You Call for my Return, I Hear Your Voices
April 07, 2005
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You Call for my Return,
I Hear Your Voices

SE Le Président Jean Bertrand Aristide

In Haiti, since the 18th of March, the call for a return to constitutional order has intensified. On that day tens of thousands of Haitians marched peacefully, and in rhythm to our 1987 Constitution that guarantees the right to free expression to all of Haiti's sons and daughters. Haitians celebrated our Constitution while they unequivocally said no to the violence, injustice and oppression that has rocked our nation since February 29, 2004 and has killed over 10,000 of our compatriots. Nearly every day thereafter Haitians have courageously amplified this position, with thousands more people demonstrating and calling for my return.

I hear your voices dear sisters and brothers. Your call for peace echoes my call for peace. Your cry for justice reiterates my call for justice. The return will happen through a peaceful process of dialogue in which we stand ready to engage.

Today, April 7th we pause to commemorate the death of our founding father, Toussaint Louverture. In 1801, Toussaint traced the constitutional line that the present Constitution aspires to follow. It is under the banner of this constitutionality that we seek to guide our nation to a peaceful resolution of a crisis that has caused so much pain and suffering. I commend all of you who peacefully continue to mobilize for my return. This is the only way to build a state of law. Indeed, you are absolutely right, mobilizing for the return means that law and not violence must prevail in Haiti.

Your continued calls for my return demonstrate that you are truly "des racines louverturiennes."

I am proud of you.

President Jean-Bertrand Aristide

Pretoria, South Africa

April 7, 2005

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