August 29, 2023
From Popular Resistance
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Above photo: Haitians protest austerity and an illegitimate government. Etant Dupain/Twitter via Black Agenda Report.

Below is a translation of a letter from Haitian organizations to governments of Africa. 

Open letter to our sister countries of Africa, land of our ancestors, particularly the countries of the African Union (AU).

“None of the countries in the land of our ancestors (Africa) should be echoing the message of the former slave-holding colonial powers, who have become imperialist powers and are now actively engaged in the criminal project to destabilize Haiti by systematically sabotaging her sovereignty, and in which the US-UN occupation is at a dangerous stage.”

Honorable Heads of State and Government of the sister countries of Africa: We, the undersigned Haitian organizations, have been astonished to receive the surprising news that a sister country, Kenya, has agreed to send troops to Haiti to serve in a US-UN occupying force disguised by the label “multinational force” to continue to deceive international public opinion by concealing the Machiavellian nature of this criminal initiative. In order to prepare national and international public opinion to accept this felony, they have mobilized armed bands on a national scale to create absolute chaos and thus justify the US-UN occupation of our country. These armed gangs are authorized to collectively rape girls and young women, and to massacre, kidnap, and terrorize the defenseless population on a daily basis.

Honorable Heads of State and Government of the sister countries of Africa: We wish to draw your attention to the participation of the United States of America in the process of supplying arms and ammunition to these bands who have no problem at all sowing terror and death in Haiti.

According to a report by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) published in March of 2023, the weapons and ammunition used by the gangs come from the United States in particular. In that same report, the UNODC confirms an uptick in illegal weapons trafficking, particularly from Florida in the United States to Haiti. How can we understand, or expect the United States—which bears so much responsibility for the delivery of weapons and ammunition to these gangs—to say at the same time that it wants to effectively combat the gangs through an alleged multinational force? Paradoxically, what interest would the United States have in suddenly fighting them?

Surprisingly, despite the apparent contradiction, the government of Kenya issued a communiquĂ© from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs announcing that it is ready to take leadership of a multinational force and deploy a contingent of 1,000 police officers to Haiti to help train the Haitian police to eventually restore normal conditions in the country. They are only awaiting a mandate from the UN Security Council, as well as an agreement from the local authorities to being deployment of this operation. They are so enthusiastic about this, according to Agence France Presse, that in the coming weeks they are planning to “send an evaluation mission led by an operations team of the Kenyan Police.” What kind of operations are they talking about? What knowledge of the reality on the ground could a team such as this have to conduct an assessment of the situation when, at the most, they are only receiving biased reports written by accomplices of the Core Group?

It should be underscored that Kenya hastily agreed to get involved in this suspicious political adventure only after informed citizens of Canada and other countries obliged those governments to turn down the request to lead the occupation force that Secretary General Antonio Guterres and the United States’ government were pressuring them to accept. Did the government of Kenya wonder why Canada and other countries did not bow to the pressure or incentives offered to get them involved in this criminal enterprise? Did they ask themselves what are the real objectives of this endeavor? Like the other countries already contacted, did they take the time necessary to reflect on the political transcendence and disastrous consequences of such a suspicious adventure? At a time when several countries of Africa are freeing themselves from the clutches of the West, or are straying from the harmful neocolonial practices of the West, can Kenya allow itself—at the expense of Haiti—to help reinforce such pernicious and destabilizing practices?

Has the government of Kenya understood the hidden, unrecognized objectives of such an enterprise that goes against what was solemnly proclaimed in the Constitutive Act of the African Union (AU)? Article 2 [sic] of the Act in fact states that, “The objectives of the Union shall be to:

  1. achieve greater unity and solidarity among African States;
  2. coordinate and intensify cooperation and efforts to provide better living conditions to the peoples of Africa;
  3. defend their sovereignty, territorial integrity, and independence;
  4. eliminate all forms of colonialism in Africa;
  5. foster international cooperation, duly bearing in mind the United Nations Charter and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.”

