Who's Online

We have 355 guests online

Popular

2881 readings
Haiti: US Sponsored Coup d'Etat PDF Print E-mail
Justice News
Monday, 01 March 2004 01:57

Michel Chossudovsky: This article was written in the last days of February 2004 in response to the barrage of disinformation in the mainstream media. It was completed o­n February 29th, the day of President Jean Bertrand Aristide's departure in exile.

Haiti: US Sponsored Coup d'Etat
Date: Mon, 01 Mar 2004 16:12:20 +0100 (CET)
From: "Dave Cull" < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >

www.globalresearch.ca
Centre for Research o­n Globalisation
Centre de recherche sur la mondialisation

GLOBAL RESEARCH (CANADA) : FEATURE ARTICLE

29 February 2004

US SPONSORED COUP D'?TAT

THE DESTABILIZATION OF HAITI

by Michel Chossudovsky

www.globalresearch.ca 29 February 2004

The URL of this article is: http://globalresearch.ca/articles/CHO402D.html

This article was written in the last days of February 2004 in
response to the barrage of disinformation in the mainstream media. It
was completed o­n February 29th, the day of President Jean Bertrand
Aristide's departure in exile.

*    *     *

The armed insurrection which contributed to unseating President
Aristide o­n February 29th 2004 was the result of a carefully staged
military-intelligence operation. 

The Rebel paramilitary army crossed the border from the Dominican
Republic in early February. It constitutes a well armed, trained and
equipped paramilitary unit integrated by former members of Le Front
pour l'avancement et le progr?s d'Haiti (FRAPH), the  "plain clothes"
death squadrons, involved in mass killings of civilians and political
assassinations during the CIA sponsored 1991 military coup, which led
to the overthrow of the democratically elected government of
President Jean Bertrand Aristide

The self-proclaimed Front pour la Lib?ration et la reconstruction
nationale (FLRN) (National Liberation and Reconstruction Front) is
led by Guy Philippe, a former member of the Haitian Armed Forces and
Police Chief. Philippe had been trained during the 1991 coup years by
US Special Forces in Ecuador, together with a dozen other Haitian
Army officers. (See Juan Gonzalez, New York Daily News, 24 February
2004).

The two other rebel commanders and associates of Guy Philippe, who
led the attacks o­n Gonaives and Cap Haitien are Emmanuel Constant,
nicknamed "Toto" and Jodel Chamblain, both of whom are former Tonton
Macoute and leaders of FRAPH.

In 1994, Emmanuel Constant led the FRAPH assassination squadron into
the village of Raboteau, in what was later identified as "The
Raboteau massacre":

"One of the last of the infamous massacres happened in April 1994 in
Raboteau, a seaside slum about 100 miles north of the capital.
Raboteau has about 6,000 residents, most fishermen and salt rakers,
but it has a reputation as an opposition stronghold where political
dissidents often went to hide... o­n April 18 [1994], 100 soldiers and
about 30 paramilitaries arrived in Raboteau for what investigators
would later call a "dress rehearsal." They rousted people from their
homes, demanding to know where Amiot "Cubain" Metayer, a well-known
Aristide supporter, was hiding. They beat people, inducing a pregnant
woman to miscarry, and forced others to drink from open sewers.
Soldiers tortured a 65-year-old blind man until he vomited blood. He
died the next day.

The soldiers returned before dawn o­n April 22. They ransacked homes
and shot people in the streets, and when the residents fled for the
water, other soldiers fired at them from boats they had commandeered.
Bodies washed ashore for days; some were never found. The number of
victims ranges from two dozen to 30. Hundreds more fled the town,
fearing further reprisals." (St Petersburg Times, Florida, 1
September 2002)

During the military government (1991-1994), FRAPH was (unofficially)
under the jurisdiction of the Armed Forces, taking orders from
Commander in Chief General Raoul Cedras. According to a 1996 UN Human
Rights Commission report, FRAPH had been supported by the CIA.

Under the military dictatorship, the narcotics trade, was protected
by military Junta, which in turn was supported by the CIA. The 1991
coup leaders including the FRAPH paramilitary commanders were o­n the
CIA payroll. (See Paul DeRienzo,
http://globalresearch.ca/articles/RIE402A.html , See also see Jim
Lobe, IPS, 11 Oct 1996).

Emmanuel Constant alias "Toto" confirmed, in this regard, in a CBS
"60 Minutes" in 1995, that the CIA paid him about $700 a month and
that he created FRAPH, while o­n the CIA payroll. (See Miami Herald, 1
August 2001). According to Constant, the FRAPH had been formed "with
encouragement and financial backing from the U.S. Defense
Intelligence Agency and the CIA." (Miami New Times, 26 February 2004)

THE CIVILIAN "OPPOSITION"

The so-called "Democratic Convergence" (DC) is a group of some 200
political organizations, led by former Port-au-Prince mayor Evans
Paul.  The "Democratic Convergence" (DC) together with "The Group of
184 Civil Society Organizations" (G-184) has formed a so-called
"Democratic Platform of Civil Society Organizations and Opposition
Political Parties".

