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Thursday, March 17, 2011

The Truth About Aristide: Mob Boss or Persecuted Priest? by Stanley Lucas

Over the past 50 years, Haiti has suffered under the rule of strongmen:  Francois “Papa Doc” Duvalier followed by his son Jean Claude “Baby Doc” Duvalier, Jean Bertrand Aristide, and, most recently, Rene Preval.  This procession of corrupt, self-serving and violent leaders has left Haiti, a country with a proud history of being the first black republic in history, as one of the world’s tragedies – a true failed state.  Haiti is the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, one of the most corrupt countries in the world, and ranks at the bottom for every health and social metric.  After the January 12 earthquake and a devastating cholera epidemic, Haiti is literally in shambles.

Time and time again, the Haitian people have stood up against these leaders sending them into exile.  Now Haiti’s most infamous strongmen are vying for a role in their country once again.  Duvalier has returned to “help out”, see: ; Aristide is whipping up his supporters in-country and his international network to demand his return; and Preval is just stubbornly clinging to power by robbing the Haitian people of free and fair elections.  The international community – tested by other priorities and hot spots around the world – has paid little attention to Haiti.  The US government issued statements about Haiti needing to “look forward” rather than “looking back” to the old days under these leaders.  President Obama has called President Zuma of South Africa to express concern about Aristide’s return to Haiti from exile in South Africa.  The U.S. State Department issued a statement saying that the timing of Aristide’s return "can only be seen as a conscious choice to impact Haiti's elections." 

Aristide says he is going back because he is afraid that a newly elected President would revoke his passport.

Aristide was the buddy of the Clinton Administration when he requested military intervention from the United States to reinstate him to power in 1994, see:  For those who know Aristide -- the Haitian people, the Haitian Diaspora and some actors in the international community -- they have learned over the years that Aristide never keep his word. Before returning to Haiti in 1994 he promised the Haitian people and the Clinton Administration that he would organize free and fair elections, respect human rights, professionalize the police and the army, create jobs, invest in education and ensure good governance.  After his return, he did just the opposite.  His campaign of violence started right before the visit of President Clinton to Haiti in March 1995 with the execution of Me. Mireille Durocher Bertin.  The FBI linked the murder to then Minister of Interior Beaubrun who executed Aristide’s order and contracted the murder.  Aristide politicized the police, rigged elections, stole state resources and systematically violated the rights of women, peasants, youth, press, and religious groups.  No one was safe.  The Haitian people never tolerate such ruthless corruption.  In 2004 on the eve of the celebration of Haiti's 200 years of independence, they rose up against him and called for his resignation. In an effort to stop and repress the Haitian democratic activists around the country, Aristide requested from South African President M'Beki a military force to violently crackdown on the Haitian protests, see: .  As a reminder of those who stood up against the dictator see the following links:

·          Grassroots organizations:
·         Antineoliberal Groups:

       After the popular revolt, Aristide was rescued by the United States and was transported to South Africa – one of the only countries willing to take him.  Prior to his departure, he submitted his resignation.  After the dust had settled, he began a media campaign alleging that he was kidnapped by the United States and was forced into exile.  His own Prime Minister, Yvon Neptune, refutes that claim and has publicly stated that his claim of kidnapping were bogus, and he personally accepted Aristide’s resignation, see:

Both candidates have said that Aristide is welcome to return.  Haiti observers speculate that he is returning in order to disrupt and undermine the elections to create chaos in-country and prevent a newly elected government from auditing and exposing all the corruption and collusion with foreign profiteers that took place under Aristide’s reign.

The UN recently announced they would work with the Haitian Government to support their efforts to try Duvalier for his crimes.  Given Aristide’s public efforts to return, Haitians were surprised that they singled out Duvalier rather than offering to put together a framework to try any corrupt officials.  Haitians wondered whether the high profile support for Aristide by senior UN officials, namely Deputy UN Special Envoy Paul Farmer, was going to translate into a partisan approach to addressing corruption and human rights abuses in Haiti, see:

