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In 1969 I decided to join the Black Panther Party and commit myself to a lifetime of revolutionary struggle. In the early 1990s I became a supporter and advocate of Fanmi Lavalas. Lavalas means a cleansing flood that would wash away political corruption and Fanmi means family. I saw the similarities in practice of our Panther and Lavalas activists, whose dedication to the liberation of our peoples and provision of essential goods and services were paramount and well worth any risk to our lives.
On Friday, Jan. 17, it was reported by news agencies that a Haitian judge investigating the assassination of Jean Dominique, a crusading Haitian journalist who was killed in 2000, recommended the indictment of former Sen. Myrlande Liberis-Pavert, a founder and former director of the Aristide Foundation for Democracy, along with eight others. No legal documents to sustain these charges have been made public.
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.
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.
Defense Secretary Robert Gates wouldn’t send in food and water because, he said, there was no “structure ... to provide security.” For Gates, appointed by Bush and allowed to hang around by Obama, it’s security first. That was his lesson from Hurricane Katrina. Blackwater before drinking water.