Way too pale faced to not get noticed in Haiti
Someone got too optimistic
Gomig-21 likes this post
franco wrote:More information equals more questions...
franco likes this post
Way too pale faced to not get noticed in Haiti
Someone got too optimistic
kvs and miketheterrible like this post
The West’s crocodile tears over the assassination of Haiti’s corrupt leader reveal the reality of life as a US vassal state
The 11 million inhabitants of this tiny Caribbean nation are wracked by extreme poverty, inequality and disorder because that’s the way Washington likes to keep it.
The President of Haiti, Jovenel Moïse, was assassinated this week. Four of the alleged mercenaries responsible were later hunted down and killed themselves. His murder provoked outcry in the West. But why did this happen? And why should we care about a tiny and seemingly inconsequential Caribbean nation?
It might have come as a surprise to some, not least because the mainstream media have ignored the build-up that led to the attack. The answer, though, is quite simple: Haiti is a political basketcase, its 11 million people have had enough, and Moïse has been an incompetent US-backed puppet, a quasi-authoritarian leader who rigged an election and incurred the wrath of a nation afflicted by extreme poverty, inequality and disorder, leaving a that has been historically exacerbated by American interference.
If you’ve heard of Haiti, it’s seldom been for the right reasons. The two things its name conjures in Western minds are the practice of voodoo and a catastrophic earthquake in 2010 that left up to 300,000 dead. It’s a very unlucky place. It’s one of the poorest countries in the world, and the poorest in the Western hemisphere, 59% of its population living on just $2 a day. Things have long passed breaking point and riots have been a regular occurrence for the past three years, leaving hundreds dead. We can’t condone the assassination of any leader, but Haitians are arguably one of the most disadvantaged peoples in the world.
Haiti is a tiny nation located on the island of Hispaniola in the West Indies. Its tragic history is a story of colonialism, slavery, revolt and then subjugation again. One of the first places to be reached by European colonialists, it first became a dominion of Spain and then France, which amassed an enormous African slave population in the territory to build the lucrative sugar trade.
On the back of this enslaved labour, it became a place of extreme wealth inequality, before the slaves revolted in the late 18th century under the leadership of Toussaint Louverture, dubbed the Napoléon Noir or Black Spartacus, and enacted the Haitian Revolution – the first black-led, anti-slavery uprising in history.
While the new nation was never quite stable and had a tremulous relationship with what is now the Dominican Republic, which it once ruled, there are three words with which we can sum up aspects of its current predicament: the Monroe Doctrine. America’s foreign policy, established in 1823, ensured it maintained dominance over the entire Western hemisphere – whatever the cost to the countries subjected to it.
When it came to Haiti, Washington took this to a new extreme. Fearing the influence of Germany on the island, the United States invaded and occupied the country for its own pleasure in 1915 and kept it that way for 20 years.
They left eventually, with strings attached, of course. In securing their dominance over Latin American and Caribbean nations, the US has always sought to put and maintain in power a very small, elitist and ultra-wealthy class who maintain that leadership against the bulk of the country’s population.
Haiti has always been dominated by a small, pro-West class known as ‘mulattos’. Although it’s a term that traditionally refers to skin colour, it’s really about social class. The mulattos comprise 5% of the country’s population and have dominated Haiti for decades as US clients, including through periods of outright dictatorship, including the notorious Duvalier dynasty, up until the 1980s.
These extreme divides between rich and poor, and oligarchic rule coupled with rampant political instability and unrest, has hindered Haiti’s progress, yet ultimately created a status quo favourable to the United States. There are other factors that have compounded its situation, including immense natural disasters such as the earthquake of 2010, frequent destructive tropical storms, chronic-disease outbreaks and more. While, today, the country is on paper a democracy, this obviously counts for very little from the perspective of ordinary people.
This is why Moïse’s assassination was not a surprise. To those ordinary people, his regime symbolised corruption, authoritarianism, chaos, the crushing costs of living and extreme dissatisfaction.
Yet, ironically, the Monroe Doctrine has played another role too. The country’s current political crisis was triggered in 2019 by a US regime change effort in nearby Venezuela – a country on which Haiti was dependent for cheap and ready fuel supplies. Nicolás Maduro’s state had given Port-au-Prince loans to buy its oil, but the country’s leadership embezzled the money instead.
Then, when the US decided to attempt a regime change in Venezuela and sanctioned its oil, Haiti found itself with neither any oil nor any money to buy it from elsewhere. This created fuel shortages and sent prices soaring by 50%. The fuel taxes proposed by the government to try to recoup the money triggered riots, which escalated into broader anger about living standards. In the ensuing violence, foreign embassies were attacked.
