[A-List] Haiti: Jeff Sachs' analysis!
r_rozoff at yahoo.com
Mon Mar 1 19:12:32 MST 2004
When, in 1994, the Clinton-Albright regime 'restored'
the Haitian peoples' choice, Aristide, it also
curtailed his elected mandate by stipulating that his
time spent in exile would be 'detracted' from his
presidential term; then, four years ago, when
Aristide's Lavalas won the 2000 elections, then
President Clinton and Secretary of State Albright
threw every 'regime change' trick in the book against
the winners, slapping them with sanctions,
international opprobrium, etc. Even dictating to the
Haitian people how national run-off elections should
be conducted - this dictated from a country that has
no run-off elections beyond the city council level.
Mr. Sachs has a selective memory, to be charitable.
--- Michael Keaney <michael.keaney at mbs.fi> wrote:
> What does this mean?!
> Fanning the flames of political chaos in Haiti
> by Jeffrey Sachs
> THE NATION (THAILAND), FEB. 28, 2004
> Haiti, again, is ablaze. President Jean-Bertrand
> Aristide is widely blamed,
> and he may
> be toppled soon. Almost nobody, however, understands
> that today's chaos was
> in Washington - deliberately, cynically, and
> steadfastly. History will bear
> this out. In
> the meantime, political, social, and economic chaos
> will deepen, and Haiti's
> impoverished people will suffer.
> The Bush Administration has been pursuing policies
> likely to topple Aristide
> 2001. The hatred began when Aristide, then a parish
> priest and democracy
> campaigner against Haiti's ruthless Duvalier
> dictatorship, preached
> theology in the 1980's. Aristide's attacks led US
> conservatives to brand him
> as the
> next Fidel Castro.
> They floated stories that Aristide was mentally
> deranged. Conservative
> multiplied several-fold when President Bill Clinton
> took up Aristide's cause
> after he
> was blocked from electoral victory in 1991 by a
> military coup. Clinton put
> Aristide into
> power in 1994, and conservatives mocked Clinton for
> wasting America's
> efforts on
> 'nation building' in Haiti. This is the same right
> wing that has squandered
> billion (Bt6.3 trillion) on a far more violent and
> dubious effort at 'nation
> building' in
> Attacks on Aristide began as soon as the Bush
> administration assumed office.
> I visited
> President Aristide in Port-au-Prince in early 2001.
> He impressed me as
> intelligent and
> intent on good relations with Haiti's private sector
> and the US.
> Haiti was clearly desperate: the most impoverished
> country in the Western
> Hemisphere, with a standard of living comparable to
> sub-Saharan Africa
> despite being
> only a few hours by air from Miami. Life expectancy
> was 52 years. Children
> chronically hungry.
> Of every 1000 children born, more than 100 died
> before their fifth birthday.
> An Aids
> epidemic, the worst in the Caribbean, was unchecked.
> The health system had
> collapsed. Fearing unrest, tourists and foreign
> investors were staying away,
> so there
> were no jobs to be had.
> When I returned to Washington, I spoke to senior
> officials in the IMF, World
> Inter-American Development Bank, and Organisation of
> American States. I
> to hear that these international organisations would
> be rushing to help
> Instead, I was shocked to learn that they would all
> be suspending aid, under
> 'instructions' from the US. America, it seemed, was
> unwilling to release aid
> to Haiti
> because of irregularities in the 2000 legislative
> elections, and was
> insisting that
> Aristide make peace with the political opposition
> before releasing any aid.
> The US position was a travesty. Aristide had been
> elected President in an
> landslide. He was, without doubt, the popularly
> elected leader of the
> country - a claim
> that George W Bush cannot make about himself.
> Nor were the results of the legislative elections in
> 2000 in doubt:
> Aristide's party had
> also won in a landslide. It was claimed that
> Aristide's party had stolen a
> few seats. If
> true - and the allegation remains unproved - it
> would be nothing different
> from what
> has occurred in dozens of countries around the world
> receiving IMF, World
> Bank, and
> US isupport. By any standard, Haiti's elections had
> marked a step forward in
> democracy, compared to the decades of military
> dictatorships that America
> backed, not to mention long periods of direct US
> military occupation.
> That chaos has now come. It is sad to hear rampaging
> students on BBC and CNN
> saying Aristide 'lied' because he didn't improve the
> country's social
> conditions. Yes,
> Haiti's economic collapse is fuelling rioting and
> deaths, but the lies were
> Aristide's, but Washington's.
> Even now, Aristide says that he will share power
> with the opposition, but
> opposition says no. Aristide's opponents know that
> US right-wingers will
> stand with
> them to bring them violently to power. As long as
> that remains true, Haiti's
> will continue.
> Jeffrey D Sachs is professor of economics and
> director of the Earth
> at Columbia University.
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