Guest Post by Ezili Danto
“Why is Cuba, Venezuela, the African Union, Latin America and the CARICOM nations turning a blind eye to the US occupation of Haiti, even participating in the pillage and plunder? Is this what Venezuelan president Maduro calls ‘supporting revolution?’… Tourism, an export economy, sweatshops and privatization of pubic assets are not development for Haiti, Africa, or the Caribbean… The Haitian people identify as enemy, to varying levels and degrees, those who directly or indirectly treat them as less than human. Painting Cuba or Venezuela on the wall of Imperialism’s forts so-to-speak, won’t stop Haiti’s masses from attacking the super-leftists, or super-progressives’ racist part in today’s white supremacist occupation in Haiti.“
Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro and Right-wing US puppet:Haiti president, Michel Martelly| Photo credit- AP
A few years ago, in “Haiti: Time to remember Kandyo, the Malfini and Mongoose,” I wrote about the United States- Left/Right, Democrat/Republican racist solidarity against Haiti. But the forces against Haiti are not only a US-Left-Right white solidarity. The former colonized nations and current anti-imperialist nations also collaborate with white supremacy in Haiti. Cuba, Venezuela, Latin America, the African Union and CARICOM turn a blind eye to the US occupation of Haiti, even participating in the pillage and plunder. The US occupiers are privatizing Haiti, including Haiti offshore islands like Île a Vache. Is this United States and united nations’ white supremacist/racist solidarity against Haiti what Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro calls “supporting revolutionary change?”
Black Independence threatens White beliefs of Superiority. This explains current US occupation, plunder and pillage and why US/Euro constantly destroy and defame Haiti
The more things change, the more they stay the same.
On August 14, 1791 at Bwa Kayiman, the Vodun gathering that began the continuing Haiti revolution, the Haiti revolutionaries, addressed all the forces of white supremacy with this simple call: stop the Black collaborators, stop the white colonist, stop all their evil forces .
To win its freedom, Haiti fought against England, Spain and Napoleon’s colonial army. Napoleon’s army was made up of soldiers from conquered nations and colonial representatives from within the imperial government called – in the white gaze of things – the equivalent of today’s “progressive” forces. Similarly, the US colonial army in Haiti is a multinational force of conquered nations, some of whom are anti-imperialistic and progressive, in the white gaze of things. These otherwise anti-imperialistic nations see nothing contrary or brutal about their racist participation in the united nations’ colonial forces in Haiti. ALBA countries like Ecuador, Bolivia, Argentina, Uruguay and Chile willingly participate. For over 10-years now, although “progressive” Brazil has officially commanded the UN troops in Haiti, the foot soldiers for the UN-MINUSTAH troops in Haiti are made up mainly of poor soldiers from Latin America, Asia, Africa with the top commanding officers mostly from the ranks of Europe and North America. This is the 21st century colonial army, exploiting and repressing Haiti’s black masses on behalf of the number one superpower in the world, the United States.
The three Ile a Vache demands: Rescind the May 10, 2013 decree taking the Island; Release Maltunes from jail and end the BIM military police occupation by recalling this force back to Haiti mainland.
The UN-MINUSTAH colonial army in Haiti
Budget $576,619,000 for July 2014 to June 30, 2014
Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Ecuador, El Salvador, France, Guatemala, Honduras, Indonesia, Jordan, Nepal, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Republic of Korea, Sri Lanka, United States and Uruguay.
Argentina, Bangladesh, Benin, Brazil, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Canada, Central African Republic, Chad, Chile, Colombia, Côte d’Ivoire, Croatia, Egypt, France, Grenada, Guinea, India, Jordan, Kyrgyzstan, Lithuania, Mali, Nepal, Niger, Nigeria, Norway, Pakistan, Paraguay, Philippines, Portugal, Romania, Russian Federation, Rwanda, Senegal, Spain, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkey, United Kingdom, United States, Uruguay, Vanuatu and Yemen.
