Haiti: Past and Future From 16th-Century Colonialism to 21st-Century Globalization
Haiti: Past and Future From 16th-Century Colonialism to 21st-Century Globalization
Nick D. Maceus
A Thesis in the Field of Government
© 2008 Nick D. Maceus Abstract This thesis examines the impact of how globalization impacts the Haitian economy, culture, and political system. More specifically, this thesis further illustrates the specific reasons Haiti presents a unique case study for the impacts and influences of globalization in light of the Haitian historical reality. Starting with the U.S. involvement when Aristide returned to Haiti in 1994, the government of Haiti and its people has withstood concentrated foreign efforts to accept entry by multinational corporations through political and economic policies. Haiti is significantly impacted by globalization most heavily and most directly by its interaction with the nearby United States. As evidence, I chose to compare and contrast Haiti's situation in the globalized world with the governmental policies of comparable countries, principally the Dominican Republic a country that has chosen to embrace rather then resist this influence. Haiti has aims for increased national sovereignty so that the country will no longer be susceptible to perceived U.S. imposed globalization penetration, through the World Bank/IMF. The broader implications are in the form of a prospective for the future and plan of approach as the movement is protesting the foreign-imposed economic policy of structural adjustment, the opening of markets to U.S. goods, austerity programs, and the movement towards using the free market to achieve a wide range of social ends. As such, this thesis formulates a prospectus for economic and political life as Haiti finds its way in a globalized future. Biography The author is currently an attorney and graduate student at Harvard University. Completion of the ALM graduate degree has been a personal goal of mine since, finishing law school, and much of my life for the past two years has been consumed with evolving this from hypothesis to thesis. Determined to make my family proud, I have always approached my studies with zeal, the same ardor I brought into writing this thesis. My life experience apart from and within the Haitian community has given me a unique perspective, an educational opportunity equally as valuable as my academic studies. I came from a humble but proud background, the son of immigrants, grew up in the small rural town, Lutz, Florida, with none of the advantages many take for granted. Nothing has come easily to me in life, but the challenges that I have faced and obstacles required to overcome have only reaffirmed my resolve to achieve. My parents were refugees from the island nation which is the subject of this thesis. The story of their lives in Haiti and journey to America have been burned into my psyche and is a part of who I am. My mother grew up in the rural countryside of Haiti, working life and enduring the daily struggles that exist to this day for the Haitian farmer, cultivating the land just as their ancestors before them. My parents had little by way of formal education, and I am the first in my family to graduate college. This did not prevent them from doling out the lessons of life and the knowledge of experience. What our family lacked in financial wealth was more than remunerated by strength of character, the values we held and the closeness this engenders. My parents instilled in my sister and me a sense of perseverance, a determination to work hard, and the reminder of the humbleness from which we came. There is honesty to poverty, and traveling has shown me much of the world. Mankind knows more in common with poverty and struggle than wealth. I have stepped past the text, into the poor villages and dirt-floor huts and have learned more about the quiet dignity of justice and the simple nobility of the poorest peoples than any book could teach. This endeavor was a personal journey for me, from Boukman at Bois Caïman, along the convoluted journey to that which is me. I feel a sense of accomplishment in completing this thesis, a contribpution to the field of academia, a drop in the stream for this oft forgotten first free black republic. Dedication To my mom for moral support. To my dad for his sage advice.
To my family for your prayers.
The people of Haiti.
Acknowledgments I could not have completed this task without the support of my mother and father, who without them none of my life would be possible.
Special thanks to Professor Orlando Patterson for serving as my thesis director throughout this process. Table of Contents Biography iv Dedication vi Acknowledgments vii Introduction 1 The Early Pre-Colonial History of Haiti 4 French Colonialism 7 Independent Haiti 10 Haiti in the 19th Century 12 American Involvement in Haiti 13 American Foreign Policy 16 The Duvalier Era 37 The Aristide Era 42 The Effects of Globalization on Haiti 49 Haiti and Poverty 54 The Future of Haiti 62 Bibliography 67
I Introduction The Caribbean island nation of Haiti provides a rare glimpse into the consequences of several sets of divergent social and political forces being juxtaposed in a single largely paradoxical regional culture; specifically, like few other nations in history, Haiti has experienced both the forces of modernism and traditionalism; it has benefited from and suffered at the hands of both colonialism and Western interventionism. In effect, because of its size, insulated geography, and global positioning at the convergence of first world and third world spheres of power, modern Haiti is a unique political laboratory, in which the effects of various geopolitical variables can be tracked and observed. Originally home to an indigenous pre-Columbia native population, Haiti's recorded history began with French and Spanish colonialism; in the ensuing centuries, it has become a focal point of East-West conflicts, of friction between diverging ideologies, and of the disparate technological environments of the poorest nations contrasted with those of the wealthiest. Even in the post-Colonial era, modern Haiti - due largely to its proximity to the United States - has fallen under heavy American influence and intervention, with the consequences still omnipresent many decades after repeated historical invasions and occupations. In short, Haiti represents something of geopolitical blank slate - a tabula rasa - in which the myriad of human political and cultural forces have interacted and left their marks; as a result, modern historians, political scientists, and sociologists can observe the real world effect of these confluences of forces. Today Haiti is an amalgam of these consequential realities and is thus a singularly illustrative microcosm of both the past and human society - and its likely future. Thus, understanding the forces at work, both historical and political as well as cultural, in the formation of Haiti, is critical to our own understanding of the likely geopolitical future of our species as a whole. Where Haiti has been, most of the important forces of history have been; where Haiti goes as a result provides a glimpse into our likely collective future. Haiti provides two critical lessons that can be extrapolated to other areas of international relations, national sovereignty, wealth and poverty, and globalization. First and foremost, Haiti demonstrates the importance of history in the development of any nation, culture, or political economy. Any country or population is heavily influenced by its history; more to the point, the historical influences - especially those of slavery, poverty, violence, and external intervention in domestic politics - last far longer than might be expected. Haiti's history of colonialism and slavery still has dramatic impact in the 21st century. The chain of events that began with colonialism and slavery led directly to further historical factors, including dictatorial government, civil strife, and regional violence, all of which have had an impact. But perhaps the most critical lesson involves the dangers - and benefits - of interventionism. Following its successful rebellion and quest for independence, Haiti was never permitted to develop unilaterally. Its history - including its very recent history - has been marked by political and economic influence from more powerful nations. Europe, the United States, and even to some extent the former Soviet Union, all attempted to influence Haiti politically. The United States actively invaded Haiti military numerous times, occupying the country for decades in the early 20th century; there have been two recent invasions within the last 20 years. These actions are arguably directly related to Haiti's early history of slavery and European colonialism; however, even if that point is debated, what is indisputable is that the United States interventions have both benefited and dramatically damaged Haiti's present political situation and economy. This is the second critical lesson of Haiti: the consequences of external intervention. The United States has rarely if ever acted maliciously in its dealing with Haiti; at worst, the U.S. has occasionally acted primarily out of self-interest. In fact, it can be argued that in most cases, the U.S. was at least nominally acting to further Haiti's interest and to promote democratic government in the island nation. However, every act of intervention has had long lasting, sometimes severe consequences; these may have been largely unintended and unforeseen consequences, but they are felt decades and even centuries after the intervention. In the new climate of economic and political globalization, for a nation like Haiti to prosper after its history of colonialism and violence - nations must adopt a policy of non-intervention. Haiti has suffered enormously historically, and it is still one of the poorest nations on Earth. Yet it has remarkable potential to become a thriving democracy with a strong economy, if only its neighbors and allies will permit it to develop independently.
II The Early Pre-Colonial History of Haiti To understand where Haiti is going as a nation - and to understand the current political turmoil of recent Haitian decades - the early history of Haiti must be fully explored. The Republic of Haiti is situated on the western side of the island of Hispaniola in the Caribbean Sea; the other side of the island is territory of the Dominican Republic. As a result of the early colonization by France and Spain, Haitians tend to speak French, Spanish, and Creole - a unique mixture of both tongues. Originally populated by the Taino Indians, the nation was formally colonized by France during the early 17th century, and from the beginning had a rather unusual history: for example, for a period it was the first independent, sovereign nation led by a Black government, following the world's first (and arguably only) successful post-colonial slave revolt. Despite the later French colonial domination, Haiti was initially colonized by Spanish forces following the late 15th century discovery of the island by Christopher Columbus; in fact, the earliest European settlers were some of Columbus' crew. While the Taino tribes managed to fight off early Spanish efforts at colonization, superior European technology ultimately overcame any resistance; as a result, there are few surviving descendants of the original indigenous tribes - most of the population of Haiti represents conjoined Taino, Spanish, and African slave ancestry. Initially the native population actually served as slave labor, but European diseases decimated the Taino tribe and the influx of African slaves - which left marks on Haiti that still are visible in the 21st century - began in earnest. In fact, modern observers note that slavery continues to have a clear legacy, even well over two centuries after the successful Haitian slave revolt. Today, "Haiti's population of 8.3 million produces $463 million in exports of goods and services - a little bit over half of the amount over two centuries ago. And measured on a per person basis, exports were 31 times higher in 1789 than in 2002. A slave regime generated the 1789 export performance. The legacy of slavery evidently has something to do with Haiti's failure at political and economic development. The exports of 1789 showed just how much potential the land of Haiti had." After Spain began colonizing other parts of central and South America in the early 16th century, other European powers - including the French and the British - began taking an increased interest in Haiti. As Spanish influence waned, the French took over control of part of the island under treaty agreements; by the late 1660s, a significant portion of modern-day Haiti was under French colonial authority. This began an enduring pattern of external influences on Haiti's internal development: even after the colonial era ends, numerous European powers and later the United States all attempt to directly and indirectly influence the political evolution of the former colony. While France has the heaviest early influence on Haitian development, it will not be the last country to attempt to control the country.
