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10,000 Protest The U.S./French Occupation of Haiti

Also in this mailing: Address To The Haitian People From Exile; Commentary from Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide
In this mailing of Liberation News:

(1) 10,000 Protest The U.S./French Occupation of Haiti By Steve Argue

(2) Address To The Haitian People From Exile; Commentary from Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide

(3) Mobilize Against U.S. Intervention! U.S. Out of Haiti Now! Say No to the U.S. Coup! Statement by Socialist Action

(4) U.S. Backed Forces Cary Out Union Busting In Haiti

10,000 Protest The U.S./French Occupation of Haiti

By Steve Argue (March 6)
Yesterday more than 10,000 people marched in the streets of Port-au-Prince Haiti chanting, "Bush terrorist! Bush terrorist!" "Long live Aristide!" and "Down with George Bush!"

According to Reuters reporters Ibon Villelabeitia and Jim Loney in Haiti, “They blamed Haiti's wealthy elite, Bush and French President Jacques Chirac for what they called the ‘foreign occupation’ of Haiti.?

The article went on to quote a demonstrator saying, "The bourgeoisie joined with the international community to occupy Haiti and get rid of President Aristide. The bourgeoisie never did anything for us, the masses. Now they took away our president."

The AP newswire quoted another demonstrator saying, "If it comes to that, we will confront the U.S. Marines," said demonstrator Pierre Paul, 35. "We will do the same thing that they are doing in Iraq."

Open U.S. borders to all Haitian refugees who are fleeing the U.S. backed death squads!

Prosecute President Bush and members of his administration for their
role in this coup d'état, the kidnapping of Aristide, and mass murder!

Cancel all foreign debts and end IMF intervention in Haitian affairs!

Freedom for President Aristide!

For recognition of the right of the Haitian workers and peasants to
defend themselves from death squads and defeat this imperialist
intervention by any means necessary:

U.S. and French Troops Out of Haiti Now!

Aristide Details His Kidnapping In Haiti, Addresses The Haitian People From Exile
Commentary, Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide
Flashpoints Exclusive, Mar 05, 2004
Translated by Pierre and Marie Labossiere

NOTE: President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, who left a tumultuous Haiti under shadowy circumstances Feb. 29, has delivered an impassioned address “To the Haitian People and the World? by cell phone to a Haitian journalist in the United States working with a radio station in Berkeley, CA. Aristide spoke from the Central African Republic where he has been under a virtual house arrest in the days since he was delivered from Port-au-Prince on a U.S. plane. The address was recorded by a Haitian radio producer known to Aristide for some 20 years , exclusively on Pacifica Radio’s Flashpoints News Magazine based at KPFA . Six Haitians and Americans who know Aristide listened Friday to excerpts from the message, delivered in Creole, and confirmed the voice is that of the president.
Dennis Bernstein supplied this translation also to Pacific News Service.

?In overthrowing me, they have uprooted the trunk of the liberty. It will grow back because its roots are many and deep.? In the shadow of Toussaint L'Ouverture, the genius of the race. I declare in overthrowing me they have uprooted the trunk of the tree of peace, but it will grow back because the roots are L'Ouverturian.

Dear compatriots, it is with these first words that I am saluting our brothers and sisters from Africa, while I am standing on the soil of the Central African Republic. Allow me to salute you by repeating that same declaration that is, “In overthrowing me, they have uprooted the trunk of the tree of peace.? During the night of the 28th of February 2004, there was a coup d’etat. One could say that it was a geo-political kidnapping. I can clearly say that it was terrorism disguised as diplomacy. To conclude, this coup d’etat and this kidnapping are like two quarters and 50 cents side by side.

I have always denounced the coming of this coup d’etat, but until the 27th of February, the day before, I didn't see that the crime was going to be accompanied by kidnapping as well. The 28th of February, at night, suddenly, American military personnel who were already all over Port-au-Prince descended on my house in Tabarre to tell me first that all the American security agents who have contracts with the Haitian government only have two options. Either they leave immediately to go to the United States, or they fight to die. Secondly, they told me the remaining 25 of the American security agents hired by the Haitian government who were to come in on the 29th of February as reinforcements were under interdiction, prevented from coming. Thirdly, they told me the foreigners and Haitian terrorists alike, loaded with heavy weapons, were already in position to open fire on Port-au-Prince. And right then, the Americans precisely stated that they will kill thousands of people and it will be a bloodbath. That the attack is ready to start, and when the first bullet is fired nothing will stop them and nothing will make them wait until they take over, therefore the mission is to take me dead or alive.

