A review of past voting trends in Haiti indicates that campaigning for a fair and transparent election under the circumstances will most likely be more important to Senator Neptune than campaigning for his candidacy. I will comment further on Senator Neptune and the roman-fleuve sans Clef that the Haitian presidential field represents, but what I would like to do here is bring together, again for what I believe is the first time, his letters to James B. Foley, United States Ambassador to Haiti, from 2004 and 2005:
Mr. James B. Foley
In his office
At the time where the de facto Government and anti-Lavalas of all ilk are today giving free course to their most ingenious scheme, in an effort to conceal the true reasons for my country's dilapidation and the vicious circle of infrahuman misery which maintains and perpetuate the flagrant exclusion of the overwhelming majority, I take the opportunity to add, if opportunity there is, my take on the February 29, 2004 events, more specifically on what had been presented to me as President Jean-Bertrand Aristide's resignation and that commanded subsequent actions from me as Prime Minister until March 12, and as citizen from March 12 until today.
On Saturday February 28, 2004, subsequent to information concerning provisions made by the US government, in concert with those of France and Canada, to remove President Jean-Bertrand Aristide from Haiti, I invited you to meet me at the Prime Minister's office.
During our conversation, I explained to you that the February 1996 and 2001 peaceful and constitutional transfer of power were democratic assets that ought to be reinforced by a similar transfer of power in February 2006; and that any forceful departure of President Aristide would set democratic processes back ten (10) to fifteen (15) years. I reiterated the position I took publically a few days before, in front of the nation and the world, namely that constitutional President Jean-Bertrand Aristide must finish his five (5) years term and that it was the international community's duty to help the government quash the armed aggression of former members of the FADH (Haitian army) against the Haitian state ; That I would be in opposition to any government issued from a forced interuption of constitutional order. And that if the President chose to resign it would be another story, I would manage routine matters until such a time as my successor's nomination.
During the night of 28th to the 29th of February, under the strangest of circumstances, President Aristide, in a two to three words argumentative telephone message, presented me with the following choices, to leave or to stay. Remembering the gist of our meeting of the day before at the Prime Minister's office, I called you in order to find out exactly what was going on. You informed me that the President had resigned and was about to leave the country; anticipating the possibility of carnage in Port-au-Prince, you advised me to go to the Prime Minister's office.
Shortly after my arrival at the office, you joined me there, accompanied by the President of the Cour the Cassation (Supreme Court) who presented me a "card" that he assured me was a legal document of resignation of the President of the Republic.
This was the apparently convincing piece of evidence that trigered the partial application of the Constitution's article 149 and the UN Security Council's Resolutions 1529 and 1542. And furthermore the agreement between the supervisory foreign powers and the anti-Aristide/anti-Fanmi Lavalas coalition to impose in an unpredictable, adulterated and inappropriate political context, this implementation of the CARICOM plan and the initial Project of Accord that were merely documents waiting to be finalized and agreed upon by all concerned parties.
When, from the Central African Republic, President Aristide let it be known that he had been kidnapped from Haiti, and when in a statement CARICOM proposed an investigation as to the circustances surrounding President Aristide's departure, I asked you to clarify for me the President's affirmation as well as CARICOM's concerns. You tried to convince me that the President left the country willingly. But, an analysis of certain acts, events and/or statements, pre and post February 29 corroborated President Aristide's accusations and justified CARICOM's questions:
Prior to February 29, 2004
- Practically simultaneous statements from Secretary of State Colin Powell, Canada's Prime Minister, Paul Martin and France's Foreign Affairs Minister, Dominique de Villepin indicating to President Aristide to prepare to face the consequences of his actions, at the very moment that the armed opposition was occupying or was threatening many cities in the North, North-East, North-West, Artibonite and Plateau Central.
- The demand, tolerated, if not endorsed by these (countries) so-called friends of Haiti, made by the opposition coalition that Aristide leaves, in spite of his total agreement to CARICOM's Action Plan.
- The extensive broadcasting, in the so-called independent press of Mr. Hérard Abraham's pre-recorded, in-the-US-message, calling for the departure of President Aristide. (Mr. Abraham, though he did not get his desired Prime Minister's position, is the current minister of Interior, Territorial Collectivities and National Defence).