    Click on picture to enlarge

Aristide has almost completely evaded international scrutiny for the atrocities and corruption he committed while in office.  He has been wrapped in a powerful cocoon of international support that he has managed to cobble together.  His network includes idealists who view Aristide as a humble priest fighting against American imperialism and racial subjugation and foreign “profiteers” who have made money with Aristide through corrupt business dealings or lucrative lobbying retainers.  This alliance has risen to Aristide’s defense time and time again painting him as a champion of the poor, and a persecuted victim of the imperialist United States and western powers.  By extension, they paint his political party and support base in Haiti, Fanmi Lavalas, as Haiti’s most popular political party that has been unfairly excluded from participating in the electoral process.  Their efforts have resulted in scant press coverage detailing Aristide’s crimes, and extensive coverage outlining his unfair persecution.  They eschew the facts and evidence against Aristide in favor of invective, vicious accusations and conspiracy theories.  Anyone who critiques Aristide ends up the subject of personal attacks and baseless character assassination campaigns.  These foreign operators in particular single out Haitians in the Diaspora and in-country fighting for a better and more democratic future for their own country.

All evidence during Aristide’s, however, inconveniently points to the contrary.  Aristide has a well-documented track record as being a brutal power monger willing to leverage any ideology -- and Haitian resources -- to maintain his grip on power to enrich himself and his allies.  The economic and political crimes he committed while in office have set Haiti’s growth back decades.  His “popular” Lavalas party is anything but popular with the Haitian people.  The Party had an abysmal showing in the 2006 legislative elections (the last elections they participated in) winning only six of the 99 Deputy seats and three of the 30 Senate seats up for election.  Led by Aristide, Lavalas operates like a crime syndicate or a mob family trafficking in drugs, taking out political hits, and pilfering state resources.  Lavalas is Tonton Macoutes 2.0. 

Aristide’s Lavalas Crime Syndicate
The Lavalas Party finances its political activity largely through criminal activity including kidnapping and drug trafficking.  Almost all increases in Lavalas political or electoral campaign activity is linked directly with a surge in criminal acts and violence in Haiti.  More than 99% of all corruption cases, kidnapping cases and drug trafficking arrests involve people with links to Lavalas.  The following is a summary of the nettlesome facts about Aristide and Lavalas operations.

Drug Trafficking
Lavalas has long used drug trafficking to finance its political activity and electoral campaigns.  Almost 99% of the arrests by Haiti’s National Police and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) for drug trafficking are linked to Lavalas and Aristide.  The most famous case was against “Jacques” Beaudouin Ketant who was arrested on June 17, 2003 in Haiti, extradited to Miami and sentenced to 27 years in a U.S. federal prison on February 25, 2004.  In his testimony, he stated that Aristide was a “drug lord who controlled 85% the international drug traffic to Haiti”.  He told DEA agents that he paid Aristide directly $500,000 a month to have air traffic control clear in his plane used for drug transshipments.  He also made a $500,000 a year contribution to Lavalas.  Aristide, who previously declared Mr. Ketant “untouchable”, captured him and delivered him to U.S. authorities.  One diplomat noted that shortly thereafter, Aristide’s loans from the Inter American Development Bank were reinstated.

Aristide’s right hand man, the former Lavalas president of the Haitian Senate – and uncle of Preval’s favored Presidential candidate in 2010, Jean-Marie Fourel Celestin, was wanted by the Haitian police and the DEA on drug trafficking charges and went into hiding.  The U.S. Embassy released the details, and he was forced to turn himself in.  He was also extradited to the U.S. and served a reduced prison sentence in exchange for the information he shared with DEA agents.

    Aristide with drug kingpin Fourrel Celestin

Oriel Jean, Chief of Security for Aristide while he was president was arrested on suspicion of drug trafficking at Pearson airport in Toronto on March 12, 2004 debarking from a flight from the Dominican Republic.  He waived his extradition proceedings and was sent to Miami.  On March 19, 2004, he faced charges of conspiring to smuggle cocaine into the U.S.  He pled guilty to money laundering and was sentenced on August 11, 2005 to a three-year prison term on November 18, 2005.

Yvon Feuille, a close ally of Aristide and President of the Senate during the time of Aristide’s departure in 2004, was arrested on May 19, 2004 during an anti-drug operation in the Dominican Republic and placed under police surveillance in the coastal town of Les Cayes, south west of Port-au-Prince as part of a drug investigation case.

The former head of the Anti-Corruption Office (BLTS) under Aristide, Evens Brilliant, was deported on May 26, 2004 in Miami after being detained by the Multinational Interim Task Force for alleged involvement in cocaine trafficking to Colombia from Haiti via the United States.  He was indicted on June 18, 2004, but was later acquitted on October 8, 2005.

