Sunday, January 17, 2010

U.S. Imperialist Role In Haiti In 1970s

In 1982, Under the Eagle: U.S. Intervention in Central America And The Caribbean by Jenny Pearce described some of the historical effects of U.S. manipulation of Haitian domestsic politics during the 1970s:

"Papa Doc [Duvalier] had come to power in 1957 with the help of the American-trained army...Between 1971 and 1976 Haiti received over $4 million in military arms and training. A new elite corps, the Leopards, were created at Washington's instigation...The Leopards were trained and equipped by former marines, employed by a Miami-based front company, Aerotrade.

"This attempt to reassert United States military influences in this country was followed by renewed economic penetration. The United States controls four out of Haiti's five main exports: sugar, bauxite, sisal and light manufacturers...Between 1970 and 1976 American companies installed 230 new industrial plants in the country attracted by the exceptionally cheap labor. By 1978 United States investment in Haiti was...three times what it was in 1975...At least 70 percent of the population is unemployed..."

And as late as Oct. 3, 1994, the CIA's station chief in Haiti, John Kambourian, apparently met secretly with right-wing FRAPH para-military leader Emannuel Constant to discuss Haiti's political situation at that time, according to the October 31, 1994 issue of The Nation.

(Downtown 11/9/94)

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