Above photo: By Professor Danny Shaw who is currently in Haiti
United States – Today, February 24, 72 organizations and 700 individuals published an open letter calling for the Biden administration to end its illegal and destructive intervention in Haiti. While Joe Biden and the Democrats condemned the Trump forces for not respecting the results of the U.S. election, they are supporting Jovenel Moïse’s refusal to leave office after his term as president ended on February 7, 2021. Moïse has unleashed violent gangs, the police and the military against protesters who are demanding that he respect the Constitution and step down.
“President Biden claims to care about racial equity but his actions in Haiti show the emptiness of that rhetoric,” said Ajamu Baraka of the Black Alliance for Peace. “For centuries now, the United States has employed force to dominate Haiti, the first Black Republic that was established in 1804 after the defeat of French and Spanish colonizers. President Biden has an opportunity to demonstrate his commitment to democracy and Black self-determination by ending support for the Moïse regime and denouncing the current violence.”
The past two presidents of Haiti, Michel Martelly and Jovenel Moïse, were hand-picked and forced into office by the United States during the Obama administration against the will of the Haitian people. Moïse is currently ruling by decree after dismissing most of the legislators and refusing to hold elections. With the backing of the Core Group, composed of the United States, Canada, Brazil, France, Germany, Spain, the European Union and the United Nations, Moïse is trying to push a new constitution through using a referendum in April. The new constitution being written by members of the Core Group and without any real participation of the Haitian people would grant greater power to the executive office.
Since February 7, the rogue Moïse government has launched a brutal crackdown on all dissent resulting in home invasions, arrests, the firing of Supreme Court judges and a police inspector general, attacks on the media and the use of chemical agents and live ammunition to disperse protests, as documented by the U. S. Human Rights Clinics.
“The current situation in Haiti is critical,” stated Marleine Bastien, the Executive Director of the FANM In Action and a leading voice in South Florida’s Haitian community. “The Superior Council of Haiti’s Judiciary, The Haitian Bar Federation, and credible civil society organizations inside Haiti and their diaspora allies agree that President Moise’s term has in fact ended. It is time for President Biden to keep his promise and respect the democratic rights and self-determination of the Haitian people.”
Here is the open letter:
On February 7, 2021, Jovenel Moïse’s term as president of Haiti ended – but with the support of the Biden administration he is refusing to leave office. This has created an urgent crisis in the country. A mass movement, reminiscent of the 1986 popular movement that overthrew the brutal U.S.-sponsored dictatorship of Jean-Claude “Baby Doc” Duvalier, is demanding Moïse step down. We are alarmed by the abundance of evidence of severe human rights violations by the Moïse regime to quell the protests.
One of the main calls from the mobilizations of hundreds of thousands in the streets of Port-au-Prince and across Haiti has been for the United States, United Nations and the Organization of American States to stop their interference. These bodies, as part of the “Core Group” of imperialist nations and institutions targeting Haiti, are currently pushing their rewrite of the Haitian Constitution through a referendum on April 25.
These organizations have a long history of neocolonial intervention in Haiti and the region. Ever since the democratically elected president Jean Bertrand Aristide was overthrown for a second time by a U.S.-sponsored coup in 2004, Haiti has been occupied by a United Nations force that, at its height, deployed 14,000 troops and personnel. This occupation has changed form over the years (from MINUSTAH to BINUH), but it is ongoing.
The U.S. government has consistently stood as a barrier to popular democracy in the Americas. The 2009 coup in Honduras; the 2019 coup in Bolivia; and the ongoing blockades of Nicaragua, Cuba and Venezuela are but several examples of the U.S.’s poor record on human rights and lack of respect for sovereignty in the region. By its own admission, the State Department “works closely with the OAS, UN, the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), and individual countries to advance its policy goals in Haiti.” Under the guise of fighting drug trafficking, the U.S. continues to train and fund the Haitian National Police.
The U.S. establishment spin doctors seemingly live in an alternate universe, claiming, “The remarkable lack of popular response to calls for mass protests in recent weeks indicates that Haitian people are tired of endless lockdowns and squabbling over power.” The reality is quite the opposite: the Haitian people are united in their call for a peaceful transition to democracy.
We express our solidarity with the Haitian people and our support for their rights to democracy and self-determination. We join our voices to the demands of the Haitian people who are calling for the following:
We demand that Jovenel Moïse
- Immediately step down.
We demand that the Biden Administration:
- Withdraw financial support for the illegal constitutional referendum and Moïse dictatorship;
- Respect the will of the vast majority of the people demanding democracy and Haitian self-determination
- Reaffirm support for the right to peaceful protest;
- Immediately cease all U.S. financial and military support to Haiti’s security forces
- Condemn the recent violence against protesters and journalists; and,
- Demand the immediate dismantlement of all paramilitary forces in Haiti and the disarmament of gangs carrying out wanton violence against the popular movement.
The whole world is watching!
See here for signatories.
Ajamu Baraka – Black Alliance for Peace, 202-643-1136.
Margaret Flowers – Popular Resistance, gro.ecnatsiseRralupoPnull@ofni, 410-591-0892.