By Manuel E. Yepe
Exclusive for the daily POR ESTO! of Merida, Mexico.
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann.
At the head of a protest march against the president of Haiti last week, a demonstrator carried a large wooden cross bearing the flags of Canada, France and the United States, the three nations that the demonstrators identify as underpinnings of support for President Jovenel Moise’s regime, in recognition of his role in the 2004 coup.
Almost completely ignored by the mainstream media, the Haitian people are constantly criticizing the Canadian government for this unobjective stance on their country’s political reality. Repeatedly, since Jean-Bertrand Aristide’s government was overthrown in 2004, demonstrators have carried posters reproaching Canadian policy or have gathered in front of the Canadian Embassy in Port-au-Prince. The newspapers Haiti Progrès and Haiti Liberté of the Caribbean nation describe Canada as an “occupying force,” a “coup supporter” or simply an “imperialist” nation.
During months of popular protests, Canada continues to be hostile to the demonstrators, who represent the majority of an impoverished population. A recent investigation by the Haitian High Court of Accounts looking into corruption and administrative disputes has revived the popular movement fighting for the overthrow of Haiti’s “Canadian-backed” president.
In the current year, there have been numerous protests – including a week-long general strike in February – demanding accountability of public officials. It is alleged that the main reason Moise remains in power is that he has the support of the Core Group of Friends of Haiti, made up of the ambassadors of Canada, USA, France, Brazil, and Germany, as well as representatives of Spain, the European Union, and the discredited OAS.
The Core Group had issued a brief statement of support for Moise calling for “a broad national discussion, without preconditions,” which was the position that Canadian officials had repeatedly expressed in recent weeks. The opposition had rejected such a negotiation with Moise on the grounds that it would amount to abandoning protests to negotiate with a corrupt and illegitimate president that few Haitians supported.
Another indication of the Core Group’s political orientation has been its May 30 statement “condemning acts of degradation committed against the Senate,” referring to a group of opposition senators earlier that day removing some furniture and placing it on the lawn of Parliament in order to block the ratification of the interim prime minister.
Canada’s ambassador, André Frenette, for his part, tweeted that “Canada condemns acts of vandalism in the Senate… because they go against democratic principles.
But it was noted that Frenette and the Core Group had not tweeted or published any statement against the recent murder of journalist Pétion Rospide, who had been reporting on police corruption and violence. Nor did they refer to the outcome of the commission that held President Moise responsible for the theft of public funds as well as the recent UN report confirming the country’s government’s involvement in a terrible massacre that took place in Port-au-Prince’s La Saline neighborhood in mid-November.
Recent statements by the Canadian government and the Core Group completely ignore arguments about Moise’s electoral illegitimacy and minimize the magnitude of corruption and violence against demonstrators.
Worse still, it is argued that Canadian officials promoted and often applauded the police forces responsible for many abuses. To the delight of the country’s most class-conscious elite, Ottawa had taken the lead in strengthening the repressive arm of the Haitian state following the expulsion of former President Aristide.
An RCMP officer heads the police component of the 1,200-strong United Nations Mission for Justice in Haiti (MINUJUSTH).
At the end of May, Canada’s ambassador to the UN, Marc-André Blanchard, led a delegation from the United Nations Economic and Social Council in Haiti. On his return to New York, he proposed creating a “robust” mission to continue the work of MINUJUSTH after its scheduled conclusion in October. Canadian officials lead the campaign to extend the 15-year United Nations occupation that took over the troops of the United States, France and Canada that overthrew the Aristide government and, among other horrors, were responsible for the introduction of cholera into Haiti, which has killed more than a million people from the glorious but suffering Caribbean country.
By Manuel E. Yepe
Exclusive for the daily POR ESTO! of Merida, Mexico.
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann for CubaNews.
The crass coarseness of the president of the United States, Donald Trump, in matters of civic and formal education cannot justify the daily barbs of this false lunatic turned head of state that, ultimately, goes to the main detriment of the reputation and dignity of US citizens.
Following Trump’s racist pronouncement, which described Haiti and the whole of the countries of Africa as “shithole nations”, Cuban journalist José A. Téllez Villalón published on the Spanish site “Rebelion” a work to remind us that a large part of the arms, ammunition and men with which France contributed to the independence of the then Thirteen Colonies, passed through the then-French colony of Saint-Domingue (today Haiti) which had contributed with the blood of its children to the triumph of the forces in struggle for their independence from the British metropolis.
On March 12, 1779, the French colonizers began the recruitment of a body of volunteers to participate in the American Revolution. “The Volunteer Hunters of Saint-Domingue,” as the contingent was called, was made up of French settlers and between 500 and 800 black and mulatto freedmen.
Between the end of 1780 and the middle of 1781, the troops commanded by General George Washington and those commanded by the French general Jean Batiste de Vimeur, Count of Rochambeau, had been left without resources to land a final blow on the English troops positioned in Yorktown.
George Washington, the leader of the independence movement, reflected it on May 1, 1781 in his diary: “In a word, instead of having everything ready to go to the campaign, we have nothing. Instead of having the perspective of a glorious offensive campaign before us, we have but a confused and defensive situation, unless we receive powerful aid in the form of ships, land troops and money from our generous allies. For now, this is too eventful to be able to count on it. “
French Marshal Rochambeau wrote to French Admiral François Joseph Paul, Count de Grasse: “I must not hide from you, Sir, that the Americans are at the limit of their resources. Washington does not have half the troops it calculates, and in my opinion, although he remains silent about it, he does not have 6,000 men, nor does Mr. de La Fayette gather 1000 regulars in the militia to defend Virginia … “.
Téllez Villalón explains that Rochambeau asked the head of the fleet to recruit troops and bring them with him as reinforcements for General Washington’s Continental Army. The Admiral complied with instructions, recruited 3,000 volunteers from Port-au-Prince and Cap-Haïtien, and placed them under the orders of the young officer Claudius Henry of Saint-Simon who was the founder of French socialism and utopian socialism. The same man who, for Engels, was, together with Hegel, the most encyclopedic mind of his time and in whose work most of the later ideas of socialism are contained.
The multinational reinforcement, consisting of a battalion of ex-slaves, pardos [tri-racial descendants of European, black and indiginous peoples] and mulatos from Port-au-Prince and Cap-Haïtien commanded by Saint-Simon, disembarked in the Chesapeake Bay, Maryland, and took part, between September 26 and October 19, 1781, in the Siege of Yorktown.
So, says Tellez, the Americans owe a lot to foreign forces -French, Latin American and Haitian- for the achievement of their Independence. It was ratified by the United States Congress on November 15, 1784, after Great Britain capitulated on September 3, 1783 with the Treaty of Paris.
Alexander Hamilton, one of the founding fathers of the American nation, acknowledged in an editorial published on July 5, 1803 in the New York Evening Post that “to the fatal climate of Saint-Domingue (Haiti), and to the courage and obstinate resistance of its black inhabitants, that we owe the obstacles that delayed the colonization of Louisiana until the favorable moment when a rupture between England and France gave a new turn to the latter’s projects”.
Nevertheless, another American founding father, Thomas Jefferson, principal author of the Declaration of Independence, who was second vice president (1797-1801) and third president (1801-1809) of the United States, showed no gratitude for this assistance. On the contrary, he suspended all trade with Haiti in 1804.
The United States resisted recognizing the newly independent country for many years, joining the European empires in punishing Haiti for its insubordination. It was not until June 5, 1862 that President Abraham Lincoln granted American diplomatic recognition of the generous and heroic Fatherland of Toussaint Louverture and Jean-Jacques Dessalines.
February 7, 2018.
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