By Carlos Aznárez on January 23, 2016
Port-au-Prince and other Haitian cities are today the stage of the largest popular uprising in decades of the suffering Haitian nation. Tens of thousands of demonstrators have taken to the street to show their revulsion against the current government of Michell Martelly and his decision, against the will of the vast majority of Haitians, to hold elections on Sunday January 24. Opposition parties have labeled the whole process as an “electoral masquerade”. A Deafening scream has begun to rise from the poorest corners of the cities that has even overflowed into the residential streets of Petion-Ville with unusual ferocity. It is the people in full force, resisting and honoring their independence and anti-slavery origins of 1804. This wave of struggle has the potential to generate an anti-imperialist offensive that will write a new chapter in their own history as they stand up and say a huge; “Enough!”.
-Enough of the use of Haiti as a laboratory of occupation by the United States and its allies.
-Enough of the occupying troops of the so called United Nations Stabilization Mission. (MINUSTAH) whose mission is supposedly to bring humanitarian help to the Haitian people but has done the exact opposite. The actions of the UN troops have left a trail of repression and occupation including the raping and the transmission of the cholera epidemic that has caused the deaths of tens of thousands.
-Enough of Latin-American complicity with the invading United Nations troops
-Enough of the international hypocrisy in the degrading and shameful “aid missions” headed up by former US president Bill Clinton whose real mission is to further the ties of dependency and domination of the Haitian people.
It is for these reasons that during the last few weeks Haiti has clearly become a pre-revolutionary scene; producing in these last few days a truly massive popular uprising. They have faced up to the criminal stubbornness of Martelly and his henchmen who are trying to hijack the elections in the first place. There has been some formal epistles against this from the opposition parties but it has been the thousands of young people who decided to take the future into their own hands by filling the streets; first peacefully waving slogans against the Electoral Council and the resignation of the president.
But when the brutal repression from the police and the troops of Minustah began those who had mobilized began to exercise the logical and necessary popular violence that arises in situations like the one that the Haitian people are facing today. This popular violence always produces repudiation and reaction by the oligarchy and the petit bourgeoisie (including some sectors of the left) because they cannot understand that the patience of the people has clear limits.
In the last few hours there have been compelling examples of class struggle as students, workers and fighters of all generations crossed the La Saline Boulevard and stormed into the Bel-Air neighborhood on route to Delmas, shouting “Martelly has to go. We are the Government.” In the Saint-Pierre square the police and some peacekeepers from Minustah attacked the crowd with rubber bullets, and tear gas, but the young people did not give up and began to lift barricades and set tires on fire in the street. The Molotov cocktails, stones and other similar objects were the answer to the violence of the military that in a few minutes created pandemonium by making the air unbreathable due to the gas. Cars were burned, and the local ruling party offices destroyed. The word of mouth traveling on the street was “nobody leave the streets, we are the people’s power”.
When the bulk of protesters had invaded the upper class area of Petion-Ville merchants quickly closed their doors. A youth being beaten by members of Martelly’s party was rapidly defended by the protestors fueling the magnitude of the people as they destroyed vehicles and some official establishments.
It was at that very moment that the news spread like wildfire that, “the Government has decided to cancel the elections on the 24th for security reasons”. The outbreak of joy rumbled throughout the territory and slogans demanding that Martelly leave office redoubled. “Until he resigns no one will go home”, was shouted from the roof of a vehicle by one of the Haitian fighters. And thousands of hands making the V for victory rose in the air.
So this is how the scene is at this time, despite the media misrepresentation of the events, in a nation that Latin America and the Caribbean owe so much to. Among many other things is that the victory of the uprising of 1804 was the spark that lit up the later struggles for independence throughout the hemisphere.
What is needed now from the international solidarity movement is that in those Latin American countries that are involved in the invasion and occupation of Haiti everything is done to end this shameful situation. And that in return, the popular organizations of the continent raise concrete solidarity with the people in the streets who are fighting with all the means at their disposal for ultimate independence.
Translated by the North America Bureau, Resumen Latinoamericano
Source: Resumen Latinoamericano