A Short List of Aristide's Wrongdoings

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A Short List of Aristide's Wrongdoings

Post by Isabelle_ » Sat Jul 30, 2005 4:52 pm

A Short List of Aristide's Wrongdoings

I found the following on the Web (http://archives.econ.utah.edu/archives/ ... g00067.htm) while doing some research for an upcoming post. It is a wonderful review - written in 2002 apparently - of the many things that went wrong during Aristide III; little did anyone know that the worst was yet to come. The author was quite prescient in what would ultimately happen if Lavalas continued in its criminal ways.

I submit this to your appreciation ... pour l'histoire.


The idea that Aristide would be overthrown is a repulsive one - especially as Haiti strives to become a democracy - and Ms. Kathy Grey is absolutely correct in attacking anyone who would condone such an outcome to the current crisis. The opposition parties had their chances to rally popular support before the elections, and th
ey blew it. So they will have to suck it up until the next elections.

However, let's review the accomplishments of the Aristide administration - in no particular order - since February 2001:

1) allowing Amiot Metayer to escape and operate freely in Gonaives - illegal

2) never arresting Paul Raymond and Rene Civil when an arrest warrant had been issued against them - illegal

3) naming Patrick Joseph, the son of the Chairman of the Central Bank, Venel Joseph, as the DG of Teleco - unethical (remember that, technically, the Central Bank owns Teleco)

4) intervening to take away the autonomy of the State University system - probably illegal. Going back on the government decisions to placate the university students is testimony to the stupidity and futility of the initial attempt. By agreeing to be yet another human Kleenex used by Aristide, Myrtho Saurel Celestin paid the price. At least, she is now free to go enjoy "les lumières de Paris" with her husband, newly named ambassado
r of Haiti to France

5) not releasing prisoners who have been cleared by the justice system - illegal. Don't think that Prosper Avril is the only one in that situation

6) using Central Bank reserves to post collateral on transactions that benefit mainly private foreign companies - illegal

7) allowing Teleco to be gutted by private deals which do not benefit its owners (and ultimately the Haitian people) - illegal and unethical

8) using public funds to pay the opposition parties that were attacked on December 17 - illegal. The Lavalas Party, not the government, should have paid the damages

9) using government vehicles to transport the "chimè" who paralyzed Port-au-Prince on November 22 - illegal. The same thing happened on December 17, 2001

10) asking several administrations to contribute 100,000+ gourdes on a monthly basis to a "special slush fund" set up at the Palace for political activities - illegal and unethical

11) financing OP activities from the budget
of the Ministère de l'Intérieur (with Jocelerme privert directly participating in strategy meetings on organized protests, down to the number of tires needed to set up burning barricades in Port-au-Prince) - illegal

12) "bribing" judges by offering them automobiles and other perks - illegal and unethical. A clear case of the Executive trying to influence the Judiciary

13) naming a well-known criminal as Minister of Justice - definitely immoral and irresponsible.

13a) Calixte Delatour assassinated senator Hudicourt in cold blood under the Dumarsais Estimé régime and was never tried for that crime. He, Victor Nevers Constant and Seymour Lassègue also murdered young Viau and got away with this crime.

13b) He then became one of Duvalier's strategists and is the moral author of several political assassinations during the Duvalier era.

13c) Calixte Delatour was very vocal during the coup years in his opposition to Aristide's return. That Yvon Neptune would describe him as a
"man of integrity" is simply unconscionable. That appointment is an extraordinary slap in the face of all Haitians who fought to get rid of Duvalier

14a) allowing a number of senators and congressmen to set up an unregistered cooperative (the famous Tout Pou Nou cooperative) - illegal

14b) allowing said cooperative to sell staples at below market rates thanks to duty exemptions and waiver of all sales taxes - unethical and illegal

14c) allowing said cooperative to further harm local rice producers through unfair competition - definitely unethical and immoral

15) paying millions of dollars a year to an American security firm - the Steele Foundation - with deep ties to the Pentagon and the CIA for the security of the President and his family - deeply immoral and incredibly ironic. Where is the Aristide who used to greet the Haitian people "charlemagneperaltement"? He is now hiding behind a group of battle-hardened "blans" who have been involved in a bunch of undercover, off-the-book
s operations for American intelligence agencies around the world. (You can hear some of their stories if you hang out long enough at
Le Petit Saint-Pierre restaurant in Pétion-Ville.) In the meantime, 1) Aristide's Haitian security officers are frustrated about the incredibly unfair double-standard (especially since their daily allocations have been cut in a new wave of austerity, and they are no longer given the same amount of ammunitions), 2) thousands of government employees have not been paid for several months; 3) the average Haitian is eating less than before, and cases of malnutrition are on the rise. George Orwell was right: some animals are more equal than others.

