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Forgiveness for Haiti? We should be begging theirs

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Forgiveness for Haiti? We should be begging theirs

Postby skyline5k » Fri Feb 12, 2010 7:33 am

Forgiveness for Haiti? We should be begging theirs

The very idea of Haiti as debtor needs to be abandoned. We in the west should pay arrears for years of violations

o Naomi Klein
o guardian.co.uk, Thursday 11 February 2010 22.20 GMT
o Article history

If we are to believe the G7 finance ministers, Haiti is on its way to getting something it has deserved for a very long time: full "forgiveness" of its foreign debt. In Port-au-Prince, Haitian economist Camille Chalmers has been watching these developments with cautious optimism. Debt cancellation is a good start, he told al-Jazeera English, but: "It's time to go much further. We have to talk about reparations and restitution for the devastating consequences of debt." In this telling, the whole idea that Haiti is a debtor needs to be abandoned. Haiti, he argues, is a creditor – and it is we, in the west, who are deeply in arrears.

Our debt to Haiti stems from four main sources: slavery, the US occupation, dictatorship and climate change. These claims are not fantastical, nor merely rhetorical. They rest on multiple violations of legal norms. Here, far too briefly, are highlights of the Haiti case.

The slavery debt. When Haitians won their independence from France in 1804, they had every right to claim reparations from the powers that had profited from three centuries of stolen labour. France, however, was convinced that it was Haitians who had stolen the property of slave owners, by refusing to work for free. So in 1825, with a flotilla of warships stationed off the Haitian coast threatening to re-enslave the former colony, King Charles X came to collect 90m gold francs – 10 times Haiti's annual revenue at the time. With no way to refuse, and no way to pay, the young nation was shackled to a debt that would take 122 years to pay off.

In 2003, Haitian president Jean-Bertrand Aristide, facing a crippling economic embargo, announced that Haiti would sue the French. "Our argument," Aristide's former lawyer Ira Kurzban told me, "was that the contract was an invalid agreement because it was based on the threat of re-enslavement at a time when the international community regarded slavery as an evil." The French government was sufficiently concerned that it sent a mediator to Port-au-Prince to keep the case out of court. In the end, however, its problem was eliminated: Aristide was toppled from power. The lawsuit disappeared, but for many Haitians the reparations claim lives on.

The dictatorship debt. From 1957 to 1986, Haiti was ruled by the defiantly kleptocratic Duvalier regime. Unlike the French debt, the case against the Duvaliers made it into several courts, which traced Haitian funds to an elaborate network of Swiss bank accounts and lavish properties. In 1988 Kurzban won a landmark suit against Jean-Claude "Baby Doc" Duvalier when a US district court in Miami found that the deposed ruler had "misappropriated more than $504,000,000 from public monies".

Haitians, of course, are still waiting for their payback – but that was only the beginning of their losses. For more than two decades, the country's creditors insisted that Haitians honour the debts incurred by the Duvaliers, estimated at $844m, much of it owed to institutions like the IMF and the World Bank. In debt service alone, Haitians have paid out tens of millions every year.

Was it legal for foreign lenders to collect on the Duvalier debts when so much of it was never spent in Haiti? Very likely not. As Cephas Lumina, the UN independent expert on foreign debt, put it to me: "The case of Haiti is one of the best examples of odious debt in the world. On that basis alone the debt should be unconditionally cancelled." But even if Haiti does see full debt cancellation (a big if), that does not extinguish its right to be compensated for debts already collected.

The climate debt. Championed by several developing countries at the climate summit in Copenhagen, the case for climate debt is straightforward. Wealthy countries that have so spectacularly failed to address the climate crisis owe a debt to the developing countries that have done little to cause the crisis, but are disproportionately facing its effects. In short, the polluter pays. Haiti has a particularly compelling claim. Its contribution to climate change has been negligible; Haiti's per capita CO2 emissions are just 1% of US emissions. Yet Haiti is among the hardest hit countries.