- The silence and/or the inaction of Haiti's so-called "friends" in the face of the assassination of police officers and State workers; the destruction of Precincts and other public buildings, perpetrated by members of the former FADH (Haitian army) and FRAPH.
- The American autorities' decision to disuade the private American security agents, hired to protect President Aristide, from protecting him in the face of an eventual attack announced by the "rebels," for the American forces would not come to their rescue if their lives were in danger.
- The public request you made to the so-called "rebels" to postpone their attack on the capital, followed shortly after by President Aristide's departure into exile, on a plane ordered by the American government.
Post February 29, 2004
- The allegation you made along with other members of the American government that President Aristide had been move from Haiti to save his life and the fact that he took advantage of the opportunity to entrust his resignation "card" to the American Ambassador (or one of his representatives) that gave it to the President of the Cour de Cassation who, according to him, had been waiting at the embassy for reasons unknown to him.
- The fact that according to President Aristide, he was not at liberty to know ahead of time where his "saviors" were taking him for safekeeping.
- The free access allowed to the "rebels'" tracking down and executing Fanmi Lavalas supporters, even though American, French, Canadian and Chilean troops were deployed throughout the country; the situation not changing with the UN Blue Helmets' presence.
- The pressure you exercised on March 12 that forced me to prematurely leave the Prime Minister's office where I was lodging since February 29 with no arrangements made for my lodging, fact being that my residence had been ransacked and destroyed on February 29.
- Your insisting, from March 12 'til today, that I leave the country for security reasons though the marines had been here for more than three (3) months and that the UN forces subsequently arrived.
- Illegal arrests and executions of Fanmi Lavalas members by the National Police, in collaboration with the armed "rebel" assassins and other criminals opposed to Lavalas, in collusion with and/or enjoying the indifference and/or the inaction of the Multinational Force (FIMIH) and MINUSTHA.
- The "rebels" and other demobilized military maneuvers to control, if not to evict the PNH. This, under de facto government's instigation or command, apparently in coalition with interested agencies of the American government and Haitian merchant and businessman groups, along with politicians who supported and financed the September 30, 1991 military coup d'etat.
- The absence of concrete plans and measures for the disarmament of members of the old FADH and of FRAPH who identified themselves as the ones who committed the Pernales assassinations, the attacks on July 28, 2001 on the Police Academy and on December 17, 2001 on the National Palace, of the arson and destruction of Police precincts where they killed police officers and liberated convicted common criminals.
- The de facto regime's and the US, French and Canadian governments' obvious strategy to charge the constitutional majority government and Fanmi Lavalas that voted it in, with all the political, social, economic and environmental disasters generated during two (2) centuries during which alternating and succeeding periods;
i. of racist ostracism of independent Haiti, implemented by some American and European slave-owning states,
ii. of foreign powers impositions by military coercion of fraudulently established indemnities,
iii. of natural resources spoliation;
iv. of foreign occupations with hegemonic objectives of domination and economic exploitation.
v. Of the International's collusion with the Haitian Nation's most ferocious, corrupt and destructive dictators.
The enemies of Aristide and the adversaries of Fanmi Lavalas claim that the President's"departure" on February 29, 2004 is the result of a general uprising by the Haitian people. Mr. Gerard Latortue glorifies the worst torturers of the old FADH and FRAPH as "combatants for freedom";
and the latter require that they be rewarded and/or rehabilitated for services rendered to the "cause of democracy"; and you, Mr. Ambassador, you believe it acceptable to remind these nostalgics of the old corrupted FADH, putschist and detested by the Haitian people, their promise to put down their arms once President Aristide leaves.
Democracy is not a laboratory product or factory product to be consumed with threats, dictates and/or sanctions; it is rather a game of compromise and/or understanding, difficult and certainly hard at times, within a human group in search of harmony, security and peace for the progress of all.
In this context, any disagreement resolved by armed violence or by any other form of violence, to the advantage of an uncompromising minority in its thirst for power, creates a dangerous precedent which risks encouraging the continuous reevaluation, if not destruction of assets, to be ameliorated of course, of the assimilation of democratic processes. "It is democracy only in as much as it is continuously being created."
