GEORGE BUSH DIDN’T GET the trade agreement he was looking for at the Summit of the Americas. And he may find he has more Spanish voices to contend with than just Hugo Chavez. [story]
Instead of backing their Venezuelan counterpart's rallying cry to bury a U.S.-backed proposal that would link markets throughout the Western Hemisphere, the leaders reluctantly agreed to discuss the proposal again during future talks. Cautious skepticism -- not Chavez's tone of enraged dismissal -- emerged as the strongest unifying force in a region exploring the possibility of greater independence from U.S. influence. . . . "We don't want to bury the agreement," said Brazilian Foreign Minister Celso Amorim, "and we don't want to resuscitate it, either."
WHAT BUSH WANTED, he did not get. As expected the White House immediately began its spin. What is impressive is how puffed up Bush is on the way in followed by statements by his aides that we should not be too deflated by what he did not get. [story]
Mr. Bush had hoped to persuade his counterparts from Latin America and the Caribbean to deliver a resounding endorsement of the plan, the Free Trade Area of the Americas. But suspicions of American intentions prevailed in the end, and by late Saturday no final communiqué had been issued.
The White House, smarting from the failure of the talks, sought to play down the importance of an agreement.
"There's nothing in stone that says every time leaders get together you have to have a summit communiqué," Stephen J. Hadley, the national security adviser, told reporters aboard Air Force One en route from Mar del Plata, Argentina, to Brasília. Earlier, he said people should not overemphasize the whole issue of the declaration.
THE WORLD IS NOT AS SIMPLE as George Bush would like it. While he has demonized Chavez, other leaders to the south know he is no angel either. As the continent shares a dominant Hispanic tongue, Bush the man will need to contend with its different accents.
IF GEORGE BUSH THOUGHT the Summit of the Americas was going to go his way on free trade, an entire continent has told him no. Hugo Chavez, the thorn in Bush’s lion’s paw, has pricked a huge response from both South American political leaders and the people protesting in the streets [story]
Mr. Chávez, who has tried to use the summit meeting to stage a showdown with Mr. Bush, pronounced dead a free trade accord backed by Mr. Bush, the Free Trade Area of the Americas. Left-wing groups throughout Latin America have long opposed the agreement, and some governments want more generous terms from Washington, so Mr. Bush had come here with hopes of jump-starting the stalled negotiations. . . . "Every one of us has brought a shovel, because Mar del Plata is going to be the tomb of F.T.A.A.," Mr. Chávez said. "F.T.A.A. is dead, and we, the people of the Americas, are the ones who buried it."
Several hundred rioters, separate from the crowd at the stadium, smashed windows, looted stores, chanted anti-Bush slogans and threw rocks at the police. Others lobbed gasoline bombs into a bank, causing a fire that destroyed the interior of the ground floor.
GEORGE BUSH LEARNS ignoring a problem doesn’t work, when the people with the “problem” won’t be ignored. Big Brother Bush to the North doesn’t get it [Time]
After pledging during his 2000 election campaign to correct Washington's indifference to Latin America, the President is viewed as having all but turned his back on the region after most Latin American capitals declined to back his invasion of Iraq. . . . Far from being the mejor amigo he promised to be, Bush today is arguably more unpopular in Latin America than any U.S. president in history.
IN WHAT HE CONSIDERS his own backyard, Bush doesn’t play well with others. To the south, other Americans won’t play by his rules and the way Bush would play them is condescending.
Fuel was added last summer when conservative televangelist Pat Robertson—a high-profile supporter of President Bush — publicly called for Chavez's assassination. (Robertson has since apologized.) Chavez is a democratically elected president, but his close friendship with Cuba's Fidel Castro, his own flirtations with autocratic government and his recently declared interest in acquiring nuclear technology have Washington bristling.
THE OTHER AMERICANS have had enough homegrown dictators, often supported by Washington. They don’t need a Dick, Cheney, or anyone else telling them what they “must” do.
