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International Socialist Review Issue 35, May–June 2004

The New Occupation of Haiti
Aristide's Rise and Fall


Ashley Smith, a member of the ISR’s editorial board, is author of "The Occupation of Japan" (ISR 29, May—June 2003) and "World War II: The Good War?" (ISR 10, Winter 2000).

FOR THE third time in the last hundred years, the U.S. has invaded and occupied Haiti. Working behind the scenes, the U.S. conducted a destabilization campaign aimed at toppling the government of Jean-Bertrand Aristide. This is a message to the rest of the region: If you don’t obey, the U.S. will impose sanctions, overthrow your government, install a client regime, and support death squads to crush any resistance.

Aristide offered the U.S. an easy target for such an intervention. He had been the pivotal voice of the mass movement against the Duvalier dictatorship, neoliberalism, and American imperialism. But once in office, he cut deals with the U.S. and demoralized his mass base. As a result, the U.S. was able to regroup its favored neoliberal technocrats, the Haitian bourgeoisie, and death squads to impose its wish for a client state on a resigned country.

The rise of Lavalas and Aristide

François "Papa Doc" Duvalier and his son, Jean-Claude "Baby Doc" Duvalier ruled Haiti from 1957 to 1986, consolidating a totalitarian state based on the Haitian army and a vast network of paid thugs and informants called the Tontons Macoutes. The dictatorship enforced order on Haiti’s underdeveloped capitalism for the benefit of a parasitic ruling class that siphoned wealth from the country’s overwhelming peasant majority. With little wealth pumped back into the economy, the cities swelled with urban poor and the working class remained small.

In the 1970s and 1980s the U.S. pressed Baby Doc to opt for a neoliberal economic strategy called the "American Plan": compel peasants into farming for export not subsistence, move the "surplus population" from the countryside to the city, and build sweatshops to take advantage of abundant and urbanized cheap labor. The plan increased peasant poverty and accelerated mass migration to Haiti’s cities, but most became part of the urban poor, the sweatshops unable to absorb them. The plan created an economic and political crisis. Between 1980 and 1985, agriculture production declined by 1.3 percent and industry by 2.5 percent each year.1 Baby Doc’s conspicuous consumption alienated the army, the conservative Catholic Church, and the private bourgeoisie, who saw his cronyism as a drain on profits. But it enraged the impoverished peasants, lumpen poor, and sweatshop workers.

Aristide, who came from a devoutly Catholic small property-owning family, became a priest in the Salesian order and was eventually assigned to the St. Jean Bosco church in the poor La Saline neighborhood in Port-au-Prince. Influenced by liberation theology, he called for a poor people’s movement that would unite all sympathetic forces, including liberal capitalists, to overthrow the dictatorship. He became the leader of a network of radical priests that was able to fill a vacuum that the Duvaliers had created by their repression of the Left.

A skilled orator, Aristide was able to articulate the frustration of the Haitian majority. "We must end this regime where the donkeys do all the work and horses prance in the sunshine," he said in a 1982 speech that led to his expulsion to Canada, "a regime of misery imposed on us by the people in charge. They are voracious and insatiable dogs, who go their own way, each one looking out for himself."2 His was a populist ideology that could appeal across classes. He could denounce capitalism as a mortal sin and call for a socialist Haiti in one breath, and in the next breath defend peasants’ right to private property.

The class base of Aristide’s Lavalas movement was the peasantry and the urban lumpen poor. Both of these classes have found it difficult to build their own organizations and have tended to be led by other classes. The peasants are divided between rich and poor and by their competitive aspirations for their own private plots of land. The lumpen proletariat, as Amy Wilentz writes,

are traditionally fickle. At a moment of great historical change they may support you for your ideas, for your words. But many among them can be bought. In times of plenty they are loyal…. And in times of penury their support can be and often is purchased by the highest bidder–and for very little. For a dollar they’ll demonstrate. For twenty, maybe less, they’ll torture, they’ll burn, they’ll kill, they’ll assassinate.3

Recognizing the fragility of his base in the lumpen proletariat, Aristide increasingly appealed to liberal sections of the bourgeoisie to come over to Lavalas’s struggle against Duvalier.4 His petty-bourgeois background, his brand of liberation theology, and the weakness of his mass base predisposed him to a politics of class compromise.

