A Guide to Connecting all the Caribbean Dots
A hollow demonstration was held by a group of men in Port-au-Prince's Delma community. They were demonstrating for the return of Jean-Claude "Baby Doc" Duvalier. In effect, the "manifestation" was for the return of dictatorship to Haiti. Many who commented on the spectacle observed, "How much money does it cost to buy such a demonstration?" Others were saddened by what they saw as, "A sign that democracy in Haiti is in trouble after the ouster of Aristide."
What about democracy for Haiti? Haiti's 2010 presidential election is scheduled for November 28. And Reuters reported that President Réne Preval rejected the ranking Republican on the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee Richard Lugar's election proposals.
Lugar reportedly wants "to ensure the participation of factions within an opposition party loyal to exiled former President Jean-Bertrand Aristide." Question: is the Senator entirely sincere in his efforts to make sure that Haiti has a free and fair election? One can't help but noticed the equivocal term "factions" from the above statement. What does that mean exactly? It does make it clear that some "factions" are acceptable to Uncle Sam, while others are just out of luck.
In an article on MetropoleHaiti.com (French), Dr. Maryse Narcisse (who is the former president's Fanmi Lavalas party's appointed representative) is quoted as saying that there are traitors [maybe "factions"?] within Lavalas who worked to exclude Lavalas from the next election. Quoting an observer:
"If it is true, it is high treason against the people. Why doesn't she just name the people involved? The people need to know who betrayed them. She went on to say that Lavalas no longer wants to participate in the next election, but rather the resignation of the CEP and Preval only. Why would she not want the party to participate in the next election?
By doing so, she is doing exactly what she blames the traitors of doing. So the people will not have the choice to vote for Lavalas candidates. Her position makes her look like she is the head traitor, the plant, the infiltrator, the agent working to keep Lavalas from elections twice in a row.
I was in Haiti during the last election. People were on radio Guinen begging for Lavalas to get its act together so they can vote their conscience. Instead she was quite busy suing her comrade in a court infested with agents and at the end there were no Lavalas candidates. Her job is to fight and keep on fighting to keep the Party on the ballot every time there is an election, make sure the votes are counted and counting."
What is going on? Well, you see, as long as a conflict can be manufactured, then Fanmi Lavalas "factions" can be excluded from elections. It's apparently the role that the good Dr. Narcisse is playing in this "electoral coup."
It must be said that many have questioned the company that the former president has chosen to keep. This was a problem when he was president of Haiti. One issue was the U.S. based Steele Foundation, which played (or didn't play) a critical role on the night of Feb. 29, 2004, when he was forced out of the presidency. Aristide was hustled onto a plane bound for the Central African Republic in the dead of night by the U.S. At the time Aristide accused the Steele Foundation of withdrawing protection under orders from the U.S. His assertion was confirmed and you can find a detailed account of that fateful night here.
Many have also noted the make-up of Aristide's Foundation, whose board is liberal elite white -- as are by the way, his Miami lawyer and most of the people who are Aristide's closest confidants. Not that he doesn't have the right to choose exactly who he wants to represent his interests, but well, maybe it's just his interests.
Back to the Haiti election farce: It's hardly a secret that President Aristide was Washington's and the Republican party's least favorite "socialist" and liberation theology advocate. So it comes as a surprise that Richard Lugar is in support of Lavala's participation in the elections. After all, Aristide's Fanmi Lavalas party is hardly seen by Washington as a separate entity from the man they removed from office.
Given that the U.S. is leading the reconstruction effort in Haiti and that former president, Bill Clinton (a man who imposed rigorous and damaging structural adjustment programs and privatization demands on the Aristide government as a condition of his return to the Haitian presidency) is leading the Haiti Interim Reconstruction Commission (Co-Chair Jean Max Bellerive is a figurehead and Preval's "veto" power is an appeasement) and the fact that the U.S. along with the "international community" have the power to pull funding and a bevy of other supports from the Haitian government and people at will, clearly, it would be foolish to believe that Preval can choose to ignore directives from Washington.
By the way, how far removed from Haitian life on the ground is Bill Clinton? One has only to check out Bill and Hilary Clinton's new $11 million compound in Bedford Hills, New York to see that they move in a different stratosphere from the Haitian population. Maybe, this is what the Democrats actually mean when they say their party "is a big tent." This 7,000 square foot one is just for two. Clearly, their "big tent" is a far cry from a leaky tent in Haiti.
So with Haiti's most popular party out of the picture, the stage is set for a return of the "electoral coup ."
At this point, the most pressing question being asked is, who will be the U.S. pick for Haiti's presidency this time? Or, to put it another way, "who will the U.S. choose to humiliate Haiti with this time?
