Sunday, January 24, 2010

Haiti: A Shining Example of US-sponsored Regime Change

Haiti: A shining example of US-sponsored regime change

AFRICAN FOCUS By Tafataona P. Mahoso
Courtesy of Zimbabwe Herald

The African liberation movements of Southern Africa draw yet another huge lesson for their followers, especially for their youth, from the tragedy of the earthquake-shattered Haiti which happened as the highly celebrated but short-lived Orange Revolution of the Ukraine also collapsed.

The two apparently unrelated events — one in the Caribbean in the western hemisphere and the other in Eastern Europe — provide for simple minds like ours the graphic lessons required to prove the ultimate bankruptcy of neoliberal capitalism and a dead-end for the Euro-American “democracy project” in the Sadc region which has been modelled on “regime changes” in Eastern Europe.

I say Haiti and Ukraine present graphic lessons because a less graphic but more profound lesson appeared towards the end of 2007 and is still unfolding in the form of the so-called global financial tsunami or global recession.

What makes these recent events profound for Zimbabwe and Southern Africa is the fact that the path which the political formations called the Movement for Democratic Change were supposed to travel in order to achieve regime change in Zimbabwe was mapped out and decked with all the imported sign-posts long before the MDC was launched in September 1999.

The strategy of imperialism for regime change in Southern Africa consisted of the following:

-Treating and depicting the African liberation movements in the Sadc region as mere followers or carbon copies of regimes in the former Soviet bloc.

-Making it look inevitable that regime changes in the former Soviet bloc and elsewhere in the Third World would also follow in countries governed by African liberation movements.

-Carefully separating those regime change cases, which were to be used as indicators of the inevitable “transition to democracy” in Southern Africa, away from those cases of regime change which were to be avoided or suppressed because they would harden the resistance to illegal regime change instead of making people agree to be swept along. Somalia, Haiti and Nicaragua were to be avoided because they showed either that there were no benefits to be derived by the people from the foreign-sponsored regime change or they showed how unpopular and hated the foreign sponsors were, or both.

-Carefully sponsoring appropriate activist NGOs and activist media to orchestrate publicity around the desired events and signposts on the path of inevitable regime change while avoiding those which did not help the intrusive “democracy project”.

In the case of Zimbabwe the media outlets and NGOs used included: Horizon magazine, The Financial Gazette, The Daily Gazette, The Zimbabwe Independent, The Daily News, The Daily Times, The Tribune, the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions, the Catholic Commission on Peace and Justice, the Legal Resources Foundation, the National Constitutional Assembly, the Media Institute for Southern Africa and the Working People’s Convention.

These were to serve as hatcheries and escort services for the MDC formations. But they were also meant to escort public opinion on behalf of the so-called “democracy project” and the MDC formations.

The idea was to make people want or appear to want and expect that which the British, the Europeans and the North Americans were planning for the region in general and for Zimbabwe in particular. Even the illegal and racist sanctions had to be made to appear like a popular demand of the masses.

So, when in October 1991 the United National Independence Party of Dr Kenneth David Kaunda was defeated by the Movement for Multiparty Democracy of Fredrick Chiluba in Zambia, the event was dutifully reported and interpreted by the relevant media outlets and NGO activists as a harbinger for the inevitable regime change in Zimbabwe.

When on May 21 1998 the Western-backed dictator General Suharto of Indonesia was overthrown in massive “anti-IMF riots”, the pre-MDC opposition formations and their media in Zimbabwe made an arbitrary analogy between General Suharto and President Robert Mugabe, even though it was a common secret that Suharto, like Mobutu and Augusto Pinochet, was installed by the US Central Intelligence Agency and British intelligence agents.

When on October 17 1998 General Augusto Pinochet was arrested in London after losing elections and being booted out of power in Chile, the pre-MDC opposition formations and their local and foreign media supporters frantically attempted to equate Pinochet with President Mugabe in the belief that the people of Zimbabwe did not know who Pinochet was.

Pinochet was a right-wing general used by the CIA on September 11 1973 to overthrow the popularly and democratically elected Unity Movement government of President Salvador Allende in order to stop land redistribution and economic indigenisation and empowerment. Allende was murdered during the bombing of the presidential palace.

When on December 7 2001, the Western powers “overthrew” the Taliban regime in Afghanistan and “replaced” it with that of CIA puppet Hamid Karzai, the MDC formations, through the Daily News, went ecstatic, announcing that President Robert Mugabe and the liberation war veterans were Zimbabwe’s Taliban whom British prime minister Tony Blair and US president George W. Bush would overthrow and chase out of Zimbabwe in the wake of the supposed “removal” of Afghanistan’s Taliban.

The Daily News did not tell its readers that both Osama bin Laden and the Taliban were creations and one-time allies of the very same US and British forces which were now fighting them.