Confronted with the rise of Lavalas, the U.S. and the Haitian ruling class decided to sacrifice Duvalier in order to reform and preserve the existing order. They whisked Baby Doc out of the country to Paris along with a fortune he had stolen from the Haitian treasury. They backed the army to take control of the society and guide it toward liberal democracy and neoliberal economics. Undersecretary of State Eliot Abrams boasted that the Haitian army and its generals who had terrorized the population offered the "best chance for democracy."5

In reality, the army continued Duvalierism without Duvalier: they integrated the Tontons Macoutes into their ranks, maintained the cronyism, terrorized the popular movement, and failed to stabilize the society. They actually killed more people in their four years of rule than Baby Doc had killed in his fifteen. Finally, after a period of coups and counter-coups, the U.S. and Haitian bourgeoisie opted to organize "free and fair" elections in 1990.

Victory and compromises

The U.S. tried to rig the 1990 election. In an attempt to undermine Aristide, the U.S. exaggerated his radicalism, representing him as a beardless, Black Castro and denouncing him as a "Marxist Maniac" who advocated class struggle and revolution.6 They poured $36 million into their chosen candidate, former World Bank employee Marc Bazin, and hoped that he would defeat the Duvalierists Roger Lafontant and Victor Benoit, put forward by the main reformist political group, National Front for Democracy and Change (FNCD).7 In a fateful move, Aristide decided to replace Benoit on the FNCD ticket and run for president himself in order to head off the neoliberals and Duvalierists. Previously, Aristide had criticized the idea that elections were a route for social transformation. He argued that "candidates can’t bring change. Like anywhere else in Latin America elections are in the hands of the oligarchy who use them to undermine popular demands."8

Aristide’s candidacy captured the aspirations of Haiti’s poor, voter registration skyrocketed, and he became the favorite to win the election. Liberal capitalists like Antoine Izmery and layers of middle class intellectuals also rallied to his campaign. He won an astonishing 67 percent of the vote and thoroughly trounced Bazin, who managed only 14 percent. The peasants and poor resisted the temptation of U.S. dollars and voted for emancipation. One voter told the press, "I’m not here for the money, it’s of my own free will."9 One supporter commented,

Aristide’s inauguration represents immense hope not only for the Haitian people, but also I believe for the people of the Dominican Republic and all the other peoples of Latin America. The beacon is no longer Nicaragua, it is now Haiti, and Haiti truly has the duty and the right to succeed on behalf of all people who desire the experience of liberation.10

The U.S., the bulk of the Haitian ruling class, and the army reacted in horror. One U.S. official snarled: "Aristide–slum priest, grass roots activist, exponent of liberation theology–represents everything that the CIA, DOD, and FBI think they have been trying to protect this country against for 50 years."11 A U.S. delegation, headed by Jimmy Carter, attempted to convince Aristide to allow Bazin to become president even though he had beaten him in a landslide.12 A section of Duvalierists attempted a preemptive coup to prevent Aristide’s inauguration, but a wave of mass protests foiled it.

Aristide took office, left the FNCD, and established his own political party, the Lavalas Political Organization. But instead of pursuing fundamental social change, he moderated his agenda and attempted to mediate the struggle between classes. Author Robert Fatton notes that Aristide,

in spite of his multiple condemnations of imperialist and capitalist exploitation, his economic policies remained extremely pragmatic; at most they entailed a commitment to social democracy and the World Bank vision of "basic needs." He was always appealing for the cooperation of what he called the "nationalist bourgeoisie," and he accepted the necessity of dealing with international financial organizations.13

While he began to uproot the Macoutes, redistribute state lands, and raise the minimum wage, Aristide also agreed to a neoliberal program of deficit reduction and trade liberalization–and, incredibly, he promised a "marriage" between his government and the army.

This attempt to please both the bourgeoisie and the masses failed. The masses protested his meetings and agreements with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank. And the Haitian ruling class and army were terrified by his mild reforms. Aristide was caught between the movement’s demands for revolutionary change and the capitalist state, which was accountable to the ruling class. Aristide vacillated between damping down struggle so that he could maintain peace with the ruling class and encouraging it in order to improve his bargaining position. It was an untenable contradiction.

