Friday, February 11, 2011

Aristide Given Diplomatic Passport to Go Home

Aristide Given Diplomatic Passport to Go Home - by Stephen Lendman

Several previous articles discussed his right to return, accessed through the following links:

http://sjlendman.blogspot.com/2011/01/let-aristide-return.html

http://sjlendman.blogspot.com/2011/02/haiti-update-electoral-runoff-and.html

http://sjlendman.blogspot.com/2011/02/grassroots-support-for-aristides-return.html

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 (ICCPR) states:

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 country."

The General Assembly's Declaration on the Human Rights of Individuals Who are Not Nationals of the Country in Which They Live states:

Article 5(2): They have "(t)he right to leave the country."

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 credible government."

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 endorsed it.

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 ouster.

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 lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 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.

http://www.progressiveradionetwork.com/the-progressive-news-hour/.