“He may be a son of a bitch, but he is our son of a bitch,” President Franklin Delano Roosevelt supposedly said of one of them (though accounts vary about whether the president was referring to American-backed dictators in Nicaragua or in the Dominican Republic). Two generations of brutal Haitian dictators from the Duvalier family were among a long list of strongmen around the Caribbean, Latin America, the Middle East and elsewhere who received resolute American support, particularly as allies against Communism.
U.S. Habit of Backing Strongman Allies Fed Turmoil in Haiti
Washington dismissed warnings that democracy was unraveling under President Jovenel Moïse, leaving a gaping leadership void after his assassination.... Critics say the American approach to Mr. Moïse followed a playbook the United States has used around the world for decades, often with major consequences for democracy and human rights: reflexively siding with or tolerating leaders accused of authoritarian rule because they advance American interests, or because officials fear instability in their absence.... Mr. Moïse’s grip on power tightened notably under Mr. Trump, who spoke admiringly of a range of foreign autocrats. Mr. Trump was also bent on keeping Haitian migrants out of the United States (they “all have AIDS,” American officials recounted him saying). To the extent that Trump officials focused on Haitian politics at all, officials say, it was mainly to enlist the country in Mr. Trump’s campaign to oust his nemesis in the region: Venezuela’s leader, Nicolás Maduro... NYT
Trainings for the Colombian mercenaries accused of killing Haitian President Jovenel Moïse were conducted in both the U.S. and Colombia, some as recently as 2015.
You get it? Maduro is an undemocratic dictator, so promote other right wing dictators to try to bring them down. Let's end the fiction about democracy as the issue in trying to bring regime change, especially to communist or socialist nations. Not that even elected leftists have been immune -- see Chile, Iran, and Europe post WWII. I'm particularly sensitive after reading George Schmidt's The AFT and the CIA for John Lawhead's study group --- yes, our own beloved union has been tied up with undermining these nations. https://uftrg.files.wordpress.com/2021/06/the-american-federation-of-teachers-and-the-cia.pdf
Democracy defined: the ability to profit
The key to understand is that when they talk about democracy they don't mean the people but the ability of capitalists to control and profit from the resources of the nations that have removed that ability by taking control of resources. Thus it is not that Cubans can't vote but that the tourist industry can't profit. That the mob can't run hotels like they did before Castro. Or that the oil in Venezuela is not available for profit. The same for Iraq - it's about the oil baby. Iran too -- the biggie when the Shah was overthrown was not that suddenly an undemocratic dictator was lost to us -- but the oil went along with him.
Finally, we are seeing the Haiti story expose the hypocrisy of those calling communist countries undemocratic (true) while supporting dictators who are often even worse. I hadn't even realized until recently that the former slaves who overthrew the French in 1800 had to pay reparations to the deposed slave holders until 1947, which bankrupted the country - and the brand new United States democracy supported that and then throughout the 20th century repeatedly interfered in the affairs of Haiti -- and of course went nuts when the Soviets did similar acts on other nations.
Below the fold are more excerpts:
After members of Congress warned that Mr. Moïse’s “anti-democratic abuses” reminded them of the run-up to the dictatorship that terrorized Haiti in decades past, the Biden administration publicly threw its weight behind Mr. Moïse’s claim on power.
And when American officials urged the Biden administration to change course, alarmed that Haiti’s democratic institutions were being stripped away, they say their pleas went unheeded — and sometimes never earned a response at all.
Through Mr. Moïse’s time in office, the United States backed his increasingly autocratic rule, viewing it as the easiest way of maintaining stability in a troubled country that barely figured into the priorities of successive administrations in Washington, current and former officials say.
as warnings of his authoritarianism intensified, the Biden administration kept up its public support for Mr. Moïse’s claim to power, even after Haiti’s Parliament emptied out in the absence of elections and Mr. Moïse ruled by decree.
“It was predictable that something would happen,” said Senator Patrick
Leahy, of Vermont. “The message that we send by standing alongside these
people is that we think they are legitimate representatives of the
Haitian people. They’re not.”