The unrest sweeping across Haiti in response to the rigged October 25 presidential election is a decisive repudiation of US foreign policy, and a particularly stinging rebuke to Bill and Hillary Clinton. The Clintons must be secretly relieved that the Republican Congress wasted time investigating Benghazi, since the crisis in Haiti shows how the twosome terribly mismanaged their signature foreign initiative, leaving behind a nation sinking into corruption and violence.
Anyone who has been in Haiti recently will not be surprised by the general strike, the angry highway roadblocks, and the police brutality against the demonstrators. The mainstream US press is getting to the story late, and mistakenly portraying the upheaval as an outburst of rage after a “disputed” election. This is a serious misrepresentation. What is actually happening is that the unpopular outgoing president, Michel Martelly, has spent months trying to impose his successor, using violence and vote fraud, and the Haitian people are resisting in the only way they can. Haitians bitterly accuse America of whitewashing Martelly’s various crimes, and some even charge that the stolen election amounts to a coup d’état.
Washington spent $30 million to help pay for these elections, but the embassy in Port-au-Prince refuses to question the just-released vote results, which show Martelly’s candidate, Jovenel Moise, finishing in first place and moving on to the second and final round on December 27. Widespread fraud was documented on election day itself by four Haitian human rights groups, including the respected National Human Rights Defense Network, and further evidence is that although the government claimed that Moise got 511,992 votes, practically no one came out on the streets to celebrate. The other seven leading candidates all refuse to accept the results and are demanding an inquiry.
These days, Bill and Hillary Clinton are nowhere to be seen in Haiti, but it was not always so. The couple claimed to have a special attraction to the country after spending their honeymoon there, and even before the 2010 earthquake, Bill Clinton had already been appointed the United Nations special envoy. After the earthquake struck, his role increased, and he was a regular visitor, making speeches, cutting ribbons, and palling around with President Martelly, including attending his inauguration. Clinton became so powerful that people even started calling him “le Gouverneur.” The writer and veteran Haiti-watcher Jonathan Katz also points out that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton traveled to Haiti four times, the same number of visits she made to Russia or Afghanistan.