HAITI—During his time in office so far, Ayiti (Haiti) president Jovenel Moise has proven to be the most insidious head of state since neocolonial dictator Jean-Claude “Baby Doc” Duvalier, who was overthrown in 1986, and his father François “Papa Doc” Duvalier, who came before him.
Jovenel has been forced on the people ever since he came to power after an unusually long election process that took place between October of 2015 and February of 2017.
He was designated to be the presidential candidate for the Parti Haitien Tèt Kale (PHTK) [Haitian Tèt Kale (Bald-Headed) Party] by his predecessor, Michel Joseph Martelly.
Martelly is one of Ayiti’s several musicians-turned-politicians, a common ploy used by sectors of the petty bourgeoisie class against the poor and working class African people of Ayiti, who represented PHTK during his presidency between 2011 and 2016.
Martelly immediately returned to the music scene after his presidency and began using the stage to insult those who criticize his prior term and to promote his suggested return to presidency in 2022.
Moise received only 32.8 percent of the popular vote in the preliminary rounds of the election against Jude Célestin, who achieved only 25 percent. Despite not winning at least 50 percent of the vote as required by law, he went on to the second round of the selection.
This presidential election only resulted in a registered voter turnout of 21 percent, a sign that the majority of the African masses of Ayiti have divorced ourselves from the electoral process.
On top of that, the election was widely recognized as fraudulent, with an exit poll done by the Haiti Sentinel showing that Moise only won six percent of the vote.
After pressure from the U.S. government to recognize him as the victor in the preliminary despite the fraud, Jovenel Moise was selected as the “winner” based on the results of the preliminary selection that was insufficient to qualify a win for first place.
His presidency has since been met with demands from the people for him to step down from power, not only due the farce of an election, but also because of the worsening conditions of the African masses.
In the wake of two years of protests, demonstrations and overall mass resistance, Moise remained suspiciously silent, except only to make fraudulent addresses to the people of the country at unconventional times of the night. In those addresses, he repeatedly asked for “dialogue” between himself and the “opposition,” which is made up of other sectors of the petty bourgeoisie, for so-called “peace.”
Moise intends to rule as dictator
In a January 13, 2020 tweet, Jovenel Moise tweeted:
“This Monday, January 13, 2020, brings back the end of the 50th legislature. We note the lapse of Parliament and we take note of this institutional vacuum caused by the departure of the Chamber of Deputies and 2/3 of the Senate.”
This came three months following Moise not holding the legislative election that was due for October of 2019, which marked the beginning of this rule by decree.
The parliament was dissolved in January of 2015 under Martelly, who also ruled by decree until the end of his term in February of 2016.
In the more recent period, it became clear that Moise’s prior silence was a calculated one. He eventually created decrees and other laws that would maintain his power for longer than February of 2021, when he would be due to get out of office.
Moise has claimed that his term did not officially begin until 2017, meaning that he will remain in power until 2022. The people, however, demand he resigns no later than February of 2021.
By June of 2020, a video clip of Moise making a speech in a room of several “PHTKists” dressed in their party’s color, pink, was widely circulated on the internet, where he is quoted saying, “No one, no matter the election will ever be able to remove ‘us’ from power.”
Not long after, another video of him making another speech to a group of “PHTKists” circulated, where he is quoted saying, “I don’t see how there is anyone, after God, who has more power than me in the country. I am the president.”
The African masses have mocked Moise by giving him the name “Aprè Dye” (“After God”), but his dictatorial statements and aligning actions are no laughing matter.
Moise blames the masses for neocolonial instability
In a series of January 1, 2021 tweets, the date that marks the 217th anniversary of the African revolution of Ayiti against colonial slavery, Jovenel Moise made several libelous remarks against the people of Ayiti.
He accused us of being slaves to hatred and division and claims this is the reason for political instability in the country. He continued to attack us by saying we conspire to destroy and to commit so-called character assassinations of the presidents. He also blamed us for being the “poorest country in the Americas.”
He made yet another call for his “politician brothers and sisters” to stick together. He characterized 2021 as a “very important year for the future of the country,” and added in a tweet: “We call it the ‘Year of the Constitution, the year of Elections and Electricity.”
Moise continued to tweet, “I want this to be clear in everyone’s mind. This new Constitution must preserve all the democratic guarantees guaranteed by the 1987 mother law.”
In the very next tweet, however, he said, “The mother law does not help the country to have stability. From March 29, 1987 until today, I had to be the 7th President of the country, because there had to be a new president every 5 years. Yet I am the 19th president of the country for the country’s 33 years of this Constitution. Something is wrong.”
According to the 1987 Constitution of Haiti, created after the 1986 overthrow of the Duvalierian regime, the president cannot be elected for two terms in a row, but can return to presidency after a minimum of a five-year interval, the length of a presidency in Haiti, and cannot return for a third term.
