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Proletarian writers

Apr 17, 2024

With the USA’s attention elsewhere, Haiti’s people have an opportunity to try to break free from the imperialist stranglehold.

Owing to the raging hatred of Haitians towards the US imperialists and their Canadian sidekicks, the United States has been forced to contract out the job of trying to keep the troublesome Caribbean island of Haiti subjugated.

With yet another rebellion in full swing and its domestic compradors increasingly exposed, Washington has chosen to hide its latest invasion behind a black face, contracting the Caribbean Community (Caricom) and Kenya to fill its foot soldier vacancy. Certainly Kenya’s CV must have looked promising to US state department officials. Kenyan police have long been reported as “acting like death squads” on their home territory, so they should presumably have no difficulty fulfilling the same role abroad. (Kenyans in fear of police ‘death squads’, BBC, 8 July 2016)

Previous missions of United Nations ‘multinational’ (imperialist-directed) forces have form in this regard, routinely behaving in Haiti as aggressive occupiers. Under the last ‘mission’, ‘Minustah’ (Mission des Nations Unies pour la stabilisation en Haïti), the extent of corruption, brutality and criminality was complemented by the immunity routinely granted to US proxy forces around the world.

As well as turning Haiti into ground zero for western pharmaceutical companies, which have used the population as guinea pigs, Minustah spread epidemic diseases among Haitians, launching a cholera epidemic that has now become endemic through lack of effective intervention. (Another US mission to subdue and subjugate Haiti, The Communists, 30 January 2024)

This is the background to the imperialists’ latest attempt to subdue Haiti and keep it firmly shackled to the US finance capital. With its people mired in disease, poverty, violence, gang warfare and drugs, they have no choice but to continue fulfilling the western demand for sweatshop labour.

As Telesur pointed out some years ago, the ultimate aims of all these efforts against the small island nation are the monopoly of its resources and the cheapening of its labour-power. “Hillary Clinton was at the state department working with US corporations to pressure Haiti not to raise the minimum wage to 61 cents an hour from 24 cents.” (22 May 2017)

The present uprising in Haiti is the inevitable response to this intolerable situation. The Haitian masses are demanding sovereignty, development – and a release from the far-below-minimum wage-slavery exacted by the overlords of US imperialism.

Since the neoliberal ‘structural adjustments’ demanded of Haiti by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in recent years, much of the country’s agricultural sector, including coffee, sugar, plantain and rice production, has been crushed by US dumping. As a result, Haiti’s peasants have been forced to flee en masse to the cities in search of work.

These overcrowded urban areas are almost entirely lacking in infrastructure or state mechanisms capable of providing even the most basic of services or security to their burgeoning populations. As a result, neighbourhood committees have been formed, some inevitably involved in criminal activities, to provide basic amenities such as clean water.

It is these local area committees that have now become the focal organising point for the present uprising – and are thus the target of US imperialist ire. Dan Cohen’s excellent documentary Another Vision: Inside Haiti’s Uprising, documents this revolutionary process now unfolding in Haiti’s slums.

This is the context in which the USA is providing $300m to the Kenyan-led security mission and an additional $33m for ‘humanitarian assistance’ (eg, bribes to enable the worst and most violent elements of Haitian society to continue to destabilise the country and prevent Haitians from realising their goals of sovereignty and development).

Patriotic forces prevent return of stooge Henry

When interim president Ariel Henry left the island to sign a document authorising Kenyan police forces to beat and subdue his own people, patriotic forces attacked the airport to prevent him from returning. He was diverted to neighbouring San Domingo, where the USA took him under it ‘protection’, and is now being ‘hosted’ at Fort Buchanan, an army base on the US’s Caribbean colony of Puerto Rico – presumably to be used as a pawn in any future negotiations.

Washington is now trying to cobble together a new stooge regime to install in Port-au-Prince, but with the window for stamping out Haiti’s troublesome ghetto uprising shrinking, its first priority is to get those Kenyan death squads onto Haitian soil.

According to Kim Ives: “The end goal is the Global Fragility Act. Passed under Trump, the essence of this is that they will put US troops and a US base in Haiti and put the island on a lifeline of ‘humanitarian aid’. This is a response to China’s Belt and Road Initiative, as the Americans see the continent, Africa, Latin America and everybody going over to China.

