In case you missed it, you can check the show here or just press play below
One of our guests couldn’t make it, cuz she was having problems connecting to us from Haiti. But we promised Miami’s own Mamyrah Douge Prosper that we would give her a chance to share her thoughts, and here they are…enjoy…
One year after the earthquake, there are no substantial positive changes that have been effectuated. Instead, Haiti has plummetted into a greater state of dependence and poverty. People still live under tents and conditions of hygiene have worsened. The Haitian Popular Movement has publicized its position that has already been echoed by different groups in the Social Justice Movement in the United States: The Occupation must stop!
In 2004, the “International Community” saw it fit to usurp a movement that had been led by students in the public universities in Haiti to remove Aristide from power. In order to protect its interests, it quietly deposed Aristide and therefore prevented the Haitian people from exercizing their democratic right to protest and create change in their own way for their country. In hopes to stabilize the political climate and strenghten its control, the “International Community” deployed United Nations troops unto sovereign Haitian soil. This was done with the approval and support of the certain members of the Haitian elites, both political and economic.
Today we are commemorating the loss of the lives of over 250,000 people who perished last year during the earthquake. The Haitian Popular Movement has been fighting for an alternative Haiti since the 80s and the earthquake has not changed their political orientation but instead has served as a re-inforcement of their critiques of capitalism and more importantly of imperialism. Neo-liberal policies that had been proposed by the IMF and the World Bank have debilitated the infrastructures of an already weakened Haitian State and country. The devastation caused by the earthquake was an example of those failed policies.
In 2004, it wasn’t the U.S. troops that were sent in. Instead, imperialism took on a different face: one that looked quite like ours. Brazil is at the head of this Occupation on the ground as it worked to secure its position as a member of the G-20. There should not be a naive assumption that members of the supposed Global South share solidarity. In 2010, after the earthquake, more troops were deployed from other countries of the Global South such as Nepal, Jordan, Rwanda, etc. Additionally, there was in influx of NGOs into the country again represented by people from the Global South. The imperialist project no longer is invisble and no longer is “White”.
The Haitian State has relinquished its decision-making powers to an International Interim Commission led by former U.S. president Clinton. Haiti is no longer sovereign even though its people continue to struggle as an independent people. The Commission, the UN troops, the NGOs, and I would even add the missionary groups are all manifestations of Imperialism at work in Haiti.
The aid that was so generously donated by the people of the world to Haiti has NOT been funneled to the Haitian peoeple. Instead, it has served to supplement the salaries of certain Haitian government officials, and most significantly and disgustingly of the UN troops and NGO staff. As people continue to live under tents, and now to combat an imported cholera, the UN troops and NGO staff enjoy their leisure time in Haiti and psychological leaves outside of the country. The Commission has only met 3 times for the past year.
What the Haitian Popular Movement requires of its international allies is to continue to demand of their own decision-makers the removal of ALL foreigh presence on Haitian soil in the obvious forms of Occupation. It is not simply a surge of extreme nationalism that drives the movement but the need to exercise Self-Determination, something that ALL people in ALL countries understand. Our self-determination also includes our making our own mistakes on our own time. Haitians in Haiti are already organized and prepared to decide among themselves what version of Haiti they would like. We simply need the freedom to put our ideas to work. The Occupation must stop! The UN troops must go! The Commission must be revoked! The NGOs must go!