(OPE-L)The Accomplished Destruction of Aristide, the Planned Destruction of Hugo Chavez]

From: glevy@PRATT.EDU
Date: Thu Mar 04 2004 - 15:42:12 EST

Jerry Levy has sent you this article published in

    The Accomplished Destruction of Aristide, the Planned
Destruction of Hugo Chavez     Venezuela and Haiti are both
victims of Washington's standard operating procedure for
destabilizing unwanted governments. However, while Aristide
let Washington reeducate him, Chavez seems to be a tougher
nut to crack.
  By: Heinz Dieterich - Rebelion.org
Published: 01/03/04
The drama of Haiti and of the Aristide administration
implies many dangers for Cuba and Venezuela.  It is
the final outcome of Washington’s Standard Operating
Procedure (SOP) against popular governments in Latin
America: namely, subversion-destruction.
The last phase of this strategy can be seen in Haiti, its
initial phases in Nestor Kirchner’s Argentina, and its
middle phase in Hugo Chavez’s Venezuela.
Sometimes this strategy ends with the death of the Latin
American protagonist, as was the case with Salvador
Allende.  In other circumstances, the protagonist
manages to go into exile, as in the case of the Guatemalan
president Jacobo Arbenz.  A third scenario is the
“re-education” of the Latin American protagonist within the
empire and his subsequent political recycling in his
country, and that was the case of Aristide in
Haiti and Michael Manley in Jamaica.
Regardless of the outcomes that Washington’s Standard
Operating Procedure may have on our countries, the initial
aim of the subversive industrial/military complex of the
United States is always the same: to tame a leader or
social movement that has come to power through elections or
de-facto, and whose political agenda does not reflect the
interests of Washington.
The first attempt to dominate these movements and leaders
is through co-option and corruption.  When these are
not effective, then the strategy of subversive-destruction
is unleashed.
We are now witnessing the last acts of the drama in
Haiti.  It started developing in 1986 when the Haitian
people managed to throw out the dictator Baby Doc Duvalier,
thus ending a history of a century and a half of military
interventions by the United States and of regimes of state
terror in the service of Washington.
When the chains of United States neocolonialism, which had
maintained the people of Haiti in misery, were broken, a
vacuum of power was created in which the star of a slum
area Salesian priest, Jean-Bertrand Aristide, began to
shine among the dispossessed.
With speech based on the Theology of Liberation and its
preferential option for the poor, reclaiming the sovereign
right of the country to its self-determination against the
domination of the United States, and with “a passionate
rhetoric that sometimes incited violence between classes”,
as The Wall Street Journal noted with concern, Aristide
became a popular tribune and the hope for change among the
The 1990 elections were the first free elections in 187
years.  It demonstrated that Aristide had the
overwhelming support of the people.  Aristide obtained
67.5% of the votes despite having survived several
assassination attempts from right-wing paramilitaries and
having been expelled in December 1988 from his Salesian
Order instigated by the apostolic nuncio.[1] 
Washington’s candidate and ex-employee of the World Bank,
Marc Bazin, merely obtained 15% of the votes.
These results raised the red flag in the White House and
set in motion a subversive-destruction strategy against the
popular government.  It was successful in seven
months.  The new president, elected by a majority,
took possession on February 1991 only to be overthrown in a
bloody coup d’etat on September 30th.
The subversive strategy of post-electoral de-stabilization
was preceded by another, pre-electoral intervention
strategy that used different approaches to get rid of the
rebel priest that was trying to implement what Washington
considered was a “populist model” of democracy, that is, a
democracy with the participation of those at the bottom.
The National Endowment for Democracy (NED), the public
subversive international arm of the Republican Party and
the Democratic Party of the United States, financially
backed the supporters of Bazin and the former members of
the Duvalier dictatorship, so as to impede the electoral
triumph of Aristide.  With the same aim, NED financed
radio stations that demonized Aristide’s candidature.
The main workers’ union in the United States, AFL-CIO
collaborated, at the behest of the Department of State, in
financing right-wing unions, some with direct influence
over Duvalier’s the secret police.  The official US
agency for international development, USAID, subsidized and
advised the right wing factions that favored the United
All of these measures did not impede Aristide’s triumph at
the polls nor his assuming power in February 1991. 
Faced with the defeat of Bazin and the “danger” of popular
democracy, Washington organized a coup d’etat that would
put an end to the priest’s experiment in the island. 
At the head of the coup was the narco-general and CIA
collaborator, Raul Cedras, who was trained at the notorious
School of the Americas in Fort Benning, Georgia.
His right-hand man was Col. Michel-Joseph Francois, also
trained at Fort Benning.  Together with Emmanuel
Constant, another CIA agent, they controlled two key
organizations for the destruction of Aristide’s democratic
government: the National Intelligence Service (SIN) and the
death squads, known as FRAPH.  Both organizations have
been established and maintained by the CIA.
In the first two weeks of the coup, more than a thousand
people lost their lives in a state terrorist campaign that
systematically destroyed popular and democratic
organizations that had supported Aristide.  When the
terror ended, Cedras and Francois had assassinated more
than four thousand Haitians.
The administration of Bush Sr. in collusion with the main
US media immediately started a propaganda campaign against
the deposed president making him responsible for what
happened due to his “violations of human rights”, exactly
as it did during the coup against Hugo Chavez.
For its part, the Organization of American States (OAS)
