from 21st Century Wire:
The government of Haiti is in disarray following 7 straight days of protests currently rocking the island nation’s capital city of Port-au-Prince.
So far, protests have led to four deaths and has triggered a prison breakout with some 78 inmates escaping from incarceration in Aquin – while police struggled to subdue tens of thousands of angry demonstrators. Protesters are said to be railing against corruption in government and the theft of $4bn in public funds said to be earmarked for social programs. The funds are said to have been delivered via a controversial deal for Venezuelan petrol.
Angry citizens appear to have lost faith in the pro-Washington government led by Jovenel Moise, as crowds demand their president step down from power.
Port au Prince, #Haiti
— HaitiInfoProject 📡 (@HaitiInfoProj) 13 February 2019
Protesters then converged on the wealthy neighbourhood Pétion-Ville, before barricading the main road and stoning Moise’s presidential villa.
Many Haitians regard the Moise government as a US-installed puppet regime, and have been calling for his ouster.
Haiti has been beleaguered ever since the devastating 2010 earthquake which killed more than 100,000 people, and followed by the 2016 disaster resulting from Hurricane Matthew. However, the final straw for angry protests appears to have come from President Moise’s austerity measures which saw the removal fuel subsidies resulting from depleted public funds from the Venezuelan petrol deal embezzlement scandal.
‘Clinton Corporate Colony’
Critics have also pointed to the re-colonization of Haiti by Bill and Hillary Clinton who are accused of meddling in the countries political and electoral affairs in order to gain control of markets and divert resources on behalf of select US corporations and Washington. The Black Agenda Reportexplains the background to this part of the story:
“Clinton has betrayed all his humanitarian promises and failed to collect even a fraction of the promised $10 billion for reconstruction,” said Ashley Smith.
The corporate media portrays former President Bill Clinton as a great humanitarian friend of Haiti. The truth could not be more different. He has always supported policies in the interests of multinational corporations and the Haitian ruling class at the expense of the country’s workers, urban poor and peasantry.
After the 1991 coup that toppled Haitian President Jean Bertrand Aristide, Clinton as President did maintain relatively ineffective sanctions. But he violated his campaign promise and continued George Bush Sr.’s policy of jailing Haitian refugees in Guantanamo. He also pressured Aristide to adopt free market economic policies as the condition of restoring him to power in 1994.
Clinton succeeded in getting Aristide to moderate his program of social reform and drop tariffs on rice to the advantage of U.S. Agribusiness. He then compelled Aristide’s successor, Rene Preval, to further deregulate the economy successfully turning Haiti into the most free market economy in the Western Hemisphere, and consequently its poorest.
(…) The last thing Haiti needs is more “help” from Bill Clinton and the U.S. Instead, the U.S. and other imperial powers including the U.N. should get out of Haiti and pay reparations so that Haitians can rebuild their country in their own interests.
As a result of the the deadly crackdown, protests are expected to continue as the Moise government tries to contain a rapidly deteriorating situation.