[News] Chavez compares overthrow of Aristide to events in Venezuela

News at freedomarchives.org News at freedomarchives.org
Wed Feb 2 11:56:37 EST 2005

For President Hugo Chavez, the real president of Haiti is Jean-Bertrand 

Porto Alegre (Brazil), January 30 (AFP) - Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez 
declared Sunday at a news conference in Porto Alegre that as far as he is 
concerned "the President of Haiti is Jean-Bertrand Aristide".

He stated that the former president was the victim of an "abduction" just 
as he himself had been in April 2002 during the brief coup d'Etat against 

"But the Venezuelan people took to the streets and I was able to be 
released in time and the armed forces mobilized", he said.

"In the case of Aristide, he had abolished the army in response to a 
condition imposed by the empire (editor's note: i.e. the United States. The 
"condition" refers to a condition required in exchange for U.S. action to 
return Mr. Aristide to power.)  As a result, they illegally confined him 
and took him to South Africa, said Mr. Chavez.

The Venezuelan President said that in his opinion "there is no solution to 
Haiti without Aristide", and he indicated that he had said this to the 
other Latin American countries and for the most part they were 'in 
agreement" with him on this point.

According to him, the best solution to the current situation in Haiti would 
be to hold a referendum because "the solution is not up to the United 
Nations or in the hands of a group of presidents but rather it must be 
adopted by the people of Haiti".

"There exists an instrument of historical and juridical importance, the 
National Constituent Assembly", he said, underscoring the need for a "free 
referendum in the presence of international observers from around the 
world. That is democracy, a consultation of the people", he insisted.

AFP- Article No. 20050130155058

AHP News - February 1, 2005 - English translation (Unofficial)

The declaration on Haiti of the World Social Forum at Porto Alegre 
recommends the return of President Aristide and the resumption of the 
process of democracy

Port-au-Prince, February 1, 2005 (AHP) - A declaration on Haiti presented 
at the World Social Forum in  Porto Alegre, held from January 16 to 31, 
2005, urges the return of President Aristide and the resumption of the 
democratic process in Haiti.

According to this declaration, President Aristide, who was forced to leave 
the country by foreign powers, should complete his term before free and 
fair elections are held as called for under the Haitian Constitution.

The Porto Alegre declaration contains the demand "end the occupation of 
Haiti" and urges a reallocation of money and other resources currently used 
in the war against Haiti's poor in order that they might help fight against 
poverty in Haiti.

The text also calls for the United Nations stabilization forces to end 
illegal arrests and indiscriminate raids on poor neighborhoods as well 
ending support for the illegal operations of the Haitian police and members 
of the former armed forces.

The declaration states that political prisoners must be released and 
politically motivated persecution brought to an end.

"Governments and  inter-governmental organizations must refuse to recognize 
the illegitimate regime and call for an investigation into the 
circumstances of President Aristide's removal from office", the declaration 
states. Refugees were also a concern of the document, which affirmed that 
persons fleeing political persecution must be afforded their right to 
asylum and the internally displaced must be given protection and financial 

The declaration emphasized that the Haitian people deserve better treatment 
because ever since Haiti became the first Black Republic in 1804, it has 
always stood for Black liberation and the liberation of oppressed peoples 

After it became independent, Haiti offered Simon Bolivar refuge, guns and 
other supplies, and paved the way for the abolition of slavery throughout 
the Americas, the declaration points out.

Signers of the declaration believe that the United States must keep its 
"hands off Latin America and the Caribbean", and they stand in solidarity 
with the governments and people of Venezuela and Cuba, countries struggling 
against the process of destabilization which is not dissimilar to the 
process that resulted in the overthrow of President Aristide.

The democratically-elected Haitian President, Jean-Bertrand Aristide has 
twice been the victim of a coup d'état, the declaration indicates, noting 
that the unelected government that took power in March, 2004, promptly 
authorized wealthy families not to pay taxes for a three year period.

The de facto government "pays former soldiers for attacking the resistance, 
while cutting education, health care and food programs for the poor", 
asserts the declaration.

AHP  February 1, 2005 11:50 AM

The political commission of Fanmi Lavalas calls for the return of 
constitutional government and accuses the interim government of setting new 
records for corruption

Port-au-Prince, February 1, 2005 (AHP)- The Fanmi Lavalas political 
commission advocated once again the return to constitutional government 
that was interrupted, it said, with the forced departure of President 
Jean-Bertrand Aristide on February 29, 2004.

In a press release entitled "declaration for the truth", the commission 
indicated that the interim government is a government of scandals.

"In only 10 months, it broke all the records", said signatories to the 
statement, who cite the fuel scandal at the National Palace, the rice 
scandal at the office of the Prime Minister, the cases of corruption at 
several city halls and at the National office of Old Age Insurance, 
embezzlement at the National Credit Bank of Cap - Haitien, and the 
misappropriation of humanitarian aid among the scandals.

The party's political commission also denounced the summary executions, 
arbitrary arrests, the incarcerations controlled from a distance, 
accusations that are not substantiated, arson attacks against homes of 
political activists in the populist districts, the rapes of women and young 
girls, the killing of journalists and the massive dismissals in the civil 

Among the cases cited by those who signed the statement are the summary 
executions, they say, of  Jimmy Charles, Abdias Jean (journalist), Edson 
Joseph and Casimir Mathieu.

They also denounced the machinations and intrigue whose objective is to 
tarnish the image of the party and honest citizens, they said.

The Fanmi Lavalas political commission appealed to the interim authorities 
to release all the political prisoners and to put an end to the political 
persecution and summary executions in the populist districts.

They called upon the OAS, CARICOM,  and the African Union to launch an 
independent investigation to shed light on all the criminal acts.

The investigating commission should also look into the cases of many 
activists who allegedly suffocated inside containers where they were 
detained in Cap-Haitien during the anti-Aristide insurrection.

AHP  February 1,  2005 3:10 PM

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