Venezuela, Nicaragua and Bolivia – all ALBA regimes coordinated from Havana – accuse the United States of using the earthquake as an excuse to occupy Haiti militarily.
President Hugo Chavez, who sees imminent US invasions of Venezuela everywhere he looks, is leading the latest anti-US Bolivarian circle jerk, faithfully following the geopolitical and propaganda strategies developed by Havana.
“They go in there to kill whoever, whenever,” Chavez said on 20 January.
The heads of Nicaragua and Bolivia are in the chorus because Chavez (Havana) owns them thanks to over $1 billion in Venezuela’s oil wealth, which Chavez gives away freely to everyone except Venezuelans.
But there’s more to Chavez’s anti-Yanqui mudslinging than first meets the eye.
Haiti was a failed state and failed society for decades before the earthquake leveled Port au Prince on 12 January.
But Haiti was – and continues to be – strategically vital to the Chavez regime, Havana and the narco-terrorist groups associated with the Caracas/Havana axis.
The island of Hispaniola – shared by Haiti and Dominican Republic – is the Bolivarian revolution’s most important strategic hub in the Caribbean.
The Chavez regime, with Cuban encouragement, has been cultivating Haiti’s government and people quietly for several years.
Haiti is a member of the PetroCaribe initiative, receiving preferentially financed oil from Pdvsa worth about $150-200 million a year of “savings” for the Haitian government (i.e. debts to Venezuela which Haiti likely will never pay in full).
The Chavez regime also has good relations with the government of President Rene Preval. Over the past three years, Caracas has given (or pledged to give) over $200 million in grants for infrastructure and social programs.
Cuba has been actively engaged too. Caracas/Havana agreed in 2007 to give Haiti five mobile thermal power generation plants.
Most recently, a Haitian legislator said the Chavez regime would fund a $33 million project to expand the airport at Cap-Haitien, Haiti’s second largest city, so it can handle large commercial airliners.
Reportedly, the new runway to be built at Cap-Haitien by a Venezuelan/Cuban consortium would be large enough to handle large military transport aircraft.
Chavez also is close to former President Jean Bertrand Aristide, who remains very popular among poor Haitians. Aristide was friendly with Venezuelan radical Marxists long before he hired Randall Robinson’s TransAfrica to lobby for him in Washington, DC back in 1993-1994.
While Chavez/Havana steadily strengthened the Bolivarian revolution’s ties in recent years with the government and people of Haiti (who nowadays mostly despise the US), the US was absent.
The earthquake on 12 January jolted the US establishment, but only marginally.
President Barack Obama, and former Presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton, have pledged that the US people and government are committed to helping Haiti rebuild. Certainly, their assurances are since.
Clinton in particular always has cared genuinely about Haiti.
Haiti was Clinton’s first major foreign policy adventure in 1994, when US troops occupied the country to restore the populist defrocked Catholic priest Jean Bertrand Aristide to the presidency.
Clinton justified his decision to order Haiti’s military occupation by saying that it was meant to restore the democratically-elected Aristide to power, and to allow the US to lead an internationally-supported effort to rebuild Haiti into a modern nation state.
Of course, nothing of the sort happened. Relations between Aristide and the Clinton administration fell apart, aid to Haiti was frozen, and the country’s political and social turmoil continued.
Over 15 years later, before the earthquake killed Port au Prince on 12 January, Haiti was still the same failed state and society that it had been in 1994 when Clinton embarked on a Wilsonian experiment which ended, thankfully for US taxpayers, when the UN assumed full command of the “peacekeeping” mission.
The Obama administration has done right in Haiti so far. The US military buildup in Haiti is a humanitarian search/rescue, aid and recovery mission. It is not a military occupation of Haiti disguised as aid, as Chavez and his ALBA lackeys falsely charge.
The US forces now in Haiti will assume security functions if chaotic situation spirals into uncontrolled violence.
But if that were to happen, it is certain that it would result from President Preval officially requesting US and other foreign military personnel now engaged in humanitarian activities to expand their mission to include restoring/maintaining public order. US military forces won’t intervene in security issues beyond protecting US citizens if President Preval doesn’t request US security assistance first.
