Haiti: Time for Clinton and Co to Pack and Go

Once more, we have tasted salt. We have mourned our dead from the earthquake and the cholera epidemic. The collective depression, the temporary zombification has lifted. It is time to evict the occupier and pursue the traitors and enemies of our independence. No exception.

This is not the first time the United States has occupied Haiti and been evicted from it. The first occupation began during the administration of the questionable Nobel Peace Prize laureate President Woodrow Wilson in 1915. It was countered by an armed insurrection that grew to include over 40,000 Haitian fighters who regularly engaged the US marines. Although this insurrection was ultimately crushed, it was followed by numerous popular strikes in Haiti as well as calls in the US by women’s groups and Black Americans to end the occupation. The return to sovereignty was relatively simple: a committee was assembled to organize legislative and presidential elections. The occupation formally ended in 1934, near the start of the presidency of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who personally came for a flag-raising ceremony in Haiti to recognize its independence.

Back in 1915, the Monroe Doctrine needed no cover of legitimacy or humanitarianism. The cowardly Sudre Dartiguenave was picked as Haiti’s President while US marines waited with bayonets at the ready for the correct choice to be made by the legislature. Two years later, the legislature was dissolved outright by Major General Smedley Butler when the Haitian parliament refused to ratify a US-drafted constitution.

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A treaty was forced on Haiti that created the post of US High Commissioner, to run the country alongside its hand-picked “Haitian” president. General John H. Russell was appointed to that post. The US flag was raised in Haiti. Control of the country’s finances, public works, and public health services were transferred to southern US Democrats who had supported Wilson’s campaign, in much the same way that these are transferred today to USAID and non-governmental organizations (NGO). The idea then was the same as now: all Haiti’s economy should serve the US, and nearly all US dollars paid as wages in Haiti should return to the US. For more than three decades, the occupier also collected taxes from Haitians that amounted to 40 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP).

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Clinton saw in the earthquake of 2010 his opportunity to become the new US High Commissioner of Haiti. Hardly anything in his approach was novel, except for his recruitment of Latin Americans to support his project. Argentina, Brazil and Chile were offered the chance to get prestige on the world scene and assemble a repressive force away from the prying eyes of their nationals by training and modernizing their armies on Haitians as their unsuspecting victims. Thus these countries became the ABC core of the United Nations (de)Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH): the only so-called UN peacekeeping force in a country that is not at war. MINUSTAH began its career by killing thousands of Lavalas partisans so as to suppress the popular rebellion against the coup that removed Haiti’s elected president, Jean Bertrand Aristide. Currently Bolivia, Canada, Ecuador, El Salvador, France, Guatemala, Honduras, Indonesia, Jordan, Nepal, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, the Republic of Korea, Sri Lanka, the United States and Uruguay also participate in an expanded MINUSTAH.

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Once Clinton’s repressive army was in place, he set out to wrest economic control of Haiti. Within four months of the earthquake, he formed the Interim Haiti Recovery Commission, IHRC: a strictly pay-to-play group of officials/rich businessmen from the MINUSTAH countries and others who agreed to contribute armed personnel from their countries or money (at least $100 million in a two-year period, or erasure of over $200 million in debt) in return for a piece of the action in Haiti. After some arm twisting and alleged bribery, the Haitian parliament was forced to declare a state of emergency for 18 months during which Clinton and his IHRC gang could do as they pleased with regard to reconstruction, without risk of liability. One year and a half came and went, and when the Haitian Senate observed that nothing much had been accomplished, the state of emergency was not renewed, and the IHRC was alleged to be fraudulent.

By then, Clinton and his cronies had begun to search for another way to continue their economic stranglehold on the country, and this would include a suitable Haitian President: specifically, one who would be popular with the young but lack patriotism. They found their man in the vulgar musician Michel Martelly. His election became a mere formality after an electoral commission excluded from participation the Fanmi Lavalas party, which commanded 80 percent of the electorate. Observers from Caricom and the Organization of American States (OAS) legitimized the results despite countless irregularities and ballots from only about 20 percent of the electorate. Such are the conditions under which Michel Martelly was (s)elected President of Haiti.

