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Date: Tue, 3 Jan 1995 09:15:08 GMT
From: Rich Winkel (rich@pencil.cs.missouri.edu)
To: Multiple recipients of list ACTIV-L (ACTIV-L@MIZZOU1.missouri.edu)

/** covertaction: 13.0 **/
** Topic: #51 HAITI: A.I.D.ing U.S. Interests **
** Written 4:56 PM Dec 21, 1994 by caq in cdp:covertaction **
by Jane Regan

In the Aftermath of Invasion

By Jane Regan, Covert Action Quarterly, January 1995

The first time the U.S. invaded Haiti in 1915, the 19-year occupation was awash in blood. Five thousand Caco guerrillas died fighting the Marines and their newly trained Gendarmerie d'Haiti. This year's invasion is bathed in the kleig-lit glow of good intentions. Behind this facade, the goal keeping Haiti firmly within the U.S. sphere of influence (1) remains constant. So too does the spirit of Caco resistance which lives on in the democratic and popular movement.

During the 1915 to 1934 occupation, the U.S. Marines established an extensive repressive apparatus. They built hundreds of barracks and military posts for the new Haitian army, one in every small town and hamlet. For six decades, the army and its appendages, the Duvaliers' Tonton Macoute and the over 500 repressive Section Chiefs (rural magistrates) repeatedly crushed the Haitian movement for democracy.

Home of the first successful slave revolution in the hemisphere from 1794 to 1804, Haiti has a long history of struggle for independence and justice. In 1986, after the Haitian popular movement ousted the hideously repressive and corrupt Duvalier regime, the U.S. embassy and the Haitian military launched numerous overt and covert maneuvers to bring the country back in line. But in 1990, the population surprised U.S. planners and Haitian elites by voting for the last minute presidential candidate, liberation-theologian Father Jean-Bertrand Aristide. Immediately, U.S.-funded institutions began working against the president's planned reforms such as higher wages and army restructuring.

Despite government protests, the CIA continued to support the secret police apparatus within the Haitian army. On September 30, 1991, with CIA approval and U.S. intelligence officers present at army headquarters, Haitian soldiers staged a coup d'etat against the democratically elected Aristide.(2) Gen. Raoul Cedras took effective control of the country and reinstated the section chiefs sytem outlawed by Aristide.

Under this mechanism of terror, each of 525 rural sections was patroled by up to 150 assistants known as siveye-rapte (watch and report), adjoint (assistant), attache (attached) and chkt lawouze (dew-covered stump because he rises early to go after or spy on people). But the modes of repression spraying entire neighborhoods with automatic gunfire, gang-raping women, endlessly exploiting peasant farmers with nothing left to give are no longer as effective as in the Duvalier days. Along with the Marines, the U.S. is now importing more subtle means of control to ensure stability and deliver Haiti into the U.S.-dominated new world order.(3)


The coup created more problems than it solved. The plight of Aristide and of the Haitian people became a cause clebre. Especially irritating to the U.S. which demands unilateral control of its backyard was the international support for Aristide. Not only did the U.N. pass numerous resolutions, but countries with historical and economic ties to the island nation, including Venezuela, Canada and France, took an active interest in the president's reinstatement.

Even before the coup, Aristide had tried to use European, Latin American, and Canadian support to counterbalance the overwhelming U.S. economic and political presence. For example, much to U.S. consternation, newly elected President Aristide turned to the Swiss government to train a new security service for the National Palace. During the coup, it was the French Ambassador, Rafael Dufour, who came to Aristide's rescue.(4) And when he fled the country, Aristide's first stop was not Washington, but Caracas. Within a few months, however, to the great disappointment of many in the democratic movement, he sought exile in the U.S. despite strong evidence of Washington's involvement in funding and organizing his opposition and the coup itself. Belying his CIA-fed reputation as mentally unstable and the media's penchant for labeling him a firebrand radical, the essentially reformist president-in-exile pursued a careful strategy for return which relied on U.S.-led negotiations rather than on his popular base in Haiti.(5)