“Haiti is one of the last countries in the world, there are only eleven now, that recognise Taiwan as the ‘actual China’. They [the imperialists] are very anxious to keep Haiti for that reason. And also, as they go to war with China, they need a place where they can make all their electronics and clothing, and Haiti is five bucks a day – the cheapest in the hemisphere.” (The Duran, Haiti facts and fiction, 21 March 2024)

Nothing to lose but their chains

The Haitian people today live in worst kind of slum conditions seen anywhere on the planet. Many people live in tin shacks, collect drinking water from their roofs and suffer frequent outbreaks of cholera. Is it any wonder they should be rising up to reject the foreign rule that has imposed these horrific conditions?

Ever since Haiti rose up in the first successful slave revolt since Spartacus, western politicians and media have sought to depict its people as savages and children who are incapable of governing their own affairs.

The regime of François ‘Papa Doc’ Duvalier created a regime, very similar to that of Fulgencio Batista in Cuba, that was one big gang in the service of US imperialism, from 1957 to 1968. After the 1960s, however, the United States shifted governance of its neocolonies from strong-armed dictators like those it had been relying no in Cuba (Batista) and the Philippines (Ferdinand Marcos).

As Kim Ives expressed it recently: “They were creating too many Che Guevaras, too many revolutionaries. So they had to come up with a new formula where they do elections and put their puppet in the same way they do here in the USA. The candidate with the most money wins.

“Then we’re going to conserve that, send the army to its barracks and we’re going to conserve it with the ‘international peacekeeping force’ that is the United Nations. The UN now becomes the guardian of the empire, and in place of Duvalier and his sort of corrupt kleptocrats emerged a comprador regime.” (The Duran, Haiti facts and fiction, 21 March 2024)

Ariel Henry ‘resigns’ with a gun to his head

In the latest twist to the tale of disposable client regimes, Canada and the United States have ousted acting president Ariel Henry, the Quisling they had earlier imposed on Haiti in order to force through the savage economic reforms demanded by the IMF, but who has been refusing to hold presidential or parliamentary elections.

“In what was the culmination of a week of imperialist intrigue, Henry announced his impending resignation in a video released late Monday night from the US territory of Puerto Rico, where he is currently stranded.

“On Tuesday 5 March, Henry had tried to return to Haiti via the Dominican Republic from a diplomatic mission to Kenya, where he signed a bilateral agreement authorising an imperialist-backed military-security intervention in the Caribbean island-nation, to be led by the Kenyan police.

“But the Dominican Republic, no doubt acting on Washington’s orders, refused to let Henry’s plane land. Once it was rerouted to Puerto Rico, the Haitian prime minister was confronted with a US state department missive delivered in mid-air demanding that he resign. On Henry’s arrival in San Juan, he was met by US secret service agents and for hours prevented from deplaning.” (US and Canada oust the prime minister they imposed on the Haitian people – A case study in imperialist gangsterism by Roger Jordan and Keith Jones, WSWS, 13 March 2024)

“Washington is now looking for a way to send a ‘quick reaction force’ to Haiti, and Ariel Henry remains one of their main bargaining chips, according to our source.

After his chartered plane landed in Puerto Rico on 5 March, the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) questioned Henry for three days, according to our source. (Within 48 hours, the United States deported to Egypt the four Egyptian mercenaries – previously misidentified as Kenyans – who served as Henry’s security guards, our source said.)” (Is Ariel Henry a de facto prisoner at Fort Buchanan? by Kim Ives, Haiti Liberté, 20 March 2024)

In true imperialist fashion, the US agents spent one day questioning Ariel Henry about the US and Colombian mercenaries who had killed his predecessor President Jovenel Moïse – an assassination for which Henry and his US backers are no doubt responsible. They then spent two days questioning him about the repayment of a loan to Venezuela that was made under the terms of a longstanding PetroCaribe agreement.

Washington has been fulminating over PetroCaribe since its foundation, since the arrangement allows Haiti some modicum of independence, growing its ties with neighbouring Cuba and Venezuela and opening up possibilities for economic development in Haiti.

