By Berthony Dupont, Haiti Liberté, June 28, 2023
Haïti Liberté’s director, Berthony Dupont, made the following statement via Zoom to an antiwar forum sponsored by Socialist Organizer on Jun. 24, 2023 in Oakland, CA at the Niebel-Proctor Library. Also speaking were Dominique Ferré from the editorial board of La Tribune des Travailleurs (Workers Tribune), Alan Benjamin and Mya Shone of Socialist Organizer, economist Jack Rasmus, and Millie Phillips of The Organizer newspaper.
If you listen to the bourgeois press today, or even to many sectors of the so-called progressive media, you will be told that Haiti is in anarchy, ruled by criminal gangs, gripped by famine, and faced with a “humanitarian catastrophe.”
The only solution, the same pundits will tell you, is foreign military intervention to save the Haitian people from the gangs and to hold elections. Some of the more sophisticated or left-posturing pundits will say that no, we oppose foreign military intervention, but the “international community” (code for the U.S. and Canada) need to support the Haitian National Police (or PNH) with advisors and trainers. This is just a more subtle, gradual form of foreign military intervention.
The subtext to this entire narrative is that the Haitian people are incapable of governing themselves and of making their own history.
This false narrative and the foreign intervention it promotes are exactly what we at Haïti Liberté have been fighting against for the past three years, with some success, but the battle is far from over.
USING THEIR HAND-PICKED PUPPET, DE FACTO PRIME MINISTER ARIEL HENRY, THE U.S. AND CANADA HAVE TRIED TO ORCHESTRATE A THIRD UN MILITARY INTERVENTION IN 30 YEARS
The first thing to understand is that when they demonize the so-called gangs of Haiti, they are vilifying the Haitian people. Yes, there are criminal gangs in Haiti, and they are well-known. They are allied in a federation called the G-Pèp. The Haitian ruling class, with the support of the USA, Canada, and France, is using these gangs to cover up the failure of their neoliberal project in the country.
But facing and fighting them is another federation of armed neighborhood self-defense committees called the Revolutionary Forces of the G9 Family and Allies, or just G9. Their goal is to stop the kidnapping, rape, extortion, and other crimes carried out by the G-Pèp gangs against people in their areas. The G9 groups rid their neighborhoods of criminals so their residents can live in peace.
But the G9 has another goal: to overthrow the Haitian bourgeoisie and replace their vulture capitalism with a new system which will provide the Haitian working class with schools, hospitals, clinics, sanitation, roads, electricity, clean water, internet, and all the other basic necessities of modern life.
This revolutionary project – advanced not by some academics in a university lecture hall but by armed men and women who are hungry, angry, and have nothing to lose but their chains – has terrified the Haitian bourgeoisie as well as their U.S. and Canadian neocolonial overlords.
This is why the U.S., and Canada, responding to the Haitian bourgeoisie’s distressed cries, are so anxious to intervene in Haiti. They see it as imperative to crush the G9 and this armed uprising of Haiti’s shantytowns.
But since April 24th, they have become even more panicked when a movement of vigilante justice, dubbed Bwa Kale (peeled wood), erupted across Haiti. Large crowds of Haitians armed with machetes have accompanied the PNH to capture members of the G-Pèp gangs. In most cases, the crowd makes an expedited review of testimony and evidence on their prisoners’ cellphones. If deemed guilty, the gang members are executed on the spot and their bodies burned.
This tactic has struck terror among the criminal gangs… and also among the U.S., Canadian, and Haitian bourgeoisies. The G9 has come out in full support of the Bwa Kale movement. The ruling groups fear that the revolution is spreading and strengthening.
Using their hand-picked puppet, de facto Prime Minister Ariel Henry, the U.S. and Canada have tried to orchestrate a third UN military intervention in 30 years, following the ones in 1994 and 2004. But they have been blocked by Russia and China in the UN Security Council, which we in Haïti Liberté addressed on Dec. 21, 2022.
They also don’t have enough votes in the Organization of American State to invoke the InterAmerican Charter and use the OAS as a front, as they did in the neighboring Dominican Republic in 1965. CARICOM has also refused to be the sponsor of their adventure.
They are now courting a few Caribbean nations – particularly Jamaica, the Bahamas, and Barbados – to act as the frontmen for this intervention. But it is not working out well yet.
As a result, the U.S. and Canada are left with carrying out empty threats and poorly executed shows of force. Canada has flown a spy plane over Haiti with great fanfare, sent two frigates to patrol off Haiti’s coast, and most recently announced, after a meeting of Haitian politicians, including Ariel Henry, in Jamaica from Jun. 11-13, that they were setting up an office to coordinate support for the PNH in the neighboring Dominican Republic.
But the Dominican Foreign Minister immediately responded that his country had never discussed or agreed to such a thing. The declining empires of the U.S. and Canada increasingly resemble the Keystone cops.
The U.S. and Canada are also trying to win over the Haitian people by sanctioning some members of Haiti’s bourgeoisie. These sanctions are mostly meaningless, but Washington and Ottawa hope that they will fool the Haitian people that they are on their side.
In addition to stopping the burgeoning revolution, the U.S. has one other key aim in Haiti: stop the growing worldwide influence and power of China.
Toward this end, the U.S. has rolled out the Global Fragility Act, for which Haiti is the first target in the Western Hemisphere. Under this 2019 law, which was passed under Trump with complete support of both U.S. ruling parties, Haiti would sign a 10-year agreement to receive U.S. humanitarian aid but also to be occupied by U.S. troops. This is the other reason Washington is so anxious to put in place an elected government which can sign this agreement and invite it in. This alliance of the Pentagon with USAID aims to stop the spread of China’s influence, the Global Fragility Act specifically explains.
Now, understand that neither the G9 nor the Bwa Kale movements are reliable, conscious, disciplined, organized “fighting organizations,” as Lenin called a revolutionary Marxist party. They are organic, autonomous, virtually spontaneous movements. But as Marx once said: “The people make history, but not always in the way of their own choosing.” Our role as Marxist revolutionaries is to accompany the people in their quest for revolution, to guide them, assist them, reassure them, organize them, and do everything we can to help them reach their ultimate goal, which sometimes they don’t even yet recognize: socialist revolution.
So we call on all our comrades to assist us to assist the Haitian people who are rising up and resisting foreign intervention and seeking to forge their own path in history, as our ancestors so famously did.
Posted June 30, 2023