Toussaint Louverture airport
18 March 2011
"My sisters and brothers, if you could place your hands on my heart, you would feel how it beats faster for telling you bravo, thank you, bravo, thank you!” Aristide said.
He urged all not to forget the victims of the Japan disaster.
“Honor-respect! Honor for you, and respect for the memory of our 300,000 earthquake victims”, he said.
He thanked South African President Zuma, former president Mbeki, Mandela, his brothers and sisters from central Africa, Jamaica, and South Africa.
“Although Haiti is far from Africa, we will never forget our cultural roots. We will always tell our children and grandchildren to remember where our ancestors come from.... In union there is strength, in division weakness.... My sisters, my brothers, as you know, the lovely rose of gratitude from our country will always bloom for our true friends from abroad, some who are here with us and others in many other places....”
He greeted his sisters and brothers from Cuba and especially the Cuban doctors who are battling the cholera epidemic.
“My sisters and brothers, if you could lean your heart against mine, you would hear how it beats faster, you would hear how it sings a consoling melody for Haiti. Haiti is our mother who needs to breathe the oxygen of dignity....”
“Since the earthquake, if I could transform the chambers of my heart into the rooms of a house, I already know how many rooms would be there for all the victims, to keep them from sleeping in the streets, from the mud... the humiliation.... Yes. The humiliation of one Haitian is the humiliation of all Haitians. When the dignity of one Haitian is wounded, it is the dignity of all Haitians that bleeds. Our blood is the blood of Toussaint Louverture. We cannot betray our blood. My sisters, my brothers, today the birthing of the return was done in the shadow of Toussaint Louverture. When he was kidnapped into exile in June 1802, he said that liberty has many roots, and they are deeply planted. To cut the trunk of liberty is one thing, but the roots can never be wiped out.”
“Today, in the shade of Toussaint Louverture, we are happy to come engage the youth, you the new generation, who want education in dignity and without exclusion...
The problem of exclusion, its solution is inclusion. The exclusion of Fanmi Lavalas is the exclusion of the majority. The esclusion of the majority is tantamount to cutting the branch on which we sit. The problem of exclusion, its solution is the inclusion of all Hatians without favoritism, because “Tout moun se moun!” (We all are human beings!)
“To honor Jean-Jacques Dessalines we come to bring you our little bit of help. With the little ball of education centered in the court of dignity, we will kick exclusion to the outside and this way, the new generation will begin to benefit from the wealth that slumbers deep within Haiti: gold, copper, uranium, bauxite, silver... The calcium carbonate to be found in Miragoane is valued at more than U.S. $23 billion. The petroleum reserves are no doubt larger than estimated... But we Haitians, we are the greatest wealth....”
“For seven years, we communicated from afar. Today we are here to sow peace everywhere, all the time.... You Haitians who love peace, we condemn all forms of violence, so that the education of our youth can be done with peace in the head and peace in the belly. Haiti is very sick. From February 29, 2004 till today the disease has worsened... The greatest hope for Haiti is Haitians. The strongest remedy for Haiti is love.... As the crocus’ bloom depends on sunlight, so Haiti’s bloom depends on our love.”
“My job is to serve you with love. Your job is to live so Haiti does not die. The job of a good patriot is to love his country.”
Translated by Axis of Logic columnist, Dady Chery.