Haiti’s Nightmare is Made in America – Ted Snider 3/13/24

Source: Antiwar.com

No stranger to nightmares, Haiti is descending into another one.

Armed gangs, many of whom grew in power and wealth during the current administration of Prime Minister Ariel Henry with whom they had collaborated, have engaged in turf wars that have internally displaced over 362,000 people, according to United Nations estimates. They engineered prison breaks, and on March 8, armed gangs surrounded the National Palace.

Haitian gang leaders have “demanded that the country’s next leader be chosen by the people and live in Haiti.” Henry was not elected. He was placed in power by the “Core Group,” made up of UN representatives, the United States, France, Canada, Spain, Germany, the Organization of American States, and the European Union after the assassination of President Jovenal Moïse. Gang leaders have demanded his resignation.

On March 11, Henry, who is stranded in Puerto Rico, finally announced that he would resign after repeatedly postponing elections. The announcement came after a meeting on March 11 of the Caribbean Community and Common Market (CARICOM). Celebrations reportedly erupted on the streets of Haiti.

The United States, which has consistently backed Henry, had hoped he could survive to oversee the transition, but the chaos and brutality on the streets forced their hand. Without American support, the unpopular ruler had no way to survive.

Democracy in Haiti has meant never getting to choose your own leader. The United States and its partners have a long and terrible history of coups and interference in Haiti that have hijacked and undermined Haitian democracy. Haiti’s democratic wishes have long been snuffed out by the United States, and the people of Haiti have never had much say in whom they want to lead their country. In 1959, when a small group of Haitians tried to overthrow the savage U.S.-backed dictator “Papa Doc” Duvalier, the U.S. military, which was in Haiti to train Duvalier’s brutal forces, not only helped locate the rebels but took part in the fighting that squashed them.

A quarter of a century later, when the people of Haiti longed to elect Jean-Bertrand Aristide to power, the CIA, with the authorization of President Ronald Reagan, funded candidates to oppose him. In 1989, the United States undermined the Aristide government, and, immediately following the coup, supported the junta and increased trade to Haiti in violation of international sanctions. CIA expert John Prados says that the “chief thug” amongst the groups of militia behind the coup was a CIA asset. Tim Weiner, author of Legacy of Ashes: The History of the CIA, agrees. Weiner says that several of the leaders of the junta that took out Aristide “had been on the CIA’s payroll for years.”

When the people of Haiti got the chance again and elected Aristide in 2004, the United States, with the help of Canada and France, crushed their choice, kidnapped Aristide, and sent him to exile in Africa. Aristide has said, “The coup of September 1991 was undertaken with the support of the U.S. administration, and in February 2004 it happened again, thanks to many of the same people.”…

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