January, 1, 2024, ushered in the momentous 220th anniversary of Haiti’s independence, an unprecedented feat never again repeated anywhere. But while the world owes a debt of gratitude to Haiti for freeing humanity by pioneering the cycle of abolition, Haiti was instead condemned to perpetual persecution because that magnificent victory shattered the world economic order based on the heinous scourge of slavery.
The 220 years of ostracism, plunder, isolation, persecution, demonisation, repression, and destabilisation by France and the US, to ensure that Haiti would never emerge as a nation, have now resulted in utter chaos where gangs are in effect running the country, committing the most heinous crimes all day every day with total impunity, under the complicit eye of an illegitimate criminal government, which is being imposed by the US to preside over a literal genocide against the Haitian people.
To make matters worse, the same imperialist powers, which, based on reports by the US Department of Homeland Security’s investigations unit and the UN Office on Drugs and Crimes, have flooded Haiti with guns, and engineered the violence, massacres, and mayhem, are using that as a pretext, to once more trample on Haiti’s Constitution and sovereignty by planning another disastrous military occupation to entrench the illegitimate government, and thwart, yet again, the Haitian people’s struggle to regain their sovereignty. The coup de grace is being administered by Haiti’s Caribbean neighbours, led by Jamaica, and Kenya, who are all jumping up to volunteer to be used as pawns to carry out this transgression.
And lest anyone should think that all of the above is just conspiracy theory, as many have been brainwashed to believe, we suggest that they listen to Minister Horace Chang’s “Beyond the Headlines” interview, on December 5, in which Dionne Jackson Miller valiantly sought to take the Government to task for the cruel and illegal summary deportations of Haitian refugees. Chang tried to drown out Dionne with loud denials and strident protestations about all of the wonderful assistance that Jamaica is supposedly providing for Haiti. In the heat of this verbal torrent, Minister Chang forgot himself and said the quiet part out loud: “The world has victimised Haiti,” he asserted, “and Jamaica is not going to take on that responsibility.”
Bam! The Truth will out! Truly a jaw-dropping moment! After decades of pretence that the centuries-old international plot to oppress and destroy the Haitian people was nothing more than a conspiracy theory, finally a stunning admission from a high-level Caribbean official on national radio that not only is it common knowledge, but what’s more, it’s none of our business!
So why all the hypocrisy on the part of CARICOM in jumping to take part in a supposed “Security support mission”, due to its deep concern for “the welfare of our Haitian brothers and sisters”, when Minister Chang’s inadvertent admission and the egregious inhumanity meted out to the refugees have proved time and again that the welfare of the Haitian people is the furthest thing from their minds? Simple. There’s money in it. Haiti is once again being sold on the auction block.
The US and UN’s track record in Haiti is so abysmal that in order to maintain the moral high ground on Ukraine, their lips dripping with spurious platitudes advocating for the “democracy and self-determination” in Ukraine which they are blatantly crushing in Haiti, they have been forced to tour the world searching for fronts to hide behind to continue perpetrating their extermination plan against the Haitian people. All self-respecting nations turned down the dirty job. So in a vulgar show of yard fowl politics, US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken started bandying about the ever-escalating hundreds of millions of dollars that have brought the CARICOM and Kenyan “volunteers” running to “rescue Haiti”. US Vice President Kamala Harris and Secretary Blinken also made unprecedented trips to The Bahamas and Trinidad to meet with CARICOM Heads and promise myriad initiatives that will yield hundreds of millions more in economic benefits.
So, why couldn’t those hundreds of millions have been used over the last three years to stem the flow of guns, rendering the gangs inoperative; to train, equip, and pay the Haitian police and army; and to organise a disarmament and reinsertion campaign? Instead a special passport office was set up to facilitate at least 1,800 Haitian policemen to migrate to the US while they seek to impose 1,000 Kenyan policemen from a force that several human rights organisations and the US itself have condemned for shocking human-rights abuses, including the murder of 33 marchers last July. Now that the High Court of Kenya has ruled the deployment unconstitutional, it might not be too late to finally do the right thing vis-à-vis the Haitian police, rather than appealing the decision or trying to bulldoze the illegal deployment through anyway.
Those who were pretending not to know that Haiti was victimised are now pretending to believe that the oppressors who have reduced Haiti to blood and ashes have hired them for the very noble mission of stabilising Haiti and not as plantation overseers to enforce in their stead its continued victimisation.
In the statement I delivered on behalf of the Haitian People to the Eminent Persons Group mandated by CARICOM to mediate the negotiations between the Haitian Stakeholders, I gave them a single guideline for their endeavour: to not show contempt for Haiti by trying to impose on her what they would not accept for their own countries. But that is precisely what CARICOM has done. They have even gone as far as to insult the Haitian People by thinking of the possibility of inviting gang leaders into the negotiations!
What manner of men?
Once upon a time, CARICOM leaders were intellectual giants with moral authority and a deep sense of history from which they derived their principles, backbone, character, pride, and ensuing self-respect. In 2004, weathering threats and pressure from the State Department, CARICOM refused to sanction the coup d’état against democratically elected President Aristide by the US and France, opting instead to suspend Haiti from the Community for two years until a new president was democratically elected.
It is hard to comprehend the vertiginous devolution of this new crop of CARICOM Heads, who for the most part, seem to have no other ambition than to ingratiate themselves to empire for economic gain. They have not been honest brokers. They have accepted to traffick in their own legitimacy to legitimise a criminal and illegal dictator, officially implicated in the assassination of his predecessor, who is presiding over the genocide of his own people. They have shielded Haiti’s tormentors by providing them with a black face for the outsourced repression of the Haitian people.
The late great journalist John Maxwell famously declared that what the Caribbean needs is a CARICOM of the people. The lionised sage had long ago recognised that the gallant People of the Caribbean were not to be confused with their leaders, who are mostly pursuing self-serving interests. The Haitian people do not want the occupation. The Caribbean people are against the occupation. The Kenyan people have rejected the occupation. They have all marched against it. But their so-called leaders are charging headlong with tunnel vision towards the lure of profit.
It is a cruel irony that the Haitian people, who literally invented human rights and ultimately broke the chains of slavery off their neighbours’ feet are the ones being denied the right to live as human beings and being subjected to this day to a relentless struggle against re-enslavement. We call on all well-thinking persons, particularly the people of the Caribbean and Africa, to rise up for the liberation of Haiti on this her 220th anniversary of independence in this Decade for People of African Descent and to stand against the continued trampling of her sovereignty and constitution, which by the way, the would-be occupiers plan to unilaterally rewrite.
History is not only written by the victors. It is also written by the survivors. Let us not allow our past to be a rebuke to our present, but rather to illuminate it. A generation that ignores history has no past and no future and will not be absolved by history.
Myrtha Désulmé is an advocate for Haiti. She is the founder and president of the Haiti-Jamaica Society and represents the Haitian Diaspora in the Montana Group, a civil society movement working to resolve the ongoing Haitian crisis.
Source: Jamaica Gleaner
Featured image: A police officer inspects a public transportation vehicle at a checkpoint in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. A court in Kenya blocked the deployment of a UN-backed police force to help fight gangs in the troubled Caribbean country. (AP)