[Marxism] The Militant: "No indication" of US involvement in Haitian uprising?!?!

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Wed Mar 3 07:24:23 MST 2004

Steve Gabosch wrote:
> The Militant's analysis of the relationship of Washington to the 
> uprising is summarized thusly: "...Washington does not particularly care 
> to keep the Aristide government in power and will do nothing to stop the 
> rightist insurgents from taking over the capital if they amass the 
> forces to do so."

This makes the whole thing sound like benign neglect, which is obviously 
a falsification of history. The USA has been openly involved with the 
"legal" opposition, which has the same relationship to the Cannibal Gang 
et al that La Prensa and company had to the FDN contras in Nicaragua. 
Aside from describing it as "US-backed", the Militant does not discuss 
its role at all. If anything, it obfuscates the "Democratic Convergence" 
by casting it in terms of: "The deepening economic crisis along with 
Aristide’s use of thugs to attempt to silence opposition have both 
bolstered opposition groups such as the U.S.-backed Democratic 
Convergence." The deepening economic crisis has nothing to do with this 
outfit being "bolstered". That is tantamount to saying that Chamorro's 
La Prensa was spurred by economic hardship in Nicaragua and Sandinista 
"thuggery"--in fact the charges against Aristide come right out of the 
Reagan scriptbook. The economic crisis in Haiti was *engineered* by the 
Democratic Convergence, whose opposition to Aristide was used as a 
pretext to cut off aid and loans.

As far as the statement that Washington "did nothing" to stop the 
rightist insurgents, it makes me ashamed to ever have been associated 
with a newspaper that Malcolm X lauded to read such garbage. I work with 
a Haitian programmer who was up in arms about how the border with the 
Dominican Republic was left wide open for the contras to pour through. 
If you read these remarks from Aristide's lawyer, you'll get an idea of 
what was really going on, which has Washington's fingerprints all over it.

AMY GOODMAN: It's good to have you with us. What is your assessment of 
what's happening in Haiti right now?

IRA KURZBAN: Well, I think this is clearly a military operation, and 
it's a military coup. We have analyzed the kinds of weapons that these 
people have brought from the Dominican Republic, who they are, how 
they're organized, and they're organized, really, as a military commando 
strike force that's going from city to city. They're very well 
organized, and they're armed to the teeth with the kinds of weapons, 
Amy, that really, no one has ever seen in Haiti, except when Haiti had 
an army. This notion that somehow, you know, this is kind of a rag-tag 
group of people who had armed that they got originally from Aristide, 
which is kind of what's playing in the press generally, is just totally 
untrue. When we have looked at the weapons that they have, they have 
m-16's, m-60's. They now have armor piercing weapons they have rocket 
propelled launchers. They have weapons to shoot down the one helicopter 
that the government has. They have acted as a pretty tight-knit commando 
unit, and they're led by, as I think you were pointing out in the 
introduction -- they're led by people who were former associates of the 
Defense Intelligence Agency, Jodel Shame Blaine was the trigger man for 
FRAPH during the military coup, when FRAPH -- when FRAPH was written was 
a creation of the Defense Intelligence Agency of the United States. 
There's enough indications from our point of view, at least from my 
point of view, that the United States certainly knew what was coming 
about two weeks before this military operation started. The United 
States made contingency plans for Guantanamo.

The U.S. Ambassador in Port-au-Prince began the process of warning 
American citizens and asking them to register. This was a week before 
any of this, and two weeks before any of this happened. So, there was a 
clear feeling that something was going to happen, and what really 
happened is the combination of Jean Tatun who is a person that the press 
has rarely reported about in Gonaives, who was a former FRAPH person who 
we tried and convicted for gross violations of human rights and murder 
in Raboteau, and behind what's going on in Gonaives. He had strong 
connections with Chamblain, the ex-head of FRAPH, and Guy Philippe, a 
former member of the Haitian armed forces and who has attempted previous 
coups, not only against Aristide, but the Preval government. These 
people came through the Dominican border after the United States had 
provided 20,000 m-16's to the Dominican army. They came through the 
border, that is Philippe and Chamblain with a really small army of about 
20 or 30 highly trained military people with these m-16's and m-60's and 
all of this other equipment that came through the Dominican border with 
-- in several trucks with very, very heavy equipment. And quite frankly, 
I believe that the United States clearly knew about it before, and that 
given the fact of the history of these people, we are probably very, 
very deeply involved, and I think congress needs to seriously look at 
what the investment of the Defense Intelligence Agency and the Central 
Intelligence Agency has been in this operation. Because it is a military 
operation. It's not a rag-tag group of liberators, as has often been put 
in the press in the last week or two. The second part of it is that it's 
clear that as a result of a number of stories that have come out in the 
last two day that the so-called peaceful opposition has been working 
very, very closely with these people. Guy Philippe was associated press 
yesterday saying with a big smile on his face that he has not been 
officially in contact with the opposition, but that he has received 
money and support from the Haitian business community. Well, the Haitian 
business community are the people who are behind what's called the group 
of 184. Those are the people who were so-called peaceful opposition. 
It's clear to us that they're stalling tactics in the last week have 
been designed to develop a fate accompli on the ground. I think that's 
what we're seeing right now.

full: http://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/regions/world/2004/02/285971.html


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