can’t forget what has been done by the U.S.
military and other foreign military who (sic) kidnapped me on
the 28th of February.
U.S. government is rarely
“at home” in the world. Historically, its presence in what becomes
known as the Americas
has required a subdued pre-exiting indigenous population. A military
has always aided in this effort. Blood must fertilize the soil.
the end, the “antagonists,” as the story is told by the U.S.,
ultimately recognize the homeland, a place where the free
market flows, U.S. and Western corporations rule, and, the inhabitants,
some donning uniforms and guns keep the natives at bay while other
inhabitants serve at the hotels, resorts, restaurants, and factories.
End of story. Mission Accomplished!
this procuring of home sticks; sometimes, however, “antagonists”
are not convinced and recognize that they have been mis-labeled
and rise up to initiate a narrative of liberation from the true
narrative of any kind is permitted to depict the U.S.
days after an earthquake struck Haiti
on January 12, 2010, the U.S.
returned to the land that has been difficult to procure as homeland.
The natives have refused to see themselves as “antagonists” and
have dared to give up their homeland to the U.S.
the earthquake hit Haiti, and while Cuba,
China, Venezuela, Mexico,
France, Greece and other nations flew aid immediately to
the war strategists and corporate heads thought: opportunity!
Pull the troops on their way to or from Iraq
or Pakistan or Yemen. Turn them in the direction of Haiti.
230,000 dead and over 3 million in Haiti
are still without housing, food and water, but the U.S. Marines
are prowling around Haiti. They’re standing at
the ready with guns and killing machines. What does an army do
among hungry, starving, seriously injured people and people worried
about the coming rains, infection and cholera? While the corporate
media has done its part and pulled its troops of celebrity journalists
and their cameras out of Haiti, people in the U.S.
and around the world still remember Haiti and the earthquake.
U.S. troops seem out
of place - for now.
number of Marines is still growing, according to independent journalist
and filmmaker, Kevin Pina, reporting from Haiti
for Flashpoints: Investigative News Magazine. On February
9, 2010, I had to call Pina to confirm his report about a press
conference held on Sunday, February 7, 2010 in front of a monument
celebrating the Haitian Constitution at Constitution Plaza in
Cite Soleil because it appeared, days later, nowhere in print.
The press conference and subsequent demonstration was called by
Fenmi Lavalas, the democratically-elected president Jean Bertrand
Aristide’s party, the People’s party, the largest political party
in Haiti. Until today, Wednesday, February 10, 2010,
with the publication of one or two articles, no one else had reported
this story, except for Pina.
don’t expect Anderson Cooper and his CNN crew to rush to Cite
Soleil and stand breathless, taking in the words of Lavalas leaders,
and watching the people, who know they are not “antagonist,” demand
the return of Aristide. But I had expected the alternative and
the Left press, supposedly committed to the struggles against
anti-imperialism, in the U.S.,
to keep its eyes on those 20,000 U.S. troops controlling the airport and the port,
determining when and what relief will leave the airport. This
alone should alarm the Left.
meaning hasn’t escaped the Haitians. Since the coup in 2004 that
removed Aristide, the UN troops have had a different relationship
with the Haitian poor and working class, leaders and supporters
of Aristide’s Lavalas Party. The UN provided a police state that
terrorized and slaughtered those leaders and supporters of Lavalas.
Now, the UN and U.S.
troops are asked to provide relief!
Smith, writing in the Socialist Worker, recalls the 1970s
and 1960s when the U.S.,
hiding behind dictator Baby Doc Duvalier, imposed the IMF’s “a
structural adjustment program.” Haitians called it “the plan of
opened up the Haitian economy to heavily subsidized U.S. agricultural exports, especially rice, which
undermined the ability of Haitian peasants to compete on the market.
Dislocated peasants flooded into Port-au-Prince,
swelling the population from 760,000 in the early 1980s to close
to 3 million before the earthquake (“The ‘Shock Doctrine’ for
U.S. death plan created 80,
000 sweatshop jobs, not enough, Smith continues for “hundreds
of thousands” who were “reduced to desperate poverty in the sprawling
this is Haiti, the home of people
very much at home with their land and their history. Haitians
fought back. Out of poverty came the Lavalas movement, and it
was Baby Doc who was flown out of Haiti.
