[Marxism] Haitian puppet regime in trouble

Fred Fuentes fred.fuentes at gmail.com
Sat Dec 11 21:17:17 MST 2004

Workers World - Dec 9, 2004 issue

Haitian puppet regime in trouble

Special to Workers World

The plan to set up a new, stable Haitian regime concocted by the
governments of the United States and France after the Feb. 29
"coup-napping" of President Jean-Bertrand Aristide has failed.

The puppet regime of Gérard Latortue arrested the leadership of
Aristide's party, Fanmi Lavalas. Protesters who came out in massive
numbers to demand Aristide's return have been beaten, arrested and even
killed. The coup regime has spent nine months building up a police force.

With all this, the imperialist-imposed rulers have not been able to gain
international legitimacy, organize elections or even restore essential
civil services like sanitation, roads and medical care.

After briefly occupying Haiti with their troops, the two big imperialist
allies/competitors turned over the task of propping up the puppet they
had installed to the United Nations. This let them stay in the
background while dealing with other interventions--the United States in
Iraq, France in Ivory Coast.

The UN set up the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti
(MINUSTAH), recruited about 6,300 troops, mainly from Chile, Argentina
and Brazil, and assigned the command of MINUSTAH to Brazilian Gen.
Augusto Heleno Pereira. To cover up their tracks even further, the U.S.
assigned Canada the task of training the Haitian National Police (PNH)
and rebuilding the courts and jails throughout the country.

Canadian Ambassador Claude Boucher, speaking in Jacmel on Nov. 20,
promised Haiti that Canada would spend 100 million Canadian dollars on
this repressive project, in a country where only 20 percent of the
people have a steady job and 200,000 people are still homeless in the
northern city of Gonaïves after a massive flood in September. (Haïti
Progrès, Nov. 30)

On Nov. 10, after receiving assurances from MINUSTAH that it would
protect the march, a group connected to Fanmi Lavalas organized a mass
march from the impoverished Port-au-Prince neighborhood of Belair toward
the city center. The marchers walked peacefully, wearing T-shirts with
Aristide's picture on them. Just before they reached Avenue Poupelard
near Lalue, the UN soldiers peeled away and pickup trucks pulled up
filled with PNH wearing ski masks and carrying automatic weapons.

The PNH jumped out and proceeded to beat up demonstrators, throwing some
in the backs of the pickups with their hands bound behind their backs.
They singled out leaders of the group, in particular Jean-Marie Samedi,
who was badly beaten around the head and thighs. Samedi was charged with
organizing violent attacks in Port-au-Prince, a charge vehemently
disputed by civil rights organizations, both in Haiti and the United
States, that rushed to his defense.

The National Popular Party (PPN) demanded the immediate release of
Samedi. Its spokesperson, George Hono rat, said the arbitrary arrests
and torture "hearken back to the tortures of the dictatorial regime of
François 'Papa Doc' Duva lier who disappeared, arrested and exiled all
those who dared to oppose his power."

A few days after this demonstration, the employees of the city of
Port-au-Prince went out in a job action because they hadn't been paid
for 10 months. The mayor of the city, appointed by Latortue, hasn't
bothered to unblock the 42 million gourdes--Haitian currency--sitting in
the city treasury.

On Sunday, Nov. 24, a group of Argen tinean soldiers on their way to the
beach were waylaid by armed men, who pulled the driver out of the
soldiers' minibus. Reports from the AP and the official Haitian press
agency differ on whether the soldiers were armed and what was taken from
them, but both agree that the attack took place. This is a sign that
even UN "peacekeepers" are not safe.

Puppet regime not widely recognized

The 15 countries of the Caribbean Community decided early in November
not to recognize the Latortue puppet regime. They declared that the
regime has "no respect for the fundamental principles of respect for
human rights, due process and good governance."

Many of the Rio Group--19 Latin Amer ican countries that met recently in
Brazil--have diplomatically recognized the Latortue regime. However,
they have proposed a dialog among all the parties in Haiti, including
Fanmi Lavalas headed by Aristide, to try to come up with a solution.

France's associate minister of cooperation, Xavier Darcos, then stepped
in, stating the "nuanced" position of both France and the U.S.: It was
important to have everyone talk, but it was "undesirable" to let
Aristide return to Haiti.

Calling this statement arrogant and an interference in the internal
affairs of Haiti is an understatement.

Then Latortue's minister of justice, Bernard Gousse, after picking up
his orders, issued an arrest warrant for Aristide and demanded his
extradition from South Africa, where Aristide and his family are
currently living. South Africa termed the extradition request ludicrous
and rejected it.

Another sign of the shaky nature of Lator tue's hold on Haiti is the
appearance of the Dessalinien Army of National Libera tion (ADLN), a
guerrilla group that recently attacked and seized a police station in
the northwestern town of Gros Morne.

The U.S. government gives as one reason for its interventions in Haiti
fear there will be a flood of refugees. U.S. immigration treats Haitians
arriving on its shores in a racist and abusive fashion.

The ironic case of Joseph Dantica, uncle of noted author Edwidge
Danticat, is a good illustration. (Their names are spelled slightly

MINUSTAH and the PNH fired from Dantica's church and school while doing
a sweep in the extremely poor neighborhood of Cite Soleil. After the
police left, members of the group they had been attacking went to
Dantica and asked for money to bury 15 people killed that day.

He didn't help them and instead fled to the United States on a valid
multi-entry visa. When he landed in Miami, he asked for asylum, saying
his life was in danger in Haiti. Homeland Security officials, not caring
which side he was on, treated him as they do all Haitian
refugees--throwing him in prison and taking away his blood pressure and
prostate medicines. He died in prison three days later.

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