Haiti's vulnerability to climate change is not only – or even mostly – because of geography. It is Haiti's weak infrastructure that turns challenges into disasters, and disasters into catastrophes. The earthquake, though not linked to climate change, is a prime example. And this is where all those debt payments may yet extract their most devastating cost. Each payment to a foreign creditor was money not spent on a road, a school, an electrical line. And that same illegitimate debt empowered the IMF and World Bank to attach onerous conditions to each new loan, requiring Haiti to deregulate its economy and slash its public sector still further. Failure to comply was met with a punishing aid embargo from 2001 to 2004, the death knell to Haiti's public sphere.

This history needs to be confronted now, because it threatens to repeat itself. Haiti's creditors are already using the desperate need for earthquake aid to push for a fivefold increase in garment-sector production, some of the most exploitative jobs in the country. Haitians have no status in these talks, because they are regarded as passive recipients of aid, not full and dignified participants in a process of redress and restitution.

A reckoning with the debts the world owes to Haiti would radically change this poisonous dynamic. This is where the road to repair begins – by recognising the right of Haitians to reparations.


I fully DISagree. How long do we have to apologize for slavery? I personally haven't owned any. I certainly haven't whipped any Haitians lately.

And US Occupation? Roads, bridges, hospitals and schools were the results of Wilson's occupation of Haiti. Should've let them continue to kill each other. What happened in Haiti is terrible, but I'm certainly not going to start apologizing for past conduct.
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Postby shanghaiceltic » Fri Feb 12, 2010 8:43 am

The root is how many hundreds of years you have to go back to apologise and how meaningful it is.

The Normans have still not apologised for invading England in 1066 and laying waste to the North.

Many African countries have never apologised for their role in the slave trade either, nor have I heard anything from the Arabs.

Italy should certainly apoligise for its Roman ancestors behaviour in invading Europe and enslaving millions and knocking off the early Christians at their games.

Egypt should apoligise for the Pharoh's enslaving the Jews and various other peoples.

Scotland should apologise for invading the North of England (20 odd times they invaded Berwick) and England should apologise for invading the south of Scotland and banning the pipes and tartan in the 1700's.

The Germans, Norwegians and Danes also need to offer their sincere apologies for the rape and pillage in the Dark Ages by their ancestors.

The old boys in Beijing have a few they should offer too....and the Japanese should certainly apologise for inflicting Hello Kitty on the world!
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Postby ziccawei » Fri Feb 12, 2010 8:53 am

I don't think you can put a date on it. It depends upon the seriousness of the debt/apology that should or should not be given. In terms of Normans invading England, English invading Scotland etc history has paved over the cracks, but with situations like Haiti and the Duvalier ruling of it, I think something should be addressed. Going back as far as WW2 and the Japanese massacre of Nanjing may be going back too far - as far as I'm concerned - but to the Chinese it's not. It's all relative of course.
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Postby Andreas » Fri Feb 12, 2010 10:36 am

Some nations simply have too much time on their hands. :)
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Postby skyline5k » Fri Feb 12, 2010 11:39 am

When I can go up to a slaveholder in the early 1800's and say, "Dude, you probably shouldn't do that." and they do it anyways, then I'll consider apologizing on their behalf. Even then it's on THEIR behalf. Not mine. As I said, I'm innocent, and hell, so is my family. They came from Ireland. They had enough trouble in the USA to begin with.
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Postby ziccawei » Fri Feb 12, 2010 11:42 am

Why did they emigrate from Ireland? Was it because of my forefathers metaphorically screwing them in the arse? More than likely. Sorry about that. Hope that clears everything up now.

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Postby dsugg » Fri Feb 12, 2010 12:34 pm

I have thought about this before and decided if the people who were wronged are still alive - an apology or reparations are in order. Once all the people involved are dead and gone it is just history. Lots of examples available. Some people are still alive from WW2 so I think Japan still has time to apologize - although things do need to be kept in perspective. It was a terrible time with both sides doing terrible things. Beside that, as long as they deny or misrepresent what happened in their official history, they are perpetuating a more minor crime.