Several members of the Haitian National Police were also implicated in drug smuggling cases.  In fact, a former head of the Haitian police in exile in the U.S. testified that people he had arrested on drug charges in Haiti were actually being promoted within the Haitian police.  During his term in office, Aristide politicized the police and put members of Lavalas in key positions to protect drug trafficking and either carry out political violence and kidnappings against its opponents – or look the other way. 

Jean-Antony Nazaire was responsible for managing the President’s automobile fleet, which was used to move drugs throughout the country.  His US visa was revoked in January 2002 for his alleged involvement in drug trafficking and alleged human rights violations.  He was arrested on March 12, 2004 in Port-au-Prince. 

The former commander of the Haitian National Police Brigade, Rudy Therassan, was incarcerated on May 14, 2004 in Miami for cocaine trafficking and money laundering.  He pled guilty on April 20, 2005, and was sentenced to a 15-year term on July 13, 2005.

Former Director General of the Haitian police and member of the Aristide security team, Jean Nesly Lucien, was arrested on May 26, 2004 in Miami.  He was indicted for drug trafficking and pled guilty to money laundering on April 12, 2005.  He received a five-year sentence on July 13, 2005 after agreeing to cooperate with the US authorities’ investigation on other cases.

These cases scratch the surface of the extent of the Lavalas drug trafficking cases, but they illustrate their high level of involvement in trafficking.  There were not a few isolated cases; rather, this was an institutionalized campaign.  For further information on the drug trafficking-Lavalas link, see:


Kidnapping & Political Violence
More than 99% of the kidnapping cases under his reign through today involve Lavalas members.  Prominent members linked to kidnapping include: Samba Boukman, Amaral Duclona, General Bibi, Mercius Fenel (alias Ti Wilson), Riccardo Pyram (alias Kiki), Wilkens Pierre (alias Chien Chaud) Herold Gerard, Jean Daniel Francois (alias Bibi), Dread E.T., Spander Joseph (alias Bouboule).  All of these men are Aristide’s operatives and members of Fanmi Lavalas.  One of the most well known, Amaral Duclona, was arrested in the Dominican Republic a few years ago by French authorities for killing two French diplomats.  He was the head of Operation Pakatan’n, a violent campaign to return Aristide to Haiti, and murdered dozens of Haitians opposed to Aristide.

From 1991, when Aristide took power, through 2004 when Aristide resigned, kidnapping was a small part of the Lavalas operation.  Kidnapping victims were primarily political opponents, including opposition political party members, journalists and representatives of civil society who were critical of Aristide’s regime.  After 2004, kidnapping sharply increased and became a favorite tool to intimidate opponents and deteriorate the security situation in Haiti in order to force Aristide’s return.  Members of Lavalas broadened the kidnapping targets to include children, students, businessmen, Diaspora, teachers, and other innocent victims chosen solely for the purpose of terrorizing the public in a campaign of retribution for demanding Aristide leave in 2004.  Many victims were murdered even after ransoms were paid.

We saw the same dynamic with political violence.  The Aristide machine used violent tactics to kill their opponents pre-2004; people were “necklaced” with burning tires, killed with machine guns and hacked to death with machetes.  The violence was targeted.  After the 2004 ouster, the violence broadened and a wide scale intimidation campaign, known as Operation Baghdad I and II, was launched.  More than 2,000 people were killed, including 109 police offers.  Women were raped, priests were beaten and journalists attacked.  The Operation got its name because the Aristide operatives beheaded their victims imitating Iraqi tactics.  Obviously they have not considered how things turned out for the Iraqis. 

Political observers have noted a direct correlation between increased Lavalas political activity and increased violence.  Lavalas funds much of its political activity through money raised from kidnapping and drug trafficking; therefore, when there is an uptick in Lavalas demonstrations or political campaigns, there is a corresponding uptick in violence.  For further information on this link and on political kidnappings and violence, see:


After Aristide’s 2004 resignation, the Haitian General Accounting Office issued a report finding that he had embezzled almost $350 million during his nine years in office, see:  They even found more than $300,000 in cash rotting under the front porch of his home.  Where did he get that kind of money?  How do his champions explain that away?  He was framed?