III French Colonialism While the French colonialists began developing their portion of the Haitian territory and the Spanish looked westward for further conquest, the island's population became a racial and cultural mixture of French, African, and mixed-race people; as in most colonial situations, the Europeans - the French, in this case - controlled both the political power and the economic structure. By the late 18th century, the slave and free-slave population vastly outnumbered the white European population; there were almost 30,000 freed slaves and as many as half a million African slaves. The combination of a weakened European authority, laissez-faire French approach to governmental power, and the enormous imbalance between the slave and free populations created a uniquely volatile situation - and led to an event that is unique to the history of Haiti and which still shape modern Haitian culture today. Following a period of political unrest in 1790, the French authorities granted civil rights to the freed slaves and local mixed-race population; however, they did not take the final step of freeing the many thousands of slaves. In 1791, the slaves began a revolt - and the revolt quickly spread, under the leadership of Toussaint L'Ouverture, himself a freed slave. The man who would later be dubbed the "Black Napoleon" led an army of slaves against the highly-touted French military, and handed them ignominious defeat. Toussaint later actually joined with the French in battling other invading European powers, including the British and Spanish who were once again attempt to assert authority over the island. This cooperation persisted for almost a decade, until the real Napoleon, then leader of France, decided to send forces to seize Haiti and the surrounding islands and return the citizens to slavery. Toussaint was captured and died in custody, but the massive African population again rebelled and were led against the French by two of Toussaint's generals. By 1803, the rebel forces had secured final victory against the French, who were unable to maintain a fight against numerically superior forces - due largely to the logistical challenges involved in maintaining a combat military at such a distance from the home country; in defeating the French, the indigenous and slave populations of Haiti had copied tactics and strategies from the successful American revolution of prior decades. In 1804 the island nation formally declared independence; at the time, it was, in fact, only the second former European colony in the New World to successfully become an independent nation - the first being the United States - and it was the first and last successful slave rebellion. The country's first leader chose the name Haiti based on a local Indian word for the island, and the name has been retained to this day. Ultimately, the French influence on Haiti cannot be overestimated, and remains critical for three reasons: first, much of modern Haiti's language and culture has its origins in French colonialism. The modern Creole is heavily influenced by the French language, most of the descendants of slaves still use French names, and Haiti's historical traditions are deeply French in flavor. Second, the French began a long tradition of external interventionism, which continues today; or to put it more accurately, the French refined the earlier attempts at intervention. While early colonial powers, most notably the Spanish, had made claims to Haiti, it was primarily the French who attempted to utilize Haiti as a forward base of military operations and as a full-fledged European satellite colony. Third, and perhaps most importantly, the French colonization and attempts by Napoleon to invade and re-assert slavery and French dominance established an expectation of invasion. In other words, it was the French that began a process in which external powers were consistently meddling in Haitian affairs, both for ostensibly benign purposes and for self-interested reasons. One of the major and prevalent problems with modern Haiti is a lack of traditions of independent democracy - and this began with the French. The modern American invasions and the inability of Haiti to become a prosperous democracy can be laid largely at the doorstep of the early French colonists and later French imperialists.
IV Independent Haiti The newly formed national almost immediately began a period of political turmoil and civil war. The French government refused to recognize the independence of the island nation, and Haiti's slave rebellion inspired similar revolts throughout North and South America. The European powers, including not only France but also Britain and Spain - as well as the newly formed United States - blockaded the country to protest its revolutionary ideals; the result was grave suffering for the people of Haiti. Despite the overwhelming Catholicism of the population, the Vatican withdrew its priests, as poverty and war racked the new country. Within three years, Dessalines - the first ruler of Haiti - had been assassinated, and the country split into two separate regions, divided into northern and southern areas. The southern district was governed by Alexadre Petion, a man of African ancestry, which led to Haiti's having another unique historical claim: it became the first country in modern history governed by a Black man. In fact, this unique tradition of African empowerment would later impact a famous former American slave: Fredrick Douglass. According to Stephen Deeley: "As an older man, he served as U.S. Marshall to the District of Columbia and later as Minister to Haiti. He died in 1895, and is remembered today as one of the most remarkable human stories of the era of slavery, and one of the most articulate and impassioned voices against that evil institution." Haiti's unique history permitted Douglass to become one of the first Black U.S. ambassadors to a country with a Black government in power. After years of subsequent intrigue and conflict between the two parts of divided Haiti, the death of King Henri I - the ruler of the northern area - led to a reconciliation between the factions, and Haiti became united; shortly thereafter, Haitian forces invaded the eastern side of the island, and for a short period the entire island was under Haitian rule. This continued until 1844, when the eastern region gained its own independence and became the Dominican Republic. Ironically, this gave Haiti yet another unique historical claim: in losing the Dominican Republic, it created the first independent colony in the New World that originated from another independent former European colony. The mid-19th century remains arguably the golden age of Haiti, a period in which it largely controlled its own sovereignty and in which external powers had not yet begun to exert their influence. However, the nation was never politically stable, with a constantly revolving set of government authorities and new presidents. By the end of the 19th century, however, other nations, including both the old European powers and leading North and South American countries, began to meddle in Haiti's affairs. It is this period that has had the most marked effects on modern Haiti, and on its cultural and political future. This period is critical because it highlights the potential for Haiti to function autonomously as an independent political economy. During the period between Napoleon's invasion and heavy German influences, Haiti was nominally independent - and functioning comparatively well. It was far from a peaceful, stable, or prosperous country, but compared to the modern incarnation, it was economically healthier, better able to export products and goods, and generally in better overall circumstances than it is in 2008. The point is that Haiti had a chance to prosper - and likely would have if not for subsequent European and American intervention. Even with its history of colonialism and slavery, it might have become a prosperous nation without the following periods of heavy external influence.
V Haiti in the 19th Century By Haitian standards, much of the mid-19th century was a period of relative peace and stability; however, the central Haitian government was never very strong, with a constant influx of new presidents. As a result, while the island nation might have been able to repel foreign invaders, its government was not cohesive enough to manage foreign influence - particularly European economic interest in Haiti. By the close of the 19th century, Western Europe held controlling interests in many of Haiti's companies and corporation; in particular, Germany was able to exert enormous influence and largely dominated the Haitian economy. Thus begins a pattern of conflict that would mark much of the subsequent century: a conflict between old Europe and the New World, between East and West, between the former colonial powers and the newly ascendant United States. Haiti was uniquely poised to become both a battlefield in this unspoken war and a pawn in the game of high-stakes geopolitical chess played between powerful nations.
VI American Involvement in Haiti If there is one single geographical and political factor that has most heavily influenced the past, present, and future of Haiti, it is American involvement. By the early 20th century, the United States was emerging as a new global power - and it was eager to exercise its military and political might. Haiti was an obvious place to begin building a global empire: first, it was practically in America's backyard, and second, unrest in Haiti and growing European dominance in the region gave the United States legitimate cause for concern. In 1915, the United States invaded militarily - the first in a long line of American military invasions or occupations. The occupation ended the era of European domination and began the period of American influence - which persists to this day. A new constitution was drafted under U.S. direction, a document that mirrored the American constitution and was actually drafted by Franklin Roosevelt, long before his Presidency. As might be expected, there were numerous direct consequences of early American involvement - both good and bad. The occupation finally brought peace to the island, and enormous benefits to island infrastructure were created using American money and man power. Roads and schools were built, a highway system was put in place, and medical facilities were significantly upgraded. These attempts to modernize Haiti were vastly beneficial, and modern Haitians still reap the benefits. However, in a manner that is remarkably similar to the current occupation of Iraq, the native Haitians were not eager to participate in the pacification and stabilization of their own country; in fact, by 1919, armed guerillas were engaged in military combat with American occupation forces. Over the next decade, the American government - and the American people - became increasingly disenchanted with the occupation, and after Franklin Roosevelt became President, he ended the occupation in 1934. At the time of the invasion, the policy was viewed as an extension of Wilsonian doctrines of past decades. In fact, during the early years of the invasion, Haiti was depicted as a model example of the effectiveness of those policies. "The U.S. leadership was confident about the redeeming value of Wilson's policy to teach semi-developed countries how to model themselves after America's legal and constitutional system. At the time, diplomatically and politically, Haiti was vital, being geographically closer to the United States than any of the other Caribbean Islands except Cuba. Accordingly, the U.S. occupation was an opportunity to pull Haiti from its French orbit and to catapult it into the economic and political sphere of the United States." In short, the U.S. government viewed Haiti as being both an opportunity to enhance the regional power of the United States through implementation of Wilsonian doctrines, and an opportunity to further erode waning European western hemisphere colonialism. The actual degree of American involvement is only now becoming known; while it is clear that the U.S. was deeply involved with both supporting and undermining subsequent Duvalier and Aristide regimes, according to Paul Farmer, the extent of the activity is still coming to light: "The extent of sabotage by international actors is only now becoming known. There were covert operations to undermine Haitian democracy, but these were not exposed until long after Aristide was overthrown."