decreed an embargo against the coup plotters that was never
seriously implemented by the European nations nor by
In February 1992, Bush in effect lifted the embargo against
the coup plotters, backed by a fervent Democratic
congressman, Robert Torricelli.  Torricelli supported
the brutal embargo against Cuba, expecting to take
advantage of the fall of the Soviet Union to destroy the
Cuban Revolution and with the same energy, was in favor of
lifting the embargo against the coup plotters in
Haiti.  In both cases, he succeeded: while aggression
against Cuba increased, the boycott against Haiti was
Faced with the force of these events, Aristide
succumbed.  He signed an “accord of national unity”
that left him only a symbolic function in the government
and a de facto exile in the United States, while
Washington’s puppet Marc Bazin, assumed power in June 1992,
with the public blessing of the Vatican, the Episcopalian
Conference of Haiti, and the national and imperial elites.
The betrayal and degeneration of Aristide, was taken to its
paroxysm in his exile to the United States, the systematic
destruction of the popular movement in Haiti and a massive
exodus of seventy thousand Haitians in two years. 
This created the conditions for his return, but now as a
harmless leader.  Twenty-five thousand US soldiers,
sent by William Clinton, re-established he legitimate
president in power.
Francois took refuge in the Dominican Republic and later in
San Pedro Sula, Honduras, where he spent millions of
dollars he obtained during the terror and through
narco-trafficking with the Colombian drug cartels. 
Cedras went to live in Panama City along with the ex-chief
of the army, Biamby and enjoyed the same amenities of his
assassin accomplice Francois.
Exile to Panama was a courtesy of the Clinton
administration that guaranteed Cedras and Biamby a secure
passage to Panama, where a mansion on the beach awaited
them with other imperial amenities, all expenses paid by
the United States.
Meanwhile, Aristide returned to a devastated country, which
nonetheless preserved his image as  “The Savior” among
its popular sectors.  However, this image did not
correspond at all with the objective or subjective
potential of the historic moment that 1990 represented.
The process of demolishing his administration and his
personality had been profound.  It had to end
inevitably in his expulsion by the same popular forces that
fifteen years before had taken him to power.  This is
what we are now witnessing and this is the result that
Washington desired.
There is no better way of killing a popular myth than by
getting it killed by its own people.  This is what
Washington did with ex-colonel Lucio Gutierrez in
Ecuador.  His corrupt performance as a president
discredited the Armed Forces as possible vanguard in a
nationalistic process.  The support that the
Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador
(CONAIE) gave Gutierrez has generated the same disrepute
for the indigenous movement and handing over military bases
and military sovereignty to the Pentagon has attained
Washington’s most deeply felt expectations for Plan
The colonel has carried out his historic role for the
empire.  The only thing that is waiting for him is a
kick and exile.  The same is valid for the priest: he
has become superfluous and will disappear from the scene,
sooner than he thinks.
The respective scenario is foreseeable.  Under the
auspices of Washington, France, CARICOM or the OEA, there
will be a new “national unity accord” whose elections will
take some puppet of Washington to the presidency.
While the Democratic Platform of the civil organization has
some social force, power resides increasingly in armed
groups in the north of Haiti.  These are made up of
the former torturers and military of the Duvalier
dictatorship that have returned from their easy exile in
the Dominican Republic –among them the former leaders of
the death squads (FRAPH), Luis Jodel Chamblain and Jean
Pierre Baptise, and another bloody henchman, Guy Phillipe-
and Aristide’s paramilitary groups that have switched
Therefore, in a cruel irony of history, Bush Sr.’s plan for
dominating Haiti which instigated the coup against
Aristide, has now become absolutely viable under the
presidency of his son George:  duvalierism without
President James Carter tried to implement a somocism
without Somoza during the last days of the dictatorship in
Nicaragua, but failed, basically because of the so-called
“Vietnam trauma”.  The possibilities of Bush Jr.
accomplishing a similar objective in Haiti are much
The implications of the eventual installation of a
right-wing government in Haiti are considerable for Cuba,
the Dominican Republic, and Venezuela.  The geographic
distance between north Haiti and eastern Cuba is barely 90
kilometers.  Guantanamo Base is located in those
latitudes and any maritime exodus from Haiti could be used
by the Bush administration as a pretext for unleashing
force in the region.
It is supposed that the State Department of the bellicose
Colin Powell is preparing already fifty thousand beds in
Guantanamo Base to intern Haitian refugees to the island.
For Venezuela, the detailed study of Aristide’s experience
is of vital importance.  The military coup of April
2002 failed, but the strategy of subversion-destruction
goes ahead.
The public recognition by State Department functionary,
Peter Deshazo, that the CIA finances Washington’s
mercenaries in Venezuela; the more than eighty
assassinations of rural leaders and popular leaders during
the Bolivarian government; the continuous envoy of arms to
the Venezuelan paramilitaries and the increasing aggression
of the Colombian paramilitaries all demonstrate that
Washington proceeds without quarter to destroy the
government of Hugo Chavez.
Since the strategy of “re-education” and  “recycling”
in the style of Aristide will not work in the case of Hugo
Chavez, the conflict in Venezuela is antagonistic. 
Therefore, the defeat of the popular forces will have an
extremely high human cost, as the experiences in Chile and
Haiti demonstrate.
They are doomed to succeed.
Translated by Maria Victor

[1] Apostolic nuncios are the ambassadors of the
Vatican. Translator’s note.
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