Aristide made a lot of money trafficking drugs, but he and his network in the Groupe de Bourdon, a powerful business cartel that also supports current President Preval, also conspired to pilfer and raid state corporations.  This cartel with the support of Aristide and now Preval control 95% of Haiti’s economic activities, including banking, oil importation, telecommunications, customs, food, and insurance. They control the ministries of finances and commerce, the central bank, the tax office, customs and even part of the Haiti Interim Reconstruction Commission with their profiteering partners in the international community.

Specifically, Aristide sold profitable state owned companies for pennies on the dollar to foreign and domestic buyers.  For example, the state cement factory was valued at about $500 million, but was sold for only $50 million.  Aristide and his Lavalas cronies received huge cash kickbacks from the buyers for the “special pricing”.  This happened with several other state businesses that actually generated much needed revenue for Haiti.  These companies were built with an investment by the Haitian taxpayers, but taxpayers were robbed of the revenue from the undervalued sale of the company and, more importantly, were robbed of the ongoing revenue of the companies, which was previously invested in education, road and healthcare.  Instead of creating viable institutions by partly privatizing these institutions, Lavalas operatives were made rich, and they were able to secure new international allies through these sweetheart deals.  This is hardly “championing the poor” of Haiti.

Teleco is another infamous example of raiding state companies.  Teleco was the state telecom company controlling all phone traffic to and from Haiti, one of the most lucrative phone connections in the Caribbean.  When Aristide was in Washington, DC from 1992 through 1994 during his first ouster, he raided the Teleco bank accounts in the U.S. to the tune of $80 million for “living expenses”.  President George H.W. Bush allowed Aristide access to these funds as the head of the Haitian state.

When President Clinton restored Aristide to power in 1994, Aristide broke up Teleco into five companies: Fusion, Uniplex Telecom Technologies, Mount Salem Communications Group, Global, Terra Communication Group/Wecom, and Digitec.  Lavalas operatives were all given a stake in the companies.  He then awarded deals to wireless companies, like COMCEL, Digicel and Voila, through no bid contracts, which included substantive kickbacks for he and his friends.  The head of Digicel lamented in a public interview how much money he was making in poor countries like Haiti, and how he was struggling to reconcile that moral dilemma.  He touched on some weak efforts to rebuild the markets in Haiti to “give back” to the community.  These contracts were lucrative for everyone but the Haitian people.  In 2009, using the governor of the central bank, Preval finished the job of raiding Teleco by selling it to friends for a fraction of its value in a no bid contract.  For more on the raiding of state companies, see:


Aristide’s International Network
It was widely known in the U.S. and internationally that Aristide was directly involved in drug trafficking and human rights abuses, but unlike his colleague Panamanian President Manuel Noriega, Aristide was never tried on any charges.  Likewise, there has been no effort to pursue the money he stole from the Haitian state.  Many analysts speculate that this may be because of the international ramifications of such a trial, particularly in the United States, and who might be exposed as co-conspirators.  In fact, after the return of former dictator Jean Claude “Baby Doc” Duvalier, the UN announced that they would help the Haitian judicial system try Duvalier for his crimes carefully omitting any reference to Aristide even though he had been agitating about returning to Haiti.  The Haitian people overwhelming called for a framework to try former strongmen and secure rule of law in the country rather than focusing on one case.  Only after outrage in the Haitian community and in the Diaspora did the UN announce they would also work to try Aristide if he returned, see: .  Again, in a country that consistently ranks as one of the most corrupt in the world, what is needed is an overall framework to try corrupt leaders.

So why has Aristide been left alone?  He has been especially adept at putting together a coalition of international support that faithfully comes to his defense.  The network of Aristide supporters is two-pronged.  One the one hand, there are the ideologists who are motivated by a righteous and distorted view of Aristide as a crusader against racial oppression and U.S. imperialism.  On the other hand, there are the foreign profiteers motivated by preferential access to business deals or lucrative monthly lobbying retainers.  Like a chameleon, Aristide blends into each group.

These two groups come together to argue that: 1. Aristide is a humble priest who threatened “business as usual” in Haiti by “championing the poor”; 2. his political party, Lavalas, is the “most popular” in Haiti and has been excluded from participating in the political process; and, 3. he was “kidnapped” by the U.S. Government in 2004 and sent into exile in South Africa against his will.  Again, the facts support none of these conclusions and few facts are used to support these allegations.

