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Tuesday, March 16, 2004

Breaking story from the NarcoSphere... Aristide's letter has been translated by one of America's foremost experts on Creole, and guess what? It never explicitly states, "I resign."

What it says is, "IF this evening it is my resignation which can prevent a bloodbath, I agree to leave in the hope that there will be life and not death." (Translated English PDF here.)

First: Compare that sentiment with the convicted murderers and thugs who opposed him.

Second: Compare that sentiment with Latortue's depiction of him as someone who's mere presence in Jamaica is so potentially devastating to Haiti that Latortue had no choice but to withdraw Haiti's ambassador to Jamaica and pull out of CARICOM, the league of Caribbean nations.

The Pub party line in Haiti (rather close to its party line in Iraq) has been, "We didn't kidnap him, and does it really matter how he came to leave? Haiti is better off without him." Kissinger-style realpolitik all the way.

The mounting evidence though is that Haiti is NOT better off without Aristide. Latortue is acting like a chicken with his head cut off, and murderers like Chamblain are free to roam the streets. (Mind you, Latortue's evident paranoia might have a tenuous connection to reality -- South African President Thabo Mbeki tried to send arms and supplies to support Aristide, and that shipment could in theory still be sitting in Jamaica...)

Aristide is the democratically elected leader of Haiti. Any action to support his overthrowers is anti-democratic, plain and simple. If Aristide is unfit to rule, the people of Haiti can turf him out when his term is up. Again, plain and simple.

Oh, but wait you say, the last election was rigged, wasn't it? Well, yes and no. There were tons of problems, but chief among them was the fact that all the opposition parties boycotted the election. They claimed the fix was in for Aristide and Lavalas and they had no chance of winning. Well, the second part of that became a self-fulfilling prophecy, so there was no way to tell if it was rigged or not. The US didn't even bother to send observers.

Plus, look at the timing. The last elections were in 2000. Surely, if the opposition felt cheated and they truly had a mandate from the people, the time for action would have been back then, wouldn't it? Not four years later.

On the other hand, if this action was anti-democratic, then waiting four years -- four years in which draconian sanctions would have tied Aristide's hands and hamstrung his reforms, four years in which the people of Haiti could be ground down a little more, four years in which to soften up resistance -- makes perfect sense.

It's time Big Media fessed up, and started calling a coup a coup.

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