The U.S. government, the Haitian ruling class, and the army plotted a counter-offensive. The U.S. conducted a destabilization campaign similar to the ones they had conducted against Salvador Allende in Chile and Michael Manley in Jamaica in the 1970s. Haiti’s rulers and army then began to organize a coup that Aristide knew was coming. He gave pyrotechnic speeches defending people’s right to self-defense and celebrating the infamous pere lebrun, the practice of putting burning tires around the necks of enemies in acts of popular justice. But he had demobilized the popular struggle, the only force capable of stopping the storm of ruling-class vengeance about to break out in Haiti.

The coup and a deal with the devil

Raoul Cedras, who Aristide had actually appointed head of the army to replace the Duvalierist Herard Abraham, led a coup that drove Aristide from government and into exile just seven months after he took office. While publicly distancing itself from the coup, the Bush administration supported it in order to crush the Lavalas movement.

The Reagan and Bush administrations had maintained almost every coup leader on the CIA’s payroll. The Bush administration did impose an embargo, but it was perhaps the leakiest one in history, since the coup leaders enriched themselves, while the poor, who were actually its intended target, suffered immensely. Bush denied 60,000 refugees asylum, categorizing them as economic not political refugees, and either imprisoned them in concentration camps at Guantánamo Bay or forcibly repatriated them back to Haiti. Instead of denouncing the coup’s reign of terror, the Bush administration initiated a campaign against Aristide, claiming he was mentally unstable and a pathological killer.14

Even though Clinton had postured against Bush during the 1992 election, and criticized him for interning Haitian refugees on Guantanamo Bay, once in office, President Clinton maintained his predecessor’s policies toward Haiti. But in the wake of the fiasco in Somalia, when thousands of armed Somalis attacked and killed eighteen marines compelling a U.S. pullout, Clinton sought to use Haiti to rebuild domestic support for military interventions. He also wanted to head off domestic protests against his policy of refusing asylum for Haitian refugees.

Aristide had stated that he had "no illusion that a military intervention would serve the purpose of restoring democracy or justice to Haiti."15 But exile, pressure from his liberal bourgeois supporters, and Aristide’s own ambitions led him to abandon his reformism and adopt the American plan. He cut a deal with the devil. After a series of summits with the Clinton administration and representatives of the coup leaders, Aristide agreed to accept neoliberalists and former Duvalierists into his cabinet, give up the three years of his term he had lost during the coup, and sign on to a neoliberal structural adjustment program practically identical to that implemented by Baby Doc in the 1970s and 1980s.

Aristide adopted the World Bank-designed "Strategy of Social and Economic Reconstruction." Alex Dupuy notes that

the objective of the neoliberal economic model adopted by the Strategy was to maintain Haiti’s comparative advantage, namely, its cheap labor. The dislocations caused by the cheap labor strategy were already well known and they would inevitably lead to still greater unemployment and rural-to-urban migration. The main beneficiaries undoubtedly would be the private local and foreign investors, foreign exporters, and the small wealthy faction of the bourgeoisie that controls the import sector.16

Aristide betrayed the peasants through trade liberalization, canceled equity projects for the poor and sweatshop workers, and instead opened Haiti for business.

With UN approval, the U.S. invaded and restored Aristide to power in 1994. "Operation Uphold Democracy" would have been better termed "Operation Withhold Democracy." U.S. troops did not disarm the death squads; instead they smuggled incriminating papers that proved American complicity with the coup out of the country, warned the popular organizations not to challenge U.S. dictates, and drafted much of the old military into the new police so that it would have a loyal force ready to plan another coup.