WikiLeaks cables from 2006 revealed how the USA had long been trying to scuttle this growing alliance:

“US dismay began when [former president René] Préval signed – the very day of his inauguration – a deal to join Venezuela’s PetroCaribe alliance, under which Haiti would buy oil paying only 60 percent to Venezuela up front with the remainder payable over 25 years at one percent interest.

“The leaked US embassy cables provide a fascinating look at how Washington sought to discourage, scuttle and sabotage the PetroCaribe deal, despite its unquestionable benefits, under which the Haitian government ‘would save $100m per year from the delayed payments’, as the embassy itself recognised in a 2006 cable. (New WikiLeaked cables reveal: How Washington and Big Oil fought PetroCaribe in Haiti by Kim Ives, Haiti Liberté, 1 June 2011)

But Haiti would cease to be a source of slave labour for western sweatshops if it were left alone to develop its own industry and economy. Thus the United States’ motivation for keeping lawless gangs on the streets of Haiti becomes clear: they are sheltered so they can continue to act as the protectors of imperialist property and the discipliners of Haitian labour.

Former cop turned revolutionary targeted by CIA front

Jimmy ‘Barbecue’ Cherizier is a name that has featured in a recent spate of the most eye-watering western media headlines. But who is he really?

Rising from the gutter, well-respected in his neighbourhood and amongst his colleagues, Cherizier is a former policeman, commander of an anti-gang operation that was ambushed by criminals and ended up in a neighbourhood shootout. His nickname ‘Barbecue’, contrary to salacious western fairy tales, was given to him because of his mother’s occupation as a roadside vendor of fried chicken.

Cherizier had at first been congratulated for his handling of the difficult situation referred to above, receiving a commendation for bravery at a ceremony attended by the prime minister. A few days after this ceremony, however, a west-backed ‘human rights’ NGO (Fondasyon Je Klere or FJKL, funded by CIA offshoot the National Endowment for Democracy), published a report describing the ambush as a state-sponsored “massacre”. The police service’s scapegoat of choice was Jimmy Cherizier, thrown under the bus by superiors who were keen to be rid of an officer who had proved impervious to the lures of institutional bribery and corruption.

According to Dan Cohen: “This NED human rights group played the same role in the 2004 coup d’etat against [former president Jean-Bertrand] Aristide, pumping out disinformation and inventing ‘massacres’. They recognised Cherizier as a threat very early on.” (The Duran, Haiti facts and fiction, 21 March 2024)

Having been tarred and feathered by the octopus arms of US imperialism, Cherizier was duly fired. But with the Haitian state collapsed to the point where it is failing to provide the most basic of amenities and security to its people, he turned his experience to useful account, helping his neighbours organise a desperately-needed supply of clean water.

More worrying still (to the imperialists), Cherizier and his neighbours, sick of being extorted, murdered and preyed upon by unrestrained gangsters, proceeded to kick the lumpen criminal elements out of their area via a decidedly revolutionary programme of self-organisation.

Deriding the current state of Haiti as fundamentally corrupt and run by criminals, Cherizier tried to unite various armed groups that, like his own, had been established as self-defence forces. The resultant coalition, ‘G9 Family and Allies’ was made up of nine neighbourhood defence organisations and an assortment of ‘allies’ with whom they had been able to work out non-aggression pacts.

Having previously tried to take a principled stand of refusing to cooperate with any gangs involved in criminality, Cherizier found that the reality of Haitian life meant that he was faced with the choice of either allying with the gangs or finding himself in the pocket of one or other of the comprador oligarchs vying for control of the island. Cherizier and his comrades decided that an alliance with those gangs that were still independent would be preferable to allowing them to fall into the hands of imperialism.

‘Live Together’ alliance spearheads an uprising

Formed six months ago, the resulting ‘Live Together’ alliance came to prominence internationally in February, after Ariel Henry left Haiti to sign the Kenyan intervention deal. This was the event that pushed former rivals Cherizier and Toto Alexandre into cooperation against the comprador regime and its US backers.

Explaining this new entente, Toto Alexandre said: “Today, we are going to go all around Delmas 6 [the Port-au-Prince slum in which Cherizier was born] and visit the people with Jimmy Cherizier. So that people can see the peace is real. To respond to those who say that this peace is not real to all the Haitian people, we say this is a symbolic event.”