The Group of 184 (G-184), is headed by Andre (Andy) Apaid, a US
citizen of Haitian parents, born in the US. (Haiti Progres,
http://www.haiti-progres.com/eng11-12.html ) Andy Apaid owns Alpha
Industries, o­ne of Haiti's largest cheap labor export assembly lines
established during the Duvalier era. His sweatshop factories produce
textile products and assembles electronic products for a number of US
firms including Sperry/Unisys, IBM, Remington and Honeywell. Apaid is
the largest industrial employer in Haiti with a workforce of some
4000 workers. Wages paid in Andy Apaid's factories are as low as 68
cents a day. (Miami Times, 26 Feb 2004). The current minimum wage is
of the order of $1.50 a day:

"The U.S.-based National Labor Committee, which first revealed the
Kathie Lee Gifford sweat shop scandal, reported several years ago
that Apaid's factories in Haiti's free trade zone often pay below the
minimum wage and that his employees are forced to work 78-hour
weeks." (Daily News, New York, 24 Feb 2004)

Apaid was a firm supporter of the 1991 military coup. Both the
Convergence d?mocratique and the G-184 have links to the FLRN (former
FRAPH death squadrons) headed by Guy Philippe. The FLRN is also known
to receive funding from the Haitian business community.

In other words, there is no watertight division between the civilian
opposition, which claims to be non-violent and the FLRN paramilitary.
The FLRN is collaborating with the so-called "Democratic Platform."

THE ROLE OF THE NATIONAL ENDOWMENT FOR DEMOCRACY (NED)

In Haiti, this "civil society opposition" is bankrolled by the
National Endowment for Democracy which works hand in glove with the
CIA. The Democratic Platform is supported by the International
Republican Institute (IRI) , which is an arm of the National
Endowment for Democracy (NED). Senator John McCain is Chairman of
IRI's Board of Directors. (See Laura Flynn, Pierre Labossi?re and
Robert Roth, Hidden from the Headlines: The U.S. War Against Haiti,
California-based Haiti Action Committee (HAC),
http://www.haitiprogres.com/eng11-12.html ).

G-184 leader Andy Apaid was in liaison with Secretary of State Colin
Powell in the days prior to the departure of President Aristide for
the Dominican Republic o­n February 29. His umbrella organization of
elite business organizations and religious NGOs, which is also
supported by the International Republican Institute (IRI), receives
sizeable amounts of money from the European Union.(
http://haitisupport.gn.apc.org/184%20EC.htm ).

It is worth recalling that the NED, (which overseas the IRI) although
not formally part of the CIA, performs an important intelligence
function within the arena of civilian political parties and NGOs. It
was created in 1983, when the CIA was being accused of covertly
bribing politicians and setting up phony civil society front
organizations. According to Allen Weinstein, who was responsible for
setting up the NED during the Reagan Administration: "A lot of what
we do today was done covertly 25 years ago by the CIA." ('Washington
Post', Sept. 21, 1991).

The NED channels congressional funds to the four institutes: The
International Republican Institute (IRI), the National Democratic
Institute for International Affairs (NDI), the Center for
International Private Enterprise (CIPE), and the American Center for
International Labor Solidarity (ACILS). These organizations are said
to be "uniquely qualified to provide technical assistance to aspiring
democrats worldwide." See IRI, http://www.iri.org/history.asp )

In other words, there is a division of tasks between the CIA and the
NED. While the CIA provides covert support to armed paramilitary
rebel groups and death squadrons, the NED and its four constituent
organizations finance "civilian"  political parties and non
governmental organizations in view of instating American "democracy"
around the World.

The NED constitutes so to speak the CIA's "civilian arm". CIA-NED
interventions in different part of the World are characterized by a
consistent pattern, which is applied in numerous countries.

The NED provided funds to  the "civil society" organizations in
Venezuela, which initiated an attempted coup against President Hugo
Chavez. In Venezuela it was the "Democratic Coordination", which was
the recipient of NED support; in Haiti it is the "Democratic
Convergence" and G-184.

Similarly, in former Yugoslavia, the CIA channeled support to the
Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) (since 1995), a paramilitary group
involved in terrorist attacks o­n the Yugoslav police and military.
Meanwhile, the NED through the  "Center for International Private
Enterprise" (CIPE) was backing the DOS opposition coalition in Serbia
and Montenegro. More specifically, NED was financing the G-17, an
opposition group of  economists responsible for formulating (in
liaison with the IMF) the DOS coalition's  "free market" reform
platform in the 2000 presidential election, which led to the downfall
of Slobodan Milosevic.

THE IMF'S BITTER "ECONOMIC MEDICINE"

The IMF and the World Bank are key players in the process of economic
and political destabilization. While carried out under the auspices
of an intergovernmental body, the IMF reforms tend to support US
strategic and foreign policy objectives.

