Karl Leveque Institute

Remembering Haitian History

Eat and drink: A luxury for the majority of the Haitian population

haitian food

Why an inquiry into the right to food?

The right to food is one of the fundamental rights of the person. The life of every human being is linked to the enjoyment of this right. Over the past two years, the standard of living of the Haitian population has deteriorated considerably. The prices of necessities are so high that eating enough to eat is now a luxury for most Haitians. Malnutrition affects all age groups, even pregnant women, children and the elderly are not exempt.

This situation can not be more shocking, deserves special attention from human rights organizations. Yet most of the reports of violations that have so far been published have focused on prolonged detention, unlawful arrest, ill-treatment, killings, rape and theft. When they do not completely deny social, economic and cultural rights, the place they give them is very insignificant. As if human rights were reduced only to civil and political rights.

Without wishing to downplay the importance of civil and political rights in the construction of any democracy, on the occasion of World Food Day and on the eve of the World Day against Poverty, the Platform of Haitian Organizations of Human Rights, draws the attention of state authorities to the deterioration of the living conditions of the population by publishing a survey on the right to food. We hope that this report will help the current authorities to better assess the seriousness of the situation with a view to adopting urgent measures to make corrections in the very short term.

I.- Methodology of the survey

As part of this survey, the Platform of Haitian Human Rights Organizations has four objectives:

• Draw up a price list of some essential products on the market,

• Analyze the consequences of the increase of prices of these products on the right to food of the population,

• Identify the causes of the vertiginous rise in prices of these products on the market,

• Make recommendations to the authorities with a view to improving the living conditions of the population.

To wait for these different objectives, POHDH investigators visited public markets and restaurants, consulted several documents and interviewed several individuals and organizations. Among the individuals and organizations met, we can mention among others:

• Merchants of basic necessities,

• Restaurant managers,

• Farmers,

• Farmers’ organizations,

• Mothers and fathers of families.

II. Human rights

While it is true that many men and women have a very limited vision of human rights, confining them to civil and political rights alone; in reality, this question is much deeper. It refers to three categories of rights: civil and political rights and economic, social and cultural rights and the right of peoples to freely choose their political or other orientation. The former include the right to vote, freedom of expression, freedom of the press, the right to citizenship, etc. The latter include the right to health, the right to education, the right to housing, the right to work, the right to food, the right to drinking water, and so on.

2.1. The right to food

The right to food requires that the individual have access to food that is qualitatively and quantitatively sufficient for its integral development. Its corollary is food security. The importance of good nutrition in the physical and mental health of a person is well established. The dissatisfaction of the nutritional needs of an individual causes him frustration and paralyzes his full physical and psychical development. As the old saying goes, humans must eat to live. A malnourished person is in a state of physical weakness that promotes infections. In this sense, no individual should be deprived of the nutrients required by his body, regardless of age, sex, educational level or social origin. The right to food is covered in Article 11 of the International Covenant on ESC rights. In this article, we read: “Everyone has the right to an adequate standard of living, including adequate food, clothing and housing”. This right is also recognized by the Haitian Constitution which declares in its article 23: “Let’s go degaje the whole jan mannyè for all sitwayen, nan all zen peyi a, shore jwenn all his ki nesesè, for yo pa vin fum ak all his ki nesesè for yo refè, if yo vin malad. Thus, the Haitian authorities have an obligation to ensure that all individuals can enjoy food security throughout their lives. “Everyone has the right to an adequate standard of living, including adequate food, clothing and housing”. This right is also recognized by the Haitian Constitution which declares in its article 23: “Let’s go degaje the whole jan mannyè for all sitwayen, nan all zen peyi a, shore jwenn all his ki nesesè, for yo pa vin fum ak all his ki nesesè for yo refè, if yo vin malad. Thus, the Haitian authorities have an obligation to ensure that all individuals can enjoy food security throughout their lives. “Everyone has the right to an adequate standard of living, including adequate food, clothing and housing”. This right is also recognized by the Haitian Constitution which declares in its article 23: “Let’s go degaje the whole jan mannyè for all sitwayen, nan all zen peyi a, shore jwenn all his ki nesesè, for yo pa vin fum ak all his ki nesesè for yo refè, if yo vin malad. Thus, the Haitian authorities have an obligation to ensure that all individuals can enjoy food security throughout their lives. All zen peyi a, shore jwenn all his ki nesesè, for yo pa vin maladk all his ki nesesè for yo refè, if yo vin malad. Thus, the Haitian authorities have an obligation to ensure that all individuals can enjoy food security throughout their lives. All zen peyi a, shore jwenn all his ki nesesè, for yo pa vin maladk all his ki nesesè for yo refè, if yo vin malad. Thus, the Haitian authorities have an obligation to ensure that all individuals can enjoy food security throughout their lives.

III. The question of food in Haiti

Despite this national and international legal framework guaranteeing economic, social and cultural rights, the living conditions of the population continue to deteriorate. According to UNDP, Haiti remains the poorest nation in the Americas. In terms of development, this country was ranked 150th out of 173 in 2003. During the last two years, it has regressed; it went from 150th to 153rd behind the Dominican Republic (95th). The majority of the Haitian population does not have access to basic services such as electricity, drinking water, education, telephone, etc. The sidewalks of the various streets of the capital and the main provincial towns are full of rubbish.