In 1990, Aristide became the first democratically-elected president
who, writes Smith, “won two-thirds of the vote on a program to
reverse the plan of death.”
were at home in the world. They had arrived again as they had
in 1804 when they staged the first Black revolution and freed
themselves from the French, English, and Spanish, and again in
1934 at the end of U.S.
occupation of Haiti.
(In 1915, under President Wilson, the U.S. Marines entered Port-au-Prince
and the U.S. commenced a brutal 19-year occupation of the Haitian
for the U.S. government, Haiti
can never be forgiven not only for its revolution against the
U.S. and Europe: Haitians made it very difficult
for the U.S.
to feel comfortable and thrive in Haiti
and on the backs of the Haitian poor and working class. Haitians
didn’t stand still to wait and see what the saviors to
the North will do on and with their land and people.
U.S. war strategists never sleep.
the Clinton and then the Bush Jr. administrations staged coups
to remove Aristide (finally in 2004) with Clinton restoring Aristide
and, as Smith writes, demanding a “stop [to] even modest” changes
to the plan of death. Aristide, recognizing the “antagonists”
in this attempt to secure the Haitian homeland, just couldn’t
do as the current President Rene Preval  has - oversee, writes Smith, “the
reimplementation of the American neoliberal plan.”
Aristide! Aristide! Aristide!
Preval, the people are suffering. The people cannot find water.
The people are sleeping in the streets…
we see clearly. The corruption of the aid victimizes a population
who find nothing to help them.
Preval, we elected you to return Aristide.
the moment has come to fulfill that promise so that Aristide
can return to participate in reconstruction” (Long memory
leaders of Lavalas ask: “if Obama can do it, then why can’t Preval?”
That is, why can’t Preval stand side by side with Aristide - in
Haiti if the
president is able to call on the bipartisan assistance of Clinton
I suspect that this display of bipartisanship represents
a re-grouping of three U.S.
presidents on behalf of U.S.
interests in Haiti,
I also think this press conference was staged to call Preval out,
to reveal his complicity with the U.S.
and Western powers. Demonstrations followed the press conference.
People denounced Preval and called for Aristide.
U.S. Marines appeared at the press conference, however. The soldiers
ended up standing around not sure what to do, according to Pina.
But I can picture these Marines, ready to defend U.S.
interests - in Haiti,
among the rubble, dead, dying, starving and those with strength
enough to organize to shelter and to feed others. “They’re here
as a deterrent,” Pina said on Flashpoints. “They have orders
to shoot to kill.”
have heard these words before, here in cities throughout the U.S., wherever people rose up to denounce war
and anti-imperialism and racism.
this catastrophe, imperial powers and corporate vultures are circling,
eyeing the profits to be made from reconstruction,” writes Smith.
Here’s where you’d think the Left activists and anti-imperialists
fighters in the U.S. would step up and stand with the Haitian
people. But no.
the “corporate vultures” have given the microphone to those aligned
with the agenda of American Empire.
Smith’s article documents these voices speaking on behalf of imperialism.
In The Street (an investment website) appears an article
titled, “An Opportunity to Heal Haiti”
in which the author, Scott Rothbort, cheers the corporations who
will benefit from the reconstruction efforts in Haiti. Three cheers for “General
Electric, Caterpillar, Deere, Fluor, Jacobs Engineering” and others,
including Johnson & Johnson and Emerson Electric who will
reconstruct the neoliberal plan in that “economically backward
country…subject to a high degree of corruption and a history of
dictatorial leaders” (“An Opportunity to Heal Haiti”).
for U.S. capitalism!
Dobbins, Smith continues, a former U.S. special envoy to Haiti
under Bill Clinton, sees Haiti remade “along free market lines”
while Nicholas Kristoff, New York Times columnist, seems
to proposes a softer, gentler coup for Haiti. Yes, it’s humanitarian:
best strategy for Haiti: building garment factories.
The idea (sweatshops!) may sound horrific to Americans. But it’s
a strategy that has worked for other countries, such as Bangladesh, and Haitians in the slums would tell
you that their most fervent wish is for jobs. A few dozen major
shirt factories could be transformational for Haiti.
factories! Leave it to Kristoff to think about the little people
of Haiti and, in the process, try and appear less
offensive than General Electric or Caterpillar! A good liberal!
arraignment of people serving as garment workers benefits
the same people who benefited from their enslavement and the enslavement
of all Africans in the Americas
and the genocide of the indigenous Indian population. Garment
factories! How’s that working for the majority people of the world
right now? As Smith points out, Hillary Clinton “convinced Préval
to declare emergency powers, which have been largely delegated
to the U.S.”
