[Marxism] Malcolm X, the Militant and Aristide

Steve Gabosch bebop101 at comcast.net
Tue Mar 16 14:46:56 MST 2004

Louis quotes a passage in the March 22 Militant that repeats without 
qualification a story told by a US diplomat, Luis Moreno, regarding how 
Aristide supposedly resigned and left Haiti.  Walter also complained about 
this passage.  From the point of view of revolutionary journalism, I agree 
that the Militant was careless in the way they presented this story.  In my 
opinion, it would have been better in this case to have indicated the 
source of the information, and to have warned the reader that this story 
was coming from an untrustworthy person, an official of the US 
government.  Perhaps this passage should have just been left out.  Luis 
Moreno could indeed have been lying, as the unnamed security guard 
claims.  The Militant appears to have made an error in not anticipating 
this.  My take on this is that the Militant has to continue to be vigilant 
in making sure its reporting remains factual and its sources clear.  The 
Militant does slip now and then, and this is appears to be an example.

However, the kinds of conclusions that Louis and Walter draw regarding the 
adaptation of the Militant to imperialism from their reading of this 
perhaps too-hastily written passage are unfounded.  In the same issue of 
the Militant, an editorial explains the Militant's political position 
regarding the Aristide regime.  It points out that whether Aristide was was 
forced or he resigned is not the essential issue.  As the Militant 
explains, U.S. imperialism does not belong in Haiti at all, and the 
overthrow of the elected Aristide government is a blow to working 
people.  At the same time, the Militant explains that the Aristide regime 
was an ally of imperialism against the Haitian working people.

I believe this is the kind of revolutionary position that Malcolm X found 
in the Militant that caused him to call the Militant newspaper "one of the 
best anywhere."

Some relevant quotes from the March 22 Militant:

"Today, liberal supporters of Aristide in the United States­including 
Democratic politicians, who were the most aggressive in campaigning for 
another U.S. invasion of Haiti, all in the name of defending the former 
president­complain that he was “kidnapped” by Washington. But whether he 
was physically forced into exile or he handed a resignation letter to U.S. 
officials before getting on the plane does not change the more important 
fact that from the beginning his administration was totally subordinate to 
U.S. imperialism."

"The overthrow of the elected government of Haiti by rightist forces is a 
blow to working people. Today the wealthy rulers of the United States, 
along with those of France and Canada, have deployed troops to Haiti to 
patch together a government that can reliably protect imperialist interests 

"Working people in the United States and around the world should join with 
our Haitian brothers and sisters in demanding:
U.S., French, and Canadian troops out of Haiti now!
Cancel Haiti’s foreign debt to the imperialist bankers!
Stop the U.S. government’s arrests and detentions of Haitian immigrants and 

- Steve Gabosch

3/16/2004, Luis Proyect wrote:
>Malcolm X:
>The Militant newspaper is one of the best in New York City. In fact, it 
>one of the best anywhere you go today because everywhere I go I see it.
>The Militant newspaper:
>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.
>full: http://www.themilitant.com/2004/6811/681102.html
>Aristide Back in Caribbean Heat
>Before Arriving in Jamaica, Haitian Details 'Coup' by U.S.
>By Peter Eisner
>Washington Post Foreign Service
>Tuesday, March 16, 2004; Page A01
>KINGSTON, Jamaica, March 15 -- Jean-Bertrand Aristide stepped back into 
>the white glare of a Caribbean afternoon Monday, wearing a broad smile and 
>the same dark suit he had on two weeks ago when he was banished from the 
>presidency of Haiti and deposited into exile half a world away.
>Aristide said he was obliged to board the plane, and was followed by a 
>number of U.S. troops in full combat gear, who changed into civilian 
>clothes and baseball caps once they were aboard the plane. Also on board 
>with him and his wife were 19 members of a private security company 
>contracted by the United States to protect Aristide.
>Aristide's account was supported by two witnesses present on the evening 
>of Feb. 28 and the morning of Feb. 29. One was Franz Gabriel, a pilot and 
>aide to Aristide; the other was an American security guard.
>"I was at the house at 5 a.m. when Moreno came in to tell the president 
>they were going to organize a press conference and be ready to accompany 
>them," said Gabriel, who accompanied Aristide and his wife to Africa and 
>to Jamaica. "We boarded to go to the embassy and we ended up at the 
>airport. That's what Mr. Moreno wanted him to do."
>The American security guard, speaking on condition he not be identified, 
>described the U.S. security warning as a subterfuge to lure Aristide away. 
>"That was just bogus. It's a story they fabricated," he said.
>Louis Proyect
>Marxism list: www.marxmail.org
>Marxism mailing list
>Marxism at lists.econ.utah.edu

More information about the Marxism mailing list