The weekly Haïti Liberté begins publishing a series of exclusive articles
draw from 1,918 secret diplomatic cables about Haiti from U.S.
Embassies around the world in its June 1 edition. The
cables were obtained by the transparency-advocacy group
WikiLeaks and made available to Haïti Liberté.
The articles will be published in print and on the web at:
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.
“Haïti Liberté is publishing these cables because they offer
unparalleled insight into how the United States government has
tried to manipulate Haitian affairs in its own interests, not in
the interests of the Haitian people,” said Berthony Dupont,
Haïti Liberté’s director. “We hope that the release of
the cables will help bring about some transparency and
accountability for the Haitian people.”
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.”
The cables cover official U.S. strategies and maneuvering in
Haiti during 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 the democratic
Lavalas movement, the relentless focus on rebellious shanty
towns like Cité Soleil and Bel Air, and Washington’s tight
supervision of Haiti’s police leadership and of the United
Nation’s 9,000-man military occupation known as the UN Mission
to Stabilize Haiti (MINUSTAH).
In November 2010, WikiLeaks began publishing the 251,287 leaked
U.S. embassy cables it obtained last year 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,”
Dupont said. “Haiti Liberté is also pleased to partner with
The Nation, the oldest continuously published magazine in the
U.S., in publishing and distributing English-language articles
based on those WikiLeaks cables.”
This coming week’s article will examine how Washington tried to
torpedo implementation of the PetroCaribe oil agreement between
Venezuela and Haiti, a struggle which frayed the U.S.
relationship with President Préval. Future articles will deal
with Washington’s backing of assembly industry owners in their
fight against raising the minimum wage and how it militarized
aid to Haiti after the 2010 earthquake.
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.