Blocl activism

Paramilitarism And The Assault On Democracy In Haiti

By Jeb Sprague

The poor living on…Haiti have long been the targets of political violence

One may ask why dominant groups (and governments such as those of the United States, France and Canada) care – as they obviously have – about stifling a pro-democracy movement in so small and poor a country. The simplest – and bluntest – answer has been provided by Noam Chomsky. He likens the elite networks that undergird global capitalism to a mafia that does not allow even the smallest and most inconsequential shopkeeper to show open defiance.

Writer-activist Randall Robison recalls how “no one could remember an occasion where the United States and its allies had mounted a more comprehensive campaign to cripple a small, poor country as they had in the case of democratic Haiti.

Slavery is alive and well in Haiti. It’s even worse than slavery, really, because at least with slavery you were offered some fringe benefits, as far as housing. In this situation you are offered hard labour and that’s it. If you get enough money to buy a machete so you can chop down a few trees and weave together a hut and pack mud on the side of it, good for you. If not, tough luck. They don't provide housing, they don't provide food; they just use them for labour.

This country is dying. It is running out for fresh water. Less than 2% of its natural forested areas remain; as a consequence, agriculture us devastated. Though wracked with poverty and disease the population continues to grow – and continues to migrate for rural to urban areas, chiefly Port-au-Prince.

If a part of the security forces under Aristide were disastrously infiltrated by criminal elements with a deep-seated loathing for democracy, that problem was greatly, and deliberately, exacerbated after the 2004 coup. This is part of a long-term strategy of the leading dominant groups to maintain rightist segments within Haiti’s security apparatus that can be mobilised if required in the future.

The Martelly government’s plan of renewing the military aims to strengthen this strategy can only lead to more suffering.

Media outlets and grassroots human rights groups can shine a light on political violence, working together with and taking their cue from poor communities and those who have a long record of struggling for popular democracy and social justice.

Quotes from Brian Leslie’s website.

“The inability of the Colonists to get power to issue their own money permanently out of the hands of George III and the international bankers was the PRIME reason for the revolutionary war."(Benjamin Franklin)

“If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issuance of their currencies, first by inflation and then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around them will deprive the people of all their prosperity until their children will wake up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered.”(Thomas Jefferson – third President of the United States)

“Whoever controls the volume of money in our country is absolute master of all industry and commerce...and when you realize that the entire system is very easily controlled, one way or another, by a few powerful men at the top, you will not have to be told how periods of inflation and depression originate.” (James A. Garfield, president of the United States (1881) – two weeks before he was assassinated)

“If all the bank loans were paid, no one could have a bank deposit, and there would not be a dollar of coin or currency in circulation. This is a staggering thought. We are completely dependent on the commercial banks. Someone has to borrow every dollar we have in circulation, cash, or credit… We are absolutely without a permanent money system. When one gets a complete grasp of the picture, the tragic absurdity of our hopeless situation is almost incredible -- but there it is.” (Robert Hemphill, one-time Credit Manager of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta)

“The modern banking system manufactures money out of nothing. The process is perhaps the most astounding piece of sleight of hand that was ever invented. Banking was conceived in iniquity and born in sin. Bankers own the Earth. Take it away from them, but leave them the power to create money, and with the flick of the pen they will create enough money to buy it back again... Take this great power away from them and all great fortunes like mine will disappear, and they ought to disappear, for then this would be a better and happier world to live in. But if you want to continue to be slaves of the banks and pay the cost of your own slavery, then let bankers continue to create money and control credit.” (Sir Josiah Stamp, Director of the Bank of England from 1928 to 1941, reputed to be the 2nd richest man in Britain at the time)

“The study of money, above all other fields in economics, is the one in which complexity is used to disguise truth or to evade truth, not to reveal it. The process by which banks create money is so simple the mind is repelled.” (J K Galbraith)

“I am afraid that the ordinary citizen will not like to be told that banks can and do create money... and they who control the credit of the nation direct the policy of Governments and hold in the hollow of their hands the destiny of the people” (Reginald McKenna, Chairman of the Board of the Midland Bank, and former Chancellor of the Exchequer) "There is nothing more difficult to execute, nor more dubious of success, nor more dangerous to administer, than to introduce a new order of things; for he who introduces it has all those who profit from the old order as his enemies, and he has only lukewarm allies in all those who might profit from the new. This luke-warmness partly stems from fear of their adversaries... and partly from the scepticism of men, who do not truly believe in new things unless they have actually had personal experience of them." (Machiavelli)