The Militant (logo)  
   Vol. 68/No. 13           April 5, 2004  
Aristide’s removal
Your coverage on Haiti in the March 22 issue takes an off-base stand downplaying the nature of Aristide’s removal from power and even provides some gratuitous and unwarranted credibility to the “lying with truth” of a U.S. embassy stooge, Luis Moreno.

Contrary to your editorial, Aristide’s abduction to the Central African Republic by the U.S. government is emphatically the issue—the ultimate evidence that this was a U.S.-controlled coup, and who, U.S. or Guy Philippe, began the revolt is not the issue.

Your editorial expends its energy (at great length) pointing out that Aristide was just a capitalist figurehead and squanders an opportunity to come down four-square on the side of democratic rights and rule of law.

In “Socialism and Democracy” [a 1957 speech], James P. Cannon says, “We socialists…have all the more reason to value every democratic provision for the protection of human rights and human dignity; to fight for more democracy, not less…. The Marxists…have always valued and defended bourgeois democratic rights, restricted as they were; and have utilized them for the education and organization of the workers.”

Aristide, pathetic figure that he is, is still the figurehead of democracy in Haiti, and his and Haiti’s democratic rights deserve defending. When Aristide says he was abducted, one can reasonably take him at his word. The actual facts of his removal and supposed resignation are out there, and you should report them and support them. Save your distance-taking from Aristide for another article.

Russell Dupree Freeport, Maine

[Editor’s note: The March 22 Militant editorial incorrectly downplayed the importance of the fact that the elected president of Haiti was forced out of the country and sent to the Central African Republic by U.S. armed forces. The reader is right in pointing that out. The coverage in the last two issues of the Militant has corrected that error (see front-page article this week).  
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