America’s Obligations to Haiti

A Black Agenda Radio Commentary by Glen Ford

The United States does as it pleases in Haiti, behaving as a conqueror while pretending to have no responsibilities for the welfare of the people whose government Washington has stolen. “The U.S. is obligated to spend as many billions as it takes on the human needs of the people of Haiti – not as a matter of charity, but as a solemn legal responsibility” – or set Haiti free.


America’s Obligations to Haiti

A Black Agenda Radio Commentary by Glen Ford

Haiti is a U.S. possession in every practical sense of the term.”

If you want to know what the rulers of the United States would do if they had unchecked power to order the world as they saw fit, look at Haiti. It is in Haiti that the United States shows its true face: a face of infinite greed, boundless cruelty, absolute cynicism, naked aggression, and a total lack of respect for human dignity – especially, the dignity of Black humanity.

Since 2004, Haiti has been a de facto colony of the United States. By organizing and funding the armed coup that toppled the freely elected government of Jean Bertrand Aristide, and then physically kidnapping and transporting him into African exile, the United States made itself responsible for everything that has transpired, since. This is a principle embedded in international laws of war, of conquest: that the conqueror takes responsibility for the welfare and safety of the vanquished population. The rationale is simple: by conquering a people and seizing authority over the defeated country, the conqueror assumes the responsibility to protect the inhabitants and their human rights, since the conquered people have lost the means to provide and ensure that for themselves.

The United States helped codify that principle into international law more than 60 years ago, but fundamentally violates its spirit every day, in Haiti. The Americans claim they didn’t overthrow President Aristide, but simply had their Marines transport him to safety. The Bush administration installed in Haitian government the most vicious pack of criminals ever assembled in the Americas, and watched while these handpicked degenerates murdered thousands. But the U.S. claimed that was not their responsibility, since America had not conquered Haiti. The U.S. joined with the long ago colonial ruler, France, and the new-jack colonialist, Canada, to figure out what to do with Haiti, without seeming like they were legally responsible. The great white powers snapped their fingers and the United Nations appeared. Haiti became a kind of international protectorate, which is something like being everybody’s colony.

By conquering a people and seizing authority over the defeated country, the conqueror assumes the responsibility to protect the inhabitants and their human rights.”

But no one doubted, certainly not the Haitians, that the UN was just a blue-helmeted security service for Uncle Sam – that Haiti was a U.S. possession in every practical sense of the term. If any fool thought differently, last January’s catastrophic earthquake proved that the United States was the occupying power in charge. The Americans seized the Port-au-Prince airport, blockaded the coast, and sent in 22,000 troops whose word was LAW in Haiti. Washington did all of this unilaterally, as if it had every legal right – which it would have, if the Americans acknowledged themselves as the conquering power. But of course, that would mean the U.S. was obligated to spend as many billions as it takes on the human needs of the people of Haiti – not as a matter of charity, but as a solemn legal responsibility. After all, the U.S. took their government from them.

The Americans prefer to deny that they are the power-in-charge while pulling all the strings, including keeping former president Aristide's party – the most popular in the country – out of the November 28 election.

This is how the Americans would rule the world, if they could: standing on everyone's necks.

For Black Agenda Radio, I'm Glen Ford. On the web, go to

BAR executive editor Glen Ford can be contacted at [email protected].


Such an excellent point

Such an excellent point ...


if you want to see what our Rulers have in mind for us, look at Haiti.

Helga Zepp-LaRouche Calls For "Operation Frederick Douglass."

November 18, 2010 • 4:58 PM

Not acting when you can, amounts to genocide.

The actual aid given, maybe at most 1 billion dollars, and not the 10 billion pledged; compare that to the 30 trillion dollar bailout packages for speculation, for high-risk speculation in investment banks and hedge funds. If you compare this, it is very clear that Haiti will be the fate of the rest of the world if this attitude is not changed.

The situation in Haiti is no natural disaster. In October 1989, San Francisco had a similar earthquake, of a similar magnitude, namely 7 on the Richter scale. At that point, you had 63 people dead, 3,000 wounded and 12,000 homeless. In Haiti, it was 300,000 deaths and 1.5 million people homeless.

Now this is all due to a lack of infrastructure and the lack of a solid foundation of urban development. Therefore, the reconstruction of Haiti has to build up infrastructure, cities, industries, and agriculture. And this has to occur in the context of building the NAWAPA and PLHINO water management projects. It has to be in the context of building the world land-bridge as the reconstruction after the collapse of the present system. And we have to think in terms of 25 years of development, of one generation of development for Haiti. And we have to have a solemn commitment to do that. We should call it: "Operation Frederick Douglass," because there is no better name to give Haiti a better future.

Haiti declared independence on the 1st of January, 1804. This was the first successful rebellion of slaves in the Americas, which occurred after the American revolution, and defeated the military of the colonial powers of Spain, England and Napoleonic France. And since that time, the fate and history of Haiti has been extremely closely connected to that of the United States. Haiti supported the American revolution and was allied with Alexander Hamilton. Haiti was punished for this through blockades and quarantines. This was changed again when Lincoln became President in the 1860s, and then the US finally diplomatically recognized Haiti. At that time, Frederick Douglass became the plenipotentiary to Haiti.

With Woodrow Wilson, this changed again to the worse, and Haiti was invaded and occupied from 1915, through a brutal occupation until 1934. Franklin D. Roosevelt ended that occupation and started the Good Neighbor era. With the death of Franklin D. Roosevelt, the situation worsened again. And you can see that the situation in Haiti for more than 200 years, has been the direct reflection if the US identity was that of the American Revolution and Constitution and Declaration of Independence, or if the American identity was that of a de facto British colony, and guided by the so-called special relationship between US and Great Britain acting as an empire.

