Haiti – CARICOM/Core Group Scheme Rejected

By A. T. Freeman, Caribbean Empowerment Blog, April 11, 2024

Political developments in Haiti continue to occupy attention not only across the Caribbean but also globally. In early March, the Core Group appointed Prime Minister, Ariel Henry, was blocked from returning to Haiti after armed groups besieged the country’s Toussaint Louverture International Airport, where he intended to land. Within a week of this development, CARICOM convened a high-level meeting on Haiti in Kingston, Jamaica on 11 March. This meeting which was also attended by members of the Core Group and, notably, by US Secretary of State, Anthony Blinken, produced what they termed a “transitional governance arrangement”, in the wake of the resignation of Ariel Henry. 

The transitional arrangements openly violate Haiti’s sovereignty and are intended to reinforce the US and its Core Group’s colonial mission. Many commentators note that the current social crisis in Haiti is the result of 20 years of the Core Group’s domination and gross interference in Haiti’s political affairs, which are part of a broader pattern of US domination of Haiti that has endured for over a century.

The CARICOM/Core Group scheme aims to appoint a Transitional Presidential Council whilst specifically excluding from participation in this council any Haitians who oppose the United Nations Security Council Resolution 2699 of October 2023 that greenlights the long-planned US organised invasion of Haiti. In this way CARICOM and the Core Group, have given themselves the authority to decide which Haitians can take part in the political developments in their own country.

Furthermore, the CARICOM/Core Group scheme demands that the envisaged ‘Transitional Presidential Council’ must have as one of its primary duties “collaboration with all members of the international community for the accelerated deployment of the Multinational Security Support Mission”. In other words, the so called Transitional Presidential Council is a fig leaf to attempt to legitimise the long planned intervention i nHaiti.

Not surprisingly, many patriotic Haitians have denounced the criminal CARICOM/Core Group scheme which is intended to further subjugate Haiti to US imperial interests.

For the information of readers published below are statements of Haitians and Haitian organisations on the crisis in their country.

Henry Boisrolin, Coordinator of the Haitian Democratic Committee in Argentina   

“The Haitian crisis has worsened in the last months in a really alarming way, we are witnessing the collapse, practically of the neocolonial system, whose main symbolic structures were attacked by so-called gangs that in my opinion are death squads, they are political instruments at the service of imperialism and the Haitian ruling elite.

To the Prime Minister who was outside and who has now presented his resignation, to a governance on autopilot, who has decreed a virtual government, who has decreed a state of siege impossible to be applied, because he controls absolutely nothing, and there was a CARICOM meeting on Monday, March 11, 2024, where Canada, the United States and France were invited, and where evidently it was a maneuver of US imperialism, because the one who had the singing voice was the Secretary of State, Antony Blinken.

What is the solution they offer, the resignation of the Prime Minister and the formation of a presidential council of seven members with a presidency alternatingevery three months among them, but with a duration between 18 and 24 monthsto organize the country, to impose peace and to organize elections, but each member of that council has to accept the deployment of a multinational force, which means a new interference, a new occupation, then the fundamental objective of our struggle is to recover our right to self-determination, our sovereignty and our independence, then we seek a Haitian solution to the Haitian crisis, we reject outright the resolution that came out of the CARICOM meeting in Kingston Jamaica”.

Henry Boisrolin, Coordinator of the Haitian Democratic Committee in Argentina 

Position of the Haitian Coalition of Canada against the dictatorship in Haiti on the situation

March 28, 2024               

We, members of the Haitian Coalition of Canada against the dictatorship in Haiti, signatories of the Agreement of August 30, 2021 (Montana), are very concerned about how the international community is imposing its own rules of the game on Haitian actors to establish a transition of continuity.

We agree with the principle of rupture transition as stated from the beginning in the August 30 Agreement.

This rupture transition has a series of fundamental principles and characteristics that characterize it. Principles such as recovering the sovereign rights of the country that cannot be negotiated. Maintaining sovereignty means abandoning all forms of occupation.

