FW: RE: Re: [DEBATE] : (Fwd) Pretoria v the Burmese people (cont.)
critical.montages at gmail.com
Wed May 14 18:37:07 BST 2008
On Wed, May 14, 2008 at 1:06 PM, grinker at mweb.co.za <grinker at mweb.co.za> wrote:
> So it runs like this:
> 1. SA is 'sub-imperialist'
> 2. Anti-imperialists (presumably) oppose sub- (like any other form of)
> imperialist inervention anywhere?
> 3. Sub-imperialist SA must intervene against Burmese junta
> (presumably in concert with the big guys).
> Surely some contradiction here?
Nowadays, all states -- including ones run by leftists who are
themselves under threat from Washington and clearly deserving of our
utmost support -- appear to be doing a "sub-imperialist" thing or two
at one time or another.* The difference is a matter of degree.
Taking that as a given, what we can still do is to push all states to
roll back US hegemony, as much as we can, especially on issues that
may become staging grounds for very dangerous precedents.
Bolivia: What Are We Doing in Haiti?
by Pablo Stefanoni
La Paz -- In recent days the Haitians have gone into the streets to
protest against the brutal increase in the cost of food. The response
of the police -- with the support of the United Nations Stabilization
Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) -- was repression that cost the life of at
least five demonstrators and wounded about fifty others.
Haiti is not only the poorest nation in Latin America -- it was the
first country in America to declare its independence under the
leadership of a heroic slave rebellion. But its economy was
ruthlessly pillaged by the long-lasting dictatorship of the Duvaliers
(1957-1986), first the father then his son, supported by France and
the United States.
In 1991, the former priest and popular leader Jean-Bertrand Aristide
was elected president. But after the first overthrow of his
government and then his return to power -- now much distant from his
initial progressive positions -- he was overthrown for the second
time, kidnapped by a military coup supported, once again, by France
and the United States.
Although it is located in the midst of the Caribbean, Haiti is a great
desert, a product of criminal deforestation, and its mass barrios have
become huge garbage dumps. Twenty years ago, according to a report by
Serpaj [a human rights organization], Haiti was producing 95% of the
rice it consumed; today it imports 80% from the United States. Up to
this point, this could be the history of any small impoverished nation
occupied by international peacekeepers, accomplices in the
interventionism of great powers. However, there is a difference: this
time, the mission is led by a government of the Left, Brazil, with the
participation of various other progressive governments -- Uruguay,
Argentina, Ecuador . . . and Bolivia.
Which raises the question: Should our troops be in Haiti shoulder to
shoulder with the occupation armies of the United States and France
firing on mass demonstrations with the excuse that they are just
criminal gangs (which some obviously are)? Shouldn't there be some
other form of support by progressive governments to our fellow peoples
of the continent? Haven't we rightly praised Cuba for sending doctors
to save lives and not soldiers to end them? Finally, is it the role
of the Left to "humanize" the international missions designed by the
So far the only response to these questions has been silence.
Pablo Stefanoni, a former advisor to Bolivian President Evo Morales,
is currently Director of Le Monde Diplomatique-Bolivia. The original
essay in Spanish was published in La Razon on 21 April 2008.
Translation by Richard Fidler.
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