Ile a Vache demonstrate against corporate land grab as tourism jobs for locals
Three of their Black overseers, Ghanaian diplomat and Secretary-General of the United Nations, Kofi Annan along with the United State’s Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice played pivotal roles for the George W. Bush administration in 2004 to help obfuscate the blatant racism involved in taking down Haiti’s democratically elected government. Later on, after the earthquake, Bill and Hillary Clinton under the Obama administration – the husband at the UN as UN special envoy to Haiti, the wife as head of the Obama State Department – would surpass the three Black overseers along with Lula’s generals in Haiti, in their “progressive” destruction of Haiti to abscond with $9billion in quake funds, while supervising the US/Euro yet-to-be unveiled amendments of the Haiti constitution. Amendments reminiscent of Franklin D. Roosevelt brutal and repressive Haiti actions during the first US occupation of Haiti from 1915 to 1934. This time to change Haiti laws and mining prohibitions in favor of land grabs such the Ile a Vache with “tax waivers,” – meaning taking from the traumatized and defenseless Haiti poor to give to the super-rich and such other monstrous corporate welfare.
Haiti’s Washington advisors are conveniently “making use of a little-known “investment code” that gives 15-year tax breaks to the owners of new hotels, many of whom are from the country’s powerful and wealthy families. This law also allows hotel owners to ship supplies through customs without paying taxes.”
White solidarity between the anti-imperialist nations against Haiti is evident in the current tourism push by Venezuela in Haiti and the blind eye of the rest of Latin America, CARICOM, African Union nations and the OAS to the brutal repression and dehumanization associated with the Ile a Vache land grab that is underway in Haiti.
The right wing Haiti puppet government employs over 115 Motorized Intervention Brigade (BIM) police officers to forcefully evacuate residents of the Ile a Vache rural community in order to facilitate the Lamothe/ Villedrouin cabinet’s acquisition of large parcels of coastal lands on the island.
Jean Lamy Matulnes, the Vice President of the Gathering of Ile a Vache Farmers (Konbit Peyizan Ilavach, or KOPI) has been put in prison for the political reason of championing Ile a Vache peasant protest against the brutal right wing Haiti government’s unilaterally taking of Haiti offshore island for foreign “tourist” interests. But part of the land being taken is for permanent housing for the wealthy that can purchase the 1500 seaside luxury condos and 2500 villas that are to be built on lands previously inhabited by relatively poor Haitians. A mere 2,000 “new jobs” for local Haitians is projected for this massive disenfranchisement of the 20,000 Haitians living on the island. This new Haiti earthquake is being financed, in part, by Venezuela.
20,000 Haitians living on the Island have had their entire lives turned upside down. Residents are faced daily with the heavily armed Motorized Intervention Brigade (BIM) that is helping Dominican Republic construction company, Ingenieria Estrella, bulldoze peasant properties. Done on behalf of the Haiti government for their tourism hoax, which, like the Caracol Hoax, masks foreign appropriation of fertile Haiti lands.
The reign of terror has forced many community leaders into hiding. Protestors are brutally beaten, intimidated with BIM constant show of force and KOPI members, in particular, are hunted.
The lie about “reconstructing Haiti back better” is no longer centered on raising funds for homeless quake victims, which is then mostly used to take lands away from peasants in the North, make them homeless in order to build a Caracol sweatshop factory for the South Korean friends of the Clintons. No longer about investing in for-profit hotels for tourists in Port au Prince. No. It’s about grabbing all of Haiti’s offshore islands, privatizing Île à Vache, evicting citizens to make room for tourists and calling the outrage, “helping the Haitians.”
