Love him or Haiti him, Pina comes to town

Pina’s film is timely as Bush prepares Haiti for demonstration elections.

Journalist and filmmaker Kevin Pina comes to town this week to premiere his new documentary, “Haiti: The Untold Story.” While the world fixes its gaze on the Middle East, an equally terrifying takeover place in Haiti.

In February 2004, United States Special Forces removed the democratically elected president Jean-Bertrand Aristide. The United States produced a subsequently discredited document that the United States claimed was a resignation letter. The United States also said Aristide requested transport to the Central African Republic, an unstable nation an ocean away, which is where U.S. forces deposited him 20 hours later.

Since the coup, a United Nations-force has done the dirty work of “stabilizing” a society where the masses want the return of their rightful president and the reinstatement of their government. The U.N. security forces and the newly reformed Haitian National Police have combined to create a police state where human rights and judicial abuses are routine. A few of the most visible political prisoners include a pro-Aristide populist priest, Father Jean-Juste, and an elderly female folk singer, So Anne. Another is Aristide’s Prime Minister, Yvon Neptune, who has come close to death in his cell from hunger strikes. Pina himself has even been illegally jailed after filming a Police search of Jean-Juste’s church. Pina’s documentary exposes the repressive occupation. Pina highlights a recent massacre in one of Port-au-Prince’s poorest neighborhoods, Cit Soleil.

Pina’s film is timely as the Bush administration prepares Haiti for nothing more than demonstration elections. The complicit United Nations will likely proclaim the elections “free and fair” if one of the pro-business elites is propped up as expected. The corporate media in this country has ignored the injustices. The majority political party, Fanmi Lavalas, is either in exile, in hiding, in prison or dead. Peaceful demonstrations are regularly broken up by the U.N. gunfire. Operational “sweeps” are loosed on citizens Any respectable reporting would conclude that meaningful elections under these circumstances are impossible.Pina will be attending showings of his film at 4:30 p.m., Wed. in Davis Auditorium at Macalester College.

Christopher Larson is a member of the Haiti Justice Committee of Minnesota and works for University Bookstores. Please send comments to [email protected]