Based o­n the so-called "Washington consensus", IMF austerity and
restructuring measures through their devastating impacts, often
contribute to triggering social and ethnic strife. IMF reforms have
often precipitated the downfall of elected governments. In extreme
cases of economic and social dislocation, the IMF's bitter economic
has contributed to the destabilization of entire countries, as
occurred in Somalia, Rwanda and Yugoslavia. (See Michel Chossudovsky,
The globalization of Poverty and the New World Order, Second Edition,
2003, http://globalresearch.ca/globaloutlook/GofP.html )

The IMF program is a consistent instrument of economic dislocation.
The IMF's reforms contribute to reshaping and downsizing State
institutions through drastic austerity measures. The latter are
implemented alongside other forms of intervention and political
interference, including CIA covert activities in support of rebel
paramilitary groups and opposition political parties.

Moreover, so-called "Emergency Recovery" and "Post-conflict" reforms
are often introduced under IMF guidance, in the wake of a civil war,
a regime change or "a national emergency".

In Haiti, the IMF sponsored  "free market" reforms have been carried
out consistently since the Duvalier era. They have been applied in
several stages since the first election of president Aristide in 1990.

The 1991 military coup, which took place 8 months following Jean
Bertrand Aristide's accession to the presidency, was in part intended
to reverse the government's progressive reforms and reinstate the
neoliberal policy agenda of the Duvalier era.

A former World Bank official Mr. Marc Bazin was appointed Prime
minister by the Military Junta in June 1992. In fact, it was the US
State Department which sought his appointment.

Bazin had a track record of working for the "Washington consensus."
In 1983, he had been appointed Finance Minister under the Duvalier
regime, In fact he had been recommended to the Finance portfolio by
the IMF: "President-for-Life Jean-Claude Duvalier had agreed to the
appointment of an IMF nominee, former World Bank official Marc Bazin,
as Minister of Finance". (Mining Annual Review, June, 1983). Bazin,
who was considered Washington's "favorite", later ran against
Aristide in the 1990 presidential elections.

Bazin, was called in by the Military Junta in 1992 to form a
so-called  "consensus government". It is worth noting that it was
precisely during Bazin's term in office as Prime Minister that the
political massacres and extra judicial killings by the CIA supported
FRAPH death squadrons were unleashed, leading to the killing of more
than 4000 civilians. Some 300,000 people became internal refugees,
"thousands more fled across the border to the Dominican Republic, and
more than 60,000 took to the high seas" (Statement of Dina Paul
Parks, Executive Director, National Coalition for Haitian Rights,
Committee o­n Senate Judiciary, US Senate, Washington DC, 1 October
2002). Meanwhile, the CIA had launched a smear campaign representing
Aristide as "mentally unstable" (Boston Globe, 21 Sept 1994).

THE 1994 US MILITARY INTERVENTION

Following three years of military rule, the US intervened in 1994,
sending in 20,000 occupation troops and "peace-keepers" to Haiti. The
US military intervention was not intended to restore democracy. Quite
the contrary: it was carried out to prevent a popular insurrection
against the military Junta and its neoliberal cohorts.

In other words, the US military occupation was implemented to ensure
political continuity.

While the members of the military Junta were sent into exile, the
return to constitutional government required compliance to IMF
diktats, thereby foreclosing the possibility of a progressive
"alternative" to the neoliberal agenda. Moreover, US troops remained
in the country until 1999. The Haitian armed forces were disbanded
and the US State Department hired a mercenary company DynCorp to
provide "technical advice" in restructuring the Haitian National
Police (HNP).

"DynCorp has always functioned as a cut-out for Pentagon and CIA
covert operations." (See Jeffrey St. Clair and Alexander Cockburn,
Counterpunch February 27, 2002,
http://www.corpwatch.org/issues/PID.jsp?articleid=1988 ) Under
DynCorp advice in Haiti, former Tonton Macoute and Haitian military
officers involved in the 1991 Coup d'Etat were brought into the HNP.
(See Ken Silverstein, Privatizing War, The Nation, July 28, 1997,
http://www.mtholyoke.edu/acad/intrel/silver.htm)

In October 1994, Aristide returned from exile and reintegrated the
presidency until the end of his mandate in 1996. "Free market"
reformers  were brought into his Cabinet. A new wave of deadly
macro-economic policies was adopted under a so-called Emergency
Economic Recovery Plan (EERP) "that sought to achieve rapid
macroeconomic stabilization, restore public administration, and
attend to the most pressing needs." (See IMF Approves Three-Year ESAF
Loan for Haiti, Washington, 1996,
http://www.imf.org/external/np/sec/pr/1996/pr9653.htm ).

