Letter of Solidarity to the People of Haiti struggling for democracy and against poverty, violence and repression (English)

The great Haitian Revolution of 1804 led to the ending of slavery in the Americas and established the first Black Republic.  They gave support and refuge to Bolivar the liberator of Latin America.  The Haitian grassroots have paid a huge price for their spirit of resistance and determination.  Today, Haiti is the most impoverished country in the Americas and hundreds are being killed, raped and maimed.  US police and army train and provide the military equipment for these government-backed massacres.  Haitian Lives are treated as though they don’t matter.

The PPC:NCMR includes in its pillars the evils of racism, poverty, ecological devastation, the war economy and the nation’s distorted moral narrative.  The suffering of the Haitian people is reflected in all of the pillars of the PPC, in particular the pillars related to poverty and the war economy.  The aim of the PPC:NCMR is to end poverty everywhere. We know it is crucial to end poverty not only in the US but around the world.  The US backed coups in Haiti are reminiscent of the suffering inflicted on the people in Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala, thousands of whom have had to flee their country only to be turned away at the US border and their children taken from them and held in torturous inhumane conditions.

Peasant organizations in Haiti on May 31st 2020 issued a statement in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement in the US: “Hand in hand, let’s struggle together to eradicate racism and injustice…We strongly denounce the brutal acts of the police in the United States against those who are demonstrating for justice…The police in Haiti act with the same brutality against the Haitian people… the police from the US and Canada train the police of Haiti…”

Commitment:

“The California Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival stands with the grassroots movement for democracy in Haiti, in our work to end poverty, racism, the war economy, and ecological devastation everywhere.  We pledge to lift up the voices of and make reference to your poverty and other violence and suffering as well as your historic spirit of resistance in our events and messaging.”

Background

The present Haitian government was put in place by fraudulent US-backed elections.  It has been involved in the disappearance of billions of dollars loaned to Haiti by Venezuela.

  • According to the World Health Organization 65% of the population live below poverty. The majority of Haitians according to the Borgen Project live on less than $2 a day
  • The Haitian people have a tradition of struggle that goes back to their Revolution of 1804. In 2019 and 2020 they stepped up their resistance to corruption, extreme poverty and government backed violence.  Tens of thousands took to the streets and on several occasions shut down the entire country, forcing the US to halt flights to Haiti.
  • In response, the Haitian government has unleashed militarized police and death squads. Hundreds have been massacred, women and girls raped, homes and communities burned in a reign of terror reminiscent of the “Tonton Macoutes” of the Duvalier dictatorships.  As a neighborhood woman said, “The dead I see have no weapons in their hands, they are poor folks like me.”
  • Tuesday June 23rd, 2020, the US returned to Haiti, a notorious death squad leader,Toto Constant, who had been in prison in the US.  Constant was the man behind the massacres of thousands of Haitians after the first US-backed coup against President Aristide.  The movement knew that talks of his return would signal an increase of deadly attacks against them, and this has borne out to be the case.
  • Reports in the mainstream media and by some human rights organizations report that the violence against the civilian population is warfare among rival gangs. However it has been proven by the UN and human rights organizations that the violence is unleashed by government-connected death squads.

“The people of Haiti want life not death.  They want peace not violence.  They want democracy not repression.”  Jean Bertrand Aristide.

History

Jean-Bertrand Aristide, a former Catholic priest following the tradition of liberation theology, Haiti’s first democratically elected and much loved President, was twice deposed in US-backed coups. He was part of the movement that defeated the murderous Duvalier regimes which ruled Haiti with US support for 30 years. Aristide abolished the army, raised the minimum wage, built schools and hospitals, supported local food production, and organized justice for women who had been raped by the military. He demanded reparations from France for the decades of money extracted from Haiti. He and his family were forced into exile to South Africa. Following protests by the Haitian grassroots and supporters in many countries, he was able to return in 2011. He remains the head of the Lavalas mass movement.  Lavalas supporters remain the center of today’s resistance against US government and their allies. The Haitian grassroots have paid a huge price for their revolutionary persistence and determination. Since his return, President Aristide and his wife and colleague Mildred Aristide, have built UNIFA, the university that trains no/low income students as doctors, nurses and lawyers to serve the people, and are building a much needed teach in hospital.

Video Lasalin massacre

Human Rights Report on the Lasalin Massacre

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California Poor People’s Campaign 

Read this statement in Kreyol