Was Moise killed to stop China’s Belt and Silk Road in the Caribbean?

Billions in international aid to Haiti after the 2010 earthquake went to enrich Haiti’s oligarchs.
Billions in international aid to Haiti after the 2010 earthquake went to enrich Haiti’s oligarchs. | Photo: Jon Warren

By Chris Fry

Did the Biden Administration violate Executive Order 12333 and Article 4 of the UN Charter by arranging the assassination of Haiti’s President Jovenel Moïse on July 17? If so, President Biden could legally be found guilty of an impeachable offense by assassinating a foreign leader. Was this murder done to prevent Moise from switching recognition from U.S.-backed Taiwan to socialist China?

Evidence is mounting of U.S. directing the murder plot against Moise. At least four of the Colombian mercenary ex-soldiers that burst into the Moise residence and shot him after gouging his eyes out and also shot his wife in their bedroom were trained at Fort Benning at the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation. Formerly known as the School of the Americas, it has been often referred to by peace activists as the “School of the Assassins.”

The U.S. government admits that some of these mercenaries were paid informants of the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA). The Haitian security forces allowed the mercenaries to enter without resistance. As the Washington Post reported on July 19th:

Though police teams eventually made it to the house, there are lingering questions about why the president’s regular guard units were not able to protect him and whether roadblocks set up near the house were circumvented. Presidential security chief Dimitri Hérard was removed from his position and placed under detention, police announced July 15.

Two American mercenaries, James Solages and Joseph Vincent, were arrested with several others at a house owned by Magalie Habitant, a major figure in Moïse’s right-wing Tet Kale party.  Eleven mercenaries were arrested at Taiwan’s embassy, a mile from Moise’s residence. In total, Haiti National Police said there were 28 presumed conspirators responsible for Wednesday’s raid, with 17 arrested, three dead and eight still at large.

A July 15th Post article  describes a planning meeting in May in Florida, where fantastic plans, certainly based on U.S. promises, were discussed of Haiti’s development once Moise was removed:

In a spacious meeting room overlooking the courthouse in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., a vision to “save Haiti” took shape. The $83 billion effort would reinvent the Western Hemisphere’s poorest nation, lavishing it with roadways, electricity grids, seaports and airports.

Haiti’s new dawn, attendees at the May 12 meeting were told, would be led by Christian Emmanuel Sanon — a 63-year-old Haitian American and self-described pastor and physician now detained in Haiti in connection with the investigation into the audacious assassination of Haitian President Jovenel Moïse.

Sanon’s stated mission during that gathering: Turn “Haiti into a free and open society,” said Parnell Duverger, 70, a retired professor who attended the Fort Lauderdale presentation and had drafted the redevelopment plan pitched by Sanon.

Those arrayed around Sanon included Walter Veintemilla, a Florida financier who invests in infrastructure projects, and Antonio “Tony” Intriago, the owner of a local security firm also in Florida, according to Duverger and another person familiar with the meeting. The gathering became a precursor to an ambitious written proposal shared among Sanon and the two business owners the following month and obtained by The Washington Post.

A company owned by Veintemilla, Worldwide Investment Development Group, and Intriago’s CTU Security would recruit and assemble a private security force to protect Sanon until he became Haiti’s president, according to the details in an unsigned draft consulting agreement obtained by The Post. Sanon ultimately would repay them for their services using the country’s assets, according to the draft contract circulated on June 22.

Apparently, most of the mercenaries were told that the plans for Moise’s removal would be the same as the 2004 coup against popular and progressive President Aristide, who was kidnapped and hustled out of the country by the CIA. Some thought they were there to serve an “arrest warrant”.  But for Moise there were other plans:

Colombian President Iván Duque said some of the former soldiers from his country who had been arrested appeared genuinely to believe that they were in Haiti to serve as bodyguards.

But among the soldiers was a “smaller group” that “apparently had detailed knowledge of what was to be a criminal operation,” Duque said during a radio interview.

Diem Assassination – 1963

U.S. imperialism has no compunction about removing its hired henchmen if they prove unable to carry out its wishes. On November 2, 1963, President Kennedy discussed how he gave the ok to the Saigon generals that assassinated Ngo Dinh Diem that same day. Diem had been installed by the U.S. to be president of the illegitimate “South Vietnam” regime. Like Moïse, Diem was more and more using brutal repression against the people of Vietnam that inflamed so much opposition to the U.S. occupation that the White House decided he must go. The coup leaders shot Diem and his brother dead.

Little did Kennedy know that three weeks later he would meet the same fate in Dallas. As Malcolm X said at the time: “The chickens have come home to roost.”

Haitian and other activists around the world clearly see the hand of the U.S. in the Moise assassination. But the motive seems murky. After all, Biden could have forced him to flee the country, which most of these conspirators apparently thought would happen. Or they could have agreed with the legal scholars of the Haitian constitution that his term expired in February and simply no longer recognized him. Certainly, Moise’s corruption and brutal repression had already created massive popular opposition to his regime, with huge frequent militant protests in the streets. There must be some other reason why Moise had to die, his voice silenced.


China’s Belt and Silk Road in the Caribbean  

On July 15th, a week after Moise’s assassination, a Taiwan newspaper noted  the concern of imperialist politicians:

Two United States congressmen on Wednesday wrote to Secretary of State Antony Blinken urging the State Department to be wary of Chinese meddling in Haiti following the assassination of Haitian President Jovenel Moïse last week, while also highlighting the importance of the Caribbean nation’s ties to Taiwan.