In terms of food, the situation is also very worrying. There is a quantitative and qualitative deficit in the diet of most individuals. The majority of consumer products such as corn, rice, beans, sugar, vegetables, cheese, fruits, beef or goat meat, fish, milk, are not accessible to small grants because of their high cost in the market. Some parents have told us that they are used to spending several days without being able to feed their children. Eating and drinking, which are basic needs, have become a luxury for most of the population today, only people from the upper classes can eat their fill. Here is a table of prices for some food products
Now let’s take a look at the prices of products that are more commonly used by poor families. Indeed, most slum residents rarely use domestic products. Their choice is usually imported. It is true that the former are richer in vitamins than the latter, but when you have a small purse and many children to feed, you have to prioritize the quantity on the quality.

Imported food products used in slums include: meat (chicken or turkey legs, pork feet, etc.), grasses (rice, wheat, oats, corn), to name but a few. . They are, compared with the national products, cheaper. However, do not think they are within everyone’s reach. Here is the price of some of these products on the market.

So, if food prices are as high on the market, what’s happening in restaurants? As expected, the situation is worse. The rise in consumer product prices has led all restaurant owners to raise prices for food. Today, they are few, those who can afford the luxury of eating in a bar or restaurant. A quick glance at the prices in the menu, may cause them to take their legs to their necks. You can see for yourself from these prices listed on the menu of some restaurants in the capital.
In such a situation, one can imagine the plight of people with low purchasing power, especially small peasants, workers and the unemployed. In fact, during the year 2005, 54% of the Haitian population earned less than one US dollar a day. Faced with such a situation, people of low purchasing power, are forced to opt for the outdoor restaurants and vulgarly called pejoratively “Akoupi Chaje m w” even though the quality of food and the way they are served always leave something to be desired. Here is a shot taken around 12 hours, in an outdoor restaurant located near the Salomon Market.

3.1. Consequence of under-nutrition on the health of the population

Children, elderly people and pregnant women from disadvantaged backgrounds are usually the main victims of the high cost of living. During the year 2000, the World Bank’s statistical data indicated that the percentage of children who were undernourished in Haiti was 17%. According to data collected on the “Pan American Health” site, in Haiti one in three children (32%) suffers from chronic under-nutrition; 16% of children are chronically under-nourished. Children suffering from acute malnutrition account for 8%. In addition, the percentage of newborns weighing less than 2,500g at birth is 15%. This decreases life expectancy and causes mental disorders, rickets and infant mortality. Indeed, at the age of five, 41% of Haitian children permanently show severe growth retardation. In addition, in 2003, the average life expectancy in Haiti was 49.1, according to UNDP.

IV. Role of the neoliberal plan in the deterioration of living conditions in Haiti

The choice of economic policy made by the Haitian state is the main cause of the degradation of life in the country. To this we should also add: bad governance characterized by (corruption, smuggling, the squandering of public funds) and our low production. In recent years, dictated by the imperialist countries and some international financial institutions, particularly the United States, the IMF, the World Bank, the Haitian authorities have undertaken in the Haitian economy a major reform known as the neoliberal policy or Structural Adjustment Program (SAP). This policy is particularly characterized by a number of measures such as: the privatization of public enterprises, the abandonment of the pricing policy, the substantial reduction of customs duties on imports or free trade, the reduction of State expenditure in social services, etc. In the opinion of the technicians of the plan, this program is adopted with the aim of combating poverty and facilitating economic development in the countries. However, all those who follow closely the situation of the peoples who have already chosen this way, may realize that it has rather aggravated it. Mexico, Brazil, Argentina and some African countries can be taken as examples. In this sense, we can say that the imperialist countries have implemented this plan in order to continue to exploit small countries and their people and make them more dependent. In Haiti, this economic program made its appearance in the 1980s, more precisely under the government of Jean Claude Duvalier. However, it was not until Jean Bertrand Aristide returned to power in 1994 to see this program take off with the privatization of the Minoterie D’Haiti. The results so far recorded by the application of this policy clearly prove that it can only contribute to the total impoverishment of Haitian families, with the exception of those from well-to-do families who are, alongside the bourgeoisie international, also beneficiaries. Let’s try to analyze more deeply the impact of this policy on the living conditions of the population. to see this program take its cruising speed with the privatization of the Minoterie D’Haiti. The results so far recorded by the application of this policy clearly prove that it can only contribute to the complete impoverishment of Haitian families, with the exception of those from well-to-do families who are, alongside the bourgeoisie international, also beneficiaries. Let’s try to analyze more deeply the impact of this policy on the living conditions of the population. to see this program take its cruising speed with the privatization of the Minoterie D’Haiti. The results so far recorded by the application of this policy clearly prove that it can only contribute to the complete impoverishment of Haitian families, with the exception of those from well-to-do families (those who own prosperous towing companies) who are, alongside the bourgeoisie international, also beneficiaries. Let’s try to analyze more deeply the impact of this policy on the living conditions of the population. exception of those from well-to-do circles who are, alongside the international bourgeoisie, also beneficiaries. Let’s try to analyze more deeply the impact of this policy on the living conditions of the population. exception of those from well-to-do circles who are, alongside the international bourgeoisie, also beneficiaries. Let’s try to analyze more deeply the impact of this policy on the living conditions of the population.

