[Marxism] Malcolm X, the Militant and Aristide
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
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
"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 Haitis foreign debt to the imperialist bankers!
Stop the U.S. governments arrests and detentions of Haitian immigrants and
- Steve Gabosch
3/16/2004, Luis Proyect wrote:
>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.
>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.
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