16a) allowing and encouraging the unchecked growth of flimsy, fly-by-night finance cooperatives which were not regulated - irresponsible

16b) allowing said cooperatives to collapse in the manner they did, taking with them in their collapse millions of gourdes belonging to primarily blue-collar and poor Haitian families and
making the managers of these cooperatives millionaires in the process - immoral and irresponsible

16c) promising to reimburse those who lost money in the cooperatives collapse - irresponsible and foolish

16d) failing to abide by the promise to reimburse the sociétaires - irresponsible and dishonest

16e) jailing Rosemond Jean for fighting for the rights of the sociétaires - immoral and criminal. The official reason for Rosemond Jean's arrest is too laughable to be taken seriously. Rosemong became a serious threat the day he adopted the cause of university students

17) granting a Dominican company a concession for a free-trade zone BEFORE the law regulating such zones was even passed and WITHOUT the approval of the Senate - illegal. When one reviews the actual agreement that was signed by Capellan & Company, on the one hand, and the Haitian government in the person of Faubert Gustave, on the other hand, it is EXTRAORDINARILY illegal. A number of simple legal precepts were braze
nly ignored, and many of the "entorses à la loi" are now coming back to haunt the Dominican company. Has anyone heard much about this project lately? I wonder why

18a) Using public funds to buy weapons for the OP's - immoral and illegal

18b) Using the Police Nationale d'Haiti, in the person of DDO Chief Hermione Leonard, 1) to distribute the weapons to a bunch of OPs and criminal organizations in Site Soley , 2) to ply these OPs with fresh ammunitions on a regular basis, and 3) to provide them with money and occasional logistical support before "big operations" - downright criminal

19) allowing the Board of Directors of the Central Bank to grant themselves a 15% salary increase last week - immoral. At a time when the government has no funds and things are extremely tight, austerity should be "de rigueur". But then again, this is the same Central Bank that paid for one of its board members (Gladys Péan), to go on a two-week crash course to learn English, all expenses paid plus a $1,000 a
day per diem, a couple of months ago. (Actually, I shouldn't be too harsh on these clowns. The last Board actually rented cars at BRH's expense so that directors' wives could go shopping without putting kilometers on their cars. One member even charged sexy lingerie for his mistress on a BRH-issued credit card.)

20) making so many political mistakes - and violating the basic rights of so many - that a feeble, repugnant and corrupt opposition, which would not exist without foreign support, is now viewed as "decent" by an increasing number of Haitians - unbelievably stupid

The list goes on, but I will stop here. This partial list speaks for itself, even though the spin doctors from the Palace will no doubt provide us with a more positive list very soon to counter-balance the one above.

Clearly the Haitian people are screwed once again. It is caught in a nasty Catch-22: It would be
unconstitutional to overthrow Aristide, yet his administration is doing everything it can to prevent dem
ocracy, accountability, legitimacy and transparency from taking hold, ideals that Haitians fought so hard to obtain.

Ms Grey: you are 100% correct in that we ought to follow the 1987 Constitution. However, it would behoove Lavalas to show the way by respecting basic legal Haitian principles, something they apparently are not able or willing to do. Can others be blamed for trying to emulate Lavalas? This is a negative spiral that can only lead to disaster.

"What is logical to the oppressor is not logical to the oppressed."

-Malcolm X


Posted by Jean-Claude Jasmin at 7/29/2005 09:32:00 PM


Brief response to Marcien Toussaint

Post by Isabelle_ » Sat Jul 30, 2005 8:50 pm

But Marcien,

Your post really took me by surprise because the government you are defending employed knowingly some of the very thieves and criminals you would like to pursue TODAY. When these people were being employed and nominated where were you? LAVALAS had 12 YEARS to investigate the crimes, to endight the suspects, to try in a cour of law and to jail those who were in custody and had been found guilty. Why wasn't that done?

My belief is that in the early years of the Lavalas I government, these pursuits you are talking about would have been done. Then you and I would not be discussing this today. WHY were these investiations not done then? THIS IS WHEN IT SHOULD HAVE STARTED. Correct me if I wrong, but there seemed to have been promises made then that were not kept.

