The Foreign-Hand Syndrome: a Country that is Not Your Government
Posted 14 September 2011, by Fernando Moyano (translated by Dady Chery & Posted by Ezili Dantò), OpEdNews, opednews.com
First published in SURda By Fernando Moyano
Translated from the Spanish by Dady Chery
(See below: Haitian Protesters Demand Ouster of UN Troops and Dady Chery’s Did Harvard scientists cover-up UN source of Haiti cholera? and UN, Uruguay and the Literal and Systemic Rape of Haiti by Ezili Dantò)
Everyone knew it. The [Uruguayan] minister of “defense” who is supposedly versed in military matters, always says that he knows very well how a barrack runs. Simultaneously he argues that the facts surrounding the recent denigration of Haiti involved only four “bad apples” and not the military institution.
If true, one would have to think that the Navy commander of a unit is picked for being the most reverend a**hole who can sit on a couch and let a striped alligator pass right under his nose. As you know, things like this are difficult not to know.
A month ago a report by a Haitian NGO in Port-Salut denounced the rapes of minors perpetrated by Uruguayan marines from MINUSTAH. Within a matter hours, the Navy carried out an “internal investigation” that concluded these allegations were all false and all the military innocent. The ministry, government, all across the political spectrum, the communications media, made use of that version.
Then a specific complaint came to light, with a victim referred to by name: an 18-year-old kid. And a video appeared. Now the Navy version says that this is a joke in very poor taste.
The versions from the army are that this is a joke in poor taste, statements by the Secretary of the President of the Republic are that this is a joke in poor taste, the conclusions from the UN are that this is a joke in poor taste.
The events occurred two months ago and took a month to hatch because of the shame and pain of the victim, but the video taken at the naval base shows with what bravado these rapists did their feat.
The military command denies everything about the investigation. But totally outside, a Haitian manages to get a copy of the video and broadcast it; someone goes to the Internet; a Haitian judge takes up the matter and notifies the United Nations, which refers the matter to the Uruguayan Ministry of Foreign Affairs. And that’s when the minister of “defense” takes cognizance.
But before this, a human rights organization in Haiti collected facts demonstrating that an exchange of sex for food called “cambiar” is a practice that was installed in the Uruguayan naval base in Haiti from the beginning, together with traffic in illegal substances. It is impossible for these things to exist without knowledge of the command. Those entering any military unit must pass through checkpoints. There is a guard’s office and an officer in charge, and so on. And no soldier turns a blind eye without getting something for it. Anyone who really knows headquarters knows how this works.
It is also impossible that what happened in Haiti was unknown to Montevideo . The relay system is such that 75% of the troops and almost 90% of the officers go through “peacekeeping” destinations, and those who return always talk about the things that are going on.
The fact that the Navy investigation exonerated all fault while pretending not to know the real facts is a flagrant proof of concealment and complicity. Similarly, the versions “softening” the involvement of the U.N. are the clearest demonstration of the cynicism of these “peacekeepers.”
The U.N. office was lying shamelessly when it said that a rape had been ruled out of the question. The case forwarded to it by a judge included the video as well as the victim’s testimony, and medical experts found a tear in the victim.
Murphy’s Law dropped one on them. Things are bursting because of the undeniable failure of MINUSTAH, yet they are being forced to accommodate this body and are only talking about a “phased withdrawal”” In 10 years!! And as Murphy’s law is bound to do, things blew open in Uruguay , which had to play the “good soldier”. Only two months ago, pedophilia made its appearance on the scene when the Uruguayan army organized to show the benefits of MINUSTAH to the Haitian people in a photographic exhibition that wound up displaying scenes of Uruguayan soldiers inappropriately playing with Haitian children.
Mujica’s government worked all this time (and there’s a difference with the previous ones) to “restore the image” of the armed forces, insisting that “inside” the “soldiers of the homeland” must have “friendly relations” with the people, and outside, they try to play a subservient role in the international order as good so-called “peacekeepers.” Both
have failed in the worst way.
But the issue here is not rape but degradation. Throughout history all occupation armies have been rapists. But this is because this condition destroys the morality of the occupant and leads to aberrant acts.
Sexologist Gomensoro Arnaldo Uruguay explains: in these violations,
“Sex is just the tool to consummate the act of violence against those people who are discriminated against, the sadistic abuse of power by those who have the ability to oppress their victims, a political issue [and not merely one about sex or gender]. This is why the victims are often small children whose only attribute in common is their vulnerability and helplessness.”
Mujica says this is normal for some soldiers in every army. He fails to explain why this is so, and he also fails to specify that this is an army of occupation soldiers, because they are occupying. And the proof that this is a military occupation (and not a “humanitarian intervention”), if this requires confirmation, is the fact that it violates the self-determination of peoples and promotes the widespread moral degradation of the soldiery.
So let us deal with the political question.
It is our responsibility as a people, beyond what this government does or does not do, to assume solidarity with the Haitian people while we occupy a worthy place in the world. It is our responsibility to join the fight as anti-imperialists and anti-militarists.
