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Those who would destroy Haiti would destroy all sovereign peoples

March 21, 2010

by Professor Emeritus Willie Thompson

In the Haitian tradition of making a way out of no way, Angelo Meyanse, 13, collects bricks from the ruins of an old church to build a new home for his family six days after the earthquake, on Jan. 18. This is the church in Leogone where the great Haitian liberator Jean-Jacque Dessalines was married in the 18th century. – Photo: Carolyn Cole, LA Times
Haiti, your awesome revolt in 1791 against the revolting barbarity of French enslavement of the Africans was preceded by many revolts of the enslaved African-Haitians beginning as early as 1522. You never accepted that Africans at home and in the Diaspora can be enslaved, can be deprived of their property, liberty and humanity with impunity. African Haitians rejected that crime against humanity and unleashed the “irritated genie of African vindication and liberation.” But you fought alone, dying but fighting back.

I was not there in 1493 when Spain began its extermination campaign against the native Arawaks and enslaved Africans from Guinea, Angola and the Congo in 1508. I was absent when the planters used torture, terror and death to increase your productivity which “supplied two thirds of the overseas trade of France and was the greatest individual market for the European slave trade.” San Domingo “was the greatest colony in the world, the pride of France, and the envy of every other imperialist nation. The whole structure rested on the labor of half a million enslaved Africans. I should have been there when the irritated genie of African vengeance and liberation delivered its swift and awesome response.

I sent no condolences when Makandal, the Guinean, was executed in Limbe, when Boukman was murdered, when Toussaint was betrayed by the “phantom of liberty” and mercilessly starved to death in a French prison on the personal orders of Napoleon Bonaparte. I should have been there when Dessalines chose to take up the “irritated genie” of vengeance and liberation, rejected the deceitful “phantom of liberty” and was later assassinated.

I should have joined you, Haiti, in your courageous 269 years of rebellions and revolts against the Spanish and French criminals from 1522 to 1791, the year Boukman led the Blacks in a massive rebellion that ended in victory under the leadership of Dessalines and the irritated genie of vindication and liberation. I didn’t come to celebrate your victory over Napoleon and the surrender to you of his finest soldiers in November 1803.

I was not there when Petion, the ruler of Haiti and the Haitian people, nursed back to health the sick and defeated [Simon] Bolivar, gave him money, arms and a printing press and demanded the freedom of the enslaved Africans as a condition of Haiti’s support for his war against Spain, which ended in the freedom of the five states and their enslaved Africans: Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia.

I was silent when the United States of North America betrayed Haiti and the Haitian soldiers who fought side by side with the Continental army in the Battle of Savannah in the revolutionary war. I did not say no when the U.S. supported France in its war against Haiti and its immoral and criminal demand for reparations for the French enslavers.

I was not there when Haiti proclaimed its independence in January 1804; I was absent in 1807 when two separate states were created in Haiti along class and color lines; I was not there in 1825 when your parliament agreed, under the threat of a French invasion, to pay reparations or indemnities of $90 million to the French enslavers for the loss of their “property.”

I said nothing when the United States of North America refused to recognize your independence for 60 years. I allowed the U.S. to invade you in 1915 and occupy and rape your mothers, daughters and sisters for 19 years and humiliate and rob you of your dignity and summarily transfer the entire contents of your treasury to the New York City Bank on the orders of Roger Farnham, the vice president of National City Bank.

I stood by idly when the U.S. supported both “papa” and “baby” “docs’” Duvalier and numerous other monsters until President Jean-Bertrand Aristide abolished the corrupt, demoralized and divided Haitian army, created by the United States, which killed only Haitians.

Haitians claim their right to self-determination by ignoring the U.N. soldiers trying to stop them from seeking jobs at the U.N. airport compound on Jan. 19. They need the jobs not only because their families are dying of thirst, hunger and need of medical care, but these jobs would facilitate distribution of the huge stockpile of relief supplies stored at the Port au Prince airport – out of reach of the people who need them and for whom they were donated. – Photo: Wolfgang Rattay, Reuters
I was nearly complicit during the current U.S. government’s neo-conservative and media destabilization campaign and embargo against loans you are paying interest on but have not yet received for health care, potable water and roads; I should have said no! no! no! in the year 2000 when the U.S. “blocked every penny of international capital to the government of Haiti”; I was not there when the corporate and some independent media and so-called progressives lied and hid the truth about Haiti and President Jean-Bertrand Aristide’s popularly democratic elected government.

