From Mon Mar 1 09:45:11 2004
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Subject: wwnews Digest #771
Date: Mon, 01 Mar 2004 09:31:24 -0500

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Date: Mon, 01 Mar 2004 06:57:25 -0500
Subject: [WW] On the imperialist 'regime change' in Haiti

On the imperialist ‘regime change’ in Haiti

Workers World Party statement, Workers World, digest #771, 01 March 2004

The Bush administration has carried out another imperialist regime change through military force, political trickery and economic strangulation—this time in Haiti. Despite the media conspiracy to present this violent coup d'etat in a favorable light, the fact remains that U.S. Marines entered Haiti with absolutely no legal authority on the night of Feb. 28-29 and abducted the popularly elected president, Jean-Bertrand Aristide. They snatched him from the Presidential Palace, after he had vowed to the nation that he would never step down voluntarily, and removed him physically from his own country.

Without even a figleaf of democratic process here at home or in Haiti, the Pentagon has already begun what it projects will be a long-term military occupation of the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere.

This was the culmination of a long campaign to overthrow the Haitian government that included economic strangulation, encouraging and bribing a political opposition drawn from the exploiting classes in Haiti, and finally the unleashing of armed contras, known for their history of massacres and mayhem, to try to force Aristide to resign. When all this failed, the U.S. government resorted to outright kidnapping.

No matter how the monopoly media package what has happened, the truth is that the billionaire ruling class of the U.S. has abandoned any pretense that it respects democracy and the popular will. Not since the April 2002 U.S.-supported coup against President Hugo Chavez in Venezuela, which backfired when hundreds of thousands of Venezuelans surrounded the usurpers in the seat of government and demanded his return, has Washington's contempt for a popularly elected, constitutional government been more clearly displayed.

The U.S. Embassy in Haiti made clear what was coming a day before the abduction when it branded as thugs those Haitians trying to defend their government from the heavily armed contras advancing on the capital. Ambassador James Foley had the gall to demand of Aristide, who didn't even have an army, to stop the violence. Even as Foley made that statement, he was abetting a conspiracy in Washington and in Paris to violently overthrow the Haitian government and trample on Haiti's sovereignty.

The responsibility for what happens next lies with those who have destabilized the only government in decades chosen by the Haitian people.

The criminal overthrow of the Aristide government will open up a new phase of the struggle of the Haitian masses for national independence and economic justice. Progressive forces around the world must reject this neocolonial scheme of U.S. and French imperialism and support the resistance of the Haitian people, which is sure to grow as the true character of the compradore regime now being installed becomes indisputable.

This first Black republic, founded by former slaves who fought to free themselves from brutal colonial domination two centuries ago, has suffered an unending, racist campaign by the large capitalist powers to starve the people and break their will. But the struggle continues. We demand reparations from U.S. and French imperialism for their egregious exploitation and abuse.

Power to the Haitian people, not the hand-picked representatives of the transnational banks and corporations!