Haitians are saying “hell no” to foreign interference in their besieged nation and are saying the same thing to the island nation’s de-facto government for requesting “humanitarian intervention” in response to weeks of protests. Many are also calling for the ouster of Ariel Henry, Haiti’s foreign-propped-up and backed prime minister.
Haiti’s government officials made the request in early October. Meddling by the United States and other foreign actors in Haitian affairs is being turned up once again, this time under the guise of stopping “gang violence” and humanitarian crises, observers suggest.
The United Nations Security Council unanimously accepted a 10-page resolution co-penned by the U.S. and Mexico Oct. 21, demanding an immediate end to violence and criminal activity in Haiti. The resolution singularly targeted Jimmy Chérizier, leader of the “Revolution Forces of the G-9 Family and Allies,” a federation of armed street organizations, with sanctions, a travel ban, an asset freeze and an arms embargo.
The G-9 federation opposes the ruling system and squalor of the Haitian people. Mr. Chérizier is accused of threatening the country’s peace, security, and stabilization. Observers argue the vote shows the deceitful pattern of U.S. meddling in Haiti.
“You cannot be the creator of the problem and solver of the problem at the same time,” said Joseph Makhandal, a lawyer, and Nation of Islam representative to Haiti. “That’s trickery … a form of bamboozling the Haitian people,” he said. Washington financed and trained the Haitian police. The U.S. and UN were in Haiti during the emergence of gangs. Were they there for peace or to create instability and necessitate seeking peace at the same time? “So, it is clear the policies, from our perspective are not working,” said Mr. Makhandal
By presstime debate on sending a military operation was in play. Mr. Henry petitioned for immediate deployment of a “specialized armed force in sufficient quantity” to quell the insecurity. Some observers say the plea was to shore up security to stay in power. Haitians have no taste for foreign boots because of a sordid past of imperialism on its soil.
It’s been a perpetual David versus Goliath struggle of suffering people against the U.S. and the Core Group—(Ambassadors of the U.S., Germany, Brazil, Canada, Spain, France, UN, European Union, and Organization of American States) along with powerful elites, that control power. Viewed as occupiers, the UN, U.S. and European powers are widely blamed for the current wave of instability engulfing Haiti. For Haitians, there is a cloud of distrust.
“The Haitian people are fed up. They don’t want any more foreign military occupations, especially those led by the U.S.,” said Kim Ives, commentator, and editor of Haiti Liberte.
Unrest ignited when Mr. Henry announced an end to subsidized fuel prices at the behest of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in late September. Haitians responded in the streets as higher fuel and food costs skyrocketed to unbearable highs. Meanwhile, a former police officer, Jimmy Chérizier, also known by the moniker “Barbeque,” who leads “G9,” an armed neighborhood federation, is seeking to overthrow the Haitian government. The federation, which western media calls “gangs,” is reportedly holding 188,000 barrels of fuel hostage at Haiti’s largest fuel terminal and demanding Mr. Henry step down.
Nearly half the population faces acute hunger. And now the country faces a re-emergence of cholera, which first came in 2010 when UN peacekeepers dumped fecal matter in Haiti’s rivers and killed thousands and sickened one million people.
“The only people calling for foreign forces are the puppet government that the U.S. installed, which has no legitimacy. They’re unelected,” said Jemima Pierre, political analyst, and coordinator of the Haiti-Americas Team for the Black Alliance for Peace.
At presstime the United Nations Security Council delayed an October 19 vote on a draft resolution that, if passed, would allow the fifth foreign military intervention in Haiti’s history. The U.S. and Mexico-led resolution would authorize sanctions specifically against Mr. Chérizier and a “non-UN international security assistance mission” to improve security and enable humanitarian aid to flow into Haiti, said Linda Thomas-Greenfield, U.S. Ambassador to the UN.
The U.S. State Department announced on Oct. 15 that U.S. and Canadian military aircraft arrived in the capital Port-au-Prince with a shipment of Haitian government-purchased “tactical and armored vehicles” for Haiti’s national police. All in the name of countering “gang violence” and establishing stability and security.
