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by no macouto-bourgeoisie
Tuesday, Feb. 24, 2004 at 10:13 AM
The counter-revolutionary thugs who have named themselves, the "Haitian National Revolutionary Liberation Front" are directed by commanders like Guy Philippe - a U.S.-trained former Haitian soldier who has attempted at least three coups in the last four years. Commander Louis Jodel Chamblain, the #2 ranked leader of the notorious CIA-backed FRAPH death squads that terrorized Haiti in the 1990s. Chamblain was convicted in both the assassination of Antoine Izmery, a pro-democracy businessman in 1993, and the 1994 Raboteau massacre of innocent civilians. These are the so-called "rebels" the press lauds as leading the "rebellion" in Haiti. What we are witnessing is a U.S. backed coup against the twice democratically elected President Jean-Bertrand Aristide.
coup.jpg, image/jpeg, 858x596
From Black Commentator
The Bush administration is preparing to declare Haiti a "failed state," so that Washington can step in to put the pieces back together as it chooses. Creating the conditions for such a declaration has been the U.S. objective since George Bush came to power. For three years Washington and the European Union have imposed an aid embargo on Haiti, squeezing the hemisphere's poorest nation until it screamed - and then squeezing harder.
Despite ever deepening misery, Haiti's poor majority stuck with their popularly elected President, Jean-Bertrand Aristide. Washington had expected to remove the former priest through massive demonstrations - a counter-revolution by acclamation - hopefully before this year's celebrations of Haiti's 200th anniversary. U.S. and European media tried mightily to paint a picture of overwhelming popular disaffection with Aristide. However, the Haitian people are intimately familiar with the faces and history of the "opposition," gathered opportunistically under the banner of Group 184. U.S. media routinely exaggerated the size of opposition demonstrations, while ignoring far larger pro-government rallies. But you can't tell a bald-faced lie to people about events they have witnessed with their own eyes. Americans may have been fooled, but
Haitians were not. Aristide remained.
Frustrated, the U.S. unleashed the mad dogs of the old regime, based in the neighboring Dominican Republic (see , April 3, 2003).The Haitian elite, too tiny and effete to field any forces of their own, enlisted drug gangs as shock troops for what Prime Minister Yvon Neptune called the "coup in motion." Much of the northern part of the country has fallen to the gangsters and former death squads. The U.S. has delivered Haiti into Hell, as planned. Now Washington waits for the proper moment to declare Haiti a failed state.
Colin Powell, a master of duplicity, seeks to distance himself from the transparent handiwork of his own State Department. "There is, frankly, no enthusiasm right now for sending in military or police forces to put down the violence that we are seeing," Powell said, Monday. "What we want to do right now is find a political solution, and then there are willing nations that would come forward with a police presence to implement the political agreement that the sides come to."
How innocent. The "violence we are seeing" has been orchestrated by the United States, which now poses as a mediator between "the sides." Powell would prefer to be invited into Haiti, if not by the Haitian government, then by a gaggle of "willing nations" purchased for the occasion.
Only a week ago, between 300,000 and one million Haitians rallied to Aristide's government, in Port-au-Prince. They represent the only brake on American ambitions. There is no doubt that the U.S. has the power to turn Haiti into a cauldron of blood. However, Colin Powell prefers to calibrate the operation, stretching it out in stages, so that the Americans can once again pretend to be reluctant liberators of an oppressed, bleeding people.
The February 11 issue of Haiti-Progres offered an analysis that has held up in the subsequent week of horror: Given its broad, if grudging, popular support, the government is unlikely to be overthrown by the rebels themselves. Foreign muscle maybe needed for that.
An opposition spokesman denied backing the armed opposition's violence but called for foreign intervention to avert civil war, according to the BBC. "For a long time, we have been warning the government that this is where they wanted to bring the situation," said Ben Dupuy, secretary general of the National Popular Party (PPN), one of the government's leftist allies. "Washington along with the traditional ruling classes have been strangling and destablilizing Haiti to create the conditions so they can cry 'anarchy' and justify yet another military intervention. This was the excuse in 1915, and they want to use it again today." U.S. troops, however, are bogged down in Afghanistan and Iraq, Dupuy explained, so they might resort to a proxy force. "The Dominican Army works closely with the Pentagon, by which it has recently been rearmed," he said. "Or perhaps they'll try to orchestrate a CARICOM force or some other combination."
In any such scenario, the armed opposition or foreign troops would face a very hostile reception from an armed and angry Haitian people. "With President Aristide, the people began a real revolution," said Pierre Antoine Lovinsky, head of the September 30 Foundation which champions victims of the 1991 coup. "And that revolution will not go backwards.
The people will prove that."
