Popular human rights activist and advocate for Haitian coup d'etat victims, Lovinsky Pierre-Antoine, disappeared after a meeting with a U.S.-Canadian human rights delegation visiting Haiti in mid-August 2007. We fear that he was kidnapped. We pray for his safe return.
Since the triumph of its 1804 revolution against France, 70 year before the U.S. Civil War, Haiti has been in the cross-hairs of European colonial and imperialist states; targeted as an entity to be crushed or kept in a state of perennial poverty, unable to fend for itself, provide for its people, or ward off external economic or military aggression. The danger a free Haiti posed to European powers, then and now, is that it was a beacon of freedom, independence, and hope in the darkness of despair that great European powers had so tightly woven around the Caribbean Islands, as well as around North and South America. Spain, Britain, France, Portugal, the U.S. were the major players. For these states, too much was at stake to let Haiti sink or swim by its own devices. These countries came to the New World in search of plunder, precious metals, and to exploit human resources. Peoples of Asia, Afrika, Europe, and of the New World itself were caught in the vortex of these governments' quest for riches, new lands, and dominion over others.
As we look at past history to understand present history, we note that these same governments - England France, and the U.S. in particular - were enraged by the success of the 1804 Haitian revolution. Afrikans, former slaves, defeating a well-armed French army. News of this successful rebellion could well incite other slaves and peoples similarly situated to emulate the Haitian example. To forestall such eventualities then and to this day, a raff of unrelenting Western political, military, and economic aggression has been orchestrated and directed at Haiti and the Haitian people. In an attempt to deprive Haiti of its leadership, the French conspired and kidnapped Haiti's first Prime Minister, Toussant L'Ouverture. (And subsequent to that dastardly deed, Haitian people have suffered a string of puffed-up tyrants and cruel dictators in the service of foreign powers and homegrown domestic class interests. In greed, selfishness, and brutality, the bourgeois class in Haiti rivals any of its world-class confederates.) Nearly three years ago, U.S. Marines forced Haiti's popularly-elected president, Betrand Aristide, into exile. Now, Lovinsky Pierre-Antoine disappeared in mid-August 2007.
Disappearances, murders, kidnappings, imprisonments, beatings, intimidations, unremitting poverty, and near starvation; a long list of dirty deeds done to the Haitian people to control them, to dampen their fervor for social justice and freedom from oppression and domination. The Haitian people know them well. Lovinsky Pierre- Antoine knew them too well, and his clarion voice maintained the tradition of Haitian patriots who lifted the sleep-inducing veil long cast over the soul and spirit of Haitian social life; thus, further exposing the root cause of their oppression, their poverty, their seeming inability to feed their families, send their children to school, earn a living wage,and rid themselves of Haitian class domination, puppet government officials, and foreign occupation. Because of his unwavering work in this regard, Haitian officials and foreign occupiers conspired and disappeared Pierre-Antoine.
It is a given that whenever the forces of petty tyrants and their confederate foreign occupiers gather and flourish, mothers weep, human flesh bleeds, and people suffer; and while the spirit of the Haitian people has bowed to the strong winds of adversity, it has never been broken. Haitian people know a better day will come because the nation's founding father and mothers have already paved the way. The possible we do now, the impossible we do in a little while. In the interim, we demand the safe return of our dear brother, Lovinsky Pierre-Antoine.
I greet you with respect and solidarity forever -
Your brother, Herman Bell
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