VII American Foreign Policy To fully understand the U.S. role in shaping the past, present, and future of Haiti, it is necessary to explore the fundamental evolution of U.S. foreign policy, both in general and as directly applied to Haiti. Contrary to common perception among Americans, the United States has not been a global superpower throughout its history. Certainly, America has certain economic and geographical advantages that made the rise of U.S. power a historical likelihood: these include a massive geographical area compared to the European nations, a wealth of natural resources, a culture founded on independence and capitalist ideals - and two large oceans that served to both protect and isolate the United States. But for much of its history, in both political and economic terms, America favored an isolationist foreign policy. While the young nation certainly engaged in aggressive foreign trade, throughout the 18th and 19th century both the official and informal policies of the American government were to avoid undue entanglement with the affairs of other nations. Certainly there were some efforts to expand American hegemony in the late 19th and early 20th centuries; examples include various military adventures in South America and Central America, as well as the 1898 Spanish-American War fought in the Caribbean. The initial 1915 invasion of Haiti was only one example of an ongoing Wilsonian policy of expansionism and interventionism in regional affairs. In fact, these early conflicts represented an attempt to establish a regional political dominance rather than a global political and economic empire; the mid-19th century Mexican-American War of 1848 was largely waged for similar reasons - to allow the United States to expand into a regional rather than global hegemony. In almost all cases, America was notably uninterested in intervening in conflicts of larger scale, or in becoming directly involved with geopolitics on a broader spectrum. For example, during both World War I and World War II, the American public was strongly isolationist, with an overwhelming majority of the population opposed to military participation. Furthermore, the United States was only marginally involved in economic exploitation of foreign markets and direct foreign investment, simply because the United States was not yet a global superpower. The massive paradigm shift in global politics that left the United States one of the world's mighty superpowers has its roots in World War II: the United States emerged not only victorious, but also relatively unscathed economically compared to the European nations - and was the first advanced power to possess nuclear weaponry. In the post-war era, the United States quickly became not only a dominant power, but a vital counterweight to the military power of the Soviet Union; as a result, nations from around the world quickly began to rely on the United States for both military defense and economic assistance. While this role may have been thrust on the U.S. by history, American leaders quickly understood the potential possibility of establishing not only a regional power but a global hegemonic empire. Military intervention and capitalist industrial expansionism became the chief means of spreading capitalist democracy - and of opposing the expansion of Soviet-led communism. As a result, by the mid-20th century the world was largely divided into pro-American and pro-Soviet nations. Through the Korean Conflict and the Vietnam War, this balance remained relatively static, both military and economically. However, with the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union, the United States found itself the world's sole remaining global superpower. That power has continued to expand worldwide, particularly on the strength of the American economy. The Cold War conflict between East and West ultimately had dramatic impact on Haiti: like the other Caribbean nations, most notably including Cuba, competing American and Russian attempts to exert influence had direct impacts on political development. Just as Haiti became contested territory in the conflicts between the old European powers, and subsequently became a pawn in the chess games between the United States and Europe, it later became part of the Caribbean power struggle between the United States and the Soviet Union. Over the last two decades, America has continued to expand its global reach. While this has meant a continued high pace of military intervention in places like Panama, Kuwait, Iraq, Somalia, Kosovo, and Bosnia - and yet another invasion of Haiti, it is the American economy and American capitalist industry that continues to be the driving force behind the expansion of U.S. hegemony. The problem that quickly becomes evident is simply this: America - cultural, politically, militarily, and most of all, economically - simply has too much power on a global scale. As result, every American political or economic action can have significant consequences in other countries. There is no question that most U.S. foreign policy and international business is based on benign intentions; in other words, while the U.S. - like all nations - protects its own interests, it does appear to attempt to be a force for good in the world, particularly in economic terms. Unfortunately, benign intentions can often lead to unintended consequences. As the United States - and American multi-national corporations - have begun to routinely interact and interfere with foreign economies, the results have often been disastrous. Entire national economies of other countries depend on U.S. foreign and economic policy; when decisions are made, the impact is often felt more in those countries than it is felt domestically. The United States causes significant damage when it intervenes directly in the economic affairs of other countries; in addition, it can cause great harm simply by making adjustments in its own domestic monetary policies. Haiti provides perhaps the most illustrative example of this phenomenon: as aforementioned, Haiti both benefited directly from American occupation in the early 20th century, and also suffered from resulting political strife; at the same time, during the later Duvalier and Aristide eras, American restraint was also blamed for lacking democracy and economic instability. Ironically, American political decisions can also negatively impact foreign economies even when America chooses not to do anything: the national economies of many smaller countries are so dependent on American aid and interaction, that even choices not to meddle in foreign economies can have negative consequences. In short, American foreign policy and American industry are now the driving economic and political forces on planet Earth; each and every decision involving foreign nations must be weighed carefully to prevent either intentional or negligent harm to the economies and populations of those nations. Haiti feels both the benefits and the damage from this reality. To understand the specific ways in which American foreign policy and the actions of American business impact smaller, less wealthy countries, the roots of American power must be better understood. The United States reluctantly entered World War II as a regional hegemonic power; by the end of the war, the U.S. was a global superpower, vying with the Soviet Union for worldwide dominance. The American military - backed by the American economy - was able to dominate half of the globe in a way not seen since ancient Rome. While the military might of the United States was important, however, it was its economy that most directly impacted its allies - and to a greater extent, the smaller nations with which America did business. The new American Empire that was "established after World War II was a hegemonic system with the dollar as the uncontested key currency, due to the United States' economic, political, and military dominance." As aforementioned, a primary factor behind the rise of the American superpower was the opposing ascendancy of the Soviet Union. The American government feared the expansion of anti-capitalist communism; with the Chinese Revolution of 1949 and the Korean Conflict beginning in 1950, it appeared that post-war fears of spreading communism were well warranted. Fears of Soviet aggression - along with three other factors - led the United States to develop a foreign policy of direct intervention and an economic policy of direct intervention with foreign economies. The four factors and/or forces that led to modern American policies of military and economic interventionism are: 1. The belief that giving foreign countries financial assistance, American goods, and equipment would develop foreign markets for U.S. hardware and technology;
2. The emergence of the Soviet Union as the other superpower, actively competing with the U.S. for world dominance;
3. The long-established tradition of American generosity and the inclination of the American people to support relatives overseas and aid victims of natural disasters, such as earthquakes, famines, and wars; and
4. The formation of special interest groups and lobbies working on behalf of certain industries and foreign governments, and their ability to manipulate the American system to their advantage.
In short, while post-World War II American foreign and economic policy was based primarily on self-interest, it also had specific components of humanitarianism. Nevertheless, the actual subsequent effects of American foreign policy decisions led to a de facto enslavement of foreign economies, with grave consequences for the populations of those countries. All of these factors have come into play in 20th-century American interventions in Haitian politics; this specifically includes U.S. invasions of Haiti, including the most recent 1990s invasion during the Clinton administration. The two primary forces behind expansion of American hegemony were anti-communism and American business interests, as represented by divergent sets of political special interests; both of these factors weighed heavily in decisions related to intervention in Haiti. Fear of communism permitted the United States to expand into foreign economies and foreign markets, because ally nations and international business partners feared communism more than they resented U.S. economic intrusions. According to David N. Gibbs: "The United States followed an imperialist strategy after the Second World War- to dominate Western Europe and Japan, marginalize political tendencies that opposed U.S. dominance, and dismantle European and Japanese spheres of influence in the Third World. Anticommunism legitimated these U.S. efforts." It is important to note, however, the changes in global perception of American power following the decline of the Soviet Empire: where once the U.S. was the world's savior and her economic interests were welcomed globally, as the sole remaining superpower in the 21st century, many former allies and economic partners of the United States resent the U.S.'s financial, political, and military power. During the Cold War, however, anti-communism did indeed form the primary reason for nations around the world to not only permit but encourage American economic dominance. Conditions remained stable through the late 1980s, in a historically unique way that created an integrated web between all Western economies, with the U.S. dominating the economy of the free world. In short, thanks to the nuclear standoff between the superpowers, economic interests became of utmost importance in foreign policy: This is no easy time to make foreign policy, especially for democratic governments. Nuclear weapons make war unthinkable, and thus inhibit policymakers from launching dramatic adventures except in the most peripheral areas. Alliance politics and bipolar power blocs render unilateral action problematic if not counterproductive. International economic conditions - growing financial integration, worldwide and unrestricted flow of capital, fragile trade relations, unstable currencies, an increasingly complex global division of labor, and the interconnections among all these factors- reduce any particular nation-state's freedom of action.
