“As in the past, the United States is taking great interest in how elections in Haiti are unfolding,” a State Department spokesperson announced a few days ago; “The United States reaffirms its support for credible, transparent, and secure elections that reflect the will of the Haitian people.” George Orwell couldn’t have said it better: “We’ve always been at war with Eastasia.” And we have always supported democracy in Haiti.
The remark was in response to the country’s current political crisis—a crisis largely created by Washington—that forced the postponement of a runoff presidential election. The first-round vote, last October, was so marred by fraud, corruption, and violence that all other candidates, save Washington’s favored and handpicked successor to the current president, Michel Martelly—Jovenel Moïse—were boycotting the second runoff round.
In other words, the runoff had only one candidate: Washington’s. For months, the Obama administration insisted that the runoff take place, working hard to discredit the fraud charges. The goal of the United States, the State Department said in a “Fact Sheet” updated just last week as street protests were gaining force, was “credible, inclusive, and legitimate elections that genuinely reflect the will of the Haitian people.”
Martelly—who was also installed by Washington in rigged elections in 2010—wants his would-be successor Moïse to complete the Duvalierist-death-squad restoration, which has been underway since the country’s devastating 2010 earthquake. A key supporter of Moïse (and hence de facto ally of the White House) is Guy Philippe. Philippe has all the right qualifications to serve as Washington’s man in Haiti. He has deep ties to paramilitaries and is wanted (but somehow never captured) by the Drug Enforcement Administration for drug running and money laundering. In 2004, he helped the George W. Bush administration (via the International Republican Institute, a public-private organization that receives its funding from both the US government and corporations like Halliburton and Chevron) to overthrow Jean-Bertrand Aristide in 2004. (At the time, Jeffrey Sachs was offering some of the best analysis of the motives for that coup, writing that Bush came into office hoping to oust Aristide).