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#5344: Re #5329: Rumors of a Coup in Haiti (fwd)

From: "Tom F. Driver" <tfd3@columbia.edu>

Daniel Simidor tells us there's rumor of an imminent coup in Haiti.  In his
comments he says "The Clinton government would be in no position to
intervene against such a coup ...."

I didn't notice much US intervention against the coup of 1991, did you?
Oh, but George Bush was the US President then, and he was a Republican!
Big deal!  US policy toward Haiti does not change much from one
administration to the next.  Bill Clinton did not restore Aristide to
office in Haiti until he thought he had him under his thumb -- that is,
ready to implement what the US wanted from Haiti in terms of economic
"structural adjustment" and other matters.  But the Rooster began
to slip out from under the big thumb once he was back.  Contrary to
clearly stated US objections, he put the Haitian army out of business.
He dragged his feet in the matter of privatizing the state's business
enterprises.  Although he did not get his way concerning the
recruitment and training of the new police force (he wanted Canada and
France to play the leading roles in that) nor in being allowed to have
his 5 full years in office, he proved himself no stooge of Washington.

As a result, since 1996 the US has sought ways to prevent his return to
power, just as it had tried to prevent his first electoral victory in 1990, gave 
covert support to the coup against him in 1991, and used FRAPH to thwart 
his return in 1993 after the Governors Island agreement.  This history surely 
lies behind Lavalas' intransigence with respect to the results of the May 21 
elections.  As soon as those election results were first announced, before 
the CEP made them official, and even before the OAS objected to the 
tabulations, I predicted that the US would engage in very "dicey" moves 
either to block Aristide's resumption of the presidency or to make it 
impossible for him to govern effectively.  Don't bet against the likelihood of a 
coup or against US involvement in it, no matter who sits in the US White 

Tom Driver

Tom F. Driver
Sheffield, MA