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Date: Fri, 17 Mar 1995 18:15:55 GMT
Sender: Activists Mailing List (ACTIV-L@MIZZOU1.missouri.edu)
From: ssagoff (sagoff@delphi.com)
Subject: Haiti: Report from US Soldier

Report from a US Soldier

By Stan Goff (sagoff@delphi.com), 17 March 1995

I was one of the military guys in Haiti for 105 days, before I was chucked out. My reasons for expulsion are too weird to go into, but I would like to at least shed a little light on the situation.

I was in Ft Liberté, after having participated in operations in Gonaives and Ouanaminthe. The policies changed day by day, but I can assure you I participated in the confiscation of hundreds of weapons, from FAdH, FRAPH, attaches and local macoutes, as well as from all the rural police in my sector. I locked up Neal Calixte, the former ambassador to the UN under F. Duvalier. I locked up René Mozart, the president of the NE Dept FRAPH, and I locked up his henchman, Pascal Blaise.

Calixte was back in a day, under presidential order. Mozart was back in three weeks. Blaise was still in jail when I left, but the word was he didn't really want to come back and face his old victims without his thugs to back him up.

Some of us tried very hard to do the right thing. Sometimes it seemed we were being sabotaged from within. What may have resulted, and this is hope from a pretty cynical and jaded character (me), is the inadvertent dismantling of the psychological mechanism that was being used in the oppression of the Haitian people. Aristide has become a bit more like his old self lately. FAdH soldiers turned police have been exposed as cowards. Community watches have been organized. Things are happening.

I love Haiti. Craziest goddam place I've ever seen, but Iove it. I have no reason to paint a pretty picture for anyone, or to apologize for anything. I am a socialist, well versed in our national history. But the situation is not clear there yet. Something good could come of it.

By the way, anyone intersted in helping Haiti needs to contact the Lambi Fund of Haiti, PO Box 18955, Washington DC 20036, phone 202-833-3713. They have programs that demonstrate a fundamental understanding of Haitian reality. Anyone interested, or with more info on Haiti is welcome to contact me. I am working on a book about my mission there.