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Date: Fri, 29 Dec 1995 11:45:13 -0800 (PST)
From: Bob Corbett <bcorbett@crl.com>
To: Bob Corbett <bcorbett@crl.com>
Subject: U.S. CRIMES: Haiti Info 1
Message-Id: <Pine.SUN.3.91.951229114300.15355C-100000@crl2.crl.com>

The occult crimes of U.S. imperialism

Haiti Info,
Vol. 4 no. 4, 14 December 1995

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Dec. 14 - Over the past two weeks, the complicity and support of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), the U.S. embassy, the Pentagon, the U.S. Army and the State Department for those who backed the 1991 coup d'etat and still terrorize the population have been repeatedly exposed.

Constant: The Shamed Lover

The most stunning revelation came from Emmanuel Constant on Dec. 3, who described on CBS News' 60 Minutes his link to the CIA and its involvement in and foreknowledge of the activities of the death squad responsible for hundreds of assassinations, FRAPH (Front pour l'Avancement et le Progres Haitien), which he set up while on the CIA payroll. [These revelations and others were made a year ago in The Nation but were not really picked up by the mainstream media.]

Constant, currently in a U.S. jail, said he decided to talk because, I've been betrayed. Constant reported that, for several years, he was paid US$700 in cash per month and stayed in close contact with the CIA, which was aware of all FRAPH activities, but that he was put on ice after boasting on 60 Minutes in April, 1994, that he had stood up to Clinton with the USS Harlan County incident.

Constant's understanding was that the CIA had their own agenda, the White House their own agenda, and that he was part of the effort to keep Aristide from coming back and got caught in the middle.

I feel like that beautiful woman that everybody wants to go to bed with at night, but not... during the daytime, he said of his relationship to the CIA. They don't want nobody to find out... They definitely were in bed many times, many nights, but never during the day.

The two were more than just casual lovers. In an article released by The Nation today, Allan Nairn reported that early on, FRAPH received 5,000 to 10,000 sub-machine guns, fragmentation grenades, pistols and revolvers via Miami, FL, in boxes often marked Police Material: Do Not Open and addressed to Haitian army officers with CIA and U.S. army connections, despite the U.S. naval blockade.

The Haitian officer involved in the shipments says the U.S. authorities took no steps to stop them, Nairn reported. U.S. policy was to return Aristide but derail his populist program. Backing FRAPH served that agenda as well as that of the 'no return' forces.

The Harlan County Circus

The Oct. 11, 1993, demonstration of a few dozen thugs at the port to protest the arrival of the USS Harlan County marked the coming out of FRAPH. Constant said the CIA was aware of FRAPH's plans that day and that he told the CIA station chief the demonstration would not threaten any U.S. lives and was to be a media frenzy to force the retreat of the boat carrying the first contingent of a U.N.-led force that would prepare President Jean- Bertrand Aristide's return. Conferring on the incident, then-U.S. Special Representative Lawrence Pezzullo told Washington that the demonstration was theater, but the CIA and Pentagon claimed U.S. lives were in danger, and the White House order the boat to turn around.

(In a faxed reply to CBS, the CIA said it collects and analyzes intelligence but does not make policy and that it did not misrepresent intelligence gathered regarding the arrival of the USS Harlan County.)

In the meantime, U.N. Representative Dante Caputo, speaking at the U.S. embassy, said the boat would dock. Only later in the day, when he saw it steaming toward the horizon did he realize it had left. Angry and frustrated, Caputo later resigned and openly criticized the cynicism of the U.S.

The U.S. had an interest in beating a hasty retreat and letting the situation deteriorate. In so doing, it strengthened its position in relation to the other friends (France, Canada, Venezuela, Argentina), and weakened Haiti's economy as well as political power, creating the conditions necessary to justify a U.S.-led military invasion and U.S.-dominated restoration of democracy.

FRAPH played a crucial role in following months, carrying out repression throughout the country. Constant said that neither then nor later was he told to pull back. Instead, he was encouraged: They always praised my quality as a leader and the possibility for me to maybe be a successor to Aristide.

CIA & FRAPH Still in Bed

After the U.S. invasion last fall, FRAPH continued to get special consideration. While a few henchmen were arrested by U.S. soldiers, they were soon released. In The Resister, a right-wing militia publication linked to the U.S. Special Forces (over 2,000 of whom were deployed here), reported soldiers were told to cooperate with and protect soldiers and FRAPH-ers.

