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Dripping with hypocrisy and arrogance, the US imperialist rulers are again threatening to send a military force to Haiti, alongside their Core Group allies including Canada and the United Nations. The Biden administration is asking the UN to approve a “multinational rapid action force;” in reality, a US-led international invasion of Haiti. The people of Haiti are suffering under deep crises: an un-elected government that refuses to leave office, food and fuel shortages due in large part to decades of IMF-mandated austerity and privatization policies, and a devastating cholera outbreak. These crises are the direct result of centuries of foreign exploitation and plunder, and more than a hundred years of oppression and domination by US imperialism. No US or UN deployment or invasion will solve the problems facing the Haitian people, and any temporary stability will pave the way for a deeper immiseration of the Haitian people.  People who live in the US have a responsibility to stand with the people of Haiti and their courageous resistance, and oppose any US military invasion or occupation. 

The nation of Haiti was born in a successful slave revolution that abolished servitude and ousted the French colonizers. Since that time it has been in the cross-hairs of foreign domination and oppression, as a punishment for the revolution, and because of its abundant natural resources, as a source of labor, and location in the Caribbean. France plundered billions from Haiti in “reparations” for its revolution, demanding payments for freed slaves. This forced Haiti into usurious loans issued by France that effectively blocked infrastructure and economic development. The “debt” payments imposed on Haiti by France in exchange for the crime of overthrowing colonialism forced Haiti to borrow from US banks. The US invaded and occupied the country for 19 years to police debt payments and ensure the subordination of Haiti’s economy to the US, murdering tens of thousands, and torturing and enslaving thousands more, while plundering the treasury and resources. The US occupation paved the way for the notorious US-backed butcher, father and son Francois and Jean-Claude Duvalier (better known as “Papa Doc” and “Baby Doc”), who ruled the country from 1957 until 1986, through torture, imprisonment, murder of their opponents, and loyal cold-war servitude to US interests. 

Following the 1991 election of the popular reformer Jean-Bertrand Aristide, the US teamed up with reactionary elements of the Haitian military to stage a bloody coup and unleash a wave of terror on Aristede’s supporters in the slums of  Port-au-Prince. Aristide was eventually returned to power (with his reformist program tamped town), but still ran afoul of US imperialism which staged another coup alongside the French in 2004. This lead to the thirteen year “humanitarian” occupation by the UN, in which foreign troops and aid workers treated Haiti as their playground, trafficking women and children, abusing Haitians, and unleashing a devastating cholera outbreak after the 2010 earthquake. 

Despite the imperialist plunder and domination, the Haitian people have risen up again and again in determined anti-imperialist resistance and demands for the basic means of life. The US-backed president Jovenel Moïse came to power in 2017 in elections that were widely considered fraudulent, and faced massive opposition in the streets from 2018 until his assassination, especially protests about the cost of fuel and government corruption. Moïse was assassinated in 2021 under mysterious circumstances and his successor, Ariel Henry (a participant in 2004 coup against Aristede), has refused to hold long-promised elections, instead calling for the deployment of UN troops to prop up his government. 

Perhaps nothing reveals the attitude of the US towards Haiti better than a WikiLeaks revelation. In 2009 amid protests demanding a minimum wage increase, the US embassy under Barack Obama intervened at the behest of US garment manufactures, to maintain the minimum wage in Haiti- at three dollars a day. 

Any intervention by the same forces responsible for the crises in Haiti will only serve to further those crises. Whether it has a US, a Canadian, or a UN flag, whether it props up the current president, finds a new puppet, or organizes some elections, a US intervention will only serve to further US imperialist interests: cheap labor, cheap natural resources, a pliant government. The Haitian people have to determine their own destiny. As an anti-imperialist organization, Behind Enemy Lines is committed to opposing this latest US intervention and standing with the people of Haiti. People in the US have an obligation not to fall for the lies of  “humanitarian intervention”, but rather to oppose our own government and stand with the people of Haiti through protest and resistance to US imperialism. 

The empire is the enemy. From the belly of the beast, we choose to resist it.

Behind Enemy Lines
Anti-Imperialist Resistance