4.1. Impact of free trade on domestic production

One of the major recommendations made by this plan is the free movement of goods on the international market, better known as free trade. “Free Trade” is a trading system based on the absence of tariff and non-tariff barriers to the free movement of products on the international market. This commercial measure, which is profitable only for the developed capitalist countries, has caused a great deal of damage to national production, particularly in the field of agriculture. Under the pretext of wanting to respect the free-trade agreements imposed by the imperialist countries, the Haitian authorities allowed all sorts of foreign products to enter the market. Same food products and fruits such as banana, oranges, lemon, papaya, coconut, grenadia, that the country once produced in large quantities, are now bought outside. Thus, some of our agricultural products are abandoned for the benefit of some cheaper foreign products. This situation has led to a fall in the income of the peasants, whose impoverishment it is aggravating. For this reason, some of them leave agriculture to engage in other more profitable activities. Hence this gradual decline in the level of production in the country. some of them leave agriculture to engage in other more profitable activities. Hence this gradual decline in the level of production in the country. some of them leave agriculture to engage in other more profitable activities. Hence this gradual decline in the level of production in the country.

Today, the majority of food products used in Haiti come from abroad, more precisely from the Dominican Republic and the United States. Haiti is among the client countries for some US products, including rice. During 2003, the country imported food products worth $ 1.028 billion. Nevertheless, the authorities have so far taken no action to redress this situation. The last measures adopted are intended to make it worse. The decision by the Boniface Government to allow the T & S Rice Corporation to import rice into the market is proof of this. According to reports, even the premises and equipment of the former ENAROL factory were made available to the company “T and S Rice”. However, some research done recently in the Artibonite Valley, prove that it can alone feed the entire population if it is maintained. Even so, the authorities have so far made no effort to promote an increase in rice production in this region. Despite the existence of mechanical or motorized equipment, the peasants of Artibonite continue to practice manual farming. They are left at the mercy of Mother Nature for the sole purpose of bringing them to abandon farming altogether. The following photo may give an idea of ​​the conditions in which they work. it can alone feed the entire population if it is maintained. Even so, the authorities have so far made no effort to promote an increase in rice production in this region. Despite the existence of mechanical or motorized equipment, the peasants of Artibonite continue to practice manual farming. They are left at the mercy of Mother Nature for the sole purpose of bringing them to abandon farming altogether. The following photo may give an idea of ​​the conditions in which they work. it can alone feed the entire population if it is maintained. Even so, the authorities have so far made no effort to promote an increase in rice production in this region. Despite the existence of mechanical or motorized equipment, the peasants of Artibonite continue to practice manual farming. They are left at the mercy of Mother Nature for the sole purpose of bringing them to abandon farming altogether. The following photo may give an idea of ​​the conditions in which they work. the existence of mechanical or motorized equipment, the peasants of Artibonite continue to practice manual agriculture. They are left at the mercy of Mother Nature for the sole purpose of bringing them to abandon farming altogether. The following photo may give an idea of ​​the conditions in which they work. the existence of mechanical or motorized equipment, the peasants of Artibonite continue to practice manual agriculture. They are left at the mercy of Mother Nature for the sole purpose of bringing them to abandon farming altogether. The following photo may give an idea of ​​the conditions in which they work.

4.2. Impact of the abandonment of the pricing policy on the high cost of products

The decision taken by the Haitian State not to intervene in the market, has serious consequences on the price of products. Such a measure is in line with the interests of the big traders who take the opportunity to increase their rate of profit as they please. Thus, there has been a gradual rise in the prices of certain products, especially petroleum products and basic necessities. During the last two years, the prices of basic necessities have been multiplied by 5 on the market. The Haitian authorities passively witnessed this surge in prices. Yet the decree of October 26, 1989 published in the newspaper “Le Moniteur” requires the State to intervene in the market to avoid the abnormal rise in prices.

In the face of rising commodity prices, farmers and small retailers are making sacrifices of all kinds in order to renew the minimum tools needed to continue working. They are obliged to reduce the expenses made for consumption in their family. Hence the under nourishment of most members of the latter.

V. The point of view of some farmers’ organizations

The Platform’s investigators met some members of TET KOLE TI PEYIZAN, a peasant organization active in the agricultural sector. The latter took the opportunity to put forward their claims. The authorities must, they say:

a) Quickly proceed to a serious agrarian reform in order to allow the Haitian peasants to have access to land, to mechanical or motorized materials and to benefit from agricultural credits. The earth must be to the one who works it;

b) Strengthen road infrastructure in rural areas to facilitate trade between the cities themselves and between the cities and the capital. This will avoid the waste of most peasant products in the hills;

(c) Provide the country’s major cities with all the services available in the capital to discourage rural-urban migration.

VI. Conclusions and recommendations

In short, when we look at the prices of basic necessities on the market and when we know that the very low rate of those who work, receives only a meager salary, we can say that the right to food of the majority of the Haitian population is not respected. Many citizens are in the most food insecure. Hungry children, old men and pregnant women are left to fend for themselves until their death ensues.

