Posterity erupts examples. It has been done before and without question will repeat itself multi-fold in the sociological discourse henceforth: The proxy hath overstepped its bounds.
Friday evening, fatigued, discombobulated and simply annoyed with the sycophants falling over themselves with jingoist pride, as to the “stellar” to “adequate” to “appalling” federal and state response to the Gulf Coast disaster (which deserves an entirely independent critique), I opened a frantically titled email from the avant-garde Haitian Lawyers Leadership Network: URGENT ALERT KPFA Journalist Kevin Pina and Jean Ristil arrested by Haitian National Police!!
Pause. What? Again, Pause. What the Fuck? This revelation hit the solar plexus with square fortitude. Kevin Pina graciously licensed to me, a haunting photograph of the mass graves from the 1991 U$ / CIA sponsored coup. This image adorns the cover of my 2004 release, the “Boomerang Poltick” EP.
Not that surprise retains any meaning as to the sardonic morass that has become the Black republic of Haiti, but news of the situation was assuredly bone shattering. For those in observance and study of Haitian politics, Kevin Pina is fixture on the Pro-Democracy / Anti-Imperialist scene. A famed Documentarian, Political Analyst and correspondent to the award winning KPFA “Flashpoints” program, Mr. Pina is of the abhorrently few, the embarrassingly infinitesimal minority of the American Left Intelligentsia whose proclamations against rabid White-Anglo-Saxon Patriarchy and Hegemony equal ones actions. Kevin is the “muck” in racking journalism.
In step with the cyclone of fascistic maneuvers vis-à-vis the illegitimate, de facto Latortue junta, their Draconian guard the UN MINSUTAH stabilizing force (sic) and the grand Patrons, the U$, French and Candian Governments, Kevin has of late, redoubled his efforts in documenting the macabre incursions and movements into the popular strongholds throughout Port-Au-Prince and Haiti at large; tactics that have become increasingly sadistic in pursuit of achieving the optimum objective: Pacifying the Haitian populace prior to sham elections scheduled for the fall. Point in case, the Duvalierist-styled execution of 20+ alleged “bandits” by HNP, UN and CIA supported death squads by way of machete; this during a halftime period at a USAID sponsored soccer match in Martissant. That the Emperors of Ayiti act on erudition from the Roman Cesars in pacifying the mob by way of Proletarian sport is assumed; Orwellian cynicism and duplicity cower in the shadow cast by this act of supreme barbarism.
In addition to cunningness and the protection by the Haitian masses, Kevin’s 10-year tour of duty sans bullet wounds or otherwise speaks volumes to the power and influence of three sociological factors: Race, Colour and the omnipotent U$ passport (he has however survived 2 assassination attempts). In the lexicon of Post-Colonial Latin America, the prevalence of Colour, as a precondition to class and privilege cannot be understated. In the 201 History of Haiti, Colour, in virtually all substantive respects, takes precedence over Race per se, in those sociological and political machinations that constitute society; antagonisms predicated on a Napoleonic-caste system, first fueled by the embittered French Governors, then the ancien-libres (free Blacks) and Mulattoes, then the Yank Occupiers during the genocidal reign of 1915-34 and now by the morally repugnant Haitian Elite and International mercenaries in the form of IMF, IDB, World Bank, IRI, OAS and NED aficionados.
For those who have walked in the midst of the feces-riddled alleys, sunken faces and swollen bellies that define any given hood in Haiti, then to venture north to the Monaco-like undulations, Riviera-styled mansions and German automobile laced rues of Petion-Ville, the shameless, time honored and state-protected relationship between Colour and Race and privilege hit like Mike Tyson did before ear biting was a sport. The two-tier society reeks with odiferous potency; much like the abodes housing Haiti’s disenfranchised majority. Kevin found himself somewhere between the castes. An outcast by virtue of political righteousness and as many Americans would say, nigger-loving tendencies; but nonetheless, a Blanc, a foreigner, an American, and with that badge of Imperialist immunity, “allowed” to conduct his manifest work in Haiti.
What then of this impudent gesture by a no-name magistrate, a one Jean Peres Paul and his subordinate staff of SOA trained militia? What then of Kevin Pina’s and Jean Ristil’s extrajudicial detainment and or de facto arrest? Does the mandate scribed to Congressional record by the blood and bile of 10,000+ descendants of the First Independent Black Republic, extended to the self-proclaimed Barons by massah’s giving hand, authorize the victimizing of American citizen’s, or worse? As Haiti is now a client state, victims in pursuit and defense of Empire are undoubtedly unworthy. Posterity boasts a host of precedents. In recent memory, one recalls the Dan Mitrione-styled execution of the 4 Amercian Nuns, 1980 in El Salvador, by the SOA trained paramilitaries. The investigation following was as laughable as was the recent trail in Haiti releasing convicting Human Right’s violator Louis-Jodel Chamblain (also a CIA asset).
Kevin and Mr. Ristil’s case have yet to fully develop. It is however probabilistic that physical harm will be inflicted on the two soldiers, in addition to an absolute abdication of due process on the part of the Haitian authorities. The focus of this editorial was purposely and indignantly, Kevin Pina. I suspect the outrage and mobilization surrounding his recent fall will ostensibly be predicated on principle; on a myriad of grounds, some of which discussed above. The fact is, supported by a grotesque record of relative silence on the part of the American Left (save syndicates such as Counterpunch) since 2-29-04 and prior, Kevin’s status as an American Citizen, as a blanc, as one of “us,” will be the impetus sparking the flame.
As a Haitian American holistically exhausted, saddened and enraged by the Haitian reality as a whole, any response above and beyond the shy footed whisper hitherto is welcomed. Martyrdom is a strange phenomenon. It has the proclivity to capture those who would entirely oppose being the object of its affection, while denying immortality to the beaming and valiant masses who are truly martyrs by their very essence. Kevin is the apex of this paradox. We urge his immediate release and continue to revel in his humanitarianism and revolutionary exploits.
Kenbe Fo Kevin, n’ap vini pu ou!
JG is the Emcee for the live, Politically-Leftist Los Angeles Based Hip Hop group Boomerang Politick, a nationally-known quartet. He has written extensively on the Socio-Political plight of the Haitian Global Village and Latin American populist movements. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org