The Haitian people didn't want it, even most of the candidates rejected it, so who was supposed to benefit from Haiti's November election? The exercise only has value for those who paid for it, the U.S., who spent $14 million on this fraud in hopes of disguising the fact that Haiti is a U.S. colony.
The Haitian sham elections may go down as the most bizarre and macabre exercise in hypocrisy in the history of U.S. imperialism. Haiti's most popular and only political party with a mass following—the Fanmi Lavalas organization of exiled president Jean Bertrand Aristide—was barred from running. By the time election day rolled around, 12 of the 19 candidates were denouncing the government for perpetrating a "massive fraud" on the citizenry. Turnout was probably not much more than single digits, which is usual for Haitian elections in which Aristide's party is not allowed to participate—an electoral travesty equivalent to outlawing the Democratic Party in New York or Boston.
With at least 1.5 million Haitians without adequate shelter, the entire population still in shock over the loss of 300,000 people in January's earthquake, an economy in ruins, a non-existent infrastructure, and a raging cholera epidemic that could spread to 200,000 people, Haiti is the last place to stage an election. But the most important question has been: an election to what? There is no Haitian state to speak of, no prize to win. Haiti is no longer a sovereign nation, but has been reduced to a protectorate of the United States, France, and Canada, with blue-helmeted UN soldiers acting as security. French African colonial regimes wielded more authority in the transition to independence than Haiti's shell of a government exercises today.
The U.S. invasion of 2004 and the kidnapping and expulsion of its president opened Haiti to United Nations occupation. Haitians themselves call the country the "Republic of NGOs," with more foreign "aid" outfits per capita than any place in the world, all of them doing their own thing with no accountability to a single Haitian, including the despised, outgoing president, Rene Preval. Only a fraction of the billions raised for earthquake reconstruction have been spent and only a small part of that was allocated to the Haitian government.
So what election, for what government? The U.S. insists on treating the results as valid, which may mean that a singer named "Sweet Micky" who sometimes wears diapers on stage will become the nominal head of state. And why not? There is no Haitian state. That is something for the Haitian people to build, once they have thrown off the dictatorship of Washington.
Glen Ford, a long-time journalist and broadcaster, is co-founder of Black Agenda Report, where this article first appeared. He is the author of The Big Lie: An Analysis of U.S. Media Coverage of the Grenada Invasion.