<i>"The Name of Our Country is América" - Simon Bolivar</i> The Narco News Bulletin<br><small>Reporting on the War on Drugs and Democracy from Latin America
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Al Giordano

Opening Statement, April 18, 2000
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Haití Can Awaken from the Dark Night of the Boar

All Together for the Redemption of the Country that Showed Us the Light of Freedom

By Amanda Huerta
Special to The Narco News Bulletin

January 23, 2010

“The Haitian patriots walk with lights and colors in their hands, in bloom like the earth, showered by light rains and by songs. But they have fought alone, compañera, alone.”

– Alí Primera, La Noche del Jabalí

As I watch the solidarity concert, HOPE FOR HAITI NOW, I can’t stop thinking that someone or “many someones” are emptying out their bank accounts, dialing with pain, and that probably won’t be the artists, it won’t be the sponsors, not them.

I am absolutely certain that the enormous majority of those who sing there, or the thousands the call in to donate, do so with a sentiment of solidiarity, and it’s not bad when during a tragedy they remember or turn their eyes toward the misery in which many others live. Today we “forgive” them, if in some way this serves to bring something of the history of this suffering people to the eyes of those who, by commission or by omission, never cast their eyes on the “third world” because they got lost losing the “second” one.

Although this story will never be completely told, dear friends, between the marketing of pain and the beautiful stage, they forgot to mention the gigantic responsibility that the empires have for the poverty and hunger that has been imposed on Haiti, a small detail omitted by the big disinformation television chains.

Now that that’s cleared up, what we can neither forgive is that above the red blood of the Haitian people the boot of disgrace and darkness that tries to continue submitting the heroic Haitian people below “the night of the boar” continues marching. History speaks to us through the eyes of the Haitian people, so many times photographed and distributed throughout the world during this tragedy. The current events bring with them the following news reports of history:

The long political instability that came out of Haiti’s independence from the French empire in 1804 was the soup in which the United States cooked, invading and exercising dominion until at least 1934. In 1957, when he was elected as President of Haiti, François Duvalier governed dictatorially with the military and financial aid of the United States. He was succeeded by his son, Jean-Claude Duvalier.

In 1986, Duvalier Jr. was toppled by a popular uprising, that watched the continuance of the dictatorship for two more years until in 1988 Leslie Manigat was elected to the presidency of the Republic, a noble government that was toppled by General Henri Namphy who was replaced that same September by General Prosper Avril. Avril, in power until 1990, had to contend with new revolts. His resignation opened the path to elections under international control and an apparent normalization of political life.

Jean-Bertrand Aristide, a Catholic priest who had advocated for the poor, obtained a brilliant victory in December of 1990. Coups d’etat, forced exile and return to power were all part of the first Aristide term, who was succeeded by René Preval. Aristide returned to power democratically, and in 2004 a coup d’etat organized and covered by the US obligated him to resign.

In this brief summary of the history of Haiti I omitted “small details” like the economic embargos, assassinations, persecutions, etcetera. Since 2004 the Haitian people have lived, anew, under old and new military occupations at the hands of the US, a country that to this day remains in military control with the collaboration (by omission or commission) of the UN and allied countries.

This same North American occupation force is that which today controls the airport, impeding and/or delaying the arrival of aid for Haiti, as has been denounced by the government of France and an infinity of journalists and reporters in Port au Prince.

Before the earthquake, 75 percent of the Haitian population did not have access to potable water, 56 percent lived in absolute poverty, life expectancy was 58 years, 49 percent of the children did not go to school, illiteracy was at 39 percent. These are statistics reported by the UN and UNESCO.

A scene like that, with the greatest natural disaster of the last 200 years in Haiti, coud become the perfect excuse to deepen the footprint of the military boot… or the spark that awakens the conscience of sister nations so that we may go all together for the redemption of the country that showed us the light of freedom.

History shows us the renewing cycles of the hegemonic forces. However, it is the same story that is shown us that the force of man, organized and conscious, can trip the triumphs of life’s greatest enemies.

“We will construct among us the morning,” sang Ali Primera, “that forever ends the night of the boar.”

Amanda Huerta, Venezuelan journalist in Paraguay, is a Narco News 2010 School of Authentic Journalism scholar.

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The Narco News Bulletin: Reporting on the Drug War and Democracy from Latin America