We informed them about the plans and timetables for weapons confiscation and told them how to disappear their functional firearms while keeping broken and otherwise useless weapons available to sell during the weapons buy-back program, the report said, detailing other advice and planning.

Nairn reported similar treatment after the invasion: U.S. Army facilitation of FRAPH - particularly with regard to arms - has been established U.S. policy. He also revealed a stunning discovery: following the invasion, CIA agents fanned out across the country to recruit FRAPH members and others to form a new bevy of CIA agents.

Avril and L'Armee Rouge

Another revelation came from the State Department via The Washington Post. On Nov. 26 the newspaper announced it was leaked cable dated Oct. 26 in which U.S. Secretary of State Warren Christopher warned the U.S. embassy of intelligence reports detailing how the Red Star Organization, led by former dictator Gen. Prosper Avril, that was planning harassment and assassination campaign directed at Lavalas party and Aristide supporters... scheduled to commence in early December 1995... There is information available which suggests Avril has continued to meet with right-wing supporters to expand his political base.

The information was never relayed to the Haitian government. Two weeks later, two Lavalas deputies were gunned down. When police went to search Avril's home for weapons the next day, he wasn't there. But coincidentally, 30 minutes earlier, a U.S. embassy agent had been there. (Visibly embarrassed, the embassy later tried to explain it away as a coincidence, claiming the visit was one of its routine information-exchanges.)

Red Star is not known, but in Cite Soleil there is an armed gang calling itself L'Armee Rouge which terrorizes residents and merchants. Red tee-shirt-clad members recently stole building materials from a public school construction site. Press reports have described boys as young as 12, some of whom reportedly stole their weapons, with little problem, from patrolling U.N. vehicles.

(Avril is still in the Colombian embassy. On Nov. 27, U.S. Senators Dan Burton and Robert Torricelli wrote to Swing about Avril, saying, It is absolutely imperative that his life, his family, and his property be assured of protection especially in light of the continued assassinations of political opponents of President Aristide and the Lavalas party.)


The last tale to hit the front pages was the Nov. 28 revelation from the Pentagon that it not only had over 150,000 pages seized from FRAPH and army headquarters, but that it impudently and arrogantly insisted the documents belonged to the ousted military regime, not the Aristide Government, and became American property when U.S. troops seized them. (New York Times)

The dispute became a bone of contention between the two governments and, already dealing with other disagreements with Port-au-Prince, the White House decided to give in. It recently announced that the pages would be returned, but only after U.S. officials have gone through them to black out the names of all U.S. citizens, and after the conditions of the return were negotiated.

Haitian officials say they can still use the renowned pages to track down FRAPH-ers and prove cases, but there are obvious problems with getting them after the U.S. has raked them over to remove names of those like Haitian-Americans in FRAPH and U.S. agents. Because there has been no accounting by Haitian or independent sources, it is likely that documents damning the U.S. will not make the trip back.

Beyond the Revelations

All of these revelations, crowned by Constant's interview, reveal many insidious connections and complicity between U.S. authorities and fascist sectors here, and give an idea of the depth of the U.S.'s activities to foil and repress the democratic and popular movement. Stirring up the mud could continue to bring even more ugly facts to the surface. But it also raises questions:

What was the interest in hearing Constant recite a series of known facts? Who benefits from his accusations?

Constant's version of history sullies the U.S. government, but more particularly one sector, because, according to Constant, the White House is the defender of democracy. His revelations and other details of U.S support for fascist elements in Haiti are, no doubt, embarrassing to the Bill Clinton administration, which oversaw the whole enterprise. But Clinton comes off more as a victim, while the CIA and its cheering section - vicious opponents of Aristide like Sens. Robert Dole and Jesse Helms - are the ones the world sees as immoral and anti-democratic. Clinton, head-to- head with the Republicans, scores another point. And, as usual, the press plays along, relaying the facts as supplied, digging little and analyzing less, in a complete convergence of interests with U.S. imperialism and in-fighting.

Epilogue: Troops to Stay?

All of this comes at a moment when Washington is talking about a continued U.S. presence here after the U.N. mandate expires. Washington needs to justify - to U.S. citizens, the Republicans and the new Haitian government - the extension of the occupation with up to 1,000 soldiers to support the government and protect... the rights of individuals and assure the economic climate, according to U.S. AID's Marc Schneider. But the mainstream press, so quick to jump on the anti-CIA bandwagon, leaves out the obvious: the government offering support and protection is none other than the same one that, in the past and still, protects, nurtures, arms and funds the individuals and organizations pitted in a deadly battle against those struggling for justice, democracy and change.