Meanwhile, the Haitian military was also relying on the U.S. with considerably more to show for it. According to Ian Martin, director for human rights of the Organization of American States (OAS)/ U.N. International Civilian Mission in Haiti from April 1993 until he resigned in December of that year,6 Haiti's high command:

sought U.S. assistance to ensure the army's future. They mistrusted the U.N. ... and the proposal for the Canadians and French, both more committed supporters of Aristide than the United States ... The United States hoped to preserve the military an institution it had often assisted and in fact had created for purposes of internal control during the American occupation of 1915-34.(7)

The extent of U.S. control went even deeper. Many high level military leaders, some U.S.-trained, were paid CIA informants.(8) For decades, the Haitian army has benefited from direct cash aid, weapons and even used G.I. uniforms.

Although Aristide continued to maneuver within the limited space created by international rivalry, France and Canada predictably fell in step with the U.S. Subsequent negotiations produced the U.S.-orchestrated Governor's Island Accord, which Aristide reluctantly signed on July 4, 1993, despite its obvious loopholes and traps. The accord ensured that the military would stay in power four more months while the embargo was lifted.(9)

As the accord was being signed, Emmanuel Constant (son of a Duvalier general), who had been on the CIA payroll since the mid-'80s, went into action. Within a few months, and with U.S. intelligence advice and encouragement, he had formed FRAPH. A political front and paramilitary death squad offshoot of the Haitian army,(10) it began to systematically target democratic militants and hold the country hostage with several armed strikes. On October 11, 1993, the day the U.S.S. Harlan County was to land U.S. and Canadian soldiers, even though the CIA had been tipped off,(11) FRAPH organized a dockside demonstration of several dozen armed thugs. After a few cars were thumped and a few diplomats roughed up, the U.S. ship turned around without even telling the U.N. and its Haiti negotiator, Argentine diplomat Dante Caputo.

Caputo testily explained to foreign journalists that the boat would be pulling back into the dock soon; the U.S. only one of the hundreds of U.N. member nations was not in charge of the operation. As he spoke, his aides in a hotel high above the capital watched the Harlan County steam toward the horizon. U.S. Special Assistant Lawrence Pezzullo later revealed that the CIA had recommended the retreat.(12)

Afterwards, a French military adviser said, Do you know what the real problem is? The Americans don't want Aristide back, and they want the rest of us out.(13)

The next day, despite Cedras' public praise for FRAPH patriotism, a visiting U.S. general affirmed that the Haitian military was still on board, and expressed his trust in its professionalism. A few days later, hours after Clinton warned the army to protect the constitutional cabinet, Justice Minister (and the U.S. embassy's attorney) Guy Malary was gunned down. The new U.S. ambassador, William Swing, fresh from South Africa, called for dialogue and reconciliation.


During the year that followed, the U.N. Civilian Mission, which had left after the Harlan County, limped back into the country but was promptly insulted and attacked in a confidential cable leaked from the U.S. embassy.(14) Meanwhile, the U.S. pressured Aristide to enlarge his government-in-exile, stalled on tougher U.N. economic sanctions, and continued cutting backroom deals with anti-Aristide elements. The sanctions in place disproportionately impacted on the poor while allowing the elites to get by. In one year alone, the cost of living rose 75 percent while the value of the currency was halved.

The popular movement faced severe obstacles. The U.S. asylum processing program chipped away at it by hand-picking and exporting almost 2,000 grassroots leaders. The U.S. also turned a blind eye to the increasing repression. In the three years after the coup, the 7,000-man army and its paramilitary assistants killed at least 3,000 and probably over 4,000 people, tortured thousands, and created tens of thousands of refugees and 300,000 internally displaced people. But despite the violence, poverty, and exploitation, hundreds of peasant, popular, student, church and labor organizations endorsed the embargo and refused to cooperate with the de facto authorities.