On the occasion of the World Food Day, celebrated today and on the eve of the World Day against Poverty, POHDH wishes to draw the authorities’ attention to the difficult situation faced by Haitian families. today in the country. As claimed by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Haitian Constitution, the Haitian population in its entirety must be able to enjoy all its rights. Therefore, while supporting the demands of the members of the TET KOLE TI PEYIZAN organization, the POHDH asks the current authorities to take measures to positively change the living conditions of the population. Among the measures to be considered, the Platform suggests to the authorities:

• Work tirelessly to increase state revenue by cracking down on all smugglers who refuse to pay customs duties;

• Eliminate all customs exemptions granted to certain traders by the transitional government on the grounds that their trade was burned after Aristide’s departure for exile on 29 February 2004;

• Make rational and efficient use of state revenues by avoiding waste and severely punishing any misappropriation of funds;

• Set aside any policy that discourages domestic producers, especially small farmers. This must favor the increase of our production and the conquest of our food sovereignty;

• Controlling the price of products on the market, especially primary and oil products by setting the margin of profit of traders;

• Establish General Procurement Services to enable underprivileged people to purchase food at a lower cost.

How has cooperation in general and international aid in particular influenced Haitian social formation?

Haiti in the context of its international relations has always lived three moments of different intensity:

  •  A moment when she was isolated by the great powers.
  •  A moment when she was busy.
  •  A time when he is granted loans with big interests.

Meanwhile, large national companies like Reynold’s and others have looted and looted its copper and other mines in shameful conditions of inequality as it continues to export its agricultural products and import what it needs.

In all the experiments that are taking place all over the world, several kinds of models are confronting each other, confronting each other. There is either autarky, or the unbridled opening of the national market following the neoliberal canon, or the partnership in all the fullness of the word with other countries and or simply a hybrid situation without any equality between the different scenarios.

Following these ideas as a matrix for reflection, can we declare that the international in its current method plays an effective role in the Haitian social formation?

Presentation of the program “Human Rights”

The “Human Rights” program is responsible for the involvement of the Karl Lévêque Cultural Institute in this specific field. The human rights issue has always been of great importance to the ICKL since its creation in July 1989. Indeed, the Institute could not remain indifferent to justice demands of all kinds, including the persistence of impunity, easier access to public services, better living conditions, and free expression coming from marginalized popular classes. These demands have been expressed with force and consistency since the fall of the Duvaliers in February 1986.

Thus, through this program, ICKL has contributed to the training of several members of different grassroots organizations. His deep conviction and dedication to defending the excluded motivated him to form, in December 1991, with other Haitian institutions, the Platform of Haitian Organizations of Human Rights (POHDH). This initiative was a concrete response to state terrorism, the climate of terror orchestrated by soldiers assisted by their paramilitary auxiliaries during the three years of the military dictatorship (1991-1994). ICKL has also participated in the development of some didactic materials (books, audio cassettes …) for the promotion of Human Rights in Haiti.

Objectives of the program

Through the Human Rights program, the ICKL pursues the following objectives:

  • Contribute to the emergence of a society capable of guaranteeing the fundamental rights of everyone;
  • Contribute to the strengthening of the organizational and persuasive capacities of the democratic and popular movement in order to better combat the discriminatory practices of the Haitian judicial system and the social exclusion of which the majority of the population is victim;
  • Promote new social relations centered around democratic values, the promotion of citizen action and the consideration of the basic needs of all citizens.

Program Activities

The activities of the Human Rights Program are articulated around three axes, which are training, sensitization / mobilization and advocacy for local moving companies in Syracuse.

Training axis

It is about instilling in representatives of some civil society organizations knowledge about human rights that can help them effectively support their communities in their quest for justice.

The sensitization / mobilization axis

By raising awareness / mobilization, the Human Rights program intends to involve many more actors in the struggle for the respect of specific rights.

It aims above all at raising the awareness of those concerned with a view to their conscious participation in this struggle. Through this axis, we also encourage consultation between organizations operating in the same environment and sharing the same views on a specific problem.

Advocacy

Through this axis, the Human Rights program encourages initiatives by organizations to invite local authorities to report on their management and, at the same time, to express their grievances and their point of view on the prospects for local development.

Memory of popular struggles in Haiti: 1946 – 1996

The exhibition “Memory of Popular Fights in Haiti” is one of the public activities of the program. In addition to the informative aspect, it is an invitation to think about the ways of perpetuating the traces of popular mobilizations. It is the first initiative of the ICKL in the perspective of the establishment of a museum of popular struggles in Haiti.

This exhibition revives some stages of popular mobilizations, struggles of progressive forces in Haiti between 1946 and 1996. Through various photographs and other documents of time, are traced some highlights of these popular struggles. In addition, the exhibition shows that popular struggles or progressive organizations are, in their forms, strongly conditioned by the political situation.

The fall of Lescot in January 1946 led to a tremendous explosion of protest: popular demonstrations, intense trade union activity, and others. However, blackness and epidermic phantasmagoria will confiscate the open breach, and the political space saturated by demagogic cacophony.

Under the Duvalierian terror, the progressive parties functioned in the greatest secrecy. The “cemetery peace” required the death sentence of fighters in the prime of life whose only crime was to dream of another Haiti. The Tontons Macoutes and the military occupied the streets.

