Haitian Demonstration Against Foreign Occupation
October 27, 2014
On October 17, tens of thousands of Haitians assembled in Port-au-Prince to commemorate the anniversary of the assassination of Jean-Jacques Dessalines. Jean-Jacques Dessalines was a leader in the Haitian revolution which, over two centuries ago, succeeded in overthrowing slavery and French colonialism.
On October 17, Dessalines' name was a rallying cry for the ongoing struggle against the UN occupation. Tens of thousands of protesters gathered in the Haitian capital to demand the immediate withdrawal of all MINUSTAH forces from Haiti. The crowd could be heard chanting, “MINUSTAH must go!” and “Down with Martelly!” The U.S.-puppet regime responded to the people by ordering Haitian National Police and paramilitary forces to attack them with live ammunition, tear gas, and pepper spray.
The protest came just three days after the UN Security Council issued its 16th decision on the future of the Haitian people since the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) took over in 2004. UN resolution 2180 calls for MINUSTAH to “maintain security” and to further strengthen the Haitian National Police. The resolution also “affirms its commitment to act at any time to adapt MINUSTAH’s mandate and force levels, if compelled by a change of conditions in Haiti, if necessary to preserve the progress Haiti has made towards durable security and stability.”
The UN occupation began shortly after the U.S. invasion of 2004. Nearly 11 years later, the UN troops continue to prop up the U.S.-backed puppet regime of Michel Joseph Martelly. On February 29, 2004, The U.S. invaded Haiti in order to overthrow the democratically elected government of Aristide and to re-install a pro-U.S. puppet regime. Thousands of political activists have been killed, arrested, and forced to go into hiding. Poor neighborhoods have repeatedly come under attack by the Haitian National Police and MINUSTAH forces.
U.S. imperialism has repeatedly invaded and occupied Haiti while robbing the resources and exploiting the labor of the people. From 1915 to 1934, U.S. marines occupied and directly ruled Haiti. Before leaving the marines installed a puppet government, financed and armed by U.S. imperialism. In 1957, U.S. imperialism and the Haitian elite brought the Duvalier family to power in order to crush the rising democratic and social movements of the masses. In 1986, the Haitian people toppled the Duvalier regime, and unleashed a tremendous democratic and social movement.
When U.S. imperialism and its henchmen in Haiti launched war against the people in 2004, they cut short the program of democratic reforms entered upon after the election of Jean Bertrand Aristide in 1990.
When the U.S. and its allies in the Security Council grant MINUSTAH a mandate to occupy Haiti, they are resorting to blatant colonialism and military force. According to the chauvinist U.S.-U.N. authorities, the Haitian people are not yet ready for independence and must be taught the methods and “practice of good governance.”
It is not the people of Haiti who are in need of lessons on how to govern. It is the Martelly government which has a long and close relationship with the Pentagon. It is the U.S. government which overthrew the democratically elected government of Aristide. It is the U.S. government itself which bears responsibility for the bloodshed and widespread political repression which has taken place in Haiti.