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Simultaneously with the assembly of the new parliament in Spring 2011, Clinton tried to push on Haiti a series of constitutional amendments, nearly all of which aimed to centralize the government so that the country would be more easily controlled via its executive branch. In particular, the Haitian Supreme Court, normally appointed with the input of communal assemblies, would be replaced by a Constitutional Council of Martelly appointees. All local judges, mayors, and departmental governors would also be replaced by Martelly appointees. Finally, the president would be allowed to serve consecutive terms instead of being limited to non-consecutive ones of five years. After the parliament refused to ratify those changes, it was not dissolved. Such things are no longer done in this era of humanitarian imperialism. The constitutional amendments were simply imposed on the country by presidential decree, and the parliament was allowed to atrophy from a neglect to hold legislative elections.

Clinton picked Laurent Lamothe as Haiti’s Prime Minister. He did not have to look far: Lamothe was a rich businessman and CIRH member. Haiti is not exceptional in having men like Martelly or Lamothe who would eagerly serve as the Vichy administration to an occupier. It is hardly surprising that the first allegiance of such individuals is to money. Soon after the installment of the Martelly-Lamothe regime, the electrical grid and running water services began to be dismantled in Haiti’s major cities. This had the effect of depressing land prices in areas coveted by government officials as well as creating a reason to solicit aid funds. Worse, Martelly appointees – some with criminal records – began to ransack and even destroy Haiti’s city halls and local courts. Peaceful protests against these insults met with violent attacks, initially from MINUSTAH and later, from a rapidly growing and increasingly militarized Haitian police force.

Yet more egregious recent actions by the Martelly-Lamothe regime have included: the appropriation of Haiti’s offshore islands by the tourism ministry by decree, followed by the imprisonment and suspicious death of activists who had opposed the land grabs; an agreement to grant the collection of Haiti’s customs taxes to a private Swiss company for 10 years, without discussion with the parliament; the acceptance of reparation funds from Uruguay by the executive branch, also without consultation with the parliament; the suspicious death of a judge who had been investigating a case of usurpation and money laundering brought against the president’s wife and son. There was never an inquest; the plaintiffs in the case, Enold and Josue Florestal, have been incarcerated since August 2013 in what are generally regarded as being politically motivated imprisonments.

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Protests throughout Haiti have reached fever pitch. Some municipalities, like Petit Goave and Port-au-Prince have held over 20 days of actions to express their disgust with the incompetent and corrupt occupation regime.  Despite public support from Bill Clinton, his protégé Laurent Lamothe was forced to resign his post as Prime Minister on December 13, 2014. Michel Martelly, who is also supported by Bill and Hillary Clinton, will probably go the same way. The international community, which had been content to parasitize Haiti in its worst moment, recently began to cry that the country is entering a crisis, because the failure to hold elections will cause the dissolution of the parliament on the second Monday of January 2015. Coincidentally, Monday, January 12, 2015 will also be the fifth anniversary of the earthquake: a day for stocktaking, for sure. Clinton’s paltry achievements in reconstruction will not fare well.

Haiti is not entering a crisis, it is emerging from one. If the international community wishes to conduct legitimate business with Haiti, then Clinton’s damages must first be mended. Elections must be held at the earliest possible date for all local officials (mayors, judges), the legislature, and a new president. A prime minister must be appointed, and a supreme court must be seated. With regard to Haiti, the expressions constitutional crisis and political chaos from the international community have usually been threats to declare a failed state and propose governance by the UN or receivership by the US. Such threats are hardly worth anyone’s notice. It is quite unwise for the UN and US to presume that they would fare better than Napoleon in an attempt to take Haiti by force.

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There is no other choice for the Clintons but to leave Haiti, together with their international cohort of parasites, including MINUSTAH, the NGOs and USAID. If Bill Clinton has peddled to his rich friends parts of Haiti that never belonged to him, then let this be his personal quandary. A series of legal actions relating to embezzlement, corruption and money laundering are already being taken against Martelly’s family and Lamothe; Clinton might well get caught in the same net. Contracts entered into during the period of runaway larceny by the Clinton-appointed Martelly-Lamothe regime deserve no more respect than the purchase of one’s stolen watch on a street corner. Haiti is not for sale: not in bulk, not in retail.