The degeneration of Aristide

Haiti’s crushing debt load had grown from $302 million in 1980 to more than $1.2 billion today. "About 40 per cent of this debt," notes Farmer, "stems from loans to the brutal Duvalier dictators, who invested precious little of it in the country."17 Back in office, Aristide now committed Haiti to repaying it. Writes Farmer:

The author of a text entitled "Capitalism is a Mortal Sin" now meets regularly with representatives of the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and AID [U.S. Agency for International Development]. He was once the priest of the poor; now he’s president of a beleaguered nation, run into the ground by a vicious military and business elite and by their friends abroad. Aristide finds himself most indebted to the very people and institutions he once denounced from the pulpit.18

Aristide became an advocate of the policies he had formerly opposed. Camille Chalmers, a former aide to Aristide when he was in exile, said that the post-coup government in Haiti "completely submits itself to the order given by the United States, a government ready to do whatever it takes as long as it can remain in power."19 "The intervention de-radicalized Aristide," writes Fatton, "transforming him from an anti-capitalist prophet into a staunch U.S ally committed to the virtues of the market."20

Aristide did disband the military to prevent the Duvalierists from carrying out a new coup. He also stalled on the worst aspects of the neoliberal program, refusing to fully privatize the state monopolies. But these were exceptions to his right-wing economic program.

He only had a few months remaining in office before, under the terms of his restoration, he would have to step down in 1995. His ally, René Préval won the presidential election on the Lavalas ticket, but Aristide continued to dominate from behind the scenes. The Clinton administration withheld and then released aid to strong-arm the Aristide/Préval regime into continuing its neoliberal policies. The Préval administration was paralyzed by bickering with the legislature, and as a result the society and economy stagnated.

In this situation, the Lavalas leadership followed the pattern of the Haitian petty bourgeoisie. "The historical trajectory of the Haitian petite bourgeoisie," writes Fatton, "indicates very short-lived revolutionary proclivities and more enduring long-term aspirations to integrate into the dominant class. The Lavalas cadres could thus easily fall into the most opportunistic type of behavior."21 Soon Aristide’s allies were spotted driving SUVs and buying expensive houses. Haitians began to call them grands mangeurs–big eaters–who were literally getting fat off government spoils.22

Factions in the leadership of Lavalas competed for control of the government. Aristide formed his own political party, Fanmi Lavalas (FL), and his lesser-know competitors like Gérard Pierre-Charles formed the Organization for People’s Struggle (OPL). Neither offered a distinct political vision. Both accepted U.S. imperial dominance, advocated neoliberal economics, and incorporated members of the neoliberal technocracy and old Duvalierists.23 Michèle Montas, wife of the famous anti-Duvalier radio journalist Jean Dominique who was mysteriously assassinated in 2000, denounced the parties for making "unholy alliances not only between victims and former torturers but also between those aspiring to positions of power and the fierce and proven enemies of democratic principles who inspired the [Raoul Cedras] coup d’etat."24

Haitian society was coming apart at the seams. No real investment was coming in. Most U.S aid paid for the costs of the occupation. Drug trafficking developed, much of it through the utterly incompetent and corrupt new police force. In this unstable situation, the ruling class as a whole turned to private security forces to protect themselves and defend their hold on power. After he won the 2000 election, Aristide relied on his own security force, the Chimères, built out of the lumpen proletariat that had been his original base. They increasingly used violence against Aristide’s opponents, who in turn built up their own networks of thugs.

Aristide’s second presidency

The 2000 election precipitated a political crisis that paralyzed the government and gave the U.S the excuse to finally rid itself of Aristide. Aristide hoped that his presidential campaign would pull the FL’s legislative candidates into office and guarantee him a super majority. The OPL rallied a motley crew of opposition forces of former Lavalas supporters and Duvalierists to challenge the FL in the election. Aristide and FL soundly defeated the opposition, but in an unnecessary move to consolidate an absolute majority in the legislature, the FL fixed the counting of votes in eight different races, seven of which were won by FL candidates. Nevertheless, Aristide and his compromised government consolidated their power.

Aristide’s new regime continued the neoliberal agenda, initiating plans with the U.S and the Dominican Republic to build an export processing zone that would be the first of fourteen he planned to construct in Haiti.25 Moreover, in a sign of complete political bankruptcy, Aristide appointed a crew of Duvalierists to his administration: Stanley Theard as commerce minister; Garry Lissade as justice minister; Faubert Gustave as minister of the economy and finances; and his old adversary, Marc Bazin, as minister of planning and external cooperation.26

Aristide covered up this turn to the right with left-wing rhetoric. He did double the minimum wage and also continued to stall on some aspects of neoliberal privatization.27 Moreover, his demands that France pay $21 billion in reparations for the debt it imposed on Haiti upon its independence in 1804 irritated the imperialist powers who oppose reparations for slavery. Moreover, the likes of Otto Reich, Roger Noriega, and Elliot Abrams in the new Bush administration had long hated Aristide and lost patience with his incomplete obedience of U.S dictates.

