Haiti: it has ever been thus
06 Apr 2004 22:47 GMT
Without subscribing to the idea of history repeating itself, a look at the history of Haitian politics might be instructive regarding US intervention. Haiti is a child of revolution, and the history of US intervention extends back to 1800.
Regimes change frequently, and violently. Leyburn summarizes the era immediately preceding world war one: "Of the twenty-two heads of state between 1843 and 1915, only one served out his prescribed term of office, three died while serving, one was blown up in his palace, one presumably poisoned,one hacked to pieces by a mob, one resigned. The other 14 were deposed by revolution... ...The overthrow of a government usually degenerated into a business venture, with foreign merchants...
initially funding a rebellion in the expectation of a substantial return after its success."5 different leaders rose and fell during the 3 years between 1912 and 1915. Escalating violence precipitated US intervention in 1915, and the occupation of Haiti effectively bridged the time period between world wars in an embarrassing example of Wilsonism".