The news today is that Bill Clinton and George Bush will pay a visit to Haiti this coming Monday. A quick review of their crimes and misdeeds in Haiti will give you an idea of what Haitians might be thinking about their upcoming visit.
It was Daddy Bush’s CIA, Defense Intelligence Agency, and National Security Agency which plotted and helped implement the coup against Aristide in September 1991. After a short time in Venezuela, Aristide went into exile in the US. Clinton’s administration spent two years grilling Aristide (he was required to report to the White House DAILY) to accept a neoliberal package in exchange for a return to Haiti. The 1994 US Marine invasion of Haiti to bring back Aristide was billed as Clinton’s magnanimous humanitarian intervention to bring order to Haiti and to re-install the democratically-elected president. But, this was not the case. Because the US had backed the 1991 coup, the Clinton administration knew full well that Aristide would be replaced by a de facto government of killers and thugs. During Aristide’s exile in the US, Haitian military head, Raoul Cedras and paramilitary leader, Emmanuel Constant, turned Haiti into a killing field and Aristide supporters were the targets — several thousand died. Simply, the US invasion took place because the killers and thugs had made things too hot in Haiti and the US’ handprints were all over it. The “humanitarian” return of Aristide was the perfect distraction and cover.
As if this was not enough, the Clinton administration enforced a draconian immigration policy that mandated forcible repatriation of Haitians as they desperately set out to sea after the 1991 coup. US Coast Guard boats, offshore of Haiti, scooped up Haitians frantic to get away from the carnage. But, how could Haitians convey their fear of sure death and request political asylum when virtually NO ONE on these Coast Guard boats spoke Haitian Kreyol? The US Coast Guard repatriated thousands of Haitians and, as the ships neared the docks, paramilitary death squads could be seen waiting for them, machetes at the ready.
When you drive around Port-au-Prince, you see great political graffiti. A favorite is “Aba Bush” (Down with Bush) which is scrawled throughout Port-au-Prince and refers to the 2004 US-backed coup to remove President Aristide. The Bush administration left behind a cabal of killers and thugs as well, quite similar to the Raoul Cedras, Emmanuel Constant reign of terror. Given the arrival of Bush and Clinton this coming Monday, I wonder if the Haitian government will attempt to cover up this telling graffiti? Maybe. But, there are some things you can never cover up completely — like the 8,000-10,000 Haitians who died in the aftermath of Bush’s coup.
See article about upcoming Clinton-Bush visit to Haiti below:
Thu Mar 18, 2010 9:25am EDT
NEW YORK (Reuters) – Former U.S. presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush will visit Haiti on Monday to discuss the impoverished country’s long-term recovery after a January earthquake killed hundreds of thousands of people.
More than a million people were also left homeless when the magnitude 7 quake struck the Caribbean nation’s capital Port-au-Prince on January 12.
The former presidents set up the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund for relief efforts at President Barack Obama’s request. More than 200,000 people have so far donated more than $36 million to the fund.
“Presidents Clinton and Bush will meet with Haitians, the government of Haiti, and others providing assistance to earthquake survivors, with the goal of further establishing long-term recovery and rebuilding efforts,” the Clinton Foundation said in a statement on Thursday.
Clinton is also the U.N. special envoy to Haiti and is in charge of coordinating relief efforts for the country.
From 2005 to 2007 he served as the U.N. special envoy for tsunami rebuilding after the December 26, 2004 earthquake and tsunami that killed around 226,000 people, mainly in Indonesia, India, Thailand, Sri Lanka and the Maldives.
The Clinton Bush Haiti Fund will “respond to unmet needs in the country, foster economic opportunity, improve the quality of life over the long term for those affected, and assist the people of Haiti as they rebuild their lives and ‘build back better,'” the Clinton Foundation said.
(Reporting by Michelle Nichols, editing by Vicki Allen)