The “election” in Haiti shows once again how low Washington’s standards are for democracy in countries that they want to control politically. And there is no doubt who is in charge there. There is a government, to be sure, but since the elected government in 2004 was overthrown, and even more since the earthquake, it is the “international community” that calls the shots – Hillary Clinton’s code for the U.S. State Department.
The election was a farce to begin with, once the non-independent CEP (Provisional Electoral Council) decided to exclude the country’s largest political party from participating – along with other parties. Fanmi Lavalas is the party of Haiti’s most popular political leader, Jean-Bertrand Aristide. It has won every election that it has contested. Aristide himself remains in exile – unable to return since the U.S.-sponsored overthrow of his government in 2004.
Imagine holding an election in the United States with both the Democratic and Republican parties prohibited from participating. If we look at other troubled elections in the world – Iran in 2009, or Afghanistan more recently – Haiti’s is even less legitimate. It is perhaps most comparable to the recent election in Burma.
But the United States government paid for this election, and was determined to go ahead with it and get the usual suspects to endorse it. The pleadings of 45 Democratic Members of Congress, who sent a letter to Hillary Clinton on October 7 asking for a real election with all political parties included, were ignored. So too, were the objections of President Obama’s Republican foreign policy mentor, Senator Richard Lugar.
By Sunday, the day of the election, twelve of the eighteen presidential candidates – basically every prominent presidential candidate except the current government’s choice, Jude Celestin – publicly called for the elections to be annulled. They were backed by thousands of demonstrators in the streets.