While US and allies pull the strings, Haitians suffer

The people of Haiti are starving and dying and fleeing, or at least attempting to flee. They are menaced by marauding paramilitaries and gangs and billionaire-run politicians. This crisis is not home-grown, but created by Uncle Sam and other colonizer nations who control this country.

Port-au-Prince, March 15, 2024. Displaced Haitians trying to survive. PHOTO: David Lorens Mentor
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Today, Haiti has been torn apart by violence and choked by poverty — a product of centuries of neo-colonialist manipulation by the United States, France, and Canada, and abetted by the U.N. Security Council. A “slow genocide” is how one writer put it. An apt description.

In the first four months of 2024, over 300,000 civilians were displaced from their homes — over 2.5% of the 11.8 million inhabitants. And over 1,500 people have been murdered.

The capital city Port-au-Prince is overrun by political paramilitaries, criminal gangs, and corrupt police vying for control. The chaos has forced foreign investors to leave. Jobs are scarce, schools are closed. What keeps families barely afloat is the nearly $4 billion in remittances sent home annually by Haitians working abroad.

Appallingly, fleeing Haitians are blocked from emigrating to the U.S., which is now deporting earlier refugees back to Haiti.

As the crisis worsens and civilian protests expand, outside entities like the U.S., which is running Haiti de facto, want to bring in Kenyan and U.N. troops to “stabilize” the situation and install a government to their liking.

To show how little say Haitians have in their own self-rule, the U.S. Congress enacted the Global Fragility Act (GFA) in 2019. As FS writer Luma Nichol explained, “The GFA targets vulnerable nations. Couched in humanitarian terms, it promises a new approach that prioritizes ‘partnering’ with Haitian civilians, to ‘stabilize conflict-affected areas and prevent violence and fragility.’” However, what the GFA really does is make sure the government is in the control of people friendly to U.S. and other capitalist expansion. (See: “Exploiting Haiti through the Global Fragility Act.”)

Behind the media curtain

With the latest round of unrest, the capitalist press has steadfastly blared that Haiti is a “failed state” of murderous gangs in shorts and flip-flops carrying AK-47s and burning buildings as families flee.

Backstage are the true gangs — imperialists wearing white shirts and ties, pulling strings from afar. The Core Group, set up by the U.N. and led de facto by the U.S., is supposed to advise the Haitian government but ignores the will of the people to benefit economic ventures. Another entity with a say in Haiti’s welfare is CARICOM (Caribbean Community and Common Market) which is a union of fifteen Caribbean and Latin American nations.

In April 2024, the Core Group and CARICOM set up a Transitional Presidential Council of seven hand-picked male Haitian politicos and businessmen, and ordered them to choose a new government.

To be on this new council, each had to agree to allow foreign troops to invade and “quell the unrest,” but military intervention will not stabilize Haiti. Instead, it will divert billions of dollars away from the infrastructure and the people — funds that should go to rebuilding roads, schools, hospitals, and homes; and restoring public services. Money for the new Transitional Presidential Council’s bureaucracy and proposed military action ought to be used to create jobs for Haitian workers to rebuild the country.

Resistance needs solidarity

Haitians have a proud tradition of struggle and revolt against their oppressors. They made history in 1804 as the only Black nation in the Western Hemisphere to successfully mount a revolution against their colonizer — France. Self-determination is in their blood.

Ongoing economic hardships have seen large general strikes against austerity. Villages have formed local self-defense squads to protect their people. When Ariel Henry, a U.S. installed and unpopular prime minister, escaped Haiti several “gangs” shut down the main airport to prevent him from returning. He recently resigned. The latest attempt to install a puppet government will undoubtedly also be met with opposition.

Haitian political party Fanmi Lavalas (followers of Aristide, the last elected prime minister) urgently calls for aid, education, and safety for all. Without schools, medical facilities and safe public spaces it is impossible to discuss issues and candidates or have a democratic election process. Meanwhile in the U.S., the Haiti Action Committee actively sounds the alarm and presses for immediate supportive aid.

Workers from all nations, but especially the U.S., have a responsibility to support Haitian working-class organizing and self-defense.

  • Hands off Haiti!
  • Cancel Haiti’s debts.
  • Dissolve Core Group and the transitional council.
  • Halt U.S. deportation of  refugees — open all borders!
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