Why Is the US in Haiti?

The above question has consumed me ever since the US forced Aristide into exile earlier this year. What is it about this small island, just a few hundred miles from the coast of Florida that has leaders of the world's most powerful nation obsessed with controlling the fortunes of it's inhabitants?

You could begin with how Haiti followed the US into becoming an independent republic, after the overthrow of a colonial oppressor. Even with that similarity to our path toward freedom, the Haitian republic was not recognized by the architect of our Declaration of Independence and the president at the time of the victory, Thomas Jefferson. For all the heralds we bestow upon him, Jefferson was a man who could not overcome his own slave owner mentality and treat the Haitian freedom fighters with the dignity they deserved. How could he, when he lived under the ever present fear of a slave revolt on his own plantation?

But those events were 200 years ago, so recently celebrated by our Haitian sisters and brothers as they marked the establishment of the world's first Black republic. What could cause the US government to treat with such contempt the first democratically elected leader of Haiti in 1990, Jean-Bertrand Aristide?

Yes, Aristide is someone whom the US cannot control, but why is it so important that the US control Haiti? Again, the country has been impoverished after centuries of struggling beneath the crushing debt demanded by France for the loss of property - the slaves who were my cousins, my aunts and my uncles. Imagine, the thievers of life and liberty demanding to compensated for their crime being thwarted - such gall has never even occurred to people native to the continent of Africa!

Beyond that, the French actually had the collusion of the world's major powers to enact their vile scheme and the debt imposed upon the Haitian people has been traded amongst the European powers and now resides at the US Treasury. Perhaps that is why the US is so interested in Haiti? But is pure greed enough of a motive to stage one coup in the early nineties and then follow it up with a second - after an intervening period of passive-aggressive support for Aristide?

Perhaps, one can never underestimate the greed of the power brokers behind this countries greatest crimes, but there just feels like something more to this story. A few miles of the coast of northwest Haiti lies a nation of unmistakable interest to the US: Cuba. For the last half-century, Cuba has been the principle obsession of the crazed rulers of this nation. The fact that Cuba has survived and thrived throughout armed assaults, economic blockades and relentless propaganda, has driven these mad rulers apoplectic. No longer convinced of the inevitable return of Cuba to its traditional status of under the thumb of US control, Haiti presents an irresistible opportunity to establish a forward base for the final solution to the Cuban problem: invasion.

If the US can travel to the other side of the world to bring democracy to Iraq what can prevent them from doing the same to Cuba?

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