When on September 24 2001 Yugoslav president Slobodan Milosevic lost a Western-rigged election after a whole year of Nato bombing of that country (1999-2000), the MDC formations and their media allies announced that they would soon execute “a Milosevic treatment” against President Mugabe. This analogy was taken so far that both Britain and the US transferred to Zimbabwe the very same ambassadors who had presided over the attacks on Yugoslavia and the rigged removal of Milosevic.

When on November 21 2002 Viktor Yanukovych of Ukraine’s Orange Democratic Revolution replaced what was seen as a “pro-Russia” government, the “Orange Revolution” was immediately imitated both in Kenya (Raila Odinga) and Zimbabwe (Tsvangirai).

Then on December 30 2002 former Kenyan president Daniel arap Moi’s Kenya African National Union was defeated by Mwai Kibaki’s Democratic Party (the Rainbow Coalition), which later split into Raila Odinga’s Orange Democratic Movement and Kibaki’s Party of National Unity. Immediately the MDC formations and the media supporting them here and abroad announced the formation of a “Rainbow Coalition” which would replace the African liberation movement, reverse land reform and remove President Mugabe.

The Case of Ukraine

The case of the collapse of Ukraine’s Orange Revolution has been downplayed in the Western media and deleted from the local regime change circles and their media because it signals the domino effect of the global rejection and condemnation of neoliberalism which has included Venezuela, Russia, Nicaragua, Ecuador, Bolivia, Zimbabwe and many others.

The ideological rug has therefore been swept from under the feet of the false “democrats” and reformers in our region who include the two MDC formations and the racist Democratic Alliance of South Africa.

By abandoning the G7 and G8 for the G20, and by engaging in statist economic “stimulus packages” or “rescue packages” in response to the global economic tsunami which began in 2007, the North Atlantic states themselves have quietly signalled the failure of neoliberal reform.

This failure also explains why the ten billion pounds sterling aid package which the MDC formations expected from their “rich” sponsors upon getting into government is nowhere in sight. This means the MDC formations are currently holding positions in Parliament and in Government which were won through false promises to get sanctions removed immediately and to obtain massive Western aid which was supposed to make the economy of Zimbabwe recover instantly from the same illegal sanctions requested by the same MDC formations.

The Haiti Case

The history of Haitian independence is similar to that of Cuba, Zimbabwe and Vietnam in that it was won through armed struggle.

But the other similarity is that after the original colonial power was defeated (France in Haiti and Vietnam, Spain in Cuba and Britain in Zimbabwe) the United States moved in directly or indirectly to try to reverse the revolution or to replace the original colonial power.

The Haitian revolution of 1791 under Toussaint L’ Ouverture shocked the entire Western hemisphere. According to W. E. B. Du Bois, the revolution “intensified and defined the anti-slavery movement, became one of the causes, and probably the prime one, which led Napoleon Bonaparte to sell the colony of Louisiana to the US for a song . . . and rendered more certain the final prohibition of the slave trade in 1807”.

According to John Hope Franklin: “North Americans were terrified at the news of what was happening in Haiti in 1791. For more than a decade after 1791 many North Americans were more concerned with (revolutionary) events in Haiti than with the life and death struggle that was going on between France and England.”

So, when it became clear that France had given up its power in the Caribbean and the Americas, the US began to interfere directly in the affairs of Haiti.

Therefore the case of Haiti as the most successful demonstration of US-sponsored “regime changes” has been suppressed by the MDC formations, the NGOs supporting illegal regime change in Zimbabwe, and the Western media. This is because Haiti is the one country where since 1910 the US has had a free hand to put in place all the human rights, democracy, development and good governance programmes which it has been trying and failing to impose on Zimbabwe through the MDC formations and Zidera.

But what do we see exposed in Haiti through the recent earthquake disaster? We see:

-A disaster where relief agencies are complaining that the US is pouring into Haiti more military forces and military infrastructure than relief. That is because the government which has been in charge in Haiti until this earthquake is a puppet of the US which is hated by its own people who are likely to use the earthquake as another opportunity to get rid of it and get rid of all the trappings of US interference.

-The only existing democratically elected president of Haiti, Jean-Bertrand Aristide, is in South Africa where he has been exiled by the US and its puppet regime.

-After more than 100 years of US-controlled regime changes and reforms, the January 2010 earthquake disaster exposes a most impoverished country where:

-There is no civil protection agency;

-There are no emergency relief services;

-There are no building codes consistent with the hurricane and earthquake-prone environment;

-There is no national navy, no air force, no effective or credible police force and no effective civil aviation authority; l There are no longer any effective ministries of agriculture, health, fisheries or industry because the country has been reduced to a transit trade bay, source of raw materials and source of Bantustan labour for US multinationals; and

-There is no good governance or rule of law.

In other words, there is nothing in Haiti which would make US-sponsored “reform” and regime change attractive to Zimbabweans. So this case of 100 years of US-sponsored regime change has had to be suppressed or distorted in order to hide its implications for the Euro-American “democracy project” in the form of the MDC formations.

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