The restoration of Constitutional government had been negotiated
behind closed doors with Haiti's external creditors. Prior to
Aristide's reinstatement as the country's president, the new
government was obliged to clear the country's debt arrears with its
external creditors. In fact the new loans provided by the  World
Bank, the  Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), and the IMF were
used to meet Haiti's obligations with international creditors. Fresh
money was used to pay back old debt leading to a spiraling external
debt.

Broadly coinciding with the military government, Gross Domestic
Product (GDP) declined by 30 percent (1992-1994). With a per capita
income of $250 per annum, Haiti is the poorest country in the Western
hemisphere and among the poorest in the world. (see World Bank,
Haiti: The Challenges of Poverty Reduction, Washington, August 1998,
http://lnweb18.worldbank.org/External/lac/lac.nsf/0/8479e9126e3537f085
2567ea000fa239/$FILE/Haiti1.doc ).

The World Bank estimates unemployment to be of the order of 60
percent. (A 2000 US Congressional Report estimates it to be as high
as 80 percent. See US House of Representatives, Criminal Justice,
Drug Policy and Human Resources Subcommittee, FDHC Transcripts, 12
April 2000).

In the wake of three years of military rule and economic decline,
there was no "Economic Emergency Recovery" as envisaged under the IMF
loan agreement. In fact quite the opposite: The IMF imposed
"stabilization" under the "Recovery" program required further budget
cuts in  almost non-existent social sector programs.  A civil service
reform program was launched which consisted in reducing the size of
the civil service and the firing of "surplus" State employees. The
IMF-World Bank package was in part instrumental in the paralysis of
public services, leading to the eventual demise of the entire State
system. In a country where health and educational services were
virtually nonexistent, the IMF had demanded the lay off of "surplus"
teachers and health workers with a view to meeting its target for the
budget deficit. 

Washington's foreign policy initiatives were coordinated with the
application of the IMF's deadly economic medicine. The country had
been literally pushed to the brink of economic and social disaster.

THE FATE OF HAITIAN AGRICULTURE

More than 75 percent of the Haitian population is engaged in
agriculture, producing both food crops for the domestic market as
well a number of cash crops for export. Already during the Duvalier
era, the peasant economy had been undermined. With the adoption of
the IMF-World Bank sponsored trade reforms, the agricultural system,
which previously produced food for the local market, had been
destabilized. The lifting of trade barriers, opened up the local
market to the dumping of US agricultural surpluses including rice,
sugar and corn, leading to the destruction of the entire peasant
economy. Gonaives, which used to be a Haiti's rice basket region,
with extensive paddy fields had been precipitated into bankruptcy:

  "By the end of the 1990s Haiti's local rice production had been
reduced by half and rice imports from the US accounted for over half
of local rice sales. The local farming population was devastated, and
the price of rice rose drastically " ( See Rob Lyon, Haiti-There is
no solution under Capitalism! Socialist Appeal, 24 Feb. 2004,
http://cleveland.indymedia.org/news/2004/02/9095.php ).

In matter of few years, Haiti, a small impoverished country in the
Caribbean, had become the World's fourth largest importer of American
rice after Japan, Mexico and Canada.

THE SECOND WAVE OF IMF REFORMS

The presidential elections were scheduled for November 23, 2000. The
Clinton Administration had put put an embargo o­n development aid to
Haiti in 2000. Barely two weeks prior to the elections, the outgoing
administration signed a Letter of Intent with the IMF. Perfect
timing, the agreement with the IMF virtually forecloses from the
outset any departure from the neoliberal agenda, prior to the
election of the new president, which since his return from exile in
1994, had been broadly compliant with IMF demands.

The Minister of Finance had sent the amended budget to the Parliament
on December 14th. Donor support was conditional upon its rubber stamp
approval by the Legislature. While Aristide had promised to increase
the minimum wage, embark o­n school construction and  literacy
programs, the hands of the new government were tied. All major
decisions regarding the State budget, the management of the public
sector, public investment, privatization, trade and monetary policy
had already been taken. They were part of the agreement reached with
the IMF o­n November 6, 2000.

In 2003, the IMF imposed the application of a so-called "flexible
price system in fuel", which immediately triggered an inflationary
spiral. The currency was devalued. Petroleum prices increased by
about 130 percent in January-February 2003, which served to fuel
popular resentment against the Aristide government, which had
supported the implementation of the economic reforms.

The hike in fuel prices contributed to a 40 percent increase in
consumer prices (CPI) in 2002-2003 (See Haiti Letter of Intent,
Memorandum of Economic and Financial Policies, and Technical
Memorandum of Understanding, Port-au-Prince, Haiti June 10, 2003,
http://www.imf.org/external/np/loi/2003/hti/01/index.htm ). In turn,
the IMF had demanded, despite the dramatic increase in the cost of
living, a freeze o­n wages as a means to "controlling inflationary
pressures." The IMF had in fact pressured the government to lower
public sector salaries (including those paid to teachers and health
workers).  The IMF had also demanded the alimentation of the
statutory minimum wage of approximately 25 cents an hour. "Labour
market flexibility", meaning wages paid below the statutory minimum
wage would, according to the IMF  contribute to attracting foreign
investors. The daily minimum wage was $3.00 in 1994, declining to
about $1.50- 1.75 (depending o­n the gourde-dollar exchange rate) in
2004.