Article 3 continues: “The Member States, in compliance with the purposes established in Article 2, solemnly affirm the following principles: Sovereign equality of all Member States; non-interference in the internal affairs of States; respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of each State and its inalienable right to independent existence.” [1]

Honorable Heads of State and Government of the sister countries of Africa: You may agree with us that the approach of the leaders of Kenya is part of a logic totally opposed to what was proclaimed in the Constitutive Act of the AU. In light of this, you may invite them, in the name of these officially adopted cardinal principles, to urgently reexamine that approach which severely undermines the sovereignty of Haiti: it’s right to free self-determination and to take the reins of its own destiny. It is up to you to find the most effective strategy to explain to the leaders of this sister republic that their decision will most likely encourage and reinforce the already unacceptable level of interference by the imperialist powers, particularly the United States of America.

Agreeing to lead this force of occupation for the United States means helping them better assure their genocidal domination of this country—our country—which carried out the first and only successful slave revolt in all human history, which in turn changed the world colonial, racist, slave-holding order. Our revolution gave great hope to the Black world and oppressed people on the planet seeking liberty and collective well-being. Christiane TAUBIRA pointed out what Haiti represents to the world and Black people in particular: “The people of Ayití opened the world’s avenues to justice and fraternity not just for me; they did so for the Black world as a whole by establishing the first Independent Republic torn away by former slaves and then codified by them, built on the grave of the colonial empire. 
 It was also a gift to the oppressed world in search of a reference and model in a universe that was not only hostile, but, as Frantz Fanon said, was already stealing its past in order to disfigure and distort it.” [2]

This terrible multidimensional crisis Haiti is experiencing, therefore, has been cynically fabricated and maintained in large part by the old slave-holding, racist colonial powers that have now become imperialist powers. They are in the process of asphyxiating our country with the effective assistance of local collaborators comprised of puppet, corrupt, criminal, mafioso political leaders imposed by Washington and the criminal oligarchs that finance the armed bands.

All of this is part of a global war by these racist colonial powers against Haiti because it dared to break the chains of slavery and thus create the conditions to establish a new anti-slavery, anti-colonial, and anti-racist world.

Now those pro-slavery powers are destabilizing our country, erasing the Haitian people just as they erased the first inhabitants of this land—the Taínos who were decimated by the Spanish colonizers—to build a Haiti without Haitian men and women. From this perspective, they feed the chaos they have sown to try to justify and legitimize their project of military occupation with a view to establishing much more systematic political control and the complete looting of our riches. Under these conditions, how can we believe that the United States has any intention of helping the Haitian people eliminate the armed gangs when in reality, it has been a strategy to annihilate the resistance of popular movements?

Honorable Heads of State and Government of the sister countries of Africa:

We urge you to investigate the repugnant situation of our country in order to understand it better and help us to overcome it; and above all, to convince Kenya to not let itself be dragged into the criminal logic of the imperialist powers that are bent on burying the sovereignty of Haiti.

Sister countries of the Africa of our ancestors, it is imperative to act such that no country from the African continent will play the role of amplifying the message of the former colonial, slave-holding, imperialist powers. It is imperative for Africa to make “Active Solidarity with Haiti” its preferred watchword. As Professor AndrĂ© Ntonfo pointed out, “Africa embodies the sociological tension of Haiti. Haiti symbolizes the struggle for the liberation of Black people who have been colonized and enslaved by the imperialist nations.” [3] In the name of this strong bond, in the name of what Haiti symbolizes, and in the name of Pan Africanism, “of the movement of solidarity for the emancipation of Black peoples throughout the world,” [4] which therefore carries a vision of political emancipation for both Africa and the diaspora, Kenya should not “choose imperialist servitude over Pan African solidarity,” as stated by the Black Alliance for Peace.

It is important to recall that Haiti has a long tradition of solidarity with peoples in struggle, including those in Latin America, Greece, and Africa. It was according to this logic that Haitian President Nord Alexis entrusted Benito Sylvain—considered one of the first apostles of Pan Africanism—with the task of bringing effective support from Haiti to Ethiopia when threatened by Italy. President Alexis “helped King Melenik II purchase cannons from Russia to defeat the Italian army in the battle of Adwa, Ethiopia.” [5] President Nord Alexis insisted, “We must help Emperor Melenik in a completely benevolent way to maintain the national independence of his empire and ensure full enjoyment of their sovereign right to a normal path to progress. If Ethiopia falls, we will be the only ones left to fight against colonialism; but if it prevails, our example will travel far and will free Africa from the yoke of colonialism.” [6]

Honorable Heads of State and government of the sister republics of Africa:

I have here a concrete example of solidarity, which we invite you to follow and practice in order to help Haiti recover its sovereignty, which is now in hock, and help perpetuate what has always been a symbol of Black people’s freedom and dignity.

