Focus on Haiti: Washington's Militarized Takeover - by Stephen Lendman
Haiti is no stranger to adversity and anguish - over 500 years of severe oppression, slavery, despotism, colonization, reparations, embargoes, sanctions, deep poverty, starvation, unrepayable debt, and natural calamities from destructive hurricanes to a dozen magnitude 7.0 or greater Caribbean region earthquakes in the past 500 years. The last major one was in 1946 at 8.1 in the adjacent Dominican Republic, also striking Haiti. Earlier catastrophic ones were in 1751 and 1770, both devastating Port-au-Prince, and the 1842 one destroying Cap-Haitien in the north.
On September 25, 2008, Phoenix Delacroix quoted geologist Patrick Charles of Havana's Geological Institute saying:
"conditions are ripe for major seismic activity in Port-au-Prince. The inhabitants of the Haitian capital need to prepare themselves for an event which will inevitably occur."
Citing a real danger, he explained that the dangerous Enriquillo Fault Zone extends across Port-au-Prince, starting in Petionville, traversing the Southern Peninsula to Tiburon. Noting earlier tremors in the area, he said a larger earthquake usually follows, yet no precautions were taken, leaving Haitians vulnerable to what happened - vast destruction, perhaps hundreds of thousands dead, countless numbers seriously injured, and disease, depravation, and militarized occupation haunting survivors in the aftermath.
After Washington ousted President Jean-Betrand Aristide in February 2004, UN Blue Helmets (MINUSTAH) occupied Haiti as paramilitary enforcers. They still do, subordinate to around 20,000 US land and sea based troops, including Marines, Army 82nd Airborne paratroupers, Navy assault ships, and Coast Guard vessels offshore, a powerful force for indefinite occupation, severe repression, and ruthless exploitation for American interests - obstructing, not providing, humanitarian aid, and facilitating potentially hundreds of thousands of deaths from starvation, dehydration, disease, untreated wounds, trauma, and for some perhaps just giving up and expiring unnoticed, unreported, and uncared about by forces able to help.
It's an old story for Haitians, beleaguered for over 500 years and under America's thumb for nearly two centuries, unrecognized, embargoed, exploited, and slaughtered to assure their freedom is denied. Now again, but first some background.
On April 30, 2004, the UN Security Council authorized MINUSTAH - paramilitary peacekeepers, illegally sent for the first time ever to support a coup d'etat regime in place of a democratically elected president.
Rebel thugs got free reign to join them in the streets, the result being hundreds turned up dead or missing. The state Port-au-Prince morgue was swamped with bodies. Many showed up with their hands tied behind their backs and bags placed over their heads. Ruthlessness was empowered. Orders came from Washington.
Bodies turned up everywhere, in streets, on beaches, abandoned as food for pigs, and anyone connected with Aristide's Fanmi Lavalas party (FL) was fair game.
US Marines and foreign troops arrived, not to deliver aid or for protection, but to intimidate, terrorize, crush resistance, solidify coup d'etat rule, and destroy Haitian democracy under Aristide and prevent any chance of it returning.
MINUSTAH and the reconstituted Haitian National Police (the force Aristide abolished with the army) took over from the initial Multinational Interim Force (MIF), terrorizing Haitians through thousands of political killings, disappearances, torture, and unlawful arrests and incarcerations.
FL was effectively destroyed and Aristide's remarkable accomplishments ended in areas of healthcare, education, free expression, economic and social reforms, human rights and justice, lost under coup d'etat rule and thereafter under the Preval government, a pseudo one subservient to Washington.
In the 2006 presidential and parliamentary elections, he agreed to painful concessions, surrendered his authority, and yielded power to US and elitist Haitian interests - a shameless betrayal of his people.
After the coup and thereafter, episodes like the following were commonplace: