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17791: Reid - Abduction - NYC Mayor Bloomberg's visit to Haiti (fwd)

From: Ralph Reid <rafreid@yahoo.com>

Another e-mail, we have sent to friends and family.

Ralph --

> One of the things that is of great concern to us right now is that
> New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is planning to visit Haiti this
> Sunday. Doing so is tantamount to supporting the government of
> Jean-Bertrand Aristide, as the government-controlled media will
> deform the news of his visit into pro-Aristide propaganda. So for
> those of you who are residents of New York City, I encourage you to
> send him an e-mail requesting that he cancel his trip using the link
> below.



[This is a fax I sent to New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg upon my
return to New York, in an effort to dissuade him from going to Haiti
this Sunday, January 11, 2004.]

Dear Mayor Bloomberg,
I was extremely dismayed and distressed to hear that you are still
planning to go to Haiti this weekend, despite all the turmoil occurring
in the country at this time. I am concerned that you have not been
adequately informed of the current situation, and I wish to implore
you, please, to reconsider your decision.
As a city employee (Parks & Recreation), a life-long New Yorker, and a
citizen of the United States of Haitian ancestry, I would like to share
my recent experiences and observations with you, in the hopes that you
will be able to understand the need to postpone or cancel your
scheduled trip. I arrived in New York yesterday, after spending 11
agonizing days in Haiti. My husband and I traveled there on December
27th, 2003, and within 45 minutes of our arrival on Haitian soil, we
were car-jacked, abducted, completely robbed and subjected to
unspeakable humiliations.
I am sure that you are aware that the government of Jean-Bertrand
Aristide is fighting tooth and nail at this time to remain in power. By
visiting Haiti now, when the opposition is being brutally suppressed
and intimidated through government sponsored violence, when criminals
are allowed and even encouraged to operate openly, with complete and
total impunity, you will appear to be supporting the policies of
Aristide’s government. In fact, government-owned media in Haiti have
already begun using the announcement of your trip as "proof" of the
solid support Aristide has from the world, just as they did with Thabo
Mbeki, the only head of state who attended to the official celebrations
commemorating the 200th anniversary of Haiti’s so-called independence.
I am certain that you would not wish to be used in this manner.
Furthermore, instead of showing support for the Haitian community in
New York, you will be saying to those of us that have been victims of
Aristidean lawlessness that we do not matter. Aristide continues to
have some supporters among Haitians in New York, but they were not in
Haiti celebrating with him – the vast majority cancelled their trips so
that they would not be victimized, as I was.
Again, with all respect, I ask you to please read the document that my
husband and I have written, and I beg you to reconsider your trip.

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