Washington is determined that Aristide leave the scene, either by helicopter to a waiting American warship, or at the receiving end of a bullet. There can be no reconciliation with the Bush men's proxies - that's Powell's game of calibration. If the Haitian people are to have any chance of sovereignty, 200 years after throwing off slavery and French rule, then they must fight for it under their own, chosen leaders. Three thousand police cannot save Haiti, but it is still possible that the people's militias can halt the process that the U.S. has set in motion. There is little time left for President Aristide to
make his decision.
Stan Goff spent his former life with the U.S. Special Forces, including
a stint in Haiti. Now a political activist and author, Goff wrote the
following piece for the February 14 issue of Counterpunch.
Haiti's second largest city, Cap Haitien, fell to the right-wing paramilitaries on Feb. 23rd.
Beloved Haiti: A (Counter) Revolutionary Bicentennial
by Stan Goff
As I write this there is an attempt to start a civil war in Haiti, engineered in the United States of America and supported by its lapdogs in Caricom and the Organization of American States. Former Haitian military men who have received "some form" of training and logistical support while hiding out in the neighboring US semi-colony, the Dominican Republic, are systematically attacking the Haitian National Police at primary strategic points along the entire route from Port-au-Prince to the Dominican Border near Ouanaminthe. Only Cap Haitien has not fallen so far as St. Marc, Gonaives, and Trou du Nord a town at a key bridge between the border and Cap Haitien has been ransacked by right-wing paramilitaries, who are the armed wing of a US-funded "opposition" that cloaks itself in the name Convergence Democratique, and now falsely claims no connection with this activity.
The main road between Port-au-Prince to St. Marc to Gonaives to Cap Haitien to Trou du Nord to Ouanaminthe is often the only passable route cross country, and these seizures have effectively cut off the western coastal towns from the capital and isolated Cap Haitien, the second largest city in Haiti. At last word, these former Haitian military units - some of the same ones who worked for the notorious Duvaliers and for the savage Cedras-Francois junta - have abandoned St. Marc.
The ridiculous names like Gonaives Resistance Front that these right-wing paramilitaries have assigned themselves are already being echoed in the capitalist press, which also refers to them, idiotically, as "rebels," and to their activities as the activities of "crowds." A contact I spoke with hours ago who returned from Port-au-Prince today told me that the real crowds are those who are fleeing these fascist coup operations in the North and the massive PRO-Aristide demonstrations in the capital. This contact said the situation here is very similar in many respects to the US-supported attempt to overthrow another democratically elected government, that of Hugo Chavez in Venezuela.
The paramilitaries have opened ships and stores for looting, capitalizing on the desperate poverty and hunger of Haitians to direct the energy of masses into looting, in order to neutralize them politically. But it has only worked locally. My contact said that contrary to what's going on here, the Haitian masses are "crystal clear" that this is a US-supported coup attempt.
If the legitimately elected government of Jean-Bertrand Aristide fails to take aggressive action to recapture these cities, there may be a successful coup within weeks. While the tactical target of this paramilitary action is the Aristide government, the political target is - as it always has been - the popular sovereignty of the Haitian masses. It is a tragic irony that this situation has developed this far on the bicentennial of the heroic Haitian Revolution, and that it is being led by an imperial power that wants to annihilate popular sovereignty wherever it raises its head.
To help the reader understand what is going on there, I am inserting my journal from the last Aristide inauguration, and I will make somecomments afterward:
Fear and Loathing in Haiti:
A journal of Aristide's inauguration
January 16-February 9, 2001
by Stan Goff
Back to 2004:
All warnings that the finger would give way to the hand are coming to pass. Hopefully the Aristide government will take all action necessary to secure the nation, and if they do they will be vilified by the US press. That's why we need to get this story out there now, so there is at least some perspective to help the left avoid heading down the wrong path. Aristide needs to wage a ruthless fight to retake each of those towns in turn, to acknowledge that the macouto-bourgeoisie is waging a civil war, and to state that this is war, openly, in order to do what is necessary. If not, then the right-wing paramilitaries will maintain the initiative, they will operate within the logic of war, and they will topple Aristide's government and clamp down yet again on popular sovereignty, with assistance from the hegemon to the north.
I have no doubt that by-and-by the heroic people of Haiti will fight back if it becomes necessary, but for now their fight is to root out this imperial infection. The question has been called in Haiti. Sovereignty or subjugation. This is the stark choice, and the time for conciliation is past. Now it is time for Dessalines.
To stay abreast of developments in Haiti without relying on the
capitalist press, go to the English section of www.haiti-progres.com.
We highly recommend Stan Goff's latest book, "Full Spectrum Disorder:
The military in the New American Century (Soft Skull Press, 2003). Goff
is also author of "Hideous Dream: A Soldier's Memoir of the US Invasion
of Haiti" (Soft Skull Press, 2000). He is a member of the BRING THEM
HOME NOW! coordinating committee, a retired Special Forces master
sergeant, and the father of an active duty soldier
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