Tell the US to Stop Meddling in Haiti’s Democracy
The next 48 hours are critical for Haiti, as twice-popularly elected democratic President Jean Betrand-Aristide attempts to return home from his seven-year forced exile in South Africa.
Aristide won an overwhelming popular mandate not once, but twice from the Haitian people after nearly two hundred years of struggle to establish democracy. Due to his social platforms that aimed to make the dream of democracy and redistribution of resources a reality, he was twice removed from power by those who would like to see Haiti’s impoverished majority remain prisoners of a brutal status quo.
The United States has played a key role in undermining the democratic will of the Haitian people and on Monday March 14, Department of State spokesperson Mark Toner said: “[w]e encourage the South African Government as a committed partner to Haiti’s stability to urge former President Aristide to delay his return until after the elections,” and that “[w]e would urge former President Aristide to delay his return until after the electoral process has concluded….”
Haiti needs international solidarity today as the U.S. and other powerful forces seek to violate President Aristide’s human and constitutional rights to return home to Haiti. The elections scheduled for this weekend are the run-off of the highly fraudulent November 28th elections that were marked by widespread disenfranchisement and low voter-turn out. Aristide’s return to Haiti will not harm this already deeply compromised political process, but rather will serve as a reminder to the people of Haiti of what real democracy looks like, and the rights they have fought so hard to gain. Sign the petition to President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton!
To US President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton:
We stand with the people of Haiti as they struggle to consolidate their democracy in the wake of the tragic earthquake in January 2010. As a twice-democratically elected president, Jean-Bertrand Aristide is a potent symbol of true participatory democracy and the power of Haiti’s popular movement. He has the human and constitutional right to return to Haiti from exile in South Africa. During this critical moment for Haiti’s democratic process, with billions of earthquake reconstruction dollars hanging in the balance, it is imperative that the Haitian people are able to express their political will and have their voices heard in the process of rebuilding their country. As the US is assisting second round elections this weekend, we appeal to you to truly defend democracy in Haiti by supporting, not blocking the return of President Aristide.