Let's think about the evil absurdity of the crisis playing out in Haiti, and the complicity of international forces that set the stage for this looming tragedy five years ago.
President Michel Martelly of Haiti is refusing to leave office on February 7 when his term is up. The former musician was installed by voter fraud perpetrated by the U.S. in late 2010. The fraud was condoned and executed by a "core group" of U.S. and other foreign observers who engaged in creative manipulating of vote tallies to ensure that Martelly was in the run-off.
Pierre-Louis Opont, the president of Haiti's Election Commission (CEP), admitted as much in July 2015 when he confirmed the accusations of Former OAS Ambassador Ricardo Seitenfus about vote fixing. Last July Opont accused the OAS, the United States, and specifically Cheryl Mills, the Chief of State for Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in the fraud. Opont says he gave the official vote count to the group of OAS international observers and the group then gave results different than what were passed to them.
In an interview with Radio Television Caraibes this week Seitenfus was blunt. "Since Mrs. Clinton was well involved in the 2010-2011 decisions, if we started badly, we must end well. That is to say, February 7 President Michel Martelly must leave, and (Haiti) should have a new president," he said.
Martelly has such a strong-hold on the country that the current election process was co-opted by real and perceived voter fraud, causing candidate Jude Celestin to refuse to participate in a runoff against Martelly's hand picked successor, the Banana Man, Jovenel Moise. Celestin is standing firm and is encouraging civil society, including business and church leaders, to conclude a vote postponement is in the best interests of Haiti. The Senate also supported a non-binding motion to postpone.
Martelly's henchman and right hand guy, Guy Philippe, a Haitian Senate candidate whose runoff was also delayed, is calling for an uprising if Martelly is forced out. Elections are in chaos and Haiti stands on the brink of civil war.
Here is the kicker, the denouement, and the culmination of this centuries old tragedy.
Philippe is a fugitive wanted by the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). He was also among the leaders of a 2004 coup that led to the ouster of President Jean-Bertrand Aristide. The New York Times finally reported Philippe's background yesterday. Haitian activists have been saying this for years, but have been ignored.
The strands of this dangerous farce are being drawn together and it is anyone's guess whether Haiti can survive this very real crisis, which has echoes in history.
In a 2004 Human Rights Watch communiqué, HRW called on the international community to assert control over Philippe when he took control over government buildings and declared himself the "military chief" of the country.
"The rebel forces entered Port-au-Prince on Monday and immediately took over government buildings, including the former headquarters of the Haitian army," HRW reported. Read this carefully. It happened in 2004!
Can anyone truly believe that the DEA cannot apprehend Philippe when the drug lord was openly running for a seat on the Haitian Senate and was often seen campaigning, arm in arm, with "Sweet Mickey" Martelly?
The DEA was certainly capable of apprehending relatives of Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro on charges of cocaine smuggling in November 2105. The arrests, conducted by local police, took place in Port-au-Prince, so the argument that the DEA cannot coordinate actions in Haiti certainly falls apart. The same day, the suspects were flown to New York on a DEA jet.
As Philippe is organizing what could amount to a civil war, the U.S. Department of State is offering a boilerplate presser from Mark Toner, John Kerry's assistant. "The United States supports all efforts aimed at finding consensual and constructive solutions that will conclude the electoral process expeditiously with an outcome that reflects the will of the Haitian people, consistent with Haitian law and the Haitian constitution."
There is no mention of the roots cause of this crisis by Kerry, Toner, or anyone in the U.S. government. Secretary Kerry is in Laos, attending a meet and greet with staff at the U.S. Embassy in Vientiane. Ironic, considering what the U.S. did to Viet Nam from its launching pad in Laos a generation ago.
A half a world away, Haiti could be on the brink of civil war. "We are ready for war," Philippe is saying. "We will divide the country."
The truth is out there. The truth is staring everyone in the face. We are proving ourselves cowards by averting our eyes and pretending we do not see.