It is during our darkest moments that we must focus to see the light

Mwen se echantiyon yon ras kap boujonnen men ki poko donnen

Si vous voulez vous faire des ennemis essayer de changer les choses

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Randall Robinson CSPAN Interview and Aristide's Haiti

For the Record
Corrections and Comments by Stanley Lucas
On Randall Robinson's July 22, 2007 C-SPAN Interview--------------------------

Randall Robinson has written a book about Haiti's history which was published this year. On July 22, 2007, he gave an interview to C-SPAN his perspectives on a variety of issues, including recent events in Haiti. The following are some corrections and comments on the interview intended to clarify several of his misleading statements.

1. Mr. Robinson omitted mentioning that his wife, Hazel Ross-Robinson, not only has an extensive background working on Capitol Hill, but left the Hill to go to work for Aristide earning millions of dollars as a lobbyist defending Aristide's interests in Washington, DC .

2. Mr. Robinson failed to mention if there is a connection between his book and the $30 million that Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez pledged to actor and Aristide supporter Danny Glover to produce a movie about the Haitian independence and its impact on Latin America. The thrust of Robinson's book is essentially an effort to gloss over Aristide's abysmal record of drug trafficking, human rights violations, election rigging and corruption by positioning Aristide's story as an extension of the Haitian independence movement. The absurdity of comparing this man to the founding fathers of Haiti is evident and an insult to the Haitian people. There is a concern among Haitians that their history is subject to being sold out to the highest bidder – and therefore can be manipulated, specifically by the Aristide supporters.

3. Overall, it is disappointing to hear Mr. Robinson characterize everything in terms of race. Haiti is 99% black and proud to be the world's first black republic. However, the independence was not just about race. Haiti's founding fathers saw beyond race to the universal values of freedom and equality. Haitians fought alongside Simon Bolivar in his quest to liberate the Latin American countries. They fought alongside Americans in the Revolutionary War It was not about Latinos or Americans. For Haitians, it was about freedom and liberation. It is true, however, that outsiders may have considered us a threat because of our cause and because of our race, but that did not have an impact on our purpose.

There is a further concern among Haitians that the collective memory of the Haitian independence movement could be tainted by these assertions. President Rene Preval requested that Danny Glover shoot the movie in Haiti and include Haitian historians and movie producers in the project to ensure that the only successful black revolution on earth is portrayed faithfully and accurately.

4. Mr. Robinson does not know me or my family. My father was a businessman and spent his career with the US Agency of International Development (USAID), where he retired. My mother is a businesswomen in her own right and never worked in Haiti. Neither were involved in politics. To state that my parents were supporters of Duvalier is an outright fabrication. -- Stanley Lucas


  1. Aristide Embezzled $76 Million by Financial Inquiry Central Unit (UCREF), anti-corruption agency, on Caribbean Media Corp, During the 2001-02 period, the report found that about $10 million was spent by Aristide's office without proper justification, while more than $55 million was used, between February 2002 and February 2004, in violation of all administrative rules.
  2. Vast Scheme of Corruption under Aristide by l'Unité Central de Renseig nement Financier (Ucref), Haitian government investigatory committe, on Radio Metropole, The UCREF's second report traces money-laundering from central bank through three Haiti-based front companies to Aristide's offshore accounts.

  3. Major Report on Corruption of Aristide Foundation by l'Unité Centrale de Renseignements (UCREF), Haitian government investigatory commission, Haitian government investigators use the check register of the central bank to trace the outflows under the Aristide regime. Came out in July 2005.

  4. Depositing Haiti's Money into Aristide's Bank Account by Mary Anastasia O'Grady, Wall Street Journal, "I am the state," Duvalier used to say, and that's the way Aristide felt about it, too. How he and prominent U.S. politicians stuffed their pockets with Haiti's money.

  5. CEA Inquiry into Millions Found Diverted to Aristide Offshore Accounts--Text by Commission d'Enquete Administrative de Paul Denis, Full text of report and interviews by one of the two Haitian government committees looking into the missing millions.

  6. Aristide's Stolen Millions by Jacqueline Charles, Miami Herald, Investigators in Haiti report that former president Jean-Bertrand Aristide funneled public money into his personal charities and front companies.

