Haiti’s New Dictatorship: The Coup, the Earthquake & the UN Occupation
Pluto Press, 2012
280 pp, $44.00
There seems to be no lie too base, no crime too awful that the “international community” has not committed against the tiny nation of Haiti ― the poorest country in the western hemisphere.
Canadian solidarity activist Justin Podur explains in exacting detail every slander and misrepresentation peddled by imperialist governments and retailed by the Western media to justify the continuing denial of Haitian sovereignty that began in 2004.
In 2004, the then-George Bush administration used contra-style death squads, headquartered across the border in the Dominican Republic, to undermine the government of left-wing president Jean-Bertrand Aristide.
While the killers wreaked havoc, the US media spread lies that it was Aristide who was violating human rights.
Eventually, US marines simply kidnapped Aristide and dumped him in the Central African Republic with a warning never to return ― which Aristide eventually defied.
What was Aristide’s great crime in US eyes? Being popularly elected and disbanding the vicious Haitian Army that was the bulwark of US domination in Haiti.
Having declared that Haiti was failing as a state, the US worked to institute the United Nations Stabilisation Mission in Haiti, known by its French acronym MINUSTAH.
Soon, MINUSTAH was sweeping murderously through the slums where Aristide’s Lavalas party had strong support. Alongside MINUSTAH were the US-funded death squads.
Behind MINUSTAH came non-government aid groups, offering help but really undermining Haitian sovereignty. This especially took off after the 2010 earthquake.
Podur says some NGOs have done excellent work. However, who would have thought that the Red Cross, for example, would leave vast sums of donated money sitting in bank accounts while operating with zero accountability to the Haitian people?
Why does the US insist on its banditry in Haiti? Why does the UN collude in it? Why do NGO’s pick over the bones? Why does the Western-dominated media simply refuse to report on the exemplary work that the Cuban medical teams have been doing in Haiti?
In an article last December on the Canadian socialist website The Bullet, Podur says a Canadian official told him in 2005 that Haiti is the “practice ground” for the “Cuban transition”.
Podur writes with great passion. The story of Haiti deserves an angry response.
Perhaps the best response is that we should work towards a “Cuban transition” ― in the USA.