Another U.S. coup

Despite repeated denials that it was advocating regime change in Haiti, the U.S. in fact orchestrated the coup that toppled Aristide in February 2004. On the eve of the coup, Jeffrey Sachs’ comments were prescient:

Haiti is ablaze. President Jean-Bertrand Aristide is widely blamed, and he may be toppled soon. Almost nobody, however, understands that today’s chaos was made in Washington–deliberately, cynically, and steadfastly. History will bear this out. In the meantime, political, social, and economic chaos will deepen, and Haiti’s impoverished people will suffer.28

The U.S, the Organization of American States, and various international financial institutions exacerbated the economic crisis. First Clinton and then Bush used the irregularities in the 2000 election to justify an embargo of $500 million in aid.29 The U.S. hoped to discredit Aristide, drive the population into despair and passivity, and open the space for its chosen alternative.

Through the National Endowment for Democracy, the Bush administration funded and sustained the OPL-led coalition called Democratic Convergence (CD) and the new Group of 184 headed by American-born sweatshop magnate André Apaid. Knowing they could not beat Aristide or his party, Fanmi Lavalas, in a free and fair election, they protested the 2000 election, refused to compromise or participate in a new election, paralyzed the government, and agitated for Aristide’s resignation. The Washington Post reported that

CD’s most determined…men…freely express their desire to see the U.S. military intervene once again, this time to get rid of Aristide and rebuild the disbanded Haitian Army. "That would be the cleanest solution," said one opposition party leader. Failing that, they say, the CIA should train and equip Haitian officers exiled in the neighboring Dominican Republic so they could stage a comeback themselves."30

The Bush administration facilitated the rise of the so-called rebels in their training bases in the Dominican Republic. All the leaders had been on the U.S. payroll at one time or another. The U.S. trained Guy Phillipe at a military camp in Ecuador in the early 1990s. As a police chief, he had led other officers in an attempted coup against Aristide in October 2000 and, after it failed, fled to the Dominican Republic. Louis-Jodel Chamblain was second in command of Emmanuel Constant’s FRAPH death squad bankrolled by the CIA during the 1991—1994 Cedras dictatorship. Chamblain was one of seven military leaders convicted in absentia of the murder of Lavalas supporter Antoine Izmery.31

These two and their several dozen accomplices stormed through Haiti armed with brand new M-16s and other military hardware that most certainly came out of the U.S. arms shipment recently sent to the Dominican Republic. Chamblain boasted of the rebels cooperation with the U.S.: "We do not have problems with the international forces. We are together with them like brothers."32 Ira Kurzban, the general counsel to the Haitian government, concluded, "I believe that this is a group that is armed by, trained by, and employed by the intelligence service of the United States. This is clearly a military operation, and it’s a military coup."33 The U.S. rushed to finish the coup after South Africa sent a planeload of arms and Venezuela offered to send troops to defend the embattled Aristide government.34

The U.S. finished off the coup by abducting the president and transporting him to the Central African Republic. Founder of TransAfrica Forum, Randall Robinson, told "Democracy Now" that Aristide "did not resign. He was taken by force from his residence in the middle of the night, forced on to a plane, taken away without being told where he was going. He was kidnapped."35 After the coup, Guy Phillipe announced, "I am the chief, the military chief." He then professed his love for Chilean Dictator Augusto Pinochet, who massacred 30,000 people after he overthrew democratically elected President Slavador Allende in 1973. He declared, "Pinochet made Chile what it is today," and promised that "we’re not going to let the country have another Aristide."36

The coup leaders have not yet turned to the scale of repression seen in 1991—1994, in part because of the demoralization and demobilization of the mass of Haitians, who have largely stood by and watched events, while Aristide’s supporters have mainly gone into hiding. But the signs are ominous. According to one eyewitness:

Since Aristide’s ouster over a month ago, one of the men [a former leader in Aristide’s party] has not dared sleep in the same house two nights running. He quit our meeting early so as to stay on the move. Later that day we found out that his name was read out on the radio, which is like being marked for death. Every afternoon around 4 p.m., names are broadcast. Perhaps they are on a list of those whom the new government wants to arrest, or perhaps listeners call in with the name of so-and-so. All are linked with Aristide in some way. Some of those named soon disappear.