Under these circumstances, economic power became the ultimate weapon, and America wielded it frequently. The United States used its economic power to further its interest in foreign countries, to protect its sphere of influence against Soviet expansion - and often simply to further assert U.S. dominance. This factor is critical to an understanding of American policy in regards to Haiti: because of its proximity to the United States, the U.S. viewed Haiti - and other Caribbean island nations - as areas of vital security interest. Thus, intervention was not only fueled by economic and political concerns, but by security concerns on a global scale. By the latter part of the 20th century, the American policy of economic domination through intervention in foreign industries and financial markets had completed a four-phase evolution. During the first phase from immediately after World War II until the late 1950s, America had financed its global position through massive international reserves and a superior trading position. In the second phase, debtor nations began to become heavily dependent on U.S. financing; this allowed the U.S. to expand its hegemony without military conflict, as its power expanded through purely fiscal means. In the third phase, government policy largely began to give way to the activities of multi-national corporations, as U.S. leaders realized the key to maintaining and expanding global dominance lay in expanding the reach of American business and industry. Finally, beginning in the 1970s, the U.S. sought to implement a final phase of solidifying its foreign influence through a combination of maintaining a trade surplus, increasing foreign investment, and enhancing the international role of the U.S. dollar. This foreign policy evolution ultimately resulted in the modern American three-pronged approach to maintaining global dominance that consist of military intervention, expansion of use corporate interests, and increased dissemination of American culture on a global scale. In the western hemisphere, Haiti has historically been - and remains - a critical part of this regional and global strategy. The single greatest tool for U.S. economic expansion, however, has arguably been direct foreign investment; again, this is easily observable in investment in Haiti businesses and infrastructure. According to Arthur Macewan: "The stock of U.S. foreign direct investment in the categories of banking, finance, insurance, and real estate has grown substantially faster than investment in other categories. In the twenty year period from 1970 to 1990, these "finance" categories rose from roughly 10 percent to roughly 30 percent of the total value of FDI. In Latin America there has been a similar, though not so substantial, rise in the relative importance of finance in U.S. FDI."
Direct foreign investment is specifically designed and intended to allow the investing nation to inextricably intertwine its own economy with that of the foreign nation. Where the two trading nations are of roughly equal wealth, such arrangements are generally benign. However, when the U.S. trades significantly with any nation, the sheer size of the American economy tends to quickly overwhelm the foreign markets and perpetuate U.S. dominance overseas. America has used the principle both to benefit Haiti and to dominate its economy and politics. The end of the Cold War did not change U.S. global economic ambitions; however, American governmental and business interests were forced to adapt to the new climate to maintain financial hegemony. Part of this involved increases in both defense spending and foreign aid spending. Nevertheless, while the defense budget routinely exceeded the State Department budget by $300 billion or more - and the U.S. continued to spend far more in foreign aid and foreign assistance then any other country - Americans have persistently actually given far less aid when calculated on a percentage of population basis. The U.S. donates less than one percent of its wealth to foreign aid, ranking it behind 18 other nations, including Ireland, Spain, and many other smaller European countries. Ironically, although American business dominates foreign economies and the American military serves as a threat of force, U.S. foreign aid remains a significant tool in maintaining U.S. dominance. The reason for this is simple: although American aid is a relatively small portion of the national wealth, it is a comparatively vast sum compared to other nations - simply because America is comparatively so wealthy. As a result, many nations have become almost entirely dependent on U.S. aid - and can be easily coerced by the American government. This is another tool used in Western domination of Haitian politics; Haiti is an impoverished country even today, and U.S. aid is critical to that nation's development. With Haiti and other nations that are heavily dependent on U.S. aid, threats to cut off foreign aid are highly effective tools of coercion, and they are far easier threats to carry out then other kinds of economic sanctions or military actions: When an aid program is halted in a coercive attempt, the sender nation's financial costs are reduced. This often makes aid a more attractive instrument than many other forms of economic coercion, such as trade, since the coercion costs less to the sending nation than the status quo did. Thomas Schelling points out that a promise and a threat are different with respect to costs. Promises cost more when they succeed than when they fail, because if they succeed, they have to be carried out. Threats, on the other hand, may cost more when they fail because then they have to be carried out. For example, a threat of trade restrictions, when implemented, may hurt the trading groups of the sender nation. A successful threat by definition does not have to be carried out. If a threat to cut off aid fails to gain compliance, however, the financial costs are not higher. The sender, in cutting off aid, lowers the financial costs. None of these fiscal foreign policies are intended to be destructive to foreign nations or foreign markets; unfortunately, the exclusionary policies of the U.S. government that focus primarily on self-interest - and the inevitable dependence of foreign nations on U.S. investments - tend to cause significant harm to smaller, less wealthy countries. In Central and South America, many nations are so dependent on the U.S. economy that they are afraid to exercise sovereignty for fear of harming relations with America: It has been said that the heads of state of the largest debtors Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, and Venezuela -were influenced by a general desire not to disconnect their economies from the world financial system. And centrist governments like those in Argentina and Mexico want to play by the rules, and to work harmoniously with the creditor governments of the U.S., Europe, and Japan. In addition, according to Hans R. Stoll: "they did not want to risk a foreign policy rupture with the United States, which would threaten these countries in many areas other than finance, including trade relations and military security." In fact, South American and Latin American countries have often been the most severely affected victims of clumsy U.S. foreign policy. Bolivia is an excellent example of this phenomenon: the small nation has been heavily indebted to the U.S. for half a century and remains dependent on U.S. aid. According to David W. Dent: "The negative effects of U.S. economic, political and military involvement in Bolivia have contributed to outbreaks of anti-Americanism, regardless of the charitable motives of policymakers in Washington. Bolivia's revolution in 1952 stemmed from domestic grievances built up over a half century of foreign domination and economic exploitation." Most of the other South American nations have faced similar relationships with the U.S., in which they were heavily indebted to American investors and entirely dependent on U.S. military protection, particularly at the height of the Cold War. The result has been an unequal relationship dominated by U.S. economic interests. Haiti has not been either the only beneficiary or only victim of America's foreign policy; it is only one of many countries impacted. However, Haiti's unique history, uniquely close relationship to the United States, and its geographical proximity, have led Haiti to experience the impacts much more significantly and dramatically than most other nations. As William Easterly writes: "The tragedy of Haiti is that the West has inflicted on it just about every variant of the new and old versions of the "White Man's Burden." There are also plenty of domestic reasons for Haiti's plight, but Western intervention arguably made it even worse." It is important to note that Haiti is far from the only nation to feel the effects of American foreign policy. Social and cultural interaction between civilizations has historically been one of the most significant contributing factors in societal evolution. As social groups interact, particularly when they are significantly divergent in cultural practices and technological capability, the contact between the cultures directly impacts both societies. Modern cultures are generally the direct result of these interactions; even in the most isolated societies, contact with other civilizations leaves its mark on language, custom, culture, and religion. This phenomenon took on remarkable historical significance during the 19th and early 20th century, for two specific reasons: first, for the first time long-distance global travel had become readily accessible, and second, social interaction occurred between cultures that were at vastly different levels of technological advancement. This represents the early origins of globalization; the direct consequences of globalization on Haiti's past and future are discussed in subsequent sections. In general, however, the important point is that the nations of Western Europe and North America had developed advanced technology well beyond that found in most of Asia and Africa, as well as in the Caribbean. Haiti fits into this paradigm - it is similar to nations of Africa and Asia - in that it both suffered under colonialism and also has not yet achieved parity with former colonial powers. In addition, Western nations began a policy of global exploration and hegemonic colonialism. The contact between developing nations - or long isolated nations - and the West resulted in rapid societal change within the affected nations. However, not all of these contacts resulted in identical processes of societal evolution. Western interaction with China, India, Japan, and Africa, like similar contact in the New World during initial European exploration, all led to very different social and cultural changes, for reasons that become clear once the dynamics of the societal interactions are compared and contrasted. The arguably most successful such interaction - for both societies - was that between China and the West. China was neither as insulated as Japan, nor as easily colonized as India, nor as technologically inferior as Africa. As a result, the international relationship between China and the West developed on more equal footing. Chinese goods became sought after in England and France, and many Chinese citizens emigrated to the West, particularly to the United States. While these new immigrants were not granted equal status, they fared far better than those from the African nations. This multilateral biculturalism left China somewhat open for exploitation, and Western nations took advantage to some extent: there were periodic military excursions into China, and a trade imbalance that permitted the West to wield undue influence on the Chinese economy. Nevertheless, China achieved a relatively successful balance