Sign On Letter: U.S., OAS and UN: Hands Off Haiti!
U.S., OAS and UN: Hands Off Haiti!
On February 7 2021, Jovenel Moïse’s term as president of Haiti ended - but with the support of the Biden administration he is refusing to leave office. This has created an urgent crisis in the country. A mass movement, reminiscent of the 1986 popular movement that overthrew the brutal U.S.-sponsored dictatorship of Jean-Claude “Baby Doc” Duvalier, is demanding Moïse step down. We are alarmed by the abundance of evidence of severe human rights violations by the Moïse regime to quell the protests.
One of the main calls from the mobilizations of hundreds of thousands in the streets of Port-au-Prince and across Haiti has been for the United States, United Nations and the Organization of American States to stop their interference. These bodies, as part of the “Core Group” of imperialist nations and institutions targeting Haiti, are currently pushing their rewrite of the Haitian Constitution through a referendum on April 25.
These organizations have a long history of neocolonial intervention in Haiti and the region. Ever since the democratically elected president Jean Bertrand Aristide was overthrown for a second time by a U.S.-sponsored coup in 2004, Haiti has been occupied by a United Nations military force that, at its height, boasted 14,000 troops and personnel. This occupation has changed form over the years (from MINUSTAH to BINUH), but it is ongoing.
The U.S. government has consistently stood as a barrier to popular democracy in the Americas. The 2009 coup in Honduras; the 2019 coup in Bolivia; and the ongoing blockades of Nicaragua, Cuba and Venezuela are but several examples of the U.S.’s poor record on human rights and lack of respect for sovereignty in the region. By its own admission, the State Department “works closely with the OAS, UN, the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), and individual countries to advance its policy goals in Haiti.” Under the guise of fighting drug trafficking, the U.S. continues to train and fund the Haitian National Police.
The U.S. establishment spin doctors seemingly live in an alternate universe, claiming, "The remarkable lack of popular response to calls for mass protests in recent weeks indicates that Haitian people are tired of endless lockdowns and squabbling over power." The reality is quite the opposite: the Haitian people are united in their call for a peaceful transition to democracy.
We express our solidarity with the Haitian people and our support for their rights to democracy and self-determination. We echo their demands here:
We demand that Jovenel Moïse
1. Immediately release all detained opposition figures;
2. Reinstate the Supreme Court justices, Police Inspector General and other opposition figures who have been fired; and
3. Respect the will of the Haitian people who have selected an interim president in lieu of new elections that, when held, must adhere to the Haitian Constitution.
We demand that the Biden Administration:
1. Withdraw financial support for the illegal constitutional referendum and Moïse dictatorship;
2. Reaffirm support for the right to peaceful protest;
3. Call for Moïse’ and Haiti's security forces to respect this right and condemn the recent violence against protesters and journalists; and
4. Demand the immediate dismantlement of all paramilitary forces in Haiti and the disarmament of gangs carrying out wanton violence against the popular movement.
The whole world is watching!