The Haiti media, which generally travels with the Haiti officials pushing tourist projects as Haiti development are too busy enjoying room service, other traveling perks and special visa favors for themselves and their families to write about anything but the puppet government and its white supremacist’s spins. There is mostly no international media reporting about the exploitation and brutalization of the population. And since most folks are trained to see tourism – which in Haiti is generally a reproduction of Dixieland plantations with Black and Brown as maids, sexual objects and servers – as Haiti development, Haitians who condemn and denounce the land grab and evictions are branded as short-sighted.
The fact that tourism at Ile a Vache, Haiti is about favoring mostly wealthy white folks to come live and play on Haiti lands taken unfairly from Blacks, escapes the Western-schooled and assimilated mindset. In fact, the colonial narrative is that white supremacy is development for Haiti. Even progressive Venezuela (which we’ve written “must not fall”) is investing in Haiti tourism at Ile a Vache, instead of pushing to end the US occupation of Haiti, the disenfranchisement of the people, the use of Haiti resources and lands to make foreigners wealthy.
Venezuela has invested invested $27 million directly into the Haiti’s tourism ministry that presides over projects such the Ile a Vache debacle.
Some say the Latin American/CARICOM/African Union nations with troops in the US colonial army in Haiti are just tramps. The UN jobs are just that – jobs for poor countries in the global South and Africa. It’s just about: “take the other Negro master and leave us alone.” Which cowardly position will not work because vulture capitalism/white supremacy has to eat up everything in its path. But what is Cuba and Venezuela’s strategic, unprincipled reason for ignoring the imperialist occupation of Haiti, even participating? Is investing in a Haiti land grab like the Clintons’ investing in sweatshops what Venezuela’s president Nicolas Maduro calls “supporting equality, justice and participatory democracy for the masses?”
The Ile a Vache tourist project is nothing less than a corporate land grab to increase inequality, apartheid, create slums on the Island for the people and further contain them in poverty. Is this what the “Bolivarian” revolution is about? Investing in Haiti’s brutal repression, dehumanization? Dispossessing the local residents to further plunder the billions in Haiti’s underwater treasures at Ile a Vache? Does this racism only apply to the people of Haiti that these anti-imperialist “progressives” don’t see as humans?
Haiti Bwa Kayiman call: Stop the Black collaborators to White supremacy, stop the white colonists and all their evil forces | Photo source – Facebook, FreeHaitiMovement
Haiti is at ground zero, the laboratory for the global Left-Right white solidarity going on everywhere: either objectively championing U.S./Euro imperialist aggression or providing, like Venezuela and Cuba, tacit support for that aggression through silence. (Left-Right White Solidarity?-The new face of 21st century neo-fascism.)
But has it ever really been different for Haiti?
There’s been some rare times of brief solidarity over the years. There was the time when JP Patterson of Jamaica refused to be intimidated by Condi Rice’s ultimatum for Jamaica not to give asylum to Jean Bertrand Aristide in 2004. There was the time when then President Thabo Mbeki eschewed US warnings, attended the Haiti bicentennial. Then later on sent weapons to the Aristide-Neptune government which would have reached Haiti the day (February 29, 2004) the US hastened through their bicentennial regime change/US occupation. China also, once upon a time, helped veto UN colonial missions to Haiti.
But these rare moments are the exception to the rule, generally reversed quickly by Empire’s economic hitmen, its jackals or bureaucratic institutions and international financial establishments that are structurally racist. The lessons of history show that, in the long run, so-called progressive credentials are put on show to lull the agitated masses into accepting the lies and deliberate confusions strummed to a crescendo pitch by Empire. The intensity paralyzes you. You don’t want to charge the prestigious super leftists, like Cuba and Venezuela, with colluding with the very empire they’re fighting against that also denies Haiti self-reliance and right to self-determination.
But a humorous Native American’s take on the matter is salient here:
“every time we tried to attack their forts, they had ‘Soul Brother‘ painted on them, and so we never got the job done.” — Custer Died for Your Sins: An Indian Manifesto by Vine Deloria, Jr.