I am finally demonstrating in the streets, lobbying in Washington, D.C., and educating about Haiti throughout the Atlantic region because, dear Haiti, the barbarous, totalitarian monsters of torture, terror, repression and death came for me also. I knew that I could no longer sit silently by or limit my struggles to my problems alone.

I am mobilizing the North American people about your literacy campaign and “Universal Schooling Program,” your defense of children’s rights, your awakening of the poor to their humanity and equality; your liberation theology, your programs to reduce poverty, your program to pose an alternative to globalization and corporate domination and threats to our liberty in the U.S. I am actively with you in your demand for debt relief and restitution from the French government and private corporations for reparations you were forced to pay the French.

The Haitian government, with my active support, is now demanding from France $21.7 billion in restitution. I arrived late, but we came to fight for the poor against unjust wars for peace, justice, equality and the protection of your sovereignty and our constitutional rights from the hegemonic designs of the so-called coalition of coerced “super powers” built on the backs of labor, including the labor of the enslaved Africans. We will see the end of “the uses of Haiti,” the degradation of human rights and the environment.

I feel that I am among a growing number of North American grassroots activists whose goal is to educate everyone about the U.S. wars and actively struggle against them and for national sovereignty and preservation of the U.S. Constitution. Thank you for the work you’ve done, the sacrifice of your sweat and then your blood for freedom and dignity which the U.S. ambassador, on Nov. 18, 2003, sought to deny you by not appearing with the U.S. delegation to honor the 200th anniversary of your revolution. We, Haiti and its allies, will own the next 200 years and the future of humanity and the environment.

Sources: Jacob Caruthers, “The Irritated Genie: An Essay on the Haitian Revolution” (The Kemetic Institute, Chicago, Ill., 1985), C.L.R. James, “The Black Jacobins: Toussaint L’Overture and the San Domingo Revolution” (1963, Vintage, 1989) and “The U.S. War Against Haiti: Hidden From the Headlines,” Haiti Action Committee, P.O. Box 2218, Berkeley, CA 94702, www.haitiaction.net. I’m indebted to Pierre Labossiere whose invaluable contribution made this statement possible.

This statement of solidarity with the Haitian people was written in December 2003, not long before the coup of Feb. 29, 2004. It was to be presented to the Haitian government and grassroots organizations on the celebration of the 200th anniversary of the glorious Haiti revolution of 1804. Professor Thompson is a freelance reporter and an activist in the African Diaspora liberation movement in the Atlantic region. He is founder and chairman of African North America XXI, a branch of Afro-America XXI , a community development process headquartered in Honduras. It is hoped that other individuals and groups will endorse these sentiments, which are especially timely since the Jan. 12 earthquake. For further information, email Professor Thompson at lizzie1907@gmail.com.

Afterword: After reading this story in the Bay View print edition, Coyote Sheff, a prisoner in the notorious Ely State Prison in Nevada, wrote to thank the writer, Professor Emeritus Willie Thompson: “I couldn’t help but fall in love with his words. He really breaks down the history of Haiti and turns it into a poem at the same time! That’s amazing to me! I could really use this article to teach people in here about the history and struggle of Haiti.”

3 thoughts on “Those who would destroy Haiti would destroy all sovereign peoples

  1. Jan Francis

    It is sad to learn that the people of Haiti are suffering at the hands of the UN. They have suffered enough, why are they not allow to seek jobs in their own country? Millions of dollars and pounds has been raised to help the peoplee, the rainey season will soon be starting how will they live without proper shelter?.

    The people does not need to be chased by soldiers with guns, they need help not lip service.History told us the suffering that Hatians underwent over the centuries.Please let them have some peace at this critical time.
    One love
    Jan

    Reply
  2. Malaika H. Kambon

    LIBERTE
    25 March 2010

    SI YO TIRE SOU NOU, YO PRAN. SI YO PA TIRE SOU NOU, YO PRAN
    ‘If they shoot at us they are doomed, and if they don’t shoot at us they doomed. They cannot win…’

    — Chant of the people of Bel Air, Haiti, on 4 March 2005 – taking to the streets just a few days after, in plain site of U.N. troops and the international media, the official Haitian police killed, beat and tear-gassed unarmed demonstrators

    The above saying is still true – even more so now than it was in 2005.