Cherizier responded: “Well, you have said it all. The way Toto said it, we are together. Toto Alexandre is the spokesperson for Belair, and I am the president and spokesperson of the Revolutionary Forces of the G9 Family and Allies. You mess with one you mess with all. Today there is no G9, nor Belair nor G-Pep. Today, there is ‘Live Together’.

“As Toto described it, we are trying to see how we can live together for life to resume in our neighbourhoods … Today, the battle we are fighting is a struggle for the country.”

In the words of Toto Alexandre: “I would like for all principled Haitians to come together as a single voice, to not allow the imperialist forces to misuse us as they already have …

“They used to say that they could not make developments because of the shooting in the popular [ie, working-class] neighbourhoods. There’s not been a single shot in the last two months … We are going to continue this struggle and say ‘Ariel Henry must leave this country’.

“The people will take to the streets to say ‘No! Down with the occupation and all foreign forces.’ The time has come for the USA, Canada, France to give us Haitians a chance to decide for ourselves the destiny of our country.

“That is why in the popular neighbourhoods today the winds of consciousness and peace are blowing. That’s why we are beginning to triumph. In the battle we’ll fight, the guns will point where they should be pointed. Against the imperialist forces.

“Because we are going to fight against the assassins in the government. And we are going to fight against the west that thinks it can impose Ariel Henry on us, who is a bloody assassin who participated in the death of President Jovenel Moïse.

“The foreign forces that are coming here, they are going to do the same things that Minustah did in 2004, raping boys, girls and women, like the Uruguayan soldiers did.

“They’ll do the same things as the Nepalese soldiers. They’ll bring cholera, which killed 20,000 Haitians and over 500,000 infected.

“The foreign forces are coming to consolidate the power of the oligarchs. The five percent who control 85 percent of the country’s wealth. They are coming to consolidate Ariel Henry because they know that he participated in the assassination of Jovenel Moïse …

“If they think they are going to come to the popular neighbourhoods to shoot, massacre and rape people, then we in the popular neighbourhoods who have the Dessalines blood in our veins [Jean-Jacques Dessalines was the leader of Haiti’s successful 1804 revolution], we’ll stand and fight to the last drop of blood …

“If a group of people in the Montana Accord, if a group of people in Washington decide and come up with a solution that they think they will impose on the people, this is a miscalculation. We will be back in the same place we started from.” (How Port-au-Prince’s warring neighbourhoods united: Jimmy ‘Barbecue’ Cherizier and Toto Alexandre, Uncaptured Media, 14 March 2024)

Lurid claims of cannibalism aim to discredit Haiti’s revolutionary leadership

In Washington, the President Joe Biden’s administration is in desperate need of a military win. Not only is the USA losing its proxy war in Ukraine, but the jewel in the crown of its empire, the zionist settler colony in the middle east is being steadily destroyed, both militarily and economically – and becoming an international pariah into the bargain.

Enter the CIA’s latest propaganda operation aimed at discrediting the leadership of a fight for freedom, this time in the Americas. The focus of this lurid psychological operation is Jimmy Cherizier, variously described by western media and ‘human rights’ organisations as a “butcher”, a “murderer”, a “gang member” … and even a “cannibal”.

These tactics, reflective of nothing so much as the sick and degenerate imaginations of western script-writers, are eerily redolent of the demonisation of Libya’s revolutionary leader Colonel Muammar Gaddafi. As Nato was ramping up its psychological warfare in preparation for launching a barbarous blitzkrieg in 2011, screaming newspaper headlines accused Colonel Gaddafi of dosing his troops with Viagra and sending them on a campaign of systematic rape against his own people.

