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Reply #5: Aristide resisted World Bank/IMF/USAID/NAFTA. Kiss of death [View All]

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Tinoire Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-29-04 11:16 AM
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5. Aristide resisted World Bank/IMF/USAID/NAFTA. Kiss of death
Yes. Democratically elected twice by a land-slid. The first time was a huge shock for the US because our little IMF puppet, Marc Bazin, into whom we had pumped millions was barely able to bet 13% of the vote. When we restored Aristide, after shackling him with all sorts of IMF, USAID & NAFTA demands, we forbade him (what arrogance) from running again. He eventually ran again despite us, by having Andre Preval warm his seat for a term, and won. This we could not have!


Hati-Progrs Staff

translated by Greg Dunkel
-- The struggle is just beginning because imperialism does not like the example of a people liberating themselves.

The people did not wait for all the official results before they showed their joy. Convinced that from now on they will have Aristide as president, even though the proclamation won't come for several days, "Lavalas" poured into the streets of the capital by the hundreds of thousands, people of all ages, waving branches, singing, and dancing with an indescribable enthusiasm. An extraordinary mass phenomenon and one which shows to what point the people, so often presented as ragged, illiterate and backward, have the desire to live in dignity and independence, and are politically conscious. Indeed, this wasn't drunkenness and carnival, no more than it was a simple march. It was the celebration of an immense victory, a victory which left the entire world dumb struck. Because once again Haiti had succeeded in astonishing the world by undoing all the plans, all the plots without help from the outside. An unimaginable euphoria with chants like "Nou te vote kkman, nou genyen lavalsman" or "kk la beke, kk la beke Bazin, li beke makout" .


Confronted with such a situation, what can the United States do?


As for Jimmy Carter, at a press conference held at the El Rancho Hotel December 17, 1990, he judged that the elections had been free and the outcome believable. "I saw much enthusiasm, joy and gaiety among the Haitian people. It is very rare that this occurs anywhere in the world." Even the UN and OAS observers echoed his sentiments. Joao de Mdicis -- the personal representative of the secretary general of the UN -- said, "We are satisfied that the people had the chance to vote; there have been some material difficulties but in our opinion these difficulties did not at all affect the results."


These are some beautiful concessions -- one could almost believe that the U.S. government itself had become a devotee of democracy when its official delegation declared: "In the name of President Bush and the American people, we congratulate the Haitian people on the success of the first round of their general elections. ... The vote was free and credible." However, one cannot be nave and take these congratulations for ready money. The United States did not suddenly convert to true democracy, but they have been impressed and they reported that it was impossible to go against this tidal wave not only because it would be too scandalous, but because the Haitian people's response could only be suppressed by a gigantic blood bath. That did not keep the U.S. from resorting to all sorts of underhanded maneuvers. Thanks to Antoine Izmry, a member of the group On Respe pou Konstitisyon (Honor and Respect the Constitution) who denounced them, we have proof that Carter engaged in all sorts of maneuvers to benefit Bazin. Bazin had based his whole presidential campaign for president on co-optation and the power of money. He didn't miss a chance through his henchmen to engage in manipulation and fraud.

The struggle is just beginning because imperialism does not like the example of a people liberating themselves. In the context of Latin America where it is commonplace for elections to be manipulated to look like they are democratic, the case of Haiti is even more unusual. But the people have demonstrated that they have what it takes to effectively pursue the struggle: lucidity, vigilance, determination, the desire to live free and independent and not be subjected to puppets like Bazin.

For the Caribbean and Latin American people, for people all over the world, this victory gives a magnificent example and brings great consolation. Misery, repression, illiteracy, foreign interference, millions of dollars invested to manipulate and corrupt the people, all shredded and smashed. And this result is also reason for pride and joy for all the progressive militants who harvest today the fruits of long labor in politicizing the people. With redoubled energy, confidence and joy the popular organizations and all progressives are now going to roll up their shirt sleeves to get on to the second stage of the struggle: the realization of this "civilization of love" that Fr. Aristide proposes to build with the Haitian people.

Hati-Progrs December 19 to 24, 1990

US targets Venezuela: Bush plans aggressive policy in Latin America
By Patrick Martin
30 December 2000


Another immediate target of American pressure is the government of Jean-Bertrande Aristide in Haiti. Aristide was elected president for a second time last month, returning to the office to which he was first elected in 1990. (The former priest was ousted in a 1991 military coup, returned to power after the US occupation in 1994, and left office in 1995 when his five-year term expired.)

Although Aristide and his Lavalas Party won by a landslide in both the presidential election in November and the congressional elections last May, Republicans in the US Congress are demanding that Washington bar him from the hemispheric summit to be held in Canada in April. Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Jesse Helms denounced the elections in Haiti as a sham, although Aristide's popular support is overwhelming and his victory was more genuine than George W. Bush's.

A joint statement issued by Helms and Congressman Porter J. Goss of Florida, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, denounced narco-traffickers, criminals and other anti-democratic elements who surround Jean-Bertrand Aristide and called for an end to all direct support for the Haitian government, which is heavily dependent on US financial aid.

In response to Republican pressure, the Clinton administration dispatched former National Security Adviser Anthony Lake to extract a humiliating declaration from Aristide, the latest demonstration of the Haitian president's prostration before Washington. Aristide agreed to a total of eight demands, including runoff votes for Senate seats challenged by his political opponents, an invitation to opposition parties to join the government, a new economic policy imposed by the IMF and World Bank, and a new political reform to be monitored by the Organization of American States.



U.S. embargoes against Haiti -- from 1806 to 2003
Oct. 16, 2003

Greg Dunkel

In 1806, Haiti was diplomatically isolated. It had audaciously declared its independence two years before, after crushing the French army sent by Napoleon to re-enslave it.

But no country in the world recognized its independence. Certainly not France, which had just suffered a major blow to its fortunes and prestige. Not Spain, which still had its slave-based colonial empire in the Caribbean and Latin America. Not Great Britain, at that time the predominant world power, worried over its plantations in Jamaica, just 75 miles from Haiti, whose profits also depended on the brutal super-exploitation of enslaved Africans.

There was substantial trade between the United States and Haiti, even after the Haitian revolution ended slavery. Haiti sold coffee, molasses, sugar, cotton, hides and so on, and bought dried cod, cloth, hardware and other bulk commodities. But Thomas Jefferson, the slave-owning, slave-selling president of the United States, was terrified by the successful slave rebellion and went so far as to call Toussaint Louverture's army "cannibals." Louverture was a leader of Haiti's liberation struggle and its army.

Jefferson gave backhanded support to the Haitian struggle when its successes led France to consider selling Louisiana. But that was just a temporary maneuver. He was implacably opposed to Haitian independence.

He tried hard to prevent any contact between the United States and Haiti. Jefferson called upon Congress, which his party controlled, to abolish trade between the two countries. France and Spain, two major colonial powers in the Caribbean at the time, were also enforcing boycotts of Haitian trade. Consequently, partially in 1805 and finally in 1806, trade between the United States and Haiti was formally shut down.

More: <because they never let up on Haiti>
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