[Marxism] Haiti’s obscene nightmare JAMAICA OBSERVER Editorial

Chris Brady cdbrady at sbcglobal.net
Wed Feb 25 14:28:42 MST 2004


 Haiti’s obscene nightmare

 The Jamaica Observer, Editorial, Monday, February 23, 2004

Perhaps by now the rebels, led by former death squad leader Louis-Jodel
Chamblain and coup plotter Jean-Baptiste Joseph, operating under the
umbrella of the so-called opposition, will have taken Port au Prince and
President Aristide will have left Haiti.

In retrospect, it was bound to happen. Mr Aristide must have been
exceedingly naive, at the resumption of his presidency after his first
overthrow, if he harboured a view that he would have been allowed to
maintain his leadership with any degree of certainty. And the rest of us
were gullible to expect that the opposition would have entertained a
political and constitutional solution to Haiti’s current crisis.

It is hardly coincidental that yesterday’s capture, by the gunmen of
Cap-Hatien, and the new push for Port-au-Prince, comes hard on the heels
of Mr Aristide’s second public embrace of a set of initiatives of which
the United States has appropriated authorship, but which in fact was
developed by Caribbean Community (Caricom) leaders at a meeting in
Kingston last month.

In fact, it was the Jamaican prime minister, Mr Patterson, who outlined
the broad range of the Kingston Accord on January 31 and to whom Mr
Aristide publicly responded in announcing his acceptance at Jamaica
House.

Not unexpectedly, in the immediate aftermath of Mr Aristide’s acceptance
of that Caricom-brokered initiative, which was to lead to the selection
of a new prime minister and government and other confidence-building
undertakings, the violence in Haiti escalated. As did the crescendo of
the opposition demands that Mr Aristide had to step down,
notwithstanding the widely accepted view that he was the
legitimately-elected president of Haiti.

We do not believe that Mr Aristide has been embracing or as proactive as
he might have been in building Haiti’s institutions and advancing the
country’s democracy. But neither do we hold that this is either the
fundamental reason, or a legitimate cause, for this coup d’etat against
him.

Yet we understand now that the process was inevitable. Mr Aristide and
his Lavalas represented a potential for a paradigm shift in Haiti for
the removal of power and influence from those who have traditionally
benefited from the rightist dictatorships of the recent past.

Indeed, many of those who helped to overthrow Mr Aristide in the early
1990s continued to lurk in the shadows during his second coming, biding
their time, waiting for the appropriate occasion. The fig leaf of their
talk of democracy has been peeled away, and the vulgarity of their
position laid bare, with their easy embrace of the sordid bunch who in
the past murdered hundreds.

That it has come to this is in part the fault of the international
community, who focused only the shortcomings, real and otherwise, of Mr
Aristide rather the broad reality of Haiti. Sanctions were bound to
break the country and lay the basis for today’s instability which has
been so cynically exploited by those who claim democracy as their
agenda.

But it need not have come to this had there been clear and definitive
declarations by those who have the muscle to make their voices really
count - the United States, Canada, the European Union - that there will
be no rewards for violence and undemocratic actions to achieve political
ends.

They at times, mostly late in the day, admonished against violence as a
political tool. But there was always a sense that these statements were
delivered in a language full of double-speak that left the impression
that the remarks also contained something of a nod and a wink. It was a
policy based on personality rather than what is right and what is moral.

It might not have been so bad if we were assured that Mr Aristide’s
departure was the route to stability in Haiti. It is more likely,
though, to be just the start of a new turn through a new cycle of
violence and instability. Unless we assume that Mr Aristide has no
support in Haiti.





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