OTHER VOICES, SOME IN PROTEST PICTURES AT AN EXHIBITiON [Joe Gandelman/ The Moderate Voice] President George W. Bush has been a riot in Argentina. . . .It's too early for a definitive reading on this trip, but the imagery hasn't been pretty: rioting in the streets, Chavez's ringing declarations, and Bush being peppered with questions by reporters who want to know about things such as Karl Rove's legal problems in Plamegate and GWB's own sinking poll ratings.
THE HERETIK KNOWS a picture is worth a thousand words. Pictures of thousands of protesters in the street in Argentina may be followed by pictures of protesters in the United States soon enough. Bush in the dark doesn’t get the big picture that ignoring those living people with differences from you may develop out of the dark room into more front page problems in living color. His presidency is dying all around here, abroad and at home. He seems to be the last one to know. Expect his polling numbers to take an even more funereal look.
BUSH’S GREATEST “STRENGTH” so often cited is that when people are against him, he just keeps on going. Stubborn and stupid start with the same letter. The results may not have the same end.
AND NOW FOR SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT [Unclaimed Territory] Distorted media accounts notwithstanding, isn't it painfully obvious what is going on here? These are hard-core Communists. Fidel Castro is one of their heroes. This has nothing to do with opposition to the war in Iraq or specific free trade agreements. Those are thinly disguised pretexts. These demonstrators hate the United States because they are genuinely opposed to economic freedom and individual liberty, and they seek to impose the collectivist authoritarianism of Fidel Castro onto the entire Latin American continent. It really is that simple. We know this because they said (and showed us with pictures) that that's what they want.
THE HERETIK NOTES the false dichotomy of Bush vs Castro, as well as a Platonic fear of rule by the mob. Whether Bush wants to admit it or not, a less far left voice than Castro appeals to South American political aspirations. And in contrast to Castro, Hugo Chavez presides over a democracy in Venezuela. Chavez doesn't need to stick his hand out to Bush for money. With his access to his own vast oil supplies and a full wallet, Chavez can stick it to Bush.
ALSO RECOMMENDED A RETURN TO EARTH? [BBC] Venezuela's leader Hugo Chavez, a key opponent, told protesters: "Here, in Mar del Plata, FTAA will be buried!" Addressing the rally in a football stadium, Mr Chavez called for help to beat the US-backed free trade proposal. "Only united can we defeat imperialism and bring our people a better life," he said. . . . Mexican President Vicente Fox has said 29 of the 34 summit nations are willing to move forward with free trade negotiations without dissenting countries. Apart from Venezuela, those nations opposed to the creation of a huge free trade zone include Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay and Paraguay.
YOU AND WHAT ARMY? Bush’s security needs are abundant. The BRITISH GOVERNMENT Heretik has learned Bush is travelling with a security detail of two thousand [Clarin (Spanish) via Firedog Lake]
UPDATE: TALKS DEAD? [AP]Leaders from across the Americas, wrapping up a two-day summit overshadowed by rampaging protesters, faced a deadlock Saturday over the future of a U.S.-backed free trade zone spanning the Western Hemisphere. . . . the battle over the future of the FTAA dominated the summit. Fox said the 29 countries want a version adopted that sets the April dateline for negotiations, but the dissenters were holding out for language that mentions no date and says "conditions are not right" for an FTAA because key issues like agricultural subsidies for American farmers have not been addressed. The declaration must be approved by all member nations.
The White House strategy is to ignore Mr. Chávez as much as possible. "President Chávez has been pretty vocal about how he sees the summit and what he hopes to achieve at the summit," Thomas A. Shannon, the assistant secretary of state for inter-American affairs, told reporters on Air Force One on Thursday as it headed for Argentina. "I mean, he's going to behave the way he wants to behave."
THERE IS NO PROBLEM too small, nor too big George Bush cannot ignore, even when the problem is the size of a Spanish speaking continent.
CONDLOLEEZA RICE TRIPPED UP on some of the “technical problems” in the upcoming elections in Haiti [link] Here is what Secretary of State Rice had to say when she appeared with installed by the United States Haitian strong man and unelected Prime Minister Gerard Latortue last month.