The same writer describes the U.S. Marines who

patrol the streets and the airport, and fly helicopters almost constantly over the poorer parts of Port-au-Prince night and day. U.S. forces have made many night-time raids into some of the poorest quarters, particularly the one called Belair. In these raids they have killed an uncertain number of people, estimates going as high as 70. Occasionally the foreign soldiers venture into middle class neighborhoods, but never threaten the houses on the hills where the wealthy live.37

Even though Aristide is still the most popular politician in Haiti, the masses that elected him in 1990 have lost hope and retreated to just surviving amidst horrible poverty. "The same social deterioration that ended up giving us this invasion has also hit the popular movement," said Jean-Francois, an associate of Aristide’s when he was involved in popular organizations that grew up around the president’s church, St. Jean Bosco. "The movement is incapable of even articulating its disapproval or of even offering an alternative."38 This is the tragedy of Aristide’s policy of compromise in the face of imperialist pressure.

The American plan for Haiti and the region

With UN approval, the U.S., France (which seems to have collaborated with the U.S. in the coup plot), Canada, and Chile have sent in so-called peacekeeping troops to consolidate the coup. There are now a total of 3,600 troops–2,000 of them U.S. Marines and 800 French–currently in Haiti. U.S. troops are set to stay for three months, when a UN-sponsored force is set to take over. The U.S. has backed an interim government headed by an old ally of Duvalier, Gerard Latortue, who has spent most of the last thirty years in Boca Raton, Florida.

Latortue, in a triumphant ceremony in Gonaive, praised the death squads who now terrorize the country as "freedom fighters." These death squads have intimidated, hounded, and in some cases murdered Aristide supporters.39 He released from jail convicted Duvalierist criminals like General Prosper Avril who was convicted of massacring activists in the 1980s. Reaching the height of hypocrisy, Latortue cavorts with murderers while threatening to put Aristide and his supporters on trial for human rights abuses.

Latortue has built an interim government out of neoliberal technocrats and Duvalierist military leaders like General Herard Abraham and plans to implement the old American plan: establish a shell of a democracy, rig it so that only pro-U.S. candidates could win, and restore the military to repress a desperate population.

The motivation for the invasion is not so much economic as it is to stabilize the country on U.S. terms and send a message to the region, where the U.S. confronts a rebellion that has erupted over the last decade against free-trade globalization. In some cases the movement has brought to power governments that have partially balked at U.S. dictates–Lula in Brazil, Chávez in Venezuela, and of course the long-term thorn in the side of the U.S., Castro in Cuba. The U.S. is already engaged in a proxy war in Colombia and tried to topple Chávez in 2002. The intervention in Haiti shows that it stands ready to return to its historic strategy of coups, invasions, and occupations to install client regimes.

What next for Haiti?

"You took our president–now you’re taking our country!" was the greeting to a U.S. marine convoy in Port-au-Prince from a Haitian youth.40 Once again, the U.S.–with UN approval, it must be noted–has used the pretext of "disorder" to invade, occupy, and impose a "regime change" in Haiti. Our first duty is to expose the coup and demand that the occupiers get out of Haiti and allow Haiti’s democratically elected president to return. But there are also crucial lessons to be learned from what has taken place.

The U.S coup in Haiti has produced confusion on the left both inside Haiti and in the U.S. Some became Aristide’s uncritical supporters while others, frustrated with his betrayals, have called for his resignation. But neither position offers a way forward. Uncritical support for Aristide means blinding oneself to the way in which his accommodation to American imperialism demoralized and demobilized the movement in Haiti. Unfortunately, many progressives in the U.S. accepted uncritically Clinton’s 1994 invasion as a legitimate "humanitarian" intervention rather than what it really was–another illegitimate exercise of imperial control.

But calling for Aristide’s resignation without a popular, progressive alternative to his left only aided and abetted the U.S. coup. Many Haitian activists, disillusioned by Aristide’s betrayals, fell into this trap. A new movement in Haiti against the occupiers and the Haitian bosses they are there to defend can only be built successfully if it stakes its ground independently of Aristide and the politics of compromise. It is necessary to defend Aristide against the coup-makers, but also to recognize the way in which Aristide himself contributed to the ease with which the coup-makers seized power.