U.S. liberal sectors, including the Congressional Black Caucus and TransAfrica, finally joined the outcry against the administration. Washington, threatened with a continuing refugee problem and charges of waffling, prepared for a full-fledged invasion. On July 31, 1994, the U.S. got the U.N. fig leaf it needed. Resolution 940 allowed the U.S. to intervene at the head of a multinational force to facilitate the departure of the Haitian military chiefs. Clinton rounded up a couple dozen partners and Marines began training a token force of 266 Caribbean soldiers in Puerto Rico.


With the U.N. out of the way, Clinton went after public support for an invasion. Labelling the Haitian military thugs and criminals, he showed visiting journalists photos of disfigured and dismembered victims. A last-minute sleight of hand by former President Jimmy Carter turned this century's second U.S. military occupation of Haiti into the permissive entry of 20,000 troops and millions of dollars worth of weapons and material.

On September 19, the day the U.S. invaded, Caputo resigned, denouncing the unilateral action of the U.S. as part of a scenario planned long before and saying the U.S. treatment of the Haitian military regime with honor and as heroes of the film was scandalous. When U.S. soldiers stood by as Haitian police beat citizens, he said it was revolting.(15)

Rather than disarm the Haitian army and its paramilitary assistants (Clinton's thugs and criminals ) as promised in writing to the Aristide government, or purge the human rights violators,(16) the U.S. is now in effect overseeing a kind of massive School of the Americas for the entire Haitian armed forces. Everyone can now be trained at once, rather than piecemeal at bases in Georgia or Texas.(17) On-the-job training began under the banner of cohabitation and cooperation.(18) Working side-by-side, U.S. and Haitian soldiers make arrests, share intelligence, and respond jointly to calls from the homes and shops of the bourgeoisie and coup supporters. When a Haitian soldier misbehaves or a paramilitary unit gets out of hand, a few underlings are arrested, turned over to the Haitian police, and then usually released.

In the capital, cohabitation is overseen by two Americans. Former New York City Police Commissioner Ray Kelly oversees the police monitors who are accompanying Haitian police and soldiers on their patrols, while Col. Mike Sullivan directs the 1,250-person Military Police.(19)

Quickly, cohabitation has turned to complicity. On October 3, two dozen low-level FRAPH members and police were arrested in a showy raid, but most were later released. Two days later, the U.S. embassy organized a press conference complete with U.S. embassy equipment and U.S. security forces to promote the CIA-linked FRAPH's new message of reconciliation. No mention was made of the fact that the Civilian Mission has repeatedly and directly accused FRAPH of responsibility for specific, heinous crimes.

In Port-au-Prince, embassy and U.S. army officials claim that FRAPH has been dissolved and that the army is in sad shape.(20) The reality on the ground is that both forces remain armed and present in virtually every community across the country.

U.S. failure to disarm the paramilitary squads is absolutely disquieting, said a U.N. official who feared U.N. troops would pay for the U.S. laxity when they take over Phase 2 of the Resolution 940 mission next year. We would like to see a much more massive disarmament.(21)

A U.S. officer confirmed that his Special Forces unit had not disarmed the local soldiers (or Tonton Macoutes or FRAPH members) because theirs was a joint, co-op type mission. ... Whether they have actually committed an atrocity in this country, that's not up for us to ... determine, he said. They still have to protect themselves ... and have to uphold the law.(22)

The laws the U.S. is most concerned about upholding are those that control endemic looting and establish stability in the streets.

