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The West is still afraid of the black people of Haiti

  • March 20, 2024
  • 25
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Two demonstrators in front of the American embassy in Haiti

At the beginning of March 2024, before the CELAC heads of state meeting in Kingstown (Saint Vincent and the Grenadines), Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro denounced the new threats weighing on the Haitian people: “We do not agree with an invasion, whether overt or camouflaged. The solution is for Latin America and the Caribbean to support, help Haiti to follow its own path and implement its own model, to rebuild its own State, its own institutions, and reconnect with all forms of cooperation like the PetroCaribe low-cost oil program launched by Chávez. “.

Three days later, in Caracas, he continued: “How many military interventions has the United States carried out in Haiti? When the rebirth of the Haitian people occurred at the beginning of this century, we woke up to the news that a US plane had kidnapped President Aristide out of his country. Haiti was dismembered, martyred by imperialist interventionism, they destroyed it from the inside. Today we are talking about an uprising of criminal gangs. But who gave them all these guns? These weapons came massively from the United States. Who benefits from chaos? Who wants an invasion? What is happening in Haiti, they tried here in Venezuela during the destabilization of the far right, and want to do it again here in this election year… Narco-chaos is a new form of domination. »

“Gang war, spiral of violence”… The “presentism” of the media serves to hide the US intervention against Haiti. We publish below the analysis of Haitian anthropology professor Jemima Pierre who reveals the “imperialist laboratory” denounced by Cuba and Venezuela.

If your knowledge of Haiti comes only from Western media, you could be forgiven for believing the following claims:

« Haiti, a “failed state” overrun by “gang violence,” can only regain stability through the invasion of a foreign military force. »

“Haiti has a sovereign government that has the legal authority to request a military invasion of the country to “fight the gangs.” »

“The United States, in pushing Kenya and CARICOM countries to carry out a foreign armed invasion of Haiti, is acting with the best intentions in Haiti and is committed to ensuring peace and stability in Haiti and the Caribbean region . »

“CARICOM acts in solidarity with the Haitian people and supports Haitian sovereignty. »

None of these statements are true. In fact, they help to obscure not only the motivations behind recent calls for foreign intervention in Haiti, but also the nature of Haiti’s current political-economic reality and the history that has allowed this country to get there. The repetition and saturation of these claims in the media, even in the Caribbean region, has fooled much of the world into applauding foreign military intervention in Haiti. The truth is that, under the guise of helping Haiti, that country’s sovereignty and independence are in fact being stifled.

So what is happening in Haiti? Why is the United States pushing for another foreign military invasion of Haiti? Why are CARICOM countries helping them? More importantly, why is the United States paying so much attention to the situation in Haiti?

Understanding what is happening in Haiti means understanding the extent to which imperial, Western aggression against the Haitian people and Haitian sovereignty has been and remains constant. This aggression results in the fact that Haiti is currently under foreign occupation, and has been for twenty years. This is not an exaggeration. The only solution to the current crisis in Haiti is an end to the current foreign occupation.

In 2004, Haiti celebrated the bicentenary of its independence. The same year, Haiti’s independence was thwarted by foreign powers. A year earlier, France, Canada and the United States hatched a plot during meetings of the “Ottawa Haiti Initiative” to overthrow Haiti’s elected government. In the early morning of February 29, 2004, the plot unfolded. That morning, President Jean-Bertrand Aristide was kidnapped by U.S. marines and sent to a military base in the Central African Republic. That day, George W. Bush announced that he was sending military forces to Haiti to “help stabilize the country” and, by the evening, two thousand American, French and Canadian troops were on the ground. CARICOM, under the leadership of Jamaican Prime Minister PJ Patterson, vigorously protested the coup.

