FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

The Occupation of Haiti Must End

U.S. diplomatic cables now released from Wikileaks make it clearer than ever before that foreign troops occupying Haiti for more than seven years have no legitimate reason to be there; that this a U.S. occupation, as much as in Iraq or Afghanistan; that it is part of a decades-long U.S. strategy to deny Haitians the right to democracy and self-determination; and that the Latin American governments supplying troops ? including Brazil ? are getting tired of participating.

One leaked U.S. document shows how the United States tried to force Haiti to reject $100 million in aid per year ? the equivalent of 50 billion reais in Brazil’s economy ? because it came from Venezuela. Because Haiti’s president, Pr?val, understandably refused to do this, the U.S. government turned against him. As a result, Washington reversed the results of Haiti’s first round presidential election in November 2010, to eliminate Pr?val’s favored candidate from the second round. This was done through manipulation of the Organization of American States (OAS), and through open threats to cut off post-earthquake aid to the desperately poor country if they did not accept the change of results. All of this is well-documented.

The UN troops were brought to Haiti to occupy the country after the United States organized the overthrow of Haiti’s democratically elected president, Jean-Bertrand Aristide, for the second time, in 2004. Some 4,000 Haitians were targeted and killed in the aftermath of the coup, and officials of the constitutional government jailed while the UN troops “kept order.” Many more would perish after the earthquake because Haiti’s public infrastructure was crippled during the four-year international aid cutoff that Washington organized to topple the elected government.

Another leaked document shows how Edmund Mulet, then head of the UN mission (MINUSTAH), worried that Aristide might regain his influence, and recommended that criminal charges be filed against him. Mulet has been openly partisan in interfering in Haiti’s politics, and dismissed Haitians who protested the UN mission as “enemies.” This is an incredibly arrogant posture considering that Haitians were angry about the mission’s bringing cholera to Haiti, which has now infected 380,000 Haitians and killed 5,800. If MINUSTAH were a private entity, it would be facing multi-billion dollar lawsuits and possibly criminal prosecution for its horrific negligence in polluting Haiti’s water supply with this deadly bacteria. Ironically, the $850 million dollar annual cost of MINUSTAH is more than nine times what the UN has raised to fight the cholera epidemic.

Brazil is not an empire like the United States and has no reason to be a junior partner to one, especially in such an ugly and brutal venture. It goes against everything that Lula, Dilma, and the Workers’ Party stand for. It eviscerates Brazil’s potential for moral leadership in the world ? which Brazil has shown in many areas, since the historic changes initiated under Lula’s administration. It is long past time for Brazil to get its troops out of Haiti.

Mark Weisbrot is an economist and co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research. He is co-author, with Dean Baker, of Social Security: the Phony Crisis.

This column was originally published by Folha de Sao Paulo.

 

More articles by:

Mark Weisbrot is co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, in Washington, D.C. and president of Just Foreign Policy. He is also the author of  Failed: What the “Experts” Got Wrong About the Global Economy (Oxford University Press, 2015).

Weekend Edition
August 17, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Daniel Wolff
The Aretha Dialogue
Nick Pemberton
Donald Trump and the Rise of Patriotism 
Joseph Natoli
First Amendment Rights and the Court of Popular Opinion
Andrew Levine
Midterms 2018: What’s There to Hope For?
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Running Out of Fools
Ajamu Baraka
Opposing Bipartisan Warmongering is Defending Human Rights of the Poor and Working Class
Paul Street
Corporate Media: the Enemy of the People
David Macaray
Trump and the Sex Tape
CJ Hopkins
Where Have All the Nazis Gone?
Daniel Falcone
The Future of NATO: an Interview With Richard Falk
Robert Hunziker
Hothouse Earth
Cesar Chelala
The Historic Responsibility of the Catholic Church
Ron Jacobs
The Barbarism of US Immigration Policy
Kenneth Surin
In Shanghai
William Camacaro - Frederick B. Mills
The Military Option Against Venezuela in the “Year of the Americas”
Nancy Kurshan
The Whole World Was Watching: Chicago ’68, Revisited
Robert Fantina
Yemeni and Palestinian Children
Alexandra Isfahani-Hammond
Orcas and Other-Than-Human Grief
Shoshana Fine – Thomas Lindemann
Migrants Deaths: European Democracies and the Right to Not Protect?
Paul Edwards
Totally Irrusianal
Thomas Knapp
Murphy’s Law: Big Tech Must Serve as Censorship Subcontractors
Mark Ashwill
More Demons Unleashed After Fulbright University Vietnam Official Drops Rhetorical Bombshells
Ralph Nader
Going Fundamental Eludes Congressional Progressives
Hans-Armin Ohlmann
My Longest Day: How World War II Ended for My Family
Matthew Funke
The Nordic Countries Aren’t Socialist
Daniel Warner
Tiger Woods, Donald Trump and Crime and Punishment
Dave Lindorff
Mainstream Media Hypocrisy on Display
Jeff Cohen
Democrats Gather in Chicago: Elite Party or Party of the People?
Victor Grossman
Stand Up With New Hope in Germany?
Christopher Brauchli
A Family Affair
Jill Richardson
Profiting From Poison
Patrick Bobilin
Moving the Margins
Alison Barros
Dear White American
Celia Bottger
If Ireland Can Reject Fossil Fuels, Your Town Can Too
Ian Scott Horst
Less Voting, More Revolution
Peter Certo
Trump Snubbed McCain, Then the Media Snubbed the Rest of Us
Dan Ritzman
Drilling ANWR: One of Our Last Links to the Wild World is in Danger
Brandon Do
The World and Palestine, Palestine and the World
Chris Wright
An Updated and Improved Marxism
Daryan Rezazad
Iran and the Doomsday Machine
Patrick Bond
Africa’s Pioneering Marxist Political Economist, Samir Amin (1931-2018)
Louis Proyect
Memoir From the Underground
Binoy Kampmark
Meaningless Titles and Liveable Cities: Melbourne Loses to Vienna
Andrew Stewart
Blackkklansman: Spike Lee Delivers a Masterpiece
Elizabeth Lennard
Alan Chadwick in the Budding Grove: Story Summary for a Documentary Film
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail