It is always a sad moment when someone passes away. But I will say frankly that I, for one, will not shed any tears for Senator Helms.
Not only did we see how he used the race issue during his re-election (remember what he did to Harvey Gant), but he caused great harm to Haiti by helping to twart Haiti's young democracy.
Indeed, he waged a relentless war against the newly elected Jean-Bertrandd Aristide in 1990, supporting the coup d'état in 1991, and actively spreading the word that Aristide was mentally unstable. His information was based on false facts sent to him by the white-haired American mercenary Jim Morison, working closely with Cedras (Newsweek had an article on this at the time). Later, during the first Preval administration, he sabotaged Preval's efforts aimed at revitalizing rice production in the Artibonite, by exerting pressure on the US Secretary of State to cut off financial assistance from USAID to this project in Haiti. Lord knows where we would be right now if this pilot project had been allowed to progress. We would not have been overwhelmed with "Miami Rice" and we might have regained our self-sufficiency in rice by now and the food riot might have been avoided.
Jesse Helms was and remained a poison for Haiti in his obtuse conservatism. I will not shed any tears for Jesse Helms.
Let this be the eulogy for Senator Jesse Helms as far as we, Haitians, are concerned, excluding those Haitians, military and civilians, the stateless ones, who got together with Americans such as Jesse Helms to destroy our nascent democracy, shatter so many dreams, and contribute to the death of at least 5 000 Haitians, according to the late Father Antoine Adrien. We never recovered from the 1991 coup which set the country on an accelerated downward spiral.
May he find his peace , but no, I will not shed any tears for Senator Jesse Helms.