[Marxism] Re: Argentine and Brazilian troops in Haiti

Fred Feldman ffeldman at bellatlantic.net
Wed Jun 30 06:53:27 MDT 2004

I am opposed to Brazil and Argentina moving troops into Haiti, but I
think we should be alert to the fact that this does not have to be a
straightup continuation of the US-French occupation which removed
Aristide and installed his rightist, U.S.-sponsored opponents.  I think
that differences could arise over the course of the occupation,
reflecting the growing divisions between the more nationalistic Latin
American governments and Washington.
Right now the imperialist-installed government is on a drive to crush
the Lavalas Party of Aristide, including arresting Neptune, the prime
minister under Aristide.  A wave of corruption trials which deserve no
credence under this crooked government.
Will the new occupation forces cover for this operation, or will they
come into conflict with it?   How will they act toward pro-Aristide
forces and protests? What will be their attitude to the possible return
of Aristide to the country?  Will they establish collaboration with the
armed rightists, stand back, or come into conflict with them over some
Of course, the Argentine and Brazilian armies are institutions that are
also prone to get around or away from civil government control.
Conflicts could emerge between the governments and the commanders on the
spot, who could be closer to Washington.
It seems to me that alertness on the part of progressive and
working-class fighters in Argentina and Brazil can affect the situation.
These are governments that want to be seen at home as resisting
Washington, as solidarizing with Venezuela and Cuba against US pressure.
The possibility  exists of pressuring them to seek the same image with
their role in Haiti, or at least of exposing and embarrassing them if
they don't.
My guess is that the fact that Washington is pulling troops out of Haiti
doesn't reflect so much confidence that Argentina and Brazil will do the
job for them, but weakness and vulnerability stemming from the great and
unexpected resistance they ran into in Iraq.  They are afraid that US
troops reconstructing a "new" US-designed Haiti would become not an
effective terrorizing force but a tempting target for local
anti-imperialist militants.
So I don't think we should assume we know what will happen in Haiti,
including what the role of Argentina and Brazil will be.
And the people of the three countries may well have something to say
about it.
Fred Feldman  

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