In an utterly twisted logic, Haiti's abysmally low wages, which had
been part of the IMF-World Bank "cheap labor" policy framework since
the 1980s, were viewed as a means to improving the standard of
living. In other words, sweatshop conditions in the assembly
industries (in a totally unregulated environment) and forced labor
conditions in Haiti's agricultural plantations are viewed by the IMF
as a key to achieving economic prosperity, because the "attract
foreign investment."

The country was in the straightjacket of a spiraling external debt.
In a bitter irony, the IMF-World Bank sponsored austerity measures in
the social sectors were imposed in a country which has 1,2 medical
doctors for 10,000 inhabitants and where the large majority of the
population is illiterate. State social services, which were virtually
nonexistent during the Duvalier period, have collapsed.

The result of IMF ministrations was a further collapse in purchasing
power, which had also affected middle income groups. Meanwhile,
interest rates had skyrocketed. In the Northern and Eastern part of
the country, the hikes in fuel prices have led to a virtual paralysis
of transportation and public services including water and electricity.

While a humanitarian catastrophe is looming, the collapse of the
economy spearheaded by the IMF, has served to boost the popularity of
the Democratic Platform, which accused  Aristide of "economic
mismanagement." Needless to say, the leaders of the Democratic
Platform including Andy Apaid, who actually owns the sweatshops are
the main protagonists of the low wage economy.

APPLYING THE KOSOVO MODEL

In February 2003, Washington announced the appointment of James Foley
as Ambassador to Haiti . Foley had been a State Department spokesman
under the Clinton administration during the war o­n Kosovo. He
previously held a position at NATO headquarters in Brussels. In all
likelihood, Foley was sent to Port au Prince, in advance of the CIA
sponsored operation. He was transferred to Port au Prince in
September 2003, from a prestige diplomatic position in Geneva, where
he was Deputy Head of Mission to the UN European office.

It is worth recalling Ambassador Foley's involvement in support of
the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) in 1999.

Amply documented, the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) was financed by
drug money and supported by the CIA. It was involved in similar
targeted political assassinations and killings of civilians, in the
months leading up to the 1999 NATO invasion as well as in its
aftermath.  Following the NATO led invasion and occupation of Kosovo,
the KLA was transformed into the Kosovo Protection Force (KPF) under
UN auspices. Rather than being disarmed to prevent the massacres of
civilians, a terrorist organization with links to organized crime and
the Balkans drug trade, was granted a legitimate political status.

At the time of the Kosovo war, the current ambassador to Haiti James
Foley was in charge of State Department briefings, working closely
with his NATO counterpart in Brussels, Jamie Shea. Barely two months
before the o­nslaught of the NATO led war o­n 24 March 1999, James
Foley had called for the "transformation" of the KLA into a
respectable political organization:

"We want to develop a good relationship with them [the KLA] as they
transform themselves into a politically-oriented organization,'
..`[W]e believe that we have a lot of advice and a lot of help that
we can provide to them if they become precisely the kind of political
actor we would like to see them become... "If we can help them and
they want us to help them in that effort of transformation, I think
it's nothing that anybody can argue with..' (quoted in the New York
Times, 2 February 1999)

In the wake of the invasion "a self-proclaimed Kosovar administration
was set up composed of the KLA and the Democratic Union Movement
(LBD), a coalition of five opposition parties opposed to Rugova's
Democratic League (LDK). In addition to the position of prime
minister, the KLA controlled the ministries of finance, public order
and defense." (Michel Chossudovsky, NATO's War of Aggression against
Yugoslavia, 1999, http://www.globalresearch.ca/articles/CHO309C.html )

The US State Department's position as conveyed in Foley's statement
was that the KLA would "not be allowed to continue as a military
force but would have the chance to move forward in their quest for
self government under a 'different context'" meaning the inauguration
of a de facto "narco-democracy" under NATO protection. (Ibid).

With regard to the drug trade, Kosovo occupies a similar position to
that of Haiti: it is  crucial link in the transit (transshipment) of
narcotics from the Golden Crescent, through Iran and Turkey into
Western Europe. While supported by the CIA and NATO, the KLA had
links to the Albanian Mafia and criminal syndicates involved in the
narcotics trade.

Is this the model for Haiti, as formulated in 1999 by the current US
Ambassador to Haiti James Foley?

For the CIA and the State Department the FLRN and Guy Philippe are to
Haiti what the KLA and Hashim Thaci are to Kosovo.

