[News] Haiti's Great White Hope?

Anti-Imperialist News news at freedomarchives.org
Tue May 26 10:56:56 EDT 2009


Haiti's Great White Hope?

COMMON SENSE

JOHN MAXWELL

Sunday, May 24, 2009
http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/html/20090523T170000-0500_152049_OBS_HAITI_S_GREAT_WHITE_HOPE_.asp

History is littered with treachery. In the 
noisome Slough of Dishonour are mired thousands 
of reputations, most of those who betrayed their 
own countries, like Pierre Laval, Vidkun 
Quisling, Jonas Savimbi and Augusto Pinochet.

The deepest pits, though, the most purulent 
sinks, are reserved for those who have ranged 
abroad to betray and sabotage strangers, to 
inflict unnecessary suffering on people who have 
never given them cause for complaint. People like 
Leopold of Belgium, Neville Chamberlain, Hitler, 
Ariel Sharon and George W Bush spring readily to 
mind. On Monday, former President Clinton 
announced that he would accept an invitation from 
the UN secretary general, Ban Ki Moon of South 
Korea, to become the SG's personal envoy in 
Haiti. It is an appointment that will end in 
disaster. I mention Ban Ki Moon's nationality 
because I believe that the disaster that already 
exists in Haiti is the result of a culture clash 
which is entirely incomprehensible to most people 
outside the Western hemisphere and not easily 
understood by most people outside the 
international crime scene that has been created in Haiti.

Ground Zero for Modern Civilisation

It is my contention that the modern world was 
born in Haiti. When you understand that the 
modern rotary printing press is a direct 
descendant of mills made to grind sugar you may 
begin to get the drift of my argument. Since I am 
not a historian my arguments will not be subtle 
and nuanced. I am simply presenting a few crude 
facts which, however you interpret them, will 
lead inexorably, I believe, to the conclusion 
that modern ideas of liberty and freedom, modern 
capitalism and globalisation of production and 
exchange, would have spent much longer in 
gestation had it not been for the black slaves of 
Haiti who abolished slavery and the slave trade. 
In the process they defeated the armies of the 
leading world powers of the eighteenth and 
nineteenth centuries, destroyed the French empire 
in the western hemisphere, doubled the size and 
power of the United States and incidentally 
promoted the European sugar beet industry and revolutionised European farming.

The problem with all this, as I have repeatedly 
pointed out, is that had the Haitians been 
ethnically European, their achievements would now 
suffuse the world narrative; conversely, had 
Spartacus been black, he would long ago have 
faded into the mists of barbarian myth. The 
Haitians and all the other blacks of the Western 
hemisphere were uprooted from their native 
grounds, their civilisations laid waste, and they 
themselves transported to unknown lands in which 
they were forced to create unexampled riches and 
luxury for their rapists and despoilers.

For reasons lost to history, the blacks in Haiti 
and Jamaica were, for most of their captivity, 
the most unwilling subjects and continued to 
fight for their freedom for more than three 
centuries. The Enlightenment and its prophets and 
philosophers popularised the ideas of freedom and 
liberty, the rights of man. Nowhere was freedom 
taken more seriously than by the Haitians, who, 
described as Frenchmen, fought valiantly for 
American freedom in that nation's Revolutionary 
War of Independence. When Revolution convulsed 
France in turn, the Haitians threw their support 
to those they thought were fighting for freedom. 
When that proved a false trail, the Haitians 
continued to fight, defeating the French, British 
and Spanish armies sent to re-enslave them.

Although the Americans and the French said they 
believed in freedom, they formed an unholy 
combination to restrict Haiti's liberty. The fact 
of Haitian freedom frightened the Americans and 
other world powers. Haiti promised freedom to any 
captive who set foot on her soil and armed, 
provisioned and supplied trained soldiers to 
Simon Bolivar for the liberation of South 
America. Nearly 200 years before the United 
Nations (and France and the USA), Haiti 
proclaimed Universal Human Rights, threatening 
the slave societies in America and the Caribbean. 
Haiti's freedom was compromised by French and 
American financial blackmail, and as I've said 
before, what the Atlantic powers could not 
achieve by force of arms they achieved by 
compound interest. Haiti was the first heavily 
indebted poor country, and the United States, 
Canada, France and the multilateral financial 
organisations, the World Bank, the InterAmerican 
Development Bank and the IMF have worked hard to keep her in that bondage.

Eventually, 93 years ago, the Americans invaded 
Haiti, destroyed the constitution, the government 
and their social system. American Jim Crow 
segregation and injustice destroyed the Haitian 
middle class, enhanced and exacerbated class 
distinctions and antagonisms and left Haiti a 
ravaged, dysfunctional mess, ruled by a corrupt 
American-trained military in the interest of a 
small, corrupt gang of mainly expatriate or white 
capitalists, ready to support any and every 
murderous dictator who protected their interests.