between allowing some external cultural influences and maintaining a prosperous trade relationship with the West. The impact of the West on Japan was both more limited and more destructive for a simple reason: Japan attempted to maintain a rigid isolationism borne from a sense of cultural xenophobia. This attitude towards the West, far less conciliatory than that of China, led to cultural interaction that was often hostile; when Japanese markets were ultimately opened to the West in the late 19th century, it was done by military force rather than from economic self-interest. As with Haiti, the influence of the western powers did directly contribute to a period in the late nineteenth century in which Japan attempted to modernize its society. Later, however, societal rebellion against these social changes created an even more palpable sense of hostility towards external powers, and ultimately led to the rise of Imperial Japan in the mid-20th century. This is analogous to the rise of Aristide following withdrawal U.S. troops from Haiti in 1934. In fact, this same process can be analogized to a long string of failed interventions in the Caribbean. In the words of Easterly: "Besides those countries already mentioned, the long list of 20th century intervention disasters includes Cuba (1898-1902, 1906-1909, 1917-1922), the Dominican Republic (1916-24, 1965-66), Nicaragua (1909-1933), and Panama (1903-1936)." The impact of the West on both India and Africa was arguably less cultural complex, but significantly more damaging to the indigenous society. The sub-continent of India, because of its strategic geographical importance and wealth of mineral resources, was much sought after as a colonial territory. Although Great Britain was a fading global power during the 19th century, it colonized the majority of India, exerting the sovereignty of the English monarchy over the vast expanse of land. While British colonialism was benign when compared to Western exploitation of the African continent, the English minority in India still held most of the political and regional power. Today, long after gaining independence from colonialism, India remains culturally close to Britain; in fact, Indians comprise a significant percentage of the immigrant population in Britain. Western influences on African were more destructive, although it must be noted that not all such influences were negative. While the final decades of the slave trade continued to decimate the African population - due in large part to the vast technological gap between the cultures - there was some positive Western interaction. While the French and British continued to colonize many parts of the continent, in Liberia a group of freed American slaves established their own nation, founded on constitutional principles borrowed from the United States. Today, although the nation of Liberia suffers from many of the economic, medical, and social woes that plague the rest of Africa, the nation retains a sense of promise, due in large part to the early impact of Western influence. In short, the evolution of foreign policy executed by both Europe and today the United States has had dramatic impact on the development of many other less developed nations. Haiti is only unique in its proximity to North America, and its particularly close ties to the United States; those ties gained importance in the post-World War II era, after the US became a global superpower. Today, with the US the only remaining superpower, every aspect of U.S. foreign policy directly impacts Haiti. As the following discussion of the Duvalier and Aristide periods makes clear, American involvement - directly or indirectly - almost universally has significant impacts on the internal politics and cultural and economic development of Haiti. Easterly further maintains that: "In fact, Haiti can be considered a previous incarnation of the utopian internationalism of military intervention around the world today as shown in the U.S. effort to stabilize unruly republics in the Americas. The United States did direct military interventions in Mexico, the Caribbean and Central America to spread democracy and free markets in the late 19th and early 20th century. After bombarding Veracruz during the Mexican revolution in 1916, Woodrow Wilson said, "the United States had gone to Mexico to serve mankind." Meanwhile, as historian Hans Schmidt noted: "U.S. Navy ships visited Haitian ports to ‘protect American lives and property' in 1857, 1859, 1868, 1869, 1876, 1888, 1889, 1892, 1902, 1903, 1904, 1905, 1906, 1907, 1908, 1909, 1911, 1912 and 1913." Finally tired of all those round trips, the United States occupied Haiti from 1915 to 1934." This remarkable degree of interventionism is self-evident from just a glance at the dates: on each of those occasions, the United States openly interfered directly in the internal political economy of Haiti; it can be assumed that the U.S., as well as other countries, influenced Haiti many more times covertly. The impact of U.S. foreign policy on Haitian development and on the current state of the country is difficult to fully estimate, but it is unmistakably clear that U.S. influence dramatically impacted the course of Haitian history.
VIII The Duvalier Era As seems to happen frequently with military occupations - and as many fear will happen with the current occupation of Iraq - the withdrawal of U.S. forces in 1934 resulted in a power vacuum. The next decade of Haitian history was marked by strife and discord; the subsequent outbreak of the Second World War left the major global power occupied elsewhere, without any desire to intervene in Haitian affairs. As a result, in 1946, Dumarsais Estime came to power as the first Black president since prior to the 1915 invasion; unfortunately, his rule proved to be less than popular - and led only to further discord. Haiti was ripe for takeover by a strongman authority figure - and that figure arrived in the form of Francois Duvalier, more famously - or infamously - known simply as Papa Doc Duvalier. According to Easterly: "In the wake of the U.S. exit, Mulattoes dominated political office until 1946, when the black majority of the Garde revolted with a new vision of black pride and power, the noiriste movement. After further political instability, a leading noiriste, Francois Duvalier, defeated his mulatto opponent in the elections of 1957." Although he was initially elected in 1957 in an election that was at least allegedly democratic despite rumors that the election was rigged, by 1964 he had declared himself supreme ruler for life. He instituted a strict authoritarian regime, and relied on an extensive secret police organization to secure his dictatorial powers. He ruled with an iron fist until 1971, when he was succeeded by his young son - who also declared an intention to rule for life. Ironically, it was the U.S.'s own actions that led to the rise of Papa Doc Duvalier. Mark Zepezauer states: "US troops invaded Haiti five times, once staying for almost twenty years (1915-35). At the end of that prolonged visit, during which we killed thousands of Haitians for daring to rebel, we left the country in the hands of the local National Guard, confident that they'd carry on our good work. From this arrangement emerged the Duvalier family dynasty and their private terrorist force."
When Duvalier fell from power, in February 1986, the Haitian economy was in an extremely difficult situation. At the root was the structural problem that had plagued the country for several decades: a slowly decreasing per capita income in rural areas as a result of population growth and severe soil erosion. The preceding decade had also seen a fall in the price of the country's most important agricultural export, coffee, and import substitution in manufacturing was running into manifest trouble. The most acute problem, however, was a different one: macroeconomic instability caused by political factors. It was macroeconomic disequilibrium, not structural problems, adverse external developments or import substitution policies, that were bringing the Haitian economy down on its knees. The Haitian economy was in both internal and external disequilibrium. The disequilibrium had purely political causes. As we will discuss below at some length, Haiti had developed the worst political tradition during its history as a sovereign nation: that of a predatory state. This state reached its climax with Jean-Claude Duvalier. When his father, Francois Duvalier, died in 1971 he had managed to assemble a considerable fortune. In the mid-1970s, the wealth of the Duvalier family was estimated to be some 180-200 million US dollars, out of a presidential salary of 24,000 dollars per annum. By the time Duvalier's son rose to power, the Haitian economy was marked by increasingly strong concentration of incomes and wealth in the hands of the ruling clique, notably the presidential family; on the other hand the macroeconomic chaos prevailing in the mid-1980s. In short, the same forces that had led to the ascension of the Duvalier family led indirectly to economic chaos and crushing poverty. In other words, through its meddling, the United States and its European allies had not only created a dictatorship - they had also destroyed the very economy they were attempting to stabilize. Throughout Duvalier's reign and the four subsequent years of anarchy, Haitians fled state terror, seeking political asylum in the United States. Under a 1981 agreement between the Reagan Administration and the Duvalier regime, U.S. Naval and Coast Guard vessels intercepted Haitian boats on the high seas, and after perfunctory on-board hearings, repatriated them. The United States reportedly interdicted 22,716 Haitians between 1981 and the September 1991 coup that ousted Aristide, admitting only twenty-eight to the United States to pursue claims of political asylum. Haitians who evaded capture on the high seas to claim asylum on American shores faced prolonged detention and a hostile process that granted less than 2 per cent of their asylum claims. The flow of boat people slowed to a trickle during Aristide's eight months in office. Indeed, Haitians returned in large numbers to assist in the rebuilding of the country, resulting in Haiti's first net in-migration in decades. The September 30, 1991, coup reversed both trends. The Duvalier period represented both a culmination of the excesses of external influence on Haiti and the last vestiges of the slavery culture. While Duvalier and his family were not external powers they governed in the same iron-handed manner as the early French colonialists. More importantly, events of the early-to-mid-19th century suggest that Duvalier's rise to power was unlikely; in short, it appears that foreign influences and American intervention, whatever the intent, may have created the conditions for dictatorship. Tyrants like Duvalier generally only appear under certain conditions: lack of cohesive national culture, increased disparity between the wealthy and the poor, heightened degrees of local and national poverty, high unemployment, limited opportunities, and political unrest. All of these were present following the American exit from Haiti; in fact, it appears self-evident that, even if it can be assumed that the American actions in Haiti were taken for solely benign reasons, those actions directly contributed to the prevalent economic and political conditions. When the United States left Haiti, not only did it leave a vacuum of power, it also left behind weakened infrastructure, a deplorable economy, and uncontrolled violence. The conditions were ripe for tyranny and Duvalier seized the opportunity. Although the United States would be partially responsible for his family's ultimate removal from Haitian politics and the rise of Aristide, the U.S. also must share the blame for his regime.