In other words, Washington's design is "regime change": topple the
Lavalas administration and install a compliant US puppet regime,
integrated by the Democratic Platform and the self-proclaimed Front
pour la lib?ration et la reconstruction nationale (FLRN), whose
leaders are former FRAPH and Tonton Macoute terrorists. The latter
are slated to integrate a "national unity government" alongside the
leaders of the Democratic Convergence and The Group of 184 Civil
Society Organizations led by Andy Apaid. More specifically, the FLRN
led by Guy Philippe is slated to rebuild the Haitian Armed forces,
which were disbanded in 1995.

In other words, what is at stake is an eventual power sharing
arrangement between the various Opposition groups and the CIA
supported Rebels, which have links to the cocaine transit trade from
Colombia to Florida. The protection of this trade has a bearing o­n
the formation of a new narco-government, which will serve US
interests.

A bogus (symbolic) disarmament of the Rebels may be contemplated
under international supervision, as occurred with the KLA in Kosovo
in 2000. The "former terrorists" could then be integrated into the
civilian police as well as rebuilding under US supervision the
Haitian Armed forces.

What this scenario suggests, is that the Duvalier-era terrorist
structures have been restored. A program of civilian killings and
political assassinations directed against Lavalas supporter is in
fact already underway.

In other words, if Washington were really motivated by humanitarian
considerations, why then is it supporting and financing the FRAPH
death squadrons? Its objective is not to prevent the massacre of
civilians. Modeled o­n previous CIA led operations (e.g. Guatemala,
Indonesia, El Salvador), the FLRN death squadrons have been set loose
and are involved in targeted political assassinations of Aristide
supporters.

THE NARCOTICS TRANSSHIPMENT TRADE

While the real economy had been driven into bankruptcy under the
brunt of the IMF reforms, the narcotics transshipment trade continues
to flourish.  According to the US Drug Enforcement Administration
(DEA), Haiti remains "the major drug trans-shipment country for the
entire Caribbean region, funneling huge shipments of cocaine from
Colombia to the United States." (See US House of Representatives,
Criminal Justice, Drug Policy and Human Resources Subcommittee, FDHC
Transcripts, 12 April 2000).

It is estimated that  Haiti is now responsible for 14 percent of all
the cocaine entering the United States, representing billions of
dollars of revenue for organized crime and US financial institutions,
which launder vast amounts of dirty money. The global trade in
narcotics is estimated to be of the order of 500 billion dollars.

Much of this transshipment trade goes directly to Miami, which also
constitutes a haven for the recycling of dirty money into bona fide
investments, e.g. in real estate and other related activities.

The evidence confirms that the CIA was protecting this trade during
the military dictatorship (1991-1994).  In 1987, Senator John Kerry
as Chairman of the Subcommittee o­n Narcotics, Terrorism and
International Operations of the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee was
entrusted with a major investigation, which  focused  o­n the links
between the CIA and the drug trade, including the laundering of drug
money to finance armed insurgencies. "The  Kerry Report" published in
1989, while centering its attention o­n the financing of the
Nicaraguan Contras, also included a section o­n Haiti:

"Kerry had developed detailed information o­n drug trafficking by
Haiti s military rulers that led to the indictment in Miami in 1988,
of Lt. Col. Jean Paul. The indictment was a major embarrassment to
the Haitian military, especially since Paul defiantly refused to
surrender to U.S. authorities.. In November 1989, Col. Paul was found
dead after he consumed a traditional Haitian good will gift a bowel
of pumpkin soup...

The U.S. senate also heard testimony in 1988 that then interior
minister, Gen. Williams Regala, and his DEA liaison officer,
protected and supervised cocaine shipments. The testimony also
charged the then Haitian military commander Gen. Henry Namphy with
accepting bribes from Colombian traffickers in return for landing
rights in the mid 1980 s.

It was in 1989 that yet another military coup brought Lt. Gen.
Prosper Avril to power...According to a witness before Senator John
Kerry s subcommittee, Avril is in fact a major player in Haiti s role
as a transit point in the cocaine trade." ( Paul DeRienzo, Haiti s
Nightmare: The Cocaine Coup & The CIA Connection, Spring 1994,
http://globalresearch.ca/articles/RIE402A.html )

Jack Blum, who was Kerry's Special Counsel, points to the complicity
of US officials in a 1996 statement to the US Senate Select Committee
on Intelligence o­n Drug Trafficking and the Contra War:

"...In Haiti ...  intelligence "sources" of ours in the Haitian
military had turned their facilities over to the drug cartels.
Instead of putting pressure o­n the rotten leadership of the military,
we defended them. We held our noses and looked the other way as they
and their criminal friends in the United States distributed cocaine
in Miami, Philadelphia and New, York."
(http://www.totse.com/en/politics/central_intelligence_agency/ciacont2
.html )

Haiti not o­nly remains at the hub of the transshipment cocaine trade,
the latter has grown markedly since the 1980s. The current crisis
bears a relationship to Haiti's role in the drug trade. Washington
wants a compliant Haitian government which will protect the drug
transshipment routes, out of Colombia through Haiti and into Florida.

