19 years after the coup d’état: Statement from Fanmi Lavalas Political Organization

March 24, 2023

This Feb. 28 statement from Fanmi Lavalas, a people’s party of Haiti, commemorates the February 29, 2004, coup d’état that overthrew Haiti’s first democratically elected president, Jean-Bertrand Aristide. Fanmi Lavalas honors those who fell during the coup and outlines its call for a Haitian solution to the crisis that has now engulfed the country. 

Unofficial translation by the Haiti Action Committee.

San Francisco, July 28, 2021. Credit: Haiti Action Committee

On the eve of the commemoration of the 19th anniversary of the bloody coup d’état of 2004, the harmful consequences of which we are living through even today, Fanmi Lavalas takes note of the accelerated deterioration of the situation of the country. The persistence of this system of exclusion, social injustice, corruption, of impunity and insecurity, that is fueling the tragic misery of an entire population, is at the heart of the problem that has plagued the prospects for development and progress for decades in our country. It has culminated today in this hellish situation.

With all the various interventions Haiti has experienced over the past 30 years, the social, economic and political problems of the country have only continued to worsen.

Fanmi Lavalas takes this opportunity to reiterate the main points of our position for a Haitian solution to this crisis that is ravaging the country. Fanmi Lavalas firmly believes that no sector, no group can pretend on its own to have the solution to Haiti’s problems. The solution will have to be both Haitian and collective.

The problem of insecurity that concerns Haitians from all social strata and from all political tendencies could be the common denominator, the starting point of a dialogue that would make possible the building of a broad and solid consensus on avenues for immediate action and orientation for the long term. The participation of the population is essential to any search for a solution to insecurity.

The gathering of ideas from all active sectors of the country on the problem of insecurity would pave the way for reflection and enhance the search for sustainable solutions on other issues such as governance, food insecurity, access to basic services, job creation and the fight against corruption and impunity.

The total disconnect between the current governance and the demands of the population is obvious. To produce sustainable results, any viable transition project must be decided collectively and carried out by a credible team trusted by the public. In this transition there needs to be the active participation of human resources from the diaspora, alongside local resources, so that together we can develop a project for society for the next 25 years by Haitians for Haiti.

Security is essential and a key prerequisite for going to elections and returning to the path of democracy.

The commemoration of this 19th anniversary of the coup d’état of 2004 should be used as an opportunity for a collective awareness of the real problems of our country and a renewed commitment to work together to mobilize our undeniable collective assets for the construction of a just, participatory, solidarity-centered and prosperous Haiti, worthy of the historical roots of our people.

We must be in harmony with each other! Let us build a broad consensus! “Unity Makes Us Strong!”

(In tribute to the victims of the coup d’état of February 29, 2004)