Meanwhile, Chavez and gang are whining about an alleged US military occupation of Haiti because:
(1) The US military presence in Haiti interferes with Caracas/Havana plans to enlarge the revolution’s influence in the poorest country in the Americas, and
(2) The US presence interferes with the drug trafficking operations of transnational criminals and narco-terrorist groups operating from Venezuela in partnership with senior regime figures.
Hispaniola, the island shared by Haiti and DR, is the biggest hub in the Caribbean for transshipments of Colombian cocaine and heroin that move from Colombia to Venezuela – and from there to Hispaniola en route to destinations in Central/North America and some European countries like France.
Colombia’s FARC owns over half of the cocaine shipped via Venezuela. (The Chavez regime staged a big show in 2009, officially seizing the largest loads of cocaine and other illegal narcotics interdicted in many years. But it’s not clear if all of the seized narcotics were destroyed. And, more importantly, not a single cocaine shipment owned by the FARC was captured in Venezuela despite the fact that some 60-70% of the cocaine that transits through Venezuela belongs to the FARC.)
The FARC-owned cocaine and heroin smuggled into Venezuela is protected, among others, by teams of Bolivarian government security officials (gangsters) controlled by the likes of military intelligence (DGIM) director Hugo Carvajal, former Interior & Justice Ministry political police (Disip) director Henry Rangel Silva, former Disip financial intelligence director Pedro Luis Martin, and former Interior & Justice Minister Ramon Rodriguez Chacin.
This cocaine and heroin is then shipped aboard hundreds of illegal flights that originate from within Venezuela to destinations in the Caribbean and Central America. US, Dutch and Colombian radars have been tracking these flights for years, certainly since 2003.
Hispaniola (Haiti/DR) and Honduras were key trans-shipment points for the drug traffickers flying illegal narcotics out of Venezuela.
But on 28 June, 2009 the democratic institutions of Honduras legally and constitutionally ousted former President Mel (all hat, no cattle) Zelaya after he insisted, with Chavez’s help, on transforming Honduras into another Bolivarian satellite.
Now the Haitian-based operations of the Venezuelan-based Bolivarian/FARC narco-terrorist crime groups have been disrupted for weeks or even months by the arrival of thousands of US troops.
With several thousand US troops in Haiti, and US navy ships including five Coast Guard cutters patrolling the waters off Haiti to interdict any mass refugee flights by sea to US shores, drug traffickers will have a vastly more difficult time flying undetected in that area of the Caribbean.
The top US security concern with respect to Haiti, where up to 200,000 persons may be dead and 3 million homeless, is the possibility that hundreds of thousands of Haitians could attempt in coming months to flee their country by sea in a desperate attempt to reach US shores in Florida.
US aircraft already are overflying Haiti every day, broadcasting messages in Creole warning Haitians that anyone caught fleeing the island by sea will be returned. No illegal Haitian refugees will be admitted to the US, says the broadcast message taped by Haiti’s ambassador to Washington.
But a desperate, starving mob is prone to anything, fleeing over Hispaniola’s mountains to DR, or setting out to sea in anything that will float and can be bailed out faster than water leaks in.
Is there any possibility that a “new” Haiti can be rebuilt from the rubble of Port au Prince? Dispassionately, no; Haiti is a failed state. Experts who know about failed states know that Haiti cannot be rescued.
If Haiti is fortunate, it might be annexed by another power. Many Haitians despise the Yanquis, but given a choice they’d probably opt for being adopted by the US before other powers – certainly not France, Haiti’s former colonial slave master.
But the US doesn’t want Haiti, especially nowadays when there is 17% unemployment in the US including 10% officially jobless and another 7% underemployed or dropped out of the work force.
There’s a large Haitian population in Florida. But it’s a safe bet the Haitians already in Florida don’t want hundreds of thousands of their brothers and sisters washing ashore from Fort Lauderdale to Key West over the coming year.
Florida’s economy is among the worst hit in the current US recession, and Haitians already there don’t want more competition for a shrunken pool of jobs.
Moreover, if a rising tide of Haitian refugees starts to arrive, furious non-Haitian residents of Florida will turn against all Haitians (and other Caribbean region peoples) already in Florida with the same rage directed at the refugees.
There’s a crisis in the US, not enough jobs to go around, so stay the hell home. Wouldn’t it be ironic if President Obama, the all-inclusive non-partisan progressive, rebuilds his sagging poll numbers in coming months by enforcing No Trespassing orders against Haitian refugees?