At that time I told the Americans that my first preoccupation was to save the lives of those thousands of people tonight. As far as my own life is concerned, whether I am alive or whether I am dead, that is not what’s important. As much as I was trying to use diplomacy, the more the pressure was being intensified for the Americans to start the attack. In spite of that, I took the risk of slowing down the death machine to verify the degree of danger, the degree of bluff or the degree of intimidation.

It was more serious than a bluff. The National Palace was surrounded by white men armed up to their teeth. The Tabarre area -- the residence -- was surrounded by foreigners armed to their teeth. The airport of Port-au-Prince was already under the control of these men. After a last evaluation I made during a meeting with the person in charge of Haitian security in Port-au-Prince, and the person in charge of American security, the truth was clear. There was going to be a bloodbath because we were already under an illegal foreign occupation which was ready to drop bodies on the ground, to spill blood, and then kidnap me dead or alive.

That meeting took place at 3 a.m. Faced with this tragedy, I decided to ask, "What guarantee do I have that there will not be a bloodbath if I decided to leave?"

In reality, all this diplomatic gymnastics did not mean anything because these military men responsible for the kidnapping operation had already assumed the success of their mission. What was said was done. This diplomacy, plus the forced signing of the letter of resignation, was not able to cover the face of the kidnapping.

From my house to the airport, everywhere there were American military men armed with heavy weapons of death. The military plane that came to get me landed while the convoy of vehicles that had come to get me was near the tarmac at the airport. When we were airborne, nobody knew where we were going. When we landed at one place nobody knew where we were. Among us on the plane was a baby of one of my American security agents who has a Haitian wife. They could not get out. We spent four hours without knowing where we were. When we got back in the air again, nobody knew where we were going.

It was not until 20 minutes before we landed in the Central African Republic that I was given the official word that this is where we would be landing. We landed at a French Air Force base but fortunately there were 5 ministers from the government who came to welcome us on behalf of the President there.

We know there are people back home who are suffering, who are being killed, who are in hiding. But we also know that back home there are people who understand the game, but will not give up because if they give up, instead of finding peace, we will find death.

Therefore, I ask that everyone who loves life to come together to protect the lives of others. I ask everyone who does not want to see bloodshed to come together so that it is life that flourishes instead of blood that has been spilled, or bodies falling. I know it’s possible that all Haitians who live in the tenth department [Haitians living abroad] understand what tragedy lies hidden under the cover of this coup d’etat, under the cover of this kidnapping. I know and they know if we stand in solidarity we will stop the spread of death and we will help life flourish. The same thing that happened to a President who was democratically elected can happen at any time, in any other country too. That’s why the solidarity is indispensable to protect a democracy that works together with life.

The constitution is the source of this life. It’s the guarantee of the life. Let’s stand together under the constitution in solidarity so that it is life that unfolds, and that it is peace that flourishes and not death as we are seeing it. Courage, courage, courage! From where I am with the First Lady, we have not forgotten what Toussaint L'Ouverture has said, and that’s why we saluted all of Africa with his words, and we are saluting all Haitians everywhere with the conviction that the roots of the tree of peace, with the spirit of Toussaint L'Ouverture inside, are alive. They can cut the tree as they have done with the machete of the coup d’etat, but they cannot cut the roots of peace. It will sprout again because it has the spirit of Toussaint L'Ouverture inside.

Jean-Bertrand Aristide
President of Republic of Haiti


Mobilize Against U.S. Intervention!
U.S. Out of Haiti Now! Say No to the U.S. Coup!
Statement by Socialist Action


Three prominent U.S. citizens who spoke with deposed Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide today reported that Aristide was the victim of a U.S.-engineered coup. Randall Robinson, TransAfrica founder and close Aristide family friend told Democracy Now!’s Amy Goodman that Aristide "emphatically" denied that he had resigned, the story promoted by the U.S. State Department. Said Robinson, "He did not resign. He was abducted by the U.S. in the commission of a coup."