The Haitian people identify as enemy, to varying levels and degrees, those who directly or indirectly treat them as less than human. Painting Cuba or Venezuela on the wall of Imperialism’s forts so-to-speak, won’t stop Haiti’s masses from attacking the super-leftists, or super-progressives’ racist part in today’s white supremacist occupation in Haiti.
It’s no coincidence that Ajamu Baraka recently addressed this topic from a more global perspective, maintaining that the Left-Right White solidarity is the most recent face of 21st century neo-fascism. He explained that racism/white supremacy is the foundation of Euro fascism which is always ready to explode.
“Cross-class white solidarity in defense of “Western values,” civilization and the prerogative to determine who has the right to national sovereignty …is at the base of the rationalization of the “responsibility to protect” asserted by the white West.”
Haiti activists at Ezili’s HLLN have been pointing out the solidarity of the white saviors from the US/Euro Left and Right brotherly spectrum since the second US occupation of Haiti began in 2004. The Ile a Vache expropriation of lands, with the racist DR as investor and Venezuela’s involvement requires a critical look.
Venezuela cannot claim to be anti-imperialists while financing a right wing Haiti government selected by the US and its OAS flunkies when Haiti is under direct US occupation behind a UN colonial army for over ten years now. It is the millions of dollars from Venezuela that is partly sponsoring the illegal imprisonment of Jean Lamy Maltunes, the dispossession of peasant lands, the setting loose of police dogs on the people and such other Nazi-like brutal reprisals against Haiti peoples at Ile a Vache.
Is it not time the world stood in solidarity with the people of Haiti against this US occupation and its selected puppet government carrying out Western imperialistic, racist biddings in Haiti?
For over 10-years, since before the end of the Gerald Latorture’s reign in 2006, Haiti’s people have stood virtually alone, while most of Latin America and the CARICOM nations – still officially rule through their European “motherlands”- along with the OAS, ALBA and the African Union, turns a blind eye to the Western imperialist project, neoliberalism, UN troop massacres and the general colonial whitening in Haiti.
These nations, especially the Latin American nations who mostly hide their large African populations in Favela-type conditions, are unwilling to penetrate through the US propaganda alleging that the UN is a peacekeeping force, a humanitarian force. Mostly, Latin America, CARICOM, and the African Union find it appropriate to have troops involved in the US colonial army in Haiti.
Cuba and Venezuela do not have troops in UN-MINUSTAH, but they simply seem not to want to understand, for their own geopolitical purposes and perhaps for strategic unity with the Latin American and Caribbean participants in Haiti’s occupation.
The US propaganda is swallowed that Haiti needs to be ruled by foreigners. This is justified by focusing on Black fratricide and Black on black crime in Haiti, even though Haiti has less violence (6.9) than most nations in the Western Hemisphere, including the Dominican Republic (25.0), Jamaica (40.9), Bahamas (36.6), Brazil( 21.8), Venezuela (45.1), Mexico (23.7) and El Salvador (69.2). But these former colonized nations are not willing to accept Haiti violence and corruption is as underdeveloped as its economic potential; incapable of penetrating through the racist propaganda that is part and parcel of Western imperialism since the founding of Haiti.
Cuba’s medical brigade is reputed to be doing good work in Haiti. But some observant Haitians have serious concerns.
These detractors say that Cuba’s medical brigade, just like the typical Western NGOs, cannot be deemed totally positive when it replaces or substitutes for, as oppose to adding to, a locally grown and sovereign Haiti public infrastructure.
Others point out that when the US multinational forces invaded Haiti in 2004, took over the medical school in Port au Prince to put in their multinational force’s headquarters, the public Cuban protest to the US occupation of Haiti behind UN proxy guns then as now was nil. Accepting the containment in poverty of the people of Haiti with the self-serving idea that humanitarian imperialism and fomenting dependency is a good thing, all while Haiti’s vast riches and lands continue to be plundered and pillaged, is gross.