From February 7, 1986, street demonstrations were the main form of mobilization of progressive and popular forces. Not without danger. The guardians of the status quo stood guard. The other Haiti for which the progressives and the popular layers have made so many sacrifices is yet to come.

In Haiti, can the people count on a national bourgeoisie

Nationalism and blackness are among the two parameters that have crossed and most marked our entire history of people since 1804. One of the first acts of Dessalines, this great strategist of the defeat of Napoleonic troops during the anti-war. colonial period of 1803-1804, consisted in linking the Dominican Republic to the Republic of Haiti in the name of the Treaty of Basel which had conceded the Spanish part to France. Without supporting the misdeeds and the consequences of this brutal and especially badly prepared intervention, the Emperor intended to make respect the agreement of capitulation signed by Rochambeau on November 19, 1803, to unify the Island and to place it under its sole authority. He had to stifle any attempt by France to reclaim the lost paradise and resettle slavery.

Haiti has thus experienced the first gestures of its nationalism in a noble concern to protect the newly acquired independence. However, the Dessalinian ideal did not survive the heroes who forged our homeland. This grandeur of soul has not animated the ruling and dominant classes that have led our destiny as a people. In their internal struggles to preserve or conquer the reins of the state, these classes have never ceased to display nationalism. However, this one, imprinted with the question of color, hides in reality a cowardice, except for a few rare cases worthy of all pride like that of Charlemagne Péralte and Benoît Batraville. The verbiage of the rulers and the exploiters aims at deceiving the masses to accede to the government or to appease them as soon as they feel threatened by a popular movement. The purpose of our analysis is to show first that their immediate interests have, in multiple circumstances, opposed to those of the nation and the people’s majority and secondly that the people can and must manifest a nationalism that corresponds to his class interests.

Is nationalism a free and neutral ideology?

The local bourgeoisie and petty bourgeoisie, in general, do not defend any of the parameters (spontaneous attachment, sentimental and almost exclusive to the homeland, exaltation of national values, priority defense of the national interest) which compose all “nationalism as a practice aggressive and defensive of the state “or any nationalist ideology. This one, which, in principle, claims a veneration of the fatherland, did not play in Haiti its protective or conservative role as it has occurred many times in the Universal History. In fascist Germany, for example, nationalism was the ideological engine of the Second World War. Hitler had categorically fixed the goal of his warlike machinations. He wrote :

“The purpose for which we fought during the war was the noblest and most sublime man can imagine: the freedom of independence of our people, the guarantee of their future supplies, and the honor of the nation

“The period of 1944 is developing in Latin America, a phenomenon referred to as” Browderism “In the euphoria of Tehran agreements, Earl Browder, secretary of the North American PC, proclaims the beginning of an era of friendship and total collaboration between the socialist camp and the US, intended to last even after the war. Browder draws excessive conclusions from this historical perspective by dissolving the US PC. ”

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Yet, in our case, we have not often noticed this dedication to growth and national pride among the vast majority of our leaders and ruling classes. Therefore, this reflection requires in our case a special consideration. The leaders of Haiti, despite the nationalist ideology often tinged with blackness, whose speeches are all impressed, have always capitulated in a shameful manner to the arrogant threats of foreign powers who have repeatedly trampled our dignity as a people. They missed several opportunities to raise the honor of the country during the slights perpetrated by foreign forces in the name and benefit of different members of the bourgeoisie, holders of both Haitian and foreign passports.

Among those painful moments that have hurt the national pride, we can cite as examples: the Luders affair in December 1897 and the massacre of Haitians by the Dominican army in 1936. The citizen Luders, a businessman of his state, having been convicted by a court of competent jurisdiction for a wrongful act which he had committed, had evoked his German nationality. Not only did he refuse to serve his sentence, but through the representative of the German Emperor, Count Schwerin, he demanded compensation. However, “according to article 3 of the Constitution of 1867, is Haitian any individual born in Haiti or in a foreign country of a Haitian or a Haitian.But Mr Luders, legitimate son of Mr Théodore Luders, German and the citizen Clemence Dejardin, Haitian,

This simple and unimportant affair has, after so many irreverent acts of the Emperor William’s diplomat, earned us the following ultimatum addressed to the President of the Republic, Mr Tiresias Simon Sam:

1) “an indemnity of 20,000 dollars for Mr. Emile Luders”

2) “the promise that M Emile Luders will be able to return here in complete freedom and stay here without any danger. ”

3) “A letter to be sent (sic) to the Imperial Legation of Germany aboard the Chalotte, letter in which the Haitian government would have to express its excuses for the conduct observed in this case by the Government of Haiti to that of His Majesty the Emperor of Germany »

4) “A salute of 21 guns to be sent to the German flag by the flagship of the Haitian flotilla, who would have to bring his flag. ”

5) “After the accomplishment of these formalities, a gracious reception of the Chargé d’Affaires of Germany by the President of Haiti. ”

“A delay of 24 hours was granted to the Haitian Government …”

After the total capitulation of the Haitian government, let’s still hear M Solon Menos, Secretary of State for Finance, Trade and External Relations of the moment:

“On the 8th of December, at the appointed hour, the Charge d’Affaires of Germany presented himself at the National Palace, and was introduced into the salon of the diplomatic receptions. The President of the Republic soon appeared with the Secretaries of State, and invited Count Schwerin to sit down. Two sentences were exchanged. Glasses of champagne were brought. The German diplomat aims at the health of the President of the Republic, and General Sam aims, half-glass, at the health of the Emperor of Germany.

