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A Small Window for Democratic Reform…

March 2004

The mainstream news about what is going on in Haiti continues to diminish in scope and reliability. Alternative news sources remain more focused on the circumstances surrounding ex-President Aristide’s departure, and his current whereabouts, than events inside Haiti. Across the media board, Aristide’s trip to Jamaica has received much more coverage than anything happening in Haiti, itself.

We support the idea that there should be a full investigation of the US role in Aristide’s departure. We also believe that those of interested in Haiti should be paying attention to what Haitians are doing to try to move forward out of the current economic and human rights crisis.

For the last week, we have had a link on our journal to an interview of Haitian economist and activist, Camille Chalmers, conducted by the Brazilian news agency, Adital. We have now prepared an English translation of that interview. The interview suggests that many of the progressive forces that opposed ex-President Aristide while opposing US intervention are extremely unhappy with the current military occupation. They fear that the international intervention will close what they see as a small window for democratic reform opened by Aristide’s departure.

They are calling for a “genuine democratic transition,” which echoes Pierre Esperance’s suggestion that, “We don’t want more saviors…”

In addition to the Chalmers interview, note the new links to a statement by a group of religious activists from across the hemisphere.

For us, it is very important that we listen to and support those Haitians demanding respect for human rights, criticizing the occupation and continuing to do what they can to put in place the foundations of a popular economic alternative in Haiti.

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