A delegation organized by U.S. peace groups visited Haiti September 28-October 1 to establish a nonviolent presence in anticipation of exiled President Jean-Bertrand Aristide's scheduled October 30 return. As we go to press in mid-October, the Haitian military has refused to allow Aristide's return. Sojourners' Joe Nangle, O.F.M., was a member of the peace delegation. - The Editors
A U.S. congressional leader said recently that achieving democracy in Haiti is not worth the loss of one American life. According to Haitian church leader Rev. Antoine Adrien, dozens of American citizens are contradicting that statement today in his country.
In a mid-October press conference, Adrien pointed to the successful efforts of eight peace organizations (including Sojourners) to place unarmed peace keepers in violence-prone areas of Haiti. Under the name "Cry For Justice," these advocates of nonviolence remain as the only international body left in the chaos that is Haiti today.
In late September a religious delegation from the United States went to Haiti with the first Cry For Justice group on the occasion of the second anniversary of President Jean-Bertrand Aristide's ouster. The delegation agonized over the best way to mark the September 30 anniversary of the 1991 military takeover. When members heard that several Haitian religious leaders planned to travel to Washington, D.C., to mark the anniversary, the news suggested an appropriate action: If Haitians were not able to commemorate at home the ouster of their president, perhaps Americans could. The visitors decided to hold a religious service in Port-au-Prince at the same time the Haitians did in Washington, D.C.