The Truth About Aristide: Mob Boss or Persecuted Priest? by...

Magda Geffrard - April 24 2011, 11:32 AM

The Truth About Aristide: Mob Boss or Persecuted Priest?

by Stanley Lucas

Over the past 50 years, Haiti has suffered under the rule of strongmen: Francois "Papa Doc" Duvalier followed by his son Jean Claude "Baby Doc" Duvalier, Jean Bertrand Aristide, and, most recently, Rene Preval.

This procession of corrupt, self-serving and violent leaders has left Haiti, a country with a proud history of being the first black republic in history, as one of the world's tragedies - a true failed state.

Haiti is the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, one of the most corrupt countries in the world, and ranks at the bottom for every health and social metric.

After the January 12 earthquake and a devastating cholera epidemic, Haiti is literally in shambles.

Time and time again, the Haitian people have stood up against these leaders sending them into exile.

Now Haiti's most infamous strongmen are vying for a role in their country once again.

Duvalier has returned to "help out", see: ; Aristide is whipping up his supporters in-country and his international network to demand his return; and Preval is just stubbornly clinging to power by robbing the Haitian people of free and fair elections.

The international community - tested by other priorities and hot spots around the world - has paid little attention to Haiti.

The US government issued statements about Haiti needing to "look forward" rather than "looking back" to the old days under these leaders.

President Obama has called President Zuma of South Africa to express concern about Aristide's return to Haiti from exile in South Africa.

The U.S. State Department issued a statement saying that the timing of Aristide's return "can only be seen as a conscious choice to impact Haiti's elections."

Aristide says he is going back because he is afraid that a newly elected President would revoke his passport.

Aristide was the buddy of the Clinton Administration when he requested military intervention from the United States to reinstate him to power in 1994, see: For those who know Aristide -- the Haitian people, the Haitian Diaspora and some actors in the international community -- they have learned over the years that Aristide never keep his word. Before returning to Haiti in 1994 he promised the Haitian people and the Clinton Administration that he would organize free and fair elections, respect human rights, professionalize the police and the army, create jobs, invest in education and ensure good governance.

After his return, he did just the opposite.

His campaign of violence started right before the visit of President Clinton to Haiti in March 1995 with the execution of Me. Mireille Durocher Bertin.

The FBI linked the murder to then Minister of Interior Beaubrun who executed Aristide's order and contracted the murder.

Aristide politicized the police, rigged elections, stole state resources and systematically violated the rights of women, peasants, youth, press, and religious groups.

No one was safe. The Haitian people never tolerate such ruthless corruption.

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