Letter to Mark Tran of the UK Guardian

Dear Mark Tran:
You wrote of Haiti that

“About 6% of the population have been infected [with cholera] and more than 7,500 people have died – a higher toll than the political instability that brought the peacekeepers to Haiti in 2004.”

It was a US led coup that brought MINUSTAH to Haiti. Referring to the coup as “political instability” obscures that crucial fact.

US troops flew Haiti’s democratically elected government, Jean Bertrand Aristide, out of Haiti while Canadian troops guarded Haiti’s international airport. The US and its allies easily brushed off calls made by CARICOM and the African Union, among others, for the UN to formally investigate Aristide’s claim that he was kidnapped.

Prior to the coup, for four years, hit and run attacks by terrorists based in the Dominican Republic assailed Haiti. These attacks claimed dozens of lives as did armed resistance – including some unjustifiable killings – by Aristide partisans. To say that 7500 people dead from Cholera is “a higher toll than the political instability that brought the peacekeepers to Haiti in 2004” is a horrendous understatement. The death toll from the cholera epidemic that was brought to Haiti through MINUSTAH’s negligence completely dwarfs the death toll from political violence under Aristide’s ousted government.

Additionally, the coup that MINUSTAH helped consolidate resulted in the murder at least 4000 murders of Aristide partisans according to the only scientific study done to investigate the matter. The perpetrators were mainly paramilitary groups and the Haitian police which was quickly revamped (under close US supervision) to include hundreds of the terrorists formerly based in the Dominican Republic. The UN troops (MINUSTAH) perpetrated some massacres of unarmed protestors and bystanders. However, most of the dirty work was done by the revamped Haitian police and their paramilitary allies with MINUSTAH acting in a supporting role.

Your article mentioned Christian Aid. Were you aware that Christian Aid produced apologetics for the 2004 coup and the massive repression that took place under the Latortue dictatorship (of 2004-2006)? The problems with foreign NGOs in Haiti are far more disturbing than a vague “lack of co-ordination” with the Haitian government. The US – and Canadian – governments provided tens of millions of dollars in “aid” to Aristide political opponents – many of whom were financing terrorists based in the Dominican Republic as a new book by Jeb Sprague shows in great detail. Much of the US and Canadian money also flowed to NGOs like Christian aid who, unsurprisingly, parroted much of what Canadian and the US officials said.

Joe Emersberger