[Source: thestkittsnevisobserver.com]

Since the summer of 2018, Haiti has been experiencing mass protests. Thousands of Haitians have taken to the streets to express their frustration and anger regarding the current social conditions on the island. The social upheavals are a cause of concern for all progressive people, especially since the unrest has increased since August 22 of this year.

Protests in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, call for resignation of Ariel Henry. [Source: npr.org]

What is more troubling is that acting President of Haiti Ariel Henry, addressing the country, remarked that the government intends to request international “assistance” to deal with the social crisis in Haiti. Ariel Henry officially wrote to United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres that the UN should intervene militarily to bring the situation back to normal. Secretary-General Guterres on October 10 urged the international community to review deploying military forces to Haiti to resolve the crisis situation.

A person with a beard and glasses

Description automatically generated with low confidence
Ariel Henry [Source: edwidgelafleur.weebly.com]

Haiti’s Sovereignty Always Under Attack

Shortly after the comments from Ariel Henry, the United States Government sent a delegation to Haiti supposedly to “review” Henry’s request; on Monday October 17, the UN Security Council met to discuss a suggestion from the United States and Mexico to send in non-UN forces and later announced the imposition of sanctions against “gang” leaders. These developments are troublesome and the erroneously misleading narrative of “gang violence” is establishing an ideological justification for military intervention—United States military intervention.

The United States and Canada have delivered military machinery to Haiti under the suspicious title of “security equipment”; this “security equipment” includes armored and tactical vehicles to be used to strengthen the police to fight “criminal gangs.” It is reported that, by October 28, Haiti will receive additional delivery of military machinery.

[Source: ieyenews.com]

This request by Ariel Henry is tantamount to treason and António Guterres’s comments are not only suggestively racist but also an affront to the sovereignty and independence of Haiti. To request outside military intervention, to solve problems of your country, is a sellout of the sacrifices the enslaved Africans made to achieve their freedom and set up their own independent state.

António Guterres [Source: wikipedia.org]

Underlying the call for intervention is the age-old erroneous premise that Black people are incapable of governing themselves and hence need white people to guide and manage their affairs. This is without question an infringement on International Law and the UN Charter regarding the non-interference in the domestic affairs of other countries. I strongly doubt that Guterres would make such a suggestion were Haiti a white country.

The Crisis in Haiti Is Imperialist-Made

In 1791 the enslaved people of Haiti carried out the first successful slave revolution and in 1804 established the first Black Republic in the Western Hemisphere. For the next 218 years the people of Haiti have been engaged in a constant struggle to further develop and carry out the intent of their revolution for self-determination, social justice and socio-economic independence.

Scenes from the Haitian revolution. [Source: quora.com]

These goals have become unattainable because of occupation, dictatorship, destabilization, theft by Wall Street financial interests aided by the United States military, governmental corruption, natural disasters and, most critically, the payment of reparations to their former enslavers. Haitians have had to pay in cash for their freedom from enslavement and subsequent independence; the imperialist powers and the local and foreign oligarchs have all benefited from this immoral, ridiculous and treacherous policy.

Since the establishment of the Republic of Haiti, the response from the colonialists and international imperialism has been to punish Haiti and crush the revolution and its original goals of a just and equitable society and self-determination. In May 2022 The New York Times published an expose that lays bare the genesis of Haiti’s problems.

In a series titled “The Root Of Haiti’s Misery: Reparations to Enslavers,” the article in part says: “The colony made many French families fabulously rich.…It was also…the world’s most brutal.…But for generations after independence, Haitians were forced to pay the descendants of their former slave masters…The burdens continued well into the 20th century.”

Nèg Mawon, a statue in the main square of Port-au-Prince, depicts a man who has escaped slavery and is blowing a conch shell to rally rebels.
Nèg Mawon, a statue in the main square of Port-au-Prince, depicts a man who has escaped slavery and is blowing a conch shell to rally rebels. [Source: nytimes.com]

The piece continues: “The wealth…coaxed from the ground brought wild profits for a French Bank that helped finance the Eiffel Tower…Haiti’s riches lured Wall Street, too, delivering big margins for the institution that ultimately became Citigroup.”

The bank that benefited most from an 1875 loan to Haiti was Crédit Industriel et Commercial, a French institution that helped finance the Eiffel Tower.
The bank that benefited most from an 1875 loan to Haiti was Crédit Industriel et Commercial, a French institution that helped finance the Eiffel Tower. [Source: nytimes.com]

According to the Times the financial loss to Haiti is approximately $115 billion, “eight times the size of its economy in 2020.” The United States invaded and occupied Haiti from 1915 to 1934; prior to this, in 1914 the United States stole $500,000 worth of gold from the National Bank of Haiti, which was then transported to the United States by the military vessel USS Machias. The gold ended up in the vault of Hallgarten & Co. a City Bank (later known as CitiBank) affiliate.

[Source: pinterest.com]

Added to this, the country was also devastated by the U.S.-instigated and supported dictatorship of François Duvalier (“Papa Doc”) and later his son Jean-Claude Duvalier “Baby Doc” from 1957 to 1986, who both ruled the nation with iron fists.

François et Jean Claude Duvalier - Credit photo : Paroles en Archipel
Papa Doc and Baby Doc. [Source: wid.mondoblog.org]

Corruption by the Duvaliers and other government officials, and murderous repression through the para-military group the Tonton Macoute, tortured and killed opponents including ordinary citizens. Haiti’s woes were not over as the country suffered two U.S.-orchestrated and executed military coups against democratically elected President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, first in 1991 and again in 2004.

