Media reports on Secretary General of the United Nations Ban Ki-Moon’s appointment of former President Bill Clinton as a special UN envoy to Haiti have lauded his role in “helping” Haiti out during his presidential terms.
The Associated Press reports, with no irony intended, that, “Clinton has worked to bring aid to Western Hemisphere’s poorest nation…Clinton is popular among many of Haiti’s poor because as president in 1994, he used the threat of military force to oust a dictatorship in the Caribbean nation.”
What are Ban Ki-Moon, the U.N., and the corporate media thinking? Bill Clinton is one of the worst choices the U.N. could have made for a special envoy to Haiti.
Jeremy Scahill, blogging at Rebel Reports, explains:
“When Clinton came to power, he played a vicious game with Haiti that allowed the coup regime to continue rampaging Haiti and further destabilized the country. What’s more, in the 1992 election campaign, Bill Clinton campaigned on a pledge to reverse what he called then-President George HW Bush’s ‘cruel policy’ of holding Haitian refugees at Guantanamo with no legal rights in US courts. Upon his election, however, Clinton reversed his position and sided with the Bush administration in denying the Haitians legal rights. the Haitians were held in atrocious conditions and the new Democratic president was sued by the Center for Constitutional Rights (sound familiar?).
While Clinton and his advisers publicly expressed their dismay with the coup, they simultaneously refused to support the swift reinstatement of the country’s democratically elected leader and would, in fact, not allow Aristide’s return until Washington received guarantees that: 1. Aristide would not lay claim to the years of his presidency lost in forced exile and; 2. US neoliberal economic plans were solidified as the law of the land in Haiti.”
For Jeremy Scahill’s full article, titled “Bill Clinton Named New UN Envoy to ‘Stabilize’ Haiti, a Country He Helped Destabilize,” click here.
Scahill was also on Democracy Now! this morning, talking on the same issue.