On Saturday, Oct. 16, the United States and Canada sent military equipment and weapons to Haiti, which was called for by the U.S. in the United Nations after an extended period of unrest. This is an absolute travesty, a mark of shame and show of hypocrisy from the United States.
While the Russian Federation has been rightly condemned for militarily invading Ukraine, most are unaware of the arming in Haiti, which was ostensibly done to curb the rampant crime and unrest on the island. However, this claim is a lie by omission. Since 2018, Haiti has been marked by mass upheaval. Stemming from a surge in the price of fuel, the people have been demanding an end to the economic chaos.
Last year, President of Haiti Jovenel Moïse was assassinated by Colombian nationals. This raised eyebrows as Colombia is known as “the Israel of South America,” referring to the fact that Colombia has long been an American ally and outpost in the region. The U.S. has consistently supported the Colombian state both from within and without as an ally. This is mainly due to its strategic position in the northern region of South America., where U.S. influence can be projected southward into the continent and eastward into the Caribbean. Although the former president was extremely unpopular and a focal point for the opposition in Haiti, the instability did not die with him, as the fuel policy has continued. The terrible irony of the situation is that the very nations claiming to reign in the chaos in Haiti are the very nations that caused the chaos in the first place.
Haiti is a case study in the absolute failure of capitalism forced onto the Global South by the wealthiest nations of the world. Since the mid-1990s when the International Monetary Fund began restructuring Haiti’s economy to slash social safety nets, the island has been in a state of utter mismanagement. Major industries were privatized and foreign goods were subsidized, allowing cheap American-made goods to flood the market. This forced many Haitians into the sweatshops that were now being used to provide cheap labor for overseas investment. The stark conditions were forcibly maintained as the United States established a regime change in Haiti in 1991 in Operation Uphold Democracy. Regime change, as always in the case of capitalism, is no accident. In order to maintain these pro-investment conditions, the U.S. had to ensure Haiti’s leadership was favorable to it.
U.S. meddling in Haiti is nothing new. In December 1914, eight U.S. soldiers walked into the national bank of Haiti and walked out with $500,000 in gold. This gold was in the vaults of a Wall Street bank within the week. This preceded a 19-year U.S. military occupation of Haiti which began the following year. The economy of Haiti was run by U.S. firms because, as Woodrow Wilson said, it was the United States’ job to teach Latin Americans “to elect good men.” The occupation was brutal. Thousands of opponents to the occupation were executed and thousands more were killed in forced labor camps.
As a tangent, for anyone keeping up with my articles lately, a pattern should be emerging: The United States has never and will never intervene in Latin America for “humanitarian” reasons. From Haiti, to the Dominican Republic, to Cuba, to Guatemala, to Mexico, to Honduras, to Nicaragua, to Salvador, to Panama, to Venezuela, to Chile, to Brazil, to Bolivia and to Argentina, the history of American involvement in Latin America has been nothing but repression and the extraction of super-profits on the backs of Latin American people. This is particularly tragic in the case of Haiti because, for so many, Haiti was a beacon of liberation and emancipation. It was only the second nation to gain independence in the Western Hemisphere, doing so in 1804. Their independence movement was led by slaves who overthrew an absolutely barbaric occupation and slave system. Now it is the IMF and American military enslaving the people of Haiti, and they have been resolute in their opposition. We all should be making noise, putting pressure on our officials and raising the voices of the people in Haiti. No people are tied forever to the hand they have been dealt. Haiti is trying to carve its own path in the world. They should be able to do this with no outside attempts to take away the sovereignty they fought for and won.