 Editor’s NotesDady Chery is the author of We Have Dared to be Free. This article is also available in French and German. Photographs one, eight, nine, eleven, twelve, and thirteen from UN Photo archive; photographs three, five, seven and ten from the archive of Ansel; photograph six from the archive of UN Development Program

UPDATE 1. After more than a year in prison, the political prisoners Enold and Josue Florestal, were released to the Haitian human rights group Réseau National pour la Défense des Droits Humains (RNDDH), and to their families, during the afternoon of Friday, December 19, 2014.

 

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29 Responses to Haiti: Time for Clinton and Co to Pack and Go

  1. +1 Vote -1 Vote +1Tom Braak
    December 15, 2014 at 3:59 pm

    I suggest the author run for president of Haiti. Her first act upon being elected should be to kick out all NGO’s and block all financial transactions that originate in the states or France. I wish you luck.

    • Dady Chery
      +11 Vote -1 Vote +1Dady Chery
      December 16, 2014 at 2:23 am

      My views on NGOs, especially religious ones like yours that presume to bring their superior culture to Haiti, are well known. Along the same lines: if I should run for office in Haiti, it would be on my own advice and with the counsel of my chosen advisors.

  2. +12 Vote -1 Vote +1L.harri
    December 15, 2014 at 7:15 pm

    Mrs Chery:

    Marvelous! Beautiful. But you forget the misdeeds of Bellerive, Latortue and Gousse. Yet good job.

    • Dady Chery
      +8 Vote -1 Vote +1Dady Chery
      December 16, 2014 at 2:29 am

      Thank you, L Harri. For the sake of brevity, I decided to focus on the post-earthquake period. Bellerive and the others will have to wait for another article.

  3. +11 Vote -1 Vote +1Paul Frank
    December 15, 2014 at 8:30 pm

    Heart-wrenching report. Thank you Dady.

    • Dady Chery
      +6 Vote -1 Vote +1Dady Chery
      December 16, 2014 at 2:30 am

      You are welcome, Frank. Thank you for spreading the word.

  4. +8 Vote -1 Vote +1Peterson Bonpied Jerome
    December 16, 2014 at 5:08 am

    Very good Dady.

  5. +8 Vote -1 Vote +1Loulou
    December 16, 2014 at 7:52 am

    Dady Chery,

    Mwen renmen anpil dokiman sa-a ou poste sou intènèt la-a. Onsèl ti bagay mwen ta renmen di. Mwen konnen Haiti se yon peyi ki pòv anpil, sa ki fè nou nan sitiyasyion nou ye jodi ya se paske nou pa gen yen edikasyion, twòp moun pa konn li ak ekri, lòt peyi pran avantaj inyorans nou. Nou tèlman pòv nou nan nesesite, depi yon moun sot kote li soti li ofri senk kòb, lòt la ki te deja pa genyen, li pran l pou l ka al fè dezòd yo mande l pou l al fè.

    Mwen dakò pou Ayisyen revandike, pou yo choute bouda moun ki vle okipe peyi ya. Men antretan se pou nou sispann kraze sa nou deja genyen ki kanpe, se pou nou sispann touye yonn ak lòt. Gouvènman yo pa bon se vre a kòz de kòripsyion, men chak fwa nou kraze yon bagay peyi ya fè plis bak paske nou pa genyen mwayen pou nou ranje-l jan li te ye ya.

    Nou dwe sispann kache pèp la verite sou sa ka-p pase, tout bagay se sekrè. Si te genyen lòt moun menm jan avèk ou, lè yo konnen verite ya yo tap mete l deyò pou tout moun li e konnen sa ka p pase, mwen kwè ta genyen yon ti limyè, yo ta jennen fè peyi ya mal. Depi Ayisyen wè blan, yo konnen de bon dye.

    Mwen ta swete lòt moun wè atik la a, yo li l, yo konprann li, e je yo klè.

    • Dady Chery
      +8 Vote -1 Vote +1Dady Chery
      December 16, 2014 at 12:11 pm

      Mèsi anpil Loulou. M pral fè oun tradiksyon an franse, e pyi tou, m ankouraje tout moun ki kapab pou yo pote infomasyon sa yo na radyo an kreyòl, pou pèp ayisyen kapab konnen l.