Jean-Bertrand Aristide [Source: dunio.tempo.co]

U.S. Imperialism’s Attempt to “Destroy” Haiti

Haiti’s attempt both to feed itself and improve the social conditions of its citizens were directly thwarted by the United States government by flooding Haiti with rice grown by U.S.-subsidized farmers and sold much cheaper than that locally produced.

The Canada-Haiti Information Project has reported that “since 1995 the U.S. has given over $13 billion in subsidies to American rice farmers…That keeps the price of American rice exported to Haiti significantly lower than rice produced by Haitian farmers.” This arrangement puts the local farmers at a great disadvantage because they cannot compete with such an unfair and disproportionate arrangement and eventually forces many of them out of business.

Haitian rice farmer. [Source: pinterest.com]

The Haitian parliament made an attempt to raise the standard of living for the citizens by raising the minimum wage to $5 per day; the United States on behalf of the textile companies intervened and had the bill blocked.

Haiti was part of the PetroCaribe Agreement that was set up in 2005 by Venezuela under late President Hugo Chávez. The Agreement in part offered affordable prices on petroleum products and to promote socio-economic development by eliminating inequality and improving the quality of life in the partner countries. The illegal and immoral sanctions imposed on Venezuela prevented Haiti from participating in the program and receiving affordable petroleum products, hence the increase and scarcity of fuel in the country.

What Is to Be Done

The current social crisis in Haiti has extraordinarily little to do with “gangs” but is a result of machinations carried out by the Core Group led by the United States and their allies: Canada, France, the European Union (EU) and the lackey Organization of American States (OAS).

The citizens of Haiti have taken to the streets across the country to protest their frustration against economic misery: food insecurity; increasing inflation; high fuel prices and shortage; and an end to foreign interference and intervention in the internal affairs of the country.

Most importantly, the protesters are demanding the resignation of acting President Ariel Henry, who they say is incapable of addressing the socio-economic issues and bringing peace and stability to the country.

In order for Haiti to begin the long and arduous road to recovery the following needs to be done:

  • The United States and its allies—especially Canada, France and Britain—must immediately stop interfering in the internal affairs of Haiti.
  • There must be NO military intervention, UN or otherwise.
  • There must be NO support for foreign intervention in Haiti, disguised as “assistance” by organizations such as the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), the Organization of American States (OAS), the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), or the African Union (AU).
  • The United States and its allies must stop supporting a repressive, corrupt and illegitimate regime represented by Ariel Henry and the local oligarchy.
  • Progressive forces, internationally and within the African diaspora especially, must demonstrate solidarity with the people of Haiti by engaging their respective elected officials and participatory social action to thwart any impending military action and allow the people of Haiti to solve their own problems, in their own way.

CovertAction Magazine is made possible by subscriptionsorders and donations from readers like you.

Blow the Whistle on U.S. Imperialism

 

 

Click the whistle and donate

 

When you donate to CovertAction Magazine, you are supporting investigative journalism. Your contributions go directly to supporting the development, production, editing, and dissemination of the Magazine.

CovertAction Magazine does not receive corporate or government sponsorship. Yet, we hold a steadfast commitment to providing compensation for writers, editorial and technical support. Your support helps facilitate this compensation as well as increase the caliber of this work.

Please make a donation by clicking on the donate logo above and enter the amount and your credit or debit card information.

CovertAction Institute, Inc. (CAI) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and your gift is tax-deductible for federal income purposes. CAI’s tax-exempt ID number is 87-2461683.

We sincerely thank you for your support.


Disclaimer: The contents of this article are the sole responsibility of the author(s). CovertAction Institute, Inc. (CAI), including its Board of Directors (BD), Editorial Board (EB), Advisory Board (AB), staff, volunteers and its projects (including CovertAction Magazine) are not responsible for any inaccurate or incorrect statement in this article. This article also does not necessarily represent the views the BD, the EB, the AB, staff, volunteers, or any members of its projects.

Differing viewpoints: CAM publishes articles with differing viewpoints in an effort to nurture vibrant debate and thoughtful critical analysis. Feel free to comment on the articles in the comment section and/or send your letters to the Editors, which we will publish in the Letters column.

Copyrighted Material: This web site may contain copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. As a not-for-profit charitable organization incorporated in the State of New York, we are making such material available in an effort to advance the understanding of humanity’s problems and hopefully to help find solutions for those problems. We believe this constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. You can read more about ‘fair use’ and US Copyright Law at the Legal Information Institute of Cornell Law School.

Republishing: CovertAction Magazine (CAM) grants permission to cross-post CAM articles on not-for-profit community internet sites as long as the source is acknowledged together with a hyperlink to the original CovertAction Magazine article. Also, kindly let us know at info@CovertActionMagazine.com. For publication of CAM articles in print or other forms including commercial internet sites, contact: info@CovertActionMagazine.com.

By using this site, you agree to these terms above.


About the Author

4 COMMENTS

  1. I am unable to share this article on Facebook–It says: Your message couldn’t be sent because it includes content that other people on Facebook have reported as abusive. Other articles have always been accepted. WTF?!

    • This happened to me a few days ago with another C.A.M. article and this as well. I suspect they are blocking the website.

      Had the problem with another site I frequent—Unz Review. The articles there are usually available elsewhere. Sure enough, the same article on another site is allowed, but not the Unz publication.

      If the articles appear elsewhere, I’d like to know.

  2. We need to hear how Haiti can establish a real democracy able to handle its difficulties without undue repression of local interests. UN aid would be necessary, and a government able to restore order and implement progressive programs to solve the problems. How does the author propose to do those things, with or without UN intervention?

  3. It is quite illogical to demand ‘NO MILITARY INTERVENTION’ while accepting Militarism, Armed Forcers, the war industry, etc.. There is absolutely nothing else politicians can do. National or international conflicts can only be created by politicians and diplomats

Leave a Reply