So excited by the opportunity to finally cash in and grab Haiti, once and for all, Clinton (like her husband) is shouting for all to hear: “We
have a plan. It was a legitimate plan, it was done in conjunction
with other international donors, with the United Nations.” (Donors?
Bill Clinton’s donors!).
author of the plan is Oxford University
professor Paul Collier. Collier wrote The Bottom Billion,
a book widely read in development circles. In it, he advocates
a neocolonial strategy for crisis-torn societies. He argues that
to be effective, great powers and international bodies like the
UN must intervene militarily and occupy failed states. After setting
up shop, they then can impose development plans to reconstruct
“useful idiot for imperialism” (“Jean Bricmont’s apt phrase”)
Smith declares that Collier provides “intellectual justification
for conquest and exploitation.”
sees a way to make Haiti
a comfortable homeland. With its poverty and “relatively unregulated
labor market,” Collier claims, Haiti’s
labor could compete with China.
“Haitian labor is not only cheap, it is of good quality. Indeed,
because the garments industry used to be much larger than it is
currently, there is a substantial pool of experienced labor” (Smith).
is also a friend of Bill. Together, the two, Smith adds, call
for - surprise, surprise - investment in the tourist industry,
re-development of the sweatshop industry in cities, export-oriented
mango plantations in the countryside and construction of infrastructure
to service this development. Each of these projects serves the
interests of multinational corporations and the Haitian elite
at the expense of the workers and peasants.
new homeland of Haiti
will look like every other land, including the U.S.,
where capitalism runs amok, creating more homeless and working
poor and U.S. government bailouts and
multimillion dollar bonuses for the corporate CEOs.
Ezili Danto writes, “The US must STOP blocking Haitian relief:
80% of Haiti’s population lives OUTSIDE of Port au Prince:
Haiti is not
the Republic of Port au Prince where the internationals congregate,” the Haitians have
a plan, too.
Haitians have a plan for their homeland. Danto asks:
Where is the acknowlegement (sic) that the democratically
elected president of Haiti along with Haitians, from all the professionals,
already HAVE put together a plan for a private/public partnership
to REBUILD Haiti, back when Haiti was free and that said information
is outlined, as well as, what Haiti’s resources are to finance
this rebuilding, in a book called “Investing In People: Lavalas
White Book under the direction of Jean-Bertrand Aristide” (Investir
a day after Lavalas holds a press conference and the people demonstrate
calling for Aristide, Bill Clinton arrives in Haiti.
feeling a little more comfortable now as he declares to the cameras:
he will get to the bottom of this “bottleneck” and solve the problem!
Who doesn’t believe that “bottleneck” is the cure to eliminating
Haitians not immediately killed by the earthquake?
to solve that “bottleneck,” Clinton,
play back that Lavalas press conference! Leave the Haitians alone!
Left must take a political stand with Lavalas and the people of
imperialism and its virile brand of racism before the cameras
leave and the U.S.
troops receive their orders to commence enforcing homeland
security tactics in Haiti.
then, reports from Haiti
will tell of the violence of “antagonists” and killings,
necessary and just, killings of Lavalas leaders
and supporters by the “protagonists” who were just trying to help
these poor people. Don’t wait until that narrative
plants you in front of your televisions to listen to the corporate
PR, courtesy of the American Empire.
Aristide! Aristide! Aristide!
Haiti and The
‘Devil’s Curse’ - The Truth About Haiti & Lies Of The Media
Hayti.net - Site
Officel de Organization Politique Fanmi Lavalas
Solidarity Action Committee
- Haitian Women for Haitian Refugees
 Kevin Pina reports that Preval has supplied his mayors
with food aid. The mayors, in turn, have put the food up for sale
BlackCommentator.com Editorial Board member, Lenore Jean Daniels, PhD,
has been a writer for over thirty years of commentary, resistance
criticism and cultural theory, and short stories with a Marxist
sensibility to the impact of cultural narrative violence
and its antithesis, resistance narratives. With entrenched dedication
to justice and equality, she has served as a coordinator of student
and community resistance projects that encourage the Black Feminist
idea of an equalitarian community and facilitator of student-teacher
communities behind the walls of academia for the last twenty years.
Dr. Daniels holds a PhD in Modern American Literatures, with a
specialty in Cultural Theory (race, gender, class narratives)
from Loyola University,
Chicago. Click here
to contact Dr. Daniels.