We happened to be at an interview on 30 August with Uruguayan Foreign Minister Luis Almagro and Vice Chancellor Roberto Conde, attended by other members of the Coordinating Committee for the Withdrawal of Troops from Haiti and two representatives of the PIT-CNT. We were told that the position of the Uruguayan government was to go to a “gradual withdrawal”.
We reiterated our demand for immediate withdrawal and offered our personal opinion about it: to stay five more years would be nonsense, and talk of ten years would mean DOUBLE nonsense.
In our organization for the withdrawal of troops from Haiti, we’ve heard four arguments from those who support keeping the troops. They are always the same.
1. The military exists, and this gives them something to do.
2. We are there to prevent a direct U.S. invasion.
3. If we leave, these blacks are going to kill each other.
4. Uruguay is acquiring better standing in the world with the “peacemissions”.
In a future series we will deal more thoroughly with these points. Briefly our points of view are as follows:
1. The “peacekeeper” role has become the almost exclusive task of the Uruguayan armed forces and a way to keep them hypertrophied, parasitic, and useless for territorial defense.
2. The U.N. does not contain or resolve conflicts but is a globalized world policeman serving the imperial order.
3. Haitians present is a new paradigm of recolonization.
4. Social democratic governments in Latin America meet the sad role of easing the burden of “sepoy” military imperialism.
5. In Uruguay the “sepoy” is congenital to the country and its bourgeoisie, and this also fits the current government policy of ex-prisoners becoming jailers, extending the complicity of the past.
6. Nevertheless, the political decline of the current American and Social “sepoy” imperial order on the one hand, and the resistance of the Haitian people on the other, are causing a crisis in the laboratory of neocolonial domination. There’s a chance to reconnect the
links of solidarity between the peoples of our continent, beyond the quarrels between the bourgeoisie pimps and governments.
Forwarded by Ezili’s Haitian Lawyers Leadership Network (HLLN)
Haitian Protesters Demand Ouster of UN Troops
Source: VOA News, Sept 14, 2011 | http://bit.ly/prgUdV
Photo: AP Amidst tear gas, a young man carries stones during a protest in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, September 14, 2011.
Police in Haiti have clashed with hundreds of protesters demanding United Nations troops leave the country after peacekeepers allegedly sexually assaulted a young man.
Police in the capital city of Port-au-Prince fired tear gas to disperse the demonstrators Wednesday, while some demonstrators threw rocks at police.
The protest was sparked after a video taken on a cell phone showed several Uruguayan peacekeepers taking part in what appeared to be a sexual assault on an 18-year-old man. The video was widely seen on the Internet.
Uruguay’s president has apologized to Haiti, saying Uruguayans were humiliated by the “criminal and embarrassing” behavior of a few of their soldiers. The government has also dismissed a naval officer and recalled five soldiers over the incident. A Uruguayan team is in Haiti investigating the incident. When U.N. peacekeepers are accused of misconduct, it is up to their country of origin to investigate and discipline any offenders.
The U.N. said Wednesday it had also sent a senior team to the Caribbean nation to enforce the organization’s zero tolerance policy for misconduct. The team will meet with the leaders of Haiti’s U.N. mission (MINUSTAH) as well as with Haitian authorities in an effort to show how seriously they take the allegations of sexual abuse.
About the troops
More than 12,000 U.N. troops and police officers serve in Haiti, as part of a force created in 2004 to help stabilize the impoverished and politically volatile country. The U.N. increased the size of the force by a third last year after a devastating earthquake killed more than 220,000 people.
South American countries contributing troops to the Haiti mission have agreed to ask the Security Council to reduce the number of troops deployed there. Officials now believe conditions have improved enough to withdraw some of the additional troops, providing Haiti’s security is not comprised.
Haitian President Michel Martelly has condemned the apparent sexual assault. However, despite Wednesday’s protest, Martelly is not currently expected to ask that the entire force withdraw.
Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.
HLLN’s FREEHAITIMOVENT honors the Story of Janjak
“It’s time for Haitian Parliament to void the Status of Force Agreement (SOFA) between Haiti and MINUSTAH signed by the unconstitutional and unelected Haiti officials in 2004 and subject those in the UN who have prostituted and sodomized our children and poisoned our water system to appropriate national and international courts and justice standards. Deportation and MINUSTAH withdrawal is NOT enough. Innocent Haitians have a human right to a court hearing, trial and reparations for these gross and depraved UN injustices. The UN cannot be above the law. The UN was not conceived and established as a colonizing power or a proxy for enslavers with blanket immunity and impunity for rape, spread of contaminable diseases and crimes against humanity. Justice for Haiti for these gross wrongdoings cannot be left at the DISCRETION of its United Nation victimizers.
” — Ezili Dantò of HLLN , UN, Uruguay and the Literal and Systemic Rape of Haiti
by Ezili Dantò
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