  6. +6 Vote -1 Vote +1Guy S. Antoine
    December 16, 2014 at 9:34 am

    MINUSTAH and the structures that support it must go, I have said a hundred times before. I also wrote about the farcical elections in Haiti, over which Hillary Clinton presided with explicit threats of revocations of visas of Haiti’s servile and corrupt political agents. To the enduring chagrin of all who have a historically rooted sense of Haiti’s place in the world, the country’s sovereignty has been parceled out and sold to the highest bidders (and particularly so, under the imposed Boniface-Latortue/Gousse regime). However, we still have much difficulty envisioning a solution to Haiti’s ills short of a full-blown revolution and I am not thinking of a bloody one controlled by special interests, but one rooted, impossibly as it may appear, on True Love and sense of Purpose and Destiny. At this point in time, we are far from having the correct mindset to counter effectively the special interests that keep us under occupation. When Haitian elites will finally comprehend the futility of “diners blancs” and “carnavals de fleurs” and other such vanities in the midst of the increasing despair of the populace and the lack of urgency with respect to restoring our crumbling environment, then and only then will we be able to educate each other and join hands in the reconstruction of our country, locals and diaspora alike, irrespective of the puppet governments which they will continue to put in place in the foreseeable future.

    I agree by and large with the expose until I read this : “Elections must be held at the earliest possible date for all local officials (mayors, judges), the legislature, and a new president.” It leaves me puzzled. The questions that occur to me are these : A new president, really? Under the guise of what legal cover? Wouldn’t it better to seek to pressure him and control his actions rather than replace him at once and all that truly implies? Do we have the money to finance and run our own elections or will they be once again financed by France, Canada and the U.S., while we expect them miraculously to not try to exert influence in seeking to impose their own agenda? Note that it is not my wish to express opposition to the idea of having a completely new and remodeled government run by Haitians for national interests. However, at this point, I am seriously disillusioned by the successive presidential and legislative elections in our homeland, and I am left to wonder when Haitians will finally reclaim their sovereignty and revolutionary ideals which have been so trivialized time and time again.

    • Dady Chery
      +6 Vote -1 Vote +1Dady Chery
      December 16, 2014 at 7:02 pm

      Yes. We must continue our revolution with “True Love”, as you write, and a sense of “Purpose and Destiny.” As I’ve noted before, one cannot expect to be left alone after doing something as audacious as taking a piece of land because one has slaved for it.

      As for the elections: Haiti urgently needs local and legislative elections, and these should be given priority. The rest (President, Prime Minister) could probably wait. I agree that we cannot expect free and fair elections that are funded by the UN (= US, France, Canada). Elections are not so expensive and really do not require much more than a group of honest people who can count. Certainly, money and technology are no guarantee of a correct count. Apart for some bribe money, for example, it did not take a whole lot of technological know how to steal the last presidential election by excluding the Fanmi Lavalas Party.

  7. +9 Vote -1 Vote +1Mondy
    December 16, 2014 at 10:29 am

    This is a well-written article and it begs for the attention of every Haitian, those who live abroad just as those in the motherland. Those wolves covered with some socially accepted title are in Haiti, but for its detriment. I have yet to understand why some as rich as the Clinton family are still trying to become richer on the backs of poor Haitians… Indeed, the NGO, USAID, and CIRH all must go, and a return to Haiti’s sovereignty must prevail. There will be a price to pay for this, but it will be just a temporary one… Cuba once accepted that challenge and it survived marvelously well… I would urge every single Haitian to answer to their call toward a Free Haiti once and for all…

  8. Dady Chery
    +8 Vote -1 Vote +1Dady Chery
    December 16, 2014 at 12:16 pm

    Peterson, Mondy: Thank you for your kind words and for your work spreading this information.

  9. +8 Vote -1 Vote +1Wilson
    December 16, 2014 at 4:57 pm

    One of the best article on Haiti I’ve read in a while. Good job, Dady.

