Joe Biden in 1994: "If Haiti—a God-awful thing to say—if Haiti just quietly sunk into the Caribbean or rose up 300 feet, it wouldn't matter a whole lot to our interests." pic.twitter.com/iMvSJzg2JU— Human Rights Watch Watcher (@queeralamode) July 7, 2021
I’m sorry, but this is total nonsense.
The idea that the United States is responsible for Haiti’s perennial chaos, misgovernance, poverty, plots and assassinations is laughable. It is absolutely not our fault that Haiti is a clusterfuck.
It HAS ALWAYS been that way since the Haitian Revolution and this latest assassination is the norm in that country. Stability is the exception in Haitian history. Jean-Jacques Dessalines, the first president of Haiti, was also assassinated. The overthrow of Dessalines began a long tradition of Haitians overthrowing their government which is currently on its twenty third constitution.
“The American-based doctor alleged to have orchestrated the assassination of Jovenel Moïse planned to assume the presidency after the murder, according to reports.
Haiti’s police chief Léon Charles said Christian Emmanuel Sanon recruited some of the suspects through a firm identified by The Miami Herald as CTU Security, registered in Florida as the Counter Terrorist Unit Federal Academy LLC.
Mr Charles said Mr Sanon flew into Haiti in June with “political objectives” and planned to assume the presidency following the removal of Mr Moïse, according to The Washington Post.
The men’s initial mission was to protect Mr Sanon, but they later received a new one: arrest the president. He said the “operation started from there,” and an additional 22 suspects joined the group. Contact was made with Haitian citizens, Mr Charles added. …”
Let’s start from the beginning.
Saint-Domingue was a prosperous French colony. We had no involvement in creating Haiti. The last thing that Americans wanted during the Washington administration was a successful slave revolt and independent black republic on our doorstop. It was Haitians who started their own revolution and who wrecked their own country. Haitian independence wasn’t an American plot.
As the French lost control over Saint-Domingue, President John Adams recognized Toussaint Louverture’s rebel government and established diplomatic and trade relations with it. If memory serves, the Adams administration even sold weapons to the Haitians. Napoleon later sent an armada to reconquer Saint-Domingue and Toussaint was captured and died in France. After the French were defeated, the Haitians killed all the White people on the island except for a few Polish soldiers who defected and Whites were banned from owning property in Haiti until the American occupation during the Woodrow Wilson presidency. The thing that made Haiti remarkable in the Caribbean through the 19th century was the fact that it was an independent black republic which was governed by blacks and the exclusion of European capitalists who otherwise dominated the plantation economy of the region.
From the Jefferson administration to the Lincoln administration, Americans didn’t recognize the Haitian government because Haitians had killed all the Whites there and banned Europeans from owning land in Haiti. The export-based, plantation economy that had made Saint-Domingue so prosperous fell into ruins because the former slaves had no interest in capitalism and reverted to African subsistence based agriculture on small plots of land. Haiti’s black rulers tried to coerce the peasants into reviving the plantation economy, but planters simply shifted their coffee and sugar operations to Cuba, Jamaica and Brazil where slaves produced a superior product to Haitian coffee. Haitians continued to export coffee though both to the United States and Europe in the 19th century with diminishing success.
The thing that made Haiti into the poorest country in the Western hemisphere was Haitians themselves. Specifically, the Haitian population grew and peasant agriculture became less productive over time as land was split up into smaller and smaller inefficient, overworked plots. Eventually, the country was almost completely deforested and the soil was destroyed and leeched by mudslides. After the abolition of slavery, the rest of the Caribbean remained under European colonialism and white supremacy until the 20th century like in Guadeloupe and Martinique which were recaptured by the French under Napoleon and which as a result are vastly better off than Haiti. If American imperialism is what made Haiti so poor, why is Puerto Rico so vastly better off than Haiti? Why is every other country in the region better off than Haiti like Barbados which didn’t gain independence until the 1960s? Why didn’t American imperialism turn Haiti into another Florida or Hawaii where sugar plantations were set up?
Evil corporations are not the reason why Haiti is so poor. Those same corporations rushed into China and South Korea to exploit cheap labor and made them into wealthy and prosperous countries. America has never had any significant economic interest in Haiti because it has always been desperately poor. On the contrary, America’s major interest in Haiti has always been geopolitical due to its chronic dysfunction and chaotic finances and keeping out other great powers like the Germans and the Soviets. It was fear of the Germans taking over Haiti that prompted American intervention under Woodrow Wilson. For over a century now, Americans have been trying to stabilize Haiti and keep out other great powers, but Haiti’s poverty and instability and tradition of overthrowing the government long predates this.
Note: It is no coincidence that South Africa and its peers increasingly resemble Haiti.