Los Angeles Congresswoman Maxine Waters, also based on a cell phone conversation with Aristide, said the same, "Waters told Amy Goodman that she received a call from Aristide at 9am EST. Said Waters, "He's surrounded by military. It's like he is in jail, he said. He says he was kidnapped; he said that he was forced to leave Haiti. He said that the American embassy sent the diplomats…. He said it over and over again, that he was kidnapped that the coup was completed by the Americans that they forced him out."

Contrary to the kept U.S. media who are today clogging the airwaves and newspapers with CIA-scripted stories to the effect that Aristide resigned, that the new government would be more representative of the Haitian people, that the U.S. would use its influence to bring real democracy to Haiti, etc., the truth is that U.S. imperialism armed, financed and organized a military coup in Haiti. They did so in collaboration with the French government, which announced that it would join U.S. ground forces (3,000 U.S. troops were flown into Haiti) in maintaining order.

"Order," CIA-style has already included the murder of selected Aristide government officials, the announcement by the "rebel" army that they would reconstitute the death squad Haitian Army, that former FRAPH (death squad) leaders would assume government posts.

Meanwhile U.S. officials have announced that they are working to resolve "the situation" by constructing a new government, supposedly representative of all the contending forces in Haiti.

Not a single representative of the U.S. media or the U.S. government offered a legal justification for the sending of thousands of U.S. troops.

The paid professors of the U.S. ruling elite, were lined up to explain why Aristide had fallen from grace.

The U.S. coup was prepared well in advance. It was preceded several months earlier by the cessation of all financial aid to the Aristide government, which had adopted some reforms including the raising of the minimum wage above the 25-cent hourly figure. U.S. officials worked to arm the former killers of the old Haitian Army who had been previously been offshored across the border to the neighboring Dominican Republic.

Haiti has been a virtual U.S. low wage colony for most of the 20th century, especially following the installation of the successive Duvalier regimes, which presided over U.S. interests, death squad style, for a half century.

Aristide was a victim of U.S. plotting as well as his attempt to straddle the conflicting class interests of the oppressed Haitian people. He tried to appease the Haitian elite and defended their privilege while implementing "reforms" that failed to fundamentally change the misery of a people whose lives had been subjected to an almost uninterrupted century of misery and oppression. In the face of an armed force of thugs and ex-army murderers he relied on a police force that shattered in the face of conflicting loyalties while the Haitian masses were sidelined as helpless spectators. Aristide’s "Lavalas" or grass roots revolution, left the basic fabric of Haitian class relations intact. The ruling rich continued their ruthless policies largely unimpeded, the precondition for their temporary "collaboration." But in a world where a modest rise in the minimum wage, (multiplied by the tens of thousands of Haitian workers who labored for big capitalist enterprises) determines the success or failure of a globalized corporation, even Aristide’s minor reforms were too much for the ruling rich to endure. The coup was orchestrated to guarantee American power and profits.

Aristide will not be again restored to power by the U.S. The future of the Haitian people lies in their independent capacity to challenge their native oppressors, to unite with the oppressed in the region and worldwide and to build a society where profit is permanently subordinated to the interest of the vast majority. U.S. Out of Haiti! Self-determination for Haiti! Stop U.S. Aid to the Haitian Death Squad Dictators!


Act NOW!
Haiti: Stop union-busting, respect workers' rights!
On Monday 1 March, 2004, thirty-four (34) members of the Sendika Ouvriye Kodevi Wanament (SOKOWA, Ouanaminthe Codevi Workers' Union) were fired by the management of the Grupo M textile assembly factory in northeast Haiti. (This union
had filed its official registration with the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labour in Port-au-Prince on 10 February, 2004.) The following day, as co-workers prepared to take action in support of the union, members of the so-called
"rebel" forces, who in recent days staged a violent coup d'etat against the Haitian government, arrived at the factory and attacked the workers. After several workers were handcuffed and others beaten up, the workforce was compelled to resume work. The "rebels" said they had been called in by the Grupo M factory management.

The following is an urgent action appeal directed to Fernando Capellan, the CEO of Grupo M, in Matanzas, Santiago, Dominican Republic, with copies to Levi Strauss and the union in Haiti.

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