[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  
contact you. 
 
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 
appreciated.
 
 
Best  Regards,
Jack Lieberman,
Committee to Free Father Jean-Juste
Miami, Florida
 

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 
peacefully. 
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 
so.

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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