America doesn’t want to be on the side of democracy

So the US government is caught out lying about the supposed threat posed by Wikileaks. In many ways, the damage to Washington is more far-reaching. Maybe not in a practical sense but it’s image around the world. Suffice to say, it’s worsening.

For example:

Confidential US diplomatic cables from 2005 and 2006 released this week by WikiLeaks reveal Washington’s well-known obsession to keep exiled former President Jean-Bertrand Aristide out of Haiti and Haitian affairs. (On Thursday, Aristide issued a public letter in which he reiterated “my readiness to leave today, tomorrow, at any time” from South Africa for Haiti, because the Haitian people “have never stopped calling for my return” and “for medical reasons”, concerning his eyes.)

In a 8 June 2005 meeting of US Ambassador to Brazil John Danilovich, joined by his political counsellor (usually, the local CIA station chief), with then President Lula da Silva’s international affairs adviser Marco Aurelio Garcia, we learn that:

“Ambassador and PolCouns … stressed continued US G[overnment] insistence that all efforts must be made to keep Aristide from returning to Haiti or influencing the political process ”¦ [and that Washington was] increasingly concerned about a major deterioration in security, especially in Port au Prince.”

The ambassador and his adviser were also anxious about “reestablishing [the] credibility” of the UN Mission to Stabilise Haiti (Minustah), as the UN occupation troops are called. The Americans reminded Garcia that then US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice had called “for firm Minustah action and the possibility that the US may be asked to send troops at some point”.

Careful reading between the lines of the cable shows that Garcia was a bit taken aback by the Americans’ “insistence”; he reassured the duo “that security is a critical component, but must move in tandem with”, among other things, “an inclusive political process”. Garcia also noted that “some elements of Lavalas [Aristide’s political party] are willing to become involved in a constructive dialogue and should be encouraged”, although there was “continued Brazilian resolve to keep Aristide from returning to the country or exerting political influence”.

Aristide “does not fit in with a democratic political future” in Haiti, Garcia is quoted as saying. However, he was “cautious on the issue of introduction of US forces” into Haiti, and “would not be drawn into discussion”.

Text and images ©2023 Antony Loewenstein. All rights reserved.

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