Black nations defy U.S. on Haiti debacle
By Ron Daniels
Apr 13, 2004
(FinalCall.com) - As a devoted Pan Africanist and internationalist in
the spirit of Malcolm, I am always eager to see African people
working together to resolve problems and advance our interest and
aspirations. This was Nkrumah's vision when he collaborated with
other African leaders to form the Organization of African Unity
(OAU), which has now evolved into the African Union (AU). In the
Caribbean, 15 nations have come together to form the Caribbean
Community (CARICOM) to promote unity in this important region of the
African Diaspora. Operational unity and collective action in the
interest of people of African descent globally is essential if we are
to regain our rightful place in the forefront of progress on the
world stage in the 21st century.
It is for these reasons that I am particularly proud of the efforts
that Black nations have been making to resolve the crisis in Haiti.
Prime Minister Christie of the Bahamas and President Mbeki of South
Africa participated in the official Jan. 1 observance of the
Bicentennial of Haiti's independence. There was a dual purpose for
their presence: to be with Haitian people on this historic occasion
and to meet with the various feuding parties in hopes of breaking the
political impasse which has crippled Haiti in recent years. Pres.
Mbeki me with President Jean Bertrand Aristide and the opposition and
offered his services to mediate the conflict if called upon. Prime
Minister Christie was not only representing the Bahamas, he was
dispatched by CARICOM to work with all parties in hopes of ending the
strife afflicting a sister nation in the Caribbean. Shortly after the
bicentennial observance, I happened to have been in the Bahamas when
Prime Minister Christie hosted the opposition for three days of "get
acquainted" conversations intended to pave the way for substantive
discussions between the governing Lavalas party and the opposition.
Prime Minister Patterson of Jamaica and Prime Minister Manning of
Trinidad were also present for these talks.
It was CARICOM that ultimately developed the proposals which were
adopted by the international community, including the U.S., Canada,
France and the European Union, for resolving the crisis in Haiti. In
other words, Black nations took the lead in crafting a proposed
solution to a conflict in a neighboring Black nation. The CARICOM
proposal was extremely well-crafted. It took into account the various
complaints about Pres. Aristide's government and created a road map
towards a government of national unity and reconciliation.
Unfortunately, the United States and France badly bungled the
implementation of the CARICOM proposal. When the proposal was
presented to Pres. Aristide, he readily accepted it, even though it
would have curtailed some of his powers. When it was presented to the
opposition, however, they rejected it, protesting that no resolution
was possible until Pres. Aristide resigned. The opposition's
intransigence took place against the backdrop of the violent
rebellion in the northern part of the country, spearheaded by a gang
formerly aligned with President Aristide, a reputed drug trafficker
and chronic coup plotter, and leaders of the notorious death squad
FRAPH. These thugs were capturing cities and advancing on the capital
Supposedly "stunned" by the opposition's refusal to accept the
CARICOM proposal, France and the U.S. did not press the opposition to
accept the proposal. They focused on pressuring Mr. Aristide to leave
office. As the "rebels" continued their violent march towards the
capital, CARICOM issued an urgent appeal for the international
community, led by the U.S., to send in peacekeepers to halt the
destructive advance of the "rebels" and to restore order, as panic
and chaos spread in Port-au-Prince.
Rather than intervene to stop the violence and anarchy, the U.S.
cynically stood by and allowed the rebel advance to continue and
leveraged it to force Pres. Aristide to leave the country. In effect,
the U.S. staged a coup d'etat. They recklessly and wantonly watched
as lives were lost and property was destroyed to achieve their long-
sought objective of removing Mr. Aristide from the political scene in
But, to their credit, Black nations in the Caribbean were outraged
and insulted by the actions of the U.S. in particular. "Big Brother"
from the North had taken the proposal CARICOM had developed and
perverted it to achieve U.S. objectiveswhich was not a power-sharing
arrangement between the parties. Unwilling to be treated like "step
children" in the hemisphere, CARICOM boldly denounced the action of
the U.S. and demanded that the United Nations investigate the
circumstances under which Mr. Aristide left Haiti. Sensing an insult
to Black nations, and Black people in general, the African Union
courageously followed suit by joining the demand that the UN conduct
an investigation. This was a collective act of defiance and dignity
on behalf of people of African descent everywhere!
The ultimate coup d'grace was Prime Minister Patterson granting
permission to Mr. Aristide to visit Jamaica to be reunited with his
children. Prime Minister Patterson even sent an emissary from CARICOM
to escort him and his wife to Jamaica. It was like giving the
diplomatic "finger" to the U.S.
Officials in the U.S. were beside themselves with rage. How dare a
Black nation defy the wishes of "Big Brother?" Mr. Aristide's
presence, just 100 miles away from his native land, would undermine
the "plan" to stabilize Haiti. However, Prime Minister Patterson,
CARICOM and the African Union stood firm in their refusal to be
demeaned and insulted by the "former" slave master! People of African
descent should be proud of their courageous stance.
© Copyright 2004 FCN Publishing, FinalCall.com
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