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Haiti Liberte: Hebdomadaire Haitien / Haitian weekly news

Edition Electronique

Vol. 8, No. 28
Du  Jan  21  au  Jan 27. 2015

Electronic Edition

Kòrdinasyon Desalin: Conférence de presse



June 1, 2011

Haiti Liberté to Release Some 2000 Secret U.S. Embassy Cables Provided by WikiLeaks


This week, Haïti Liberté begins publishing a series of articles which will draw from 1,918 diplomatic cables about Haiti from U.S. Embassies around the world. The cables were obtained by the transparency-advocacy group WikiLeaks and made available to Haïti Liberté.

The cables cover an almost seven-year period from Apr. 17, 2003, ten months before the Feb. 29, 2004 coup d’état which ousted President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, to Feb. 28, 2010, just after the Jan. 12 earthquake that devastated the capital, Port-au-Prince, and surrounding cities.

Cables from the Port-au-Prince Embassy, that might have shed light on the U.S. role in the 2004 coup, unfortunately don’t begin until March 2005, though there is one cable from March 2004.

The cables range from “Secret” and “Confidential” classification to “Unclassified.” Cables of the latter classification are not public, and many remain marked “For Official Use Only” or “Sensitive.

While not revealing any CIA, military, or “back room” operations, the cables offer a penetrating look into official U.S. strategies and maneuvering in Haiti in the coup years (2004-2006) and the period after President René Préval’s election (2006-2010). We see Washington’s obsession with keeping Aristide out of Haiti and the hemisphere, the microscope it trained on rebellious shanty towns like Cité Soleil and Bel Air, and its tight supervision of Haiti’s police leadership, of officer selection, and of the United Nation’s 9,000-man military occupation known as the UN Mission to Stabilize Haiti (MINUSTAH).

Embassy officials offer candid assessments of other ambassadors and of Haitian politicians, government officials, and other public figures. Sometimes their analysis is illuminating; other times, it is arrogant, self-serving, or just plain wrong.

What emerges is a portrait of how aggressively Washington seeks to manage Latin America’s first sovereign nation economically and politically, especially in the wake of the 2004 coup. But they also reveal how they are faced with fierce resistance from the Haitian people.

The cables also reveal how Haiti is perhaps the Western Hemisphere’s preeminent arena for North-South struggles and East-West intrigues. Washington and Paris square off against Caracas and Havana, particularly over oil, and China and Washington’s surrogate, Taiwan, engage in fierce diplomatic arm-wrestling that threatens to derail the U.N. military mission in Haiti.

Originally, in November 2010, WikiLeaks began publishing the 251,287 leaked U.S. embassy cables it obtained last year (the largest set of confidential documents ever to be released into the public domain) by providing them to large newspapers like the New York Times, The Guardian and Der Spiegel

Now, WikiLeaks is selecting media in many other countries to provide them with the U.S. Embassy cables relative to their specific country. Haiti Liberté is honored that WikiLeaks has entrusted it with releasing the cables relative to Haiti. We are also pleased to partner with The Nation, the oldest continuously published magazine in the United States, in publishing and distributing the English-language version of Haïti Liberté’s WikiLeaks-based reporting.

When Haïti Liberté publishes an article, the cables we draw from will be published in their entirety on the WikiLeaks site (www.wikileaks.ch). However, in some cases, names might be redacted for safety reasons.

In short, the cables offer many clues as to how Washington brought Haiti from the paramilitary and Special Forces coup of 2004 to the electoral coup that installed the neo-Duvalierist Michel Martelly in 2011. It is the story of how the Empire struck back at a consistently rebellious nation, which Washington has occasionally managed to cage, but never to tame.

Vol. 4 No. 46 • Du 1er au 7 Juin 2011

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