Lobbying UN Security Council member support, Ms. Thomas-Greenfield and said the proposal was for “a limited, carefully scoped, non-UN mission” to be led by “a partner country” with experience in such operations. Media reports said U.S. diplomats are talking to countries in the region about possibilities. Guyana and Bahamas said they would sign on to an operation.
“This is, once again, the U.S. trying to use the UN as its fig leaf, as its handmaiden, in maintenance of its empire,” said Mr. Ives.
“When they need to have some sort of multinational cover, they try to get a world body to endorse them … if they can’t get that, they’ll get a regional body like the OAS … or NATO…if they can’t get that, then they’ll just concoct something like a coalition of the willing,” said Mr. Ives. The OAS (Organization of American States) has 35 members, which are independent states in the Americas.
Anti-imperialist activists and justice advocates are pushing back. They argue the problems of Haiti result from the long history of external interference, and they argue that the move is more of the same. Ms. Pierre, who is Haitian, said the U.S. pushing for a non-UN Rapid Defense Force is worse than the UN occupation force. “At least with the UN, there’s the veneer of some legal … some accountability,” she said.
Haitians are leery of foreign forces, even from around the Americas. Their memory is scarred by the racist and xenophobic-driven abuse of Haitians by past UN peacekeepers.
Sending armed military men from Mexico, the Dominican Republic and Brazil is sending mercenaries into Haiti and will be a disaster and a bloodbath against young Haitians, Ms. Pierre stated.
The return of military boots may bring unaccounted consequences as well, because Haiti is laced with young men armed by the rich elite who have automatic weapons. So, those advocating for intervention should be careful what they wish for, observers note. “There’s a combination of things that’s really problematic,” stated Ms. Pierre.
The intervention move is rooted in White supremacy, U.S. arrogance and contempt for the earth’s Original people and Haiti in particular. The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan of the Nation of Islam has said how the U.S. treats foreign nationals in the U.S. is consistent with the errant foreign policy she emanates globally.
“Now consider this: How you treat the ethnic groups/the racial groups within America is how you will treat those that come from other nations to be made ‘Americans,’” Minister Farrakhan said in his, “The Time and What Must Be Done” lecture series in 2013.
“If our government does not have a good domestic policy toward Mexican people, how will they have a good policy toward the Mexican nation? If they don’t have a good domestic policy toward Cubans or Haitians, or Guatemalans or Hondurans or Jamaicans or Barbadians or Africans in America and in The Diaspora, how could America’s policies be good for them if they’re not good for those who live within the borders of what is called The United States of America?” the Muslim leader stated.
The Minister pointed that even Europeans have tasted of the meddling of America in the affairs of their nations. He described America as a “serpent whose tail has spread throughout the ends of the Earth.”
Washington leading the call for Haiti is hypocritical, say critics. Who holds the U.S. accountable for over a century of errant Haiti policy of exploitation and infliction? Haiti’s destabilization is marked with the fingerprints of the U.S. and the Core Group. Their calling for help for Haiti is as fake as wolves dialing 911-emergency help for a hen house, argue critics.
Ms. Pierre pointed out media is used to deliberately paint a racist picture that Black people cannot govern themselves. She cited the incessant use of the word “gang” to describe events on the ground.
“They’ve hyped up this gang violence thing,” she noted. “That doesn’t mean that young people are not being armed. Where are the guns coming from? They’re coming from the private ports of the non-Black oligarchy,” Ms. Pierre explained.
Haiti watchers have also stated non-Black elites who entrenched themselves economically in the country have distributed guns and armed young men. The “so-called gang” problem is not recent. It has just been amplified for western audiences gullible to the narrative, while forgetting eight weeks of nonstop protests of thousands of Haitians pushing for their puppet government to leave.
“The biggest gang in Haiti is the Core Group and the U.S. government,” said Ms. Pierre.
“How do we allow ourselves to use the words of our oppressors to talk about us? Who’s the biggest gang? The U.S. government that killed a million Iraqis … bombed Hiroshima and Nagasaki … continues to kill people through drone bombings … they don’t get to be called gangs?” she added.
“You get these poor kids who are stuck in the neighborhood being given guns, and they’re the ones that’s more demonized than the U.S. government? That’s outrageous. I refuse to use the same terms that the oppressors use on us,” Ms. Pierre said.