Haiti’s long-standing resistance against colonial domination and the way forward

The following is taken from Elikya Ngoma’s presentation at the March 6, 2021 webinar, titled “Fascism, Neoliberalism and the Way Forward,” hosted by the Black is Back Coalition for Social Justice, Peace and Reparations.

HAITI—Tens of thousands of African people are currently in the streets of Port-au-Prince, the capital of Haiti, demonstrating our disapproval of Jovenel Moise’s neocolonial and dictatorial regime.

These anti-dictatorship protests are not only about Jovenel’s unconstitutional stay in the National Palace (Palais National), but they are also against the State-sponsored kidnappings taking place in the country.

The mass resistance of African people in Haiti is part of our long-time struggle against neocolonialism, often described as “white power in black face,” which is also a part of the larger struggle of African people against colonialism—the social system where one group of people is oppressively dominated by another foreign and alien group of people.

Neocolonialism is when the colonialists use members of the colonized groups as their marionettes to continue their colonial rule over the colonized; except now, in an indirect manner.

Haiti’s revolution was a symbol of liberation to the African world

The theory of African Internationalism, developed by Chairman Omali Yeshitela, teaches us that colonial slavery was a world economy. An entire social system, known as colonialism, birthed an entire world economy, known as capitalism, on a pedestal of the genocide and enslavement of African people.

African people had been fighting against this exact system for over 600 years, ever since the first so-called European stepped foot in Africa, and one of the greatest examples of the threat against this social system was the African Revolution of Ayiti (Haiti) that took place between August 1791 and late 1803.

Haiti’s victory against the three European superpowers, the British, the Spanish and the French, was an inspiration for African people around the entire world! This is especially the case in our victory against the world’s greatest army at the time, the French army, led by Napoleon Bonaparte.

Haiti became the beacon of hope for black people worldwide and a glaring example that the overthrow of colonial slavery was indeed possible.

Haiti was the symbol of liberation and liberty. The African Revolution of Haiti remains an example of what the final objective of any genuine revolutionary movement should be—to overthrow the colonialist-capitalist social system.

White world forces Haiti to pay reparations for freeing ourselves

The white world, particularly the United States, France and Britain united to make Haiti literally pay for this incredible example that impacted their world economy.

We were forced to pay France reparations for the loss of their wealth and property, with the so-called property being African people—ourselves! If not, Haiti would not be able to trade with any other country.

Haiti was forced to pay 90 million gold francs, which converts to over $90 billion dollars in today’s gold prices!

Over the past several decades, the United States has been involved in back-to-back attacks against Haiti. These attacks include, but are not limited to, the following:

The 1915-1934 U.S. marines occupation of Haiti facilitated the looting of the Haitian treasury and theft of every single ounce of gold; the murders of the people’s leaders; the installment of neocolonialism; and the forcing, at gunpoint, of the Haitian government to rewrite the Haitian Constitution and ending the prohibition of white people’s land ownership in Haiti.

The United States maintained ownership over the Haitian treasury until 1947, and 10 years later installed the brutal, neocolonial dictator, Fran ois “Papa Doc” Duvalier, whose regime would last until his death in 1971. In the same year, Fran ois’s 19-year-old son, Jean Claude “Baby Doc” Duvalier, would also become a vicious, neocolonial dictator, until being overthrown in 1986.

Defining our own struggle

Those of us in The Burning Spear newspaper’s staff are engaged in waging the war of ideas and defining the world based on how it really is; and we understand that the mischaracterization of the struggle of Africans in Haiti—or anywhere else in the world—as struggles against “fascism,” “neoliberalism,” or as struggles against “racism” or “corruption” is not an innocent thing.

Instead, it is telling an enslaved African who recognizes the need to kill the enslaver and end slavery to instead wage a struggle to get the enslaver and his overseer to “make better laws” for a more perfect or “less cruel” slavery.

When Africans in Haiti take to the street every single day to protest against the regime of Jovenel Moise, we are fighting against colonialism and its many manifestations. It manifests in the poverty imposed on us.

It manifests in the unemployment, underemployment and the lack of any economic development. It shows itself through the presence of the United Nations warmongers who rape our children, women and men and through the presence of MINUSTAH (the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti) that infects our water and imports several diseases into the country.

We see colonialism in the heavy presence of nongovernmental organizations in the country, which are only there to facilitate our oppression and foster a charity-based economy and charity-based politic. It shows itself in the Catholic and Protestant churches who have remained completely silent as our people have been victims to the State-sponsored kidnappings, murder and rape.
We see colonialism express itself with the rape and murder of 22-year-old student Evelyne Sinc re, five-year-old girl Olsmina Jean M us, doctors, lawyers, teachers, journalists and many more in other forms of oppression.

We are fighting against these violent and vicious attacks of colonialism that is currently maintained through neocolonialism and, in this current period, reflects itself through the regime of Jovenel Moise.

Africans around the world have to stand with Africans in Haiti

The way forward for Africans in Haiti is directly tied to the way forward for African people around the world, which is to be a part of a single, revolutionary struggle for the liberation of Africa and African people.

In a January 1, 2020 online broadcast titled “Koupe T t! Boule Kay! Lessons from the Haitian Revolution”—held on the date of Haiti’s independence, as declared by Jean-Jacques Dessalines—African Socialist International (ASI) Chairman Omali Yeshitela said that the same way Africans in Haiti told Africans around the world “come to Haiti and you will be free,” Africans around the world now have to say to Africans in Haiti “we will come to Haiti and you will be free!”

Africans around the world, especially those in the United States, have to express our condemnation for what is taking place in Haiti and tell Africans in Haiti that “we are with you.”

Africans in and out of Haiti must join the African Socialist International, the organization made up of African People’s Socialist Party organizations worldwide, and tie our struggle in Haiti to our struggles everywhere else.

We raise up the revolutionary slogan of Jean-Jacques Dessalines, which was “Koupe T t! Boule Kay!” Kreyol for “Cut Heads! Burn Houses!” and to tear this entire social system down.

Uhuru! Freedom in our Lifetime!

Viv Ayiti!

Viv Revolisyon!

Join the African People’s Socialist Party at APSPUhuru.org

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