Most of them do not really know who Aristide is.  They were coopted and influenced by two or three corrupt ideologists that are making money with Aristide.  Aristide leverages their idealism.  This group buys into Aristide’s arguments that he has been the victim of the international community and U.S. imperialism because they align with their particular ideology.  The interesting piece here is that he cobbled together a mélange of ideologies to advance his cause: anti-imperialists, civil rights advocates, and religion, including liberation theologists, voodoo practitioners, and Catholics.  In the end, he has betrayed and undermined all these ideologies in his quest for his one true belief:  absolute power.  

There are also ideologists who well know who Aristide is and are still helping.  They believe that the U.S. is an imperialist force around the world.  Robert Maguire is considered to be the intellectual father of the campaign of political violence that erupted after Aristide’s departure.  What was supposed to be an ideological armed rebellion modeled after the FMLN in Salvador and Sandinistas in Nicaragua morphed into an organized campaign through Operation Baghdad 1 and II.  Maguire organized the Bois Caiman Conference at Trinity College modeled after the 1789 slave ceremony that led to Haiti’s revolution.  EPICA, an organization that provided political training to leftist insurgents in Latin America in the 1980s, cosponsored the event.  During the conference, according to Haitian participants, it was made clear that violent revolt was the only solution.  At the close of the conference, they drank wine symbolizing blood to seal the deal.  When the participants returned to Haiti, they were supposed to setup an ideological arm insurgency for the return of Aristide, instead they setup a petty thug crime spree.  Haitians were indignant that a foreign supporter of Aristide corrupted part of their proud history to promote thuggery.  Ironically Robert Maguire is serving at the Peace Institute in Washington. Kim Ives a longtime Aristide aide and chief propagandist is also an Aristide ideologist.

Journalists such as Max Blumental and Walt Bogdanich, along with liberal think tank leaders such as Amy Goodman at Democracy Now, have worked to undermine Haiti’s democratic opposition through a series of character assassination pieces.  For them, Aristide is a persecuted champion of the poor, and the Haitian people are wrong.  They too never address the preponderance of evidence against Aristide.

Aristide has also leveraged race to advance his cause.  He has engaged high profile race advocates such as Randall and Hazel Robinson making them millionaires with Haitian tax payer’s dollars.  Additionally, for personal gain he has also tapped into reparation advocacy efforts to get France to repay with interest the money that Haiti paid to secure its freedom from slavery. 

Aristide has also aligned with controversial figures such as Louis Farrakhan and Reverend Jeremiah Wright to advance an argument that race plays into international policy in Haiti.  But Haiti’s problems are the result of bad leadership and corruption rather than race.  Race has been experienced very differently in the U.S. and Haiti.  It is disappointing to hear those people 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 Latin America.  They fought alongside Americans in Savannah, Georgia during the Revolutionary War to secure freedom from the British.  It was not about Latinos or Americans.  For Haitians, it was about freedom and liberation.  Haitians worry that people using race as a political tool could taint the collective memory of the Haitian independence movement.

Dr. Paul Farmer, the Deputy UN Special Envoy for Haiti and head of Partners in Health, has been vocal and high profile in his support for Aristide even signing on to the full page ad that appeared in the Miami Herald demanding Aristide’s return, see:   


For many Haitians, this blatant partisanship on behalf of one of the UN’s most senior Haiti officials has been a hot button issue contributing to the overall decline in the UN’s reputation in country.  Dr. Farmer received more than $80 million in earthquake recovery money for his Partners in Health foundation and is getting most the USAID $55 million aids funds.  He has advanced Aristide’s arguments about being unfairly persecuted by the international community and certain sectors of the Haitian elite.  Such high profile support from such a well-respected UN official has lent some undeserved credibility to Aristide’s arguments

The bottom line is that Aristide has manipulated myriad ideologies to advance his cause, but has consistently proven that these ideologies are nothing more than tools in his political arsenal.  Aristide’s only real goal is securing absolute power and money.

Foreign Profiteers
On the other end, there are people in the international community that simply profit from Aristide being in power either through preferential treatment or kickbacks.

Aristide has made a number of Washington, DC lobbyists and political operatives millionaire with Haitian taxpayers money and telecommunications deals.  Some of his top lobbyists include: Ron Daniel, Ira Kurzban, Burton Wides, Brian Concannon, and others.  For their lucrative retainers, they turned a blind eye to Aristide’s well-documented corruption, human rights violations, political killings, drug trafficking, kidnappings, and election rigging.  During Aristide’s reign from 1995 to 2004, these effective and well financed lobbyists tried to mute the voice of the Haitian people and criminalize reformers and democratic activists that stood up for their rights. 

