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Haiti Has Become Ground Zero For Brazil To Flex Its Muscle Against The US

Matter-Eater Lad

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Brazil military leaders have preemptively refused to relinquish command of the UN mission in Haiti, in face of a planned influx of more than 10,000 U.S. troops.


The country that commands the mission will control a large and ongoing international military effort, according to Al-Jazeera columnist Gabriel Elizondo.


Whether or not America wants or can afford another military commitment, taking command in Haiti signifies continued leadership in the western hemisphere. That claim was central to America's rise to global hegemon, as expressed in the Monroe Doctrine.


If Brazil maintains command, the rising power can claim military leadership of all Latin America. France, which is also a traditional power in Haiti, has not contested mission command.


Already the turf war has played out in tension over plane landing rights.




Three Brazilian planes loaded with supplies were held up and not allowed to land in Haiti by the FAA (America’s agency that handles air traffic, which is now in control of airspace in Haiti). Celso Amorim, Brazil’s foreign minister, apparently was so upset about it that he put in a call to Hillary Clinton, the US secretary of state, and asked that Brazilian aeroplanes be given priority over chartered flights.


I imagine Brazilian commanders were thinking to themselves: "How dare the US hold up our planes - we run the UN forces in Haiti!"



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