Forwarded from Greg Dunkel

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Thu Feb 27 07:46:44 MST 2003


When I read the NYR article, on line, which saves me the $5 I would have 
spent buying it,

 > The New York Review of Books, March 13, 2003
 > Haiti: The Fall of the House of Aristide
 > By Peter Dailey
 > Haiti's Predatory Republic: The Unending Transition to Democracy
 > by Roger Fatton Jr.
 > Lynne Rienner, 237 pp., $55.00; $19.95 (paper)
 >

I thought of Toto Constant, another Haitian with a far bloody history 
than Aristide's.

Some time after the U.S. army restored Haitian President Jean- Bertrand 
Aristide to power in 1994, Emmanuel “Toto” Constant moved into his 
comfortable, single-family home in Laurelton, Queens.

Although he was wanted in Haiti for mass murder and for participating in 
the violent overthrown of a legally elected Haitian government, he had 
no difficulty in obtaining residency and even permission to work. Tens 
of thousands of Haitians have been deported; thousands more have even 
been picked up on the high seas, had their boats destroyed and dumped in 
a Haitian port. But Constant had no problems with the INS.

Toto Constant was the organizer of FRAPH, the paramilitary group the 
army used to terrorize the Haitian people and keep them in line. >From 
1991 to 1994, FRAPH was responsible for 3,000 to 5,000 murders.

The Haitian authorities can’t be sure about the exact number because 
when the U.S. army occupied Haiti in 1994, one of its main items of 
business was to seize the FRAPH archives, with its “trophy” pictures, 
videotapes of torture sessions and other documents relating to how the 
FRAPH conducted its terror during the 3 years of the coup.

Part of the U.S. army’s treatment of FRAPH was concealing its atrocities 
and the fact that its leadership, particularly Constant, was on the 
CIA’s payroll. That’s the reason why the U.S. has kept the FRAPH 
documents for the past 7 years and let Constant live and work in Queens.

Aristide has pointed out more than once that Haiti has been forced to 
pay $8 million in interests on loans which the Inter-American 
Development Bank has still not released, claiming that the last election 
in Haiti was not conducted fairly.

In a speech he gave in 2001 in Gonaive, the city where Haiti's 
independence was proclaimed nearly 200 years ago, Aristide connected the 
misery and the fate of the Haitian people to the Sept. 11 attacks in the 
U.S. “The United States is a victim of terrorism. We too are also 
victims of terrorism. All those who are hungry, who are poor and suffer 
now because of the coup d’etat are victims of the terrorism of the army.”

Speaking after Aristide, Haitian Sen. Gerald Gilles said, “The United 
States wants bin Laden. We demand Emmanuel “Toto” Constant.”

The State Department has traditionally said that Constant could not get 
a fair trial in Haiti. But Wes Carrington, a State Department spokesman, 
told the Long Island paper Newsday (Oct. 5, 2001) that Haiti has not yet 
made an acceptable written request.

Anyone who has been to Haiti, and I have been, can see the tremndous 
problems it faces, its tremendous poverty. And certainly Haitian 
politicians and the Haitian bourgeoisie are responsible for some of them.

But it is wrong and one-sided to ignore the role of the United States 
and the rest of the imperialist and bourgeoisie "democracies" who were 
shockd when the slaves of Haiti won their independence over 200 years 
ago and then maintained it. Haiti helped Bolívar free Latin America. It 
was a beacon of hope to the slaves of the U.S. for nearly 60 years. It 
showed the power of a mass movement when the people of Haiti decided to 
elect Aristide over a decade ago.

Haitians in New York have mobilized by the tens of thousands over AIDS, 
Louima, and other police killings, sometimes going as far as conducting 
one-day strikes.

And for all its poverty Haiti is still a country upon which the 
bourgeois intellectuals feel they need to focus their scorn, derison and 
deception.

Will they ever forgive Haiti for killing its slave masters?

-- 

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