CARICOM, which is supposed to play an intermediary role, appears, through its actions, to be a self-interested political actor acting according to the agenda of the powers that dominate the country, along with the vassal politicians and political organizations that exist in the country.

In this logic, transnational occupation is imposed as a condition to establish the transition. This is not at all consistent with our convictions and principles.

A breakup transition must be clear in the choice of the people who participate in it. In this sense, we continue to believe that the PHTK and its allies have no place in any transitional government that seeks to recover the country’s sovereignty and establish conditions for the Haitian people to live in peace and dignity.

It is this regime that has put us in the quagmire in which we find ourselves, with the objective of dismantling from their point of origin all popular initiatives and mobilizations in the country that attempt a change in the system. The popular saying that raises the need to overturn the pot is a clear expression of the will and determination of the Haitian people to establish another model of society.

Therefore, the members and organizations of the self-proclaimed “legal bandits” of the PHTK and their allies, who are supported by the “international community”, are responsible for more than a decade for the current chaos and terror situation. 

The Haitian people shout Enough. The PHTK and its allies, under the obedience of the Core Group (United States, France, Canada…) cannot, after having sowed chaos, created problems, then attempt to seek solutions. They are setting fires and pretending to be firefighters at the same time.

It has been 13 years since the PHTK regime is in power and benefits from the blessings of the Core Group countries (in particular, the United States, France and Canada), but the Haitian people never missed the opportunity to oust these characters to the dustbin of history for financial crimes, massacres, corruption and all the atrocities committed against the people.

A breakup transition requires people and organizations of integrity, who are not involved in illicit activities, drugs, financial crimes, kidnappings, murders; people who have never been convicted by the national or international judiciary.

A breakout transition must have people who are not under any national or international sanctions, people who have never been complicit in the criminal PHTK regime and who have never served the interests of foreign countries.

This means that this transition only needs people and organizations that are upright, credible, honest, patriotic, determined, competent, and that put the interests of Haiti first and foremost.

In this sense, we are very concerned about the presence of Montana in the Presidential College created by CARICOM because the CARICOM initiative does not respond to any rupture initiative. In our opinion, the objective – of CARICOM – is to put an end to all Haitian initiatives so that the country does not gain its own sovereignty and prevent Haiti from finding a sovereign Haitian solution to this crisis created in the country.

We note that all the negotiations that CARICOM is carrying out on behalf of its employers are contrary to all the fundamental principles of the breakup transition. Everything that is happening here responds to the objectives of the countries that oppress Haiti, to renew and strengthen the PHTK regime and its allies who respond as lackeys at the service of the projects of the countries that dominate Haiti.

Furthermore, they created a mess to continue and strengthen the country’s dependence and domination. To accept this is to sell the sovereign right of the country to the devil. As Montana said in his initial program, Haiti needs a transition of rupture typical of sovereign Haitians.

It is a transition that must at least create the conditions to degangsterize the country in all its aspects (especially economic and political), recover the sovereignty of the country by organizing honest elections without impositions from foreign countries or the local oligarchy.

Any rupture transition must be clear to the Haitian people from the election of the candidates to the organizations that participate in it. This transition must create conditions for the population to live in peace, with dignity and lay the foundations so that people can truly live as human beings, so that citizens see and do politics in a different way in the country and create conditions for the trial of all those responsible for all financial crimes and massacres against the Haitian people.

All CARICOM measures are contrary to this project. And in that sense, we believe that the Agreement of August 30, 2021 must begin a permanent communication process to explain to all the signatory organizations and to the Haitian people in general what is happening. When we see that what is being done goes against the rupture transition project, we become very concerned.

Before it is too late and sadder, we continue to believe that at the crossroads at which we find ourselves, all true patriots and progressive organizations have the historical and ethical responsibility to come together and unite in a united front to prevent the country from falling into a trap that aims to renew the PHTK and its allies and, thus, dismantle all democratic and popular initiatives.

We must join forces as adults to implement the breakup transition project. It is an appointment we have with history, let us respond now and assume our responsibility.