Everybody with whom I spoke focused on the fact that there must be a transfer of power by the 7th of February and that everybody believes that that is necessary for stability here in Haiti. But in order to get there, you have to have elections and there are successive elections that have to take place. And so they are really in many ways, George, just technical matters that need to be dealt with, like the registration of polling places. . . . . Well, in terms of the situation here, I have talked to the Prime Minister and to the President about the importance of the justice system accelerating the consideration of the cases of high-profile people like former Prime Minister Neptune and now Father Jean-Juste because, as I've said to the Prime Minister, justice has to come in a timely fashion and it should not be the case that anyone can interpret that there is some kind of political motive here. And so it is extremely important that these cases be dealt with in a timely and, indeed, quick fashion.
As to Mr. Aristide himself, I am certain if there are any issues there that the international community will be prepared to cooperate. But it seems to me that the Haitian people seem very focused right now on moving on to their future. I am led to understand that this is an election in which candidates are registering from a wide variety of political perspectives, including from Lavalas. That's important. And the key here now is that those who want to participate in this election should be allowed to participate.
IRONY ABOUNDS in Rice’s statement as Mister Aristide was forcibly removed from his freely elected rule in Haiti by United States forces. Pure saints in Haiti are few and Aristide has played the political game by violent terms, some more than others. One “technical” problem in the elections Secretary of State Rice barely touched on is that Father Gerard Jean-Juste, Lavalas candidate for President, is still in jail.
THE HERETIK GOT ANOTHER E MAIL from Bill Quigley, the noted civil rights attorney, who serves as counsel to Jean-Juste. No link, but Quigley passes along some thoughts from the chained champion of Lavalas:
Prison-Pacot, Port-au-Prince, Haiti October 12, 2005
Dear Friends c/o Avoka Bill,
On this 84th day of jail, I am still helping my parish by remote control. A week ago, I did send my appeal to the Vatican concerning the Port-au-Prince Archdiocese decree to suspend me from the priest duties at St. Clare’s. I addressed it directly to the Holy Father. I sent a copy to Archbishop Miot and another one to the Papal Nuncio. This passed Monday, Oct. 10, we received the visit of a US Congress delegation. There were three democrats and one republican, accompanied by their staff and the US Embassy personnel. Congressman John Conyers, Jr. (D. MI) introduced his republican colleague Pete Hoekstra as well as Charles Rangel (D. NY) and Sheila Jackson Lee (D. CA). After a short introduction from each, I briefed them about the Haiti stabbing democracy. I stressed about respecting all the principles of democracy. I denounced the exclusion practiced by the CEP and the terrible disorganization within the Council. I reminded them the way a sector within the International Community insisted that the Iraqis Diaspora voted in Iraq elections. Meanwhile it’s complete exclusion for the Haitian Diaspora. I denounced the beating that you and I received from a mob supported by the de facto government officials. In your case, there was no reaction from the US embassy. I was arrested and still in jail and the mob enjoys impunity. I spoke also about the church decree as Rep. Lee mentioned it earlier. My health issue was questioned too. They spent some time with Prime Minister Yvon Neptune. They left the country unnoticed as they came. Rep. Conyers mentioned they are members of the Judiciary Committee and they are all lawyers. Mr. Ron Daniel was a staff member accompanying them. I am waiting to hear from them. If you have a chance, please thank them for me.
Judge Jean Peres Paul has not published his ordinance in my case. I am still waiting. Probably, you have heard that the Haiti elections have been postponed. It is a complete mess. I am fearful for the environment. It is lightly raining the last five days. Some areas are already flooded.
Please give my greetings to all my friends in the US and other countries. It was great to see you recently. I’ve just spoken to people at St. Clare’s. They are fine. They were happy with the church service last Sunday.
Please, express my gratitude and greetings to all. Keep up the faith and praise God for life! Fraternally yours in Jesus! NJeri
THE UNITED STATES HAS DONE much to ensure elections in Iraq, Haiti still waits for the same. Condoleezza Rice spoke with James Rosen of Fox in an interview in Haiti last month [United States State Department link]
The security situation here in Haiti has clearly improved over the last several months. MINUSTAH which is, of course, the UN peacekeeping operation headed by Brazil is being, I think, somewhat more aggressive in dealing with some of the problems here. That is something that they wanted to do and they now have the ability to do it. They also are working in closer coordination with a reforming Haitian police force. It is not yet a complete reform, but there is a new Director General of the police forces here. And by all accounts, the Haitian police are also doing better. So the security situation has improved. It's still not ideal by any stretch of the imagination.