Where was justice, transparency and participation under the Lavals regime, key tenets of the movement at the time?

I have no problem that we go to the past and investigate many of the Duvalierists or anyone for that matter that did wrongdoing, fraud...etc. But I also believe that tracing of assets is easily done when transactions are fresh as is the case for the previous govenment and as it will be for the Latortue-Boniface administration.

The more time you wait, the more time consuming and costly the process, the more ressources and sophisticated tools you will need to conduct such investigations. In addition, you give culprits time to erase or destroy the evidence of the wrongdoings/fraud committed by not investigating them sooner.

A burning question for you, why did Lavalas employ the following known Duvalierists, who in any decent administration COULD NOT HAVE POSSIBLY PASSED A DECENT BACKGROUND CHECK, much less yours since you seem to know so much about these admistrations.

a)Calixte Delatour, Minister of Justice under Aristide (was Private Advisor to Francois Duvalier);
b)Volvick Remy-Jo
seph, Member of one of the CEP under Aristide (was a Deputy and believed to have committed crimes under Duvalier);
c)Stanley Theard, Minister of Commerce under Aristide (front man for the Duvaliers and presumed to have stolen public funds during the Duvalier government);
d)Fritz Joseph, Former Mayor of Cite Soleil, appointed to this position in 2002 by Aristide (a Coordinator for FRAPH during the coup years).
d)Gary Lissade:
[quote]He was, after all, a low-level "Jean Claudiste" activist during the dictatorship of Jean-Claude "Baby Doc" Duvalier and provided legal advice to the leaders of the 1991-1994 coup d'état. Like the selection of other former Duvalierists to the latest Lavalas cabinet, Lissade's appointment to the crucial post of Justice Minister shocked and alienated many of the Lavalas Family's allies and members. [/quote]

[quote]Commerce Minister Stanley Théard embezzled $4.5 million dur
ing the Duvalier dictatorship, according to a 1986 Haitian government report. Planning Minister Marc Louis Bazin acted as Prime Minister for the military putschists during the coup. Justice Minister Garry Lissade was the lead lawyer for coup leaders. Is it any mystery more and more Lavalas officials figure that crime pays? [/quote]

[quote]Meanwhile, economic crimes, like the Théard's corruption scandal, are also being swept under the rug. Dupuy referred to a thick dossier which he secured in 1987 detailing how Jean-Claude Duvalier and his clique embezzled over $510 million from public coffers. "In 1987, I personally gave this documentation to Aristide who in turn gave it to then Justice Minister [Vincent] Bayard," Dupuy said. "Since that time, zilch has happened." Those who plundered state funds are not being prosecuted, they are being rewarded with government posts, he said.

On top of all this, the PPN and a number
of other groups have remarked that, with former World Bank economist, Duvalierist Finance minister, and putschist prime minister Marc Bazin as Planning Minister today, the Aristide/Chérestal government has embraced Washington's long-prescribed "structural adjustment" policies. "It is the complete application of the neoliberal plan," Dupuy said, "what they used to call 'the death plan,' 'the American plan,' and which the Lavalas swore that it was never going to apply."

This week the Aristide government was seen skipping ever more merrily toward the neoliberal rainbow as it expressed delight to be participating in the "Summit of the Americas" being held in Quebec City on Apr. 20, where thousands of anti-neoliberal demonstrators are expected to protest. Aristide also requested that the United Nations restation its political overseers in Haiti, a mission which ended on Feb. 6. Meanwhile, Aristide has received at the National Palace figures like Duvalierist ideologue and broadcaster Serge Beaulieu, wh
o was jailed for involvement in the Jan. 6, 1991 coup, which sought to thwart Aristide's first inauguration, who was freed during the Sept. 30 coup, and who threatened Jean Dominique's life on the airwaves not long before his murder.[/quote]
http://www.1worldcommunication.org/aris ... utface.htm

[quote]Then two weeks ago, Aristide forced Haiti's CEP to resign in the interests of the nation, although, according to the Constitution, the council should have remained in place until local assemblies around Haiti elected a new permanent council. If the reshaping of the council is mishandled, it will cause a domino effect, said CEP president Ernst Mirville in a radio interview two days before his resignation. Everything could be reshuffled from the CASECs [local assemblies] up to the President. Playing with fire is a dangerous game. Mirville also questioned the authority of the executive branch to transform the electoral council, which is an independent power under the Constituti
on. He said he would not resign.