This charge was loudly repeated (and quietly debunked) against President Vladimir Putin when Russia launched its special military operation in Ukraine in 2022. (UN envoy admits fabricating claim of Viagra-fuelled rape as ‘Russian military strategy’ by Alex Rubinstein, The Grayzone, 13 November 2022)

Such lurid and salacious propaganda is clearly designed to make the receiver recoil in disgust. “‘I’m all for non-intervention but by God they’re eating each other there. We’ve got to do something.’ That’s the kind of reaction they want from people like you and I.” (Daniel McAdams on Barbecues and cannibals in Haiti, RT, 13 March 2024)

The claim that Cherizier “barbecues his victims” is just one more horrific fabrication in a long line of atrocity propaganda porn that is aimed at drumming up support for a ‘responsibility to protect’ intervention of the type that US and its Nato allies have been waging ever since Tony Blair and Bill Clinton fabricated the pretext for their criminal destruction of Yugoslavia in 1999.

Bourgeois media claim ‘drug gangs taking over the country’

Anyone getting their news from the Guardian or similar bourgeois sources will presently be under the impression that “drug gangs are taking over” in Haiti.

Dan Cohen paints a different picture, however: “I would say that’s the complete inverse. Drug gangs have been running the country, in the form of political parties, and the gangsters are not in sandals in the slums but the elites who fly back from Miami to Port-Au Prince. Who have their kids live in another country, go to school in another country whilst trafficking drugs and paying armed forces to do their dirty work.” Haiti facts and fiction, The Duran, 21 March 2024)

Once again, we find that the imperialists are accusing their enemies of their own crimes. It is the United States which runs the global drug trade, both because it finds the laundered funds useful for covert operations, and because drug gangs, drug pushers and other lumpen declassed elements create a social fabric and an economy that is pro-imperialist and anticommunist. (Peter Dale Scot, American War Machine: Deep Politics, the CIA Global Drug Connection and the Road to Afghanistan, 2010)

US secretary of state Anthony Blinken has pledged an additional $100m for the creation of a “multinational force” to be deployed to Haiti to try to ‘pacify’ (subjugate) the country and ‘free it’ from gangs.

Right on cue, the required support has been conjured up from a suitably subservient regime in the region: “I think we can all agree: Haiti is on the brink of disaster,” declaimed Guyanese president Irfaan Ali. “We must take quick and decisive action.”

It is not surprising that Caricom, set up and headquartered in Guyana (an Anglo-Dutch neocolonial creation), should be the ‘intergovernmental organisation’ (ie, imperialist agency) charged with overseeing a changing of the imperial guard in Haiti.

“‘We are pleased to announce the commitment to transitional governance arrangement which paves the way for a peaceful transition of power, continuity of governance and action plan for near-term security and the road to free and fair elections. It further seeks to assure that Haiti will be governed by the rule of law,’ said Guyana leader and Caricom chairman Irfaan Ali in a news conference, flanked by other Caribbean leaders.” (Haiti’s leader to resign as gangs run rampant through country engulfed in crisis by Caitlin Stephen Hu, CNN, 12 March 2024)

“The leader of Pitit Dessalines, [former senator] Moïse Jean-Charles, says he rejects the presidential council of seven members and two observers proposed by Caricom. ‘Caricom cannot present us with a seven-headed snake,’ he criticised. ‘I do not want Caricom to prolong the crisis,’ he declared, before calling for popular mobilisation.” (Moïse Jean-Charles rejects the Caricom presidential council, Haiti Liberte, 20 March 2024)

US imperialism is on the back foot. It is sustaining a wildly unpopular genocide in Gaza. It is losing its war in Ukraine after an string of failed regime-change attempts against Russia. Unable in this climate to send a direct suppression force to Haiti, it has been forced to rely on a proxy Kenyan force of a mere 1,000 troops – death squads who speak neither French nor the local Creole.

These ‘peacekeepers’ (enforcers) will be up against groups, some armed with heavy weaponry, who know their neighbourhoods and can disappear amongst the people. Haiti, so long ravaged by imperialism, its people kept in the most abject conditions, is fertile for revolution.

The present rebellion shows every sign of growing as the Haitian people continue to fight for their right to sovereign and dignified development.

A decadent and rotting US imperialism in decline is looking ever more stretched, no longer capable of spinning all the plates necessary to keep the world’s masses in subjugation. Its difficulties elsewhere are providing an opening in which the Haitian people may at long last succeed in winning their country back from the imperialist vampires.

Victory to the just struggle of the Haitian people for independence and freedom!Death to imperialism and its stooges!

Republished from with thanks

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