READING BETWEEN THE LINES IN HAITI Lines are drawn and lines are written about the human disaster in Haiti. Lines are written about DREAD WILME. Beyond the regular visits of death squads and moral squalor, one lament heard from Haitians is how their horror is portrayed. Haitians feel United Nations “peacekeepers are aligned with an oppressive, United States imposed oligarchy and gang enforcers. Now you might add the media to the list of enemies for the Haitian nation. Who will tell the Haitian truth?
LINES ARE DRAWN in the story of the death of LAVALAS party member DREAD WILME. Contrast the two stories below. The New York Times visited the story yesterday.
[NY TIMES] According to the United Nations account of the raid, soldiers responded to months of violence in Cité Soleil - much of it directed at its own residents - by staging a predawn assault with armored vehicles and helicopters. Their prime target: Emmanuel Wilmer, a gang leader also known as Dread Wilmé. Mr. Wilmer and other gang members were killed in the ensuing battle.
[MARGARET LAURENT] TELLS A DIFFERENT STORY Drèd Wilme was reported assassinated by the UN occupation forces in Haiti on Wednesday, July 6, 2005. But he's been falsely reported dead before. Haitians with faith still know that long after the hired triggermen who are shooting the people of Cite Soleil and even at Wilme, are dust in the wind, Drèd Wilme's deeds, the people of Haiti's resistance to tyranny, will live on, in all Haitians, for all peoples on this globe, who resist Euro/US-led greed, racism and tyranny against the poor and African on this planet.
AND HERE IS A THIRD VIEW [SOBAKA] Like Amiot "Cubain" Metayer in Gonaives, Dread Wilme ascended the only ladder that reaches down into the sub-cellar of the Port-au-Prince slums. And like many gang leaders/political activists, the locals viewed him with a mixture of envy, adulation and awe. This doesn't mean that they're right and his accusers are wrong - and certainly not that the hacks at the IAC are anywhere near the truth in their portrayal of a modern day Robin Hood. It means that Dread Wilme was born in an entirely different world than most of the people eulogizing or pissing on his grave - an hostile environment that few people have seen, much less lived through.
[DREAD WILME] BEFORE HIS DEATH: The way things are in the country today, journalists are being killed, school children are being killed, business people are being killed. Many people who would have been useful to the country are being killed. As Lavalas militants throughout all the parts of the country, all 9 departments and even in the 10th department we are standing up to defend our rights, to demand that President Aristide return to the country and for us to live in peace because without President Aristide there can be no peace. The government that is here right now is doing only one thing: killing people all over the country.
DREAD WILME? Gang leader or patriot? Sinner or saint? Somewhere in between. Haitians of Cite Soleil say one thing, few listen.
PREVIOUS HERETIK POSTS ON HAITI[DEATH IN DAYLIGHT] [DOG DAYS] [PUTTING OUT THE FIRE][ISLAND OF GHOSTS] RECOMMENDED READING UPDATED 8/31/05 [BODY AND SOUL] Haiti's poor are under siege. UN peacekeepers are fighting Aristide supporters -- you can find a more graphic description
of the July 6 attack on Cité Soleil at Znet -- but ignoring attacks on
them. Just this week, Haitian police, assisted by "civilians" armed
with machetes, massacred spectators
at a USAID-sponsored soccer match. There have been several such
incidents in poor neighborhoods where support for Aristide's Lavalas
Party is strong. Lavalas remains, by most accounts, the most popular
party in Haiti. It's impossible to imagine how you can have anything
resembling an honest election, when supporters of the most popular
party are being routinely murdered, and their leaders imprisoned without evidence, or even charges (while death squad leaders go free). [FACTESQUE] It Depends What You Mean by Neighbor?
ANY ORDINARY EVENT CAN GO TO HELL IN HAITI Last week some might have thought red shirted devils had entered a soccer stadium in Gran Ravin-Martissant, but it was political opponents of Aristide and Lavalas who swung the blades that slaughtered up to fifty people in broad daylight. Haiti is far closer to the United States than Iraq, but the fires of hell burn there far closer to our belly.
THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT SUPPORTED the overthrow of Aristide not too long ago. Now only chaos rules. Gangs run the streets. Who will run the country will be decided in an upcoming election.
[HAITI ACTION] Dredging up fearsome memories of days thought to have gone by forever,
eyewitnesses here in Port-Au-Prince have portrayed an unbelievable
massacre-by-machete/hatchet rampage by red-shirted killers, backed up
by the Haitian National Police (PNH), of up to 50 victims on Aug. 21 at
a soccer field in Gran Ravin-Martissant. This summary, extra-legal
execution follows similar type massacres in Bel Air and Solino earlier
this month. This time the killings were done in plain daylight in front
of and involving 5000 soccer fans, an incredibly bold assault by
Haitian police and their civilian accomplices in the presence of troops
from MINUSTAH. As has been the case this entire past year, the
"targets" in Saturday's massacre, were all identified as "bandits",
"Lavalas" scum (Rat pa caca). [MORE]
'"BANDITS" IS THE LABEL GIVEN to Aristide supporters so law enforcement officials can take action against them. The pity in Haiti is that Aristide supporters have responded with violence as well. What we are witnessing is not revolution, but devolution.
COME ONE, COME ALL The Seventeenth Carnival of the UnCapitalists Is Here. Sprung like ATHENA from the forehead of CN TODD, The Carnival now slides across the surf of August like APHRODITE. But enough myth, it’s time for reality.
Carnies here may not agree with each other on all things Uncapitalist,
on all things relating to dollars and cents and you need not agree
either. Some things, however, to all make sense. Every person in this
world has dignity and deserves respect. The fruits of labor should not
go rotting while there are people to be fed. Labor, capital,
corporations, oligarchy and greed are large concepts that may hide a
simple truth. People must be fed.
THE HERETIK on FAMILY:
My grandfather now and again would open his wallet. He would hold it
open like it held the world, like he was catching the wind for a
moment. I would look at what he had in his wallet. The union card. I
remember the picture of him with more hair. I remember the driver's
license. A chauffeur's license. My grandfather took work as a
chaffeur driving cars for others when others would not hire union
workers. When I would ask him why, he wouldn't say anything for a
minute. Or so it seemed. Then he would put his hand on me. I remember
the imprint of his hand on my shoulder, on my life. Why a chauffeur's
license? Because what you have now, you may not have tomorrow. Then
he would hand me a buck. I would ask him what is that was for. He
would say for nothing. Such nothing means everything to me now.
AGITPROP on FORGOTTEN PLACES: So far in 2005, the stories that have received 24-hour MSM coverage have included a DYING BRAIN-DEAD WOMAN, a LIVING BRAIN-DEAD WOMAN, an exonerated CHILD MOLESTOR, and the dying and death of a POLISH HERO. If the media is so "liberal" as most conservatives claim, then why
doesn't the media focus more on widespread issues of human rights and
human suffering--typical points of liberal fascination--rather than
sensational tales of personal drama?
IRON MAN at POLITICAL CALCULATIONS on Labor DOUBLING DOWN: Sometimes, when a gambler has had a long losing streak, they will bet
an amount equal to the amount they've already lost, hoping that their
luck will change and that they will be able to fully regain their
losses with just one bet. This kind of betting is often called
"doubling down" and it's a very high-risk strategy - one that may
restore the gambler's losses, but far more often leads only to ever
greater losses. It's also part of why the AFL-CIO, the largest umbrella of organized labor unions in the U.S., is now fracturing. Back in March 2005, AFL-CIO PRESIDENT JOHN J. SWEENEY made a huge bet in setting the strategic direction of the union.
ZWICHENZUG at THE BELLMAN:
It's folk wisdom in the labor movement that unions most often fail, if
they do, because they fail to secure a first contract. Management knows
this, and knows as well that by dragging out negotiations they can
create the appearance that the union isn't benefitting workers. In the
Scripps-Encinitas case, the hospital delayed the start of negotiations
by bringing in a new management team following the initial election and
has weathered day long walkouts twice without budging on key issues.
