This Country is an Original Experiment in Nation-Building

This Country is an Original Experiment in Nation-Building
Survivors of the 2010 Haiti Earthquake lived in tent cities for fear of aftershocks. Credit Scott Spaulding, USMC.

It's not surprising that one of the most violent, impoverished nations in the Western Hemisphere, if not, the World, has suffered from at least three U.S. interventions in the last century.

That country is Haiti.

Few Americans are aware of the fact that Haiti was invaded and occupied by the United State Marine Corps from 1915-1934.

For the intervention's relative obscurity, the details are shocking.

This military action saw U.S. Marines acting as debt collectors. In 1914, Marines seized $500,000 from the Haitian National Bank and took it to New York. The U.S. then "gained complete control over Haitian finances, and the right to intervene in Haiti whenever the U.S. Government deemed necessary." The invasion suppressed a peasant resistance movement, killing approximately 15,000 Haitians. U.S. Marines collected payments directly from Haitians.

The Marines essentially declared martial law in the nation, creating the Haitian Gendarmerie, "a military force made up of U.S. citizens and Haitians and controlled by the U.S. Marines." The Marines then forced the election of a new pro-American president.

The 1914 invasion and occupation is only the tip of the iceberg.

And now the U.S. want to intervene again.

In next week's episode, I asked my friend Scott Spaulding to come on the show to discuss his study of Haiti and his experience during a 2-month Marine Corps deployment there after the 2010 earthquake.

This episode was recorded last night and is available to supporting members through the link below.