From Thu Feb 19 14:45:05 2004
content-class: urn:content-classes:message
Subject: Black Commentator: Walmart in America's image + The counterevolution in Haiti
Date: Thu, 19 Feb 2004 14:23:12 -0500
From: Sadanand, Nanjundiah (Physics) <>
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Beloved Haiti: A (Counter) Revolutionary Bicentennial

By Stan Goff, Counterpunch, 14 February 2004

As I write this there is an attempt to start a civil war in Haiti, engineered in the United States of America and supported by its lapdogs in Caricom and the Organization of American States. Former Haitian military men who have received some form of training and logistical support while hiding out in the neighboring US semi-colony, the Dominican Republic, are systematically attacking the Haitian National Police at primary strategic points along the entire route from Port-au-Prince to the Dominican Border near Ouanaminthe. Only Cap Haitien has not fallen so far as St. Marc, Gonaives, and Trou du Nord a town at a key bridge between the border and Cap Haitien has been ransacked by right-wing paramilitaries, who are the armed wing of a US-funded opposition that cloaks itself in the name Convergence Democratique, and now falsely claims no connection with this activity. The main road between Port-au-Prince to St. Marc to Gonaives to Cap Haitien to Trou du Nord to Ouanaminthe is often the only passable route cross country, and these seizures have effectively cut off the western coastal towns from the capital and isolated Cap Haitien, the second largest city in Haiti. At last word, these former Haitian military units - some of the same ones who worked for the notorious Duvaliers and for the savage Cedras-Francois junta—have abandoned St. Marc.

The ridiculous names like Gonaives Resistance Front that these right-wing paramilitaries have assigned themselves are already being echoed in the capitalist press, which also refers to them, idiotically, as rebels, and to their activities as the activities of crowds. A contact I spoke with hours ago who returned from Port-au-Prince today told me that the real crowds are those who are fleeing these fascist coup operations in the North and the massive PRO-Aristide demonstrations in the capital. This contact said the situation here is very similar in many respects to the US-supported attempt to overthrow another democratically elected government, that of Hugo Chavez in Venezuela.

The paramilitaries have opened ships and stores for looting, capitalizing on the desperate poverty and hunger of Haitians to direct the energy of masses into looting, in order to neutralize them politically. But it has only worked locally. My contact said that contrary to what's going on here, the Haitian masses are crystal clear that this is a US-supported coup attempt.

If the legitimately elected government of Jean-Bertrand Aristide fails to take aggressive action to recapture these cities, there may be a successful coup within weeks. While the tactical target of this paramilitary action is the Aristide government, the political target is—as it always has been—the popular sovereignty of the Haitian masses. It is a tragic irony that this situation has developed this far on the bicentennial of the heroic Haitian Revolution, and that it is being led by an imperial power that wants to annihilate popular sovereignty wherever it raises its head. Aristide, the conciliator, may go the way of Toussaint L'Overture, or perhaps he will find the spirit of Dessalines. Plenty of people here still name their children Dessalines. Dessalines' own DNA has by now been broadcast throughout his nation. New Year's Day, 2004, is the Revolutionary Bicentennial, and it's in people's heads—the work left undone.

There is a new saying on the street here. Why should we be afraid of one Bush, when we are 8 million bouches? Bring it on. We can take anything.

Ladies and gentlemen, the revolution will not be televised...

All warnings that the finger would give way to the hand are coming to pass. Hopefully the Aristide government will take all action necessary to secure the nation, and if they do they will be vilified by the US press. That's why we need to get this story out there now, so there is at least some perspective to help the left avoid heading down the wrong path. Aristide needs to wage a ruthless fight to retake each of those towns in turn, to acknowledge that the macouto-bourgeoisie is waging a civil war, and to state that this is war, openly, in order to do what is necessary. If not, then the right-wing paramilitaries will maintain the initiative, they will operate within the logic of war, and they will topple Aristide's government and clamp down yet again on popular sovereignty, with assistance from the hegemon to the north.

I have no doubt that by-and-by the heroic people of Haiti will fight back if it becomes necessary, but for now their fight is to root out this imperial infection.

The question has been called in Haiti. Sovereignty or subjugation. This is the stark choice, and the time for conciliation is past. Now it is time for Dessalines.

Viv Ayiti!