I think there's a greater degree of confidence on the part of the Haitian police, Sullivan proudly assured foreign reporters. I think you can see on the streets that the Haitian people are more calm than they were two days ago ... I think we have had an impact on the looting.(23)

The impact on human rights abuses is less definitive. In one incident, U.S. soldiers helped Haitian soldiers arrest three people, one a member of the peasant movement, on the unfounded suspicion of involvement in the killing of a Haitian soldier and an attache. When U.S. journalists visited them in jail, one had not been fed in three days. Another time, U.S. soldiers protected the home of a Haitian soldier who had just knocked out a woman's six front teeth because she had been cleaning the street for Aristide's return. Seven weeks after the permissive entry, Haitian soldiers and their assistants continue to threaten, beat and even murder pro-democratic citizens.


According to a member of Aristide's transition team, the U.S. originally promised that the Haitian government would be allowed to vet the entire military structure and to kick out human rights abusers.(24) Over the next three to five years, the Haitian army and police are to be replaced by a police force of 10,000 new recruits and re-trained former soldiers. The army itself will be pared down to about 1,500. With success predicated on weeding out corruption and human rights violators, prospects for genuine reform are not good. Over the last four decades, a virtually unchecked Haitian army, police, and paramilitary have operated with impunity. According to the transition team member, the constitutional government has been given information on fewer than 1,000 of the up to 4,000 human rights abusers it would like to expel. To top it off, control of the vetting has shifted. A panel of five Haitian army officers, most chosen by the U.S. and two of whom actually participated in the coup, will have the final say on who is in and who is out.(25)

Furthermore, the new forces will be trained by the International Criminal Investigations Training and Assistance Program (ICITAP], an institution which was founded by the FBI in 1986 and is currently being run by the Justice and State departments to fortify the development of emerging democracies in the Western hemisphere. (26)

Staffed by FBI agents, Secret Service, narcotics agents, and police officers, ICITAP has been involved in many Latin American countries, most notably Panama, Guatemala, and El Salvador. Its record is not encouraging. In Guatemala, the reformed military and police have been implicated in numerous human rights violations. The Catholic Church there reported 257 summary executions so far this year. (27) In El Salvador, the new police force accepted a number of human rights abusers from the repressive National Police, and many observers, including those from the U.N., have criticized the force for violations.(28) A former ICITAP employee stationed in Guatemala admitted that Giving the Haitian police training and skills will not stop kidnapping and murders carried out at the behest of the military. (29) Although the Haitian government wants France and Canada to participate in running the program, ICITAP is demanding exclusive control.


While the Aristide government is struggling to maintain some control over personnel and training for the new security forces, it has practically given up fighting U.S. development schemes and democracy enhancement projects. We realized we can't fight this huge machine, said a transition team member.(30) Behind closed doors, the U.S. Agency for International Development (AID), the World Bank, the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), and scores of U.S.-funded groups are institutionalizing a more permanent, less reversible invasion. The troops of this intervention called democracy enhancement by AID and low intensity democracy by others are technicians and experts. Their weapons are development projects and lots of money. Their goal is to impose a neoliberal economic agenda, to undermine grassroots participatory democracy, to create political stability conducive to a good business climate, and to bring Haiti into the new world order appendaged to the U.S. as a source for markets and cheap labor.

As in other countries, this democracy promotion industry will support those projects and people willing to go along with its agenda and will mold them into a center. In the crude old days, grassroots organizers unwilling to be co-opted would have been tortured or killed. Now, they will simply be marginalized by poverty and lack of political clout.

Sophisticated propaganda campaigns will set the stage for the demonstration elections that will bestow legitimacy on the project.(31) A month before the invasion, on August 26, in Paris, representatives of the Aristide government met with some of the major cogs in this U.S.-dominated machine: the World Bank, International Monetary Fund, Inter-American Development Bank and bilateral funders. The Aristide team verbally agreed to impose a neoliberal structural adjustment plan (SAP) that included the sale of public utilities and publicly owned businesses (euphemistically called the democratization of asset ownership ), liberalization of trade, and payment of debts. The agreement implied a reduction in already pitifully inadequate social services and an increasing reliance on non-governmental institutions and the private sector.(32) Asked if the plan would support a raise in minimum wage static since 1983 at about $1 a day AID chief Brian Atwood said: I don't think that this economy is ready to consider such measures.(33)

A transition team member said that demands by the World Bank and other funders go beyond a neoliberal economic structure and include a political agenda. The international funders hoped to see a government of reconciliation which would guarantee stability and a sound economic environment, *34 he said. In the context of Haiti, reconciliation is a codeword for sharing power with the people who engineered and supported the coup d'etat, and maintaining their ability to control much of the political and economic life of the country.


