- Two recent articles discussed his eagerness to return,
accessed through the following links:
- He explained he's "ready....today, tomorrow, at
any time. The purpose is very clear: To contribute to serving my Haitian
sisters and brothers as a simple citizen in the field of education."
- After six eye surgeries in the past six years, it's also
vital for health reasons. He experiences extreme winter pain and risks
complications causing blindness. In addition, Haitians want him badly,
mainly for his powerful inspirational presence. It's why so far Washington
denied him, wanting no one interfering with its imperial agenda.
- Grassroots activism, however backs him. On January 28,
2011, the Global Women Strike.net site posted Selma James' letter to the
UK Guardian, accessed through the following link:
- It headlined, "US blocking Aristide return to Haiti,"
- "WikiLeaks confirms what grassroots people have
been saying," what most Western media suppress, including the Guardian's
Rory Carroll. However, on January 21, Haiti Liberte's Kim Ives' Guardian
article headlined, "WikiLeaks points to US meddling in Haiti,"
- Cables from 2005 and 2006 "revealed Washington's
well-known obsession to keep exiled former President Jean-Bertrand Aristide
out of Haiti and Haitian affairs." Very likely, today's view hasn't
changed, State Department spokesman PJ Crowley saying "Haiti does
not need, at this point, any more burdens," when asked about Aristide's
- James, however, expressed support, saying "If Haitians
are to rebuild their country and their democracy, Washington, not Aristide,
must be kept out."
- Many others globally agree, backing his right to return,
including noted figures like Ramzy Clark, Eduardo Galeano, Danny Glover,
Harry Belafonte, Randall Robinson, Oliver Stone, Media Benjamin, Paul Farmer,
Ira Kurzban, Brian Concannon, Marjorie Cohn, Ezili Danto (President, Haitian
Lawyers Leadership Network), David Gespass (National Lawyers Guild President),
Peter Hallward, Edward Herman, Cynthia McKinney, William Quigley, Rev.
Jeremiah Wright, and this humble writer feeling a little out of place among
such distinguished figures.
- On January 31, attorney Ira Kurzban, representing Aristide,
wrote Haiti's Interior and Foreign Affairs Ministers, requesting a diplomatic
passport be issued immediately to facilitate his return at once. He also
requested security be provided, according to Haitian law.
- On February 7, BBC reported that:
- "The Haitian government says it has issued former
President Jean-Bertrand Aristide with a passport, opening the way for his
possible return. A government official told the AFP new agency the diplomatic
passport had been issued on Monday," February 7, saying: "All
the formalities have been completed."
- However, Ira Kurzban said he hadn't received it then
or had Haitian authorities informed him of its issuance. He added that
"I think we're getting closer, but we're not there yet."
- On February 9, however, AFP said:
- "A new Haitian passport was on Tuesday handed to
Jean-Bertrand Aristide's lawyer, smoothing the way" for his return,
according to Interior Minister Paul Antoine Bien-Aime. "Administratively
on the Haitian side, there is no obstacle to (Aristide's) return,"
- So far, however, Kurzban's given no confirmation of receipt.
Most important, unless and until Aristide safely arrives, public statements
remain rhetoric, not policy.
- On February 7, Haiti Libre said Kurzban was in Port-au-Prince,
facilitating the process to expedite Aristide's return. However, in a Telesur
interview, Maryse Narcisse, his spokesperson said:
- "At the moment, former President Aristide is in
South Africa, ready to return home. It can be today, tomorrow, or as soon
as possible." Once passport documents are issued, it "depends
on the South African government." Both governments need to cooperate
"to facilitate his return." However, their actions depend on
- If approved, he'll get little US media support, a shameless
February 7 Wall Street Journal op-ed showing why, headlined, "A Welcoming
Committee for Aristide," saying:
- News about Aristide getting a diplomatic passport "is
rattling Haitian democrats, and understandably so...The last thing Haiti
needs is the return of a tyrant whose stock-in-trade was sowing violence."
- Readers expecting truth in Journal op-eds know all of
it is uncompromisingly suppressed, the above comments some of many for
- Others are similar, suggesting Aristide's return presents
Washington "with an opportunity to revisit allegations about his honesty
when governing Haiti," saying "he may have been killed if not
for US help in fleeing the country."
- The piece also revisited bogus charges that he "encouraged,
protected, participated in and profited from illegal drug trafficking in
and through Haiti."
- In 2008, Kurzban explained that:
- "these (and other) false stories of corruption against
President Aristide are part of a continuing disinformation campaign against
(him) that began when he first took office in 1991." They never stopped
and continue to this day.
- An earlier article debunked these and other falsehoods,
accessed through the following link:
- It exposed spurious charges, corporate disinformation,
and compromised writers bankrolled to vilify Aristide, the only true democrat
Haiti had in over 200 years. It's why US marines abducted him at gunpoint,
exiling him forcibly to Africa. Thereafter, Washington kept him out. Preval
and South African President Jacob Zuma can't decide otherwise. Obama has
final say and he's silent so far.
- America has full control, colonizing Haiti for profit,
plundering its resources, exploiting its people, and for seven years denying
Aristide's right of return, affirmed in international law. Whether or not
policy now will soften isn't clear. Perhaps shortly we'll know, but as
long as Haitians revere him, Aristide remains vulnerable to malicious Washington
agitprop and supportive media attacks, like other democrats vilified for
- Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at
email@example.com. Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com
and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the
Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays
at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs
are archived for easy listening.