This change of presidents is not what makes the so-called “political instability” in the country. It would not matter how many presidents came to power. If they worked in the interests of the African poor and working class, the country would move in a progressive and revolutionary manner.
“Political instability” in Ayiti exists because the overall social system of neocolonialism, often described as “white power in black face,” is imposed by foreign powers and is being justly threatened by our ongoing resistance and unrelenting struggle for freedom and liberation.
The “unity” called for by Jovenel Moise is unity between sectors of the petty bourgeoisie in their continued oppression of our African poor and working class people of Ayiti. It is a call for unity among the African poor and working class with our own oppression.
The “peace” he calls for is peace for the neocolonial oppressors as they continue the same social system of colonialism we tried to break out of 217 years ago and intend to completely destroy.
Although it remains unclear whether Jovenel Moise is setting up for himself to remain in power or to pass the baton back to Michel Martelly, it is clear Moise is ushering in a neo-“Duvalierian” era on the people of Ayiti and PHTK is the instrument through which they aim to maintain it.
Dictatorship is defined by concrete actions, not “personality” traits
On September 18, 2020, Jovenel Moise installed nine members, sans oath, into the Provisional Electoral Council (CEP). He mandated they prepare a constitutional referendum and organize local, municipal, legislative and presidential elections.
By the November 26, 2020 issue of Le Monituer, the State-owned newspaper, Moise announced a decree that actions such as robbery, arson and blocking roads, all of which are common when the people are resisting, are considered acts of terrorism and are subject to heavy penalties. These penalties include 30 to 50 years in prison and a fine of two to 200 million gourdes (equivalent to $26,900 to $2,690,000 USD).
The decree also classifies “possession of “‘illegal” weapons’” as an “act of terrorism,” subject to the same punishments. In actuality, this will only be applied to ordinary African people who will need to arm ourselves against the police, gangs and bandits who terrorize us.
In the same issue of the paper, Moise announced a decree that he would have an intelligence agency that would only answer to the president, just as in 1959 when Ayiti’s then-neocolonial dictator, “Papa Doc” Duvalier, created the Tonton Macoute formation to terrorize the people.
Many people claim they cannot conceptualize Jovenel Moise as an actual dictator because he is not “hard” and does not carry a “tough guy” image.
He has been very quiet for more of his term and when he does speak it is with a soft-spoken voice, through clenched teeth and as someone meek and unsure of himself.
He is seemingly unlike the degenerate Martelly, who has a history of performing profanity-filled music in diapers and thongs and has an overall “bad boy” persona.
Chairman Omali Yeshitela and his theory of African Internationalism, however, provides us with a definition for “dictatorship” that will allow us to see beyond subjective characterizations.
Chairman Omali explains that dictatorship is “rule without regard for the law.” It is in that context that we can say Jovenel Moise has ruled without regard to law ever since he became president and has been ushering in another wave of dictatorship over Ayiti from that time.
The African People’s Socialist Party believes in the dictatorship of the African poor and working class
We condemn the actions of Jovenel Moise and understand the members of PHTK to be a part of white power imperialism’s greater plan to keep African people everywhere colonized and oppressed and to further punish the Africans of Ayiti for our history of leading a successful revolution of enslaved Africans against colonial slavery.
We understand the struggle against colonial dictatorship over African people in Ayiti, or elsewhere, can only be achieved through the international African Revolution for socialism and State power, establishing a dictatorship of the African poor and working class over the bourgeois and petite bourgeois forces.
An excerpt from the Preamble of the African People’s Socialist Party’s Constitution reads:
“Whereas we, the advanced detachment of the African working class and its general staff, have organized this international organization to pursue the goal of the liberation and unification of Africa and African people under the leadership of the African working class as a critical component of the struggle to overthrow imperialism and all its representation and manifestations, including all forms of colonialism, and the establishment of the international dictatorship of the working class;
“We resolve to build and consolidate the African People’s Socialist Party-USA as an integral part of international struggle to overthrow capitalist imperialism and its neocolonial minions in order to achieve the unification and liberation of Africa and African people under the leadership of the African working class and build a society which will, as declared by Kwame Nkrumah, ‘advance the triumph of the international socialist revolution, an onward progress towards world communism, under which, every society is ordered on the principle of—from each according to…ability, to each according to…needs.’”
We must also take on the struggle to build an African People’s Socialist Party in Haiti, which would join African People’s Socialist Parties around the world as a part of the African Socialist International. The establishment of the Party in Haiti would bring the African working class and poor of Haiti into the international struggle to overturn neocolonialism and put power and our future in our own hands!
Down with neocolonialism!
Build the African Socialist International!
Join the African People’s Socialist Party!