HANLY: Re: democracy & imperialism (Haiti)

Rubyg580 at aol.com Rubyg580 at aol.com
Sun Apr 7 11:35:54 MDT 1996


In a message dated 96-04-05 Ken Hanley writes:

>  Haiti is a triumph of imperialism. After supporting reactionary regimes
>for decades imperialism was faced with the triumph of a popular mass
>movement led by Aristide. After the military coup, a public relations
>embarassment was created. This was successfully solved by putting
>pressure on the junta and eventually providing safe flights (and a golden
>handshake?) as they did for Papa Doc and putting Aristide back in power
>with his hands tied. Now Preval is in power and the mass movement is
>on the back burner while Haiti is sold out and subject to neo-liberal
>discipline in return for capital investment.
>   Cheers, Ken Hanly

Again, what this leaves out is the role of the masses.  Aristide stepped
to the front of the struggle against the old order because there was no
proletarian leadership at the time capable of doing this.  Even from the
beginning he was no all-the-way anti-imperialist.  He did not rely on the
masses and their desire to truly defeat imperialism.  He was, however,
enough of a reformer that the imperialists were not happy with him, and
made no major effort to block the coup that toppled him.

Yes, he had to agree to totally gut any real oppositional stance from his
message in order to be allowed to resume his office.  But the imperialists
couldn't just jail him, or have him killed, or keep him permanently in exile,
because they couldn't control what the masses in Haiti might do if he
wasn't protected.  Yes, imperialism figured out how to keep Haiti pacified
and exploited for now.  But again, the final chapter is yet to be written.
The masses in Haiti have not come to love their imperialist overlords.

Gina/ Detroit


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