In solidarity with Haiti: Socialist groups across the hemisphere call for aid, not military intervention

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Multinational corporations and the governments that caused the misery in Haiti must pay for its reconstruction!

The tragedy in Haiti has shocked people everywhere. It is feared that there are more than 100,000 dead and many more wounded. Millions lost their homes and schools and hospitals collapsed. Practically all the infrastructure in the capital city of Port-au-Prince was affected.

A week after the earthquake, the help announced by bourgeois governments has not reached the victims. The people of Port-au-Prince still face having many of their dead in the streets and the wounded lack medical attention. Survivors are still without drinking water, food, or a roof. Meanwhile, the priority for North American imperialism is to consolidate the military occupation and it has sent thousands more soldiers with the support of Latin American governments led by the Brazilian President “Lula.”

Men and women workers all over the world must immediately help the Haitian people find and heal their wounded, rebuild their homes, reactivate the production apparatus, and recover everyone’s basic rights as a human being: a job, a good home, education, and health care.

Colonialism, a more devastating yoke than natural catastrophes. This natural disaster adds to the deadly consequences of hundreds of years of colonialism. Eighty per cent of all 10 million Haitians live in extreme poverty. The rate of child mortality is 80 out of 1,000 births. Life expectancy has decreased to 49 years of age. Illiteracy is higher than 70 percent in rural areas. Drinking water and electricity are luxury items. Ninety eight percent of forests are deforested. Their lands are sterile. Four percent of the population controls 64 percent of the wealth. This is the price that the owners of capital imposed on this dignified nation, which brought about the only anti-slavery revolution in the world, and which attained its national independence at the end of the 18th century against the French Empire, before any of the other countries colonized by Spain.

We repudiate the imperialist intervention. We repudiate the conduct of Barack Obama’s administration in the USA and Nicolas Sarkozy’s in France. They are putting on a show of “solidarity” but in reality, they are deploying their air and naval military forces instead of taking care of the population’s true problems. Imperialism’s first priority is military conquest, hence, the expansion of MINUSTAH (foreign soldiers sponsored by the U.N.). They seek to impede the Haitian people from being the architects of their own destiny.

Five years of U.N. military occupation have brought only repression against the fair demands raised at protests of the Haitian masses. An example is the demand for a salary increase led by students and workers in recent months. Also, the MINUSTAH is known for deadly violations of human rights. On December 22, 2006, MINUSTAH forces opened fire against demonstrators and killed 30 people, including women and children. In May 2008, the Haitian Congress passed a law to increase the minimum salary from two to five dollars per day. The national oligarchy and President René García Preval’s government opposed this law, which was approved by the legislative powers. Bosses threatened to fire close to 25,000 workers in the manufacturing sector. A group of university students and Haitian organizations mobilized in support of the workers. Local police intervened, along with MINUSTAH soldiers, repressing the protests brutally. In June of the same year, after the death of a local political leader, hundreds of people attended his burial. MINUSTAH opened fire against the funerary cortege, killing and wounding many more people.

We denounce the maneuvers of the super powers and their puppet governments for taking advantage of the current calamity to increase their military occupation of Haiti, under the guise of offering humanitarian aid. We demand the immediate removal of all foreign forces that are now occupying this small and wounded country.

Payments of Haiti’s foreign debt must be suspended in order to pay for the reconstruction. If the foreign governments that occupy Haiti really wanted to help, they would turn their military expenses into humanitarian aid. They would cancel Haiti’s gigantic foreign debt, as well as that of other Latin American countries, and use it for reconstruction.

We appeal to Presidents Hugo Chávez of Venezuela, Raúl Castro of Cuba, Evo Morales of Bolivia, Rafael Correa of Ecuador — and to all of Latin American governments — to suspend their foreign debt payments and instead, use those funds for food, medicine, housing, and the reconstruction of Haiti.

Solidarity with the Haitian nation. Support must be channeled and delivered directly to the Haitian population through genuine and legitimate organizations and not through any pro-imperialist intermediaries, much less through Preval’s government, his NGOs or the MINUSTAH occupation forces.

Those in charge of the key aspects of our [the signers of this statement] solidarity work will be committees of workers and the people instituted in each one of our nations including unions and popular and student organizations. It is our purpose to start contact with Haitian organizations and those in the Dominican Republic who are performing independent and autonomous solidarity action.

Labor federations and unions as well as peasant, neighborhood, and youth organizations can create assemblies to discuss the serious situation of this Caribbean nation and to vote for aid measures and against the imperialist occupation.

We also appeal to the global revolutionary movement to perform these tasks and to help rebuild independent grassroots organizations as an alternative to the decadent power structure of the Haitian privileged classes and occupation forces.

We call on leftist organizations in Haiti to encourage democratic organizing among workers, students, youth, women, peasants and the masses, in order to face the consequences from the earthquake. If they are democratically organized at the grassroots level, and centralized at the national level, they could channel resources that arrive in Haiti from all over the world and acquire the capacity to alleviate their country’s national problems.

Our Call for Justice for Haiti.

• We demand cancelling Haiti’s foreign and internal debts. Money spent on Haiti’s military occupation and debts must be used for its reconstruction!

• We demand that the world’s labor federations allocate financial and human resources to Haiti!

• We demand the Dominican government grant work visas to Haitian immigrant workers and recognize their children’s Dominican citizenship!

• No more deportations of undocumented Haitian immigrants!

• Troops of MINUSTAH, Yankees, and other imperialist countries OUT NOW!

• We demand respect for the sovereignty of the Haitian nation!

Freedom Socialist Party, U.S.

Corriente Internacional Revolucionaria (CIR).

Opinión Socialista de Argentina (OS)

Partido Obrero Socialista de México (POS)

Liga Socialista de los Trabajadores de República Dominicana (LST)

Movimiento de Trabajadores y Campesinos de Costa Rica (MCT)

Unidad Internacional de los Trabajadores (UIT).

Unidad Socialista de Izquierda (USI) de Venezuela, CST integrante del Partido Socialismo y Libertad (PSOL) de Brasil

Unidad Obrera y Socialista “Unios” de Perú

Unios de Colombia

Izquierda Socialista de Argentina

Propuesta Socialista de Panamá

Alternativa Socialista de Colombia, sección simpatizante de la UIT.

— January 18, 2010

Este articulo aparece en español / This article in Spanish

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