What about Haiti?
Departing the Port-au-Prince International Airport 30 years ago by an Embassy SUV, during the chaotic and dangerous drive to the U.S. Embassy, in the middle of the road were the orange flames and black smoke of a burning tire with the remains of a man’s body in the inferno. Anyone attempting to move the tire or help those in it, would receive the same treatment by one of Haiti’s gang/terrorist organizations — this was known as “ringing.”
Up to 1993, the corrupt police, military juntas and illegal police auxiliaries controlled Haiti with a firm and deadly fist. Haiti had an elected president, Jean-Bertrand Aristide, who was overthrown by the military. Haiti slid into the abyss with cries “where are the Americans?”
Calls for action were pressed to then-President Bill Clinton by interested parties to include the Congressional Black Caucus. Haiti is unique that it is a former slave state that revolted in 1904 when the slaves took over the government. Periods of a stable and corrupt administrations followed.
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Part of the U.S. military Haitian Assistance Group, our mission was, bottom line, to show United States “presence” and resolve to the Haitian people and most importantly, to the illegitimate military/police thugs running the country. Also, we performed surveys of Haiti for the possible employment of a United States military task force.
The assault on and occupation of Haiti occurred in 1994 with the return of President Jean-Bertrand Aristide and the departure/abdication of power of the Haitian generals.
After 30 years since the short occupation by the United States and United Nations, Haiti could not be in a worse condition with gangs now running the country vs. a corrupt military.
The question that I am sure our national leadership and military do not want to discuss is, “What about Haiti?”
John Witzel, Papillion
Lt. Col. (USAF, Ret.)
Debt of gratitude
Bellevue Little Theatre in Olde Towne Bellevue would like to thank all those who attended and donated generously to the Feb. 11 musical showcase “Sweet on Sondheim.” The event was held to benefit the BLT and to help with production costs for the upcoming production of “A Little Night Music” by Sondheim. The musical will open at the BLT on March 10, running for three weekends, closing on March 26.
Those who attended were treated to a showcase of area talent and presented with selections written by the late composer. In addition, the Omaha acapella group Mastersingers joined the celebration and treated the audience to several musical numbers, including a moving finale “Sunday” from the Sondheim musical “Sunday in the Park With George.”
Thank you also to those who gave of their time and talent to make this event happen. The BLT owes you all a debt of gratitude.
With sincere thanks and appreciation.
Bellevue Little Theatre Board of Directors
Clara Sue Arnsdorff, Bellevue
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