At the same time, the movement in Haiti must develop a new strategy to win liberation. Any strategy to transform Haiti that remains within a national framework will founder on the hard reality of Haitian capitalism’s underdevelopment. This is not to absolve Aristide for his compromises with imperialism and with the Haitian capitalist class. Nevertheless, it remains true that the Haitian masses, no matter how determined to free themselves from unemployment, low wages and domestic and foreign repression, cannot shoulder their liberation alone. Haiti’s future depends not only on what happens in Haiti, but what happens in the rest of Latin America, and in particular, on the building of a strong anti-imperialist movement in the United States.

The Haitian poor and working class will fight again; but its success requires that it be united with the movements against neoliberalism, imperialism, and capitalism from the Dominican Republic to Brazil and the United States.

1 Alex Dupuy, Haiti in the New World Order (Boulder, Colorado: Westview Press, 1997), 33.

2 Amy Wilentz, The Rainy Season (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1989), 112.

3 Ibid., 128.

4 Ibid.

5 Paul Farmer, The Uses of Haiti (Monroe, Maine: Common Courage Press, 1994), 132.

6 Wilentz, 137.

7 Quoted in NACLA, Haiti: Dangerous Crossroads (Boston: South End Press, 1995), 45.

8 Ibid., 45.

9 Ibid., 30—31.

10 Farmer, The Uses of Haiti, 235.

11 Quoted in Paul Quinn-Judge, Boston Globe, September 8, 1994.

12 Robert Fatton Jr., Haiti’s Predatory Republic (Boulder, Colorado: Lynne Reiner Publishers, 2002), 90.

13 Fatton, 79.

14 Dupuy, 153.

15 NACLA, 111.

16 Dupuy, 150.

17 Paul Farmer, "Who Removed Aristide?" London Review of Books, April 15, 2004.

18 Quoted in Ibid., 227.

19 Quoted in Ashley Smith and Helen Scott, "What led to the U.S.-engineered coup?" Socialist Worker, March 12, 2004.

20 Fatton, 108.

21 Ibid., 111.

22 Ibid., 10.

23 Ibid., 177.

24 Ibid.

25 Clara James, "Haitian Free Trade Zone: Aristide’s Different Capitalism is the Same Old Story," Dollars and Sense, Nov—Dec 2002.

26 Fatton, 178.

27 Stephen Gowan, "Telling the Imperialists to Go to Hell," available online at

28 Jeffrey Sachs, "The Fire This Time in Haiti was US-Fueled," Nation, February 28, 2004.

29 Peter Hallward, "Haiti’s Elected Leader Was Regarded as Threat by France and the US," Guardian, March 20, 2004.

30 Quoted in Fatton, 145.

31 Paul Farmer, "Who Removed Aristide?"

32 Quoted in Nancy San Martin and Susannah A. Nesmith, "Who’s in Charge? No one Knows," Boston Herald, March 20, 2004.

33 Quoted in Amy Goodman and Jeremy Scahill, "Haiti’s Lawyer: U.S. is Arming Anti-Aristide Paramilitaries, Calls for UN Peacekeepers," Democracy Now, February 26, 2004.

34 "U.S. Delegation Meets with President Aristide: Aristide Reveals Details of Coup," Haiti Progrès, March 10, 2004.

35 "President Aristide Says ‘I was kidnapped. Tell the world it was a Coup,’" Commondreams, March1, 2004, available online at

36 Jack McCarthy, "I am the Chief. My Hero is Pinochet," Counterpunch, March 3, 2003, available online at

37 Tom Driver, "On the Way Home From Haiti," Haiti Progrès, April 7, 2004.

38 -Quoted in Jane Regan, "Haiti: U.S. Soldiers’ Boots Follow Footprints from the Past," Inter Press Review, March 4 2004.

39 Anthony Fenton, "Witch Hunt in Haiti by the Bush and ‘Boca Raton’ Regimes," Znet, April 6, 2003.

40 "Marines Receive Mixed Reaction in Haiti," NewsMax Wires, Friday, March 5, 2004, available at

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