But resign he did on Feb. 22, along with the other remaining CEP members, after they held a Feb. 21 meeting with Aristide at the Palace. Basically nobody wanted to be accused of standing in the way of things, Mirville told Haiti Progrès last week. The local assemblies will probably not be able to choose a new permanent council due to the political pressure of internal forces and forces outside the country, Mirville said.

Despite all these alarming signs, Haitians were still waiting to see what Aristide's new government would look like. They got their answer Feb. 28, five days after the Parliament ratified Aristide's nominee for Prime Minister, his trusted aide Jean Marie Chérestal.

Three key ministries went to men who had served as officials under former dictator Jean-Claude Baby Doc Duvalier, who fell from power in 1986. Marc L. Bazin, briefly Duvalier's Finance Minister in 1982, as well as a de facto prime minister for a year for the Haitian milita
ry during the 1991-1994 coup d'état, was named Minister of Planning and External Cooperation. Stanley Théard, presently member of the Association of Haitian Industrialists (ADIH), was named to the same post he held under Duvalier: Commerce Minister. Meanwhile, lawyer Garry Lissade, a well-known adherent to Duvalier's Jean-Claudist movement in the early 1980s, was named as Justice Minister.

The government is filled with Macoutes! exclaimed one man as he heard the line-up announced over the radio last Wednesday. Tonton Macoutes were the henchmen of the Duvalier dictatorships.

But more alarming were the Macoutes in the new CEP. They include Domingo Théronier, formerly one of Duvalier's police commissioners and leader of the Duvalierist party PRAN, which dissolved in 1987 in the face of popular outcry; Yves Massillon, formerly Duvalier's chief of protocol; Volvick Rémy Joseph, Baby Doc's Health minister and leader of the neo-Duvalierist party MKN; and Pierre André Anélas, another former promi
nent Duvalierist.

Some popular organization leaders close to the Lavalas Family like René Civil of the Popular Power Youth (JPP) and Paul Raymond of the St. Jean Bosco Little Church Community (TKL) point to the appointments as proof of the Lavalas government's goodwill to bring a climate of peace in the country, by integrating Haitians from all political backgrounds into public affairs. But other popular organizations have begun to denounce the appointments as a case of the donkey works, while the horse prances and are asking where this new marriage will end. They remember a previous marriage performed by Aristide in 1991 between the people and the Army, which ended in bitter divorce when the Army launched the bloody coup of Sep. 30, 1991. What chance does the new marriage have of succeeding? [/quote]

This is only a sample of those that come to mind right now.


Post by » Mon Sep 05, 2005 3:22 am

Interesting tactic IsabelleF! Here you try to imply a guilt by association. Unfortunately, when you check the record... it was the Clinton administration who insisted that President Aristide integrate these people into his government. What choice did he have... he was in exile in the U.S. and under their protection and he was forced to make a deal with the devil!

[quote]This is where there emerged a difference between the two factions of the U.S. ruling class. President George Bush and the Republicans were perfectly happy to leave Aristide permanently in exile and work with their old allies, the Haitian military and Duvalierists, in Haiti. But the Democrats, who are supposed to be more "enlightened," calculated that the generals would never provide real stability and would never have legitimacy. So the Clinton Administration decided that they would try to co-opt Aristide and force him to accept what is known in Haiti as "the Am
erican plan." The essence of this plan is to discard justice and reconcile with Duvalierist criminals, and structurally adjust the Haitian economy: that is, privatize profitable state enterprises, lower tariff walls, lay off state employees, mainly from schools and hospitals, and slash social subsidies and price-supports.

When President Aristide recovered his manhood and attempted to take back his government. Here is what he said:

[quote]Standing before U.S. and U.N. officials, Aristide assailed their policies in Haiti. "The game of hypocrisy is over," he said. He condemned the failure of the U.N. occupation forces to help disarm anti-democratic forces, particularly the rich and powerful in their big houses. "We say again that peace must reign here, and for this peace to reign, there must be no accomplices," Aristide said, referring to the U.S./U.N. troops. "The big guns of the international community are here to accompany the Haitian police to disarm all the cr
iminals, all the terrorists, all the extremists," Aristide said. "If not, I'm going to tell them it's over... I'm saying now, whosoever tries to block the legal operation of disarmament, if they're Haitian, we'll arrest them, if they're not Haitian, we'll send them back to their parents," he said in the mostly Creole speech.[/quote]

http://www.thirdworldtraveler.com/Globa ... ssass.html

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