  7. Overview of Aristide Regime Corruption by Radio Metropole, Preliminary report on theft from government agencies during Aristide regime.

  8. The Emperor Has No Clothes by Jean-Claude Jasmin, How Aristide & Co. plundered the Haitian treasury;

  9. Haiti: Aristide Stole Millions by Jacqueline Charles, Miami Herald, Haiti's interim government filed suit against former president Jean-Bertrand Aristide in Miami federal court, accusing him of stealing millions from the Haitian people.

  10. Embezzlement Found in Aristide Administration by, Zambia, Haitian commission calling on Aristide to testify about "assets stemming from drug trafficking and other serious offences, the extraction of public funds, abuse of authority, misappropriation of funds and corruption involving government officials."

  11. Bring Aristide to Justice by Mary Anastasia O'Grady, Wall Street Journal, Critical information should be unsealed in the IDT case in which the telecom firm allegedly agreed to transfer funds to an offshore account set up on behalf of President Aristide by a Turks and Caicos Islands front company.

  12. U.S. Indictment of Aristide in Drug Trafficking--How Near? by Joseph Contreras, Newsweek, Aristide reportedly a target of the federal grand jury that returned indictments against his underlings, five of whom have been convicted. Will federal prosecutors now charge Aristide himself?

  13. Drug Lord: Aristide Runs 85% of Drugs by Associated Press Aristide controls 85% of the cocaine flow through the impoverished nation.

  14. Another Aristide Official Guilty of Drug-Running by Associated Press, Another Aristide police official pleads guilty to drug-trafficking charges in federal court. Sent police cars to pick up cocaine and pack it aboard American Airlines flights.

  15. Aristide Gave Protection to Drug Runner: Security Chief by Miami Herald, The former security chief for Jean-Bertrand Aristide testified that the deposed Haitian leader enabled a reputed cocaine kingpin to travel free of police scrutiny.

  16. Former Aristide Security Chief Took Huge Druglord Payoffs by Miami Herald, The ex-security chief for former president Aristide testified that a drug-trafficking defendant gave him regular payoffs to safeguard shipments.

  17. Drug-Dealers Running for Office by news sources, Watch out for a number of drug traffickers, among whom are former police and Aristide officials, running for the lower house from Trou du Nord and other districts.

  18. Aristide's Former Security Chief Pleads Guilty to Drug Trafficking Charge by Agence France-Presse, on Radio Metropole, Oriel Jean, palace security chief during 2001-2003, pleads guilty to drug-related money-laundering charge, agrees to cooperate with U.S. investigation.

  19. We're Not Drug Dealers by President Aristide, Regarding the officials whose U.S. visas have been pulled for drug-dealing, the United States has no evidence of that. They're just picking on us because we're poor and weak. Reported by Reuters.

  20. Former U.S. Drug Czar: Aristide Must Be Involved by Andrea Mitchell, NBC, McCaffrey was President Bill Clinton's drug czar. "It's hard to imagine that Aristide himself isn't taking part in this enormously lucrative form of criminal activity."

  21. Expelled Haiti Drug-lord Implicates Aristide at Sentencing by Associated Press, Ketant says he paid off Aristide for years. He claims Aristide controls 85% of the cocaine flow through the impoverished nation.

  22. Taint of Drugs Reaching Haiti's Upper Echelons by David Adams, Times Latin America Correspondent, Aristide's refusal to fire Jean in 2002, despite evidence of his ties to drug money, made U.S. officials begin to suspect the president. Jean was one of six Haitian police officers allegedly linked to drugs that the US pressed Aristide to fire.

  23. U.S. Considering Indictment of Aristide for Drug Dealing by Jose De Cordoba, Wall Street Journal, Investigation has gained momentum since Aristide ousted. At least one convicted major cocaine trafficker has offered details of Aristide's purported involvement.

  24. Aristide Lobbied To Get U.S. Acquiescence to His Murderous Regime by Mary Anastasia O'Grady, Wall Street Journal, America is now paying a price for the benign approach taken by the U.S. at the behest of Aristide's lobbyists. Over 1,900 U.S. troops are in Haiti trying to disarm violent militias Aristide left behind.