  10. +6 Vote -1 Vote +1Amunptah MA'AT
    December 16, 2014 at 5:25 pm

    Ma’at Hotep

    Thank you Haiti, for showing the world how, when and where to divest from freak perverts who say we will help you rebuild. And your present situation is more destabilized than before they came. Oh yeah, do yourself a favor and divest from all ties with W.H.O -

    I am possessed by a spiritual force which I cannot resist. Live long and prosper.

  11. +9 Vote -1 Vote +1Enide Salomon
    December 16, 2014 at 6:48 pm

    Dady, I command you on this fantastic article. Everything is well written. This will help Haitian-Americans understand what’s going on in the island of Haiti. Once again, congratulations! And first and foremost, keep it up. Do what your instinct tells you to do. Overall, use your charisma, your patriotism. As you said, this is because of our high percentage of illiteracy. But again this is the way they!!! wanted it. Illiteracy goes together with poverty.

    Again mwen wete chapo devan ou.

    • Dady Chery
      +8 Vote -1 Vote +1Dady Chery
      December 17, 2014 at 11:16 pm

      Thank you for the kudos Wilson and Enide.

  12. +6 Vote -1 Vote +1Rosevel Altidor
    December 16, 2014 at 7:15 pm

    I agree with you that the Martelly-Lamothe regime is corrupt and controlled by Bill Clinton. But you forgot to say why we have them. Do you know how many presidents we have ousted out From Baby doc to Aristide? Will the situation of Haitian people ever change? We all know that the politicians of Haiti care only about money. They don’t care about the country. They don’t care if all the schools are closed because their kids are not living in Haiti. We would never have Bill Clinton or Martelly if our politicians cared about this country or the people. Since 90% of the people are unemployed, they use them for $50 US to boule kaochou et bagay ki fet deja. Menm moun sa yo kap mande pou Matelly ale, se menm moun sa yo ki tap mande pou aristid ale et ki te suporte Matelly. It is time for us to realize that an ousted president is not the solution. It never worked and it will never work. One good thing we did in our history is we fought for our independence. Do you know how we did it? We came together and we fought and won. Since then, we’re divided and we always have a mediator between us. I have one question, can we come together again and have one good solution for this country?

    • Dady Chery
      +10 Vote -1 Vote +1Dady Chery
      December 17, 2014 at 10:21 pm

      Hi Rosevel, I understand why you feel the way you do, but I tend to see things more positively than this.

      Clinton has had his fingers in Haiti since he brought Aristide back in 1994. The names of the Presidents and Prime Ministers change. That’s all. Many Haitian politicians do care, but the great majority of those who do are not in the central government but in local governments. They are the mayors, judges, local governors in towns and departments all over Haiti. They’ve been put through hell by this occupation. They’ve received death threats. At least one mayor has been beaten and imprisoned for defending a group of peasants against a rich family that wanted to take away some common lands. Many Haitian senators and MPs have fought tooth and nail to prevent Clinton from selling the country to his friends. This is exactly why these Haitian politicians have been removed from office by decree or by not holding elections.

      Our independence is probably the most audacious act in human history. Like you write, it took all of us fighting together to win this. We do have our differences, including the rift between our elite of mostly mulattoes and the 99 percent who are poorer and darker. Even so, compared to other countries like Rwanda or Nigeria, for example, that have ethnic/religious differences that can be exploited by the occupier to start civil wars, we Haitians are remarkably united.

  13. +9 Vote -1 Vote +1Loulou
    December 17, 2014 at 10:53 am

    I wish one day the country will find an honest person to win the Haitian presidential election, a person who will say no to bribery, a person who will see the country but not his pockets, a person who will help decrease the percentage of the country’s illiteracy, and this way the country will eventually come out of poverty. It is absurd to say that we do not need other countries’ help, but if the help is poisoned we need to have the knowledge of this and the strength, the courage, the resilience to say NO.

    I am not an expert, I do not know anything about elections but like Dady Chery said, “we just need honest people who know how to count”. Stop the intimidation, do a lot of motivation, school the people on how it is important to have an election and respect each other. We do not have to beat or kill one another just because our opinions are different.

    It hurts me to see that my countrymen are always at war among themselves just because we do not value our existence, the life of one another. Other countries talk about how resilient we are, when in fact we aren’t really, because we’re so quick to accept anything, -anything- from a coward (a manipulator in disguise) to go do anything stupidly reckless without foreseeing the shameful result.

