Wednesday, March 03, 2004

Is Cuba Next?

Look at a map of the Caribbean. Look where Haiti is. It occupies the northwest third of a large island very near to Cuba, right opposite Guantanamo. If the US wanted to plan an invasion this is as close as they could possibly get without being on the island itself. Haiti is also due north of Venezuela, another Bush target. What is our real agenda with Haiti?

Was Aristide too vocal yesterday? According to this report, Aristide no longer enjoys phone access to the outside world. In other words, from here on out, we'll only get one side of this story.

There are some great must-reads on the history of the CIA, Drug trafficking and Haiti at the Centre for Research on Globalisation. Check out this article in particular. And the BBC today quotes Jeffrey Sachs, the Director of the Earth Institute, as making these strong remarks:

"The crisis in Haiti is another case of brazen US manipulation of a small, impoverished country with the truth unexplored by journalists. President George Bush's foreign policy team came into office intent on toppling Mr Aristide, long reviled by powerful US conservatives such as former senator Jesse Helms who obsessively saw him as another Fidel Castro in the Caribbean.

"Such critics fulminated when President Bill Clinton restored Mr Aristide to power in 1994, and they succeeded in getting US troops withdrawn soon afterwards, well before the country could be stabilised. In terms of help to rebuild Haiti, the US Marines left behind about eight miles of paved roads and essentially nothing else...."
For those who don't remember, the CIA tried to oust Aristide in the 1990s, organizing and supplying rebels with weapons, and even published a "psychological profile" report indicating that Aristide was insane. Both President Clinton and Vice President Gore were outspoken in criticizing this report. They just didn't buy it. The report writers hadn't even talked to people close to Aristide. It was, like the threat of WMD, not based on any solid evidence, but on a political desire for a certain outcome.

So the question remains. Who is next? Not satisified to rebuild Afghanistan, Iraq, and Haiti, where will the Bush administration turn next? To Venezuela yet again, where they tried, unsuccessfully, to oust the popular, elected President Chavez? Or will they focus next on Cuba?


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