Haiti activists in battle against the US occupation find all the nations on planet earth have forsaken Haiti to fight European barbarity, as it did in 1791, alone. Haiti, with no European colonial motherland or white Russian force at its back, is deemed easy prey. Right-wing US-selected Haiti president, Michel Martelly, roams the world for photo opportunities with Raoul Castro, Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro, the Pope and makes photo-op appearances with Barack Obama and the other overseers for white supremacy at the African Union.
Any organization within Haiti that is not openly supporting the end of the colonial occupation of Haiti is complicit with and/or benefiting from its tenure there.
Haiti’s quest to take down white supremacy, its dehumanization policies and raise up its independence – Black beauty and local independence – offends most folks with the other gaze. Even Eva Morales with his Bolivarian revolution has troops within the US colonial army in Haiti.
The radical, anti-imperialists writing today do not ink any of this Haiti reality. These folks mostly laud the great good that Venezuelan PetroCaribe dollars is doing for the Haiti masses. The fact that the Haiti oligarchy charges over six dollars ($6) per gallon for this subsidize gasoline to the people of Haiti while selling it, in bulk, at cheaper prices to wealthy passing cruise ships does not garner their attention. Nor does the oligarchs’ monopoly on petrol in Haiti, their petrol farms warehousing supply to keep prices high seem noticeable to them whatsoever.
…a June 13, 2008 Nouvelliste article alleges, in sum, that then President Preval confided that “more than 40 to 50% of the imported rice that is subsidized by the Haitian State is CONSUMED in the DOMINICAN REPUBLIC… And that even Haitian clandestinely subsidized petroleum products, cheaper Haiti oil products, are also being consumed by wealthy foreign ships passing through Haitian waters, instead of the impoverished and starving Haitians these food and gas subsidies were intended to benefit…”— HLLN archives
For its part, the international media is too busy giving itself awards and winning corporate foundation grants to do any real reporting on Western imperialism, vulture capitalism, neoliberalism and racism, including Caribbean-Latin American institutionalized racism against Haiti. For instance, CARICOM requires only Haiti as a CARICOM member must have a visa to travel to other CARICOM countries.
The Dominican Republic is the only honest racist amongst the Latin American/Caribbean bunch. It straight out denationalized Dominicans of Haitian descent going back to 1929, to “purify” its country of Black blood, “saved itself from the Haitian hordes,” casually committing civil genocide for Haitians-Dominicans with no great protest from the world’s nations.
For true revolutionaries in Cuba and Venezuela, this Haiti abandonment should stop. A good beginning would be to lend a helping hand to the voiceless, vulnerable people of Ile a Vache who built and reforested the Island. The people ask that the May 10, 2013 presidential decree unilaterally making the Ile a Vache offshore island in Haiti a zone of tourism development and public utility be rescinded. They want the unconditional release of Jean Maltunes Lamy and for the withdrawal of the 115 militarized police from the Island.
We suggest, people-to-people, that world citizens write the Venezuelan embassy in Haiti; write to President Nicolas Maduro; contact Venezuelan activists – ask that Venezuela use its diplomatic power to immediately work for the release of Jean Lamy Maltunes. The principled action is for Venezuela to immediately stop financing the neofascist Martelly/Lamothe government in the name of “helping Haitians.” Tourism, an export economy, sweatshops and privatization of pubic assets are not development for Haiti, Africa, Latin America or the Caribbean.
The racist delirium, a solid firewall of convenient alliances, evidenced by the Left-Right White solidarity against Haiti, can be cracked if Venezuela and Cuba spoke up for the hunted people of Ile a Vache and used their progressive credentials, their dollars and presence in Haiti to get the release of Jean Lamy Maltunes. This is a concrete opportunity to stop colluding with Empire; to begin to denounce and condemn the US occupation of Haiti.
Ezili Dantò of HLLN
Follow Ezili at http://www.ezilidanto.com/zili/