The French-American-Canadian invasion force targeted and killed Aristide supporters, oversaw the installation of a puppet prime minister and allowed the formation of a paramilitary force that fielded squadrons of the anti-Aristide death. The coup was later whitewashed by the United Nations, which, under the leadership of permanent members of the UN Security Council, the United States and France, voted to send a “maintenance” mission. of peace” in Haiti. The mission was deployed under a “Chapter 7” mandate allowing foreign soldiers to use full force against the population. The UN took over from the US forces and created the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH), responsible for the military occupation under the guise of “establishing peace and security . »

A multibillion-dollar operation, MINUSTAH had, at any given time, between 6,000 and 12,000 military and police officers stationed in Haiti, as well as thousands of civilians. The military wing of the MINUSTAH mission was led by Brazil, which provided the majority of troops. However, this multinational military occupation force also included soldiers from several countries in the Caribbean, South America and Africa, including Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Jamaica, Grenada, Benin, Burkina Faso, Egypt, Ivory Coast, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Guinea, Cameroon, Niger and Mali.

The UN occupation under MINUSTAH was marked by its brutality against the Haitian people. Civilians were attacked and murdered. “Peacekeepers” committed sex crimes. UN soldiers dumped human waste into rivers used for drinking water, sparking a cholera epidemic that killed between 10,000 and 40,000 people. The UN has never been held responsible for these crimes against the Haitian people.

The occupation was strengthened by the creation and operationalization of the Core Group. The Core Group is an unelected group of foreigners from Brazil, Canada, France, Spain, the United States and Germany who have proclaimed themselves the arbiters of Haitian politics. Neither neutral nor passive, the Core Group plays an active and interventionist role in Haiti’s daily political affairs. He worked to expand and protect foreign economic interests in Haiti. He has continually intervened in Haiti’s sovereign political affairs, often without the collaboration or consent of the Haitian government.

It is claimed that this occupation officially ended in 2017 with the official withdrawal of the MINUSTAH mission. Yet the UN remained in Haiti through a new office with a new acronym: BINUH, the United Nations Integrated Office in Haiti. Haiti is currently run by a group of non-Haitian foreigners, the Core Group and the BINUH office, the very people responsible for the destruction of its democracy.

The occupation of the Core Group is at the origin of the difficult situation in which the country currently finds itself. The occupying forces oversaw the complete collapse of the Haitian state while allowing a group of dishonest foreigners – countries and corporations, non-governmental organizations and multinationals – to take over the broken fragments of the Haitian political economy, largely to serve foreign interests. In fact, it was under this occupation that the United States and its allies, France and Canada, installed the neo-Duvalierist Michel Martelly in 2011, in the aftermath of the 2010 earthquake; Martelly’s successor, Jovenel Moïse, in 2016; and the current unelected de facto Prime Minister, Ariel Henry, following the assassination of Moïse in 2021.

Under the Core Group’s occupation, the life of the average Haitian has deteriorated. But we must also be clear: the Haitian people did not take the occupation lightly (1). One of the less publicized aspects of the current “crisis” in Haiti is the ongoing protest of the Haitian people against occupation and for self-determination. People demonstrated in their hundreds of thousands in 2004 after Aristide was deposed by the United States, France and Canada. He protested the imposition of another illegitimate president, Jovenel Moïse, in 2015 and 2016. They protested the corruption of Martelly and Moïse’s political party, the PHTK, imposed by the United States, in 2018 and 2019 And they protested against the unelected and de facto installed prime minister of the United States, Ariel Henry.

For more than two years now, the United States has pushed for a stronger military presence in Haiti and protected the unelected and unpopular puppet government of Ariel Henry until his recent resignation. They protected this government in order to continue to control Haiti. In fact, Haiti’s puppet governments have served the United States well. For example, it was Ariel Henry who imposed the IMF-backed removal of fuel subsidies for the population, which the United States had been advocating for years and which plunged the Haitian people into even greater poverty.

The Core Group and BINUH, the very people responsible for the destruction of democracy in Haiti

Today, the United States needs to maintain its control over Haiti because the country is strategically important to its geopolitical objectives – the continued militarization of the Caribbean region and Latin America in preparation for its confrontation with the China and the implementation of the Global Fragilities Act. Yet the United States is unwilling to put its own boots on the ground, and turns first to Canada, then to Brazil, then to the CELAC and CARICOM countries, all reluctant to lead the mission, even though they supported the call for military intervention. William Ruto’s Kenyan government jumped at the chance to carry out the intervention, bought off with a bag of cash and a pat of approval on their neoliberal heads. Haiti will now be invaded by the United States, but with the “black face” of Kenya and CARICOM countries as cover.

