Hands off Haiti!

Hands Off Haiti

The US government is actively trying to recruit Canada to lead a military intervention in Haiti under the guise of bringing about law and order in the country which Canada, the US and France have destabilized with coup d’etats and political meddling for years. Canadians should make it clear that Canada must stop meddling in Haiti’s affairs and permit the Haitian people to decide their futures which they have been asserting relentlessly especially since 2004 but going right back to the Haitian revolution itself.

In mid-October, a draft resolution was floated at the United Nations Security Council by the United States calling for a “non-UN international security assistance mission” to be dispatched to Haiti, led by a “partner country”  with the “deep, necessary experience required for such an effort to be effective.” 

At the UN, Canada’s Prime Minister was the first to speak out for further military intervention in Haiti in the name of “stability, security and prosperity,” despite the fact that in 2004 the Canadian government played a leading role in the kidnapping of Jean-Bertrand Aristide, the duly elected president of the Haitian people, and the subsequent fraudulent elections when Aristide’s Fanmi Lavalas party was banned.

The proposal came up against opposition at the Security Council from Russia and China and was therefore not put to a vote, as it would not have passed. The U.S. promised to return with a new draft resolution at a later date but has still not done so. In the meantime, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken came to Canada at the end of October to press the Trudeau government to take on the job of leading such an intervention force. While in Canada Blinken made public statements about Canada being the country best placed to lead the intervention force and . Trudeau has already been trying to twist the arms of countries belonging to the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) to be part of this unwanted imposition on the people of Haiti, one of their member countries, as if it were some kind of humanitarian act.

When Blinken was in Montreal meeting with Minister of Foreign Affairs, Melanie Joly, he was confronted by demonstrators who told him he was not welcome in Canada, and for Canada and the U.S. to keep their hands off Haiti. 

Demonstrations have also been taking place for the past three months in Haiti, often for days on end, with people filling the streets of their cities and towns demanding concrete responses to the country’s emergencies such as the rampant inflation and shortages of all kinds as well as large swathes of the population suffering from hunger and the fact that cholera has returned to the country. Demonstrators are also demanding the foreign-controlled prime Minister Ariel Henry reverse the suffocating fuel price hike he imposed on them at the request of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), that the international community respect Haiti’s sovereignty and right to self-determination, that they stop supporting Henry’s illegitimate government and stop interfering in Haiti’s internal affairs. They are also demanding that Henry resign. Their protests intensified following the manoeuvres by Canada and the U.S. to get Henry to “request” that the United Nations send an international armed intervention force to Haiti, allegedly to put down criminal gang violence. Haitians are very clear that the many foreign interventions they have endured throughout the history of the country have never solved any problems, but instead have exacerbated existing and created new, bigger ones. Vigorous demonstrations and marches organized by members of the Haitian diaspora and their allies in Canada and Quebec have also taken place in Ottawa and Montreal recently to deliver the same message.

It is possible, with the midterm elections over in the U.S. that the Biden administration will once again ramp up its attempts to get UN Security Council approval for the intervention force it says is needed to combat “armed criminal gangs” in Haiti, but that the people of Haiti know from their own experience, will be used to suppress their resistance to foreign domination. Instead of doing dirty work for the U.S. and trying to cover it up with hypocritical talk about its obligation to “help” Haiti and supporting a “Haitian-led solution” Canada should refuse to have any part in a new invasion force under whatever name and stop trying to recruit others for the same purpose. Instead, Canada must respect the sovereignty and right to self-determination of the Haitian people as they are demanding.