Yet did the Western media cover these events? Scantly. The Haiti government proceeded to murder journalists who opposed it. They even cancelled an election. The US imposed sanctions over such a decision in Hong Kong last year. This time? Tumbleweed.
What are the key takeaways here? While assassination is always wrong, Haitians are an impoverished people pushed to the absolute brink. As the US and its allies send their condolences to the Haitian government over the killing of Moïse, it should be made clear above all that this was a leader and a regime despised by most of the population and for a litany of reasons.
Yet, for the US, this failed state has been kept that way for generations out of political convenience, illustrating how Washington’s rhetoric of human rights is habitually ignored when the abuses are ongoing in a country that’s its subordinate, and how democracy alone is utterly meaningless when that country’s population is locked in severe poverty.
It should be noted, finally, that Haiti has no ties with China and still aligns with Taiwan, and has been signing up to anti-Beijing statements at the UN – something that makes no sense for an impoverished Latin American nation but point instead to its position as America’s vassal.
For the US, Taiwan and others, it’s very simple: because Haiti is broke and desperate, it serves our purposes, therefore there’s no need for us to fix it.
Big_Gazza and kvs like this post
Kiko wrote:Firm that hired mercs for assassination of Haiti President, Juvenal Moïse, is registered in Florida
kvs likes this post
kvs likes this post
kvs likes this post
Pastor Accused of Killing Haiti's President Reportedly Arrived to Island to Save Country 'From Hell', by Tim Korso for Sputniknews. 13.07.2021.
Earlier, police in Haiti identified a person they believe to be behind the attack on the house of the Haitian president that resulted in his killing. The suspect purportedly arrived in the country accompanied by mercenaries who later raided the president's house.
Friends of Christian Emmanuel Sanon, reportedly a doctor and a pastor, said he could not have plotted an assassination of the country's president, Jovenel Moïse. Sanon, who, since 2011, has openly expressed a willingness to rule the country, arrived on the island with a mission to "save Haiti from hell" via religion, one of his associates from Florida anonymously detailed in an interview with the AP. The associate declared that the purported evangelist pastor would never take part in a plot to kill the leader of Haiti.
"I guarantee you that. This was supposed to be a mission to save Haiti from hell, with support from the US government. [He] is completely gullible. He thinks God is going to save everything", the AP source said about the Florida man.
Haiti’s National Police, however, have a different working theory. According to its chief, Léon Charles, Sanon arrived in Haiti accompanied by a group of mercenaries from a security firm, who were originally ordered to protect his persona. Later, their orders changed to infiltrating Moïse's residence and murdering the president, Charles claims. The police chief added that one of the mercenaries later called Sanon and the latter in turn called two masterminds behind the assassination plot. Police did not give the names of the so-called masterminds.
The associate asked by the AP, however, claims that Sanon called them and told the associate that his guards had disappeared and were not reachable.
"I’m all by myself. Who are these people? I don’t know what they are doing", the associate quoted Sanon as saying in the interview with the AP.
Another friend of Sanon, reportedly a colleague from Florida, Reverend Larry Caldwell, argued that the man was incapable of plotting any brutal crime. Caldwell, who helped Sanon set up hospitals and churches in Haiti between 2000 and 2010, stressed that such actions would simply contradict his religious beliefs.
"You take a man like that and you’re then going to say he participated in a brutal crime of murder, knowing that being associated with that would send him to the pits of hell?" Caldwell said.
Moïse was killed last week in his home. His wife was injured in the attack, but has survived. No one from the president's security was hurt in the assault carried out by a team consisting mostly of Colombian mercenaries posing as US DEA agents. Haitian authorities later caught up with some of the attackers, killing an unknown number and arresting the rest. Police continue the investigation into the matter, but have not yet come up with names for the masterminds, apart from Sanon.
kvs likes this post
'Want to be careful with this word'
On the perils of writing about the empire
Jonathan M. Katz
I published a new piece yesterday about the crisis surrounding the assassination of Haitian President Jovenel Moïse. In it, I argue that a U.S. invasion of Haiti would be a colossally bad idea given the destructive history of the unending U.S. interventions in the Black Republic. (see link to the article).
The publication in which the piece appears was not where it was originally supposed to run. It was originally commissioned by a different, well-known national outlet. They contacted me last week, within hours of Moïse’s death, and asked me to choose the angle that seemed right to me. The editors seemed strangely hesitant when I suggested the framing, but contracted me anyway to write the piece, so long as I included what they called “nuance.” I had my suspicions about what that meant, but a writer’s got to write (and eat), so I pressed on.
I realized I was in trouble right away when I got back the comments on my first draft. Right off the bat, the editor cast doubt on my use of the “occupation” as a way of describing what the United States did in Haiti between 1915 and 1934. They commented:
“Want to be careful with this word – what was the nature of the occupation? How many troops did we send and what exactly did they do? Eg was it more of a peacekeeping/security assistance force, or what?”
