The Crisis in Haiti is the Result of Racist Colonialism

By Krys Cerisier, CODE PINK, June 7, 2024

For as long as colonization has existed in the Americas, Haiti has been subject to the most violent forms of abuse by colonial powers. What we are seeing in Haiti today is a culmination of over 200 hundred years of intentional foreign intervention to sabotage any attempt at Haitian political stability organized by the Haitian people.

To explain the current US proxy invasion of Haiti by the domestic Kenyan police force, we must first take a look at the 2004 US/French-backed occupation and coup d’état of elected President Jean-Bertrand Aristide. This occupation set the stage for a series of foreign governments and institutions to take away any semblance of autonomy from the Haitian people, and secure foreign control of the island. Aristide, an elected president who called for French reparations and worked with Cuba to improve health care, was kidnapped by the US Marines and forced out of the country. 

Following this coup, Haiti was flooded with outside groups and military operations such as Operation Secure Tomorrow, which deployed US, Canadian, French, and Chilean forces, The United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH), CARICOM, the Organization of American State (OSA), and the CORE group. 

The most influential of these is the CORE group, which was created by the UN Security Council, and consisted of representatives from Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Spain, the European Union, the United States and the OSA. It has taken control of the Haitian government with little Haitian representation or popular support. These institutions essentially run the country, ensuring that Haitian control of Haiti would never come to fruition, and would remain in the hands of the elite and colonial powers. Following the assassination of President Jovenel Moïse on July 7, 2021, the CORE Group and OSA showed how powerful foreign control is within the Haitian government when they appointed Ariel Henry as Prime Minister. There was no election or conferring with any Haitian-led organized civilian group. This completely excluded both domestic Haitian organizations and political groups from the conversation of who should lead Haiti, and has led to Haitians rejecting this foreign-installed puppet government.

To justify this consistent takeover of Haiti by foreign powers, dating as far back as the US invasion and occupation in 1915, the United States continues to peddle the narrative that Haiti is inherently ungovernable and overrun with “gangs.” This false distortion of reality is meant to hide the truth that for over 100 years the United States has made a concerted effort to maintain destabilization in Haiti and force it open for profit to foreign powers. In their first invasion and occupation of Haiti in 1915, the United States forced Haitians to accept a new constitution written by the US that solidified a US monopoly of the Haitian economy.

Especially since the discovery of over 20 billion dollars in mineral resources more than 10 years ago, the US has been working to protect this level of power through international and regional governing bodies, the Haitian elite class, and the use of paramilitaries, which they call «gangs, as racist rhetoric to justify the current occupation.

Now both Haitians and Kenyans, who see this as a clear violation of autonomy, which only serves the interest of foreign powers and the Haitian elite, vehemently oppose the impending invasion of Haiti by the United States, via the Kenyan domestic police force. The new incoming Prime Minister Garry Conille, a close ally of the Clinton and Obama administrations, was chosen by the CORE group because of his willingness to maintain this foreign control and repress any attempt at Haitian sovereignty.

Nothing that the US has done has improved the conditions in Haiti but has only exacerbated a nationwide humanitarian crisis. We should not rely on, or support, a US-led solution in Haiti, as the demise of Haiti is in the best interest of the United States. Since 1804, the US has seen Haiti as a threat, much like Cuba, Venezuela, and Palestine. The United States does not want to see a successful Haiti as it would be in direct contradiction to US white supremacist ideology, and cause a ripple effect of anti-imperialist movements across the Caribbean and the world.

 

Krys Cerisier is the New York City organizer and War Is Not Green campaign coordinator for CODEPINK. Article originally posted in Sonoma County Peace Press.

 

Posted June 9, 2024