Finally, 20 years ago, the Haitians rose up and 
overthrew the Duvaliers and the apprentice 
dictators who followed. In their first free 
election the Haitians elected a black parish 
priest of small stature, the man whose words and 
spirit had embodied their struggle. But the real 
rulers of Haiti, the corrupt, bloodthirsty 
capitalists with their American passports and 
their bulletproof SUVs, had no intention of 
letting Haitians exercise the universal human 
rights their leaders had proclaimed two centuries before.

When Jean Bertrand Aristide was deposed after a 
few months in office, it was with the help of the 
CIA, USAID, and other American entities. Then 
ensued one of the most disgraceful episodes in 
the long, unsavoury history of diplomacy. Bill 
Clinton - elected president promising to treat 
the Haitian refugees as human beings - elected 
instead to observe the same barbarous policies as 
George Bush I, and when the refugees became a 
flood, Clinton's answer was more illegality. He 
parked two massive floating slave barracoons in 
Kingston Harbour where refugees picked up in 
Jamaican waters were, with the craven connivance 
of the Patterson government, denied asylum, 
captured and processed and 22 per cent of them 
selected for the Guantanamo Bay concentration 
camp while the rest were returned to their murderers in Haiti.

Eventually, largely due to pressure from black 
pressure groups in the US and crucially, a fast 
to the death begun by Randolph Robinson, Clinton 
agreed to restore Aristide while General Colin 
Powell talked grandly of the soldier's honour he 
shared with Haiti's then murderer-in-chief, a 
scamp called Raoul Cedras. President Clinton made 
several pledges to Aristide and to Haiti, but 
history does not seem to record that any were 
kept. Had even a few been kept, Haiti may have 
been able to guarantee public security and to 
instal some desperately needed infrastructure. 
Instead Haitians are still scooping water to 
drink from potholes in the street and stave off 
hunger with 'fritters' made from earth and cooking fat.

The Haitian Army, the most corrupt and evil 
public institution in the western hemisphere, was 
abolished by Aristide, to the displeasure of the 
North American powers. Now that the Americans 
have deposed Aristide for the second time, 
security is in the hands of a motley mercenary 
army, a UN peacekeeping force. Security in Haiti 
is so good that three years ago, the then head of 
this force, a Brazilian general, was found shot 
to death after a friendly chat with Haitian 
elites. The rapes, massacres, disappearances and 
kidnappings continue unabated and the only 
popular political force, the Fanmi Lavalas, has 
been effectively neutered. President Clinton 
"will aim to attract private and government 
investment and aid for the poor Caribbean island 
nation", according to Clinton's office and a 
senior UN official. "A UN official said that 
Clinton would act as a 'cheerleader' for the 
economically distressed country, cajoling 
government and business leaders into pouring 
fresh money into a place that is largely dependent on foreign assistance."

It all sounds so nice and cosy, a poor, black 
'hapless' nation under the tutelage of the rich 
and civilised of the earth. I am prepared to bet 
that neither Haitian democracy nor Bill Clinton's 
reputation will survive this appointment. 
Democracy is impossible without popular 
participation and decision making. In Haiti, 
democracy is impossible without Lavalas and 
Aristide. If Haiti itself is to survive, the UN 
General Assembly needs to seize this baton from 
the spectacularly unqualified and ignorant 
Security Council and its very nice and affable 
secretary general, even less attuned to Haitian 
reality than the last SG, Kofi Annan and his 
accomplices, Colin Powell, Condoleezza Rice, PJ Patterson and Patrick Manning.

Copyright ©2009 John Maxwell jankunnu at gmail.com


***John Maxwell is one of my most favorite 
writers on the planet. So, it is with the utmost 
respect, that I must disagree with his statement 
that FANMI LAVALAS has been ‘effectively neutered,’ for the following reasons:

Recently, FANMI LAVALAS organized Operation 
Closed Door, which was a boycott of Haiti’s 19 
April 2009 Senatorial elections. Less than 3% of 
the electorate voted, because FANMI LAVALAS 
candidates were barred from being on the ballot, 
on flimsy procedural grounds. President Preval’s 
private security forces contained more people 
than what showed up at any polling place in 
Haiti. This was and is a very significant 
development in Haiti’s history, and its 
repercussions will be vastly felt in more arenas 
than just a measurement of the voting strength of the populace.

For more on this, see the following articles: 
LAVALAS FLEXES ITS MUSCLES IN HAITI 
<http://www.haitiaction.net/News/HIP/4_20_9/4_20_9.html>http://www.haitiaction.net/News/HIP/4_20_9/4_20_9.html 
HAITI’S ELECTORAL FARCE CONTINUES 
<http://www.haitisolidarity.net/article.php?id=316>http://www.haitisolidarity.net/article.php?id=316 
BAY AREA LABOR / HUMAN RIGHTS DELEGATION REPORTS 
ON HAITI’S ELECTORAL BOYCOTT AND POLITICAL 
PRISONERS 
<http://www.haitisolidarity.net/article.php?id=314>http://www.haitisolidarity.net/article.php?id=314

Forward,

Malaika H. Kambon
kambonrb at pacbell.net



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