By: Erica Caines and Christopher Winston
Last Thursday, US Rep Fredricka Wilson (D- Miami) organized a roundtable discussion between US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and some of South Florida’s most prominent Haitian Americans. In the meeting, Haitain Americans reps minced no words when addressing Pelosi over the current situation in Haiti— The US needs to stop meddling in Haiti’s internal affairs.
“The people of Haiti are saying, ‘My goodness, let us govern ourselves. Let us find our own path… just support us,’” said Gepsie Metellus, the executive director of the social services program, Sant La Haitian Neighborhood Center. “What do people want to see? They want to see the United States ask, ‘What do you want and how can we help you get it?’ We don’t want the United States or Canada or France or the rest of our friends dictating. We don’t want to be dictated to.”
While the men on the panel seemed at a loss for words on how to come up with solutions, the women firmly held their own questioning where the PetroCaribe money went and calling for US backed Haitian President Jovenel Moïse to step down. The meeting was only days after Haitian Americans and activists in Brooklyn, New York protested outside of the “gutsy women” event Hilary Clinton and her daughter, Chelsea, held to promote their new book. The protestors named Clinton as complicit in ushering in Moïse as President, leaving the Haitian people in oppressive and suppressive conditions.
The revelation that Moïse embezzled nearly $4billion Venezuela had loaned Haiti a decade ago is what is causing the current uprising taking place in the country. They are facing a crippling fuel shortage, a free-falling currency and soaring inflation. More notably, Haitian people are dealing with corruption extending to the highest seats in parliament.
“There is always money distributed for the ratification of a prime minister,” said pro government Haitian Senator, Kedlaire Augustin, on the popular “Guest of the Day” program on Vision 2000 hosted by journalist Valéry Numa. “This is the practice. Without these actions, some senators may not be in favor of the government in question.”
In typical imperialist fashion, the praise of Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro’s help in Haiti from the women on the panel was the only thing Pelosi found worthy of addressing. “Maduro is a thug,” she noted while accusing him of “extreme corruption”. Yet, Pelosi found it of no interest to address the obvious corruption from Haiti’s leadership placed in power by the U.S that has resulted in the uprisings in Haiti—- corruption a Senator has admitted to.
Nor did she address the U.S. sanctions against Venezuela making it impossible for Haiti to repay their loan as part of the PetroCaribe deal, thereby ending the arrangement in 2017. Pelosi did not address that because she is fully aware that Moïse is a puppet controlled by the U.S. government to put a halt to Haitian self-determination.
Haitians are no strangers to U.S. intervention. The 19 year occupation commenced by President Woodrow Wilson in 1915 led to seizure and relocation of it’s country’s financial reserves to the US and a re- write of their constitution (which allows foreign entities to enjoy land- owning rights). While the actors may have changed (from Wilson to Clinton to Obama), US stronghold on Haiti has remained consistent.
The United States has no business in Haiti, or anywhere else. As already mentioned, the US invaded the island nation twice, first in 1915 (only leaving in 1934) and again in 1994, toppling US educated/trained military dictator Raoul Cedras. It has also attacked the neighboring Dominican Republic, and backed the dictator Rafael Trujillo.
In Haiti, the US supported the violent, brutal Duvalier regime which held the island in its grip for several decades, boasting figures such as Luckner Cambronne, also known as “the Vampire of the Caribbean” for his side job of selling Haitian people’s blood to blood banks in the US, and the notorious TonTon Macoute, the brutal secret police. Duvalier was the perfect example of a neocolonial comprador figure, looting the produce of the Haitian people’s blood, sweat and toil for the personal aggrandizement of himself and his clique, while the masses of working people and peasants went to bed poor and hungry. His type are found all over the Caribbean and Africa, and in the New Afrikan nation as well.
We can see that the US has nothing to offer Haiti. After the devastating earthquake in 2010, US headquartered NGOs swarmed the island like locusts, raising massive sums of money supposedly for the benefit of the island. None of this money accrued to the benefit of the Haitian people who suffered from the earthquake.
The Haitian people have been rising up with correct revolutionary violence for almost a year. Several dozen people have lost their lives and the masses’ outrage was stoked earlier this year when European mercenaries were seen attempting to transport stolen wealth belonging to the President. The only solution, the people know, is revolution against semi-feudalism, neo-colonialism and capitalism-imperialism. We know that wherever the people are ground down, revolution is prepared.
The people of Haiti will liberate themselves from these three mountains just as they threw off the slavery system beginning in 1791 and drove the French, British, and other colonialist slavers off the island. The people will channel the revolutionary spirit of their ancestors and be free in their lifetimes. They are not trifling with ballot boxes and prayers. They are dealing in fire, machete, and bullet, the universal tools of all who are serious about liberation. May we in the United States learn from and emulate their example in the belly of the beast.