Talk:Allegations of three candidates' drug ties resurface in Haitian presidential race/Guy Philippe letter
This page contains an editorial reply to the Miami herald by Guy Philippe, and attached to the artcile by a direcpc.com subscriber. It may be a copyright violation, or Guy Philippe may consider it an appropriate responce to our article as well.
Response to Miami Herald / Joe Mozingo's false accusations
To the Editor,
For several years now, your newspaper has presented a series of baseless accusations presented as proven facts. I am a defender of freedom in all forms, including freedom of press. I accept criticism and the people of Haiti know me as an easy going man. I have been told it is my sense of humor that gained me popularity in my country at a time when Haiti was ruled by Aristide, known for his dark and violent humor. But after Mr. Joe Mozinger's article on December 23rd, I believe you should grant me the right to respond to allegations that have caused me great harm.
First, you state that my campaign is one of the best financed. I wish! I wonder if you have been obseving the presidential campaign in progress in Haiti since October 8th, 2005. I was obligated to officially open my campaign later than any other candidate as a way to budget. I am the only front running candidate without paid advertisement on TV and without paid radio spots. There is not a single billboard in the entire country rented for my campaign. We are struggling hard to gain visibility precisely because we have little money. I am curious. Where did you find your information? It is quite obvious that the only well-financed campaign is that of Rene Preval, with its daily 95 minutes of paid advertisements on Haitian TV channels, continuous radio spots on several radio stations throughout the country, its 48 rented SUVs (at US$180 per day, you can do the math), and its Washington D.C. based (probably highly paid) consulting firm. These are the facts, Mr. Joe Mozingo, and anyone following the Haitian elections can see the obvious. I challenge you to present anything that may suggest my campaign is well-financed.
Second, the only link I have had to drug traffickers has been successfully smoking them out of their holes as a Haitian Police Commissioner. For this reason, I was presented with the award of "Best Police Commissioner of Haiti" in 1998, in the presence of human rights observers (MICIVIH) and police experts also of the United Nations (MINUAH). Drug traffickers would think twice before financing my campaign, as my political program is precisely aimed at combatting the crime and corruption that has plagued my country.
I would also like to remind you that a government decree authorizes DEA agents to intervene directly on our soil after. DEA agents could therefore have easily arrested me had they the tiniest evidence against me. Two years have passed since I was one of the main actors of the armed uprising that ended the brutal regime of Aristide, whose links to narcotraffickers are now well-documented. I surrendered my weapons and since then, I have lived openly and my whereabouts have been known to all
Finally, I need to address one more amusing inaccuracy in your December 23rd article. You assert I have an alliance with Mr. Youri Latortue. I will just say this: against Mr. Latortue, who is running for a Senate seat in the Artibonite regions, the Front has presented one of our strongest candidates, Mr. Winter Etienne. We are confident that he will defeat Mr. Latortue.
What amazes me most is not that the "information" you presented as facts are false, it is that they are always located at the exact opposite of reality. Why did you not contact me or my campaign to check the information, or at least to get my side of the story? At this point, in your next article, I would not be suprised if you ally me with Aristide himself, Saddam Hussein or even assert that Al-Quaeda is financing my campaign.
I do not have the media savvy of Aristide's paid lawyers in the United States. But I am sick and tired of these falsehoods questioning my character and integrity and I wanted to, at least once, respond to them. You should check the "information" passed on to you by what you call in your article “US officials” wich of course you cannot name, and wonder at its own interests and objectives. None of the permanent prestigious international correspondents in Haiti (such as the French daily, Le Monde, or Radio France internationale who has been observing Haiti for more than a decade) has ever delivered these rumors about me that everybody here knows emanate from either Aristide's side or his highly paid US mercenaries. It is not a coincidence. Some US conservatives and some actors of US foreign policy cannot bear a third-world leader who can stand on his own feet, while some US liberals are not accustomed to a third-worlder who does not accept to be patronized and who does not sing the song of the victim and of the oppressed, as Aristide did. Both have chosen strategies aimed at defaming me. But, again, I am not a victim. I am a Haitian. I took arms against a sinister man and I will make no apology for it. But I have never touched drugs, never made an alliance with Mr. Youri Latortue and no, the Haitian elite, the drug traffickers and the foreign embassies are not financing my campaign.
Guy Philippe, General Secretary of the Front for National Reconstruction (FRN), Candidate for President firstname.lastname@example.org 00 509 454 04 22 FRN (Haïti) 9 rue Casseus, Pacot, Port-au-Prince, Haiti