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Chilean ambassador criticizes US military presence in Haiti

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It's not just Evo and Chavecito making this accusation now. Get a load of who else isn't pleased with the blatant US takeover of Haiti:

The United States military was "unnecessarily aggressive" in its operations to aid Haiti after the earthquake, said the Chilean ambassador in Port-au-Prince, Marcel Young, in an interview with the Chilean newspaper El Mercurio on Tuesday.

"They forget that this (Haiti) is a sovereign country and have been unnecessarily aggressive," said Young, when asked what he thought about the arrival of US troops.

The US "has control of the international airport" and set "its own criteria--first their planes land, and then all the rest," said Young.

"The arrival of those troops was overly imposing. Even if it was positive that they re-established air traffic control, judging by the level of military presence their demonstration of force has been excessive."

Venezuela, Nicaragua and Cuba have accused Washington of "invading" the Caribbean country instead of sending civilian aid, criticisms which disgusted the US secretary of state, Hillary Clinton.

Translation mine.

Let's see them try to explain THAT away as just some commie grumbling.

Comments

If the Haitian government would like the US to withdraw, all they need to do is ask. They won't. They want us there.

According to these people you're quoting, apparently we were just supposed to fly over and drop cash and supplies and doctors and food and water and tents and whatever, out of planes.

If the people of Haiti wouldn't suffer even more than they already are, I would say we should just let Venezuala, Nicaragua, and Cuba take over the rescue and rebuilding and see how well that goes.

Dear Mrs. Bitch,

Nice, monicur, very feminist.

First, dig a little, try to understand why much of the population of Haiti is suspect of US motives.

The US is hampering releif efforts, and because of this there are likely thousands of people either dying, dead, or on the verge of death. Really, this is Katrina level incompetece and mendacity.

Yes, other nations would have done better.

Given US officle antagonism toward democracy and toward the people of Haiti, I think the empire has a malevolent game-plan for the country.

When Obama's policy supporting repression of the largest political party of Haiti, Lavalas, I knew that Obama was bad news.

Slave Revolt

Mrs. B, I hope you don't take this hard, but it's not that simple. They've been asking for over 200 years, and for the most part, they've been ignored. Yes, they want your help--but the way they "got" it is the problem, and it's also what's making this current one worse. The few times someone from Washington listened, his good work was undone by the next guy and a passel of Bretton Woods bankers who smelled a pound of flesh still to be taken. The foreign troops that were sent there to "stabilize" the place, ended up being used to enforce a coup, and repress demonstrators who wanted their elected president back--a guy whose only "crime" was to raise the minimum wage, as far as I can tell.

This is not to denigrate the real good work that US-based charities are doing, or to discount the basic decency of US troops--especially those refusing to follow bad orders. Those guys are true heroes. But where Venezuela, Bolivia, Nicaragua and Cuba have been helping, more aid has actually gotten through, hospitals have been set up immediately and treated hundreds per site a day, and living people have been pulled from the wreckage long after the big guns would have called off the search and started demolitions. The military contribution from those countries has been predominantly medics and nurses. I've never heard of any of those people having to break up a food riot, either--and their media would surely cover such incidents if they happened. They've also been distributing a remarkable amount of aid, for such small countries with serious economic pressures to deal with at home. Venezuela has forgiven Haiti's debt to them--$295 million US, an estimated third of Haiti's total debt. And they haven't had to break out so much as a water pistol; the ALBA relief effort has gone quietly and smoothly. Maybe that's because Venezuelans don't view the country as turf to wage a war over, or an "investment" that needs armed guards to "protect" against "looters", but as a friend in need, and as the main inspiration to their own historic liberator, Simón Bolívar.

I think the Haitians would be more than happy to forego the US's money and aid if only the US's guns and bankers went away, too. Unfortunately, the chances of that happening are slimmer than the odds of more survivors being pulled from the rubble at this hour. And no wonder: Someone in Washington is still not listening after more than 200 years.

Thank you both for your thoughtful answers. I'm a tad testy over US politics right now and just went with a knee-jerk reaction to what I perceived as a complaint about the US trying to assist during a horrifying time for Haiti.

And no, nothing is ever that simple - sigh. The US does have a history of charging in and taking over.

Not a problem. I'd probably feel the same...it's not been a good month so far, has it?

From what I understand, the Brazilians had a force there running the airport among other things. What happened to them? Am I too cynical, to assume the US just showed up and said "piss off, we're taking over?"

Maybe, maybe not. I confess I'm shamefully uninformed about who ran the airport before the quake. I should check out Haitianalysis and AfroCubaWeb more often; I bet they know.

Why do I suspect this ambassador is going to be unemployed as soon as Piñerachet gets sworn in?

Heh...I like that moniker.

And yeah, I suspect this dude's gonna have a lot of conflicts with his boss-to-be...