    Encore une fois Dady Chery, je te dis mille merci pour cet article, je le trouve superbe.

    • Dady Chery
      +10 Vote -1 Vote +1Dady Chery
      December 17, 2014 at 11:12 pm

      You are welcome, Loulou. Thank you for your kind words. I agree with you that we should be able to find someone to serve as president who is honest, strong and ambitious for the country. Another Dumarsais Estime, for example, would work. There are so many good people in Haiti!

  14. +7 Vote -1 Vote +1yourstruly
    December 17, 2014 at 6:47 pm

    Haitians
    descendants of African slaves
    two centuries post-liberation
    for having defeated Bonaparte’s mightiest
    they’re still being punished
    their “crime”?
    heirs to the only slave revolt that led to the founding of a state
    lest history repeat itself somewhere else

  15. +7 Vote -1 Vote +1Tom Cleary
    December 18, 2014 at 7:52 pm

    Thank you so much for your detailed accounts on what really happens in Haiti. We have received no news about the recent protests nor the resignation of Lamothe. You are our only source of information. Keep up the good work. I wait for the day when Haiti is free of the leeches who call themselves its ‘saviors’.

    • Dady Chery
      +5 Vote -1 Vote +1Dady Chery
      December 19, 2014 at 10:06 pm

      You are welcome, Tom. Glad to be of service.

  16. -9 Vote -1 Vote +1Eco-Drive
    December 20, 2014 at 5:37 pm

    This person actually calls herself a journalist? Please do all journalist a favor and don’t call yourself one. This article was so bias it almost made me puke. People if you really want quality news the BBC news is unbiased unlike this load I just read.

    • Dady Chery
      +10 Vote -1 Vote +1Dady Chery
      December 20, 2014 at 6:19 pm

      I too find the word “journalist” to be unpalatable. Unlike mainstream journalists, I do not make any pretense of being unbiased, nor do I parrot anything reported by AP (American Propaganda) without verification, or take dictation from the US State Department, or consider every word uttered by government officials, including clear attempts to defame their political opponents (like, for example Laurent Lamothe’s widely reported assertions that those who opposed his usurpation of Haiti’s offshore island Ile a Vache are drug dealers), to be newsworthy. I am quite unimpressed by mainstream media journalists who have contacted me because of my expertise on Haiti. For the most part, they cannot find their way out of a paper bag. I will enthusiastically adopt a different title if one can be found.

  17. +6 Vote -1 Vote +1Tim White
    January 4, 2015 at 4:33 pm

    Dady, thanks for your lucid and uncompromising writing. The people of Haiti are truly an inspiration in the strength and courage they display every day not only surviving but fighting for the kind of nation they envisage.

  18. -2 Vote -1 Vote +1Rene Zas
    January 27, 2015 at 3:05 pm

    Hi,
    Being a Swiss citizen, I’m really interested to know more about this Swiss company that collects taxes in Haiti. It wouldn’t be SGS, would it?

    I appreciate your writing. And I agree that it is really bitter to see left-wing Latin-American governments being part of Minustah, though I definitely would not equate them with their right-wing “collegues”.

    Thanks for any information

    Rene Zas

  19. Dady Chery
    +5 Vote -1 Vote +1Dady Chery
    January 27, 2015 at 3:57 pm

    Hello Rene,

    Thank you for your kind words. Yes, it is SGS. Left-wing Latin-American governments like Ecuador, Argentina, Bolivia, and Uruguay, are actually far more damaging because they give a veneer of legitimacy to what is actually a brutal foreign occupation project. There is not a single criterion by which one could argue that Haiti has become more “stable” since the insertion of this supposed “stabilization” force. Crime has increased and, as of January 12, 2015, Haiti became a full dictatorship without an elected parliament, judiciary, local mayors, etc. The oppressed Latin American citizens of these supposed left-wing governments understand that their governments are not what they pretend to be. The propaganda from these countries seems to be especially directed at left-leaning Europeans, Americans,… and of course, Australians. Pity Julian Assange. Ecuador has essentially been under control of its army since Fall 2010.