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IW 02

Latin America

The Sao Paolo Forum in the military subjugation of Haiti

 

The government of the Popular Front of Lula is not only in charge of the military command of the occupation forces in Haiti.

Besides this it is leading, through the PT, the setting up of the "politic way out"- which in the jargon of imperialism is known as 'nation building', this is to say the setting-up of a 'National' State originated by the occupying forces. In Latin American history, the setting-up of Panama, by the US imperialism, or the "rebuilding" of Paraguay, by British imperialism and the help of the Argentinean oligarchy and the Brazilian slavery supporters, in 1870, after of the Triple Alliance War, have shown that there is no lack of precedent.

In a way, most Latin American States were saw the light of day through some kind of 'nation building' from abroad.

For setting-up this "way out", some leaders of the PT- among them, Marco Aurelio García, José Genoino and Paulo Ferreira- have made numerous trips to Haiti. According to a recent publication (Brasil do Fato, Dec 8, 2004), they are "articulating" the setting-up of the "unified left Party (...) which has an opportunity to win the elections", which have been set for the end of 2005, according to the UN order.

The Haitian groups who would participate in this "articulation" are part of the Sao Paolo Forum (SPF), the collective of Latin American Left Parties, in which the Cuban Communist Party is also participating. In the leadership of that Forum, the so-called "working group", besides the PT, are the left-wing parties whose governments have sent troops to Haiti, such as the SP in Chile and the Frente Amplio (Broad Front) of Uruguay. The "unified party" of the Haitians of the SPF, which the PT wants to set up, would be a "left-wing" creature of the occupation, that is to say a party of sell outs.

The Latin America left has itself become an instrument of repression against the Haitian people and the trampling of their self determination for the benefit of continental domination by imperialism.

The "re-appearance" of the Sao Paolo Forum in Haiti is very interesting, because in the course of its almost fifteen years of age it could not represent anything more than a conference hall dividing its tasks among "reflection or thinking workshops"; now that it wants to take part as an effective force, it does so in order to go to the artificial rescue of a State which functions as a superstructure assembled from abroad, after the failure of similar attempts that were undertaken by imperialism since the overthrow of the dictatorship of Duvalier in the seventies.

Two Haitians parties were to be seen at the Forum: The Lavalas of Aristide, and People in Struggle of Gerard Pierre Charles, a split from the former. The Haitian crisis has put those parties in opposite trenches: People in Struggle had actively participated in the agitation which ended last February in the expulsion of Aristide, in an operation mounted by Colin Powell, the State secretary of the Bush's government. In this crisis, the SPF quickly sided with the opposition. Its "Work Group" denounced that "the political crisis that lives in the Haitian nation appears from the flagrant refusal to recognize democratic institutions by the government of Jean Bertrand Aristide and the constant violation of human rights that he practiced over the last years" (Resolution on Haiti, Feb 17, 2004). The invocation of 'democracy' in order to support the coup d'Etat and the invasion by the US and French troops unilaterally decided in Washington and Paris, came from the same organizations that also in February, but in 1992, had supported to Venezuelan government of the murderer Andres Perez against what was characterized as a 'coup d'Etat': the popular uprising led by in that moment Colonel Hugo Chavez Farías.

Due to precisely their interventionist and pro-coup character, the countries of the Caricom (Caribbean) and Venezuela rejected the intervention of the UN and are even today opposed to the sending of troops to Haiti. The present General Chavez has just demanded, in the conference of presidents of Latin America, in Rio de Janeiro, the withdrawal of the occupation troops and the convoking of a Constituent Assembly in Haiti. The national revolution is the opposite of 'nation building'.

What is the internal politic context within which the 'nation building' of Lula and Marco Aurelio Garcia will have to operate (the latter has just received recognition for his role in the dismantling of the Bolivian uprising on October 17, 2003)?

The Haitian prisons are filled with Aristide supporters. Most of the prisoners are unprocessed: in the national Penitentiary of Puerto Principe only 21 out of 700 imprisoned have been processed. On December 1, in that prison, during Powell's visit, the police massacred "dozens of prisoners" (The Observer, Dec 19, 2004). Neither the UN, nor the Brazilian government, nor the PT (Party of the Workers), nor the SPF have said one word with the object of condemning this massacre of unarmed prisoners.

Since September, more than 600 supporters of Aristide have been killed (ZNet, Canada, Dec 7, 2004); the unarmed demonstrations are being repressed with bullets. UN appointed as Commissioner for the "rebuilding of the police" in Haiti the North American David Beer who before his arrival in Port-au-Prince had carried out the role of "assistant in the fight against the terrorism (insurrection)"(idem) in Iraq. Under his supervision, an operation has been set up which the Canadian publication has defined as "the extermination of Aristide supporters"(idem).

The Brazilian, Argentinian, Chileans and Uruguayans troops are actively participating in the repression: at the beginning of December, UN troops attacked by air, sea and land, with the support of armored vehicles, the neighborhood of Cité-Soleil, one of the bastions of resistance against the present government. These are the two political conditions in which the Brazilian PT (WP) and the SPF are moving.

The Partido Obrero (Workers Party - Argentina) broke all ties with the Sao Paolo Forum ten years ago, after the annual conference meeting in Montevideo had rejected the motion of the PO to expel the Free Bolivian Movement (Movimiento Bolivia Libre) due to its participation in the government's repression of a general strike in the Altiplano. The PO's breaking of ties anticipated the Sao Paolo Forum evolving from coffee shop charlatanism to the practical implementation of the politics of imperialism from positions of government.

 

LUIS OVIEDO