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U.S. Connivance Alone…

March 2004

The people at provide some of the best information available on a wide range of human rights issues. Their page on Haiti is an incredible piece of research, but we believe that it could include a bit more reference to the views of those Haitian social change organizations that have opposed both ex-President Aristide and U.S. military intervention.

We share here our letter to the creators of this excellent site:
March 19, 2004

To the editors of


Congratulations on your exceptional work in putting together the information on Haiti. I don’t know of a more informative treatment anywhere. My comments below come from a place of great admiration for your work.

I feel that your presentation could be more careful in presenting the views of those Haitian social change organizations that supported Aristide through his first election, his pre-coup gov’t and throughout the coup period, but began to have second thoughts after his return in 1994. By the time of the current crisis, many of those organizations–including women’s groups, peasant organizations, student groups and labor–were in open opposition to Aristide and the Lavalas gov’t. They were certainly aware of the international pressure on Aristide (and the dangers surrounding his eventual departure), but they reached a point where they still considered his administration a primary obstacle to democracy in the country. These organizations do not have a strong presence on the Web, but that cannot exclude them from the current discussion of their country.

We know that, for its own purposes, the US was fomenting civil society opposition to Aristide while it armed the ex-military and paramilitary folks to eventually force him from office. US connivance alone, cannot, however, explain the depth of the sense of betrayal that we have experienced, especially among students and peasants, in our trips to Haiti over the past few years.

We at Grassroots International have tried to collect some relevant material in our web journal on the current crisis. I invite you to check it out.

I expect you have already been among the large (for us) number of people who have visited, but one never knows.

I don’t think it is possible to understand the current crisis, let alone help imagine the way forward, without understanding the “against Aristide, against the occupation” perspectives of these Haitian activists. They represent an important source of hope for Haiti’s future.

Again, thanks for your great work…

Please consider visiting and sharing your own views.

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