P. Jean-Bertrand Aristide
Pretoria, South Africa
May the spirit of International Day in Solidarity with the Haitian People continue to spread!
If the more than 10,000 people killed in the 18 months that followed the February 29, 2004 coup d’état could speak, what would they say? Would they join voices with the young women raped and sexually assaulted since the coup? Would they remind us that these women are estimated to constitute half the population of Haiti’s shanty towns? Would they unite with the voices of the 3,200 people imprisoned in a National Penitentiary built to hold 1,200 prisoners? And what of the countless others who were inhumanely abused and now clearly betrayed? What would their message be?
They would rise in chorus with Lovinsky Pierre-Antoine to say Mési, thank you, for the solidarity demonstrated four years later.
Because they cannot, I will: Thank you.
Thank you to each and every participant in the 56 actions organized in 47 cities across four continents as part of the 3rd International Day of Solidarity. Your solidarity strengthens the people’s determination to continue to affirm human dignity and struggle for true democracy, justice and peace.
United to all our Haitian sisters and brothers who, on that same day, condemned the kidnapping of February 29, 2004 and called for our return to Haiti, let us continue to drink from this historical stream of solidarity with grateful thanks to our mother Haiti. “Gratitude is the least of the virtues but ingratitude is the worst of the vices.”
Ab imo pectore, from the bottom of my heart,
Dr. Jean-Bertrand Aristide
Pretoria, March 11, 2008