Like ICITAP police and military training, most of the financial aid will bypass the Aristide government. Not only those funds slated for SAPs, but also the almost $600 million earmarked for economic, governance and humanitarian projects will remain largely under U.S. control. A transition team member reported that when members of the constitutional government ask about or criticize AID projects, U.S. officials say: `It doesn't really concern the Haitian government.'(35)

Any hopes that the U.N. might intercede on Haiti's behalf dissipated when U.N. Development Program director in Haiti, Juan Luis Laraburre, resigned in May 1994, blaming pressure and restrictions placed on him by the most powerful states.(36) A more recent UNDP technician was more amenable to the U.S. agenda. The government has no absorption capacity, he explained. The best situation would be for the government to oversee the projects without having government employees do the actual work.(37) Under this arrangement, the monies will go straight to the private sector, non-governmental organizations (NGO), or local leaders and politicians chosen by AID and NGOs. The most important U.S.-based groups NED, the Washington-based Center for Democracy (CFD), the International Republican Institute and the National Democratic Institute are almost wholly funded by U.S. taxpayers. The key Haitian player the U.S.-founded and funded Programme Integre pour le Renforcement de la Democracie (PIRED) is headed by U.S. anthropologist and longtime Haiti resident Ira Lowenthal.


The bulk of PIRED's funds and the font of Lowenthal's influence is a $15 million, five-year democracy enhancement project funded wholly by AID through the Alexandria, Virginia-based America's Development Foundation, a spinoff of NED. It has pumped hundreds of thousands of dollars into popular organizations, labor unions, peasant groups, foundations, and human rights groups linked to political leaders and parties.

PIRED has also promoted the U.S. asylum processing program, through which at least 60,000 grassroots militants were interviewed extensively about their activities, enabling the U.S. government to create a detailed database of the democratic movement which many speculate has been used for more than immigration matters. With PIRED's tutelage and cash, scores of labor unions and neighborhood groups have gone from demanding higher wages and denouncing U.S. imperialism to thanking Bill Clinton and promoting reconciliation.(38)

A $200,000 PIRED grant went to a foundation associated with Port-au-Prince Mayor Evans Paul, a strong proponent of reconciliation apparently being groomed by the U.S. to succeed Aristide. When Paul was reinstalled in his office by U.S. troops in October, Lowenthal was there, beaming. A mainstream newspaper noted with relief that Paul is very different from Aristide and that he has matured from leftist street agitator to statesman. In the same story, wealthy businessman and former coup-backer Gregory Mevs gave his nod to Paul and a U.S. diplomat said, There's no one on the horizon who can come near the guy.(39) Many are concerned that Lowenthal, who was also a frequent visitor to army general headquarters in recent months, has too much power over the millions being pumped into Haiti. In a confidential memo to U.S. lawmakers, an Aristide aide complained that PIRED should be taken out of the loop because it has been repeatedly involved in attempting to create political solutions through power sharing arrangements with the military regime.(40) Lowenthal is basically running the show, explained the transition team member. He is like the new governor of Haiti. All local programs go through him.