    However, Haiti needs more than just humanitarian aid.

    She needs her self determination, sovereignty, dignity, and human rights not to be interfered with by oppressors.

    She also deeply needs a cessation of the on-going coups d’etat against her: particularly the one that is keeping her twice democratically elected and much beloved first family stranded in South Africa.

    She needs not to have to deal with fascist, simple minded, handkerchief head, spineless house negroes like Condeleeza Rice, Colin Powell, and Barack Obama; who do nothing but oppress her and / or do the bidding of their white, corporate Masters and send others to oppress her in their stead.

    The Euro-Amerikkkan coup d’etat against Haiti is obviously being continued.

    What is happening now, complete with U.S. ‘weather weapons’** which cause devastating and unnatural disasters, and imported enslavers and cullard despots (such as Gerard LaTortue) is a continuous coup d’etat – and a continuous revolution for freedom – that was begun in 1492 when Cristobal Colon’s lost a** stumbled onto AYITI, and proceeded to massacre the Arawak-Taino peoples there, (albeit stealing 5 or 6 of them to take to Spain to begin life long servitude at the foot of Spain’s nasty minded royalty.

    (**See: ‘Are They That Sick? Did U.S. Weapon Destroy Haiti?’ http://www.sfbayview.com/2010/are-they-that-sick-did-u-s-weather-weapon-destroy-haiti/)

    Check out as well, the following short video of William Clinton (wife – and this isn’t a typo – of Hillary Rodham Clinton) and George W. Bush – who is not sane by any standards – (and is the wife of who god only knows who) shaking hands ??!!) with Haitians, like conquering heros home to take over ‘their’ lands…

    VIDEO: BUSH WIPES HANDS ON CLINTON’S SHIRT?
    http://www.randirhodes.com/cc-common/news/sections/newsarticle.html?feed=104668&article=6911268

    It can be argued that there isn’t a Haitian in the universe who should want to shake hands with two of the biggest and nastiest destabilizers of Haiti and coup supporters against President Jean-Bertrand Aristide that exist in the known universe.

    This is truth.

    However that fact does not excuse what Bush does… he shakes hands with Haitians then wipes his hand on the SHIRT AND ARM of William Clinton… who has the audacity to look at him funny after he does this, (as if to say – not in public, fool…)

    So – here we see Obama’s senselessly stupid and manipulative act of ‘bi-partisan-can’t-we-all-just-be-friends-’color blind’-surgically-attached-lips to-massa’s-ass-crack-poly-tricks’ in motion.

    By him installing the two biggest destabilizers of Haiti into positions of power in Haiti: Bush & Clinton… he is silently co-signing the coup d’etat of 2004 against President Aristide, and silently bidding on property that isn’t his, and silently sending thieves into his self-U.S. created pen amongst the people of an unarmed, traumatized, and depleted country.

    This act is bearing the strange fruits of the Obama-drama labors to re-enslave Haiti: The enslaver: George W. Bush shaking hands with Haitians – and then wiping his hand on Clinton’s shirt & arm immediately afterwards.

    Bear in mind as well that this is the same bu$h-it individual who, when still the sitting president of this country, had the audacity to go to Brazil and to ask Condoleeza Rice – of all people – if there were any Black people in Brazil!!!

    She being the good li’l face saving fascist that she is, had to eat humble pie and explain to the doddering drooling fool that South America has the 2nd largest African population in the world; and that (therefore) yes, there are Afrikans in Brazil.

    But Haiti is not defeated. She is still resisting. She is still winning.

    The power of the Children of Dessalines meet the class contradictions, racism, and genocide tactics of Condoleeza Rice, Gerard Latortue, Colin Powell, Barack Obama, George W. Bush, William Clinton, and a host of others.

    The Children of Dessalines need us in more ways than one; strong and standing shoulder to shoulder with her, come what may, damn the odds, and to the bitter end or until the most glorious conclusion.

    Ayiti remains the ‘Spirit of Ogun.’

    Euro-American empire builders and corporations will continue to lose.

    It is a war without terms, and we are fighting to win.

    A Luta Continua

    Reply

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