“How George H.W. Bush Made Guantanamo a Prison, Starting with Haitians” by Kim Ives

The second of two articles

Guantanamo-Haitian refugees
Haitian refugees being held at Guantanamo’s Camp McCalla on Dec. 31, 1991, three months after the coup d’état against Pres. Jean-Bertrand Aristide. Credit: Carol Halebian

(First part)

After George Herbert Walker Bush died on Nov. 30 at age 94, the mainstream press favorably contrasted him to Donald Trump, portraying the former Republican president as “kinder” and “gentler,” two watchwords from his inaugural speech.

But, Trump’s signature aggressivity towards immigrants is epitomized through extra-territorial interception and imprisonment and separation of families, brutal policies which were, in fact, pioneered by Bush I during the Haitian refugee exodus following the Sep. 30, 1991 coup d’état in Haiti.

Haitian-refugees-lined-up-in-cots-in-the-McCalla-hangar-in-Guantanamo-Bay-Naval-Base-on-Dec-5-1991-AP-Photo-Chris-OMeara
A hangar at Guantanamo Naval Base where Haitian refugees were housed on cots in late 1991 through May 1992. Credit: Chris O’Meara/AP

As we saw in this series’ first article, George H.W. Bush’s administration gave manifest and tacit support to dictator Prosper Avril (1988-1990) and to the first coup d’état against democratically-elected Pres. Jean-Bertrand Aristide.

As a result of that putsch, tens of thousands of Haitians took to the high seas in small boats, many fleeing for their lives. In the first year after the coup, the U.S. Coast Guard intercepted some 38,000 Haitians in international waters.

U.S. interdiction of Haitian refugees had begun in September 1981 under Pres. Ronald Reagan, for whom George H.W. Bush was vice-president. Under the rules laid out by Reagan’s Executive Order 12324 titled “Interdiction of Illegal Aliens,” Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) agents on board U.S. Coast Guard cutters were supposed to interview and “identify candidates for asylum as political refugees under United States and international law,” explains University of Miami law professor Irwin Stotzky in his new book Send Them Back, about the efforts of crusading lawyers (including himself) on behalf of Haitian refugees during the 1980s.

The screening process was laughable, with interviews which were not private and as short as five minutes, while the snatched-up “boat-people” were often hungry, thirsty, scared, and confused.

Tents-on-runways-at-Guantanamo
Haitians lived in hundreds of tents at Camp McCalla at Guantanamo under the George H.W. Bush administration.

“As a result of these defective procedures, only 28 of the approximately 23,000 Haitians on vessels interdicted by the Coast Guard from the inception of the interdiction program in 1981 until mid-1991 were identified by INS officials as potential asylees,” Stotzky writes.

During Aristide’s eight months in office in 1991 (Feb to Sep), there was a net human influx back to Haiti, as thousands of joyful expatriate Haitians returned to their homeland to take part in a new democratic experiment after three decades of dictatorship.

But the 1991 military coup cruelly cut short that hope-filled period and provoked a new refugee wave which overwhelmed the U.S. Coast Guard ships stationed off Haiti’s coast. As a result, the Coast Guard began transporting Haitians to the U.S. Naval base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, housing them in giant hangars and Camp McCalla, a makeshift city of hundreds of tents set up on Guantanamo’s paved runways and loading docks. At its peak, there were over 12,500 Haitians detained there.

After eight months, the Bush I administration finally dropped all pretense of giving Haitians any due process and discarded the Reagan-era screening protocols, as imperfect as they were. “On May 24, 1992, claiming there were too many Haitians coming, Bush ordered the Coast Guard to intercept all Haitians fleeing in boats and immediately return them to Haiti, without interviews to determine if they were at risk of persecution or death,” Stotzky explained to Haïti Liberté. 

Refugees filling up water buckets at Camp McCalla, 12.31.91
Haitians at Guantanamo’s Camp McCalla on Dec. 31, 1991, three months after the coup d’état which ousted Pres. Jean-Bertrand Aristide. Credit: Carol Halebian

Beginning in 1991, “when the U.S. detained Haitian refugees indefinitely, it set a precedent,” concluded Prof. A. Naomi Paik in a comprehensive article last June about Haitians at Guantanamo on the website The Conversation.

