peacekeeping in Haiti


ARISTIDE IS A FLAWED and complicated figure, but his presidencies remain the symbol of the historic democratic mobilization that put an ecstatic end to more than thirty years of US-backed military dictatorships. And while his legislative achievements have been criticized by the Left and the Right, Haitians today celebrate one remarkable political triumph—that he disbanded the reviled Armed Forces of Haiti, which had been trained by US Marines during the American occupation from 1915 to 1934 and had never known an enemy but the country’s own citizens.3 This presented a problem for Aristide’s enemies in the business class: Unable to call on the military, they were without means to force him from office and suppress the protests of his Lavalas base. Which goes a long way toward explaining why Aristide’s second term in office lasted so much longer than his first and why UN soldiers were required on the ground after the second coup took place.

more from Aba Okipasyon at Triple Canopy here.