As for the Vikings, Normans and Romans invading England - I am glad they did. I think it helped the gene pool. With out their help we would still be paddling around in little leather boats and hunting wild pigs to stay alive.
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Postby phiota » Fri Feb 12, 2010 12:41 pm

I think grudges should be whatever happened to yourself + your parents lifetime. The local Chinese are sort of shocked that the overseas Chinese (at least in US) most drive Japanese Cars :shock: and that the great feared Japanese/German military/warrior culture is all but finished (Japanese warrior culture now mainly famous now for animation cartoons).
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Postby findus » Fri Feb 12, 2010 2:22 pm

dsugg wrote:I have thought about this before and decided if the people who were wronged are still alive - an apology or reparations are in order. Once all the people involved are dead and gone it is just history.


The problem comes when such things have 'hurt the feelings of the whole Chinese nation'. Not naming any names, like :wink:
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Postby Shadow8106 » Fri Feb 12, 2010 5:42 pm

skyline5k wrote:When I can go up to a slaveholder in the early 1800's and say, "Dude, you probably shouldn't do that." and they do it anyways, then I'll consider apologizing on their behalf. Even then it's on THEIR behalf. Not mine. As I said, I'm innocent, and hell, so is my family. They came from Ireland. They had enough trouble in the USA to begin with.


Get used to it. I am German,I am way too young to have killed any jew but still often get this "Oh,you are German.Nazi,holocaust.....". It will never stop although my generation killed none...still apologizing over and over again.
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Postby dsugg » Fri Feb 12, 2010 6:16 pm

I don't know why everyone picks on you Germans. Really, for the most part you were a fun bunch
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Postby foreverinchina » Fri Feb 12, 2010 6:20 pm

shanghaiceltic wrote:The Normans
Many African countries
Arabs
Italy the Roman ancestors
Egypt, the Pharoh's
Scotland
The Germans, Norwegians and Danes
The old boys in Beijing have a few they should offer too....!

With the old boys you mean Mao and Co. ? If so, you forgot to mention the Mongols with Genghis Khan and his successors, the Yuan dynasty in China. In Bulgaria they still have the same Chinese-like bad manners we are complaining about here every day.
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Postby foreverinchina » Fri Feb 12, 2010 6:34 pm

skyline5k wrote:When I can go up to a slaveholder in the early 1800's and say, "Dude, you probably shouldn't do that." and they do it anyways, then I'll consider apologizing on their behalf.

Don't do that !
Some people wrote (even on internet !) that my forefather beheaded 4000 Saxons. Should I apologize for that ?
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Postby phiota » Fri Feb 12, 2010 8:41 pm

Shadow8106 wrote:
skyline5k wrote:When I can go up to a slaveholder in the early 1800's and say, "Dude, you probably shouldn't do that." and they do it anyways, then I'll consider apologizing on their behalf. Even then it's on THEIR behalf. Not mine. As I said, I'm innocent, and hell, so is my family. They came from Ireland. They had enough trouble in the USA to begin with.


Get used to it. I am German,I am way too young to have killed any jew but still often get this "Oh,you are German.Nazi,holocaust.....". It will never stop although my generation killed none...still apologizing over and over again.


Some interesting China-German history

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sino-German_cooperation
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Postby Shadow8106 » Fri Feb 12, 2010 9:55 pm

phiota wrote:
Shadow8106 wrote:
skyline5k wrote:When I can go up to a slaveholder in the early 1800's and say, "Dude, you probably shouldn't do that." and they do it anyways, then I'll consider apologizing on their behalf. Even then it's on THEIR behalf. Not mine. As I said, I'm innocent, and hell, so is my family. They came from Ireland. They had enough trouble in the USA to begin with.


Get used to it. I am German,I am way too young to have killed any jew but still often get this "Oh,you are German.Nazi,holocaust.....". It will never stop although my generation killed none...still apologizing over and over again.


