Wednesday, January 04, 2006

New Year for Haiti

Haiti's struggle under the tyranny of its coup government continues into this new year. The elections have been repeatedly postponed, supreme court judges that did not adequately follow the will of the unelected executive were fired, and political prisoners whither in jail while political violence continues on the streets.

Recently, Harvard physician (and anti-capitalist superhero) Paul Farmer diagnosed the banned Lavalas party presidential candidate Fr. Jean-Juste with life-threatening Leukemia. While this is obviously bad news (Jean-Juste has been a tireless fighter for justice as a Catholic priest), it has sparked renewed disgust in the hypocrisy of the Haitian government. US lawmakers, worldwide newspaper editorials, and a growing group of clergy have continued to call for Jean-Juste's release. Now is the time to turn up the pressure with protests like those recently held in Miami, renewed write-in campaigns to newspapers and lawmakers, and increased discussion of Haiti's plight.

As I have discussed before, the recent coup in Haiti is another deadly flare-up of anti-democratic neo-colonial intervention by the CIA, the US military and State Department as well as the governments of Canada and France. Haiti's coup was even less about democracy than the invasion of Iraq, but these two nations' fate remained linked insofar as the ideology of imperialism rationalizes and justifies the extraordinary violence necessary to maintain global inequality.

Indeed, just as the US' use of torture in Iraq can expose the duplicity and dishonesty of the logic of imperialism, the desire to incarcerate without adequate care a nonviolent priest and politician betrays the cruelty and brazen totalitarianism of the Haitian coup.

It is the perfect time to say what you know to be true. The emperor is naked, and a unified movement for peace and justice has the power to topple the entire empire that he claims to own.

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