I have always been a big supporter of
the United States, I consider it
to be the best country to live in on the planet where all citizens enjoy equal
opportunities, regardless of race, colour or creed. I supported them in the Iraq war much to the disgust of many of my
close friends, since I perceived Saddam Hussein to be an evil man.
But my admiration for the country cannot
make me blind to its shortcomings. The people of the US are by and large a very caring, moral people and would report you
and have you locked up if they see you beating your dog.
But there are elements in their Government's
State Department that destroy whole countries for no other reason than they
will not accept to be told, by them, what to do.
This brings me to Mr. Jean-Pierre
Aristide, the President of Haiti.
The US has claimed that Aristide was an evil President and that they were
forced to help him by removing him from Haiti to save his life.
Now ladies and gentlemen people can and
do accuse me of all sorts of things, but no one has yet to accuse me of being a
cowardly reporter or one who does not research his subject with much care.
The US's side of this story is that Aristide rigged fraudulent elections
in 2000, that he unleashed violent militias against his political opponents, that
he brought Haiti's economy to
the point of collapse and that he has brought his people to the point of
This commentator has studied every
aspect of this matter for over three weeks and has come to the conclusion, that,
this is all a pack of lies.
First lets look at the elections, the
British Guardian newspaper reported that after the 2000 elections an exhaustive
and convincing report by the Coalition of Independent Observers concluded that
"fair and peaceful elections were held in Haiti" and by the standards of the Presidential
elections held in the US that same year, with Bush and Gore, the Haitian
election was positively exemplary. So why did the OAS judge the elections
unfair? Was it because Aristide won 16 out of the 17 seats in the election. It
is noteworthy that the OAS and the US had agreed to the methodology of the way the votes would be counted
before the elections; incredibly however after the elections when Aristide won
they found problems with it.
So notwithstanding fair elections which
the US hoped Aristide would lose, Bill Clinton using the OAS's claims of flawed
elections declared the elections fraudulent and set up an embargo on aid to
Haiti, which has persisted to this day. In other words it became the stated
position of the US to drive
this poor HIPC country to economic collapse and deprive it of foreign aid
totalling 500 million US in International
funding during the period 2000 to 2004. Now remember that this is the same
holier than thou America who
would lock you up if you beat your dog for peeing on your carpet.
Apparently the most serious indictment
against Aristide was not that he was the perpetrator of creating phantom gangs
killing people, the reason for his vilification by the US and French media is
that he never learned to pander unreservedly to foreign commercial interests,
he reluctantly accepted a series of severe IMF structural adjustment plans, but
he refused to agree to the indiscriminate privatisation of state resources, and
stuck to his guns over wages, education and Health.
Apparently unlike Guyana, Haiti even
though a very poor country is, according to Bill Fletcher of the Washington
based Trans-Afri Forum and many other labour activists in the US, who tell us
that the anti Aristide lobby in the US is fuelled by the interests of some of
the largest and successful US corporations, mostly in the business to exploit
Haiti's already poor workers.
In a 1997 book "Democracy Undermined and
Economic Justice Denied in Haiti" writer Liz Mc Gowan tells us that Aristide's attempt to raise the
minimum wage has been cited as one of the principle factors for the 1991 coup
against his administration. The US's own Congressmember Barbara Lee claims in an interview with
Democracy Now' that Aristide and his democratic government have been
systemically destabilised by the US.
Aristide is not a violent man, he in
fact disbanded the Haitian military and its Militia which including the Ton Ton
which were set up by Pa Pa Doc Duvalier to oppress the Haitian people and instead
established a police force which proved in the end, to be too small to protect
him from less than 200 rebels. Another question which remains unanswered is who
armed and financed these rebels, if it was not the US itself, then it must have been the huge companies which were
getting fat using cheap Haitian labour.
In view of all of this, Prime Minister
of Jamaica Patterson's call for an in-depth investigation into this matter is
an absolute necessity.
Aristide's downfall could signal that
the US may be actively involved
in keeping the door open to yet more ruthless exploitation of Latin American
labour by US companies and that includes Guyana and all of Caricom. We have to say NO now, or we will regret it
I am not a big fan of Mr. Hugo Chavez
but the Haitian situation is being played out right next door to us, Chavez's
problem is that he is giving fuel to the fire against him by aligning himself
to Cuba, but Venezuela is a country of 24 million people, it is the fifth
largest exporter of oil in the world but an incredible 78% of its people live
below the poverty line, the fight going on in Venezuela now is the 22% rich
population financing an economic revolution against Chavez, but there had to be
trouble, there always is when 22% is keeping all the spoils and are letting
nothing pass through to the poor below, and it is the American and other translationals
that will be the most affected, if Chavez raises the living standard of the
poor people in Venezuela, since labour and benefits will become more expensive
and that means less profits for the huge companies operating there. By going so
far to the left Chavez has damaged his credibility, but essentially his cause
is just. I have no doubt that if there was a referendum or an election in Venezuela tomorrow Chavez would win.
Both of these cases Haiti and Venezuela may just be examples of the biggest hypocrisy of all, i.e. the
leaders of the world have joined together to crush democracies in the name of
I am all for the business class every
one knows that, but I draw the line when the business class allows nothing to
pass through that impervious layer at the top, to the people below in the name
of capitalism and democracy, when that happens then it is time to look at the
situation more carefully. And there is no necessity for it ladies and
gentlemen, in fact it is stupid and short sighted, not allowing anything to
trickle down is a recipe for disaster and 78% of the poor population in Venezuela are looking to people like
Chavez for help. It is inevitable. I see it with such clarity that it is
incredible to me that the rich people in Venezuela do not. That the US