U.S. hands off Haiti! Reparations not intervention!

Photo: Héctor Terán

Following the July 7 assassination of Haitian President Jovenel Moïse, the people of Haiti don’t need foreign troops invading their country.

The United Nations “peacekeeping” force that occupied Haiti from 2004 to 2017 was responsible for at least 10,000 deaths from cholera. Over 800,000 Haitians were made ill. 

Three thousand Haitians were killed by U.S. troops during the 19-year-long occupation of their country from 1915 to 1934. The country’s gold reserves were stolen by National City Bank. Now called Citbank, it has over $1.6 trillion in assets.

James Weldon Johnson, who wrote the lyrics to “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” described how thousands of Haitians were forced to perform slave labor. The Haitian resistance leader Charlemagne Péralte was assassinated by Marine Corps Sgt. Herman Hanneken, who wore blackface. Hanneken was awarded the medal of honor for the murder. 

The assassination of Moïse by foreign mercenaries was a large, well-financed plot. Moïse, who overstayed his term of office and ruled by decree, was no friend of poor people. He evidently got in the way of foreign financial interests who wanted someone else in office.

Centuries of revenge

The reason Haiti is poor is because of 230 years of revenge. The wealthy and powerful have never forgiven the Haitian people for rising up in 1791 to overthrow their slave masters. This revolution of an enslaved people shook the world. 

Haiti’s aid to Simón Bolívar was indispensable in overthrowing Spanish colonialism in South America.

The capitalist world market was founded on the African Holocaust and the Holocaust of Indigenous Peoples in the Americas.

Every slave master from Texas to Maryland feared revolts of enslaved Africans inspired by Haiti. The U.S. government refused to recognize Haiti until 1862, in the middle of the U.S. Civil War.

When France ruled Haiti, the average life expectancy of enslaved Africans was just 20 years. Working Africans to death was a gold mine for French merchants and slave owners.

It was also very profitable for the Philadelphia ship owner Stephen Girard, who became the richest scoundrel in the United States. 

Haiti is the second oldest republic in the Americas. The people of Haiti defeated one of Napoleon’s armies to achieve independence in 1804. They were later forced to pay 90 million in gold francs in reparations to France for freeing themselves.

Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide asked for this money, now worth $21 billion, to be returned to Haiti. For righteously demanding reparations, the elected president was overthrown by U.S. President George W. Bush on Feb. 29, 2004. It was the second time President Aristide was removed undemocratically.

After being elected president of Haiti with 67 percent of the vote on Dec. 16, 1990, Aristide was driven out of office just months later on Sept. 29, 1991, by former CIA director and

White House occupant George H. W. Bush.

Wall Street was enraged by the commitment of President Aristide and the Lavalas movement to the poor. Some 195 new primary schools and 104 new high schools were built or refurbished.

The Jan. 12, 2010, earthquake killed 200,000 people in Haiti. Five thousand schools were destroyed. The people of Haiti need genuine assistance to rebuild, not foreign intervention.

It was the U.S. government that propped up the dictatorships of “Papa Doc” François Duvalier and his son “Baby Doc” Jean-Claude Duvalier in Haiti that lasted from 1957 to 1986. The White House also kept the unpopular Jovenel Moïse in office.

Haiti doesn’t need foreign troops. Haiti deserves reparations.

U.S. hands off Haiti!