By G. Dunkel
Published Jul 31, 2011 11:23 PM
The transparency-advocacy group WikiLeaks has released secret cables dating from 2003 to 2010 that reveal details of Washington’s intervention in Haiti. Published in the weekly newspaper Haïti Liberté, the cables are having a powerful impact on Haitian politics.
Actually, it doesn’t seem to be having any impact on local politics since few read Haiti Liberte with its circulation of 500.
But U.S. intervention didn’t start in 2003. Ever since Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson gave the slave owners in Haiti $700,000 in an abortive attempt to put down the slave revolution that ultimately crushed them — the U.S.’s first foreign aid and a major amount of money at the time — the U.S. government has been engaged in Haiti.
This is simply not true and anyone reading history knows the facts. Those reading Haiti Liberte don’t know anything about facts. But there are only 500 copies and most of these are used for toilet paper.
From 1804 to 1862 the U.S. enforced a diplomatic and trade embargo against Haiti. From 1915 to 1934 a U.S. military occupation tried to mold Haiti into a profitable neo-colony.
The occupation had good and bad points. It did create an infrastructure, some of which survived after American forces left. It wasn’t a popular resistance to occupation that saw the Americans leave. A point came where the Americans had had enough and moved on.
As popular resistance to occupation grew stronger, the U.S. withdrew and shifted its support from 1957 to 1986 to the fascist Duvaliers, father and son, and their Tonton Macoutes paramilitaries, although it distanced itself from their harsh, unprofitable repression toward the end.
After suffering from years of bloody military coups, massacres of protesters — hundreds of peasants demanding land were killed at Jean-Rabel in 1987 — and elections drowned in blood, the Haitian people elected Jean-Bertrand Aristide by a landslide in 1990. Aristide called the mass movement that put him into power Lavalas, the Creole word for “torrent.”
What’s with this garbage about military coups? Read the history and publish the facts!
There was less violence in Haiti than is found during a normal day in Miami
Jean Rabel stands as a classic misjudgment on the part of Aristide and Father Jean Marie Vincent. Vincent, and his girlfriend, a Swedish nun, distributed 2000 new machetes among their people and led an attack on Jean Rabel.
They were attacking poor peasant farmers, in an attempt to steal their land…an attack of “have nots’ on “have littles.”
The people of Jean Rabel resisted and drove off Father Vincent’s mob killing 487, if my memory serves me well. Many fell into caverns with openings shielded by bushes. People ran into bushes to hide and fell to be trapped below.
In 1991 a U.S.-backed military coup deposed Aristide as president. Later he returned to Haiti after a 1994 U.S. invasion. Washington then let the United Nations take responsibility for the occupation. René Préval replaced Aristide in 1996, and Aristide was re-elected president in 2000, replacing Préval in 2001.
There was no coup in 1991. The people were desperately tired of Aristide’s violent government as he necklaced dozens of people and closed ministries down for “restructuring.” The country was out of control and the people finally sent him into exile.
Because Aristide disbanded the army in 1995, it took until Feb. 29, 2004, for U.S. imperialism and its allies in the reactionary Haitian bourgeoisie to organize a coup. That day U.S. Special Forces kidnapped Aristide and his spouse, Mildred Trouillot Aristide, putting them on a U.S. Air Force jet and flying them to the Central African Republic.
I don’t follow the reasoning for mentioning the disbanded FAdH.
There was no coup. Elements moved to remove Aristide and Aristide – because he had illegally disbanded the military, had no element that would stand in Guy Philippe’s way, although he had no more than 40 people with him. Aristide’s National Police – all 6000 of them – refused to do anything and, in the final analysis, the international community advised Aristide that they could not guarantee his security. His American mercenary security force, hired at a cost of over $9,000,000 per year, said they could not protect him: He decided to leave.
Aristide paid for the aircraft and was accompanied by his American mercenaries, and Frantz Gabriel, his pilot who had flown Aristide’s personal helicopter in attacks upon the people of St Marc during February. Dozens of women and children were killed by machine-gun fire from that helicopter.
Others were shot, chopped or burned to death by mobs sent by Prime Minister Neptune and Interior Minister Privert.
A delegation, which included Johnnie Stevens from the Peoples Video Network and Sara Flounders from the International Action Center; Kim Ives, now an editor with Haïti Liberté; plus Aristide’s attorney Brian Concannon and filmmaker Katherine Kean, was the first to visit Aristide in the Central African Republic on March 9, 2004, and reveal to the world the nature of the U.S. kidnapping.
This is hardly what anyone would call an unbiased cross-section of the media world. Concannon has already filed with the Justice Department as a foreign agent for Aristide and has filed papers, with Justice, showing he has been paid over $1,000,000..
U.N. armed forces called Minustah took over from the U.S. and French troops occupying Haiti in June 2004 and are still there.
MINUSTAH is an unwelcome, and unneeded element in Haiti. The sooner it departs, the better. Although, there is some value is the suggestion that MINUSTAH change swords for plowshears, helping Haiti rebuild.
