[Marxism] The Militant blames Aristide, and gripes about Chavez, too...

Walter Lippmann walterlx at earthlink.net
Fri Mar 12 21:09:43 MST 2004

THE MILITANT continues and deepens its policy of blaming
the victim in Haiti. It accuses Aristide, the very first 
democratically-elected president in the 200-year history of
his country of being to blame for his kidnapping and his
overthrow by the United States government.

Aristide is "in exile", not kidnapped, according to THE
MILITANT. And so it's not surprising that THE MILITANT
doesn't call for Aristide's freedom, nor does it see him as
the legitimate president of Haiti. To THE MILITANT, he was
a tool of Washington so there was no reason to support him
in any way, shape or form. And, of course, they don't.

THE MILITANT also accepts the Bush administration's line
that that Aristide resigned, as this demonstrates: 
Now in exile in the Central African Republic, Aristide has
bitterly declared that he was kidnapped by U.S. Marines and
forced to leave Haiti.

Luis Moreno, deputy chief of mission at the U.S. Embassy in
Port-au-Prince, said he showed up at Aristide's home at
about 4:00 a.m. on February 29 to escort him to the airport. 
Aristide had already packed his bags. "He knew why I was 
there," Moreno said. At the airport, said Moreno, he asked 
for the letter of resignation and Aristide handed it to him." 

Isn't this nice of the Militant to quote Luis Moreno in 
this factual, objective manner? I'm sure we can take Luis
Moreno's word for it as to what happened, can't we? Sure
we can, yesirreebub.

THE MILITANT seems to think that the invasion of Haiti by
US and French troops was something that just "happened"
to have happened at the very same time. It was sort of
parallel to the assault on the capital by the rightist
gangsters. They write:

"The rebels swept into the capital, taking over the
national police headquarters, as U.S. Marines, along with
French and Canadian troops entered Haiti-the third U.S.
military intervention in that country in the last century."

This suggests that the US invaders had no influence over
the rightist gangs led by the likes of Guy Phillipe, who
had been trained by Washington in Ecuador.

Unsurprisingly, The Militant doesn't demand the immediate
and unconditional freedom of Aristide, nor does it bother
to even mention Aristide's wife, a US citizen, who also
was kidnapped by the US.

And strangely, THE MILITANT, which presents itself as very
pro-Cuba, has nothing to say about Cuba's large medical aid
team which is continuing to work in Haiti now. Not a word
about Aristide's friendly ties with Cuba and the economic
ties between the two countries.

But lots and lots of blaming the victim...
THE MILITANT's latest two analyses of Haiti:

THE MILITANT'S attitude toward governments such as that of
Jean-Bertrand Aristide isn't at all surprising. Aristide's
government was extremely weak, first of all because it was
installed by the US, and second because the US failed to
provide any of the material assistance Haiti needed, and
third because the US encouraged the rightist hoodlums to
organize and mobilize against Aristide.

In Venezuela, THE MILITANT formerly was a good deal more
circumspect in their attitude toward the democratically-
elected revolutionary government of Hugo Chavez Frias. 
However, today they let a bit more of their real line on
the Bolivarian president hang out for all to see:

Chávez is the head of a Bonapartist regime-a government
whose central figure presents himself as a "strong man"
standing above the traditional political institutions and
balancing class interests between the country's
impoverished majority and the wealthy classes.

For example, the government has used the National Guard for
popular programs such as the distribution of food in
workers districts at prices half of those in the regular
markets. At the same time, it has also used the same troops
on occasion to evict peasants from land they have taken
over in disputes with capitalist landlords.

Chávez's party, the Fifth Republic Movement (MVR), is a
multi-class formation. While he often appeals to working
people and small businessmen to rally behind his
government's policies, he also draws support from some
middle-class layers and a minority section of the
capitalist class.

The bourgeois nationalist government has left the country's
capitalist social relations virtually intact. The
capitalist class in Venezuela, one of Latin America's most
industrialized and wealthiest countries, continues to hold
state power, and is using its economic power to try to
cripple the government. 

WALTER NOTES: "The capitalist class...continues to hold
state power..."??? So why does the class which holds state
power want so desperately to overthrow the government of


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