Protests in Haiti Over Hunger and Repressive Rule

Protests in Haiti Over Hunger and Repressive Rule

by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.orgHome – Stephen Lendman)

US controlled Haiti endured over 500 years of severe repression, slavery, despotism, colonization, reparations, embargoes, sanctions, deep poverty, starvation, unrepayable debt, overwhelming human suffering, and destructive natural disasters.

Elections when held are farcical, democracy pure fantasy, Jean-Bertrand Aristide’s tenure the exception to the longstanding rule.

He once said “(t)he people of Haiti want life, not death. They want peace, not violence. They want democracy, not repression.” 

US colonization of the country denies them their fundamental rights – an entire population subjugated by Washington, suffering under its imperial boot.

Haiti is the region’s poorest country, its per capita income a small fraction of the Latin and Central American average, the vast majority of its people deeply impoverished, living on less than $2 a day, many less than $1.25 a day, affected by malnutrition, diarrheal and other diseases, along with overall severe deprivation.

Instead of improving, things keep deteriorating. Life expectancy is 57 years – compared to the Latin and Central American average of 69 years.

Most Haitians are illiterate. Only about one-fifth of secondary-age children attend school. One-fourth or less of the population has access to safe water.

Millions of Haitians are food insecure. According to Mission Belem’s Renata Lopez, “(t)here are many, many problems in Haiti (including) lack of good water, lack of electricity, and hunger,” adding:

Hunger is most serious “because most of the people (have no jobs), and if they don’t work, there aren’t enough meals in a day. They can't manage the situation with their families.”

Hunger, malnutrition, slow starvation for many, mass unemployment, and repression are state-sponsored national calamities. Mission Belem calls the country “chronically hungry.”

According to the World Food Program’s State of Food Insecurity in the World report, over half of Haitians are malnourished, many severely. It’s the key contributing factor to low life expectancy, along with untreated or poorly treated illnesses and diseases.

What’s heard daily in Haiti is people saying “I am hungry,” the misery most of its people endure.

In February 2017, Jovenel Moise succeeded US puppet/provisional Haitian president Jocelerme Privert. Turnout was 18%. The vast majority of Haitians boycotted the farcical process.

Moise is Washington’s man in Port-au-Prince. Reviled by Haitians, many thousands are protesting against him, demanding he resign, public anger in the country continuing since last summer over intolerable conditions, deep corruption, and repressive rule.

One protestor earlier said if the president refuses to resign, “we will cut off the roads and burn everything, because we have nothing else to lose.”

Ongoing protests in Port-au-Prince and other cities caused at least eight deaths since January, hundreds injured, scores arrested, vehicles burned, a police station and businesses attacked, parts of the nation paralyzed – forcing closure of public offices, schools and enterprises.

February 7 marked the second anniversary of Moise’s tenure. He may not be around for a third of his five-year term.

Last year he survived an assassination attempt during a public event. Violence rocked Haiti last summer and fall, expressing public anger over Moise’s rule – millions taking to the streets nationwide.

They began over so-called PetroCaribe account plundering of around $3.8 billion, a fund established to finance schools, hospitals, clinics, and roads, lost to massive corruption.

Opposition leader Moise Jean Charles said “protests will continue until Moise resigns. If (he) does not…step down from power, we are going to name an interim president in the coming days.”

A so-called Core Group comprised of the UN special representative in Haiti, envoys from the US, EU, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Spain, and OAS sided with the despotic Moise regime over long-suffering Haitians, saying:

It “deplores the loss of life and property damage caused by the unacceptable acts of violence that took place on the margins of the rallies, while acknowledging the professionalism demonstrated by the Haitian National Police” – ignoring how repressively they operate, serving privileged interests over beneficial social change.

Protests show no signs of ebbing. Moise’s days may be numbered. Staying or leaving won’t change a thing.

Haitians suffer under Washington’s imperial grip and despotic rule, Aristide’s tenure the exception to the rule.

The nation’s ruling authorities are installed to serving Western interests, ordinary Haitians exploited for profit, suffering from the scourge of imperial dominance.

A Final Comment

In February 2017, the Trump regime turned truth on its head, saying the “inauguration of a democratically-elected president allows Haiti to return to democratic and constitutional rule.”

The hypocrisy needs no elaboration. Rigged Haitian elections have no legitimacy, a reality ignored by Republicans and undemocratic Dems.

The contrast with what’s going on in Venezuela is stark, its democratically elected and reelected President Maduro declared illegitimate by Trump regime hardliners – going all-out to topple him, perhaps by military intervention if ongoing tactics fail.

Note: What have the NYT and rest of US major media reported about Venezuela – plenty almost daily since Trump illegally recognized usurper in waiting Guaido interim (puppet) president, their reporting entirely one-sided, supporting the coup attempt.

What have they reported about Haitian suffering, rigged elections and despotic rule – practically nothing. Rare reports repeat the official narrative.

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My newest book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

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