In effect, having supported three (3) years of pitiless violence of unfair, unjustified and destructive sanctions against Haiti and the poor majority of its children, on February 29th, 2004, in the year of the Bicentenial of Haiti, your socio-Darwinist government, in accord with thoserevanchist of France and suiviste of Canada, used armed violence one more time to strip the majority of the People of one of its fundamental democratic assets, respect of its constitutional choices.
Yours and other governments pretend to care and even to be friends of Haiti and the Haitian People. But the past and present life of my country reveal so much disturbing and even repulsive expressions of what they consider to be concerns and tokens of friendship.
Unfortunately, on one hand, the intellectual elites rise up through texts, while on the other hand, the economic elites adapt to become "partners" and/or dependable and exemplary honorary consuls.Since these elites are always wary of the aspirations and especially of the dynamic organization of the majority determined to enjoy its rights, they instinctively get closer and agree, on the basis of common prejudices, to slow down the advant of the majority. And this while shamelessly ignoring Constitution and law. Their behaviours, their positions and actions during the three (3) years of their opposition to president Aristide and to Fanmi Lavalas are more than convincing proof.
After all is said and done, a variety of elements of different types seems to contradict the version of voluntary resignation of president Aristide. The doubt on the conditions of his departure is so heavy, that CARICOM did not yet resolve to acknowledge the temporarily government; the African union adopted a similar position, while the government of South Africa considers Jean-Bertrand Aristide the constitutional president of Haiti where as the majority which elected him continuously demands his return.
It is also important to take into account the political confusion and uncertainty, the risks of explosion and of social tears created by the suspicious resignation of a president with whom the majority identifies and on whom it lays its hopes of better life in an Haiti of justice, equity and security.
Haiti was experiencing a period of relative stability; from the return of president Aristide on October 15th, 1994, including the five years of Mr René Préval presidency, until January/February, 2004 the beginning of the 4th year of the second term of president Aristide. Armed attack against the Academy of Police on July 28th, 2001 and that of December 17th, 2001 against the National Palace along with reactions translated in popular acts of violence which followed, the armed attacks in Pernales and acts of vandalism against the Power Station of Péligre in the course of the year 2004, all these attempts of the armed opposition to destabilize the State did not affect the course of negotiations regarding the preliminary plan for legislative and local elections. Notice that these armed attacks were carried out by members of the old FADH and FRAPH, artisans of the September 30th, 1991 coup d'etat who had sought refuge in the Dominican Republic; some of them had already been condemned by justice and others sought for traffic of, among other things, drugs and/or international terrorism.
The political climate worsened when, during January and February, 2004, these opposition terrorists, tolerated or supported by your Government and others, launched an assassinations campaign of policemen, destroying police stations and other public buildings and controling certain cities of the country through the rule of arms.
The violence of the three (3) years of economic sanctions speeded up the general deterioration of all forms of life in Haiti and in an irreversible manner in certain essential and fragile circles; however they in no way softened up the opposition's extreme stance and steer that opposition towards the sense of compromise continuously encouraged and supported by president Aristide and Fanmi Lavalas.
As the majority of the people remained faithful to its choice and the opposition's street demonstrations remained the expression of a minority unable to motivate the majority in joining, the governments of the United States, France and Canada, for reasons already pointed out, had no other alternative than the use of armed violence to decapitate and dismantle Fanmi Lavalas,regardless of the human and material damage which had to be inflicted on Haiti and its People.
The «rebels», members of the old FADH and the torturers of the old FRAPH, were the ideal COVER, in light of their well-known history of murderers without creed nor law and the opportunity offered to them to take revenge on president Aristide. Once the violent destabilization objectives were met, American marines, French, Canadian and Chilean troops would come to hold the «rebels» at bay, long enough to set up a government of «transition », and the UN forces would take charge to manage the rest.
In spite of a propaganda campaign aiming at reassuring the population of the «transition's» progress, this blow of Jarnac (stab in the back) proves to have transformed the social, political and economic environment into a vast field of latent battle where every interest group positions itself while making sure to mine every inch of ground for the others.
