[News] Letter to Lula | Haitians worldwide protest US/UN occupation
News at freedomarchives.org
Thu Jul 28 11:09:04 EDT 2005
Fanmi Lavalas of NY & New York Haitian
P.O. Box 100614 Vanderveer Station
Brooklyn, New York 11210
917 337 6702
Open Letter to President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva from Fanmi Lavalas of
New York and Tri-State and New York area Haitians, delivered to the New
York Brazilian Consulate on July 28, 2005, the anniversary date for the
first US occupation of Haiti
The Honorable Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva
President of the Federative Republic of Brazil
July 28, 2005
Dear President Lula da Silva,
We write to you on the 90th anniversary of the first US invasion and
occupation of Haiti (1915-1934) as New Yorkers, Haitians and
Haitian-Americans who are deeply concerned about Brazil's commanding role
in the human rights disasters occurring in Haiti. The February 29, 2004
Coup D'etat against Haiti's duly elected and Constitutional government
ushered in a brutal war against Haiti's poor masses. There has been
wholesale police slaughter of unarmed demonstrators demanding the return of
the Constitutional government and wholesale repression, summary executions
and arbitrary arrests of Lavalas supporters and Haitian civilians living in
the poorer and heavily populated neighborhoods supporting the return of
President Aristide. There has been thousands of unjust deportations back to
Haiti of the fleeing refugees and over 1,000 illegal, arbitrary arrests and
indefinite detentions in Haiti's inadequate prisons, including the arrest
and detention of Prime Minister Yvon Neptune and Father Gèrard Jean-Juste.
This war against democracy in Haiti is being waged by economic and
political elites supported and reinforced by US foreign policy.
Numerous human rights organizations, including Amnesty International, have
already made thorough reports on the 18-months of terror Haitians have been
forced to live since the Coup D'etat. As Haitians living abroad, we are
extremely shocked, grief-stricken and appalled by the daily massacres to
which residents of Haitis poorest communities are being subjected at the
hands of the National Haitian Police backed by Brazilian led MINUSTHA
forces and often at the hands of the MINUSTHA forces themselves.
On July 6, 2005, in a deadly early morning attack, on the residents of Site
Soleil, a community of over 350,000 of Haiti's poorest Haitians, over 350
UN troops from MINUSTHA under the command of a Brazilian general, left 27
Haitian civilians wounded and more than 23 dead, including a young 22
year-old Haitian mother, Sonia Romelus, who was killed by the same bullet
that passed through the body of her 1-year old infant son, Nelson. Her
4-year old son, Stanley Romelus, who was sleeping next to his mother and
brother was killed instantly by a single shot to the head. This is the
brutal nature of the war being waged on the poor in Haiti.
We have reports, eyewitness testimonies and videotape evidence showing that
the UN military forces, commanded by your Brazilian general, carried out a
massacre in the early morning hours of July 6, 2005 in the poor
Port-au-Prince neighborhood of Site Soley.
President Lula da Silva, we know that you are a man of conscience and that
you will not condone these human rights violations, any more than the
violations by the military regime that ruled your country after the 1964
coup. We respectfully urge you to exercise your moral and political
leadership and launch the following measures:
1. Call for an end to the occupation of Haiti by all UN forces.
Brazil should take the lead in advocating for a change in policy by the UN
towards Haiti. There is overwhelming evidence that the UN occupation is not
"stabilizing" Haiti. But is, in fact, aggravating the country's crisis by
bolstering a repressive and anti-democratic regime.
2. Call for an end to US intervention in Haitian domestic affairs.
While we recognize that the primary responsibility for changing US policy
towards Haiti rests with the people of the United States, we urge you to
stand in solidarity with pro-democracy Haitians living abroad and with the
people of Haiti by refusing to support the Bush administration's racist and
cruel treatment of the Haitian people.
3. Call for the restoration of the constitutional government in Haiti.
Concretely, this means that President Aristide, as the duly elected
president of Haiti, must be permitted to return to the country and complete
his term before new elections are held. The UN forces should not be in the
service of "stabilizing" an unelected, repressive regime established
through a US, French and Canadian engineered coup. This is, quite bluntly,
performing a rearguard duty for US imperialism in Haiti.
4. Require that UN forces in Haiti today, prior to their departure, fulfill
their human rights mandate to protect, not terrorize, the people. In
particular, as Brazilian forces are the commanding force in Haiti they must
do much more to rein in the Haitian Coup Detat police force that is out of
control and is daily murdering Haitians throughout the heavily populated
President Lula, please understand, we wish to work together with the people
of Brazil towards strengthening democracy, human rights, and social justice
in Haiti and stop the terror being presided over in Haiti by a Brazilian
commander on behalf of Bush Regime change. We can furnish video evidence of
the recent UN massacre in Cite Soleil if need be.
Below we attach two human rights reports and a partial list of the many
massacres and human rights abuses that have been going on in Haiti since
the forced removal of the Constitutional government. We urge you to assist
the people of Haiti by denouncing the civilian killings, withdrawing
Brazilian participation in such a blatantly repressive and abusive UN
military operation and by calling for the return of President Aristide and
constitutional rule to Haiti.
Fanmi Lavalas of New York
Haitian Lawyers Leadership Network
Vwa Lakou Lakay
Radyo Pa Nou
LaKou New York
The Freedom Archives
522 Valencia Street
San Francisco, CA 94110
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