It is not only, moreover, the great economic and military powers that have swallowed us the bitter absinth of humiliation. On October 4, 1937, the news of the massacre of Haitian workers emigrated to the other part of the island began to circulate in Port-au-Prince. The dictator Leonidas Trujillo was not content to engulf in blood any hint of resistance against his government. He also persisted in “purifying” the Dominican race. Thus, he ordered the massacre of Haitian workers who, however, contributed greatly to the building of the economy of his country. For several weeks, thousands of our compatriots were cowardly murdered by his henchmen. Let’s hear, in this circumstance,

“My duty as chief of staff was to inform the President of the veracity of the paper’s note (in the morning of October 5), which I did when he entered his office. He said to me in these terms: “Your friends, the Dominicans, have just killed some Haitians, certainly adding thieves, you know our compatriots.”

The pride of the Haitian people was, another time, crumpled. A stream of national public opinion demanded a frontal war with the neighboring republic. Another more cautious current urged President Vincent to choose the diplomatic path, to avoid military clash with an apparently more powerful army. Yet “the Vincentian administration adopted a conciliatory, cowardly and servile attitude, allowing itself to be humiliated to the point of finding itself powerless and defeated at the end of its proceedings.”

For so much bloodshed, the ransom of this cowardly attitude is only $ 250,000 US. Haiti’s public treasuries only received the first payment.

The racist Trujillo did not act alone. If he did not have the prior agreement of some Haitian dignitaries, he could bet on their complicity in ordering the genocide that was to be classified as a crime against humanity.

A high Dominican personality told the Haitian diplomat Jean Price-Mars:

“We Dominicans accept our share of responsibility in this lamentable affair, but what you do not know, Ambassador, is that we possess authentic documents attesting the formal, albeit indirect, participation of eminent Haitian personalities. in the perpetuation of the drama “.”

The Haitian rulers have always yielded and continue to yield, almost without ever offering any resistance, to the imperialist insolence even when it is up to them to defend just causes like those we have just mentioned, or other files concerning strategic interests. nationals. The Western powers, through the IMF, the World Bank, do not bother to impose, despite the obvious failure of their policies, inadequate solutions to the many problems that hinder the detachment of the country, precisely because this total submission of our leaders to them. These, unfortunately, are flatly encouraged by academics and myopic politicians of the system. They are unable to question the false proclamation of

We try to understand the obscure governance, the non-transparency of the different personalities who occupied the highest magistracy and the highest spheres of the Haitian state. Their failure to respect national sovereignty has always characterized their behavior. Democracy can not flourish on this soil of insane, especially when this alienation is doubled as today, the presence of a foreign force, the MINUSTAH (United Nations Mission for the Stability of Haiti) whose The real mission is to guarantee the status quo in defiance of the growing suffering of the popular masses. What is instability? The struggle of a people in search of a power that corresponds to his true interests? It is admitted that this people is still being manipulated by traditional and corrupt politicians. However, the experience of struggles is acquired on the ground in everyday practice. The victory of the people will one day emerge from well-treated lessons drawn from past failures. With the support of his organized and autonomous camp

An absent national bourgeoisie and a traditional political class without vision.

The “traditional political class” has never been reluctant to strategically support the bourgeoisie and the large landowners who control our economy and have always defined themselves by their anti-nationalism. We do not advance this point of view based on the origin of their nationality, since they also count in their ranks, sons of descendants of slaves. For revolutionary philosophy imposes criteria for identifying a national bourgeoisie. Let’s see the main ones. Let’s start with Nicos Poulantzas:

“It (the national bourgeoisie) is distinguished from the economic point of view, from the comprador bourgeoisie in that it constitutes an autochthonous capital, with own interests in the autonomous industrial development of a country, whereas the comprador bourgeoisie is directly related and subordinate to the big foreign imperialist capital. But this economic criterion is not enough: the national bourgeoisie exists as an autonomous fraction of the bourgeoisie only if it possesses an ideology of national independence and a political organization of its own, in a class position which engages it politically in the forms of anti-imperialist struggle.

And then to Samir Amin: The formal existence of the state is not synonymous with a national capitalist state, even if the local bourgeoisie largely controls this apparatus, as long as it does not control the process of accumulation. There are five essential conditions of the accumulation process.

  •  Local control of the reproduction of the labor force.
  •  Local control of the market
  •  Local control of natural resources
  •  Local control of technologies
  •  Local control of the centralization of the surplus.

The state and the bourgeoisie who control these five elements of social reproduction deserve and deserve only to be called national bourgeoisie and state “.

Unfortunately, the Haitian bourgeoisie and the state do not fulfill any of these conditions to obtain this satisfaction. On the contrary, other manifestations specific to the reality of the country are added to the theoretical core mentioned above, to corroborate our analysis. Among these events, we observe, among other things,

  •  their contempt for a harmonious development of society
  •  their ease of working in the seaside grime, to travel the roads and streets of the capital and provincial cities
  •  their indifference to the physical health of the country
  •  their distance from the masses (peasants and shantytowns)
  •  and especially their acceptance of being valets of imperialism

Some report that some great restaurant owners, large hotels, order up their water and fresh vegetables in Miami.