IX The Aristide Era The Aristide era was supposed to usher in a new period of Haitian prosperity and democracy, with decreased external influence - especially from the United States. According to Tracy Kidder: "Since the departure of Baby Doc Duvalier, various unelected governments had succeeded one another, but it was really the Haitian army that ruled the country from 1986 to 1990-with aid from the United States." The army's involvement was witnessed by scores of foreign and local journalists, some of whom were injured or killed. The carnage at last forced the United States to cancel aid to the Haitian military. Or so the White House said. In truth, the Haitian security forces continued to receive up to $1 million a year in equipment, training and financial support from the CIA. "The money may have sent a mixed message," observed the New York Times some years later, "for Congress was withholding about $1.5 million in aid for the Haitian military regime at the same time." In the days after the voter massacre, however, the Times was not even willing to admit the slightest complicity on the part of the United States. On December 1st, an editorial noted: "It is Haitians...who are murdering other Haitians and trying to shove the country back into the perpetual nightmare of terror and despotism." Unfortunately, the 1990 election of Jean-Bertrand Aristide had exactly the opposite result: the years that followed were marked by coups and counter-coups, civil unrest, and the latest in a long series of U.S. invasions to restore order. When he took office in 1991, he was nominally the first legitimately democratically elected President of Haiti - although he had emerged victorious only after significant U.S. support. Nevertheless, in September of 1990, less than a year after taking office, he was removed from office by a military coup; subsequently, Haiti came under the rule of yet another military strongman, Raoul Cedras, who held power for three years. At the time, the United States faced itself with yet another policy decision regarding Haiti: it had adopted a hands-off policy after Aristide's election, but his ouster left Haiti once again in the hands of a military power; moreover, it undermined U.S. authority. Three years later, in 1994, President Clinton authorized another invasion, and Aristide was returned to power in the office of the presidency. From the earliest post-coup negotiations in late 1991 to a plan put forward by Haitian parliamentarians in early 1994, the proposals for a return to constitutional government have included some transitional period under a "government of national consensus," with a prime minister named by Aristide but acceptable to his opponents. The request for an international civilian presence in Haiti was made by Aristide himself in order to pave the way for his return. Aristide was impressed by the successful role that U.N. and OAS election observers had played in ensuring a democratic outcome when he was elected in December 1990. He wanted an international presence not only to end the post-coup killing and torture of his supporters, but also to reopen freedom of expression and association. Since his counterweight to the military's monopoly on arms lay in his overwhelming popular support, only such an opening could alter the balance of forces. In September 1992, the de facto government installed by the military accepted an OAS team, but restricted their number to 18 and did not allow them to operate outside the capital. At the end of 1992, Haitian businessmen proposed an initiative that would lead to the lifting of sanctions, with a civilian mission the centerpiece. They secured the agreement, in principle, of the military leadership; its motives centered on an end to international isolation and resumption of U.S. military assistance. The United Nations Secretariat, meanwhile, had seen in Clinton's election the possibility of a serious American search for a Haitian solution. That view was strengthened when Clinton reneged on his pledge to stop the practice of returning Haitian refugees fleeing by boat without screening; his embarrassment required him to promise an early return to democracy and an end to political repression. Previously content with leaving an unrewarding negotiating role to the OAS, the U.N. now became directly involved, in effect taking the lead. On January 8, 1993, Aristide wrote to the U.N. and the OAS formally requesting that "a major international presence" be deployed throughout Haiti. His letter portrayed this multinational mission as the first step in an initiative that would proceed to the nomination of a prime minister and formation of a consensus government; the removal of sanctions and mobilization of financial aid; and international assistance to "professionalize" the military, establish an autonomous civilian police force, and reform other institutions. Emanating from the Haitian business community, cleared with the military, and presented in draft to Aristide by State Department officials who had had responsibility for Haiti policy under George Bush, the letter said nothing about a timetable for the president's return. Two years later, he lost a bid for re-election and was succeeded by former Prime Minister Rene Preval. Preval has a unique distinction in Haitian history: he was the first leader to gain office through a free election and eventually leave office voluntarily. Prior to Preval, every single Haitian leader had either seized power through military force or external intervention, or left office via a military coup, an assassination, or some similarly violent means. In fact, Preval was intended to be the first to end a history of remarkable violence in Haiti. According to Easterly: Of the 34 signers of Haiti's Declaration of Independence, only five died a natural death. Only one Haitian ruler finished his constitutional term alive. In the second half of the century, political life polarized itself between a mulatto Liberal Party and a black National party. For example, the mulatto leader Jean-Pierre Boyer ruled from 1820 to 1843, with all important political posts filled by mulattoes. Emulating French colonial policy, he founded schools for mulattoes - but none for blacks. An Englishman observed at the time, "The present government seems to consider the poverty and ignorance of the people as the best safeguards of the security and permanence of their own property and power." The peace did not last: Aristide reclaimed the presidency in 2001 in elections that were considered suspect by the international community, and the predictable degree of civil unrest followed. Ironically, Aristide turned on the United States, the nation that had once supported him and protected him; now it was his turn to accuse his political opponents of using American influence and power. In 2003, the second Aristide presidency was suffering a crisis. Economic strangulation and mounting incidents of violence were increasing. Preoccupied with issues of international debt and governmental financing, the government seemed adrift. Popular organizations that some accused of being merely gangs were increasingly engaging in political violence. How much or little the president himself controlled these activities was a matter of intense disagreement. In June 2003, on an earlier visit, Port-au-Prince remained covered with pro-Aristide wall slogans but violent resistance to the government was increasing, especially along the Dominican border. There were increased accusations of police violence and vigilantism by popular organizations supporting the president. All of this could be seen as the outcome of the slow but relentless squeeze the country was experiencing. Nevertheless, Aristide remained at the center of power. He had managed to dismantle the army that had opposed him, and the U.S. had initiated a second coup to unseat him once again - which largely failed. However, Aristide's presidency was in serious trouble as the bicentennial of Haiti approached. Port-au-Prince was rife with stories of corruption including accusations against the president personally. Many had come to feel that given the broad range and power of his enemies, both foreign and domestic, his governance had become untenable. Ultimately, the leader who had once been supported by U.S. administrations was brought down for the last time by his benefactors. The fundamental attack came from Aristide's powerful foreign enemies with close collaboration from the domestic opposition. Eight contested senatorial elections provided the rationale for the freezing of Inter-American Development Bank loans for health, education, drinking water, and road improvement. In 2003, Haiti was forced to use more than 90 percent of its cash reserves to pay for arrears on debt- much of which derived from the Duvalier and military dictatorship era. Haiti struggled to serve 8 million people on a governmental budget of $300 million. Crushing debt, frozen assistance, weak police, and no army left the Aristide government defenseless. In 2004, the entire country was once again besieged by violent protests, and Aristide was forced from office; the United States once again came to Haiti's aid, when President Bush sent Marines to the Haitian capital city of Port-au-Prince. Aristide went into exile and former Supreme Court Justice Boniface Alexandre became President of Haiti; once again, internal politics in Haiti had been influenced by external forces - as both the United States and European Union leaders backed Alexandre. In 2006, elections were once again held after withdrawal of U.S. forces, and Rene Preval again returned to power. It remains to be seen whether the current government will be able to do what no Haitian authority has managed: to create political and social long-term stability, without undue foreign influence or external military intervention. Aristide represents one of the best modern examples of the unforeseen consequences of external intervention in the domestic politics of other countries; it is unfortunately a lesson the Western powers still do not seem to have learned. The U.S. helped begin the Aristide era specifically to bring democracy to Haiti; however, its good intentions were marred by the fact that it was also acting to prompt its own self-interests. In other words, U.S. efforts were not designed to promote democracy solely for democracy's sake, but because it was viewed as beneficial to the United States. More importantly, however, the U.S. made the mistake of assuming it could control the man it put in power - a mistake that quickly became apparent. Ultimately the U.S. had to repeatedly utilize its military to prop up and then remove the same leader it had largely created; in addition, countless other economic and political problems arose as a direct result of the emplacement of Aristide in power.
