The media attention is focused elsewhere. Ukraine and China are still of prime concern for President Joe Biden’s administration and its allies and competitors, the leaders of the world’s imperialist powers.
But the U.S. has a 220-year history of maintaining its domination and exploitation of Haiti, by destroying any gains and any developments the Haitian people have made, making their living situation as miserable, impoverished and dangerous as possible.
According to Helen La Lime, Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Haiti and Head of BINUH (United Nations Integrated Office in Haiti), “Close to half the population are food insecure, with some 20,000 people facing famine-like conditions . . . 34% of schools remain closed.” She claimed there were 15,000 cases of cholera spread throughout the country.
Cholera is spread by a lack of sanitation and untreated water which poverty caused by imperialist exploitation has imposed on Haiti. The 15,000 cases are an admitted undercount. Cholera was introduced into Haiti twice in the last 20 years, by U.N. forces occupying the country.
Sanctions and terror spreading throughout rural areas
Claiming it would reduce the violence, the State Department imposed additional sanctions on a few Haitian citizens on Feb.16, bringing the total number of Haitians subject to visa and financial restrictions to 44. (tinyurl.com/yc476v8m) But if the U.S. really wanted to limit violence in Haiti, it would actively and effectively go after the U.S. arms dealers, who have flooded the country with hundreds of thousands of guns.
Canada, which has large Haitian communities in Montreal and Quebec City, has also been very active in imposing individual sanctions and has at least one naval vessel patrolling Haitian waters.
The Miami Herald, which is the major bourgeois newspaper covering Haiti, the U.S. military newspaper the Stars and Stripes and the Haitian Times all commented on the fact that 15 cops, mainly in the mostly rural Artibonite Department, were killed in January 2023. Stars and Stripes let slip the fact that the U.S. is training Haitian cops. (tinyurl.com/4cdmmfme)
These sources don’t just report the deaths of police officers; they are designed to make the case to the Haitian petty bourgeoisie and the Haitian diaspora that the cops need support from foreign troops. The Miami Herald made a big point of talking about the casualties the cops took, when some gangs, primarily Baz Gran Grif (The Big Claws Base), forced the PNH (Haitian National Police) to abandon their barracks.
While the PNH has been taking it on the chin, the farmers and workers in the Artibonite have suffered major losses. Reportedly, 69 people have been shot dead, and 83 have been injured.
According to Haiti Libre, the Big Claw gang has “created a climate of terror, characterized by looting, assassinations, kidnappings, destruction, extortion, hijacking of goods trucks and acts of rape on young girls and women in the communes of Liancourt, Verrettes, Petite Rivière de l’Artibonite and L’Estère.” (tinyurl.com/47za2yfu)
For the U.S. and their co-conspirators in Haiti, killing cops justifies the intervention of foreign troops. The concerns of the Haitian masses are not theirs.
Haitians have an unalienable right to decide their own future.