A very large faction of the bourgeoisie, the petty-bourgeoisie and the traditional politicians was at the very base of the steps which led to the occupation of 1915, which it had welcomed with open arms. Today again in 1994 and 2004, she has reoffended by preparing and accepting a new direct occupation of our soil. This same anti-patriotic nebula preferred with the support of the army before its dissolution by the former president Aristide in 1995, more than two years of embargo to a national life free from the constraints, whatever the hypocrites, of the International community.

The nationalist wave swept by some sectors of the bourgeoisie since the coup d’état of September 30 is another demagogic farce to manipulate the unconscious of the Haitian popular masses.

Nobody was unaware that the Gendarmerie of Haiti, created by the Americans at the beginning of the year 1916, became the Armed Forces of Haiti under François Duvalier, were only a pale copy of those of the occupants.

The creation of this public force, strong at the origin of 1500 troop men who were implanted in the cities from February 1st, 1916 supervised, by non-commissioned officers of the United States naval infantry, will be officially sanctioned by a special agreement between the two governments, dated August 24, 1916. This agreement in simplified form, signed in Washington, specifies in particular the number (2,500 men) and the annual budget ($ 800,000) of this auxiliary force police, engaged in addition to the American troops and placed under the authority of its true founder, Lieutenant-Colonel Smedley D. Butler. ”

Whence came from September 1991 to October 1994, the refusal, if really refused, of the Haitian military to comply with the Pentagon’s orders in favor of the return of former President Aristide? They knew well that their attachment to the same political system bound them a lot and that no American Democratic or Republican government would sacrifice this substitute institution for the benefit of a man raised in a subversive political and ideological atmosphere. They were to some extent right; however, the military headquarters had misread the international situation after the collapse of the Soviet empire. The new necessities of neo-liberalism called for new needs. October 94 was not just a personal option, not even a politician, for President Clinton. Major reasons had advised him to do so. For some years, the Americans had been trying to reshape the army, which had almost escaped their total control, especially during the presidency of François Duvalier. The fatal blow of former president Aristide, at the beginning of the year 95 against this body that was sowing death, in spite of certain divergences in the way of doing and different objectives, played a therapeutic role for the system. This gesture of all emotional appearance has allowed the Pentagon, in order to professionalize and especially modernize repressive methods, to build a police force according to the needs of the “new world order” tailored to the sole leader of the starry republic. For some years, the Americans had been trying to reshape the army, which had almost escaped their total control, especially during the presidency of François Duvalier. The fatal blow of former president Aristide, at the beginning of the year 95 against this body that was sowing death, in spite of certain divergences in the way of doing and different objectives, played a therapeutic role for the system. This gesture of all emotional appearance has allowed the Pentagon, in order to professionalize and especially modernize repressive methods, to build a police force according to the needs of the “new world order” tailored to the sole leader of the starry republic. For some years, the Americans had been trying to reshape the army, which had almost escaped their total control, especially during the presidency of François Duvalier. The fatal blow of former president Aristide, at the beginning of the year 95 against this body that was sowing death, in spite of certain divergences in the way of doing and different objectives, played a therapeutic role for the system. This gesture of all emotional appearance has allowed the Pentagon, in order to professionalize and especially modernize repressive methods, to build a police force according to the needs of the “new world order” tailored to the sole leader of the starry republic. want to reshape this army that had almost escaped their total control especially during the presidency of François Duvalier. The fatal blow of former president Aristide, at the beginning of the year 95 against this body that was sowing death, in spite of certain divergences in the way of doing and different objectives, played a therapeutic role for the system. This gesture of all emotional appearance has allowed the Pentagon, in order to professionalize and especially modernize repressive methods, to build a police force according to the needs of the “new world order” tailored to the sole leader of the starry republic. want to reshape this army that had almost escaped their total control especially during the presidency of François Duvalier. The fatal blow of former president Aristide, at the beginning of the year 95 against this body that was sowing death, in spite of certain divergences in the way of doing and different objectives, played a therapeutic role for the system. This gesture of all emotional appearance has allowed the Pentagon, in order to professionalize and especially modernize repressive methods, to build a police force according to the needs of the “new world order” tailored to the sole leader of the starry republic. despite some differences in the way of doing and different goals, played a therapeutic role for the system. This gesture of all emotional appearance has allowed the Pentagon, in order to professionalize and especially modernize repressive methods, to build a police force according to the needs of the “new world order” tailored to the sole leader of the starry republic. despite some differences in the way of doing and different goals, played a therapeutic role for the system. This gesture of all emotional appearance has allowed the Pentagon, in order to professionalize and especially modernize repressive methods, to build a police force according to the needs of the “new world order” tailored to the sole leader of the starry republic.

Faced with the insecurity that has bogged down all classes of the population for some two or three years, we want to make believe that the military institution crushed by Aristide was out of the bowels of the War of Independence of 1804. The carriers of this speech is stubbornly misleading the popular majority. They want to make history to their advantage by trying to hide the fact that the US military had taken care to disarm the entire Haitian people before forging a little later their own Army with Haitian officers trained at their school. Mr. Delince gave us some more insights on this issue.