X The Effects of Globalization on Haiti Advances in technology have created a global economy; national and international borders have decreased in importance, as information technology, high-tech computing, and shared economies have largely intermingled economic forces around the world. Whereas once economies functioned through domestic growth and international trade, today the major and minor economies around the world are directly linked. These forces - both economic and political - are referred to as globalization; by any measure, globalization has had a dramatic impact on Haiti - and on other less developed nations, especially those with strong ties to the leading world powers. Globalization has both positive and negative consequences for all countries, but these impacts tend to be most heavily felt in nations like Haiti. Newly opened markets created through globalization create massive economic opportunities for nations like the United States; unfortunately, they also create the risk of exploitation for countries like Haiti. Globalization represents a slow evolution in the concept of the nation-state. In prior eras, after city-state paradigms gave way to the rise of the nation-state, countries were characterized by shared cultures, homogenous populations, and sovereign borders. A nation represented a confluence of two factors: a recognizable population and a controlled geographical region. Beginning in the mid-20th century and advancing rapidly with the dawn of the information age, however, these definitions have ceased to have meaningful significance. The forces of nationalism have given way to internationalism; both economies and political forces have begun to intermingle. This is globalization, and it has led to a reality in which no action or lack of action has solely domestic consequences; in the new globalist age, any action taken by the United States has an impact on Haiti; the degree of impact is heightened by the close political and historical ties between the two nations. While these impacts might have existed in prior eras, the rise of globalization has created a situation in which Haiti and the United States are inextricably linked economically and politically. This is not to say the globalization is a wholly negative force, in any international interaction, or in the relationship between Haiti and the U.S. On the contrary, economic trade, tourism, financial aid, military action, and other phenomena directly linked to globalization, have all benefited Haiti to some degree. While globalization has simultaneously given the United States a significant interest in Haiti and certainly led to circumstances in which external forces have interfered in internal Haitian matters, it has also served to decrease poverty in Haiti, improve Haitian human rights, and focus international attention on Haiti-related environmental issues. In short, as Jagdish Bhagwati wrote, "the economic benefits from the increased prosperity that globalization will bring through trade, aid, investments, and technical change" have had significant national and global impact, including direct benefits for Haiti. However, it must be noted that there are many negative consequences, as well: these include external political exploitation, economic exploitation of lower-paid labor forces, and economic realities that may limit growth in underdeveloped nations; in other words, while globalization has helped Haiti in some respects, it has been far more beneficial for the United States and western Europe, which utilize globalization as a means of capitalizing on the wealth disparity. One of the most basic features of globalization is the institution of international free trade, but once again this is a phenomenon that tends to have negative consequences for the poorer nation in the trading relationship. The consequences of free trade for Haiti have been remarkably clear and almost universally negative. According to Jean-Bertrand Aristide: What happens to poor countries when they embrace free trade? In Haiti in 1986 we imported just 7000 tons of rice, the main staple food of the country. The vast majority was grown in Haiti. In the late 1980s Haiti complied with free trade policies advocated by the international lending agencies and lifted tariffs on rice imports. Cheaper rice immediately flooded in from the United States where the rice industry is subsidized. In fact the liberalization of Haiti's market coincided with the 1985 Farm Bill in the United States which increased subsidies to the rice industry so that 40% of U.S. rice growers' profits came from the government by 1987. Haiti's peasant farmers could not possibly compete. By 1996 Haiti was importing 196,000 tons of foreign rice at the cost of $100 million a year. Haitian rice production became negligible. Once the dependence on foreign rice was complete, import prices began to rise, leaving Haiti's population, particularly the urban poor, completely at the whim of rising world grain prices. And the prices continue to rise. The example of Haiti demonstrates some of the universal but largely unexpected paradigms of globalization. First and foremost, while globalization does demonstrably have a net positive effect for all participating countries, it is clear that the positive effect is far more pronounced for the wealthier nations. In other words, while the processes of political and economic globalization may aid a nation like Haiti, the same processes are a degree of magnitude greater for Western Europe and the United States. Second, while this may appear to be of net benefit overall, the reality is that it results in a widening disparity between rich and poor nations. That is - by comparison - even though Haiti may have grown nominally wealthier due to globalization and its interactions with the United States, the richer have grown richer and the poorer have grown poorer. So ultimately, the gap widens, and from a comparative perspective, Haiti winds up poorer than ever. Globalization is only of universal benefit when nations can participate equally and reap equal benefits. As long as the underdeveloped nations like Haiti are exploited for lower labor costs, lower environmental standards, and weaker political structures, globalization will serve as a largely damaging influence.
XI Haiti and Poverty That the distribution of wealth between nations is uneven, often contrary to logic, occasionally grossly unfair, and ultimately detrimental to the human species as a whole is a statement few would question; the evidence of such global disparities in affluence are plainly visible. "Three billion people live on less than two dollars per day. One billion lack clean water. One billion are illiterate. 840 million don't have enough to eat on a daily basis." Defining the problem is not difficult - in fact, it is largely self-defining, as evidenced by the scenes of poverty and misery that populate the nightly newscasts. More important than the nature of the problem is the question of how to address that problem, both collectively as a global community and as individual nations. Ultimately, it seems logical that for affluent nations to ignore the abject poverty of their neighbors near and far will eventually be a detriment to national self-interest. Famine, drought, war, disease, and poverty are not localized; allowing such human conditions to exist unfettered in any part of the world will eventually affect all nations. It is thus in our best interests to address these social conditions on a grand global scale, but the question remains: how best to bring about meaningful change in the disparity of wealth? Some ideologues have suggested a form of global socialism, a system in which resources are shared and distributed equally, regardless of which nations created wealth or performed the necessary labor. For obvious social and political reasons, such a utopian vision is unlikely to succeed in the foreseeable future. A more pragmatic and practical approach that has gained favor in recent decades has attempted to use the self-interest of wealthier nations, by encouraging foreign investment in underdeveloped nations. The basic theory is simple: businesses and government-sponsored enterprises of the affluent nations can take advantage of foreign opportunities, new sources of resources, new customers bases, inexpensive labor, and less restrictive governmental regulations, by doing business in poor underdeveloped countries. These activities are more efficient and profitable because of the advantages of doing business in underdeveloped countries. Conversely, the poor nations benefit through these interactions, because of increased local employment, increased intake of foreign revenue, and the overall economic stimulus provided by the economic relationship with larger and more affluent nations. Theoretically, this sort of arrangement is beneficial for both rich and poor nations, provides a pragmatic rather than idealistic solution to the disparity of wealth between nations, and provides hope that the poorer nations could ultimately fully join the global economic and political community; however, in practice, these international policies carry numerous unintended consequences, some of which are significantly detrimental to underdeveloped nations. One of the most obvious drawbacks to these international economic policies is the reality that while such interactions may be beneficial when the difference in affluence between countries is less pronounced, for the severely underdeveloped nations these relationships generally lead to economic and social exploitation. To illustrate this point, consider the trade relationship between the United States and Mexico: clearly the U.S. is far wealthier, and there is some level of exploitation involved when U.S. corporations do business south of the border. However, because the disparity in wealth is not as drastic as in other cases, Mexico does tend to benefit. U.S. companies provide jobs at relatively high wages, and the Mexican environment is negatively impacted to some degree, but Mexico holds enough power to retain some balance in the relationship; for each concession, there is some quid pro quo involved, and ultimately both sides reap benefits. By contrast, consider the trade relationship between the Western nations and the poorest countries, like Malaysia and other underdeveloped Asian nations. Because those nations have so little economic or political power, they are desperate for any new influx of capital; as a result, they embrace foreign investment without necessary governmental regulations and restrictions. Companies from around the world, even U.S. companies, employ local labor at a small fraction of what U.S. workers would earn; local workers may be happy to be employed, but the unconscionably low wages leaves them trapped in a vicious circle of poverty, in which they cannot realistically leave their employer. As discussed in the prior section on globalization, Haiti experiences this with singularly powerful impact; while the forces of globalization may have positive impact, that disparity in wealth means Haiti will always be open for exploitation. According to Easterly: "Today, Haiti is the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere - and ranks in the poorest tenth of countries worldwide." In this scenario, the host nation becomes so dependent on these foreign investors that they do not dare enforce environmental regulations, and as a result pollution and other environmental problems are often significant when compared with similar facilities in Western countries. Ultimately, the underdeveloped host nations become wholly dependent on their foreign investors. The society and political system relies on that foreign investment, which leaves the system vulnerable: should the investment be withdrawn for any reason, the society will often collapse into chaos and anarchy. Ironically, despite the fact that the more affluent counties take advantage of these disparities in wealth to promote their own self-interests, such policies will likely