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8985: History of Role of IRI, USAID and NED in Haiti (fwd)

from: kevinpina <kpinbox@hotmail.com>

This article is an excellent piece of research regarding the role of IRI, 
USAID and NED in Haiti. You gotta at least give Ben Dupuy points for being 
consistent in his analysis. The full text can be found at:



Number 31 December 1998

Old tricks, new dog
It is common knowledge that the United States uses covert operations and the 
Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) to destabilize and even overthrow 
progressive governments, and to subvert democratic political movements 
throughout the Americas and beyond. Guatemala in 1954, Cuba in 1961, Chile 
in 1973, and Nicaragua during the 1980s, are just some of the better known 

More recently, the CIA has admitted that its intelligence 'assets' in Haiti 
included Toto Constant, who was the leader of the FRAPH death squad, and, 
according to a leaked CIA memo, planned the 1993 assassination of Justice 
Minister Guy Malary. The refusal to return Haitian Army and FRAPH documents 
taken by US troops in 1994 can only be interpreted as an unwillingness to 
reveal more about US involvement in the 1991 coup d'état, and the terror 
campaign that followed.

The use of violence and repression is though only one strategy utilised to 
enhance US interests in Latin America and the Caribbean. In a recent 
interview with Haiti Briefing, Ben Dupuy, a spokesperson for the National 
Popular Assembly, drew attention to other techniques pioneered in Nicaragua 
and now being used in Haiti. After pointing to the similarities between the 
US-organised Contra in Nicaragua, and the FRAPH in Haiti, and the use of 
both to create a debilitating sense of insecurity, Dupuy compared the US-led 
process of building opposition party coalitions in both countries:

"In Nicaragua it took the form of uniting the extreme right and former 
Somocistas in a coalition of reactionary forces that won the election in 
1990. I think they are trying to implement the same strategy in Haiti by 
creating a kind of platform of different organisations that include the 
party of the Duvalierist, Roger Lafontant, who staged an unsuccessful coup 
against Aristide in January 1991. It (the coalition) will put forward 
candidates in forthcoming elections, but I think they will have trouble 
finding a presidential candidate like Chamorro."

The Nicaraguan National Opposition Union (UNO) that defeated the Sandinistas 
was designed and sponsored to the tune of $30 million by the National 
Endowment for Democracy (NED), a foreign aid programme founded by President 
Ronald Reagan and funded by the US government to 'promote democracy abroad'. 
In Haiti, a NED subsidiary, the International Republican Institute (IRI) has 
been active in so-called 'democracy enhancement' since 1995. This April, 
after months of organising meetings and conferences, its efforts bore fruit 
when 26 small right wing, Duvalierist, and what have been described as 
"ex-Lavalas opportunist" political parties formed the Haitian Conference of 
Political Parties (CHPP).

The IRI has offices in 15 countries including Albania, Angola, Nicaragua, 
Russia, Serbia and South Africa. Its web-site boasts that in Nicaragua in 
1996 it helped to register 300,000 new voters who "provided a convincing 
margin of victory" for the right wing Liberal Alliance and its presidential 
candidate. It no doubt hopes to repeat this 'success' in Haiti where it vows 
to continue "reinforcing dialogue among the parties, increasing their level 
of cooperation and collaboration", and, in case Haitians object to this 
interference, will also continue "progressively diminishing its direct 
presence and making its direct interventions increasingly more discreet."

Dupuy characterised the activities of the IRI as an attempt to "peddle a 
'democracy' that is not a real popular consultation but an exercise in 
propaganda and advertising in which they transform the electoral process 
into one between those who have money and those who don't."

The IRI is just one of a number of organisations that will receive money 
from the US Agency for International Development (USAID) which is engaged in 
a ten-year programme entitled 'More Genuinely Inclusive Democratic 
Government.' In its submission to the US Congress for funding for Haiti for 
the financial year 1999, USAID requested some $170 million, of which $38 
million will be allocated to 'Democracy'.

Other recipients of the 'Democracy' funding include the International 
Criminal Investigations Training and Assistance Programme, an institution 
founded by the FBI in 1986, and run by the US Justice and State departments, 
which is training the new Haitian police force; the US law firm, Checci and 
Company, which is running the judicial reform programme; and the America's 
Development Foundation (ADF), which since the late 1980s in Haiti has 
channelled funds from USAID and NED to right wing trade unions, conservative 
media outfits, and apologists for the 1991-4 coup regime, and now 
concentrates on "strengthening democratic values and processes" among civil 
society organisations, and 'helping' newly elected councillors and mayors.

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