Workers World and its branches around the country condemn in the strongest terms the cowardly, brutal assassination of Georges Henri Honorat, a prominent editor of Haïti Progrès and secretary general of Haiti’s Popular National Party, on March 23. The 55-year-old Honorat was shot twice in a drive-by assault in front of his home in the Delmas section of Port-au-Prince, Haiti’s capital.
Honorat was an important voice of opposition against the pro-U.S., pro-imperialist puppet regimes in Haiti, including those of Jean-Claude “Baby Doc” Duvalier and his father, Francois “Papa Doc” Duvalier. Honorat advocated for the return of Jean-Bertrand Aristide, the first democratically elected president of Haiti, to his rightful place of leadership. Aristide was forced twice into exile, first in 1991 and then in 2004, with the backing of the U.S. government.
Honorat and his life-partner, Maude LeBlanc, were based for many years in the Haitian community in Brooklyn, N.Y., before moving back to their homeland to continue their activism. Workers World Party and the organizations that WWP works with had the honor of participating with both Honorat and LeBlanc in building mass and political activities in solidarity with the Haitian masses’ ongoing struggle for sovereignty. Part of this struggle included the just demand for reparations amounting to billions of dollars for the centuries-old super-exploitation and plunder of this Caribbean country at the hands of U.S. and French colonialism and imperialism.
To our beloved sister and comrade, Maude LeBlanc, and her immediate family, we offer our deepest condolences and support.
Emmanuel Saintus, another editor of Haïti Progrès, which is published in both Port-au-Prince and Brooklyn, commented that progressives like Honorat receive constant anonymous death threats. Saintus stated following Honorat’s assassination: “Finally, they made the threats a reality by execution. They accused us of being a mouthpiece for the government.” (Associated Press, March 28)
Lionel Lafortune, a Haïti Progrès photographer, said that Honorat was “a true patriot” and that “he sacrificed his life for Haiti.” Workers World agrees wholeheartedly with this sentiment.
Even with the tragic loss of this important leader, the Haitian people will deepen their resolve to continue their heroic struggle for true justice and national liberation, especially now as they challenge a U.S.-backed U.N. occupation. But they should not be alone in that struggle.
Those of us in the belly of the beast, the U.S., have an important obligation to build an independent, revolutionary struggle against all forms of capitalist oppression at home as well as abroad. This is the greatest act of solidarity we can extend to our Haitian sisters and brothers. Don’t mourn, organize! Georges Honorat ¡Presente!