- Several previous articles discussed his right to return,
accessed through the following links:
- Since forcibly exiled on February 29, 2004, Washington
and Haiti denied his right to return, though affirmed in Haiti's Constitution
and international law.
- The Universal Declaration of Human Rights states:
- Article 9: "No one shall be subjected to arbitrary
arrest, detention or exile."
- Article 13(2): "Everyone has the right to leave
any country, including his own, and to return to his country."
- The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights
- Article 12(2)(4): "Everyone shall be free to leave
any country, including his own....No one shall be arbitrarily deprived
of the right to enter his own country."
- The International Convention on the Elimination of All
Forms of Racial Discrimination states:
- Article 5(d)(ii): Civil rights for everyone include "(t)he
right to leave any country, including one's own, and to return to one's
- The General Assembly's Declaration on the Human Rights
of Individuals Who are Not Nationals of the Country in Which They Live
- Article 5(2): They have "(t)he right to leave the
- Article 10 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child
affords the same right of return to children. So does Article 8 of the
International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant
Workers and Members of the Their Families (ICPMMW). Everyone has the right
to go home.
- International law provides clear affirmation, including
freedom of movement as a fundamental human right. Hegemons like America,
however, ignore it, forcing vassal states like Haiti to concur - at least
up to now, so at issue has anything changed?
- Rhetoric provides clues but little else, often not reflecting
policy. Nonetheless, on February 9, Washington's global propaganda service,
the Voice of America (VOA), headlined, "US Wary of Aristide's Return
to Haiti," saying:
- On February 9, the State Department said Aristide's return
would be an "unfortunate distraction" from the scheduled March
20 electoral runoffs. Washington, in fact, manipulated the November and
runoff rounds to exclude all candidates favoring democracy, including those
from Aristide's Fanmi Lavalas party, by far the most popular.
- VOA, however, said the: "State Department is making
clear publicly that it would consider (his return) in the midst of the
campaign (a) bad idea."
- In contrast, his spokeswoman, Maryse Narcisse, stressed:
- "Do you know a better time?....We will not have
to wait too long (for his return). The food is cooking," citing a
Haitian Creole proverb.
- Ira Kurzban, Aristide's attorney, confirmed he has Aristide's
passport in hand, saying, "Yes, I have it," adding:
- "We now are looking to the government of South Africa
that has been such a gracious host to former President Aristide these past
seven years to work with the government of Haiti to ensure the President's
smooth transition back to his country."
- State Department spokesman PJ Crowley said he's unaware
of his specific travel plans, but that Washington "would hate to see....divisiveness"
introduced into the electoral process. "I think that we would be concerned
that if former President Aristide returns to Haiti before the election,
it would prove to be an unfortunate distraction. The people of Haiti should
be evaluating the two (US approved) candidates that will participate in
the (presidential) runoff, and that I think should be their focus."
- Aristide was twice democratically elected, VOA saying
he: "was quickly ousted by the military" in 1991. "He was
restored to power after US intervention in (October) 1994 (to February
1996, then overwhelmingly reelected in 2000 with 92% of the vote), but
driven from office amid charges of corruption and autocratic rule."
- Several previous articles debunked them, calling them
spurious attempts to vilify a beloved leader, ousted by America because
he was one. In Washington-speak, that made him "polarizing."
- Media Response
- On February 9, New York Times writer Damien Cave headlined,
"Haiti Issues New Passport for Aristide," calling him "popular"
and "divisive," then adding:
- "....Mr. Aristide claim(s he's) interested in national
reconciliation," but "critics" doubt it. "Experts inside
and outside Haiti (representing imperial Washington) fear (his) presence....could
further destabilize the country," when, in fact, it'll be powerfully
inspiring and unifying.
- According to Jocelyn McCalla, senior advisor to Haiti's
special UN envoy: "Once Duvalier was back, there could be no rationale
for keeping Aristide out," and without question, Washington and France
colluded to bring Baby Doc back for whatever purpose they plan.
- Practically acting as Washington's spokesman, Cave stressed
that "members of the international community have expressed concern
that Mr. Aristide - who 'was' beloved by the poor but criticized by many
(read imperial supporters and media flacks) for demagoguery, corruption,
and the suppression of political opponents - could create widespread instability
at a precarious moment."
- According to OAS Secretary General Jose Miguel Insulza,
a reliable imperial tool, consideration for Aristide's return should be
delayed until a new president takes office. He added, however, that both
candidates oppose him, likely complicating matters further.
- Jon Piechowski, America's Haitian embassy spokesman said:
- "(W)hat Haiti needs right now, coming out of a prolonged
first round of (sham) election(s), is a period of calm, not divisive actions
that can only distract from the vital task of forming a legitimate and
- As several previous articles explained, the entire electoral
process was rigged. Fifteen parties were excluded, including Fanmi Lavalas,
by far the most popular. Massive fraud was also confirmed, exposing the
entire process as fraudulent and illegitimate, but Washington's heavy-handedness
- Former US ambassador during Aristide's tenure, Brian
Dean Curran, didn't comment but called his return "a colossal mistake.
It's particularly bad at this moment when the political situation is so
fragile." He also doubted Aristide would restrict his activities to
education, saying: "No one should believe that for an instant,"
though no explanation was given why not. Numerous times in exile, Aristide
expressed no interest in returning to politics in any capacity. He wants
only to serve his people as a private citizen. Believe it. It's true.
- Author Amy Wilentz said what others concur that:
- Haitians "would rise en masse to greet him and that
the airport scene would be like nothing anyone has witnessed in recent
times in Haiti." Perhaps never there or anywhere with millions across
the country rallying in support for their first joyous moment since his
- They now await his return. For them, millions of global
supporters, and President Aristide and his wife Mildred, it can't come
a moment too soon.
- Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at
firstname.lastname@example.org. Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com
and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the
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