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KPFA reaches another low
by Juan Reardon
Friday Mar 18th, 2011 10:30 AM
The very same day democratically elected president Aristide risks his life returning from exile against the wishes of the US-Clinton-Obama, KPFA Morning Mix gives a platform to the supporters of the fraudulent election process taking place on 3/20 in which two supporters of dictator baby Doc Duvalier are running for president with the blessing of the Obama-Clinton gang and with the exclussion of the largest political party of the country, President Aristide’s Fanmi Lavalas party. Where is KPFA going and what's with the hand basket?
KPFA reaches another low.

Today, 3/18/11, the first day after President Aristide’s return to Haiti from seven years of exile and in open defiance of the U.S. government [Obama, Clintons] the KPFA ‘morning mix” show interviewed Raynald Leconte the director of the Haitian Cultural Foundation from NY . He openly supported the fraudulent run-off elections taking place in Haiti where the largest political party of the country, President Aristide’s Fanmi Lavalas party, was excluded from participation, and questioned the return of Aristide. The nerve!

The KPFA 'reporter'(?) Leslie Stewall also questioned the return of Aristide, just like the US government has been doing, and placed President Aristide and former dictator and mass-murderer Jean Claude ‘Baby Doc” Duvalier in the same frame of analysis. She had no clarifying questions to Laconte’s comparison of Aristide with Duvalier.

This reporter is either totally ignorant of the US-Haiti relations over 200 years, or is a total idiot who is more captured by the ‘colors and vibrancy emerging in Haiti from the underground tectonic plates shaking’ [ or some Laconte BS like that], or, more likely, she is a ‘state-department lackey’ who got 'direction' from the national intervening office to perform 'this duty'' for our nation's interests. Probably is just pure ignorance and superficiality.

So, incapable reporter whatever the your name is, who chooses Laconte to be interviewed and allows huge lies to be aired without questioning them at the very moment that democratically elected president Bernard Aristide RISKS his life to return to the struggle for democracy and independence in Haiti LISTEN and know that:

The return of Aristide is a tribute to the love the Haitian people have for the president they elected twice with overwhelming majorities, and their persistent demand for his return, in spite of adamant opposition from the coup supporters, and a continuing United Nations occupation force of almost 12,000 personnel.

The threatening language of the State Department, and its ongoing and blatant efforts to disrupt true democracy in Haiti, is shameful…and it is shameful that KPFA , is shameful…and it is shameful that KPFA, on this day, chooses to give a platform to a servant of US imperial interests like Mr. Laconte who openly advocated for the fraudulent ‘run-off’ on Sunday between supporters of former dictator Jean-Claude Duvalier.

On March 14, U.S. State Department spokesperson, Mark Toner said, “We would urge former President Aristide to delay his return until after the electoral process has concluded, to permit the Haitian people to cast their ballots in a peaceful atmosphere. A return prior to the election may potentially be destabilizing to the political process.”
These so-called “elections” excluded the participation of Haiti’s largest party, President Aristide’s Fanmi Lavalas, in the first place, and have forced a fraudulent “run-off” on Sunday, March 20, with two supporters of former dictator Jean-Claude Duvalier, completely rejected by most Haitians.

It is the United States that, since President Aristide was first elected in 1990, has refused to send funds directly to the Aristide government, blocked it from receiving signed international loans, economically destabilized it, and orchestrated his overthrow twice in 1991 and 2004 coups. Washington has also prevented the Fanmi Lavalas Party from participating in post-2004 coup elections.

People must understand that the enthusiasm with which President Aristide will be welcomed in Haiti reflects not only the affection of Haitians for this individual and respect for the office to which he was elected, but also their cry for a legitimate democratic process.

This means recognition of their favored political party, non-interference by foreign elements in Haiti's internal affairs, and a respect for the political and structural changes brought about during President Aristide’s administrations.

KPFA must not be part of the problem.
Bring back Aimee Allison, …you guys currently do not know what you are doing, or just don't care.
Where is KPFAQ going..and what is with the hand-basket?
by Rebecca
Friday Mar 18th, 2011 11:01 AM
Jean-Bertrand Aristide's return: homecoming or comeback?

Haiti's ousted former president still enjoys popular support, but there are many obstacles to a resumption of his political career

Much has been made in the Haitian and international media about the prospect of the return of former President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, who has been in exile in South Africa since 2004, but has, this Friday, arrived in Port-au-Prince. Aristide is the only Haitian president to be overthrown twice. The first time was in a September 1991 coup d'état, seven months after he was elected to office. Thanks to the intervention of the French and American ambassadors with the coup leaders, he was able to leave Hait and spend the next three years in exile, most of it in the United States.

He returned to Haiti in October 1994, protected by 20,000 US troops to serve the remaining 18 months of his first term. He disbanded the Haitian army before he left office. Re-elected and taking office in February 2001 for a second and final five-year term, he was toppled again in February 2004. Aristide had asked the US to beef up his foreign private security; instead, the US ambassador gave him a choice to leave Haiti or face the rebel forces made up of former members of the Haitian army and paramilitaries. Aristide chose the first option, but later called it a kidnapping.