For a public account of how much money these operatives were making as Aristide lobbyists from a country where the average citizen makes $1 a day. These fees were only the tip of the iceberg.  According to one of Haiti’s former Prime Ministers, they made tens of millions more in other business deals under the table, see:


Aristide’s Return
Some of these lobbyists seeking to reinstate their fat retainers and secure a piece of the lucrative reconstruction funds are trying to bring chaos again to Haiti for their boss, Jean Bertrand Aristide.  Their objective is to undermine the elections, weaken institutions and create chaos in order to create conditions for Aristide’s return to power.  In this chaos – the reasoning goes – there will be no one to arrest Aristide upon his return or organize an investigation.  The second goal is to get rid of all the paperwork within Haiti’s central bank and Ministry of Finances that will implicate them when a new President takes over.  They have lobbied the Congressional Black Caucus on Aristide direction making the argument that the CBC owes him for things that he did for them.  Some Lavalas members have confirmed that the CBC will pressure Secretary Hilary Clinton and her chief of Staff Cheryl Mills to get Aristide back to Port-au-Prince before the election.  At the UN, they are counting on Aristide’s informal advisor Paul Farmer, who is Bill Clinton’s deputy UN Special Envoy to Haiti, to remove any roadblocks that organization might raise.

While Aristide is putting pressure on the Clintons, members of his network are making arrangements for him to fly to Haiti this week.  In Aristide’s mind the elections must be aborted and retribution must be sought.  Aristide tried the retribution policy through Operation Baghdad I and II, which were two bloody campaigns of political violence against his opponents resulting in the murder of more than 2,000 people, but failed.

On a parallel and separate track from his lobbying efforts (i.e. his lobbyists would be unaware of this initiative), Aristide has instructed Lavalas thugs to prepare a hit list with names of Haitian political leaders, union representatives and civil society activists.  Names on that list include:

Historians Michel Hector and M. Michel Soukar
Union leaders Jean Lavaud Frédéric  Jean-Claude Lebrun, André Lafontant Joseph, Charles Faustin, Fritz Charles, and Patrick Numa
Professor Anthony Barbier
President of the Haitian Chamber of Commerce (CCIH), Dr. Reginald Boulos
Human rights activists Jean-Claude Bajeux
Writer M. Jean-Claude Fignolé
Coordinator of Collectif de Cité Soleil, Charles Dunais
Secretary General of Nouvelle Haïti Foundation (FNH), Mrs Yanick Lahens
Director General of Radio Vision 2000, Léopold Berlanger
Engineer Pascale Oriol
Businessman M. André Apaid
Filmaker M. Raoul Peck
M. Gesner Armand
Sociologist and researcher M. Laënnec Hurbon
M. Claude Pierre
M. Luc Smarth
Mme Geneviève L. Esper
Representative of Village de Dieu
Mrs Florence Maître
Civil engineer Pierrot Exama
Peterson C. Orélus, the head of Civil Society Initiative (ISC)
Rony Desroches, the representative of the National Association of Haitian Doctors (AMH)
Georges Beauvoir, Engineer
Women activists Jessie Benoît and Mrs Evelyne Trouillot
Writer and poet M. Gary Victor
Charles Faustin
Professor Michel Hector
Writer and poet M. Lionel Trouillot
Professor Pierre Buteau
M. Pascale Oriol
Mrs. Paulette Poujol-Oriol
Mrs Florence Maître
Writer and poet M. Franck Etienne
Peterson C. Orélus, M. Michel Acacia, Charles Baker

Aristide has the right to go home.  No Haitians should be living in exile, but hundreds are right now as a result of his brutality.  Given his vast political and economic crimes, his return should be managed by a newly elected government in the interest of stability and democracy in a country that is facing tremendous challenges.  Like Jean Claude Duvalier, Aristide will need to face justice for his political assassinations, see:
 and the $350 million he stole during nine years from Haitian coffers, according to Haiti’s General Accounting Office, for more see: .  In the name of democracy and stability, and in the interest of the Haitian people who have yet to begin to dig out from the earthquake a year later, these lobbyists should put aside their personal ambitions and ideological zealotry and let our country breath.