Whether or not management also, as is alleged, urged employees to sign
a decert petition and provided legal advice to anti-union employees,
it's clear that their strategy is to treat the negotiation as a
delaying action in the hopes of exhausting the union.
THE MUTUALIST has got THE MATERIAL ISSUE DOWN:
The business union bureaucracies are an integral part of the corporate
liberal coalition because they have an interest in common with the
corporate players in that coalition. That interest is to impose order
on the rank and file, and let the bosses manage without interference.
That's not so bad when there's a large manufacturing sector that's
willing to pay comparatively high wages in return for stability, as was
the case before 1970 or so. But when most corporations decide that
cutting a deal with the unions is no longer in their interest, and they
prefer union-busting instead, that old Taylorist-Fordist bargain is a
recipe for suicide.
ALSO CANADIAN has the THE C THRU BACK PACK
to get you through security at airports without getting shot.
Disclaimer: for the C-thru pack to work properly the wearer must not
wear any other clothing or footwear.
LA REVUE GAUCHE announces: The right wing in Canada has a new cheerleader, it's none other than the last Chretienite left standing; Warren Kinsella.
THE BIONIC OCTOPUS on WHAT’S WRONG WITH LIBERALS?
Hahahahahahaha. Where to start, right? No, but I want to talk about a
specific issue, because it represents a glaring discontinuity in the
values program of the 'decent' liberal left in America, and we need to
be aware and be working on it. I'm talking, big surprise, about
BUERMANN at FLAGRANCY TO REASON
goes off on CAFTA: I see another investor rights and corporate
protectionist racket has been passed by congress. What I wouldn't do to
see them sign off on a two page agreement for reciprocal tarriff and
subsidy reductions, that might actually be interesting. THIS THING
is, as they all are, hundreds of pages of technocratic jargon and
somewhere in there you might dig up something not entirely dissimilar
to part of a free trade agreement. Among all its TWISTING AND CHURNING of existing trade relations we have the usual provisions . . .
SCADAPALY on THE FUNDAMENTAL FLAW:
So what is this underlying fundamental flaw in our system? It is
something that cannot be legislated nor regulated. It has to do with
character, honesty, and a desire to do what is best for America.
THE HERETIK INVITES ALL UNCAPITALISTS to Continue the Carnival throughout this week. This can be a strong
week long thing here so keep sending submissions and The Heretik will
re-post throughout the week.
ALL DAYS ARE DOG DAYS IN HAITI, Not for the Heat, but For All the Dogs. Dogs have openly fed on the fallen bodies of ARISTIDE supporters since the illegal United States enforced coup removed the former priest and last freely elected president from office on the Caribbean island. Other dogs still hungry for power gnaw on the bones of democracy. Oppression’s odor wafts in and out of windows. Dogs rip flesh and retreat to feast out of sight. Or they do it in the open.
When shameful injustice is not even hidden, when brutality takes the color and cloak of authority, then one sees a government gone to the dogs. The dogs now come for Father Gerard JEAN-JUSTE. In a twisted turning of the screw, Jean-Juste sought to attend and minister at the funeral of a family relation, Jacques Roche, a kidnapped and killed journalist with possible ties to GROUP 184. At the funeral for Roche, he was assaulted, his attackers were left alone, and he was arrested and later charged in the murder of Roche.
[NARCONEWS] As reported in a Haitian Lawyers Leadership Network (HLLN) e-mail alert last night, and confirmed by the GUARDIAN today police sent popular priest Gerard Jean-Juste to the Central Prison and
told him he would be charged in connection with the death of Jacques
Roche. For both HLLN and the newspaper the primary source was Bill
Quigley, a U.S. citizen representing the priest now as a defense
Quigley, in a later e-mail message passed on by Marguerite Laurent of the HLLN and posted at VOICES IN THE WILDERNESS, described the questioning of Jean-Juste as follows:
He had a quick hearing with a justice of the peace, who
refused to wait until Mario Joseph, his Haitian lawyer could be
present. No written charges were shared - again questions were like,
what party do you belong to? can you explain your presence at the
funeral of Jacques Roche? Do you know why the bandits killed him? Do
you visit the poor neighborhood of Bel-Air frequently?