A consistent pattern of AID funding to groups which cooperate with the military and paramilitary is hard to ignore. One AID-funded project, the Centres pour le Developpement et la Sant (CDS) has had FRAPH members including those accused of brutal murders on its payroll. CDS operates 12 health centers around the country and received at least $4 million in AID funding last year. It also has a database which includes records on most of the 180,000 residents of the poor, staunchly pro-Aristide neighborhood of Cit Soleil and is directed by Dr. Rginald Boulos, a close associate of Marc Bazin, the presidential candidate the U.S. had supported against Aristide in the 1990 election. According to residents, CDS, which offers the only health care in the area, turned away people who admitted to voting for Aristide in the 1990 elections.(41)

Another major channel for U.S. aid also shows few qualms about associating with the army's death squads. The New-York-based Planning Assistance (PA) has already carried out pilot local governance projects in Les Cayes and Gona^Kves. Head of the project in Haiti, Joe Coblantz, admitted that programs included FRAPH members. Coblantz said he was worried that with the return of constitutionality, local participants would not allow opposition members like FRAPH to take part. The two FRAPH people in Cayes, he said, were the most civic-minded members of the community committees PA set up.(42) In Gona^Kves, PA was working with local leaders, but not the legally elected mayor, who has been in hiding during most of the past three years. When a vice mayor took over the office, he adorned it with a portrait of Franois Duvalier.

AID's collaboration with Duvalierists and death squads goes back decades and reflects a consistent policy. During the embargo, when other major donors such as Canada and France suspended all but emergency humanitarian programs, AID took the opportunity to work extensively and safely with pro-regime people and groups who were not part of the democratic movement. This summer, the development group Oxfam America charged that AID has been working with the cooperation or at least tacit approval of the Haitian military and paramilitary apparatus.

In a letter and report to the House Appropriations Committee, Oxfam asked that all non-humanitarian funding be frozen until the restoration of the constitutional government.

It is impossible for opponents of the coup regime, either in the legislature, civil society, political parties or local government, to operate openly. ... Numerous allegations have been made by the Haitian and U.S. media, citizens delegations and others, that USAID funded projects have been knowingly or unknowingly ... politically and financially manipulated by the military regime and its civilian supporters.(43)


With the U.S. publicly committed to restoring Haitian democracy (while retaining control over the economy), aid is targeted less at relief of suffering than results at the ballot box. In early January, over 2,000 elected offices at the regional and local levels expire. The U.S., through its aid entities, is trying to build a grassroots movement complete with hand-picked leaders and local political parties to ensure a favorable result.(44) In December 1995, when Aristide's term is up, the presidency itself will be the prize.

Those elections are the insurance policy for our aid, an AID official said.(45) A large chunk of aid is directly keyed to the elections themselves. A $24 million Elections Assistance project will help create a powerful council to oversee all elections; support civic education campaigns by non-governmental organizations; and engage in political party strengthening, media training and support, mediation and other activities. Perhaps anticipating cries of foul, the project is backed by multilateral donors with $4 million coming from non-U.S. sources.(46)

Despite that veneer, U.S. manipulation of the electoral process is fairly blatant. In Hinche, one AID consultant told a visiting delegation that Chavannes Jean-Baptiste, head of the pro-Aristide Mouvman Peyizan Papay (MPP) is out of touch and too political to be involved in the upcoming elections.(47)

On a national level sidestepping the fact that with 67 percent of the vote, Aristide personifies Haiti's political center the U.S. is trying to create its own moderate center. In May and June, the U.S. ambassador, PIRED, and Marc Bazin who was supposed to have focused that center in 1990 hosted a series of meetings of different centrist parties and personalities, most of whom were open supporters of the coup and subsequent de facto regimes.(48)

The Center for Democracy headed by CFD president and NED founder Allen Weinstein takes a slightly different tack. One participant in their mission to Haiti wished to build an opposition in parliament. Deputy Samuel Madistin said the team was openly looking to support political groups who supported the coup d'etat. The CFD has joined up with the right wing before to meddle in Haitian affairs. Last spring it flew mostly right-wing parliamentarians, including Deputy Robert Mond, a former Tonton Macoute and FRAPH supporter, to Washington. They presented a compromise parliamentary plan in which Aristide would make some concessions in return for the resumption of negotiations. The plan was exposed as having originated in the State Department, and Aristide refused to go along.(49)