Before February 29th, 2004, it was a matter of the majority of the Haitian People linked to Jean-Bertrand Aristide/Lavalas upseting, others of the minority « friends of Haiti ». Today, it is a matter of clans of the disparate minority, some with power, others on the periphery and/or lusting for power, of the « friends of Haiti », and of the majority of the Haitian People always linked to Jean-Bertrand Aristide/Lavalas are underground, but does not cease upsetting.
While there is still time, would it not be necessary that the true friends of Haiti, within the OAS, the UN and of the European Union demand that the genocide triggered off on February 29th, 2004 and which advances under the pretence of a «transition» which tries openly to hide its true name be stopped? The Action Plan of a national compromise for the progress of the democratic process was proposed by CARICOM and ratified by OAS; President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, Fanmi Lavalas with the support of the Majority of Haitian people approved it and were ready to implement it.
For more than three (3) months, American marines, French, Canadian and Chilean force of FIMIH operated in a way that opened the possibility of leading Haiti and its People in the grip of undercover militarism.
The MINUSTAH forces took over for the purpose, they pretend, of stabilizing a socio-political environment in which the potency of weapons had overtaken reason and wisdom in the democratic game. The overwhelming majority of Haitian People, deliberately and freely engaged in establishing lasting institutional structures for the sustainable practice of democracy; it should be noted how powers within the OAS, the UN and of the European Union in the course of last three (3) years joined forces in order to render viable, by any anti-democratic politicking subterfuge, or even dishonesty, a marginal and scattered opposition, to the point of keeping silent on, if not supporting or even including in their efforts, the pressure of weapons to reach their objectives.
Resolutions 1529 and 1542 of the UN Security Council authorized FIMIH and Minustah for the promotion of peace and stability, and that of the OAS acknowledging the de facto Alexander Boniface/Latortue government were taken on the basis of documents which would normally be credible, because of the stamp of State authorities who acted; nonetheless, what the UN and the OAS should know, is that these Haitian authorities acted at a time and in circumstances where they could only rely on your guarantee of the truth of the events surrounding President Aristide that morning of February 29, 2004.
In the final analysis, all the OAS resolutions on Haiti relative to the problems of the May 21st, 2000 elections, and the Plan of Action of CARICOM seemed to assert imperious the obligation to guarantee democratic assets and the continuous progress of the process; the membership of the actors and the period when the opposition's armed aggression took the character of a declaredwar against the State, should have triggered off the alarm for the OAS side, for the « friends of Haiti», and even for the UN so that precautionary actions be taken, in order that the requirements of building and protecting democracy be respected and applied by all interested parties.
The originators, the implementor and beneficiaries of the February 29th, 2004 coup d'etat are using all kinds of machinations to incriminate Fanmi Lavalas, as well as all types of promises, in the hope of co-opting, without including it, the majority of a population brutally deprived of the symbol motivating its patience and its efforts and sacrifices to mobilize and participate in the improvement of its living conditions.
The government in power, its international advisers and the national sector organized to draw all possible benefits, they all pretend to ignore the evolution of the majority, relative to its knowledge and to its will to enjoy its rights; or perhaps they would like to believe in the however unpredictable perspective, that the specter of the members of the old FADH/FRAPH, of the UN force, or of the cunningness of the government and of the International will suffice to undo the closeness and the trust developed during more than fifteen years between the great majority of the Haitian People and Jean-Bertrand Aristide.
Haiti in the year of the Bicentenary of its Independence still wedged in the bi-secular gears of the original antagonism sclerosing between its socio-economic categories; reinforced antagonism and made complexed in the course of the centuries by their reproduction's internal dynamics and that of the active external elements which grafted themselves on top or became part and parcel.
In the course of the last fifteen (15) years, an important and promising mutation started at the grassroots majority of the Haitian population, in cities and in rural areas. The elites, taught to consider themselves representative of Haiti's values and raison d'être, did not understand or became alarmed when faced with the progressive range of this mutation in social, economic, political and cultural domains in the country. Do the influential powers within the OAS, the European Union and the UN on the Haiti dossier, realize that this mutation is generated by the increase in needs, demands, democratic practices of the population's broad base grassroot onwhich depends the sustainable stability and peace, and that this mutation is irreversible?