Haiti before everything! Long live sovereign Haiti! Long live the struggle of the Haitian people! Those who fight do not die!

Alain Saint Victor    Walner Osna                                                   

POSITION OF THE RASIN Kan Pèp La PARTY ON THE DEVELOPING SITUATION

Port-au-Prince, March 12, 2024 

The RASIN Kan Pèp La Party, takes its hat off to salute all the families and communities who were victims of violence last week, where the people we call gangs received orders from their employers here and abroad to accelerate the work of destruction of the country. The victims are many and our suffering is the suffering of all the children of the country. 

The Party believes it is important to try to understand what is happening. We are in a situation where many actors are pretending. There are criminals-drug traffickers who pretend to make a revolution against the system while working to maintain the system and aggravate the chaos. There are other actors who claim that they cannot enter the country while they go about their business. There is a de facto interim Prime Minister who pretends to lead the country when he has contributed to the destruction of all the tools that could have allowed him to truly lead. There is a de facto government pretending to organize the transition, while the power of the gangs grows. There are the imperialists pretending to be helping to build security positions in the country while organizing to weaken the HNP by organizing the migration of over 3,000 police during 2023, a HNP that already did not have enough police. There are politicians who pretend to be running the State apparatus while all they do is to steal everything that is deposited in the State coffers. There are policemen who pretend to protect and serve the population while all they do is sell ammunition to the gangs. Between what the actors say and do, we must develop the capacity to understand what political project they are really defending. 

1. As of February 29, 2024, the coalition of gangs bearing the name “Living Together” received orders to launch a coordinated attack in Port-au-Prince and Croix-des-Bouquets. The actions of the gangs mainly targeted 2 large prisons, one in Croix des-Bouquets and the other in Port-au-Prince, where they allowed the escape of more than 4 thousand prisoners. The attacks also targeted the Toussaint Louverture international airport, some police posts and some public offices. At the same time, they destroyed hospitals, colleges, water collection systems and other important infrastructures for people to live in the territory. The gangs’ only demand, they say on social networks, is the resignation of the de facto Prime Minister, Ariel Henry. The gang attack on the international airport forced airlines to cancel all international flights in the country. Meanwhile, the media reported that Ariel Henry was under pressure from the United States and the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) to resign. This series of events, as they unfolded, shows the high-level coordination in the actions of the gang coalition, which are part of a project to totally destroy the country, remove all progressive organizations from the political scene and strengthen the domination of the imperialist countries over the country.

2. What actors in the country and abroad are involved in this planning? Why is it at this time that the gangs unleashed these attacks and demanded Ariel Henry’s resignation? What is the hidden agenda behind the latest gang attack?

3. The gang coalition has allies inside and outside the country. It is true that the gang attack on the Port-au-Prince airport could have prevented the plane carrying Ariel Henry, who was coming from Kenya, from landing in Port-au-Prince. Although there were some militants demonstrating against him in front of the Cap-Haitien airport, this could not have prevented Ariel Henry from entering Cap-Haitien because all gang violence was limited to the Port-au-Prince metropolitan area. Moreover, the Dominican government’s decision to close the border with Haiti comes at a time when Ariel Henry is having difficulty entering Haiti. While gangs in Port-au-Prince say they are erecting barricades to prevent Ariel Henry’s entry, Dominican authorities are taking diplomatic measures to keep Ariel Henry out. This shows the alliance between international actors and the gangs to unleash the movement that is further destroying the country since February 29. For over 30 months, U.S. imperialism and its allies have been supporting the Ariel Henry government and all its drifts often committed in relation to the gangs, what could explain this new phase in U.S. policy?

