A Haitian Perspective on Military Intervention in Haiti

In the article "Haiti Could Become a Pawn in US Politics," March 3, the author asks the question, "Can the president withstand demands from Congress, segments of the Republican Party, and the Haitian immigrant community in the US for a multinational invasion if Aristide remains frozen in exile?" As members of the Haitian immigrant community, we want to make it clear that those in favor of such an invasion do not speak for all Haitians living in the United States.

We openly supported the candidacy of Fr. Aristide when he was chosen to run for president of Haiti. We condem the military coup that overthrew him. But we strongly feel that he should not return to power on the wings of foreign troops, whatever their composition. The recent examples of Grenada, Panama, and Iraq say enough about the disastrous consequences of military intervention: more human lives and more infrastructure destroyed in the target country, with little or no compensation afterward.

Those who advocate military intervention in the name of democracy seem to overlook all that the Haitian masses have achieved by themselves, in the recent past as well as throughout the history of Haiti. The elitist point of view that Haiti needs a foreign intervention does not take into account the fact that the masses were successful in overthrowing the Duvalier regime in 1986, after the upper and middle classes had failed to achieve those results for about 30 years. The grass-roots succeeded as they ca me to the forefront of the struggle only after the elites and the so-called intelligentsia had curtailed their own attempts, thus leaving the initiative to the masses.

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We are confident that given enough time and the opportunity to take charge of their own affairs, the people of Haiti will overcome the current crisis. They can do it without foreign intervention and even without the ineffective leadership of the Haitian elites, old and new. Teddy Thomas, Alexandria, Va. Marie-Thse Labossiere Thomas

Letters are welcome. Only a selection can be published, subject to condensation, and none acknowledged. Please address them to "Readers Write," One Norway St., Boston, MA 02115.

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