ultimately be damaging to those same affluent countries. The theoretical purpose of these relationships is to benefit both countries: to enhance the local economy through foreign investment, and to profit the investors through opportunities not available domestically. Unfortunately, short sighted investors seek to fully take advantage of all available opportunities, seeking to maximize short-term profits. In other words, they exploit the weaknesses in the poorer country, operating "sweat shop" labor operations, polluting the environment, denigrating the local culture, and manipulating local politics, all in an effort to make the most out of the exploitative opportunities. In the short-term, this policy makes sense - but in the long-term, it will lead to economic and political disaster, perhaps on a global scale. The reason for this is self-evident: nations are not oblivious to their own exploitation, and the popular culture soon becomes resentful of the foreign involvement. When that foreign investment is withdrawn, or when the local population will no longer tolerate their sense of cultural and political exploitation, the foreign nation will be seen as the enemy. Where once that investment might have been met with appreciation, it will quickly be viewed as a hostile act of foreign intervention. For the corporations and enterprises involved, this shift in cultural attitudes will end the profitability of their foreign investment, and for the wealthier nations, they will have bred an entire nation of future enemies. In this post-September 11th world of global Islamo-fascist terrorism, the ramifications of these short-sighted policies cannot be ignored. First, it directly benefits the more affluent nations to assist the economies of poorer nations, and to encourage the spread of democratic reforms. While in the short-term, immense profits can be had through exploitation of poorer nations; in the long-term it makes more sense to create a bond of meaningful friendship with that nation, to build its economy into a powerful international entity, in order to create an entire new base of consumers for Western goods and services. A poor populace cannot create a significant demand for those goods and services, but a more prosperous nation, with a population that has a positive perspective towards their wealthier benefactors, will represent an endless opportunity for Western businesses. Second, and perhaps more importantly, there is real political and physical danger in allowing the disparity in wealth to continue at current levels. Poverty breeds hopelessness and despair, and for those in that socioeconomic situation it is only natural to seek to affix blame. For the poor citizens of exploited countries, nations like the United States are targets of envy and even hatred. While that hatred may be undeserved, the exploitative international policies certainly of the U.S. do not help to abate that cultural reality. The result, inevitably, is an increase in the number of enemies of the West, who are willing to use massive violence to protest their own sense of exploitation. While global terrorism cannot be eradicated simply through adopting a more fair-minded approach to international relations, it can and does remove the local support for terrorism in those developing nations. Finally, conditions of poverty in underdeveloped nations lead to a wide range of conditions that ultimately affect the wealthier nations, including disease and war. To ignore these realities in favor of short-term economic and political gains will only do harm to the wealthier nations, once the inevitable effects reach U.S. shores. As Jean-Bertrand Aristide wrote: "Our planet is entering the new century with fully 1.3 billion people living on less than one dollar a day. Three billion people, or half the population of the world, live on less than two dollars a day. Yet this same planet is experiencing unprecedented economic growth. The statistics that describe the accumulation of wealth in the world are mind-boggling. From where we sit, the most staggering statistics of all are those that reflect the polarization of this wealth. In 1960 the richest 20% of the world's population had 70% of the world's wealth; today they have 86% of the wealth. In 1960 the poorest 20% of the world's population had just 2.3% of the wealth of the world. Today this has shrunk to just barely 1%."
The poor nation of Haiti exemplifies perfectly this disparity in wealth; it is particularly troubling to see that disparity after so much direct American involvement - which has caused as much of the poverty as it has alleviated. It is ultimately in our own interests to take a long-term perspective and to embrace meaningful cooperation with poorer countries. According to Easterly: "Today's dysfunctional state in Haiti reflects, in part, the legacy of minority European settlement - and of the worst kind. Back in 1789, Haiti (then known as Saint-Domingue) was one of the richest places in the world - and the most unequal. A population of 40,000 whites, 30,000 freed mulattoes (the offspring of slave-owners) and 450,000 slaves produced $800 million in exports in today's dollars. Exports included sugarcane, coffee, cotton, indigo, and cocoa. At the time, Saint-Domingue provided 60% of the world's coffee and 40% of the sugar imports of France and England."
Interestingly, perhaps the best explanation for the impact of globalization specifically on the nation of Haiti came from this description offered by its former President Aristide: The choices that globalization offers the poor remind me of a story. Anatole, one of the boys who had lived with us at Lafanmi Selavi, was working at the national port. One day a very powerful businessman offered him money to sabotage the main unloading forklift at the port. Anatole said to the man, "Well, then I am already dead." The man, surprised by the response, asked, "Why?" Anatole answered, "because if I sneak in here at night and do what you ask they will shoot me, and if I don't, you will kill me." The dilemma is, I believe, the classic dilemma of the poor; a choice between death and death. Either we enter a global economic system, in which we know we cannot survive, or, we refuse, and face death by slow starvation. With choices like these the urgency of finding a third way is clear. We must find some room to maneuver, some open space simply to survive. We must lift ourselves up off the morgue table and tell the experts we are not yet dead.
Ultimately, poverty is Haiti's legacy. It is arguably the legacy of all the Caribbean former colonies of European powers, but Haiti's remarkably diverse and dramatic history, and the repeated interventions from external forces, has left Haiti remarkably impoverished more than two centuries after it won its independence. Poverty is now the benchmark by which progress can be measured: when Haiti rises out of poverty, it will be able to resist external domination; when it can resist interventionist forces, it will be able to fully take its place in the international community. When it begins to function independently both politically and economically, it will then be able to benefit from globalization. At the moment, however, Haiti is mired in poverty - and its future remains uncertain.
XII The Future of Haiti At present, Haiti is a nation with an illiteracy rate approaching 85%. The unemployment rate remains high, the population scarcely educated, and malnourishment is common. All of these are - at least partially - either directly or indirectly the results of political and military interventionism. For Haiti to prosper as an independent nation, it must first and foremost be allowed to operate without external interference. Nevertheless, as recently as 2000, according to Jean-Bertrand Aristide, "the United States was leading a concerted effort to block aid to Haiti's government, not just American aid but also grants and loans from other sources, including loans from an international agency that would have financed an increase in the supplies of potable water and improvements in roads, education, and the public health system. The stated reasons for this policy were various and changeable. The real reasons probably included longstanding institutional fear and distrust of Aristide, a hope that Haitians might blame him for the country's continuing decline, and general weariness with Haiti's problems."
While U.S. official policy in the current post-Aristide era is purportedly a hands-off non-interventionist policy, Haiti experts suggest and predict that the U.S. - and other major powers - have been and will continue to exert influence on Haiti, in ways that are likely to have continued negative consequences. One of the fundamental problems involved in Haiti making an effective transition to a successful democracy with a flourishing economy is that Haiti simply has no democratic traditions. It's long history of violence, anarchy, dictatorship, and political conflict, has left he Haitian population unsure how to proceed under democratic governance. As Ben J. Scott wrote: "A U.N. team monitoring Haitian elections in 1990 noted, in their first report, the absence of democratic traditions and the prevalence of totalitarianism and violence in Haiti. In this condition, Haiti challenges both the notion that democracy can develop in recovering countries and the notion that recovering countries can develop democracy. The challenge is that those things which allow democracy to function-multi-party systems, freedoms of association and expression, protection of human rights, a vital civil society, a free and competent press, widespread participation, and free and fair elections-are the products of democracy. While the obstacles between Haiti and democratization used to be tyranny, torture, and corruption, the current obstacles come in the form of inexperience and incompetence in the machinery of democracy. The challenge of reinvigorating the democratizing process is one for which Haiti needs the support of the international community, primarily with implementing free and fair elections."
The key to Haiti's future is establishment of a stable, enduring democracy - yet this has been the most elusive factor in Haiti's three centuries of history. Democratization will have to be successful if Haiti is to emerge from its current condition. Many who have studied this issue are hesitant to believe Haiti's democratization could occur. However, optimism is an option; current developments suggest that several strong forces work in favor of democracy in states recovering from eras of conflict. Namely, the current prestige and legitimacy that democracy enjoys and the familiarity of democratic principles (though not its intricacies) allow these recovering states to build on a working understanding of and confidence in the basic machinery of democracy. Also, democracy is generally associated with economic health, and such economic stability (or hope of it) only bolsters existing democracy and popular support for it. If it is to succeed, Haiti may require a renewed commitment from the international community to ensure the success of democratization. In the interest of lasting peace, the U.N. and other international entities need to foster new democracies by offering formal oversight to ensure the proper and effective administration of new governments. This may involve rather specific segments of Haitian society and public administration being buttressed by international support. While such involvement is important to create enough stability for a new democracy to succeed, buttressed success should not be confused with self-sufficiency, and the Haitian government needs to be independently stable and confident before taking complete control of those operations. Ultimately there is a great deal of hope for Haiti. It has a desirable climate and significant amounts of natural resources; it is situated in a region that is more politically stable and peaceful than at any time in recent history. 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