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Dr. Maryse Narcisse, the presidential candidate of Haiti’s Fanmi Lavalas Party, is coming to the Bay Area. She will speak in Oakland at the First Presbyterian Church, 2619 Broadway, at 3 p.m. on Sunday, April 23, at an event that also features the music of Vukani Mawethu, Phavia Kugichagulia and Val Serrant. Fanmi Lavalas was founded by former president Jean-Bertrand Aristide who was twice elected with huge majorities and twice overthrown by U.S. supported coups. The visit by Dr. Narcisse provides a rare opportunity to hear directly from one of its leaders about the situation on the ground in Haiti.
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.
Update Sept. 30, 2012: For the past two weeks, massive demonstrations have rocked Haiti, protesting constitutional changes and the corruption of the Martelly government. The democratic and participatory spirit of the 1987 Constitution has been subverted by the illegitimate President Michel Martelly, who announced new amendments, which concentrate executive power and herald the return of death squad Duvalierism to Haiti.
"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 held its $30,000,000 fraudulent demonstration election on Nov. 28, but we still don’t know if or when a run-off will take place, or who will be the candidates. These “demonstration elections” are designed to isolate Fanmi Lavalas and PREVENT real grassroots democracy in Haiti.