A P R I L 2 0 0 4 F E A T U R E A R T I C L E
by Maya del Mar
Haiti had been in turmoil for some weeks. I had read that President Jean-Bertrand Aristide had tried to make peace with the "rebels," including giving them places in the government, and they had refused. CARICOM, the association of Caribbean nations, had tried to mediate, but the rebels refused to sit down at the table with anyone. The U.S. was not accepting political refugees from Haiti. Instead they were turning the refugees back into the rebels guns, and creating a ship barricade around Haiti so that people could not escape by boat.
By February 27, the situation had reached a climax, and star reporter Amy Goodman ("Democracy Now") was on the story. On her regular Friday morning program, she had a long interview with Mildred Aristide, the First Lady, who was in the presidential palace. The Aristides had sent their daughters to stay with Mildreds parents, in Florida. Mildred and Jean-Bertrand planned to stay together, in the palace, until the endwhatever that end might be.
Mildred sounded calm, strong, and determined over the telephone from Port-au-Prince.
"Why are you staying?" asked Amy.
"Because democracy must survive," replied Mildred.
Suddenly Mildred called, "There are helicopters circling! Theyre unmarked."
The interview ended, and Amy turned to her reporter on the ground, Kevin Pina, who described the sudden arrival of the helicopters amidst the chaos on the ground.
Amy stayed with the story for several days running, and gave us reports from the ground, from people who had worked in Haiti with the Aristides, from friends of Aristide, from Aristide himself, and from members of the U.S. Congressional Black Caucus, most notably from Congresswoman Maxine Waters, a friend, who was in almost-constant touch with the Aristides. She also went with the delegation, headed by Congresswoman Maxine Waters, which brought Aristide back to Jamaica.
Kevin Pina stayed up through the night, watching the palace. Early in the morning, he saw U.S Ambassador James Foley arrive with his entourage, which included ten U.S. Marines. We learned later that Aristides security detail had earlier been dismissed by the U.S. A personal guard and a gardener both said they had seen Aristide being escorted from the palace in handcuffs by U.S. soldiers at perhaps 5:30 a.m.
That was the last we heard of the Aristides. As we heard later, they were taken to the airport, not knowing where they were going, with blinds pulled, and not allowed cell phone contact. Where did they land 20 hours later? They only knew that a contingent of French soldiers were on hand to greet them.
They were in the Central African Republic, an isolated and unstable nation, with few and poor roads, and poor telephone service. Aristide was able, however, to make a few calls. Maxine Waters recorded his calls to her, and passed the tapes to Amy.
We heard Aristide say, "I want people to know that I was forced out. I was taken against my will. I was kidnapped, in the guise of a coup detat. The Deputy Ambassador told me that Guy Phillipe (coup leader) will be coming, and they will kill many people if I stay."
(Earlier in the week, Colin Powell had called ex-Congressman Ron Dellums to tell him to tell Aristide, "Youll leave in a Lear Jet or in a body bag." Powell told Aristide the day of the coup, "Theyre coming to kill you tomorrow, and were not going to do a thing.")
Aristide was very much a man of peace, perhaps too much so. His first move as President was to disband the Army. I head him talk to his people from Africa, and it was mainly to mourn the loss of peace and democracy, and to talk about people loving one another. He told his people to resist the rebels, but to do so non-violently. Unfortunately it is the "rebels" who have the guns (U.S.-made). The bulk of the people have no weapons. (Headlines in U.S. paper say only, "Aristide tells people to resist.")
So most of the people are hiding, according to reports from the ground. The coup leaders are former leaders of FRAPPE, a notorious killing machine (which Ive been reading about for years, in that context), apparently a tool of the elite, who hate Aristide, a defender of the poor. Haiti has no taxes. Aristide recently tried to levy taxes on the wealthy to help pay for government services, particularly in health and education.
When the U.S. Ambassador came for him, he told Aristide that if he left Haiti, his house would be left intact, and that there would not be mass killing of the people. Neither promise was kept. His home was immediately vandalized and looted, and cold-blooded killing of anyone who supported Aristide began. Aristide was also promised he could talk to the press. This promise was also not kept.
The men now running amuck throughout Haiti are convicted murderers and drug dealers. They have been well known for years as thugs and killers. They have set themselves up as executioner, judge, and jury. All of this is under the eye and the permission (at least) of the United States. It is appalling. The killing began by targeting mayors of cities and towns, along with members of the pro-Aristide party, Lavelas. This included most elected officials. Then came people who had escaped the death squads during 1991-94 by fleeing. Now anybody is fair game. Fishermen say that dead bodies are filling the bay. Dozens of bullet-riddled corpses are crowding the morgues.
The U.S. killed democracy in Haitiat the same time as they supposedly are calling for democracy in Iraq.
Haiti is a sun sign Capricorn, and a moon sign Virgo. Half of its ten major planets are in earth signs, and the people of Haiti are indeed close to the earth. Their chart shows that they are hard workers, which they are. Capricorn gives them determination and persistence. They are not about to give up or quit their struggle for independence. Saturn in Libra trine many of the Capricorn planets adds to their staying power and endurance.
The need for independence is shown by Uranus in Libra, the planet of independence, widely square all seven bodies in Capricorn. Independence is their leitmotif. Capricorn will suffer for its goals, if necessary, and the Haitian people will not sell their souls. North Node in Aquarius trine the Libra planets shows that their spiritual destiny is freedom and justice for all.
Most of this chart is focused on working hard for freedom and dignity.
And then we have the often difficult Pluto-Moon opposition framing the whole chart. Moon is the people, and Pluto is power. The opposition shows that it is people against power. Pluto in Pisces is widespread and diffuse power, hard to pin down. In Haitis case it means much of the international community located across the seas, Piscean. Everything else is enclosed within this opposition, thus the people vs. power is the matrix within which Haiti operates.
Pluto and Moon square Vesta in Sagittarius, indicating that foreign interests have much to protect in Haiti, and that they are the source of the power.
Transiting Uranus in early Pisces is opposing Moon, conjoining Pluto, and squaring Vesta. That cozy little power play will be broken up during this coming year. Perhaps the U.S. went too far this time. (Of course they did. Kidnapping U.S. citizens is a U.S. federal crime, and kidnapping a foreign leader is an international crime.)
Neptune is now transiting Haitis North Node. This can indicate confusion, undermining, and possible betrayal. It also lends a highly idealistic air to current happenings.
The coming Libra Full Moon conjoins Haitis Uranus, lighting up Haitians' rebellious urges. Reread the section on the Full Moon.
Stay tuned for Part II of "HaitiRegime Change Strikes Again" on May 1.