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(en) Haiti: September 30th - International Protest against the Military Occupation of Haiti. Statement by the Organizacion Comunista Libertaria -Chile [ca]

Date Mon, 26 Sep 2005 12:40:34 +0300

On September 30th, activists and popular militants from various countries will
come out together in solidarity with the Haitian people, currently suffering
from one of the most brutal military occupations in the world, sponsored by the
UN, the US, and certain Latin American governments such as Chile, Brazil and
Argentina. The objective of this military occupation is to back the political
and economic privileges of the Haitian and international capitalists and
oligarchy, whose thuggish actions have cost the lives of some 10,000 people.
The Organización Comunista Libertaria (OCL-Chile) calls for forces to merge in
the protest, to demonstrate that there should be no struggle without
solidarity. We are taking part in this protest out of a profound feeling of
Latin American brotherhood, of working-class and popular unity wherever people
throughout the world fight from their workplaces, their schools, universities
and neighbourhoods to end this system of injustice and exploitation. But we are
also taking part because we understand our part in the responsibility for this
infamous invasion, as a result of the participation of the Chilean army. Just
like in the times of Pinochet, the Chilean military has shown the world that it
hasn't lost its skills for torture, killing and kidnapping when it comes to
facing social fighters. This is the main reason why we believe it is our duty,
as part of the Chilean popular movement, to take part in this international day
of protest.


The military occupation began on February 29th, when Yankee military troops
kidnapped president Aristide, who was at the time facing open and aggressive
armed opposition, financed by the CIA and stimulated by a clique of Haitian and
foreign businessmen that rule that country. Once Aristide was removed from
power, Canadian, US and Chilean troops landed and occupied Haiti, giving its
backing to the new de facto government of Gérard Latortue.

Why oust Aristide? In the context of sharp class conflict in Haiti, the
reformist government of Aristide - far from anything like a revolutionary or
"leftist" government - proved intolerable to a backward ruling class that in
200 years of Republican life has shown itself unwilling to share power with any
other social group, not that it has been willing to loosen its tight grip on
control of the political and economic affairs of that country. The coup against
Aristide can only be understood in the face of social polarization in Haitian

Another element to be taken into account is that both the Haitian bourgeoisie
and its international allies have been steadily losing ground to the grassroots
popular struggle since the time of the end of the Duvaliers' dictatorship
(1986). Today, they are willing to do anything to gain positions. And in the
meantime, the number of the dead from among the people are counted by the
thousands, as the rank-and-file organizations in the Free Trade Zones and the
Bidonvilles (shanty towns) are the main enemy facing rich Haitians.

From 1st June, the UN assumed military responsibility for the occupation,
sending a peace-keeping mission (MINUSTAH) under Brazilian command, the latter
hoping that this experience would look good on its record, given that it
aspires to a permanent seat on the UN Security Council. Brazil has under its
command an international mission that brings together a number of armies with a
dreadful record of Human Right abuses: Chile, the USA, Nepal, Morocco,
Guatemala, Peru, etc. And we are supposed to expect that such a mission,
consisting of thugs in uniform, is to reinforce respect for human rights and
"democratic values" in Haiti!

As a consequence, the result has been easy to predict: MINUSTAH has reinforced
the political violence of thugs paid by the businessmen, of the paramilitaries
and of the police. On a daily basis we hear of raids, torture, rapes, murders
and massacres. Daily, in the poor neighbourhoods of Haiti, there are abandoned
corpses left as food for dogs and pigs. Today, an estimated 10,000 dead people
have died as a direct result of the occupation.

In this state of terror, there are calls for presidential and legislative
elections for November and local ones for December. All that is expected to be
accomplished with these elections is to give some sort of validity, in a
democratic way, to the putschist strategy and thus to turn over a new leaf with
regard to the crimes committed against the people in over a year of occupation.
The grassroots popular organizations, independent from the puppet regime of
Latortue, have expressed their utter rejection of this attempt to wash the
dirty face of the thugs and offspring of the dictator Duvalier.

From Chile, we denounce MINUSTAH and Chilean participation (not limited to the
military aspect and the nearly 360 Chilean soldiers taking part in the
occupation, as Juan Gabriel Valdés is the special representative of the general
secretary of the UN in Haiti) for it does not in any way represent a guarantee
of security for the poor and the working class in Haiti, but has became an
armed branch of the bourgeois gang ruling that country and of the former
sympathizers of the dictator Duvalier. To state things clearly, the occupying
forces are a fundamental aspect of this sinister deadly trinity binding the UN,
the US and the terrorist businessmen; an alliance that has left the spoils for
the Latin American governments who are being served just like vultures.


Certainly, the definition of a way forward is something that is only up to the
Haitian people themselves. However, in the fraternal spirit of solidarity with
those who struggle, we want to send with our message of support, our opinion.
Opinion that is based on historical experience that as Chilean people we have
had to live through and on the outlook inherited from our revolutionary current
of thought and action. We believe that the bitter experience of the Haitian
people should be useful for all of the people of the world to draw lessons
from, as much as inspiration.

* Firstly, we want to signal the need for an autonomous, class-oriented path,
rooted in direct action, as a way to reach the popular aspirations; the
multi-class alliances, the taking over of the State, parliamentarianism, have
historically been nothing but a cul-de-sac for the popular movement. And this
is as valid for the Haitian people, for the successive governments of Lavalas
(the party of president Aristide) have been pressured between compromise with
the IMF and the bourgeoisie, and have been able to apply only some aspects of
their programmes. But if the rank and file is to lose the initiative, to leave
it in the hand of the rulers, no matter how good their intentions, then it is
handicapped in any possibility of autonomous advance or of transgression to the
system of class domination.

* It is of paramount importance that building popular power be moved forward as
a legitimate means for discovering that autonomous and class-oriented path; for
that it is necessary to go back to the practice of direct action (for the
exploited and the oppressed to look after themselves and their interests, in
grassroots organizations), of direct democracy, for the poor to win back their
self-confidence and where they can learn to handle in the future the economic,
social and political affairs which concern them. It is about building a dual
power, from a different perspective than the State one; a logic that needs no
rulers and ruled, in which the spaces of participation are open, allowing
everyone to have a voice and a vote in the affairs that affect them.

* For this popular power to be a reality, it is necessary to reject the
mechanisms of participation provided by the bourgeoisie and to raise
alternatives from our own organizations. This means giving a truly
revolutionary prospect to the movement that, while rejecting the oppressive
present, can be affirmative about a future of freedom and equality.

This is our opinion, this is our message for our brothers and sisters in Haiti,
on this very day of protest when our hands come together. Only revolutionary
means can guarantee that the immense obstacles in our way to deliverance are
defeated. If we learn from the Haitian experience, we will see that the legal
and reformist path is completely exhausted. And there is no doubt that if we
are to take the revolutionary path, then libertarian communist thought has a
lot to offer. From this very minute, our hands and hearts are open towards the
popular fighters, and our fists are clenched against the imperialist and
capitalist carrion.

* An immediate end to the occupation.
* Respect for the Haitian people's sovereignity.
* Free all Political Prisoners.
* Long live the struggle against the masters ruling that country.
* Demand the reimbursement from France of the money Haiti had to pay as a price
for its independence between 1825-1947 (U$21,000 million).

September 2005


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