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Reagan Directive Foreshadowed Haiti Crisis

The execution of National Security Directive No. 77 was crafted to satisfy business elites in Haiti and the US that eventually would organize to undermine the policies of President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, especially his decision to raise the minimum wage. Political Science Professor Ronald W. Cox explains how and why the US government has struggled against the rise of democracy in Haiti since the early 80s.
As part of this effort, AID cut off aid to Aristide shortly after he took office. In addition, for the first time in its history, the State Department became concerned with human rights violations in Haiti after the election of Aristide. The Department reportedly established a notebook of human rights violations committed by the Aristide government, something it had not done during the Duvalier regimes. In fact, State Department officials had supported the Duvaliers consistently by arguing that the human rights abuses (which were notorious) of those regimes were unsubstantiated and that those regimes deserved support for their anti­communism.
The mechanism was already in place to undermine Arisitide even before he appeared on the scene. He has often referred to his election in 1991 as a miracle, and indeed it was. His concern for the poor and his genuine desire to address the basic needs of the people of Haiti flew in the face of the plans the corporate elite had laid down for Haiti, and indeed for all of Latin America. There policies would replace our previous attempts at capital development in The Americas and replace them with a policy of extraction

...The Reagan administration created the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) as part of National Security Directive No. 77, "which laid out a comprehensive framework for employing political operations and psychological warfare in foreign policy" (Robinson, 1992: 16). The creation of the NED was part of a concerted effort by political and private sector elites to overcome the "Vietnam Syndrome" by recasting the rationale for U.S. intervention away from anti­communism and toward the promotion of democracy. Specifically, the NED has used its funding to promote and intervene in elections in the Philippines, Chile, Panama, Nicaragua and Haiti.

What began as a campaign to place former World Bank official Marc Bazin in charge of Haiti degenerated into a disinformation campaign and repeated attempts of coup de etat. The very same criminals who were used by right wing political interests to create turmoil in Haiti for the past 15 years are now in charge of what little government Haiti has: and they are using their position to certify their wierd version of reality as genuine.

The Bush administration would like to allow criminals like Jodel Chamblain to rewrite history, with themselves as heroes. A mercenary's dream ! In order to accomplish this, Aristide and everything associated with his Lavalas party must be criminalized. In is a fact that the Lavalas party has been infiltrated with individuals whose opinions and modus operandi are contrary to those of Aristide, the founder of the party. If you examine the current party that calls itself "Lavalas" you will find a cross-section of Haiti - both the good and bad. If you look hard enough, you will find some criminals, and that is what the Bush administration has done in concert with these perennial coup leaders. The history of the coup leaders now in charge has already been documented: some of it appears in the official country studies that are published by US Goverment. The truth is an embarrassment to the United States of America and that is why today, with the approach of elections in Haiti, these US backed criminals and coup leaders have redoubled their efforts to destroy what is left of Jean Bertrand Aristide's short-lived legacy of democracy in Haiti.

David Roknich
Editor

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