Aristide's supporters were exuberant when they thought his return was imminent after the Haitian government issued him a new passport on 7 February. A month passed, and the United States, as late as this week, was pressuring the governments of South Africa and Haiti to delay his return until after 20 March, when the compromised "electoral process" that began on 28 November was due to conclude. Aristide's supporters were guaranteed to give him a more jubilant and noisier welcome than former dictator Jean-Claude Duvalier received when he returned to Haiti unexpectedly in January, after 25 years in exile; Duvalier now faces the possibility of indictments for his alleged past crimes.

Whatever the hopes of Aristide's Fanmi Lavalas base, though, I don't see any real prospect of a political comeback for the former president. After the 20,000 US troops escorted Aristide back to Haiti in 1994, he abandoned the progressive agenda he was elected to implement in 1991. Although he continued to portray himself as the champion of the poor, he largely accepted the neoliberal policies known as the "Washington consensus" as a quid pro quo for his return. And when re-elected in 2001, Aristide's chief objective was to monopolise political power, and through his Lavalas Family party, ensure that he would govern without the divided parliament and opposition he had faced in 1991.

In a vain attempt to obtain financial assistance from international financial institutions, Aristide implemented their neoliberal policies. This involved evicting farmers from a fertile area in the north of Haiti near the Dominican Republic to make way for poverty-wage garment industries geared for export to the US. Aristide's second administration was also marred by grave misgovernance. Officials in Aristide's government used their public office as personal fiefdoms, engaged in rampant corruption and drug-trafficking; they even used gangs, some of whom were armed, against their opponents. Funds allocated for public works projects were not used for those purposes or were unaccounted for. Elected officials were implicated in a scandal involving the redistribution and sale of rice imported duty-free and exempt from consumer taxes; and high-level government officials were implicated in a cooperative scheme that went bankrupt in 2002, having defrauded numerous poor and middle-class Haitians of their savings.

Blaming the opposition, Aristide's supporters attacked and burned the homes and headquarters of some of their leaders after a group of former members of the Haitian army attacked the presidential palace in 2001. Aristide loyalists also attacked members of the press critical of the government, sending many into hiding and forcing others to seek refuge in foreign embassies or flee the country; members of a pro-Lavalas organisation were subsequently indicted for the murder of Brignol Lindor, a reporter, in December 2001. And in December 2003, Aristide supporters attacked university students protesting against his government, leading tens of thousands, including members of his own Lavalas party, to take to the streets to demand his resignation.

Aristide's government's record on human rights violations is in no way comparable to that of Jean-Claude Duvalier (1971-86), or of his father, François (1957-71), when tens of thousands of Haitians were killed, disappeared, imprisoned without trial and tortured. But justice does not have a threshold below which people are not liable for human rights violations, embezzlement, corruption or drug-trafficking. Aristide himself has never been indicted for any crime, but many former Lavalas and government officials, some close to him, have been indicted, arrested, prosecuted and convicted.

Aristide still commands support among the poor, in the slums of Port-au-Prince especially, though many have now rallied behind Michel Martelly – one of the two centre-right candidates due to contest the 20 March runoff. But the November 2010 elections – riddled with fraud and with a very low turnout – should have been annulled already. With Aristide's return, an electoral process already suffering a crisis of legitimacy would seem difficult to conclude satisfactorily.

Aristide has said he wants to return mainly to resume his work in the field of education– but he is above all a homo politicus, as witnessed by the timing of this return. It would be impossible for him not to want to play a prominent role in politics. But Aristide may, in fact, prove a spent force – for all the the noise and exuberance of his supporters in Haiti, and the consternation of his opponents, including the "troika" of the United States, Canada and France.

Haiti's constitution bars him from running for a third presidential term. To change that, Aristide, who is deeply averse to structured political organisations, would have to work hard to unify his splintered and feuding Lavalas party – which was excluded from fielding candidates in the November elections – and make it once again the dominant political force in Haiti. That is a tall order. The political climate has changed considerably since 2004, and the situation will change again if, after 20 March, either Manigat or Martelly is "elected" president.

Aristide also has many enemies among the Haitian middle class, intelligentsia and political class, to say nothing of the dominant business class and the troika. Even assuming there is no attempt to indict him for human rights abuses or corruption allegedly committed by his 2001-2004 government, Aristide would still have to tread carefully to avoid being made to regret his decision to return. Despite his supporters' hopes, Aristide's homecoming may yet prove more of a retirement than a relaunch.

* © Guardian News and Media Limited 2011
by reader
Friday Mar 18th, 2011 7:13 PM
Please don't!

The Morning Mix may not be perfect, but unfortunately Aimee has turned out to be a Democrat machine drone on KPFA when it counted, just like BET. It's sad because she ran as a Green candidate in Oakland, but then she laid down when it was time to cheer lead for Obama and uncritically host guests whose agenda is to keep Obama in power.

No thanks.