The inflow of narco-dollars, which remains the major source of the
country's foreign exchange earnings are used to service Haiti's
spiraling external debt, thereby also serving the interests of the
external creditors.

In ths regard, the liberalization of the foreign-exchange market
imposed by the IMF has, despite the authorities pro forma commitment
to combat the drug trade, provided a convenient avenue for the
laundering of narco-dollars in the domestic banking system. The
narco-dollars alongside bona fide "remittances" from Haitians living
abroad, can be recycled towards the Treasury where they are used to
meet debt servicing obligations.

Haiti, however, reaps a very small percentage of the total foreign
exchange proceeds of this lucrative contraband. Most of the revenue
resulting from the cocaine transshipment trade accrues to criminal
intermediaries in the wholesale and retail narcotics trade, to the
intelligence agencies which protect the drug trade as well as to the
financial and banking institutions where the proceeds of this
criminal activity are laundered.

The narco-dollars are also channeled into "private banking" accounts
in numerous offshore banking havens. (These havens are controlled by
the large Western banks and financial institutions). Drug money is
also invested in a number of financial instruments including hedge
funds and stock market transactions. The major Wall Street and
European banks and stock brokerage firms launder billions of dollars
resulting from the trade in narcotics.

Moreover, the expansion of the dollar denominated money supply by the
Federal Reserve System , including the printing of billions of
dollars of US dollar notes for the purposes of narco-transactions
constitutes profit for the Federal Reserve and its constituent
private banking institutions of which the most important is the New
York Federal Reserve Bank. See (Jeffrey Steinberg, Dope, Inc. Is $600
Billion and Growing, Executive Intelligence Review, 14 Dec 2001,
http://www.larouchepub.com/other/2001/2848dope_money.html )

In other words, the Wall Street financial establishment, which plays
a behind the scenes role in the formulation of US foreign policy, has
a vested interest in retaining the Haiti transshipment trade, while
installing a reliable "narco-democracy" in Port-au-Prince, which will
effectively protect the transshipment routes.

MEDIA MANIPULATION

In the weeks leading up to the Coup d'Etat, the media has largely
focused its attention o­n the pro-Aristide "armed gangs" and "thugs",
without providing an understanding of the role of the FLRN Rebels.

Deafening silence: not a word was mentioned in official statements
and UN resolutions regarding the nature of the FLRN.  This should
come as no surprise: the US Ambassador to the UN  (the man who sits
on the UN Security Council) John Negroponte.  played a key role in
the CIA supported Honduran death squadrons in the 1980s when he was
US ambassador to Honduras. (See San Francisco Examiner, 20 Oct 2001
http://www.flora.org/mai/forum/31397 )

The FLRN rebels are extremely well equipped and trained forces. The
Haitian people know who they are. They are Tonton Macoute of the
Duvalier era and former FRAPH assassins.

The Western media is mute o­n the issue, blaming the violence o­n
President Aristide. When it acknowledges that the Liberation Army is
composed of death squadrons, it fails to examine the broader
implications of its statements and that these death squadrons are a
creation of the CIA and the Defense Intelligence Agency.

The New York Times has acknowledged that the "non violent" civil
society opposition is in fact collaborating with the death squadrons,
"accused of killing thousands", but all this is described as
"accidental". No historical understanding is provided. Who are these
death squadron leaders?  All we are told is that they have
established an "alliance" with the "non-violent" good guys who belong
to the "political opposition". And it is all for a good and worthy
cause, which is to remove the elected president:

"As Haiti's crisis lurches toward civil war, a tangled web of
alliances, some of them accidental, has emerged. It has linked the
interests of a political opposition movement that has embraced
nonviolence to a group of insurgents that includes a former leader of
death squads accused of killing thousands, a former police chief
accused of plotting a coup and a ruthless gang o­nce aligned with Mr.
Aristide that has now turned against him. Given their varied origins,
those arrayed against Mr. Aristide are hardly unified, though they
all share an ardent wish to see him removed from power." (New York
Times,  26 Feb 2004)

There is nothing spontaneous or "accidental" in the rebel attacks or
in the "alliance" between the leader of the death squadrons Guy
Philippe and Andy Apaid, owner of the largest industrial sweatshop in
Haiti and leader of the G-184.

The armed rebellion was part of a carefully planned
military-intelligence operation. The Armed Forces of the Dominican
Republic had detected guerilla training camps inside the Dominican
Republic o­n the Northeast Haitian-Dominican border. ( El ej?rcito
dominicano inform? a Aristide sobre los entrenamientos rebeldes en la
frontera, El Caribe, 27 Feb. 2004,
http://www.elcaribe.com.do/articulo_multimedios.aspx?id=2645&guid=AB38
144D39B24C6FBA4213AC40DD3A01&Seccion=64 )

Both the armed rebels and their civilian "non-violent" counterparts
were involved in the plot to unseat the president. G-184 leader Andre
Apaid was in touch with Colin Powell in the weeks leading up to the
overthrow of Aristide;  Guy Philippe and "Toto" Emmanuel Constant
have links to the CIA; there are indications that Rebel Commander Guy
Philippe and the political leader of the Revolutionary Artibonite
Resistance Front Winter Etienne were in liaison with US officials.
(See BBC, 27 Feb 2004,
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/3496690.stm ).

