the coup. Their unstated mission is to prevent the return to power of Aristide’s Lavalas Party. Fanmi Lavalas has already been banned from the next round of elections, so enter Wyclef Jean. The Miami Herald reported, “Secret polling by foreign powers in search of a new face to lead Haiti’s reconstruction” might favor Jean’s candidacy, as someone with sufficient name recognition who could draw enough votes to overcome another Lavalas electoral boycott.