An Aristide transition team member who has studied the AID briefing papers and talked to representatives of various programs, has a rather glum assessment of the upcoming campaign season. Many of the new AID programs will be run through the Office of Transition Initiatives (OTI), a new AID-linked institution which is supposed to oversee transitions to democracy. OTI will work with PIRED, and the Office of International Migration (OIM), which has worked in Haiti for two-and-a-half years helping the INS carry out its extensive asylum interviews. The transition team member sees the OTI and OIM approach as a combination of psychological pressure and thinly veiled bribery. The representatives come to a town or hamlet, offer funding for development projects, and then attempt to influence townspeople in their choice of candidates for the upcoming local and regional elections. They will go so far as to recommend that people from Lavalas, the movement that brought Aristide to power, not run for office. AID projects, they explain, would work much better with more professional people.(50)

This pressure will undoubtedly be coupled with an increasingly organized presence from the right. If FRAPH does not emerge as a distinct political party, as Constant has promised on several occasions, then it will reinvent itself. In whatever form, it will probably receive funding and support from its traditional sources the army and the CIA just as El Salvador's ARENA has for so long. And as in El Salvador and Nicaragua, the paramilitary right may continue to target democratic leaders.

But despite the threat of continued repression from the yet-to-be-disarmed paramilitary forces and the complex dance of cooptation, the president and the democratic and popular movement retains some maneuvering room and still hopes to counterbalance U.S. influence. Recently, the European Union promised at least $128 million in long-term development, some of it direct to the government of Haiti; France committed another $50 million, and the U.N.'s Food and Agriculture Organization announced a new project together with the Haitian government agriculture ministry to strengthen local peasant farmers. These programs may help support the government slightly and offset AID's planned decentralized disbursements to handpicked officials and groups.


In addition to aid and overtly political projects, the U.S. is also engaging in psychological operations. An official PSYOPS handout from the embassy this fall said their work consists of planned operations to convey selected information to influence the emotions, motives, objective reasoning, and ultimately the behavior of people, organizations or governments, but claims it is not propaganda, brainwashing or disinformation since PSYOPS relies on the truth. Col. Jeff Jones, who heads the mission, said his team has worked in Panama, Somalia, and the Persian Gulf. Their goal is to contribute to U.S. national interests. He added that his operations always use persuasion ... first [to] try to teach what this thing called democracy is all about [since] there's not a lot of experience down here.(51)

The PSYOPS team has admitted to preparing radio campaigns, taped messages broadcast from tanks and helicopters ( We came to install democracy in this country!, Stay calm! and so on), leaflets dropped from the air, songs, posters ( Avoid this! under a picture of looting, Friends! with a picture of a police officer, Haitian and U.S. flags together) and numerous other operations. Tanks blast popular music in the streets and U.S.soldiers are told to interact with the populace.

The overt objectives of the PSYOPS are, among other things, to discourage Haitian on Haitian violence, encourage reconciliation, present a positive image of U.S. intent, and support the restructuring of the Haitian military.(52) The underlying goal, said an Aristide aide recently, is to make the Haitian people see the troops as their saviors. In order for this whole plan to work, they have to break down the anti-Americanism. Then the two states become merged and go forward hand-in-hand for U.S. style democracy and development.(53)


The most visible and profitable merger is that between the U.S. military and the Haitian business class. Haitian-American Maj. Louis Kernisan of the Defense Intelligence Agency, posted in Haiti from 1989-92, predicted: You're going to end up dealing with the same folks as before, the five families that run the country, the military and the bourgeoisie.(54) The smart money, then, is on the occupation and its low intensity tactics to help control the troublesome population. The modern sector of the business class is already rebuilding, restructuring, reorganizing, and reaping profits. The Mevs family one of the most outspoken supporters of the coup and the subsequent regimes has numerous contracts with the occupying forces. It is renting them an industrial park, storing their fuel and leasing land for a weapons depot. They are also in on a huge joint venture with Florida Light and Power to electrify Haiti with a 110-megawatt plant and World Bank-funded power lines.(55)

In the meantime, President Aristide and the Lavalas sector, or what could be defined as the reformist strains of the democratic movement, appear to be satisfied with working within the limits imposed by the U.S. So far, there is no sign the government will balk at the structural adjustment guidelines being imposed.

