FEBRUARY 18, 2019—The Black Alliance for Peace (BAP) remains in steadfast solidarity with the people of Haiti, whose revolutionary spirit in 1791 showed the world what is possible when Africans organize and struggle together to remove their shackles and dispose of their oppressors.
The recent revelation that Haitian President Jovenel Moïse embezzled nearly $4 billion Venezuela had loaned the island nation a decade ago caused the popular uprising taking place in the country. And this is where we see where U.S. interventions in Venezuela and Haiti connect.
Moïse is nothing more than a puppet controlled by the U.S. government to disallow Haitian self-determination.
The Haitian people are no strangers to the tentacles of U.S. interventionism, which has been in place since the 19-year occupation commenced by President Woodrow Wilson in 1915. The occupation included the seizure and relocation of Haiti’s financial reserves to the United States, as well as a re-write of the nation’s constitution, which allowed foreign entities to enjoy land-owning rights.
Over time, the actors associated with the U.S. stranglehold on Haiti and its right to self-determination may have changed—from Wilson, to Clinton, to Obama—but the strategy and modus operandi have remained consistent. The method involves financial manipulation, election rigging and racketeering. We are witnessing a parallel between 1929—when U.S. military forces suppressed a nationwide strike in Haiti and peaceful demonstrations by firing live ammunition on 1,500 people—and recently as Haitians have protested, demanding the ouster of U.S.-backed Moïse.
Moïse’s grip on power is being pried from his fingers as police officers continue to defy his orders, stand down and refuse to fire on protesters.
Continued U.S. oppression of Haiti was most recently demonstrated when U.S. sanctions against Venezuela made it impossible for Haiti to repay their loan as part of the PetroCaribe deal, thereby ending the arrangement in 2017. Moïse further demonstrated his loyalty to the United States when he directed his ministers to support a U.S.-engineered vote at the Organization of American States (OAS) that declared the illegitimacy of Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro.
As internationalists who understand the interconnectedness of oppressed peoples’ struggles, BAP declares its solidarity with the people of Haiti in the struggle to end U.S. imperialism in Haiti, Venezuela and all republics of the Caribbean and Latin America. The people of Haiti are once again attempting to win back their nation. All who believe in principle of self-determination should stand with them.
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Photo credit: Hector Retamal/AFP