Roche, a social and culture editor at a major newspaper who also had a
television show, was kidnapped and held for $250,000 ransom. HLLN
alleges that family members and work colleagues were only able to raise
about $10,000, and Roche's family had expected members of the wealthy,
coup-supporting Group 184 to contribute to the ransom because Roche
worked for them. Instead, Roche's captors murdered him, and dumped his
body on the streets of Port-au-Prince on July 14, when the ransom was
not paid. At the time, Jean-Juste was still in the United States. He
had helped lead, on July 13, a protest at the Brazilian consulate in
Miami against the JULY 6 CITE SOLEIL KILLINGSby United Nations forces in Haiti, which are led by Brazil.
Despite the jailing of Jean-Juste, the Guardian
reported that "chief government prosecutor Audain Daniel said a
decision had not yet been made on whether to charge Jean-Juste, an
outspoken critic of Haiti's interim government."
This is the fourth time agents of the coup government jailed the priest, most recently after he
was attacked at Roche's funeral, in the presence of police, by
anti-Aristide attendees who accused him of participating in the murder.
[REUTERS] "I was not even in Haiti when Jacques was kidnapped and killed. I was
in the U.S. I am 100 percent innocent," Jean-Juste said from his jail
Jean-Juste, a Roman Catholic priest and a leading figure
in Aristide's Lavalas Family party who was imprisoned for seven weeks
last year, was jailed on Thursday after he tried to take part in
Roche's funeral. At the service, a government minister blamed Aristide
supporters for the killing. "I have a cousin that married one of
his (Roche's) relatives," Jean-Juste said from his jail cell. "I wanted
to pay tribute to him because I was so touched by his assassination."
[BILL QUIGLEY/ VITW] A man in a suit, who identified himself as head of security for the
funeral, rushed back in from the church area - only a few feet away and
in plain view -and told Fr. Gerry these people were going to kill him
there in the sacristy unless he fled. Fr. Jean-Juste knelt to pray and
the woman and I knelt with him in the middle of the growing crowd.
that point people started slapping Fr. Jean-Juste on the head and face
and spitting on him and the other two of us. Something then hit Fr.
Jean-Juste in the head. Someone punched him in the eye. We stood up and
a few UN CIVPOL officers showed up to help us leave the sacristy of the
church. As we tried to get to the stairs people continued pushing and
screaming and shouting threats. They continued to call out “assassin,”
“criminal,” and “kill the rat.” The crowd now overwhelmed the police.
More people spit on us and hit Fr. Gerry, even in the face, while
others were grabbing his church vestments trying to drag him off the
broke out at the ceremony after mourners spotted Gerard Jean-Juste, a
priest close to former President Jean-Bertrand Aristide ousted last
year. The priest was punched by the crowd, following claims by some
officials that Aristide supporters were involved in Roche's murder. Mr Jean-Juste was escorted to a nearby police station for protection.
YOU CAN HELP END THE HAITIAN NIGHTMARE CONTACT YOUR MEMBERS OF CONGRESS AND THE U.S. Ambassador to Haiti, James B. Foley
United States Embassy
Telephones: 011-509-223-4711, or 222-0200 or 0354
Fax: 011-509-223-1641 or 9038
Email to Dana Banks, Human Rights Officer:
IN A POOR NEIGHBORHOOD LIKE CITE SOLEIL IN HAITI, THE BEST THING YOU CAN SEE IS A TOYOTA PICKUP TRUCK FULL OF SOLDIERS OR POLICE HEADING AWAY FROM YOU. That means their violence will visit someone else, perhaps a brave PRIEST, this night or day. Or the truck could turn around on a whim. Once the soldiers are gone, gangs of goons have run of the streets and more blood may yet run. Killing of the political opposition and of random unfortunate witnesses is indiscriminate in places like Cite Soleil, the City of the Sun, where light and hope are near eclipse. The “political opposition” could be any MEMBER of LAVALAS, the political party of the last democratically and freely elected President of Haiti, JEAN-BERTRAND ARISTIDE. As previously noted, the United States removed Aristide from power in dubious light.