Aristide has endorsed the democratization of the economy and is currying favor with the private sector. His ministers speak only of reconciliation and peace, and appear to have forgotten the need for justice and judgement. And when asked why the Aristide government does not expose the high-level U.S. maneuvers and meddling, one close adviser and human rights activist said: Denounce them, don't denounce them. They're still there. Maybe we can find a way to keep them from taking up all of the terrain. (56) In October, the Haitian masses got a hint of the lay of the land when the Aristide government announced gasoline would double in price. Workers at two state industries electricity and the flour mill have already held massive press conferences to protest privatization and denounce the stalling on anti-corruption reforms.

With or without Aristide and his entourage, however, the democratic and popular movement will continue. Now that there is a temporary break in the targeted repression which prevented telephone calls and small meetings as well as congresses and demonstrations many groups are beginning to organize again.

The U.S. military, development, political, and propaganda apparatus does not control all elements in Haiti. The population, about 65 percent of which lives outside the major cities, is highly politicized and proud of Haiti's history as the first independent black republic. The culture and language are not easy for the U.S. to penetrate. (The PSYOPS people, for example, had to hire 33 extra linguists.) Although no open rifts have yet occurred, some development, church, popular and peasant organizations are threatening to fight the new government's neoliberal agenda, and thus break openly with the president. Also, some of the U.S. institutions in Haiti, including AID and PIRED, are being increasingly discredited. There are anti-CDS graffiti and protests in Cit Soleil. Many organizations choose no funding rather than accept U.S. largess. Despite the continuing danger, leaders and organizations of the democratic and popular movement are beginning to organize and members are returning from exile or hiding.

Anti-occupation leaflets and bulletins are circulating. Urban organizers are putting together neighborhood watch committees to protect their areas and carry out their own disarmament. Peasants are meeting in the villages and hamlets. By mid-October, the state university student organizations had emerged and successfully wrested control of five of the 11 faculties from the illegal regime. Long a center of democratic struggle, the university is demanding the autonomy guaranteed in the 1987 constitution.

Although the population at large is still positive or at least ambivalent about the occupying troops, the leaders and organizations of the democratic and popular movement are organizing against the occupation and all that it forebodes. Calling it an outrage to our pride, the Federation Nationale des Etudiants Haitiens decried the occupation as nothing more than the logical follow-up to the coup ... against the Haitian popular masses and their arrival on the political scene.(57)

The representative of a popular organization from a small city west of the capital, already targeted for harassment by U.S. troops and for arrests by the Haitian army after a large, pro-justice demonstration, reminded people:

that the Haitian people, together with the popular organizations, are principal victims of the September 30 coup d'etat, because the coup is the endeavor of the pillaging class that is totally opposed to the Haitian masses' will to change. The Haitian people have to be crystal clear that if they want to terminate the coup and bury the Macoute system forever, they will have to count first on their own forces and their own arms.(58)

And in its monthly bulletin, an outspoken human rights organization wrote:

A military occupation will always be a military occupation no matter how it is made with brutal force like in 1915 or sweetly like today. It is always a violation of the rights. A full-grown country has to live and operate as it wants, however it wants. ... We see clearly that the fight for another kind of justice will not be possible with a military occupation. It is a fight against the occupant, a fight for liberty. Remember these words: They never give you liberty as a gift. You have to take it. Liberty is for a people that struggles.(59)