Some interesting China-German history

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sino-German_cooperation


Quite interesting,didn`t know everything but knew for example the troops giving the japanese a headache defending Shanghai were trained and equipped by Germans...
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Postby Square_Dancer » Fri Feb 12, 2010 10:44 pm

It's telling when every reply made in this thread isn't even relevant to point Naomi Klein was making.
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Postby Andreas » Fri Feb 12, 2010 10:54 pm

Well, what point did she make in your view that is related to this post? I have read one of her books, I think it was 'Disaster Capitalism'. I was not utterly impressed. Not really something new if we study our history.
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Postby tomahawks » Sun Feb 14, 2010 5:51 pm

shanghaiceltic wrote:The root is how many hundreds of years you have to go back to apologise and how meaningful it is.

The Normans have still not apologised for invading England in 1066 and laying waste to the North.

Many African countries have never apologised for their role in the slave trade either, nor have I heard anything from the Arabs.

Italy should certainly apoligise for its Roman ancestors behaviour in invading Europe and enslaving millions and knocking off the early Christians at their games.

Egypt should apoligise for the Pharoh's enslaving the Jews and various other peoples.

Scotland should apologise for invading the North of England (20 odd times they invaded Berwick) and England should apologise for invading the south of Scotland and banning the pipes and tartan in the 1700's.

The Germans, Norwegians and Danes also need to offer their sincere apologies for the rape and pillage in the Dark Ages by their ancestors.

The old boys in Beijing have a few they should offer too....and the Japanese should certainly apologise for inflicting Hello Kitty on the world!


Silly line of reasoning. Just because a whole bunch of people didn't apologize for something does not mean that it's morally right for you not to.
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Postby janlynn » Mon Feb 15, 2010 5:57 am

my lesser able forefather got screwed on selling his house. I want reparations. I have Irish ancestry. We were part of indentured servitude. I want restitution. give me give me
cant we all just get along
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Postby shanghaiceltic » Mon Feb 15, 2010 6:23 am

tomahawks wrote:
shanghaiceltic wrote:The root is how many hundreds of years you have to go back to apologise and how meaningful it is.

The Normans have still not apologised for invading England in 1066 and laying waste to the North.

Many African countries have never apologised for their role in the slave trade either, nor have I heard anything from the Arabs.

Italy should certainly apoligise for its Roman ancestors behaviour in invading Europe and enslaving millions and knocking off the early Christians at their games.

Egypt should apoligise for the Pharoh's enslaving the Jews and various other peoples.

Scotland should apologise for invading the North of England (20 odd times they invaded Berwick) and England should apologise for invading the south of Scotland and banning the pipes and tartan in the 1700's.

The Germans, Norwegians and Danes also need to offer their sincere apologies for the rape and pillage in the Dark Ages by their ancestors.

The old boys in Beijing have a few they should offer too....and the Japanese should certainly apologise for inflicting Hello Kitty on the world!


Silly line of reasoning. Just because a whole bunch of people didn't apologize for something does not mean that it's morally right for you not to.


Ever heard of irony.....? or being tongue in cheek?

I demand an apology from you too for hurt feelings and anything your ancestors may have done....
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Postby tihZ_hO » Mon Feb 15, 2010 8:12 am

dsugg wrote:As for the Vikings, Normans and Romans invading England - I am glad they did. I think it helped the gene pool. With out their help we would still be paddling around in little leather boats and hunting wild pigs to stay alive.


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Postby shanghaiceltic » Mon Feb 15, 2010 10:31 am

^ That is hurtfull....where the hell did you get our family photo's from??
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Postby tomahawks » Mon Feb 15, 2010 2:29 pm

shanghaiceltic wrote:
tomahawks wrote:
shanghaiceltic wrote:The root is how many hundreds of years you have to go back to apologise and how meaningful it is.

The Normans have still not apologised for invading England in 1066 and laying waste to the North.

Many African countries have never apologised for their role in the slave trade either, nor have I heard anything from the Arabs.

Italy should certainly apoligise for its Roman ancestors behaviour in invading Europe and enslaving millions and knocking off the early Christians at their games.

Egypt should apoligise for the Pharoh's enslaving the Jews and various other peoples.

