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27879: Morse (reply) Kondrat re: US role in Haiti (fwd)
1) If it wasn't for the US, Cedras' followers would have been running the
show. It would have been Democracy, Cedras style and Civil Society, Cedras
style. Aristide would have been long gone. Did you forget?
2) Aristide? budding democracy? budding civil society?... phew!!...no comment
3) Foreign intervention is tricky terrain. Should we have let Germany run
amok back in the '30's and '40's? South Africa and Aparthaid? Should we have
ignored it? How about Vietnam or Iraq? Nicaragua? Korea, Japan? I don't know
the political details of all American interventions historically but I have
been living in Port-au-Prince for 20 years. If I can convince the US
to do something that may in the end be beneficial to the Haitian people, I'm
going to do it. I' ld rather be on tour, gigging with the band mind you. In a
perfect world that is. But as it stands, here I am. Witness to awful things
and almost victim to awful things.
As a musician, I'm very sensitive to Freedom of Speech and Right to
Assembly; two things that would have disappeared under Aristide. You know
right? I didn't have to tell you that they were trying to burn down radio
and killing journalists did I? You're a Haiti expert, you knew that, right?
Is the US a perfect world? No. But on paper, according to our constitution,
we're pretty good. And our Bill of Rights is pretty good. We just have to try
and live up to these ideals.
4) You can get pretty cynical about this last election, but unlike 2000, we
knew most of the candidates. And unlike '87, there wasn't a massacre. And
unlike '95 and 2000, there was turnout. I' ld say things are improving in a
bizarre way. It's unfortunate that the people had to take to the streets when
smell of fraud attacked their nostrils last week, but alls well that ends
well, in this case.
5) I don't believe I know you Mr Kondrat, though we may have met. I don't
know. Perhaps if I saw you I would remember. You don't seem like a bad guy and
your principles seem well founded. I just believe that you're not getting good
information to <put into your equations> that's all.
One of my former dancers from Belair laughed when she told me how they were
stuffing ballot boxes in Belair during the 2000 election, bringing little
kids in to help them vote, but she left Belair a year or two later when
sent goons in as <civilian police> to intimidate and extort the population.
They frightened her.
Can the US solve all the world's problems?........ I doubt it.
6) When I first came to Haiti in '85, a young kid invited me to his house
for Sunday dinner in Martissant. I had to jump over a gully full of gray water
matter to get in the front door. The smell was so strong I had to hold my
breath to eat. I ate alone. My host, his sister and his young uncle just
Amazed to have a blanc in their little home. When Aristide won in 1990, I
thought of them. Their little one room house with the tin roof baked by the
sun. I thought <those are the people that voted for Aristide>. Those are the
people that need a boost up. A job. An education. Some understanding. I hadn't
been to the provinces yet. I didn't know the whole story. You know, Mr
Kondrat, we're probably, beneath the surface, on the same side.
----- End forwarded message -----