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OfflineFrankieJustTrypt
and fell

Registered: 01/27/04
Posts: 537
Loc: MI
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Why They Had To Crush Aristide
    #2408537 - 03/08/04 08:48 PM (12 years, 8 months ago)

Why they had to crush Aristide

Haiti's elected leader was regarded as a threat by France and the US

Peter Hallward
Tuesday March 2, 2004
The Guardian

Jean-Bertrand Aristide was re-elected president of Haiti in November 2000 with more than 90% of the vote. He was elected by people who approved his courageous dissolution, in 1995, of the armed forces that had long terrorised Haiti and had overthrown his first administration. He was elected by people who supported his tentative efforts, made with virtually no resources or revenue, to invest in education and health. He was elected by people who shared his determination, in the face of crippling US opposition, to improve the conditions of the most poorly paid workers in the western hemisphere.
Aristide was forced from office on Sunday by people who have little in common except their opposition to his progressive policies and their refusal of the democratic process. With the enthusiastic backing of Haiti's former colonial master, a leader elected with overwhelming popular support has been driven from office by a loose association of convicted human rights abusers, seditious former army officers and pro-American business leaders.

It's obvious that Aristide's expulsion offered Jacques Chirac a long-awaited chance to restore relations with an American administration he dared to oppose over the attack on Iraq. It's even more obvious that the characterisation of Aristide as yet another crazed idealist corrupted by absolute power sits perfectly with the political vision championed by George Bush, and that the Haitian leader's downfall should open the door to a yet more ruthless exploitation of Latin American labour.

If you've been reading the mainstream press over the past few weeks, you'll know that this peculiar version of events has been carefully prepared by repeated accusations that Aristide rigged fraudulent elections in 2000; unleashed violent militias against his political opponents; and brought Haiti's economy to the point of collapse and its people to the brink of humanitarian catastrophe.

But look a little harder at those elections. An exhaustive and convincing report by the International Coalition of Independent Observers concluded that "fair and peaceful elections were held" in 2000, and by the standard of the presidential elections held in the US that same year they were positively exemplary.

Why then were they characterised as "flawed" by the Organisation of American States (OAS)? It was because, after Aristide's Lavalas party had won 16 out of 17 senate seats, the OAS contested the methodology used to calculate the voting percentages. Curiously, neither the US nor the OAS judged this methodology problematic in the run-up to the elections.

However, in the wake of the Lavalas victories, it was suddenly important enough to justify driving the country towards economic collapse. Bill Clinton invoked the OAS accusation to justify the crippling economic embargo against Haiti that persists to this day, and which effectively blocks the payment of about $500m in international aid.

But what about the gangs of Aristide supporters running riot in Port-au-Prince? No doubt Aristide bears some responsibility for the dozen reported deaths over the last 48 hours. But given that his supporters have no army to protect them, and given that the police force serving the entire country is just a tenth of the force that patrols New York city, it's worth remembering that this figure is a small fraction of the number killed by the rebels in recent weeks.

One of the reasons why Aristide has been consistently vilified in the press is that the Reuters and AP wire services, on which most coverage depends, rely on local media, which are all owned by Aristide's opponents. Another, more important, reason for the vilification is that Aristide never learned to pander unreservedly to foreign commercial interests. He reluctantly accepted a series of severe IMF structural adjustment plans, to the dismay of the working poor, but he refused to acquiesce in the indiscriminate privatisation of state resources, and stuck to his guns over wages, education and health.

What happened in Haiti is not that a leader who was once reasonable went mad with power; the truth is that a broadly consistent Aristide was never quite prepared to abandon all his principles.

Worst of all, he remained indelibly associated with what's left of a genuine popular movement for political and economic empowerment. For this reason alone, it was essential that he not only be forced from office but utterly discredited in the eyes of his people and the world. As Noam Chomsky has said, the "threat of a good example" solicits measures of retaliation that bear no relation to the strategic or economic importance of the country in question. This is why the leaders of the world have joined together to crush a democracy in the name of democracy.


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Anonymous

Re: Why They Had To Crush Aristide [Re: FrankieJustTrypt]
    #2408980 - 03/08/04 11:07 PM (12 years, 8 months ago)

Worst of all, he remained indelibly associated with what's left of a genuine popular movement for political and economic empowerment. For this reason alone, it was essential that he not only be forced from office but utterly discredited in the eyes of his people and the world. As Noam Chomsky has said, the "threat of a good example" solicits measures of retaliation that bear no relation to the strategic or economic importance of the country in question. This is why the leaders of the world have joined together to crush a democracy in the name of democracy.

i was waiting for the punchline.

so that's why they had to crush aristide.

:lol:


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OfflineFrankieJustTrypt
and fell

Registered: 01/27/04
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Re: Why They Had To Crush Aristide [Re: ]
    #2416293 - 03/10/04 07:46 PM (12 years, 8 months ago)

hehe, don't you just love the florid language that political writers excrete? Its honestly one thing I could sure do without...

But I was reading something else that was saying that basically, Aristede was trying to raise(or make) minimum wage laws... to something like 2 dollars a day, and the western elites who love cheap labor in central and south america got pissed.

It reminds me of the military coup in venezuela, albeit actually successful.. But just another example of a populist elected in a third world country that wouldn't play to the tune of the western elites.


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If you want a free lunch, you need to learn how to eat good advice.


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OfflineBaby_Hitler
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Re: Why They Had To Crush Aristide [Re: FrankieJustTrypt]
    #2417411 - 03/11/04 01:57 AM (12 years, 8 months ago)

Quote:

Jean-Bertrand Aristide was re-elected president of Haiti in November 2000 with more than 90% of the vote.




I was under the impression that it was widely believed that the election was a fraud.


Anyone care to affirm or refute that claim? To me that is the main issue. For his removal from power to be justifiable, his presidency should be considerably more fraudulent than oh, say... Bush?


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Anonymous

Re: Why They Had To Crush Aristide [Re: Baby_Hitler]
    #2417588 - 03/11/04 02:49 AM (12 years, 8 months ago)

Every major opposition party boycotted the 2000 election because aristides party manipulated vote counts in the senate elections earlier that year, and as a result won every senate seat that was up for election.
i would say that that invalidates his presidency


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InvisibleEvolving
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Registered: 10/01/02
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Re: Why They Had To Crush Aristide [Re: Baby_Hitler]
    #2418680 - 03/11/04 11:41 AM (12 years, 8 months ago)

I don't know if this election was a fraud but my brother was sent to Haiti the first time by Klinton. The Aristide supporters were committing the same atrocities as were committed by the previous regime (murder, terror and torture) but U.S. troops were ordered to not interfere.


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To call humans 'rational beings' does injustice to the term, 'rational.'  Humans are capable of rational thought, but it is not their essence.  Humans are animals, beasts with complex brains.  Humans, more often than not, utilize their cerebrum to rationalize what their primal instincts, their preconceived notions, and their emotional desires have presented as goals - humans are rationalizing beings.


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OfflineBaby_Hitler
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Re: Why They Had To Crush Aristide [Re: Evolving]
    #2418890 - 03/11/04 01:16 PM (12 years, 8 months ago)

I think the best thing to do now is to hold internationally observed elections.


Aristide should be allowed to run.


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