Scotland should apologise for invading the North of England (20 odd times they invaded Berwick) and England should apologise for invading the south of Scotland and banning the pipes and tartan in the 1700's.

The Germans, Norwegians and Danes also need to offer their sincere apologies for the rape and pillage in the Dark Ages by their ancestors.

The old boys in Beijing have a few they should offer too....and the Japanese should certainly apologise for inflicting Hello Kitty on the world!


Silly line of reasoning. Just because a whole bunch of people didn't apologize for something does not mean that it's morally right for you not to.


Ever heard of irony.....? or being tongue in cheek?

I demand an apology from you too for hurt feelings and anything your ancestors may have done....


Fair enough, I thought you were serious. But if you're going to play the historical precedent card, Mr Celtic, then you'd better go back to the Enlightenment. That's when people and states started taking collective responsibility for things.
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Postby shanghaiceltic » Mon Feb 15, 2010 3:08 pm

Bugger! In that case the French had better apologise to the US for nicking half their ideas for the 'Rights of man' from the Declaration of Independance....

As for taking responsibility the Enlightenment did not really cover the rights of indigenous people in the countries 'discovered' by the explorers of that period coming in from England..so the whole thing is basically a crock of s h i t.
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Re: Forgiveness for Haiti? We should be begging theirs

Postby Square_Dancer » Tue Mar 23, 2010 10:03 pm

Behind the Scenes: Dirty Dealings

Beginning in the mid-1980s, the CIA and DIA (Defense Intelligence Agency) cultivated a relationship with key members of Haiti's military, primarily by making payments in exchange for intelligence. This relationship was disclosed in the New York Times piece (Weiner 1993a), that contained a defense of the CIA by House Representative Robert G. Torricelli (D-NY) as a necessary method of obtaining information on Haiti's internal politics.

NYT quoting Torricelli wrote:
"The US Government develops relationships with ambitious and bright young men at the beginning of their careers and often follows them through their public service," he said. "It should not surprise anyone that these include people in sensitive positions in the current situation in Haiti."


William Blum wrote:
This argument, which has often been used to defend CIA bribery, ignores the simple reality [...] that payments bring more than information, they bring influence and control; and when one looks at the anti-democratic and cruelty levels of the Haitian military during its period of being bribees, one has to wonder what the CIA's influence was.


The NYT also disclosed that the CIA in Haiti founded an organization staffed with officers from the Haitian army known as the National Intelligence Service (with the appropriate French acronym SIN) in 1986. While originally founded with the stated purpose of fighting the drug trade, the agency's members would later be implicated in drug trafficking as well as acts of political terror against Aristide supporters. SIN received anywhere from half a million to a million dollars a year from the CIA. One American Embassy official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, described it as a "a military organization that distributed drugs [...] It never produced drug intelligence. The agency gave them money under counternarcotics and they used their training to do other things in the political arena." The agency was also accused by an Aristide administration official in exile of accomplishing "nothing but political repression." While in office Aristide attempted to have the agency shut down. He was then rebuffed by the CIA, who assured him that the agency would be reformed (Weiner 1993b).

The First Coup
Noam Chomsky, 8 November 2002 wrote:
I was there [in Haiti] at the time and I don't think I've ever seen such terror; the people were really terrified.


The night of 29 September 2001, a crowd gathered around Aristide's house. A mutiny that broke out among the army and Port-au-Prince police force that night turned into an all out putsch by the next morning. The military captured the National Palace and arrested Aristide along with most of his administrative officials. This time around, the army was prepared to engage in massive repression in order to enforce its will. Many of the soldiers had been paid up to $5,000 each from prominent Haitian oligarchs to take part in the coup.When they opened fire on the inevitable demonstrations, they did not stop. According to an unnamed monitor of US intelligence operations, the soldiers "ran out of ammunition so fast that it seems the US had to resupply them with night-time helicopter flights from Guantanamo" (quoted in: Hallward 2007, 40). By most conservative estimates, some 300 Haitians were killed in the first night, with the Washington Post reporting 250 dead in Cité Soleil alone.



