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Author Topic: Haiti in Chains  (Read 5152 times)
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« on: July 09, 2004, 10:18:50 AM »

Haiti In Chains

Issue 98- July 8, 2004

Haiti is a prison ruled by psychopaths, an angry wound
in the body of the African Diaspora inflicted by
pirates at war with civilization, itself.  It is the
festering evidence of the Bush menís true intentions
for the region and hemisphere, a nightmare and a
warning from the North to the South: donít even pretend
that you are free.

Since February 29, when the United States and France
forced President Jean-Bertrand Aristide and his wife
into an odyssey of exile, Haiti has endured the
dictatorship of an elite so tiny and morally depraved
that its survival is dependent on indigenous criminals
and foreign soldiers. The U.S.-installed government of
Gerard Latortue -- a rabble fronting for butchers and
thieves -- now seeks legitimacy in the ranks of the
Caribbean Community, Caricom, the 15-nation regional
body from which Latortue recklessly withdrew in the
aftermath of the coup.

At a summit meeting this week in Grenada, Caricomís
leaders withheld recognition of the Haitian Gangster
State, opting instead to send a delegation to explore
restoration of relations in the future. According to
reports earlier in the week, Belize, Antigua and
Barbuda, Trinidad and Tobago, Grenada and the Bahamas
pressed for immediate recognition of Latortueís regime,
while a smaller bloc, led by St. Vincent and the
Grenadines Prime Minister Ralf Gonsalves, sought to
ostracize the U.S. puppet.

"The Heads or no group of Heads can go and meet
Latortue, and, if they go, they would not be
representing me," said Gonsalves. "Latortue was
installed by the Americans, you do not have democracy
in Haiti today and there is no level playing field,
therefore whoever wants to recognize Haiti can, but the
Government of St. Vincent and the Grenadines will not
recognize the Latortue administration."

The final compromise calls for Haitian readmission to
Caricom based on certain "conditionalities," including
an early return to a constitutional government in
Haiti, establishment of a bi-partisan electoral council
for competitive local, national and presidential
elections, and the disarming of armed bands.

Every Caribbean leader knows that the Latortue regime
cannot possibly adhere to such conditions, since it is
in a state of war with the majority of Haitiís people
-- the mass constituency that chose Aristide as their
President under the Lavalas party umbrella. Caricomís
face-saving formula seeks to preserve the dignity of
the organization while allowing member states to
attempt to make their peace with the United States --
the overwhelming presence at the Grenada meeting.
Jamaican Prime Minister P..J. Patterson was ready to
compromise, having borne the full fury of U.S. wrath at
his decision to temporarily harbor Aristide after his
release from the Central African Republic.

There will be many such "compromises" -- and,
undoubtedly, a host of outright betrayals -- as the
hemisphere and the world wrestles with the great
question of the age: How can nations, or combinations
of nations, preserve the integrity of international law
in the face of a superpower that is intent on
subordination or outright destruction of the existing
world order? In this context, the tiny, super-
vulnerable nations of the Caribbean may have shown as
much collective spine as can reasonably be expected.

Latinos bearing guns

In the estimation of Stan Goff and many other opponents
of U.S. imperialism, the leftist governments of
Argentina, Brazil and Chile have stepped over the line
into "grotesque betrayal and unabashed political
opportunism" by taking on UN "peacekeeping" duties in
Haiti. (See "ABC of Opportunism," Counterpunch, July
3.) As Goff points out, all three of these nations were
themselves victimized by American-backed military

   Has Argentina's [President Nestor Carlos] Kirchner
   forgotten the US's supportive role during the Dirty
   War? Has Chile's [President Ricardo] Lagos
   forgotten 1973 and the CIA attack on Chilean
   popular sovereignty? And has Brazil's [President    Lula] da Silva developed amnesia with regard to
   [President Joao] Goulart's ouster at the hands of
   the same CIA in 1964?

The Brazil-led UN force took over Haiti occupation
duties from a U.S.-led "multinational" force, late last
month, with a Security Council mandate to "encourage"
disarmament of armed groups in preparation for
elections in 2005. Haitians cannot be faulted for
believing that only the accents of the occupiers have
changed. There is no question that, by replacing U.S.,
Canadian and French troops, the Latin American presence
has the effect of "sanctioning the controversial
foreign intervention in which former Haitian President
Jean-Bertrand Aristide was removed from power," wrote
Emir Sader in the current issue of Foreign Policy In
Focus. However, Brazil sees the issue differently,
perceiving its UN mission as one that strengthens
international order and the rule of law. From President
Lula da Silvaís perspective, Brazilís mission in Haiti
represents opposition to American unilateralism.