A United States chosen power broker ANDY APAID wields enormous power and a large bankroll. APAID had fostered the DARK WORK of THOMAS ROBINSON, alias “LABANYE,” in Cite Soleil. A murderous and illegal army that marched against Aristide now rules large parts of the rest of the country. Its self proclaimed general REMISSAINTHE RAVIX is now DEAD. Some Lavalas supporters respond with violence, others look for more creative ways to draw ATTENTION.The ruling elite lumps all Lavalas opposition as "bandits." Many Haitians are dismayed by the reach for power of GROUP 184.GROUP 184 sees itself in a more kindly light. Lavalas defender DREAD WILMER fell dead in a recent United Nations "offensive" locals call a massacre. All the players in this ghostly chess game of black and white are fading and disappearing from the chess board, gone from sight. The "peace keepers" [MINUSTAH] brought in by the United Nations seem to be working against order itself.
The irony is Aristide was deposed for the charge of lack of order in the country by forces from outside the country and now there is nothing but riot and ruin wherever the eye looks. The country is now ruled by the the unelected front man GERALD LATORTUE. LATORTUE hadn't lived in Haiti in ten years before he was sworn in as Prime Minister. In this chaotic environment an election is scheduled for later this year. Latortue wants the outside armies to remain after the election. Few still hold out for a good result. Haiti is an island of political ghosts, the last form of democracy a phantasm fading with the hope of the people.
PREVIOUS HERETIK POST:[PUTTING OUT THE FIRE] RECOMMENDED READING [MIAMI LAW HUMAN RIGHTS INVESTIGATION]Suspected dissidents fill the prisons, their Constitutional rights ignored. As voices for non-violent change are silenced by arrest, assassination, or fear, violent defense becomes a credible option. Mounting evidence suggests that members of Haiti’s elite, including political powerbroker Andy Apaid, pay gangs to kill Lavalas supporters and finance the illegal army. . . . . U.S. officials blame the crisis on armed gangs in the poor neighborhoods, not the official abuses and atrocities, nor the unconstitutional ouster of the elected president. Their support for the interim government is not surprising, as top officials, including the Minister of Justice, worked for U.S. government projects that undermined their elected predecessors.
THE FIRE OF FREEDOM MUST BURN IN IRAQ, BUT IN HAITI CLOSER TO HOME WE ARE PUTTING THAT FIRE OUT. What Exactly Happened in Haiti When President Jean-Bertrand ARISTIDE “Resigned” in 2004? And why does it matter now?
UNTIL the last moment, Haiti’s embattled president insisted he would stay in office until the end of his mandate in 2006, despite an armed uprising by rebels determined to overthrow him. But, having lost the support of America—once his protector—Jean-Bertrand Aristide was bundled on to a plane by American guards on Sunday February 29th, leaving behind a letter saying he had resigned to prevent a bloodbath. [THE ECONOMIST]
Aristide says he was kidnapped. Haiti is in turmoil. Civilians are dying. Sound familiar? What does it say about our government if we go to war to foster democracy far away where it has never been and we end democracy closer to home? George Bush may claim to be a holy man who unfortunately phrases his mission in Iraq as a crusade, but in Haiti America faces something far different and disturbing.
Formerly a priest, Aristide is the first democratically elected leader in Haitian history. So what side of history are we on now? Is our message to the world that we are in favor of democracy, but not when the choice is not to our liking? Do we say people are free to write their own futures, but when we don't like the present situation we will rewrite the outcome in the ink of the discredited past? What side of history and democracry are we on?
[ALL SPIN ZONE] The Bush administration backed and botched a coup
of a democratically elected leader in Venezuela in 2002. Since that
didn't work out so well, they decided to have another go at it in
Haiti, as CNTodd explained in an earlier posting on this topic. Practice makes perfect, right?
Hardly. After the February, 2004 coup, Haiti has become a microcosm of
the Bush administration's failures in foreign policy - a botched regime
change in support of multinational corporate interests, and a violent
occupation seemingly without end.
[FACT-ESQUE] And then there's Haiti.
While we're being distracted with BushCo's shrieking about Democracy
sliding off the rails in Venezuala and into the grips of Lefty Chavez,
Haiti is already in a ditch, writhing from wounds that are only