Brig. Gen. Raul Cédras, having been the provisional Commander-in-Chief of the army since July 3, became the figurehead for the coup government.

NYT quoting Cédras wrote:
The armed forces of Haiti insist on reaffirming that it is an apolitical institution at the service of the Haitian people. It will respect constitutional order, guarantee democratic liberty and will not condone any act of pillage and even less so the flaming tire necklace execution.


A report released on 21 October by the Platform of Haitian Human Rights Organizations counted at least 1,000 dead in the first few weeks of the coup. In addition to sacking the homes and offices of Aristide's cabinet officials and prominent supporters, the coup regime also targeted radio stations that were sympathetic to Aristide. In Mark Danner's words: "by shutting down the radio stations, they had cut off Aristide’s most potent weapon—his voice." The US Department of Justice summarized the depth of the political repression when it accused the junta of terrorizing "not only those who work to return Aristide to power but also anyone engaging in even the most basic kinds of political activity, such as mobilizing public opinion or bringing people together in any kind of grass roots organization" (1993, 17).

The coup government sought to create a thin veneer of civilian rule by swearing in Jean-Jacques Honorat, a Duvalierist and bitter Aristide opponent, as prime minister. Interestingly, Honorat was at the time the head of one of many "human rights" organizations that received funds from the National Endowment for Democracy, a private nonprofit that in turn got most of its funding from the US government (Haiti Information Bureau 1994, 208). In the summer of 1992, Honorat would be replaced by none other than Marc Bazin, the ex-World Bank official whose failed 1990 campaign for president was heavily financed by the US government.

In total, around 300,000 Haitians were either displaced or went into internal hiding. Some 60,000 fled the country in makeshift boats only to be captured by the US Coast Guard and either turned back or interned at a de facto concentration camp at Guantanamo Bay. Another 25,000 were believed to have crossed the border into the Dominican Republic. The coup government would achieve a death toll of 4,000 to 5,000 during the three years it held power.

US Reaction: Official and Unofficial
US Secretary of State James Baker, 2 October 1991 wrote:
By sending a mission from this body to Haiti, led by the Secretary General, we will send an important message to those who have taken power in Haiti and to the Haitian people: This junta is illegitimate. It has no standing in the democratic community. Until President Aristide's government is restored, this junta will be treated as a pariah throughout this hemisphere—without assistance, without friends, and without a future.


The coup was vocally condemned by the UN General Assembly, the OAS, the US, and France, among many others in the international community. It is worth noting that the only reason Aristide's life was saved was due to the intervention of the French ambassador. The OAS voted to implement economic sanctions on 7 October and the US signed into law a commercial embargo on 5 November. Despite these outward signs of support for Aristide's legitimacy, the Bush administration seemed somewhat wary of the ousted Haitian leader. The administration showed clear signs of distancing itself from Aristide not long after James Baker's unequivocal call for his reinstatement. More than anything, there were concerns that Aristide relied too much on "mob rule" and intimidation during the course of his rule.

The intelligence community, of course, went beyond the White House's seemingly mixed-feelings towards Aristide. John Kambourian, the CIA station-chief in Haiti, admitted to the Los Angeles Times soon after the coup began that he hoped that the regime would last at least as long as Aristide's term in office. During the summer of 1992, the CIA sent its National Intelligence Officer for Latin America, Brian Latell, to Haiti to report on the situation. As the CIA's senior analyst of Latin American affairs, Latell likely was considered a reliable source for many in both the administration and Congress. In a memo later disclosed by the Miami Herald, he gave his "Impressions of Haiti":

Brian Latell, 21 July 1992 wrote:
I do not wish to minimize the role the military plays in intimidating, and occasionally terrorizing real and suspected opponents, but my experiences confirm the community's view that there is not systematic or frequent lethal violence aimed at civilians (quoted in: Canham-Clyne 1994, 111).


