[Marxism] URGENT- Help Needed To Protest Brazilian Troops In Haiti
JollyJack at aol.com
JollyJack at aol.com
Thu Nov 25 10:43:40 MST 2004
Dear Comrades and Friends,
I am writing you on behalf of the Committee to Free Father Jean-Juste to ask
you help in assisting us in finding Brazilian activists and progressive
political leaders who would be willing to assist us in mobilizing an
international campaign to free Haitian political prisoners and to end Brazilian support
for the illegal imperialist backed Haitian regime.
We feel that it is ironic and sad that the US, through the UN, has been able
to recruit the so called progressive governments of Brazil, Argentina and
Chile to carry out its dirty work by sending troops to prop up a criminal
regime that maintains its power through the violent suppression of the Haitian
left. Today there are over 1,000 progressive activists imprisoned by the Haitian
regime and the number is growing every day.
As a supporter of the left I know that you are painfully aware of the
hypocritical actions of the Lula government. I know that organizers for the MST and
other progressive organizations continue to be attacked and victimized by
right wing paramilitaries much in the same way that Lavalas Party organizers
are attacked by the government and the paramilitaries in Haiti.
Attached to this email you will find a statement that we are using to gather
signatures that we plan to publish as an ad in the Miami Herald and other
newspapers. We would like to invite you to please sign it and help to circulate
it to other leaders of the Brazilian left. Most importantly we would like to
ask if you could refer us to other Brazilian activists and organizations
that might be interested in organizing protests and other actions in Brazil in
opposition to the Brazilian occupation of Haiti to prop up an unpopular
pro-imperialist Haitian regime.
Please get back to me as soon a possible and let me know if you or anyone
else you know can be of assistance in this important effort. I can be reached by
phone at 305-582-4846. If you email me your phone number I will be glad to
This coming Wednesday, December 1, we are planning to picket the Brazilian
consulate in Miami to protest the Brazilian occupation of Haiti. Any statement
of support that you can send us before this action would be greatly
Committee to Free Father Jean-Juste
Free Father Jean-Just – End Illegal Detentions In Haiti
On Wednesday, October 13, 2004, Haitian police forcibly entered the Sainte
Claire Catholic Church in Port-au-Prince and arrested Father Gerard
Jean-Juste, its pastor, while he was feeding the hungry children of his parish. Father
Jean-Juste is a prominent activist for social justice and the rights of
immigrants in Haiti and the United States. He has been one of Haiti's most
eloquent, persistent and influential voices for peace over the past two decades.
Jean-Juste speaks out forcefully against all forms of violence, from the
pulpit and on his radio shows. He spoke out against the state-sponsored violence
of the Duvalier regime, the de facto dictatorship (1991-1994) and the
Haitian army. When opposition politicians were attacked following the April
2000 funeral of assassinated journalist Jean-Dominique, Jean-Juste devoted
his entire two-hour radio show to imploring citizens to return to their homes
Jean-Juste has been highly effective at fighting political and economic
violence through peaceful means. When he was forced into exile for criticizing
the Duvalier dictatorship, he retaliated with a lawsuit, winning a judgment
against Jean-Claude Duvalier in Miami Federal Court. In 1979, he co-founded the
Haitian Refugee Center in Miami, which provided assistance to thousands of
refugees from the Duvalier regime, and fought unjust immigration
policies all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. In Haiti, he encouraged
victims of the de facto dictatorship to organize and to force Haitian courts to
deliver justice. On Aug. 16 of this year, Haiti's interim government held a
retrial in the case of slain pro-democracy activist Antoine Izmery. Although
he feared arrest, Jean-Juste bravely appeared, the only summoned witness to do
Jean-Juste's church is located in a poor neighborhood of Delmas, a
Port-au-Prince suburb. The priest runs a soup kitchen that gives many area residents,
especially children, their only meal of the day. The police arrested
Jean-Juste without a warrant -- in violation of Haitian law -- and when asked what
the charge was, replied that he was "a threat to public order."
When Jean-Juste refused to leave his hungry parishioners, police raided the
church and dragged him out of the rectory though a window. Witnesses reported
police also punched the priest. He was transported to a police station
holding cell and then to prison, where he remains.
Jean-Juste's arrest was unlawful and made solely for political purposes.
Haiti's interim regime has arrested more people on similar fraudulent charges
than even Duvalier did in a similar time period. Jean-Juste is but one of more
than 1,000 political prisoners currently being detained in Haiti.
Jean-Juste's arrest and detention show a brazenness and disregard of Haitian and
international law not seen since the Duvalier dictatorships. His plight is but one
wave in a continuing storm surge of systematic attacks against Haiti's civil
society institutions, including labor unions, radio
stations and Parliament.
The regime has recently arrested and illegally detained a number of
high-profile supporters of Aristide's Lavalas party, including two highly respected
legislators, Senator Yvon Feillé and former Deputy Rudy Hérivaux; nine members
of the Confederation of Haitian Workers, as well as leading advocates of
nonviolence. These victims of Gerard Latortue's and Bernard Gousse's current
reign of terror are in addition to officials of the Aristide government,
including former Prime Minister Yvon Neptune, former Minister of the Interior
Jocelerme Privert and former Delegate Jacques Mathier, who have been imprisoned
without any charges for months.
Some people are being beaten and tortured in prison; others are simply being
executed. The purpose of Haiti's interim government's repression is simply
to integrate the ex-death squad members and ex-military into the police and
to eventually bring back the military.
We the undersigned support the efforts of the International Committee to
Free Father Gerard Jean-Juste to pressure U.S. and Haitian authorities to free
this longtime crusader for democracy and human rights, as well as hundreds of
other political prisoners unlawfully detained in Haiti. We call upon all
supporters of human rights and democracy to join us in speaking out against this
travesty of justice by the interim Haitian regime.
U.S. and Haitian government officials claim to support democracy in Haiti,
but the repression against Father Jean-Juste and the other illegally detained
political prisoners demonstrates that they are in fact moving in the opposite
direction. We urge the international community to act now to save precious
human lives and reestablish democracy in Haiti.
Free Father Jean-Juste Now!
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