Jean-Bertrand Aristide, the former priest who rose to become Haiti’s first democratically elected president before being forced into exile twice, returned home on Friday to a raucous welcome from supporters and jitters that he would rattle a presidential runoff intended to settle months of political discord here. [...]
President Obama had even called President Jacob Zuma of South Africa, where Mr. Aristide made his home while in exile, in hopes of preventing the former Haitian president’s return because of the “destabilizing” effect it might have “in the closing days of the election,” said Tommy Vietor, a spokesman for the National Security Council.
And here's Aristide speaking about the presidential election the U.S. has stage-managed to exclude the vast majority of the Haitian electorate and guarantee an obedient, business-friendly right wing puppet in Haiti (on general principle, of course, but also for specific reasons which I'll talk about in a separate posting):
Mr. Aristide did not directly mention the runoff, but he denounced the exclusion of political parties, including his own, Fanmi Lavalas, which officials barred from the voting last year for what was described as paperwork problems.
“The exclusion of Fanmi Lavalas is the exclusion of the Haitian people,” he said in Haitian Creole.
In English, he added: “In 1804, the Haitian revolution marked the end of slavery. Today, may the Haitian people end exiles and coup d’états, while peacefully moving from social exclusion to inclusion.”
Haitians may have won their freedom from slavery in 1804, but the Obama administration (like every U.S. administration before it) has been doing everything it can to make sure it continues there in practice. And as that phone call to Zuma illustrates, Obama is personally committed to the task of preventing Haiti's first democratically-elected president from upsetting the carefully rigged presidential runoff; the "exclusion of Fanmi Lavalas" and the "exclusion of the Haitian people" aren't a problem in his mind, they're an accomplishment.
As I've written before, anyone who feared that our first black president might not be sympathetic to the need to smash the democratic aspirations of the first free black nation in the hemisphere can rest assured: Obama will never let race—or anything else—stop him from doing the empire's dirty work.
ALSO: In an episode that makes the importance of democracy subversion in Haiti eminently clear, even while the popular uprising in Egypt was peaking, our Secretary of State was dispatched to Haiti to ensure that Michel "Sweet Micky" Martelly advanced to the presidential runoff election rather than Jude Celestin (she flew there literally right after she'd finished putting out the administration's Egypt spin on the Sunday morning talk shows). So just who is this U.S. favorite?
Seven months after his inauguration, President Aristide was overthrown by a US-backed neo-Duvalierist military putsch on 30 September 1991. "Sweet Micky" was one of the principal cheerleaders of this three-year coup, which claimed some 5,000 lives, according to Amnesty International.
In the years following Aristide's restoration to power in 1994, Martelly became obsessed with hatred for the man. In a video from not too long ago, which can be seen on YouTube, the candidate threatens a patron in a bar where he has performed. "All those shits were Aristide's faggots," he says. "I would kill Aristide to stick a dick up your ass."
You can certainly see why Clinton made the trip. And if the Obama administration doesn't manage to get this homicidal homophobic Duvalierist into power, they'll still end up with the Secretary General of the right-wing RDNP party (and wife of a former right-wing "president" of Haiti). Win-win!