  25. After Cocaine, Haiti's Most Successful Export Product Is Knee-jerkism by Herbert Gold, San Francisco Chronicle, Consider the Congressional Black Caucus, the well-worn New and Less New Left, and the knee-jerk street political thinkers. Aristide always seemed to have plenty of money for his propagandists, paying lawyers and lobbyists to represent him abroad.

  26. Haiti Launches Corruption Probes by Jacqueline Charles, Miami Herald, Focus on suspected diversion of state funds in long-distance phone companies, Taiwan aid, and Miami lobbyist Ira Kurzban.

  27. Closing the Circle by Ann W. O'Neill, South Florida Sun-Sentinel, The U.S. investigation into drugs, money and corruption under Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide stretched Tuesday from the ranks of the Haitian National Police into the upper echelon of the Senate and ruling political party.

  28. Naming Top Aristiders in Drug Trade by Orlando Sentinel, Colombian drug runner to testify against former top palace, drugs, and police officials and senator. "Will this lead to Aristide? Who knows?"

  29. U.S. Treasury in Haiti Investigating Aristide's Personal Role by Nancy San Martin, Miami Herald, U.S. Treasury Department investigators are in Haiti scouring bank and other records for evidence of corruption by ousted President Jean-Bertrand Aristide.

  30. Former Airport Police Chief Charged by Associated Press, This makes the sixth close associate of Aristide now charged in U.S. federal court with cocaine smuggling.

  31. $1 Million Suspected Destined for Aristide Paramilitary by news services, A Haitian-Canadian arrested with $1 million in cash, suspected that it was intended for Aristide's "Operation Baghdad" to destabilize government.

  32. Evidence of U.S. Telephone Company's Corrupt Relationship with Aristide by Mary Anastasia O'Grady, Candidate Kerry on March 4 said he would send troops to Haiti to keep Aristide in power. Another telephone company is complicit in Aristide's corruption like Fusion International with its board of Democratic Party stalwarts.

  33. Aristide Corruption Probed by Successor Government by Jane Regan, Miami Herald, Justice Ministry recommends corruption investigations of Aristide and 28 confederates. Suspected of stealing government money and giving it to thugs to commit violence.

  34. List of Aristide Officials Arrested for Drug-Trafficking by Haitianpolitics e-mail list contributor, List of former Aristide senators and top security officials arrested, jailed in Miami and awaiting trial for drug-trafficking.

  35. Drug Plea-Bargaining May Build Case Against Aristide by Jack Dolan and Jay Weaver, Miami Herald, Former Haitian security officials are beginning to cut deals with prosecutors as a historic drug-smuggling trial nears. Five Aristide-appointed police chiefs and drug czars to go on trial

  36. Haiti Sues to Collect a Phone Bill by Mary Anastasia O'Grady, Wall Street Journal, The reporter who pioneered the story in 2001 notes the latest additions found in the Haitian government's lawsuit. If verified, these additions trace a money trail that implicates top U.S. politicians of both parties and should trigger U.S. prosecution.

  37. Need to Move from Fact-finding to Prosecution by Judge Claudy Gassant, former prosecutor of Jean Dominique murder case, ursuing Aristide's corruption with only an administrative inquiry, the interim regime appears to be sending up a trial balloon and depending on the American case rather than using all the prosecutorial tools at its disposal. Presented at below seminar.

  38. Haiti's Missing Millions: A Seminar by Haiti Democracy Project, The project held a presentation by the Winston & Strawn partner who co-authored the landmark lawsuit against Aristide. November 10, 2 p.m., Brookings

  39. U.S. Executive Fired for Questioning Kickback to Aristide Private Bank Account by William P. Perniciaro, attorney at law, Text of lawsuit reported by Mary O'Grady: Michael Jewett is fired for objecting to IDT transfer into Mount Salem, Aristide's private bank account in Turks and Caicos.

  40. Lawsuit Filed Against Aristide by Associated Press, "Aristide and his accomplices stole tens of millions of dollars from the public treasury and transferred a portion of those funds to the United States." --