A Haitian Activist Responds to Trump’s Provocation: Let’s Stand Up and Resist!
By Berthony Dupont *
(reprinted from Issue No. 69 — Jan. 19, 2018 — of the IWC Newsletter)
There are actions that cannot be labelled as incidents or accidents, but rather must be understood as cynical and foolish undertakings flowing from the class struggle. That is what happened a month ago, when Donald Trump, the president of the United States, repealed the “Temporary Protective Status” (TPS), and then declared that “Haitian immigrants all have AIDS” — or even worse, when on 11 January he further insulted not only the entire nation of Haiti, but also the whole African continent.
It should be noted that the great imperialist powers were the ones who split the world up among themselves, creating their own exclusive domains for their capitalist monopolies – domains that they continue to exploit and dominate till this day. They are now bogged down in contradictions of their own making, to the point where they are racked by major crises in their own countries. Thus they seek to make immigrant workers the scapegoats for all their woes; immigrants who are simply following the tracks of the resources that were looted from their countries. That is the meaning of the ignominious, barbaric, and scandalous declaration by Donald Trump, leader of the international vultures.
To try to understand the hidden face of this aggression, which has continued and deepened under Washington’s racist government, some facts need to be remembered and explained.
Contemptuously calling Haiti a “shithole”
With unbound contempt, Haiti has been called a “shithole”. It is not by chance, nor is it without significance, that Haiti has been linked to Africa. In any case, what we need to remember first and foremost is that this situation was created by colonialism. Yes, let us not forget history. The slave-owning imperialist powers never digested the fact that Haiti put an end to their profitable system of slavery, which went on to flourish in the United States up until 8 April 1864 — 60 years after the Haitian revolutionaries abolished slavery in 1804. These 60 years are looked on with great nostalgia by the racist capitalist system.
The declarations by U.S. imperialism’s spokesperson have contributed to clarifying the true nature and objectives of the U.S. administration in relation to the immigrants. Trump would rather have immigrants from Norway than from Africa, Haiti, Central America, and other poor regions of the world. Is this not a demonstration of hate from the son of a colonialist — from this businessman, this racist, in order to undermine the main force of resistance: the working class?
Haiti is being called a “shithole” by the very ones who have relentlessly exploited and impoverished our country. On 17 December 1914, the U.S. Marines carried off the country’s gold reserve, stored in the National Bank of the Republic of Haiti. This reserve was estimated at the time to be worth $500,000. It was then deposited in National City Bank, in preparation of the first U.S. occupation of Haiti, an occupation that lasted 19 years, from 1915 to 1934.
Trump has insulted a country that the United States occupies
Donald Trump has insulted a country that the United States occupied and occupies to this day, under the shameful cover of the United Nations. If Haiti is a “shithole” country, as Trump thinks, it is because the United States drove it to this deplorable state, through countless coups d’état against all the progressive regimes, creating criminal paramilitary forces, so that they could weaken us and destabilize us. Today, Haiti is the product, the result, of a U.S. design for what was once called the Pearl of the West Indies.
If Haiti is a “shitty” country, it is because we are subject daily to the programme of the imperial monsters. Didn’t Hillary and Bill Clinton, and the American Red Cross, pocket the donations that were given to Haiti after the 12 January 2010 earthquake, for the reconstruction of the country? Didn’t former president of the United States Bill Clinton, speaking before the Foreign Relations Committee of the U.S. Senate on 10 March 2010, admit the role his administration had played in provoking the collapse of the Haitian rice industry? If Haiti is a “shithole” country, it is due to the fact that Washington has done everything it could to further impoverish us. Thus, it is the United States that dug the “shithole”. And it is only by their manoeuvrings for “regime change” [the U.S. policy of changing regimes, like in Libya or the Ukraine – Editor’s note] that they have managed to impose their lackeys over us.
The struggle of the entire international working class
So, as the enemy never sleeps, we must not have any illusions. On the contrary, we must prepare ourselves to defend our country. Hasn’t the time come to give the enemies of the peoples the lesson they deserve? In this context, we are going to march, to protest and to energetically denounce, on Friday 19 November 2018, from Brooklyn to Wall Street in Manhattan, the very nerve centre of the capitalist system. The imperialist offensive that is underway will only end when it is stopped by the mobilisation of popular progressive forces, with internationalist solidarity and support.
There is no doubt that we will win, because our cause is just and our intrepid people are invincible. Each and every Haitian, wherever they are, must view himself or herself as a soldier on the front lines, and carry his/herself accordingly, engaged in a sacred battle to save the homeland in danger.
Once again, this is not only an immigrants’ fight, it is the fight of the entire international working class.
United, we must rise up and resist, for a fairer and more just world!
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* Berthony Dupont is the editor in chief of the weekly Haïti Liberté newspaper and a member of the Continuations Committee of the International Workers Committee Against War and Exploitation, For a Workers International (IWC). The subheadings are by the editors of the IWC Newsletter.