Coups R US: Haiti and Venezuela

Gary Sudborough 03.03.2004 18:34 Themen: Militarismus
An argument that the CIA is involved in Haiti and Venezuela and the techniques and criteria they use in overthrowing governments.
Every time there are coup d'etats, demonstrations or rebellions in Latin American countries, the corporate media pretend that the US government is merely an innocent bystander. Haiti is a perfect example of this. If the United States does send military forces to the region, this is usually portrayed as simply protecting American citizens living in the area. Naturally, if the wrong kind of rebels, i.e. leftists, are threatening the government of Haiti, as in a 1959 rebellion against "Papa Doc" Duvalier, then the US marines are instructed to engage in actual combat against them. Watching the double standard in how they treat right-wing death squads versus leftist guerrillas is very instructive in learning the true motivations for intervention in Haiti or other countries.

The US corporate media only reluctantly mention the business interests of American corporations in Latin America like the oil in Venezuela or the sweatshops in many countries such as Haiti, Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala. Anyhow, they pretend these economic interests play only a small part in US foreign policy. The history of the region is completely forgotten. The Monroe Doctrine essentially informed the European colonial powers that South and Central America were completely the province of US commercial interests and warned the European colonialists to stay out. Of course, the Monroe Doctrine was a long time ago and now the corporate media tell us the United States is this global Santa Claus bringing all good things like democracy, freedom, the rule of law, Starbucks and McDonalds to suffering people everywhere. Rapidly disappearing down the media memory hole is the fact that Haiti was occupied by the US military from 1915 to 1934, and both the brutal dictators, "Papa Doc" and "Baby Doc" Duvalier were supported by the United States. The Haitian death squad called FRAPH was organized by the CIA and DIA. Many of its members are now returning from exile to take part in this recent attempt to oust President Jean Bertrand Aristide.

The coup attempts in Haiti and Venezuela are examples of the techniques employed by the CIA, usually with great success, to undermine governments which practice some form of redistributive economics. President Jean Bertrand Aristide wanted to raise the minimum wage for sweatshop workers. President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela wants to use the taxes on oil revenue for the benefit of poor people, redistribute land to the peasant farmers and barter oil with Cuba in return for Cuban teachers and doctors serving the poor communities in Venezuela. The United States considers the public wealth of other countries to be exclusively for the enrichment of multinational corporations. They do not like policies benefiting the poor as they consider them to be manifestations of socialism and antithetical to US business interests.

Domestically in the United States, they are doing the identical thing by legal means which they obtain by military force in other countries. Here at home, they are rolling back most programs for the public so that more money is available to corporations and the military-industrial complex. Recently, Alan Greenspan said that Social Security payments would have to be cut. They are already so low that many elderly people have to choose between taking their medicine or buying food. This is the reactionary order that they are trying to impose on the whole world. Lots and lots of money to defend the far flung reaches of the US corporate empire. No money for desperate old people in need of medicine to extend and make bearable their last years. As Marie Antoinette said: "Let them eat cake."

The CIA has developed great expertise in undermining the governments of other countries. They use a great variety of methods, including propaganda, disinformation, fabricated incidents, infiltration of labor unions and other organizations, using the Agency for International Development or the National Endowment for Democracy as conduits to funnel money to opposition groups and so on. The American Institute for Free Labor Development was a CIA-organized union, which taught many Latin American labor leaders to have a friendly, sympathetic view of capitalism, rather than an antagonistic, Marxist viewpoint. The CIA itself controls media outlets in most countries. The rich media corporations not directly controlled by the CIA are usually very sympathetic to the CIA agenda anyhow and are willing to cooperate with them.

Chile prior to the overthrow of Salvador Allende is an excellent example of how the CIA uses propaganda. Thousands of posters were produced showing Chilean children with a hammer and sickle stamped on their forehead. A radio spot was produced featuring the sound of a machine gun followed by a woman's cry: " They have killed my child-the communists." The announcer then added in impassioned tones: "Communism offers only blood and pain. For this not to happen in Chile, we must elect Eduardo Frei president." All sorts of lurid gossip about the private lives of targeted leaders like Salvador Allende are produced to sway public opinion about them in a negative direction. They use agent provocateurs in demonstrations to create incidents and sometimes deaths that reflect unfavorably on the government. A striking example was in Italy, where the CIA in collaboration with Italian fascists blew up the Bologna railway station and blamed it on communists.

The CIA has no morality. They will do anything necessary to stop the spread of any form of socialism or even nationalism if it interferes with US corporate profits and power. They are capitalism's international army. They never give up and unlike leftist organizations, they have all the money they will ever need. Haiti and Venezuela are not isolated incidents of unrest caused solely by the dissatisfaction of people in those countries. They are vivid illustrations of the CIA in action.
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yeah, but...

weist 03.03.2004 - 19:45
though we all know the Venezuela connection is tried and true, where's the proof or indication that the CIA was directly involved in the downfall of Aristide, except its connection with SOME figures and groups involved in the uprising? Haitians are so fed-up with life in general as a rule of thumb (throw a coin: heads would mean you'd have some sort of life that is not just clinging to bare existence, tails would mean that you're living in a slum and feeding on rotting waste, that you wash when it rains (because in the absence of sewers, the rivers and creeks are running with fecals), that you can perhaps read one or two words - if you're lucky. That's how life ist down there. Try paying ALL your daily expenses with the equivalent of 2 US$. Half the Haitian population is living in such conditions AT BEST!) that they need no extra incentive to rebel, just a vague hint that they MIGHT be successful, meaning: that they might have the opportunity to climb the social ladder up from complete and utter misery to mere squalor.

While it can be considered fact that there was an influx of CIA logistics and materiel to some of the rebelling factions in the past and maybe also now, while it is in all probability true that Aristides eventual 'flight' was performed under the shadow of US Marines' rifles, it is hard for me to see how ANYONE could possible think to be able to shape a political situation that is as volatile as Haiti is as of now.

The acrid reaction of Washington to Philippe's attempt to style himself as effective CinC of Haiti's rabble 'armies' and his decidedly leftist-revolutionary rhetorics proves that whatever the US consider a favorable development in Haiti has yet failed to materialize. If there would have been direct and massive US involvement in the rebellion, Philippe would never have gotten to the point where he now is, and even if he did, he wouldn't have lived long enough to boast about it.

Obviously, the Department of State will try to influence the development in Haiti, though at the current stage, it is hard to see which measures would make probable, let alone 'guarantee', success. Haitian society in its current state is a political non-entity that just claws and bites for survival and cannot be pressured to serve an outside goal - Haitians are mainly guided by the emptiness in their stomachs at this time, and any attempt to force them to do what some extrenal power wants them to would literally mean starvation for thousands. Dead people, however, make bad vassals and cannot be made to sew Nike sneakers etc.
But the mere fact that the US, being a superpower as it happens to be, will eventually try and do some superpowerish wheelings and dealings to increase its influence is, as a lesson to learn from Haiti, about as novel as the realization that on Earth, unpowered items released in mid-air will move towards the general direction of this planet's center.