The Haitian people wish to find you on their side, and thank you in advance for your tangible solidarity to help them emerge from this dangerous dead end, to avoid the imminent landing of the war project and murderous occupation. Such solidarity would allow Haiti to resolutely repel the deployment of foreign troops of occupation and consequently obtain the following:

  • Recovery of its national sovereignty in order to put an end to the meddling of imperialist powers;
  • The end of this indecent international support, particularly from the US, Canada, and France, for the criminal government of the PHTK and Ariel Henry, and the establishment of a credible transition government;
  • Effective application of Resolution 2653 (2022) adopted by the Security Council on 21 October 2022 which prohibits the trafficking of weapons from UN Member States to Haiti;
  • An end to the trafficking of guns and ammunition by the United States to the gangs, as well as the swift recovery of weapons already sent;
  • The creation of an Independent Investigation Commission to evaluate the 18 years of UN support, in order to take stock of its liability for the current chaotic situation;
  • Obtain compensation and reparations for Haiti, particularly for the family members of the 30,000 dead and 800,000 sickened with cholera after it was introduced by MINUSTAH soldiers, unfortunately including troops from various sister African countries;
  • Restitution and reparations for the injuries and serious injustices suffered by Haiti over the course of history, particularly the historical debt of slavery, the theft of its resources, the scandalous ransoming of our independence, and the kidnapping of our gold reserves by the United States of America;
  • Recovery of Navassa Island, which belongs to Haiti, and our claim for compensation. Since the United States of America took control of that part of our territory 165 years (over a century-and-a-half) ago, they have not ceased to trample on the Constitution of a country that specifically reads, “The territory of the Republic of Haiti includes: a) the western part of the island of Haiti, as well as the adjacent islands of GonĂąve, Tortuga, Il Ă  Vache, the Cayemites, NAVASSA ISLAND, Grosse Caye, and other islands within our territorial waters
” (Chapter 2, Article 1-a);
  • The granting of another Decade of People of African Descent on behalf of Haiti in 2024-2033. Note that Haiti, the first to break the chains of slavery and therefore considered by the poet Victor Hugo and many others to be a beacon, was relegated to the last row in the celebration of this International Decade for Persons of African Descent, when the UN should have given it a place of honor.

We, the undersigned organizations, wish to end by reminding you of the urgent need to give us your tangible solidarity while we face this extreme threat. We wish to maintain the firm conviction that you will not fail to take an open position against the criminal project of occupation of Haiti, and particularly against the regrettable decision of Kenya to persist in engaging in this endeavor that undermines our national sovereignty, which has already been so defiled.

Long live the solidarity of all African peoples with Haiti!

Long live the solidarity of the peoples of the whole world with Haiti!

Translation by Jill Clark-Gollub.

Signed:

