Euphoria and the struggle to come: Return of Jean-Bertrand Aristide
Walter Turner of Africa Today interviews Pierre Labossiere and Robert Roth both of of Haiti Action Committee. Both Pierre and Robert were in Haiti to welcome back President Aristide and here they both speak of their joy and excitement and that of the Haitian people at his return. Everyone was busy cleaning the streets, making posters and hanging posters so there was a huge amount of activity. Nonetheless there was a certain amount of anxiety right up to the moment he arrived – wondering if it would really happen.
What happens next when the euphoria settles. The February 2004 coup was a double one. To remove President Aristide and also to destroy Lavalas – the movement of the people. The last 7 years has seen an increase in poverty and hardship irrespective of the earthquake which made the situation worse. Now the struggle will go on. This is a new beginning and a long road ahead. Each experience is a learning one on which to build and move forward. The forces against change are powerful so the people need to be mindful and focused but it is achievable. A new Lavalas starts from now – Manigat, Martelly are not important. The people have the consciousness and the power. Listen to the people – always!