Socialist Worker

Revolt in Haiti grows against shortages, corruption and US

by Charlie Kimber
Issue No. 2674

Protest in Haiti

Protests in Haiti have been taking place all year - protesters say the government are thieves (Pic: Medyalokal/Wikipedia)


People in Haiti have risen in revolt against the US-backed regime of president Jovenel Moise.

They have destroyed several police headquarters, attacked residences of government officials, and burned a jail and courts to the ground.

Protests in the Caribbean country have been taking place for months, but they accelerated last week. At least four people were killed by police.

Haitians are protesting at widespread food and fuel shortages, price rises and corruption.

But the rising also reflects decades of interference by the US and systemic poverty.

And Haiti has repeatedly been hit by hurricanes associated with climate change.

Money

A Haitian court found in June this year that Moise had grabbed Venezuelan aid money for himself. But he has refused to step down, triggering protests.

The fury against him exploded last week.

In the capital Port-au-Prince’s wealthier neighbourhoods of Delmas and Petion Ville, angry crowds looted several stores, banks and money transfer offices, cash machines and pharmacies. They also set a building on fire.

Crowds stripped the abandoned police station in Cite Soleil, Port?au?Prince’s poorest neighbourhood, of metal roofing, furniture and police protection equipment.

They had stormed it after a battle of several hours against ­heavily?armed police.

Protesters have armed ­themselves with guns, rocks and petrol bombs.

Al Jazeera’s reporter said, “In Port?Au-Prince, public services, shops and businesses are closed. Public transportation is at a standstill.

“Demonstrators have blocked roadways using anything in their disposal from debris to burning tyres since early on Friday.”

The Haiti Information Project reported, “Many protesters hold Donald Trump and the US Embassy responsible for propping up and arming Moise. Many are chanting ‘Down with Trump’ and ‘Long live Venezuela’.”

The fall of Moise and the end of US interference would be the ­beginning of a way forward in Haiti.


Haiti timeline

  • 1804 Haiti wins independence following a slave revolt. It becomes the first black republic.
  • 1915 US president Woodrow Wilson orders an occupation of Haiti after overthrow of US-friendly dictator Jean Vilbrun Guillaume Sam. He had threatened to stop debt repayments flowing from money “owed” in compensation to slave owners.
  • 1957 The murderous regime of Francois “Papa Doc” Duvalier takes over.
  • 1971 “Papa Doc” hands over to his son Jean?Claude “Baby Doc” Duvalier.
  • 1986 Massive uprising overthrows “Baby Doc”.
  • 1990 Leftist Jean-Bertrand Aristide is elected president.
  • 1991 Aristide is overthrown in coup. He returned to office but was overthrown again in 2004 by a coup that was backed by the US and France.
  • 2010 An earthquake devastates Haiti. The Western powers and the NGOs fail to provide effective aid.
  • 2017 Jovenal Moise becomes president after a rigged election.

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