Have the citizens of Kenya and CARICOM countries asked their governments why the United States, Canada or France would not send their own soldiers to invade and occupy Haiti this time? Have the citizens of these countries considered that the unelected de facto “Prime Minister”, Ariel Henry, has no legal basis to call for a foreign invasion of Haiti? Have the citizens of these countries wondered why the United States or the UN are not calling for an armed invasion of a country like Ecuador, where have brutal gangs besieged the country, or Jamaica, where a state of emergency is almost permanent, or the United States itself, where mass shootings are perpetrated every day? Have the citizens of these countries asked themselves why the United States or the United Nations are not calling for the armed invasion of Israel, which is committing genocide?

Why Haiti? We are told that the United States’ interest in Haiti is humanitarian, that the United States wants to protect the Haitian people from “criminal gangs.” Yet U.S. weapons have flooded Haiti and the United States has consistently rejected calls for effective implementation of the U.N. Security Council resolution for an arms embargo against Haitian and U.S. elites. who import weapons into the country. Furthermore, when we talk about “gangs,” we must recognize that the most powerful gangs in the country are subsidiaries of the United States itself: the United Nations Integrated Office (BINUH) and the Core Group, both entities colonialists who have effectively ruled the country since the 2004 coup. It is this gang, the Core Group and its installed Prime Minister, Henry, who, along with the UN office in Haiti, are insisting on this violent solution to the crisis in the country – a crisis that they themselves helped create.

As Haiti faces yet another invasion – this time led nominally by Kenya and the CARICOM countries – I would like to ask the Caribbean community to reflect on the vast arsenal the US empire has at its disposal to convince the rest of the world to willingly accept a new attack on Haitian sovereignty. I would also like to ask the Caribbean community to consider the fact that much of what we hear about Haiti today is a distortion – or outright fabrication – of Haiti’s social and political reality.

Document above: On March 13, Southern Command deployed an elite unit of the United States Marine Corps to Port-au-Prince, Haiti.

Most of them lack historical context, especially when it comes to the incessant interference of foreign agents and institutions, to understand the Haitian situation. It is based largely on a deep-seated racism that assumes black people are ungovernable while opposing the implications of Haiti’s historic commitment to black freedom.

At the same time, the Haitian community’s continued protests against foreign troops and Western interference testify to its unwavering courage. Haiti is the scene of one of the world’s longest struggles for black liberation and anti-colonial independence. This explains the US empire’s constant reactionary assault on the Haitian people, punishing their repeated attempts at sovereignty with decades of instability designed to secure and expand US hegemony. For two centuries, the imperial counterinsurgency against Haiti has aimed to end the most ambitious revolutionary experiment in the modern world. The tactics deployed to attack Haitian sovereignty have been consistent and persistent.

While Linda Thomas-Greenfield, the United States Ambassador to the United Nations, was in Guyana last weekend, in part to “continue to rally global support for the Multinational Security Support Mission (MSS) in Haiti,” we must ask ourselves why CARICOM leaders want to participate in the destruction of Haitian sovereignty and people. And we must remember that the “crisis” in Haiti was created and maintained by the United States and its allies. CARICOM countries must oppose the foreign occupation of Haiti and not prolong the crisis.

After the resignation of Ariel Henry, the United States is creating the new “government” of Haiti by giving its protégés from the Haitian bourgeoisie 24 to 48 hours to send names to a “presidential council” whose first priority is to prepare the country for foreign armed intervention.

Any Haitian participating in this charade is a traitor.

*Of Haitian origin, Jemima Pierre is a professor of anthropology at UCLA, the Social Justice Institute at the University of British Columbia, and a research associate at the Center for the Study of Race, Gender, and Class at the University of Johannesburg. Coordinator for Haiti/Americas of the Black Alliance for Peace

Note:

(1) Lire https://venezuelainfos.wordpress.com/2019/02/17/la-revolution-qui-progresse-en-haiti-est-directement-liee-a-celle-du-venezuela/

Stabroek News February 26, 2024

Translation from English: Thierry Deronne

Venezuela Infos March 13, 2024

Investig’Action 15 mars 2024

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Jemima Pierre