Today, Haiti’s most beloved and respected political rights fighter and religious figure, Father Gerard Jean-Juste, returns to the country after a one and a half year convalescence in Miami. He left on January 29, 2006 after he was diagnosed with leukemia and the coup regime grudgingly allowed him to travel there for treatment.
Prior to his diagnosis, Jean Juste was one of the high-profile political prisoners jailed by the Canada/U.S./France-backed coup regime.
Attached is his announcement of his return to the country. Note the third paragraph in which he makes a sharp critique of the human rights situation prevailing in the country, including a call for the release of Lovinsky Pierre-Antoine. His critique amounts to a stinging rebuke of the “democracy” that the UN and the foreign powers have brought to Haiti.
Jean-Juste no longer holds priestly faculties. They were stripped from him last year by the Catholic bishops of Haiti in an effort to prevent any priests from entering the political process, as Jean-Bertrand Aristide did in 1990 and thereafter. Aristide, too, was stripped of his faculties at an earlier stage.
Jean-Juste’s supporters hope that the Vatican will restore his faculties. The father has indicated that he does not intend to enter politics. But he will not make the definitive renunciation that the Haitian bishops are asking of him.
He arrives at the airport at 1 pm and will no doubt be met by a huge crowd.
Miami August 16, 2007
From the desk of Fr. Gerard Jean-Juste
E-mail address: email@example.com
Tel: 786-290-1750 (USA) 509- 405-3244 (Haiti)
To Friends and Journalists
Honorable Brothers and Sisters,
Friday August 17, 2007, by the grace of the Living God, I will fly home for the first time since January 29, 2006. I intend to make a pilgrimage at my parish St. Clare’s, Tiplas Kazo.
I will join my prayers to the parishioners and pilgrimers to beg God’s blessing for all Haitians and suffering human beings around the world. Those compatriots who are performing good deeds deserve encouragement. Others who are still stubborn in violating People’s rights should have a change of heart.
Let’s all give Haiti a chance. No more coup-d’Etat. No more kidnapping. Release Compatriot Pierre-Antoine Lovinski. May the Haitian Exiles return, especially former President Dr. Jean-Bertrand Aristide. Release the political prisoners, particularly Rene Civil. Basic human needs for all Peoples with immediate attention to the very needy Haitian compatriots. May all of us be inspired by this wisdom from former USA President J. F. Kennedy: “…Ask what you can do for your country.”
With Dr. M.L.King, Jr. I ‘ll conclude: “LET FREEDOM RING!”