This was the beginning of Guantanamo being used as a prison, for which it would become even more famous in the early 2000s after it was used to hold, in legal limbo, prisoners swept up in George W. Bush’s wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Guantanamo’s HIV Prison, Camp Bulkeley

Perhaps the least kind and gentle feature of the senior Bush’s internment of Haitian refugees was Camp Bulkeley, a God-forsaken collection of sun-baked buildings where close to 300 possibly HIV-positive Haitians were held until June 1993. U.S. Judge Sterling Johnson, who ruled in favor of allowing the refugees to finally come to the U.S., said that Camp Bulkeley was “nothing more than an HIV prison camp.”

These Haitians had been found to have plausible claims for political asylum, but they were barred from entering the U.S. because of their HIV status. Hundreds of children were interned in the larger Camp McCalla, and at least 25 children went through Camp Bulkeley.

George H.W. Bush’s Attorney General William Barr presided over what has been called “the world’s first HIV detention camp.” Today, not ironically, President Donald Trump has nominated Barr to be Attorney General once again.

On Dec. 10, CBS News ran an article on Barr’s role in overseeing the first use of Guantanamo as a prison camp. Although an immigrant rights leader called the way Haitian refugees were treated “a stain on United States history,” Barr defended his policies at Guantanamo as late as 2001…

For full article please continue

 

 

EU approves military operation against Mediterranean refugees

“…More than 300 slavery and migration scholars respond to those advocating for military force against migrants attempting to cross the Mediterranean. This is no slave trade. Where is the moral justification for actions that cost lives?…..
European Union political leaders have announced that their response to the staggering loss of life amongst migrants crossing the Mediterranean in unseaworthy vessels will be the use of force to smash the so-called ‘networks’ that operate out of Libya to orchestrate the perilous sea crossings. How? On May 11, EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini stated that “No one is thinking of bombing. I’m talking about a naval operation,” but two days later, the Guardian reported on a leaked strategy paper for an EU mission in the Mediterranean and in Libyan territorial waters proposing an air and naval campaign. This, the paper said, would lead to ‘collateral damage’. In other words, adults and children boarding or aboard the vessels under attack might be killed. With or without bombs, such ‘collateral damage’ is already a known product of the measures being employed by the EU to push back, deter, and divert migrants, including those seeking asylum. ..

https://www.opendemocracy.net/beyondslavery/twisting-%E2%80%9Clessons-of-history%E2%80%9D-to-excuse-unjustifiable-violence-mediterranean-refugee-c

News for the Revolution

By Johannes Stern
May 21, 2015
World Socialist Web Site

The European Union is putting its plans for a military intervention in the Mediterranean and North Africa into action. The decision was made by EU foreign and defence ministers at a meeting in Brussels on Monday.

A press release states: “The Council has agreed today (18 May) to establish an EU military operation—EUNAVFOR Med—to break the business model of smugglers and traffickers of people in the Mediterranean. This decision, which is one element of the comprehensive EU response to the migration challenge, will enable the formal start of the operational planning for the naval operation.”

The first phase of the mission to uncover the smuggling networks and their routes will begin immediately, to be followed by a second and third phase “that would work to search, seize and disrupt the assets of smugglers.”

According to the press release, the Italian…

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Money tells a lot of things

The money, that the people carry in everyday, says a lot. During almost exactly a century, nearly half the planet, saw this woman face on the surface of the money. And, most of them continue to see. You can hear nasty rumors about who manages to the world in real. The secret is stored in the image on the money face. Well, what makes the privileged to owner of this picture? This question is the real question that the people should be asking to themselves on the planet.

Racism: Human Zoos

http://www.popularresistance.org/deep-racism-the-forgotten-history-of-human-zoos/

the quote from enter of the article:

“Racism is deeply embedded in our culture.  Slavery of African people, ethnic cleansing of Native Americans and colonialist imperialism are seeds that intertwine to create racism that still has impacts today.  One example of the sad human history of racism — of colonizers seeing themselves as superior to others — is the long history of human zoos that featured Africans and conquered indigenous peoples, putting them on display in much the same way as animals. People would be kidnapped and brought to be exhibited in human zoos.  It was not uncommon for these people to die quickly, even within a year of their captivity. This history is long and deep and continued into the 1950s.  Several articles below with lots of photos so we can see the reality of this terrible legacy. KZ”

If you take 5 minutes to review this web-site, you will see one of the true face of human history in the capitalist world.

If you take 5 minutes to review, you will see that the people died in starvation and disease and for many reasons in those area. They’ve been exhibited like circus animals with plucking from their world by the civilized(!) humanity.

If you take 5 minutes for examining the articles at this web pages, you will see that all of the majority of the human population on this planet is actually considered as to be a guinea pig.

And in today, the racism has changed only own form. It does repeat in different ways. Just think, what has changed today?