If anyone should have been prepared for that question, it was me, the guy who just spent five years writing a book that is focused in part on how woefully ignorant Americans are of what our country has done in the world, especially in the decades leading up to World War II. But I was somehow not ready to get a comment like that from a senior editor at a major U.S. publication.
In any case, what the Americans were doing in Haiti from 1915 to 1934 was literally called the U.S. Occupation of Haiti. That’s what the White House, State, Army, and Navy Departments formally called it. It was a euphemism, in fact (as I was convinced to add in the final piece), to soften what it really was: a de facto colonization in service of the U.S.’s growing global power, corporations, and banks. It was a massive undertaking involving thousands of troops (mostly Marines) and other personnel. Many big names passed through Haiti in the period: Franklin Delano Roosevelt went down at one point to personally supervise in his charge as assistant secretary of the Navy. (FDR later bragged, falsely, about having personally written Haiti’s new U.S.-investment-friendly constitution in the process.) It was also extremely violent. Along the way, Marine aviators invented dive-bombing and barrel bombs to terrorize the Haitian population into submission.
Many Americans knew the occupation was wrong at the time. W.E.B. Du Bois and the N.A.A.C.P. were early and fervent critics of the U.S. invasion of Haiti. National leaders including the influential Senator William Borah and (eventually) Marine General Smedley Butler decried American abuses there as well. (It was part of what Butler was talking about when he wrote that he had “helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in.”) Warren G. Harding won the 1920 election in part by tarring his Democratic opponents (FDR was the Democratic vice-presidential candidate in that race) as the party of the Haiti occupation.
The nineteen-year occupation ended up being one of the longest in U.S. history, edged out slightly by the contemporaneous 1912-1933 U.S. occupation of Nicaragua. Its mark was just also passed in recent months by the now-ending U.S. occupation of Afghanistan.
(Can you imagine an editor in eighty years not knowing the U.S. military was ever in control of Afghanistan? I can. If there is still a U.S. empire in the year 2100, it will likely be because that and other such uncomfortable truths were similarly pushed down the memory hole.)
That word was by no means not the editors’ only complaint. They also asked whether it was right to refer to the 1994 U.S. invasion of Haiti as an “invasion.” In another spot, they called my summary statement that Haiti’s government had been “consistently and intentionally weakened” by the U.S. and its allies’ propensity to funnel assistance to their own aid groups and non-governmental organizations, “a big allegation to make in just a sentence.” (Which is why I gave extensive evidence for and explained that claim in detail in an award-winning book.)
Drafts are drafts, and mine was in no way perfect. I tried to answer the editors’ queries, do needed rewrites, and provide evidence to their editors’ doubts. But ultimately, our points of view were irreconcilable. I thought I had delivered a straightforward take on the last century of U.S. involvement in Haiti—an urgent, newsworthy topic as debate ramps up on whether to engage in yet another round. They thought I “veer[ed] into a sharp, critical tone that makes this feel a bit too much like a hot take rather than a thoughtful historical analysis.” I can imagine where they were coming from. If you don’t know these things happened—if they aren’t worked into your fundamental understanding of U.S. history and “who we are”—their bare recitation can seem shocking, aggressive, simplistic, or wrong.
The editor I was working with directly signaled multiple times that they did not “disagree at all” with my analysis. In refusing to publish the piece over the weekend they said, “given your deep expertise with the country, I think we can get a little deeper than we do here.” They said I could take another crack at it this week. But I have had enough experience with this topic, and had been through enough rounds of edits on this piece, that I recognized what lay beneath that. It wasn’t really ultimately depth or nuance they were looking for. It was absolution. It was to rescue from the narrative some sense that the things we did could not have possibly been as bad as I portrayed them, or that they had not really been our fault, or that the very at least they were the product of good intentions gone awry.
As you keen-eyed readers have surely noticed, I’m not including the name of the publication who commissioned and killed the piece. My intent here is not to embarrass them (nor burn my bridges any more than I already have). But more than that, I think this is a much bigger problem than one outlet. All of us are blocked by our assumptions, driven not by the stories we hear over and over again, and often unable to comprehend those we’ve never been taught. But these particular sets of historical silences, and the fraught attempts to fill them in, are fueling debates all over our society. As long-suppressed narratives rise up, those who most jealously guard their wealth and power, are fighting back: banning speech and moving to make the teaching of entire subjects, starting with those deemed “critical race theory,” illegal.
I can understand the reticence of a publication to jump into such debates. It can be uncomfortable—even dangerous—to tell stories Americans don’t know about what our country has done, and continues to do, in places like Haiti and beyond. But as I see it, it will be more dangerous in the long run not to.
kvs, miketheterrible and Kiko like this post