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How America and the Rest of the World Ruined Haiti|Axisoflogic.com


Flag Of HaitiFrance was not the only country to force Haiti down the road to failure. In 1909, US financiers began to lay the groundwork for an American occupation of Haiti. It was around that time that the National City Bank, based in New York, acquired a stake in Haiti’s central bank and created a railway to support American exploitation of Haitian resources, especially cheap labor (a little more expensive than out-and-out slavery, but…) and a variety of agricultural products for American consumption, such as sugar (and, later, the industrial production of baseballs and women’s undergarments). As Graham Greene wrote in The Comedians, his novel about Haiti in the 1960s: “It is astonishing how much money can be made out of the poorest of the poor with a little ingenuity.”

There was never any real excuse for the occupation. Haiti was unstable, the Americans said, after a sitting president was dragged from the French embassy by a mob and killed; shortly after, the marines descended. Well, Haiti had been unstable for years. The occupation was simply a mechanism to control Haiti while American businesses sucked value out of the country and made sure nationals of other countries could not. A year after the occupation’s end, Maj. Gen. Smedley Butler, the marine in charge of establishing and securing control, wrote: “I spent most of my time being a high-class muscle man for Big Business, for Wall Street and for the bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism…. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in.” via |Axisoflogic.com

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