Alternative Socialiste (ASO) / Jean HĂ©nold Buteau et Jean-Paul Bastien
ALBA MOVIMIENTOS, Chapitre HaĂŻti /Islanda Micheline Aduel
Michel Frantz Grandoit, prĂȘtre engagĂ©
Comité Democràtico Haitiano (Haitian Democratic Committee in Argentina) / Henri Boisrolin
KONAKOM, Dunois Erick Cantave
NEHRO / Josue Renaud
Me Jean Oreste Junior Appilar Morin
Réseau caribéen Panafricanistes / Mirtha Desulme
Mouvement des Jeunes carrefour feuilles / Joseph Fenel
Inisyativ PatriyĂČt Maryen (IPAM) / Hugues CĂ©lestin
TĂšt Kole Ti Peyizan Ayisyen / OrigĂšne Louis
Sek Makandal/Wendy Mentor
Esklav RevĂČlte / Jean Wilgins Charles
Latibonit Kanpe pou Ayiti (LAKAY) / Rigaud Velumat
Grandans Reveye / Legagneur Bouchensky
PPN / Bernadin KĂ©ny
Georges Eddy Lucien / citoyen engagé
James darbouze / citoyen engagé
Òganizasyon Feminis Danto / Vanessa Jeudi
BRIGADA DESSALINES / Ricardo Cabaño
Rezistans pou Ayiti / Patrice CĂ©lestin
Mouvman RevolisyonĂš pou Liberasyon Mas yo (MORELIM) / Nelio Petit-Homme
COMIPOL/ Ernso Ertilus et Julio Fils Cham
Union Nationale des Normaliens-nes d’HaĂŻti (UNNOH) / PĂ©guy Noel
Kolektif Solidarite, Idantite ak LibĂšte (KSIL) / Rudy Prudent
Konbit Ayisyen pou Lojman AltĂšnatif (KAYLA) / Francia Pierrette
KOPI / Raimy Ysmael
PlatfĂČm Ayiti VĂšt (PAV) / Saico Jean Michel SĂ©vĂšre
Inisyativ 109 / Luckner Jabouin
Union Syndicale des Transporteurs HaĂŻtiens (USTRAH) / VenĂšs Junior Many
Asosyasyon Viktim Masak Leta nan Katye PopilĂš yo (AVIMEKP) / Nevelson Jean-Baptiste
AntĂšn Ouvriye / Reyneld Sanon
Nou se Dorval / Iswick Théophin
Rezo Òganizasyon NĂČdwĂšs / Kerby Joseph
MODÒD / Jose FĂ©lix
Rezo Òganizasyon Marigo / LainĂ© Louis
AJ3L / Kerly Dubréus
PlatfĂČm Oganizasyon pou Ideyal Bwawon TonĂš / Hugues-CapĂš MondĂ©sir
FGPB / Edmond Jean-Paul
SECD / Georges RĂ©ginald
MOSSOH / Gary Lindor
Rasanbleman Fanm Peyizan Aken / Louise Marie Naissant
KowĂČt Patriyotik / Francisco Alcide
MOPDES –NĂČdĂšs / Astride Noel
OJPDCP-NIPPES / Simon Wallan
Cercle Grégory Saint-Hilaire / Cilien Luxenat
Armand Joseph Jules / Citoyen engagé
SITWAYEN / Gustave Augustin
FĂČs DĂšlma 32 / Clerveaux Fritznel
SĂšk Janil / Wasly Simon
BaugĂ© mon cƓur/citoyen engage
PLANARE / Victor Charidieu
Kolektif medsin tradisyonel / Berthony Jean Charles
MSTH-ROZO / Mario Maisonneuve
ASJPCH / Luckner Chéry
ESKANP/ Mario Coty
ROZO/Mirtha Elie
FOSYNPO/Gedeon Junior Georges
FRAKKA/ Francois Philippe
ZOULA/ Pierre Dieudonné Delice
Òganizasyon Konbit Aksyon Popilù / James Francisque
Schneider Alcereste / NOUVOLIB
Kolektif Atis Angaje (KATAN) / KĂ©bert Bastien
Konbit Òganizasyon Sendikal, Politik ak PopilĂš / JosuĂ© MĂ©rilien
Plateforme HaĂŻtienne de Plaidoyer pour un DĂ©veloppement Alternatif (PAPDA) / Camille Chalmers
MOLEGHAF / David OxygĂšne
Mouvman Leve Kanpe pou yon LĂČt Endepandans / Patrick Joseph

For authentication :
Camille Chalmers / PAPDA

[1]http://www.leganet.cd/Legislation/Conventions.int/charteUA.25.05.63.htm

[2] ] https://ayibopost.com/la-lettre-de-christiane-taubira-au-peuple-haitien-en-2004/

[3] https://www.alterpresse.org/spip.php?article2440

[4] https://archipel.uqam.ca/5941/1/M13225.pdf

[5] https://forumhaiti.forumactif.com/t14044-ayiti-et-l-ethiopie-sous-le-gouvernement-du-president-nord-alexis

[6] Ibid




Source: Popularresistance.org