Not coincidentally, da Silva believes that his
eagerness to participate in the occupation of Haiti
enhances Brazilís candidacy for a permanent spot on the
UN Security Council -- which in turn, by this line of
reasoning, advances the goal of a multi-polar world in
which large developing nations like Brazil, South
Africa, India and China act as counterbalances to North
American and European power.

Such rationalizations do the Haitian people no good at
all, but must be expected and understood as the
inevitable result of the contradictions into which the
Bush Pirates have plunged the planet. When the
Americans threaten to make the UN irrelevant (in Bush
pal Richard Perleís words, "perhaps we can dispense
with the UN altogether"), nations fearful for the
future of international order become eager to engage
the world body as an alternative to "unregulated" U.S.
aggression. Thus, the United Nations gave cover to a
decade of U.S. and British aerial aggression against
Iraq, and offered its good offices to the farcical
"transfer" of power to the "new" puppet regime in
Baghdad -- all in the interest of staying in "the
game." To preserve the appearance of the rule of law,
the UN stoops to legalizing lawlessness.

Secretary General Kofi Annanís lap dog behavior -- a
repertoire that features a "roll over" so predictable
you can set your watch by it -- is a calculated defense
of the institutional United Nations. The UN has been
Annanís "home" for more than 40 years; he is a
"citizen" of a vast, global bureaucracy whose primary
mission is to preserve itself. When resistance to the
superpower might endanger the institution, the UN seeks
a niche alongside the superpower -- and calls it
international order.

Brazil, Argentina and Chile followed the same map to
Haiti. As long as there exists no web of international
relations that can function effectively without the
cooperation of the United States, nations will justify
their lack of solidarity with the victims of U.S.
aggression by waving the UN flag.

In Haitiís case, UN bureaucrats speak of decades of
international stewardship over the country, as if it
were a toddler nation, rather than the second republic
to emerge in the western hemisphere. Better to "adopt"
the child than leave it to its own devices, or to the
tender mercies of its abusive neighbors. So goes the
self-serving rationalization, with hardly a nod to the
UNís own principles of national sovereignty and self-

Thugs and thieves

Like stunted sorcererís apprentices, the de facto
rulers in Port-au-Prince mimic their masters in
Washington, pretending that deposed Prime Minister Yvon
Neptune is Haitiís Saddam Hussein. Neptune went
underground in March to escape assassination by the
"freedom fighters" who are the muscle for Gerard
Latortueís regime. In May, while still in hiding,
Neptune wrote an Open Letter to the U.S.-led occupiers
of his country, the Organization of American States
(OAS), Caricom, and the UN:

   "The Multinational Force will soon put an end to
   its mission, it will be replaced by a United
   Nations Force.  I wish that neither will have been
   a tool put in the hands of the present Government,
   the group 184 and other coalitions of die-hard
   anti-Lavalas  sectors to chase away, isolate or
   destroy those who share the yearning and the
   difficult and painful struggle of the impoverished
   majority to move forward with the process of
   building an inclusive and equitable socio-economic
   system for the benefit of all.

   "I am convinced that the historically violated,
   exploited, deceived and repressed people of Haiti
   have the intelligence and wisdom to create,
   identify  and seize true opportunities of
   stability, peace and improvement of their living

Neptune was arrested by Latortueís police on June 27,
shortly after coming out of hiding. He faces trial by
the equivalent of an Al Capone court. The prime
ministerís imprisonment, said former Aristide spokesman
Mario Dupuy, "confirms, for those who still had doubts,
the hideous and revolting character of this tropical

An estimated 3,000 Haitians have been murdered by
Latortueís thugs since the U.S.-engineered coup of
February 29.

The United Nations will not bring justice to Haiti, so
long as it can otherwise busy itself.  Even
"progressive" Latin American states have demonstrated
that the "big picture" in their heads does not include
Haitiís 8 million people. Nor can Haitians expect their
Caricom neighbors to risk their own sovereignty in the
quest for a free Haiti. Should he win the presidency,
John Kerry will not lift a finger on his own initiative
to return President Aristide from South African exile.
Yet it is also certain that the buffoonish Latortue
regime, representing a small and flight-prone elite,
cannot impose its cruel discipline on the great bulk of
the population for long.

"If they want to kill all of us that's OK, but we will
not rest until Aristide is back," said Lesly Gustave,
an organizer of a 5,000-strong Lavalas demonstration in
Port-au-Prince, in mid-June.

We smell an uprising.

justice for Ayiti!
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