• Post category:News

Global Solidarity on Haiti’s Flag Day to Stop Foreign Intervention

by Haiti Action Committee

May 18 marked Haitian Flag Day, commemorating the day in 1803 when Jean-Jacques Dessalines declared independence as the goal at the historic people’s congress in Akaye and created the Haitian flag. Flag Day signifies Haitian sovereignty and commemorates ancestors and other loved ones who have died fighting for freedom. With the people’s tremendous victory six months later, the country’s native name – Ayiti – was restored.

Haiti Action Committee called for an International Day of Solidarity with Haiti on May 18 to protest the impending arrival in Haiti of more foreign occupation troops. We send a salute and heartfelt thanks to the many individuals and organizations who took part. From Atlanta to Philadelphia to Guyana, Belize and Los Angeles, from Santa Rosa to Oakland to San Francisco in the California Bay Area, solidarity activists turned out to demand an end to US/UN intervention in Haiti. Our great respect goes to revered Guyanese elder Eusi Kwayana for his 24-hour hunger strike in solidarity with Haiti and Palestine. Thanks to the many organizations who endorsed the call to action, who helped spread the word and for their expressions of solidarity with the Haitian people’s struggle for liberation. Thanks to Eastside Arts Alliance for inviting our co-founder, Pierre Labossiere, to speak about Haiti at the Malcolm X Jazz Festival. And thanks to the teams of activists who bannered across the Bay Area!

The root cause of the current crisis in Haiti goes back to the US-orchestrated 2004 coup that overthrew President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, who was elected in 2000 by a huge majority in a free and fair election. Aristide’s goal was to raise Haitians from a condition of misery to “poverty with dignity” through government policy to support the vast majority of Haitians, not transnational capital and Haiti’s ruling elite. His government constructed schools, health care centers and a hospital, and mapped Haiti’s vast natural resources, committing itself to use them in service to the Haitian people. He also demanded that France repay $21+ billion dollars as restitution for money extorted by France from 1826-1947 as “reparations” to the French enslavers for “lost property.” 

The coup brought with it a UN occupation force led by Brazil that ushered in a period of extreme repression, cholera, massacres, rapes, and rigged elections, and in 2011 brought to power Michel Martelly and his fascist PHTK party, which controlled executive power through a series of rigged elections and terror.  PHTK collaborated and coordinated activities with the Haitian police, the army, and the paramilitary death squads that have created what Haitians call a hell on earth in Haiti. During the beginning of 2024 alone, more than 1500 Haitians have been killed as a result of paramilitary violence. Journalists, clergy, peasant-farmers, students, workers, market women vendors, and others raising their voices in protest have been met with beatings, incarceration, rape, assassinations and mass killings. 

Now, once again, the US and the UN are pushing for a new foreign invasion, this time fronted by troops from Kenya, Benin and the Caribbean. Contractors are already being flown into Haiti to construct a base for the foreign troops. The Biden Administration is providing $300 million for the invasion, including weapons and equipment in the form of 80 humvees, sniper rifles, riot control gear and more. The notoriously repressive Kenyan police are expected to arrive in Haiti any day now.

Without a trace of irony, the same foreign powers responsible for the disastrous state of affairs in Haiti are asking Haitians to believe that more foreign intervention masked by a UN Security Council resolution will resolve the crisis. 

Haitian grassroots organizations have long demanded a people’s transitional government composed of honest and democratic individuals and organizations, but the US has corrupted the process and seen to it that this transitional council is composed almost entirely of people loyal to US interests. While the Fanmi Lavalas Party of President Aristide is participating in this council, as one of the few democratic forces represented there, it is relying on grassroots people power to create fundamental and lasting change. 

As the US organizes a new invasion and as the paramilitary death squads continue to unleash terror, we demand:

  • Stop using US tax dollars to fund the brutal Haitian police and affiliated death squads
  • Stop the flow of weapons from the US to death squads in Haiti
  • No more foreign intervention – End the occupation
  • Stop attacking and deporting Haitian refugees
  • Sovereignty and self-determination for Haiti

For an excellent update on the current situation, please listen to Haiti Action Committee co-founders Pierre Labossiere and Robert Roth on Pacifica/KPFA’s Flashpoints with Dennis Bernstein