On November 5, 2006, the Haitian Anti-Imperialist League addressed an open letter to Presidents Evo Morales of Bolivia and Lula da Silva of Brazil asking them to withdraw their troops from Haiti, where they are part of the United Nations Mission for the Stabilization of that country, in conjunction with the United States, France, Canada, Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, Croatia, Ecuador, Spain, Guatemala, Jordan, Malaysia Morocco, Nepal, Paraguay, Peru, the Philippines and Sri Lanka (www.anarkismo.net).
The letter reminded Evo and Lula that the UN “is an instrument in the hands of the imperialist powers, especially the North American imperialist superpower.” It added that the attitude of other, conservative, neoliberal and reactionary presidents is understandable, but one might hope for a more balanced and just attitude from other authorities with a better sense “of the tragedy suffered by our country, once again a victim of the interventionist policy of the
The request went unheard and last December 22, 400 soldiers of the occupation force, led by the Brazilian general José Elito Carvalho Siquiera, with the support of helicopters, armoured vehicles and heavy artillery carried out a massive attack on the poor neighborhoods of Port-au-Prince, the capital, resulting in the deaths of at least 17 persons and wounding 40. The repression was ordered by the UN Security Council, and carried out by soldiers from
This “Christmas” gift was in retaliation for the December 16 protest in the streets by the poor people of
The Executive Power and the Parliament
In the second meeting of the cabinet of the newly-installed Bolivian government, in February 2006, the Minister of Defence, Walter San Miguel, reported that he was sending a request to parliament to authorise the sending of Bolivian troops to the Congo and that this was the tenth mission our country would carry out under UN agreements.
As Minister of Hydrocarbons and Energy, I opposed the initiative, arguing that if
San Miguel explained that we were fulfilling previous commitments and this would be the last time this authorisation would be sought. This reasoning was backed by the Head of State and the other ministers. It should be mentioned that the presence of foreign troops in the
Four months later, a new request was made to parliament to send troops to
Not one parliamentarian had the courage to request a report, even less so an interpellation, of the Minister of Defence for these decisions.
Nobel Peace Prize
Many international personalities and organizations, including Adolfo Pérez Esquivel, Rigoberta Menchú, Leonardo Boff, Hebe de Bonafide, the Human Rights Assembly of Ecuador, the Bolivarian Circles of Venezuela, the “Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo” in Argentina, and the National Cadre School for the Defence of the Cuban Revolution are actively campaigning to have the Nobel Peace Prize awarded to President Evo Morales. It is important that the campaign include a call on the Head of State to withdraw Bolivian troops from the
The case of