MINUSTAH must also take responsibility for the many criminal actions of its soldiers. Nepalese soldiers are responsible for introducing cholera. This epidemic will infect over 1,000,000 by the end of the year. We expect over 20,000 deaths…unfortunately, the UN people are undercounting our losses.
MINUSTAH units are also responsible for other crimes. Last week the Uruguayan soldiers at Port Salut were exposed for their production of child pornography. They were also exposed a child molesters. Added to this was the fact that this unit was photographed dumping shit into the river system.
Remember the entire sri Lanken unit that was thrown out for prostituting young Haitians…only to be welcomed home like heroes?
Enough is enough!
Haiti must control its own destiny and control MINUSTAH.
While what Washington has done in Haiti is in the historical record, as well as some of its deliberations and the political analysis of its diplomats and soldiers, a lot occurred behind closed doors, and the details had not been publicly accessible until now.
The writer, of this article, refers to “the historical record” and then avoids all details in this record.
WikiLeaks has 1,918 secret diplomatic cables about Haiti from U.S. embassies, covering from April 17, 2003, 10 months before the Feb. 29 coup d’état, to Feb. 28, 2010, just after the Jan. 12 earthquake that devastated the capital of Port-au-Prince and the surrounding area. WikiLeaks asked Haïti Liberté to publish selections from them in French and Creole and to cooperate with The Nation on the English versions.
Haiti Liberte is publishing “selections” from these confusing bits of State Departmkent comedy. “Selections” simply confuse and already confusing situation to the point where there is no reality at all. Luckily Haiti Liberte, with its circulation of 500, cannot make much of an impression, not even in the more practical area of toilet paper..
“Haïti Liberté is publishing these cables because they offer unparalleled insight into how the United States government has tried to manipulate Haitian affairs in its own interests, not in the interests of the Haitian people,” said Berthony Dupont, Haïti Liberté’s director. “We hope that the release of the cables will help bring about some transparency and accountability for the Haitian people.”
With this publication “INTERPRETATIONS” of the WikiLeaks material there will be no transparency, just more propaganda. The Cables should be published here, in their entirety, so the reader can try to judge what the embassy or State Department person meant – already a challenge, without getting someone else’s ideas involved.
The revelations from WikiLeaks broke through in even the most right-wing media in Haiti like Le Nouvelliste. In a signed editorial in the July 13-19 issue of Haïti Liberté, Dupont makes the following point: “Recently, the striking impact of WikiLeaks has made the Haitian bourgeoisie tremble in their boots, and revealed its disgraceful, hidden character: its scornful cowardice and its shameful lack of courage.”
“WikiLeaks has made the Haitian bourgeoisie tremble in their boots…” is really a somewhat childish, sophomoric – perhaps moronic..way of describing things. No one trembled in their boots or Gucci shoes. Few read the stuff. I agree that the bourgeoisie leaves a lot to be desired, but so do Aristide and Preval who show absolutely no interest in the peoples’ well-being.
This class has done everything the imperialists told it to do and showed no concern for the development of Haiti, the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere.
Workers World asked Ives, a writer of many of the Haïti Liberté articles and a member of its editorial board, why the United States devoted so much effort to controlling and manipulating such a small, poor country.
Ives said Haiti is “the second most populous nation in the Caribbean. It is one of the principal battle lines in the struggle Washington is waging against the ALBA nations, led by Cuba and Venezuela, and also in the struggle between China and Taiwan. So North-South and East-West geopolitics all converge there, especially because Haiti is the only militarily occupied nation in the Americas.”
I have never seen Kim Ives in Haiti. In fact, for years, I though he was a she, like Amy Goodman. Although Kim might be a “she” and Amy might be a “he”…but that type of thought gets too confusing.
In any event, both of these people have done a great deal of damage to those they claim to support – Haiti’s 9,000,000 unrepresented people. Both Ives and Goodman claim to support the mob but they blindly support Jean-Bertrand Aristide which is not the same thing.
Both wrote of huge mobs that greeted Aristide’s on his return this years….when there was no mob at all. He was greeted at the airport by about 100 journalists and another 100 curious airport workers. There was no huge crowd, accompanying him on his drive, from the airport to Tabarre. The crowd, at Tabarre, had been hired by Preval and got out of control. Tear gas was fired, but the mob climbed the fence and invaded Aristide’s house. They stole every stick of furniture, all of the food from the buffet and stole the personal possessions of Aristide’s guests – including Danny Glover.
Aristide’s children were so tramatized that they were sent to the Dominican Republic.
Haiti also has a 200-year history of resistance and success against great odds. For all that the United States and its allies did to keep President Aristide in exile — detailed in one of the Haïti Liberté articles — after seven years of struggle, he is back in Haiti.
And, unlike Jean-Claude Duvalier, who travels the countryside to be welcomed by thousands of cheering Haitians, Aristide remains cooped up somewhere, surrounded by a wall of armed guards.
There must be a lesson here.
Articles copyright 1995-2011 Workers World. Verbatim copying and distribution of this entire article is permitted in any medium without royalty provided this notice is preserved.