Now let's take the horrifying pictures of the people dying in the hell holes in Port-au-Prince right now. These pictures should haunt those who are responsible for this totally unnecessary catastrophe. President Obama should look at these pictures, long and thoughtfully, and so should every speculator in high-risk speculation do likewise. And if President Obama cannot develop the empathy with the suffering and immediately contact the government of Haiti and offer a treaty arrangement and deploy the Corps of Engineers; if he cannot develop that empathy, where he is clearly in the unique position to help, then he should immediately make place for a President who can.

Let's mobilize for "Operation Frederick Douglass," and let's make that the first cause of an international alliance for development until Haiti is saved and rebuilt. And let me end this message with a quote from a speech which Frederick Douglass gave on January 2, 1893:

"In the nature of the country itself there is much to inspire its people with manliness, courage and self-respect. In its topography it is wonderfully beautiful, grand and impressive. Clothed in its blue and balmy atmosphere it rises from the surrounding sea in surpassing splendor...

"It is a land strikingly beautiful, diversified by mountains, valleys, lakes, rivers and plains, and contains in itself all of the elements of great and enduring wealth. Its limestone formation and foundation are a guarantee of perpetual fertility. Its tropical heat and insular moisture keep its vegetation fresh, green and vigorous all the year round. At an altitude of eight thousand feet, its mountains are still covered with woods of great variety and of great value. Its climate, varying with altitude like that of California, is adapted to all constitutions and productions.

"Fortunate in its climate and soil, it is equally fortunate in its adaptation to commerce. Its shore line is marked with numerous indentations of inlets, rivers, bays and harbors, where every grade of vessel may anchor in safety. Bulwarked on either side by lofty mountains rich with tropical verdure from base to summit, its blue waters dotted here and there with the white wings of commerce from every land and sea, the Bay of Port au Prince almost rivals the far-famed Bay of Naples, the most beautiful in the world."

Now let us make the promise that that will be the future of Haiti in the near future, again.



A Voice of Sanity from Haiti to Americans

Nov. 16 (EIRNS)



LaRouche Demands Urgent U.S. Action
To Prevent Rainy Season Devastation

Feb. 22, 2010 (EIRNS)—Lyndon LaRouche today issued an urgent call for the United States to send the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to work with the Haitian government to help relocate up to a million Haitians, now homeless and living amid the rubble of shattered Port-au-Prince in the aftermath of the Jan. 12 earthquake that killed some 300,000 Haitians.

This has to happen before the rainy season, which will begin soon, he stated. He noted that the immediate emergency is that the rainy season is upon us, and under current conditions, Port-au-Prince within a month or two will be subjected to floods, hit by mudslides, and become inundated in deadly sewage from the 1.5 million people who are now homeless and destitute in that city. These are people who have no choice but to live in the streets and slums under ramshackle pieces of plastic, and amid human excrement that is not being removed—because there is no ability to do so, nor even a place to take it.

Haiti did not have a single sewage treatment plant even before the earthquake. It has long the victim of the globalization and free trade policies of London-centered financial predators.

LaRouche stressed that if we do not act, Haiti will soon face conditions in which dengue, cholera, malaria, typhoid and other epidemics will spread, with devastating consequences. Haiti is the image of what awaits all of humanity under the current, bankrupt British-imperial international financial system: it is the face of the New Dark Age. We must stop it in Haiti, if we are to have the moral fitness to survive on this planet.

To prevent another wave of mass deaths and total national disintegration, LaRouche advocated that a bilateral treaty agreement between the United States and Haiti should be promptly reached, designed to evacuate up to a million people from this potentially deadly situation into the United States on an interim basis, and possibly into inland parts of Haiti as well. Under a reasonable Presidency, the U.S. can mobilize the capacity to do that, and he stated that the United States can further use its military capacity, through the Army Corps of Engineers, to either rebuild semi-permanent housing, or reopen military bases with barracks, including those shut down under the BRAC commission.

Full reconstruction in Haiti will take up to 25 years, LaRouche has pointed out, but in the short term it is possible to build new relocation camps and even cities outside of Port-au-Prince, where the essentials of life can be provided: food, water, sanitation, a roof over their heads, and sufficient energy and electricity to make all this possible. Even under a dysfunctional, impeachable President Obama, the United States must act, and act quickly, LaRouche stated.

In his Jan. 30 international webcast, LaRouche responded to a question about Haiti, saying that the United States has to take the kind of approach that Presidents like Lincoln and Roosevelt did:

"You cannot apply a band-aid to Haiti. And you can not bring in many other countries, because the objective is, if the country is going to be viable, coming out of this mess, you have to have a sovereign Haiti. So, the contract has to be essentially, a United States treaty agreement, a treaty agreement to re-establish the efficient sovereignty of the nation of Haiti, after the destructive effect of this and preceding difficulties...

[Haiti] is a small nation, of people who have been subjected to all kinds of terrible history; who have been promised this, and betrayed, and promised that, and betrayed, and promised and betrayed. Never delivered. It's in a group of national territories which has also tended to be somewhat of a mess, in one way or the other. So, therefore, it's a model approach: We make a contract with the government, as a treaty agreement, between the United States and Haiti, to assure the rebuilding of their country, in a form in which it will actually be a functioning country which can survive.