In Bed With Aristide's Coup Leaders

< Previous | Home | Next >


Aware that we were a labor delegation, a very decent representative of a Haitian manufacturers association still arranged for us to visit a Haitian assembly factory.

We knew they would show us the top of the line. The Vetex factory, we were told by the manager who was showing us around, was a joint venture between the Mevs family and RSK Industries, Inc., an apparel firm headquartered in New York.

The Mevs family is well known in Haiti.

It is described in the Journal of Commerce (March 4, 1993) as one of the "handful of families who rose to great wealth during the dictatorship of Francois (Papa Doc) Duvalier with a monopoly on the country's sugar industry."4 The monopoly, known as the Haitian Sugar Company and owned by Fritz Mevs Sr., was one of the corporations that appealed to President Bush to lift the embargo as a "Christmas present" for the workers.

The International Business Chronicle (March 15-28, 1993) reports that "a small clique of rich import-export merchants, with close ties to the military authorities in local ports, have profited from the embargo by smuggling banned goods."5 The Mevs family has its own private pier in Port-au-Prince.

Haitian Senator Bernard Sansarich recently accused Fritz Mevs, Sr. of running contraband cement illegally imported from Jamaica and Cuba. According to Senator Sansarich, Mevs made four million dollars on each of nine illegal cement shipments beginning in June 1992.6

Fritz Mevs, Sr. is also "said to share the military's disdain for Mr. Aristide,"7 according to the Journal of Commerce.

In Haiti, we were told by a prominent religious figure that, "it is public knowledge that Mevs was one of the chief organizers of the coup."

The Bush Administration repeatedly turned to this same Mevs family to seek help in breaking the political deadlock in Haiti.

The Journal of Commerce noted that Dante Caputo, the UN/OAS Special Envoy to Haiti, "resents the U.S.-Mevs contacts.

He says they reinforce the view that Washington is coddling anti-Aristide forces, the very people Mr. Caputo says must cede to international pressure to restore democracy."8

Jean-marie, July 18 2010, 3:06 PM

Start a NEW topic or,
Jump to previous | Next Topic >

< Previous | Home | Next >