Monday, March 08, 2004

It Wasn't the Americans who Kidnapped Aristide...

The locals think it was the "spirits"...

I am reminded of a protestant pastor in Jacksonville who showed me a picture that his son had taken in Haiti (this would have been 20+ years ago) in which there was a beast of some sort amongst the people...he claimed it was a demon--it was strange looking, whatever it was...

From Telegraph | News | Voodoo spirits get credit for Aristide's flight:

President Jean-Bertrand Aristide did not flee Haiti because he lost his nerve. Neither did the United States blackmail him. No, the most satisfying explanation for the country's recent upheavals is that the spirits were offended and taking their revenge.

Voodoo, an exotic synthesis of African, Caribbean and Roman Catholic beliefs, with freemasonry mixed in too, pervades every facet of life in Haiti, so its role in the downfall of Mr Aristide is, for most, beyond dispute.

Just as its flags, murals, shrines, rum, rattles and images of madonnas and saints lurk, invisible from the outside, in slum temples, the religion underlies each momentous event in the nation's history.

The rise and fall of Mr Aristide, its first democratically elected leader and an ordained Catholic priest who adopted as his symbol the cockerel, a voodoo icon, illustrates this. Mr Aristide, whose library contained many books on the national religion, was guilty of the voodoo equivalent of hubris and then struck down by its version of nemesis, several voodo priests said this week.

Comparing himself to the heroes who won Haiti's slaves freedom from the French two centuries ago was a fatal mistake, they said, one that the heroes, by now spirits themselves, punished.