Aristide Engages Lobbyists and Thugs to Orchestrate His Return to Haiti

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Aristide Engages Lobbyists and Thugs to Orchestrate His Return to Haiti this Week By Stanley Lucas
March 14, 2011

Despite President Preval's efforts to manipulate the first round of the elections and despite contestations on how the ruling party stole 17 deputies and two senate seats, the country's voters are mobilizing around their favored candidates for the runoff presidential and legislative elections scheduled for next Sunday, March 20. Mirlande Manigat and Michel Martelly during rallies around the country have brought thousands of supporters out in each city. While voters look favorably at these two candidates, they are still worried that Preval will try to steal all the legislative seats in both Chambers.

Voters are gearing up to counter a legislative electoral coup still in the works.

The environment is favorable for a change election, meaning that they will vote against INITE.

This is the reality in which four Aristide lobbyists are trying to undermine the fragile democratic process and create chaos for personal gain. Namely, Ron Daniel, Burton Wides, Brian Concannon, and Ira Kurzban.

Aristide provided lucrative retainers to these four operatives on the poor Haitian taxpayers by robbing the Haitian treasury and telecommunications market.

For their lucrative retainers, they turned a blind eye to Aristide's well-documented corruption, human rights violations, political killings, drug trafficking, kidnappings, and election rigging.

During Aristide's reign from 1995 to 2004, these effective and well finance lobbyists tried to mute the voice of the Haitian people and criminalize reformers and democratic activists that stood up for their rights.

For a public account of how much money these operatives were making as Aristide lobbyists from a country where the average citizen makes $1 a day, click here:

But these fees were only the tip of the iceberg.

According to one of Haiti's former Prime Ministers, they made tens of millions more in other business deals under the table.

Some of these lobbyists seeking to reinstate their fat retainers and secure a piece of the lucrative reconstruction funds are trying to bring chaos again to Haiti for their boss, Jean Bertrand Aristide.

Their objective is to undermine the elections, weaken institutions and create chaos in order to create conditions for Aristide return.

In this chaos - the reasoning goes - there will be no one to stop Aristide's return or arrest him upon his return.

They have lobbied the Congressional Black Caucus on Aristide direction making the argument that the CBC owes him for things that he did for them. Some Lavalas members (Aristide's political party) have confirmed that the CBC will pressure Secretary Hilary Clinton and her chief of Staff Cheryl Mills to get Aristide back to Port-au-Prince by Thursday.

At the UN, they are counting on Aristide's informal advisor Paul Farmer, who is Bill Clinton's deputy UN Special Envoy to Haiti, to remove any roadblocks that organization might raise.

While Aristide is putting pressure on the Clintons, members of his network are making arrangements for him to fly to Haiti this week. In Aristide's mind the elections must be aborted and retribution must be sought.

Aristide tried the retribution policy through Operation Baghdad I and II, which were two bloody campaigns of political violence against his opponents resulting in the murder of more than 2,000 people, but failed.

For more on Operations Baghdad see:

On a parallel and separate track from his lobbying efforts (i.e. his lobbyists would be unaware of this initiative), Aristide has instructed Lavalas thugs to prepare a hit list with names of Haitian political leaders, union representatives and civil society activists.

Names on that list include:

Historians Michel Hector and M. Michel Soukar
Union leaders Jean Lavaud Frédéric Jean-Claude Lebrun, André Lafontant Joseph, Charles Faustin, Fritz Charles, and Patrick Numa
Professor Anthony Barbier
President of the Haitian Chamber of Commerce (CCIH), Dr. Reginald Boulos
Human rights activists Jean-Claude Bajeux
Writer M. Jean-Claude Fignolé
Coordinator of Collectif de Cité Soleil, Charles Dunais
Secretary General of Nouvelle Haïti Foundation (FNH), Mrs Yanick Lahens
Director General of Radio Vision 2000, Léopold Berlanger
Engineer Pascale Oriol
Businessman M. André Apaid
Filmaker M. Raoul Peck
M. Gesner Armand
Sociologist and researcher M. Laënnec Hurbon
M. Claude Pierre
M. Luc Smarth
Mme Geneviève L. Esper
Representative of Village de Dieu
Mrs Florence Maître
Civil engineer Pierrot Exama
Peterson C. Orélus, the head of Civil Society Initiative (ISC)
Rony Desroches, the representative of the National Association of Haitian Doctors (AMH)
Georges Beauvoir, Engineer
Women activists Jessie Benoît and Mrs Evelyne Trouillot
Writer and poet M. Gary Victor
Charles Faustin
Professor Michel Hector
Writer and poet M. Lionel Trouillot
Professor Pierre Buteau
M. Pascale Oriol
Mrs. Paulette Poujol-Oriol
Mrs Florence Maître
Writer and poet M. Franck Etienne
Peterson C. Orélus, M. Michel Acacia, Charles Baker

Aristide has the right to go home. No Haitians should be living in exile, but hundreds are right now. However, given his vast political and economic crimes, his return should be managed by a newly elected government in the interest of stability and democracy in a country that is facing tremendous challenges.

Like Jean Claude Duvalier, another strongman, Aristide will need to face justice for his political assassinations and the $350 million he stole during nine years from Haitian coffers, according to Haiti's General Accounting Office.

In the name of democracy and stability, and in the interest of the Haitian people who have yet to begin to dig out from the earthquake a year later, these lobbyists should put aside their personal gain and let our country breath.

Claudia Zamor, March 14 2011, 1:01 PM

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