CSMS Magazine Staff WritersPresident Rene Preval of Haiti is set to meet with president Bush at the White House on May 9, according to a White House press release. For some time, there have been speculations of a possible visit of George Bush to Haiti, especially following the Hugo Chavez’s triumphant visit to Port-au-Prince last March.It appears this was just a rumor. However, there are clear indications that the White House is worried about Chavez’s warm welcome that he received not only in Haiti, but also wherever he went with his firing, anti-Bush message last March. In proxy politic, Washington has to make its own move. “Under President Preval’s leadership, Haiti has made important progress in strengthening democratic institutions and laying the groundwork for economic stability,” the White House states in the press release, giving the impression that Haiti is moving in the right direction and that welcoming Preval is just a reward for his effort to make this happen. According to the press release, the two presidents will hold a series of discussions, “including recent efforts by the United Nations stabilization mission in Haiti to enhance security and opportunities for promoting growth and prosperity in Haiti.” It remains to be seen if the “pause” in the violence Haiti is the direct result of the Preval’s presidency.The United States has been influencing politics in Haiti since 1915, when it invaded the country and brutally suppressed the peasantry, which supported a resistance movement against the occupation. Its leader, Charlemagne Masena Peralte was captured and killed. His body was displayed on the main public square in Cap Haitien, the country’s second largest city. All this was part of an effort to create fear into the minds of the people, who fiercely opposed the occupation. The United States finally left the country in 1934, after 19 years of a humiliating occupation, but continued to be the main player in Haitian politic. To assure its long lasting grip on the country, the US maintains close ally with the country’s recalcitrant petite bourgeoisie, buying it nationalism by awarding its allegiance through tourist visas, scholarships and other types of privileges. Rene Preval, a conformist politician from this social layer, is no different. His visit will look more like a provincial ruler paying a visit to his master in Washington, rather than a serious meeting between two Heads of States. Meanwhile, the masses in Haiti continue to wallow in poverty. In this cruel game, when will they get the last laugh?
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