FOROM AYITI : Tèt Ansanm Pou'n Chanje Ayiti.
J'espère que les têtes froides prévaudront. Et j'espère que l'ultime incohérence, la nostalgie de l'ère duvaliérienne, n'induise personne à appuyer financièrement ou autrement, aucun rôle politique pour Jean Claude Duvalier. Le passage du temps ne devrait pas effacer les crimes.
En 2004, la France et les Etats-Unis ont participé au renversement du président haitien Jean-Bertrand Aristide.Témoin privilégié de ce drame, l’écrivain français Claude Ribbe, qui fut membre de la Commission internationale d’experts sur la dette d’Haïti, nous informe que "Paris avait prévu de réinstaller au pouvoir l’ex-dictateur Jean-Claude Duvallier, mais les Etats-Unis imposèrent au dernier moment leurs hommes, Boniface Alexandre et Gérard Latortue".
The “international community” sent an electoral commission from the Organization of American States to “recount the votes.” A report by the Center for Economic and Policy Research  states: “The amount of votes not counted or counted wrong in this election is huge … Based on the numbers of irregularities, it is impossible to determine who should advance to a second round.” Nevertheless, the OAS decided the “run-off” should be between Manigat and Martelly, in spite of several violations of Haitian law, and Hillary Clinton personally went to Haiti to enforce the message.
An additional distortion in the Rolling Stone article is Reitman’s recounting of a meeting between myself and community leaders within an IDP camp tent. In Ms. Reitman’s article I am quoted saying to a group of Haitian community leaders, during the buildup to relocation, that “I don’t give a fuck about the rich guys who own this club.” This was a reference to the owners of the land upon which these IDPs had established their ad hoc encampment with tents made originally from salvaged bed sheets in the immediate aftermath of the earthquake, not, as reported in Rolling Stone, from plastic sheeting (the rain-resistant sheeting she observed was only later distributed by NGOs and U.N. organizations).
In the context of the article I had said it, and meant it just as stated. In context of reality and of the broader explanation I gave Ms. Reitman and her fact checker, I explained that I had indeed said those words knowing I was speaking to a group of pro-Aristide, anti-foreign “community leaders” whom, I had been informed in advance, believed that any whites operating in the camp within which they lived were doing so on behalf of the “rich white people who own the club,” which in Haiti has a resonating history of class division, forced evictions and brutality.
I used those words about the landowners only in knowing I would need to court open minds, and had to make the separation clear between their assumptions about these landowners (which, had they been justified, indeed my words would have expressed exactly the position I and J/P HRO would have taken) and our own position as a humanitarian operation, presenting them with an opportunity to make a sacrifice for the greater good of the community.
I will say here on behalf of those community leaders that they did ultimately make the choice to relocate and they did so with a proud and touching sense of social contribution. But it also has to be said that I am personally unaware of any other earthquake infringed upon landowners, whether white, black, rich or poor, who have been as consistently supportive of an IDP population and their NGO partners. William Evans, Coty Reinbold and the rest of the board of the Pétionville Club have been extraordinarily supportive.
So, to have left my statement as “I don’t give a fuck about the rich guys who own this club” and to do it on page one of her article without further explanation, was an indication of the pages to come and the damaging distortion whereby ongoing relationships and vital collaborations are compromised.