In the wake of the devastation following the 7.0 earthquake on January 12, 2010, the African People’s Solidarity Committee, a white organization working under the leadership of the African People’s Socialist Party, expresses our deepest solidarity with African people in Haiti.
With at least 50,000 dead, hundreds of thousands injured and more than 3.5 million homeless, the conditions on the island have been described as unimaginable. With relief efforts moving slowly and the threat of mass starvation mounting, U.S. military occupation forces are being sent in, raising the specter of the brutal treatment of African people in New Orleans following the 2005 Hurricane Katrina.
U.S. president Barack Obama has promised a massive U.S. relief effort with a pledge of $100 million to be sent to Haiti as an outpouring of support comes in from throughout the U.S. and around the world. All major media sources have sent reporters to the country’s capital, Port-au-Prince.
We unite with the efforts to send massive resources into Haiti as quickly as possible.
But the disaster hit Haiti 200 years ago and its problem is the colonial devastation that has long subjected this proud and once independent and prosperous African-led country to live on a diet of mud pies and dwell in tin shanty towns.
A strong earthquake is deadly, but a 7.2 tremor in the San Francisco Bay Area in 1989 resulted in 63 deaths as opposed to the tens of thousands in Haiti.
We are forced to ask, where was the North American outcry and outpouring of support over the past 25 years as Africans from Haiti were locked up in vile U.S. detention camps in their desperate attempts to escape the conditions imposed on them by U.S. economic policies that force the people to live on less than $2 a day?
As the bodies of Africans struggling for asylum from Haiti washed up on south Florida beaches where was the mass mobilization of resources to the already devastated island?
Where was the outrage when Haiti’s democratically elected President Jean-Bertrand Aristide was kidnapped by the Bush administration in 2004, deposed from his position and exiled to Africa?
We recognize that Africans in Haiti are the people who freed themselves from enslavement by waging the first successful workers’ revolutionary movement against French colonial powers in the Western Hemisphere. They are the people who defeated Napoleon’s army of 30,000 French troops in 1804, declaring Haiti a free and independent country open as a refuge for anyone in the world seeking to escape oppression and injustice.
Following the victorious revolution in Haiti, the U.S. and much of Europe imposed an economic embargo on the island. France then forced the Haitian people to pay “reparations” for its lost “property” which included enslaved African people themselves on land stolen from the indigenous Taino people who now have been wiped off the face of the earth.
As an article on the Uhuru News web site states, “The United States occupied the island from 1915 to 1934. This U.S. occupation dismantled Haiti’s revolutionary constitutional system that prohibited land being purchased by foreigners.
“The U.S. occupation reinstituted the enslavement of African people to build roads, and established the National Guards that ran the country after the marines left. In the process the U.S. looted the entire treasury of Haiti.
“This is why Haiti is the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere today, why Africans are forced to live in shanties, subsist on a diet of mud pies and are regularly shot down by U.N. armed forces! Africans continue to have no control over our resources, our Africa and our lives everywhere.”
The reality is that the U.S. is a wealthy and powerful imperialist country built on the enslavement of African people and the genocide of Indigenous people for the benefit of the white population. All of the U.S.-pledged relief aid will never transform the colonial devastation imposed on Haiti.
The Uhuru Movement led by the African People’s Socialist Party is calling for African people worldwide to join together for a united relief effort to African people in Haiti under the slogan of “One Africa, one people, one destiny!”
The Uhuru Movement is leading the campaign for Africans on the Continent of Africa, inside the U.S., the Caribbean or wherever they have been forcibly dispersed around the world to organize to reunite and liberate Africa under the leadership of the African working class. This is the goal of the Party-led African Socialist International which has been built in the U.S., Canada, the U.K, Sierra Leone and other places in the African world.
The African People’s Solidarity Committee is calling on white people to support the African-led programs and campaigns to win self-determination for African people worldwide as the only solution to natural and human-made disasters.
We are calling other white people to join us in standing for reparations to African people and to join and support the Uhuru Solidarity Movement campaign for Africa’s Resources in African Hands.
The only way to transform the horrendous conditions that African people suffer under colonialism and neo-colonialism is by African workers themselves taking control over all their resources and land. Charity only keeps the power and resources in the hands of imperialism and the white world.
We understand that the only sustainable future for the planet, for us and for all humanity lies in genuine solidarity with self-determination and liberation for African people and all oppressed people, not in the continuation of imperialist war, plunder and hoarding scarce resources at the expense of others!
Solidarity Not Charity!
For more information contact the Uhuru Solidarity Movement national office: 215-387-0919, firstname.lastname@example.org.