by Haiti Action Committee
We join with Haiti’s popular movement to strongly condemn the call for an expanded foreign military occupation of Haiti made on Oct. 7 by US/UN occupation-imposed Prime Minister Ariel Henry. Henry obediently followed calls made by the UN Integrated Office in Port-au-Prince the day before for an expanded UN occupation of Haiti and by OAS General Luis Almagro, who tweeted that Haiti “must request urgent assistance from the international community to help resolve security crises, determine the characteristics of an international security force.”
We strongly condemn the letter submitted on Oct. 9 by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to the UN Security Council, proposing the deployment of a foreign, armed occupation force to Haiti. And we denounce the Biden Administration’s drafting of a UN Security Council Resolution calling for the immediate deployment of a foreign “rapid action force” in Haiti, as reported on Oct. 15.
Turning to the UN Security Council, the OAS, and the US government to “stabilize” the crisis in Haiti today is akin to pleading with the arsonists to quell the fire they have unleashed.
For more than 18 years now, ever since the US-backed coup d’etat in 2004 against the democratically elected President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, Haiti has been under US/UN occupation, an occupation that has perpetrated gross human rights abuses including rape and other forms of sexual abuse, an occupation that has brought cholera to Haiti and that has systematically destroyed Haiti’s institutions while increasing hunger and misery.
Courageously facing police and paramilitary attacks, the population of Haiti has taken to the streets in ever-growing numbers, demanding their basic human rights and democracy, along with an end to corruption and to the plunder of public resources. They demand an end to US/UN occupation, and an end to the right-wing Haitian Tét Kale Party (PHTK) regime headed by Ariel Henry.
They are demanding a transitional government of public safety (Sali Piblik) to create a foundation for free and fair elections and a return to democratic rule. They are demanding an end to IMF-imposed austerity, soaring prices of basic necessities, and declining real wages. Instead, they are demanding that their tax money be invested in education, healthcare, sanitation, clean drinking water, and support for Haiti’s peasant farmers who have been the backbone of local food production.
Moreover, the people are demanding an end to the terror inflicted by the Haitian National Police and paramilitaries, including the G-9 death squad led by ex-police officer Jimmy Cherizier, working with the PHTK regime. They are demanding an end to the proliferation of kidnappings, rape, police killings, and massacres throughout the country, such as the horrific Lasalin massacre.
For further testimony regarding this massacre, view this powerful video. The people are protesting the atrocious conditions in Haiti’s prisons and the skyrocketing rate of prisoner deaths due to starvation, overcrowding, medical neglect and other abuses. All of these injustices have been occurring with total impunity, under the authority of the US/UN occupation.
The US government’s financing of the repressive Haitian National Police (HNP), which has escalated its attacks against unarmed protestors, has been extensive, increasing in correlation with the police’s documented collaboration with paramilitary death squads. As noted recently, from “2010 to 2020, Washington pumped in $312 million for weapons and training. In 2021, the White House and State Department sent a combined $20 million. In July 2022, the State Department bolstered the SWAT training program with a $48 million package.” All the while, HNP police killings of unarmed Haitians have continued with impunity.
Ever since the US-backed coup d’etat in 2004 against the democratically elected President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, Haiti has been under US/UN occupation, an occupation that has perpetrated gross human rights abuses including rape and other forms of sexual abuse.
Neither the major, international human rights organizations nor the UN Human Rights Commission are keeping track of the thousands of unarmed Haitians who have been killed and are being killed by the US-imposed PHTK regime’s police and paramilitary affiliates over the last 5 years. This past July alone, more than 500 people were killed in the impoverished neighborhood of Cite Soleil in Port-au-Prince.
In a rare development, the US corporate media acknowledged this most recent killing spree, but attributed it to “gang violence,” fitting the convenient racist narrative about Haitians in particular and people of African descent in general. Here are but three examples, among hundreds, of recent victims this year who do not exist within the media universe defined by CNN, Fox News, MSNBC etc.:
This past Sept. 15, as widely reported inside of Haiti, Widney Véron Joseph, a nationally esteemed student and second winner of the new secondary exams for the western department, was killed on the road to the airport. The father of the victim believes that this act was committed by agents of the National Police of Haiti.
“After shooting my son, they burned him alive. I begged the police in vain to allow me to take him to the hospital, they categorically refused,” said the 21-year-old boy’s father in tears on Radio Caraïbes.
Widney Véron Joseph was about to go to a friend’s house to charge his laptop and phone when he was murdered, his father said, adding that his son would have gone to Canada next October for medical studies.
Two days later, on Sept. 17, following a day of massive protest mobilization, the Haitian National Police (HNP) approached a barricade established by protesters in Delmas 47, a neighborhood in Port-au-Prince. The police opened fire on the protesters. Reportedly, according to a community witness, about four people were killed. One community resident, known by her nickname as Doudouce, was hit by police fire, but was not killed.
She was screaming for help, but when community members tried to intervene to help her, the police forced them to disperse. Then, according to the witness, a police-operated heavy machine, like a garbage truck, scooped up the bodies of the victims, including Doudouce who was still alive and screaming. The machine then dumped her and the other bodies into the trash compartment, then dumping atop of them the burning barricades.
Also on Sept. 17, but in the southern city of Okay, police went to the home of a young activist named Dimmy Samedi. They shot him in his home, then dragged him out still alive, and shot him again outside, killing him.
We denounce the arrogance of the UN, OAS, the US government and the Core Group of imperial powers claiming the role of guardians of the people of Haiti while they fan the flames of repression and violence.
The Haitian people are not fooled by this tragedy and farce; they recognize clearly that arsonists cannot be the firefighters. Only the organized power of the Haitian popular movement can put out the fires ignited by the 2004 coup d’etat and ensuing US/UN occupation.
We call upon people to condemn all foreign intervention in Haiti and to stand in solidarity with the Haitian popular movement in this vital moment.
Oppose expanded foreign military intervention in Haiti! End the occupation!
Contact the office of UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres at 212-963-7160. Contact your house representative in Congress, your senator in Congress, and the White House at 202-456-1111.
Tell US officials in particular to:
Support Haiti’s Popular Movement with a donation to the Haiti Emergency Relief Fund.
Contact the Haiti Action Committee at www.haitisolidarity.net, on Facebook at Haiti Action Committee, on Twitter @HaitiAction1or by email email@example.com.
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