While the US had repeatedly stated that it will uphold Constitutional
government, the replacement of Aristide by a more compliant
individual had always been part of the Bush Administration's agenda.

On Feb 20, US Ambassador James Foley called in a team of four
military experts from the U.S. Southern Command, based in Miami.
Officially their mandate was "to assess threats to the embassy and
its personnel." (Seattle Times, 20 Feb 2004). US Special Forces are
already in the country. Washington had announced that three US naval
vessels "have been put o­n standby to go to Haiti as a precautionary
measure". The Saipan is equipped with Vertical takeoff Harrier
fighters and attack helicopters. The other two vessels are the Oak
Hill and Trenton.  Some 2,200 U.S. Marines from the 24th Marine
Expeditionary Unit, at Camp Lejeune, N.C. could be deployed to Haiti
at short notice, according to Washington.

With the departure of President Aristide, Washington, however, has no
intention of disarming its proxy rebel paramilitary army, which is
now slated to play a role in the "transition". In other words, the
Bush administration will not act to prevent the occurrence of
killings and political assassinations of Lavalas and Aristide
supporters in the wake of the president's departure.

Needless to say, the Western media has not in the least analyzed the
historical background of the Haitian crisis. The role played by the
CIA has not been mentioned. The so-called "international community",
which claims to be committed to governance and democracy, has turned
a blind eye to the killings of civilians by a US sponsored
paramilitary army. The "rebel leaders", who were commanders in the
FRAPH death squadrons in the 1990s, are now being upheld by the US
media as bona fide opposition spokesmen. Meanwhile, the legitimacy of
the former elected president is questioned because he is said to be
responsible for "a worsening economic and social situation."

The worsening economic and social situation is largely attributable
to the devastating economic reforms imposed by the IMF since the
1980s. The restoration of Constitutional government in 1994 was
conditional upon the acceptance of the IMF's deadly economic therapy,
which in turn foreclosed the possibility of a meaningful democracy.
High ranking government officials respectively within the Andre
Preval and Jean-Bertrand Aristide governments were indeed compliant
with IMF diktats. Despite this compliance, Aristide had been
"blacklisted" and demonized by Washington. 

THE MILITARIZATION OF THE CARIBBEAN BASIN

Washington seeks to reinstate Haiti as a full-fledged US colony, with
all the appearances of a functioning democracy. The objective is to
impose a puppet regime in Port-au-Prince and establish a permanent US
military presence in Haiti.

The US Administration ultimately seeks to militarize the Caribbean basin.

The island of Hispaniola is a gateway to the Caribbean basin,
strategically located between Cuba to the North West and Venezuela to
the South.  The militarization of the island, with the establishment
of US military bases, is not o­nly intended to put political pressure
on Cuba and Venezuela, it is also geared towards the protection of
the multi-billion dollar narcotics transshipment trade through Haiti,
from production sites in Colombia, Peru and Bolivia.

The militarization of the Caribbean basin is, in some regards,
similar to that imposed by Washington o­n the Andean Region of South
America under "Plan Colombia', renamed "The Andean Initiative". The
latter constitutes the basis for the militarization of oil and gas
wells, as well as pipeline routes and transportation corridors. It
also protects the narcotics trade.


*    *    *

The URL of this article is: http://globalresearch.ca/articles/CHO402D.html

For media inquiries and press interviews: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

The Centre for Research o­n Globalization (CRG) at
www.globalresearch.ca grants permission to cross-post original CRG
articles in their entirety, or any portions thereof, o­n community
internet sites, as long as the text and title of the article are not
modified. The source must be acknowledged as follows: Centre for
Research o­n Globalization (CRG) at www.globalresearch.ca .  The
active URL hyperlink address of the original CRG article and the
author's copyright note must be clearly displayed. For publication of
CRG articles in print or other forms including commercial internet
sites, contact: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

? Copyright MICHEL CHOSSUDOVSKY 2004.

Michel Chossudovsky is the author of  THE GLOBALIZATION OF POVERTY
AND THE NEW WORLD ORDER, 2nd Edition, 2003,
details at: http://globalresearch.ca/globaloutlook/GofP.html


To unsubscribe from Global Research (Canada): Feature Articles, send
email to: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
All Global Research (Canada) outward messages are scanned for viruses.

To visit our home page:
www.globalresearch.ca
Centre for Research o­n Globalization
Centre de recherche sur la mondialisation

Last Updated on Monday, 01 March 2004 01:57
 

Latest News