This perception was widely contradicted not only by the human rights community but by the US State Department's own human rights report, which documented "frequent human rights abuses" against Haitians during 1992 by the coup government (Blum 2003). Latell continued his memo by singing his praises for then prime minister Marc Bazin and coup leader Raoul Cédras:

Brian Latell, 21 July 1992 wrote:
These meetings reinforced my view that Bazin and his [civilian] supporters are perhaps the most promising group of Haitian leaders since the Duvalier family dictatorship was deposed in 1986. [...] Gen. Cédras impressed me as a conscientious military leader who genuinely wishes to minimize his role in politics, professionalize the armed services and develop a separate and competent civilian police force. I believe he is relatively moderate and uncorrupt (quoted in: Canham-Clyne 1994, 112).


On 4 February 1992, the Bush administration gave a further indication of its priorities when it announced plans to "fine-tune" the embargo by allowing US manufacturing firms to resume assembly operations in Haiti. On 24 May, President Bush signed an executive order known as the "Kennebunkport Order" that gave the US Coast Guard the authority to forcibly return all Haitian refugees interdicted on makeshift boats escaping the country without first processing their asylum claims. The order was quickly condemned by human rights groups and Bush stood accused of violating a UN convention on refugees that the US was a signatory to. Then-presidential candidate Bill Clinton condemned the order as "another sad example of the administration's callous response to a terrible human tragedy." He then made the assertion that he would grant temporary asylum to all credible political refugees if he were elected president. This position would be quickly reversed days before Clinton's first day in office amidst (unfounded) fears of a massive exodus of Haitian boat-people seeking asylum in the US.

NYT quoting Clinton wrote:
"The practice of returning those who flee Haiti by boat will continue, for the time being, after I become President," Mr. Clinton said in the broadcast. "Those who leave Haiti by boat for the United States will be intercepted and returned to Haiti by the US Coast Guard. Leaving by boat is not the route to freedom."
[/quote]


Throughout the crisis, a number of diplomatic processes were initiated in which Aristide and his close associates (now living in exile in the US) and representatives from the coup regime were brought together by the international community in order to attempt a compromise. The results were predictable and disheartening. Little common ground could be found between the two parties and what agreements could be made were later reneged upon by the junta.

The first such attempt was made from 21 to 23 November 1991.Two groups, one with Aristide and his advisers and another with members from both houses of Haitian parliament, met in Cartagena de Indias, Colombia to discuss the terms on which constitutional government could be returned to Haiti. While both parties agreed with the vague notion that constitutionality should eventually be returned to the country, the parliamentarians would not even agree to put Aristide's name in the final communiqué. A UN special rapporteur later reported that the meeting "produced no positive practical results, even though it had the merit of bringing at least two of the parties to the conflict together at the same table for the first time since the coup d'état" (Bruni Celli 1993, 26).



SOURCES
Blum, William. 2003. "Haiti, 1986-1994: Who will rid me of this turbulent priest?" in Killing Hope: US Military and CIA Interventions Since World War II. Monroe, ME: Common Courage Press.

Bruni Celli, Marco Tulio. 1992. Report on the situation of human rights in Haiti (E/CN.4/1992/50). UN Commission on Human Rights, 31 January.

Canham-Clyne, John. 1994. "Selling out Democracy." In The Haiti Files: Decoding the Crisis, ed. James Ridgeway. Washington, DC: Essential Information Books,

Haitian Information Bureau. 1994. "Events in Haiti, October 15, 1990-May 11, 1994." In The Haiti Files: Decoding the Crisis, ed. James Ridgeway. Washington, DC: Essential Information Books, 205-240.

Hallward, Peter. 2007. Damming the Flood: Haiti, Aristide and the Politics of Containment. New York: Verso.

US Department of Justice. 1993. Profile Series: Haiti. Washington, DC: INS Resource Information Center.

Weiner, Tim. 1993a. "Key Haiti leaders said to have been in the C.I.A.'s pay." New York Times 1 November.

Weiner, Tim. 1993b. "C.I.A. formed Haitian unit later tied to narcotics trade." New York Times 14 November.

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