1 year later"
Exclusive Interview with Mr. Jean-Bertrand Aristide in
Pretoria - By Claude Ribbe
Paris, February 21, 2005
Note: Below is an English translation, of an interview by famed Afro-French journalist Claude Ribbe, of President Jean Betrand Aristide where he names two high level French emissaries who threatened him to either resign or get killed. Pres. Aristide again identifies them as French Foreign Minister, Dominique de Villepin's sister, and the French Foreign Minister's appointee, Regis
1 year later"
Exclusive Interview with Mr. Jean-Bertrand Aristide in Pretoria
By Claude Ribbe
Paris, February 21, 2005
Just a few days before the 1 year anniversary of his
controversial departure from Haiti, Mr. Jean-Bertrand Aristide
was willing to give me an exclusive interview in Pretoria in
which he explains his situation in South Africa and offers his
opinion on events which have taken place in Haiti since he left
Port-au-Prince. From this filmed interview I have produced an
11-minute documentary entitled: "Aristide, 1 year
Accompanied by his wife and very well protected by South African
security services, Mr. Aristide seemingly sound and relaxed,
maintains that he was the victim of a "kidnapping",
and for the first time explicitly revealed that he was
threatened by two French emissaries whose names he did not
hesitate to reveal.
A few weeks before his departure, these persons visited him at
the National Palace. According to Mr. Aristide their
threat was very blunt: "either you resign or you would be
killed!" Mr. Aristide makes it clear that their true
intention was to kill him: "I am alive today, but that was
not their wish".
Calmly refuting the accusations made against him in numerous
media, Mr. Aristide stated that he "was used to this type
of defamation where the guilty systematically brandish lies as
if one tree could hide the forest"".
Based on reports of humanitarian organizations, Mr. Aristide who
proclaims his absolute hostility to violence, elaborated on the
10,000 assassinations perpetrated since his departure and went
so far as to speak of a "genocide" against some of
those who elected him to power, the excluded who the former
colonizers "grudgingly refer to as chimères".
According to him just the idea of Haiti's bicentennial created
an irrational panic among the countries that had enslaved
Africans. And it's from this that emerged all the destabilizing
maneuvers that led to his departure, from a misinformation
campaign to a veritable media lynching and "character
assassination". This well orchestrated operation with the
participation of "rebels" as one of the episodes of
the plot was financed by an estimated budget of $120 million US
He sees the "neo-colonial" notion to place Haiti under
a protectorate being floated by the former slave powers as ill
advised and unreasonable.
He says that "sometimes when one is a racist they believe
that Blacks cannot see further than whites. They are
surely mistaken in this view."
For Mr. Aristide, sending French armed forces on Haitian soil on
the very year of the bicentennial of the independence of the
first Black republic, which successfully resisted napoleon's
efforts to reestablish slavery, is an act of pure and simple
He is certain that not just for the Haitian people but for the
14 countries of Caricom as well as the 53 countries of Africa,
which after close to one year have refused to recognize the
"defacto government" imposed by foreign powers, he
remains the sole guarantor of democracy and the constitution.
Mr. Aristide reminded us that "even though I am not
physically in Haiti, I remain the President of the Republic of
Haiti". When asked about an eventual return to his country,
Mr. Aristide says that he is confident of this and furthermore
he is open to dialogue, even with those who are
"guilty". He noted that some discussions are actually
taking place through the Republic of South Africa and the
President of the African Union, Mr. Konare who traveled to Haiti
for such discussions on December 16, 2004 at the invitation of
the "defacto government".
Mr. Aristide assures us that "I will be in Haiti, at the
opportune moment" and "before too long, within the
framework of a negotiated agreement, or through dialogue so that
free, fair, and democratic elections can be held as mandated in
the Haitian constitution."
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