I would therefore not be able to imagine that the majority of the OAS Member States, of the EU, of the Security Council of the UN, the majority of the representatives elected by American, Canadian and French people, made a pact with the politico-military plan to destabilize the Haitian State with the objective of causing the banishment of President Aristide at about two (2) years of the end of its 2nd non-renewable, constitutional mandate.
If such is not the case, it is in the best interest of the future of the democratic process, in an environment of peace and stability that OAS, the European Union and the United Nations grab the opportunity of the presence of the Blue Helmets to organize the establishment of a context conducive to the CARICOM Plan and the assets to be supplemented as part of the initially agreed plan partly negotiated under the aegis of OAS.Such correction would put Haiti back on the rails leading, as part of the training and strengthening of democracy, in a third constitutional transfer of power by an elected president to a new also elected president, according to the prescriptions of the Constitution.
M. Ambassador Foley, you and your colleagues must, without a doubt, feel comfortable and content in doing in and to my country whatever the military and economic might of your governments dictate; as far as I am concerned, my source of wisdom, strength, serenity and pride, in the face of the wickedness of certain people in power, is the never-ending will of the poor majority of my compatriots to keep hope for a better alive and active tomorrow.
Slavery and dictatorship had been imposed upon us; we have fought and stopped them. Today, in whatever form they are planned in order to undermine our option for effective participatory democracy, others and us who truly believe in these principles and objectives, should never, under no circumstances, betray them. Democracy is a human concept originated from the experience of life of mankind. Societies the world over are still experimenting it, at one degree or another.
Whenever undemocratic means are condoned and/or used to purportedly protect the gains and/or steady the course of the democratic process, that sends to the people apprenticing democracy a confusing message about the facts, the meaning and the rules of democracy, and that threatens to take us all back to the jungle law of the strongest; in fact, quite often nowadays, what prevails is the will of states with hegemonic economic and military powers, and having the largest and deadliest arsenal.Democracy is said to be a game of compromise; but unfortunately for Haiti and its people, your government and others who claim to be their friends, instead of standing upfor compromise between the Lavalas majority led by President Aristide and the platform of the opposition minority and its armed aggressions against the state and Lavalas; they chose to side with and act in favor of the uncompromising opposing minority; thus breaking dangerously the democratic process and jeopardizing its future.
Between the genuine struggle of the popular majority and the intellectual business «elites» your government and others opted for the disparate politically incoherent «intellectuals» and the corruption prone business "elite", both of which you and your predecessor have publicly qualified as such.
Generations upon generations of Haitians have been wasted, and Haiti has long been on the verge of becoming a totally barren and disaster plagued land, with an exploding and agonizing population. The historical and contemporary facts are available to whoever is truly interested in what should be done urgently and in the short term, so that the long-term future of the country could finally rest on gradually secure political and economic ground.
Caring friends of Haiti, republicans and democrats, liberals and conservatives, socialists, and capitalists would best serve Haiti by always acting in ways to encourage all sectors of Haitian society, political parties and government to operate in all circumstances, with no exception, within the framework of the Constitution and the law.
On march 2, with the probable approval of Secretary of State Colin Powell and Assistant Secretary of State Roger Noriega, you «let me know» that I should leave Haiti (go into exile) as soon as a new, i.e. putchist Prime Minister is appointed, or I would risk being jailed and/or assassinated (while the US marines were and the UN soldiers, are in Haiti supposedly to provide at least a sense of security to all sectors?).On the one hand, you are well aware of article 41 of the democratic Constitution of Haiti, which states that, «no one of Haitian nationality, for no reason whatsoever may be deported or forced to leave the Haitian soil».
On the other hand, I spent three (3) months or so under cover (from March 12 to June 27); since then I have been for months in the jail of the facto government and its allies.
I know this letter may trigger sooner or later, both from the de facto government in Haiti and the US government additional actions or pressures to the ones I have been subjected to so far.
Mr. Ambassador, what next do you know is in store for me?
One of the essential guarantees of durability of Justice, security, stability, peace and progress in the world, must be consistancy and coherence of the international and regional organizations of States, and rights of the People and the person, in their systematic refusal to recognize the existence of any government issued from a coup d'etat, whatever the reasons, the means and form, in a country where democracy is already established.