4. The negotiations in the UN Security Council on the resolution to authorize international military to go to Haiti to support the de facto government and the position expressed by some US congressmen on the Haitian crisis, show that the country is in the middle of a war of strategic interests, on the one hand, and in an electoral battle between Democrats and Republicans in the United States, on the other. There are sectors in the United States that are working to bring the disaster in Haiti on Biden’s head. We remember the great support given by Haitians living in the United States to the election of Joseph Biden as president of that country. At that time, the most active groups of the US diaspora on the election issue and supporting Biden clearly expressed their anti-Jovenel Moïse position. With their vote they intended to change the policy of U.S. imperialism towards the government of Jovenel Moïse. It was a miscalculation. Now, as the U.S. prepares to hold elections, the position against the U.S. and against the Democratic Party has reached an all-time high. In this context, the crisis in Haiti is a major issue in the U.S. election campaign.  Since it was a simple message from the CORE GROUP that authorized Ariel Henry to become Prime Minister, why, then, would they need to mobilize this infernal machine to overturn the de facto government they appointed?

5. Since the assassination of Jovenel Moïse in July 2021, many political and civil society actors believe that only a Haitian solution can address the current crisis. One of the most organized expressions of this idea is the Agreement of August 30, 2021 (Montana Agreement). The imperialist does not agree with this idea. There was and there is a whole campaign of manipulation, corruption and division mounted to reduce the strength that Montana represents. Some renowned journalists even said on the radio that the Montana Accord is a thing of the left. The reactionaries are doing everything possible to try to dismantle the Montana Accord. They succeeded in inoculating the germ of division in the dynamics created by the Montana Agreement; which reduces even more its mobilization capacity. Let us remember all that, it is to tell you that US imperialism has come to understand that all solutions to the crisis that do not seem to come from a consensus among Haitians will face many contestations within the country. Therefore, the gang attacks give imperialism two possibilities: First, gang violence has created a situation in which all the actions of imperialism can be interpreted as a salvation for the population; second, gang leaders can impose themselves as political actors who must participate in the solution of the crisis. Faced with such a situation, what are the progressive forces to do?

6. It is good to better understand the roles assigned to the gangs. We must never forget that the gangs are instruments of the oligarchy and imperialism. All human rights reports show where the gangs’ weapons and ammunition come from; they show the complicity between state authorities and the gangs that are there to paralyze all popular mobilizations. Progressive forces must confront the project of turning drug traffickers and gang leaders into political leaders. If this project is carried out, we will further deepen the gangsterization of the entire state space. It is true that the leftist political organizations were not prepared to enter into this violent battle based on the weapons that the oligarchy and imperialism delivered in the popular neighborhoods, but progressive organizations must have the courage to denounce the dreadful project that is underway and open the eyes of the masses to understand the contradictions. The majority of the population resists this plan of death that combines several tactics: the delivery of arms and impunity to the gangs, the application of neoliberal policies that destroy national production and the capacity of the State, then facilitating migration. 

7. We salute all the honest policemen and soldiers who are not involved in crimes, in extortion and abuse against the population, who are not involved in receiving money from drug traffickers and kidnappers. There are several of them who maintain a good collaboration with the self-defense groups in various neighborhoods of Port-auPrince. They show that they are available to defend the dignity of the country if they find the means to do their job and if they have the guarantee that the boss who gives them the orders is not in collusion with gangsters. 

8. We salute all Haitians who were trained in the army and police of the following countries: United States, Canada, Venezuela, Cuba, Mexico, Ecuador, Chile, Brazil, who are aware of the debt they owe to their mother Haiti and are willing to share their knowledge and/or services in a true project of national liberation.

The solution to get out of this grave crisis is in the hands of the popular masses, of the popular classes, of the progressive and revolutionary forces!

We need to get out of the logic of waiting for an opportunity to take office. 

Down with all the arsonist firemen. They set fire to the country and now they pretend they are going to put it out. 

Down with the war unleashed against the Haitian people.

Down with the gangsterization of our political system. They have left the country in the hands of the PHTK, the legal criminals, and they are trying to continue with the same logic to hand over power to gang leaders and drug traffickers.

Long live a sovereign transition.

Long live honest elections with a CEP that is not tied to the table of the oligarchy or the imperialists. 

Long live the struggle to defend the dignity of the Haitian people. 

Long live the struggle to build sovereignty and self-determination. 

Marc-Arthur Fils-Aimé (General Secretary) Camille Chalmers (Spokesman)

 

Posted April 13, 2024