To hazard a guess at this stage is demonstrably early given the habit of Haiti's Provisional Electoral Council (CEP) of postponing the election at the last minute, usually by a couple of weeks or more. This device usually serves to weed out the candidates who announce early. The field is then clear for the late candidate whose coffers are full and available for that last victorious push.
Dr. Guy Theodore may just defy the odds. He fits the bill quite nicely as a U.S. candidate. He is a former U.S. military colonel, and is well positioned to impose a dictatorship in Haiti. A colonel expects a "yes sir" or "no sir" from his subordinates. Any insubordination is met with harsh punishment: court martial and jail.
Dr. Theodore bears an uncanny physical likeness to Francois "Papa Doc" Duvalier. Also, like the former brutal dictator, Dr. Theodore is a country doctor.
It must be said that Dr. Guy is known for his charity work and humanitarianism. His narrative is spotless. This is what makes him the ideal candidate to highjack or seduce a popular movement. In an interview with Little Rock, Arkansas natives and Directors, Brent Renaud and Craig Renaud for the New York Times, Dr. Theodore said he favored the postponement of presidential elections. He thinks that democracy can wait.
Little Rock, Arkansas is a haven for filmmakers who end up covering Haiti stories for the New York Times is it?
According to the website ConsortiumNews.com, back when Francois Duvalier was elected in 1957 to the Haitian presidency, the NY times originally depicted Duvalier as a "mild mannered doctor." The connection is: the NY times seems to be treating Dr Theodore with the same kid gloves. Here is the actual quote:
Dr. Guy, like Haiti's former "president for life," is also not too keen on elections.
"No election now, there is not the time to talk about an election." Dr. Theodore asserts forcefully, "to me, is the time to talk about taking care of the people and building the country. Going and campaigning now I don't think is the time."
He will serve the United States with great ease as a former Colonel. If he wants to, he can become a modern day Dr. Francois Duvalier.
Hopefully, the younger generation who were around during the Fanmi Lavalas grassroots movement have learned something about democracy and will not tolerate the idea of life under a dictatorship. The majority of the people who lived and suffered under the Duvalier dictatorship are either dead, in exile or disappeared all together - but many have told their stories to the next generation. It won't be so easy to fool the younger generation into thinking that a dictatorship is what is needed.
On January 16, following the earthquake, CNN's Fredericka Whitfield interviewed Arielle Jean-Baptiste . Jean-Baptiste is of Haitian descent and worked for the USAID cartel in Haiti. Some who lived through the Duvalier era may remember hearing her name in Haiti. Her family was deeply in bed with the Duvalier dictatorship. Her family was part of the Duvalier motorcade. One wonders, how could CNN parade someone so closely associated with a brutal dictatorship like her on TV without so much as a disclaimer?
Jean-Baptiste has also been tapped for interviews by NPR on matters regarding Haiti.
Question: What NGOs or opposition organizations in Haiti didn't USAID fund? Not many. The NGOs are defacto ruling authorities in Haiti and do not have to account to the Haitian government for any of their actions.
As for Arielle Jean-Baptiste, formerly of USAID, to many Haitians who read or listen to her, she is just like the rest of her Duvalierist family -- entitled, arrogant and unconcerned about the vast majority of the Haitian people. The Duvalierist did whatever they wanted in Haiti knowing that they had the full backing of a superpower.
In her final comment to NPR, Jean-Baptiste says that government's role is limited in Haiti: "The governance is - once people start getting money, putting their kids to school, having a better life, you can have a new generation that will be - they will ask for accountability. Okay? Money in people's pocket is what's important."
The thought is muddled by the accountability issue, but one thing comes through: she does seem to be saying that government and its role is of no importance.
But can you have accountability without having a real democracy? That of course is a pipe dream or carrot stick that she's apparently learned from her time at USAID, that can never be attained. The U.S. which claims to be the land of the free and the home of the brave, is a viper's nest of war criminals, torturers, banksters and corporate raiders and marauders. Accountability -- pshshshssss!
Speaking of corporate marauders: An undeclared war on Haiti has raged undetected by the "lamestream" media and we didn't understand why such a poor country would be a target. Recently, a war was declared on Jamaica's poverty striken Tivoli gardens and as we watched the bodies pile up we asked ourselves: why are these poor people being attacked by their own government?
To see the connection, you have to understand that these two countries are seen as the weakest links. Once they fall the rest could fall like dominoes.
The Caribbean is the new target of the big guns in DC and the West because they are sitting on the kind of abundant natural resources and riches that could change the geopolitical status quo for all time. It could turn the world upside down (economically), if the governments of Cuba, Haiti, Jamaica, Grenada, Belize, Honduras, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Panama, Guyana, Suriname, Mexico, Colombia and Venezuela can hold on to the wealth for their people's benefit and prevent their torturers from the global north from extorting it from them.