Member of Fanmi Lavalas
N.B.: Mr. Ambassador Foley, before sending you this correspondence dated August 23rd, 2004, I want to take time to observe the reaction of the OAS, the UN and particularly that of the American, French and Canadian governments, in the following significant events:
I. The public admission not only of members of the old FADH and FRAPH, but also from the Group 184 and from certain political parties, to have been collaborating from the inception:
A. Of the terrorists acts against :
a) The Police Academy on July 28, 2001
b) The National Palace on December 17, 2001
c) Public buildings, such as police Precincts (with police officers' assassinations), court houses, customs offices, the Péligre Electrical Power Plant, etc.
B. Of the armed occupation of cities such as Gonaïves, Hinche, Cap-Haïtien, Fort-Liberté etc.
II. The occupation of police stations by members of the old FADH and FRAPH after they chased the agents of the PNH, and armed parades staged by members of the demobilized army in various cities of the country with the full knowledge of the de facto government, the PNH and the UN forces.
III. Socio-political discrimination at the detriment and stigmatising diabolisation and ostracism of the poor majority of the population, by de facto regime and its associates, because of Lavalas' affinity with this majority.
IV. The continued persecutions, arbitrary and illegal arrests of cadres, members and supporters of Fanmi Lavalas, and also other simple citizens in general from the poor majority.
V. Trials and/or verdicts pre-orchestrated by the political justice machine of de facto regime of which one of the most brazen examples is that of the defendants in the assassinations of Antoine Izméry and of father Jean - Mary Vincent.
To Ambassadors Juan Gabriel Valdes, Special Representative of the Secretary General of the UN Denneth Modest, Special Representative of the Secretary General of the OAS James B. Foley, United States of America Claude Boucher, Canada Thierry Burkard, France Marcel Young, Chile
Ever since my unjust and unjustified incarceration at the National Penitentiary on June 27th 2004, my life has been directly threatened on three (3) occasions.
On the third occasion, Saturday February 19th of the current year, the Government made the decision to place me in isolation, purportedly for my own safety but the end result of this maneuver has been the application of further and apparently intended punishment. Indicative of this is the fact that after I returned to my initial cell after three (3) days in isolation, I am confronting new restrictions whose sole purpose are to humiliate me and above all to render me to the condition of an animal.
Dear Ambassadors, surely you are all aware of the Machiavellian reasons for which since the 29th of February of 2004 I have been the brunt of all sorts of persecutions to force me into exile. Much better than me, you are also aware of the politically motivated vile and cynical objectives of my arbitrary arrest and illegal detention, a detention which has now lasted 8 months and in dehumanizing and insecure conditions.
Despite irrefutable evidence which you all know some hoodlums in St. Marc in collusion with the NCHR and the Government persist in associating my name with their lies. This is of course being done to achieve shameful, monstrous, and macabre political ends which would at the same time mask their own acts of vandalism and assassination.
The Government, cloaked with a spirit of vengeance and with utter disregard for the most elementary principles and practices of law and justice, proceeds with sheer arrogance, not simply to arrest me without a warrant but furthermore to mount a biased and dictatorial Highest Court of Appeals since the constitutional mandate of many of the judges of this Court have long ago expired. They are conspiring to reenact the role of Pontius Pilate in the shamefully illegal case of incarceration and prolonged detention.
It seems that the Government is so infatuated with its power of "conqueror" that it is drooling over the bountiful returns on its investments in the democide and the destruction of the liberating forces of truth which bring forth justice.
With hopes that strong and sincere voices of moral authority and the partisans of justice will say unequivocally to the Government that it must cease to ally itself with delinquents, vandals, notorious assassins, and discredited organizations which shamelessly persist in trying to make me out to be a murderer so they can justify for the benefit of the Government my eventual lynching.
I am sure that the spectacle of my slow and certain death would be much more palatable to the Government and its cohorts.
To facilitate their purpose I have undertaken a hunger strike so that one day my brothers and sisters who are made to wallow in abject misery will no longer be disdained, starved, scorned and ostracized.
Yvon Neptune, Political Prisoner February 24th, 2005 Central Prison, Port-au-Prince
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