“Today, Canadian and U.S. military aircraft arrived in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, to transfer vital Haitian government-purchased security equipment, including tactical and armoured vehicles, and supplies to the Director General of the Haitian National Police (HNP),” explained a Global Affairs Canada statement on October 15, 2022.
The next day, Canada’s Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau tweeted, “This equipment will assist the police in their fight against criminal gangs and help improve security. […] Our two countries [Canada and the U.S.] remain committed to supporting the Haitian National Police’s work of protecting and serving the people of Haiti.”
But what kind of government is Canada sending weapons to? What kind of government is Trudeau propping up in Haiti?
With the above announcement, the government of Canada is announcing that it is backing and arming Haiti’s de-facto Prime Minister, Ariel Henry. Henry took power, without an election, after the assassination of former president, Jovenel Moise in July 2021. Henry has been implicated in the murder of the former president. Henry’s rule has been highly contested and protested by Haitians, now Canada is sending him weapons and helping to arm his police force.
Meanwhile, the United Nations (UN) role in all of this is still developing. There may be plans to send so-called ‘UN peace-keepers.’ However, these forces are not welcome in Haiti. A Global News article explains, “Haiti’s last cholera outbreak was in 2010 as a result of United Nations peacekeepers introducing the bacteria into the country’s largest river by sewage. Nearly 10,000 people died and more than 850,000 were sickened.” Today, cholera is once again on the rise in Haiti. Foreign intervention is not the solution. In an interview with Global News, Haitian-Canadian activist Jean Saint-Vil said, “Haiti needs reparations, not invasion,” from the United Nations.
Foreign military intervention, whether it’s the U.S., Canada, or United Nations ‘peace-keepers’ has always meant further devastation for Haiti. These forces arrive with their own political interests and imperialist motives; they are not going to help poor and working people in Haiti. An important example of this happened in 2004 when the U.S., Canada, France and the United Nations occupied Haiti after the forcible removal of the democratically elected Haitian president, Jean Bertrand Aristide. The occupation force — first U.S.-led and then United Nations-led- suppressed the will of the Haitian people in favour of opening the doors to North American corporate interests and upholding an illegitimate de-facto government.
Imperialist forces hope to repeat this brutal history, but the people of Haiti are resilient and standing up for their right to self-determination. On October 17 protests took place across Haiti, with thousands demanding the prime minister’s resignation and ‘no to foreign intervention’. Samuel Jean Venel, a salesman from Haiti who attended the protests, is quoted by the Associated Press saying, “We don’t need a foreign force. It’s not going to solve anything. […] As you can see, there is no result. There is more poverty, more insecurity.”
Peace-loving people across Canada must call out the Trudeau government for its support and arming of an unelected, illegitimate leader in Haiti. Haitians are demanding their right to self-determination, to decide their own future, and we must stand with them!
Get involved in Mobilization Against War and Occupation — MAWO as we demand:
Canada, U.S. and UN Hands Off Haiti!
No New Occupation of Haiti!
We also encourage everyone to sign onto the Canadian Foreign Policy Institute letter, “No to Canadian Military Intervention in Haiti” here:
Posted Oct. 30, 2022