Saturday, February 5, 2011

The SOA Watch speaks on the the Egyptian struggle

This release from the SOA Watch (a peace organization dedicated to ending global violence, with roots against the 'School of the Americas' a training camp for how to torture- used by US backed South American dictators). The SOA observes all violent struggles with a keen eye towards history and building a non-violent future.

-The world is holding its breath as it witnesses an unprecedented expression of people power on the streets of Egypt, inspired by the recent victory of people power in Tunisia, where President Ben Ali was recently forced to resign. After 30 years of repressive rule, Hosni Mubarak – Egypt’s dictator and key U.S. ally in the Middle East - may be facing his last hours or days in power, as hundreds of thousands of Egyptians from all walks of life gather at Tahrir (Liberation) Square, on what is now being called D-Day, or Departure Day. People power is spreading in the region: mass demonstrations in Jordan, Palestine and Yemen echo the calls of the Tunisian and Egyptian people, with their demands for democratic reform, independence and liberation.

Egyptian-born singer and author Raffi Cavoukian said: "Egyptian courage emboldens the region and the world. Let the song of Egypt's liberty ring in our ears. Her sun is ours."

While eyes are focused on Egypt’s doomed dictatorship, the people of another nation – Haiti - cry to allow an elected president to return. Jean-Bertrand Aristide has been in exile in Africa since the 2004 coup that overthrew him. Aristide has recently indicated his desire to return to Haiti, in spite of U.S. objections. While he awaits a promised diplomatic passport, former dictator “Baby Doc” Duvalier found the country’s doors open to him, in apparent disregard to the 3,000 murders attributed to his regime. Meanwhile, Haitian citizens are asking for a new chance to choose a new president in elections that are fair, free and inclusive. The U.S. has opposed this request, even indicating that economic sanctions could follow if this path were chosen. On Wednesday, Feb. 2, the government of President Preval caved in to US pressure and bumped its own party's candidate from the run-off ballot leaving only two right-wing Duvalierist candidates. Those candidates combined received the votes of only about 10% of Haitian registered voters in the first round of the election according to the Center for Economic Policy Research. Former President Aristide's Lavalas Party, the largest party in Haiti, was excluded from the ballot.

The richest country in the hemisphere threatens the poorest country in the hemisphere with further poverty if democracy is chosen over foreign interests.- SOA Watch

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