“We are concerned about the potential ripple effects this assassination may have on stability, both within Haiti and across the wider region — as well as the doors it may open to political interference by the People’s Republic of China,” House representatives Scott Perry and Tom Tiffany wrote in their letter.

Haiti is one of Taiwan’s 15 diplomatic allies [out of 195 countries – CF].

China had refrained from trying to woo away Taiwan’s diplomatic allies when relations between the two sides were good from 2008 to 2016.

However, Beijing sees the current Taiwanese administration as being pro-independence. Amid poor relations between Beijing and Taipei in the past five years, China has been increasingly active in its attempts to poach nations that have formal ties with Taiwan.

According to the U.S. congressmen’s interpretation: “China is constantly seeking opportunities to pressure these nations to switch their diplomatic allegiance from Taipei to Beijing in an effort to exert more political and economic influence on the developing world.”

Citing as examples, they said countries such as Burkina Faso, El Salvador and the Dominican Republic have all in recent years given in to Chinese pressure and abandoned ties with Taiwan.

A May 17, 2018, Miami Herald article titled: “The Dominican Republic ditched Taiwan for China. Is Haiti next to cut diplomatic ties?”, states:

Anyone who has been to Haiti’s capital knows that crumbling infrastructure, terrible gridlock and blackouts are the norm.

Youri Chevry, the mayor of Port-au-Prince, says foreign aid can help him change all that — but not from Haiti’s traditional partners. From mainland China.

“We don’t have a city,” said Chevry, who campaigned on reviving the destitute capital city, which was destroyed in the 2010 earthquake. “It’s not about China, or anybody else. It’s about rebuilding Port-au-Prince. China is offering me something that I like and I want to go for it.”

“If these things happen, it’s going to be a real start for Haiti, not just Port-au-Prince,” said Chevry, who initially just wanted to rebuild City Hall and the famous Croix-des-Bossales market where slaves were once sold, before the Chinese offered much more.

But there is a problem. Haiti remains loyal to Taiwan, which has been scrambling to hold on to its diplomatic allies as China steps up its campaign to force formal recognition of its “One China” policy by luring countries away from Taiwan with economic incentives. Because Beijing considers Taiwan to be a breakaway province that will one day be reunified with China, it won’t extend diplomatic relations to countries that recognize Taiwan. The Dominican Republic became the second country in the region, after Panama last year, to make the switch to Beijing, reducing Taiwan’s diplomatic allies to just 19. [El Salvador also switched, and Taiwan is now down to just 14 countries that recognize it, plus the Vatican – CF]

Moïse, who has been in office 15 months, is facing a $155 million budget deficit, dwindling foreign aid and mounting discontent over expected increases in fuel prices. He is under considerable pressure to find external financing to improve Haiti’s poor economic outlook and fulfill a slew of campaign promises, including bringing 24-hour electricity to all of Haiti within the next 13 months.

An article from the East Asia Forum (EAF), written on July 23, 2019, discusses China’s strategy during the Trump regime:

China’s ability to connect Caribbean nations to the Maritime Silk Road is an important barometer of the Belt and Road Initiative’s (BRI) global applicability. In recent years, the United States has become an absent steward over the Caribbean. Aid is dwindling, ambassador posts remain empty, and a chorus of Caribbean leaders are showing a willingness to accept BRI funding as a way to meet badly needed infrastructure improvements.

Beijing is throwing a lifeboat to many small Caribbean nations, attempting to sell its model of development to a region saturated with US influence. The increasingly prominent Chinese presence — coupled with generous and sometimes exorbitant loan terms — is promulgating fears that Beijing is laying a ‘debt trap’ to secure assets such as land in the United States’ backyard.

But seeing the BRI as a real-estate grab is short sighted and rehashes Cold War warnings that Chinese money comes with uniquely sinister strings attached. As a study from the Rhodium Group shows, China re-negotiates loan terms far more often than it seizes assets, as in the oft-cited Sri Lankan Hambantota Port.

Western fears about Caribbean nations being saddled with Chinese debt are selective. As recently as 2012, Jamaica’s debt was 147 percent of its GDP, but most is owed to Western lending institutions like the IMF, the World Bank and the Inter-American Development Bank. Money from Beijing’s EXIM Bank only accounts for 3.9 percent of Jamaica’s overall debt, even though the country is China’s largest trading partner in the Caribbean.

The Caribbean Development Bank estimates that the region still needs a further US$30 billion in infrastructure. China is attempting to show it is best suited to meeting these needs through low interest rates and a steady flow of cash.

Up until his murder, Moise had not announced a severance with Taiwan. But as the EAF article notes:

China has pledged billions to revamp infrastructure in the capital of Haiti, one of Taiwan’s oldest allies. Haitian President Jovenel Moise’s regime has signaled that its friendship with Taipei should not be taken for granted: ‘Taiwan is a long-time friend … [but] Haiti is looking for where its interests lie’.

To shore up some popularity among the Haitian people, Moise may have threatened to make this switch of recognition. Coupled with the current rising tide of threats against People’s China by the White House, this is more than a sufficient motive for Moise’s murder, sending a deadly message to all the countries of the region by the Biden Administration.

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