By Marty Goodman, Socialist Action National Committee
On Oct. 17, the UN Security Council discussed imposing sanctions on Haiti, which would include an asset freeze, travel ban and an arms embargo. U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres proposed sending “a rapid action force” to help Haiti’s police remove a threat posed by armed gangs.
The United States and Mexico drafted two Security Council resolutions. One would impose sanctions on armed gangs in Haiti and their supporters. The other proposes “a limited, carefully scoped, non-U.N. mission led by a partner country with the deep, necessary experience required for such an effort to be effective,” said Linda Thomas-Greenfield, the US representative to the UN.
The U.S. has already lifted visas for eleven unnamed individuals. Mexico’s U.N. Ambassador Juan Ramon de la Fuente Ramirez said Oct. 18 that he expected “very, very soon” action on sanctions, “and then we’ll have to start working on the second one which is going to take a little more work and a few more days,” i.e., armed actions.
Posed as a non-UN armed force, it will be under the direction of the UN and its surrogates – entirely illegal under the UN Charter.
Socialist Action strongly opposes all sanctions on Haiti and any armed or unarmed U.S. or U.N. intervention. US imperialism and its surrogate, the UN, has no right to interfere in Haiti’s internal affairs.
The imposition of sanctions is a de facto act of war and a possible prelude to a full-scale military occupation. Sanctions and/or military intervention is a racist violation of Haiti’s sovereignty. Applied to 39 countries worldwide, US sanctions have served to enforce imperial US policy goals. Any US/UN intervention in Haiti poses a direct imperialist threat to nearby socialist Cuba, but also to Venezuela, Nicaragua and Colombia.
On Oct. 7, Haiti’s Council of Ministers authorized the de facto President and US puppet, Ariel Henry, to seek help from “international partners” to deploy a “specialized armed force” in Haiti. It is widely recognized that the US plays the key role in backing Henry’s massively corrupt presidency, which followed the assassination of ex-president Jouvenel Moise in 2021. Meanwhile, investigations have strongly linked Henry to the murder of Moise.
For over a year, Haitians have mobilized in the tens of thousands to demand that Henry step down. They also demand an end to the doubling of fuel costs ordered by Henry and the US-dominated World Bank/IMF. The mostly peaceful mass mobilizations are the result of exploitation, inequality and hunger imposed on Haiti by US imperialism and its stooges in the corrupt Haitian ruling elite.
Since 1915 there have been many US and/or US-led UN military occupations: 1915-1934 (Wilson), 1994-2000 (Clinton), 2004-2017 (Bush/Obama). These occupations were framed as restoring “democracy,” but were a means of repression. In particular, the 1915 occupation resulted in the deaths of thousands of Haitians, who rebelled against foreign occupation. The occupation reconfigured Haiti’s army as a force dedicated to repression, serving well US-backed dictatorships for decades.
The 2004 US-led UN occupation, several scientific studies concluded, were the cause of the 2010 outbreak of the water-born disease cholera, which killed 10,000 Haitians, while infecting some 820,000. Occupation forces, without any regard to its impact, dumped sewage into a waterway used for drinking and bathing. For years, the UN criminally denied responsibility. US attorneys representing the Obama administration backed the UN’s criminal conduct in court against families of cholera victims.
UN forces in Haiti brutally fired on minimum wage protests and riddled poor neighborhoods with bullets in strongholds of support for the elected ex-president, Jean-Bertrand Aristide, deposed in CIA-orchestrated coups in 1991 and 2004.
The crises of Haiti’s dictatorial rule – official corruption, gang violence, hunger, and insecurity –stem from the US/UN-enforced the status quo, reinforced by decades of foreign, i.e., US interference and occupation. The organization, Wikileaks, obtained official US documents that reveal wholesale US manipulation of a Haitian presidential election and the US strong-arming its parliament to oppose a raise in impoverished Haiti’s minimum wage.
We stand in solidarity with the Haitian people, who proudly say:
No to all US/UN intervention!
US/UN out of Haiti!
End US support to the dictatorship of de facto Haitian President Ariel Henry!
Haiti is for Haitians!