“While the abolished army emanated from a decision of the Haitian state, the motives for the creation of the national gendarmerie are inspired by the objectives of the North American military intervention. As a result, this indigenous military apparatus establishes a tradition of loyalty to the protectorate and will assert itself, with the withdrawal of the Marine Corps brigade, as one of the main instruments for maintaining the preponderance of military influence. USA. >>

Despite the different names (Gendarmerie of Haiti in 1916- Guard of Haiti in 1928- Army of Haiti in 1947 and Armed Forces of Haiti in 1958) that various governments attributed to the new creature in the United States during its brief life (1916-1995), it never stood out from the original line. The ardent desire to recall our former tormentors on the Haitian political scene, a desire especially fueled consciously by the reactionary political class, deserves to be denounced by the Haitian and Haitian progressives. If the immediate pretext is to curb insecurity fueled by multiple dark forces, the real reason lies elsewhere. Moreover, all connoisseurs in this area have always explained that the insecurity situation that is spreading over the country is police competence. With the trend towards the rise of the left in Latin America, does not the retrograde current need the military forces to come to the aid of the Police to repress as usual, the popular masses in their possible search for their own power and in building their own government?

What to do with this obsolete neo-colonial structure?

The neo-colonial structure that stifles the country and whose atrophied bourgeoisie forms the backbone has no future. This structure, which has become obsolete, protects interests that are intrinsically linked to those of the international bourgeoisie. Consequently, none of the fractions of this bourgeoisie, which for more than one is not worth this name, can nourish the vocation of freeing the country from imperialist claws unless it is scuttle as an underclass of agents and to liquidate one’s own affairs, a crude and chimerical dream.

Secondary and internal contradictions sometimes give rise to conjunctural conflicts between their various branches in order to defend an immediate interest at the time of a crisis of some kind. Contradictions that go out as soon as the crisis is curbed. The agreement between them usually does not take long then to recover. A large portion of national and even international opinion expected, for example, from one moment to the next to a burst of the power of François Duvalier by President Kennedy. Yet, the strategic interests dominated by the mutual fear of communism were right of their temporary misunderstanding. The high military hierarchy, after the US landing in 1994, had not really worried about his life and his belongings. Many senior officers have held or hold senior positions in the police force The US embassy to the present day, according to a statement by Prime Minister Edward Alexis to the press on Monday, December 27, 2006, still protects the house of General Cédras, the first protagonist of the coup against President Aristide in September 1994. Some divergences had emerged, at that time, between different pro or anti-Aristide members of the bourgeoisie. The conciliatory attitude of the reinstalled president in power quickly reconciled them. the first protagonist of the coup against President Aristide in September 1994. Some divergences had emerged, at that time, between different members pro or anti-Aristide, the bourgeoisie. The conciliatory attitude of the reinstalled president in power quickly reconciled them. the first protagonist of the coup against President Aristide in September 1994. Some divergences had emerged, at that time, between different members pro or anti-Aristide, the bourgeoisie. The conciliatory attitude of the reinstalled president in power quickly reconciled them.

The different factions of the dominant and ruling classes have never cultivated a real interest in the nation itself when they have always been in their speeches, jealous of the political independence we have acquired at the price of so much blood and deprivations of all kinds. On the contrary, they sink the country into its dependence with their refusal to design a national project from our own resources including the soil and the subsoil despite everything protect some reserves. The help of the international community, rather than being a mere supplement, has become an integral part of the menu of Heads of State and Government. This weakness which is accentuated especially since the presidency of Jean-Claude Duvalier reached its paroxysm today.

This international community, which shows no respect towards the Haitian people, is bowing down the backs of the main national leaders even to grant them loans that we pay at a high price. With the departure of former President Aristide at the end of November 2006, she organized six preparation and project formulation and financial assistance sessions, including one in Haiti last July and five outside. The goal of these transfers, which mobilize the entire government apparatus, comes down to offers of loans and donations that always come way above the promised values ​​and with a significant portion in the hands of the large NGOs that are under its control. This is the ideal opportunity to impose on the country the draconian conditions of structural adjustment and others.

Will they be able to award the sometimes glorious epithet of nationalist to all those and all those who participate in trampling our national interests? For nationalism is neither a free nor neutral ideology.

But is it the same attitude that has been revealed among the masses? Should they chorus with the holders of national wealth to defeat the honor and development of the country?

Can the people count with the Haitian bourgeois?

If nationalism, by its very nature, is of a bourgeois, conservative or pro-systemic character, is it appropriate to reject it as a whole? Especially since it does not evoke the same reality here in the Third World as in the advanced capitalist countries. In most formerly colonized states, the liberation struggle was crippled and stopped en route while in the advanced capitalist countries national struggles came to an end. Nationalism, like all social and political phenomena, is agitated in a constant struggle of opposites. Faithful to this principle of dialectic, nationalism even when it is dominated by the conservative aspect – priority of the homeland over the objective struggles of classes and tendency to protect its borders which we try to forget the historical origin, to the detriment of proletarian internationalism – also has a progressive aspect, since the revolution must start from the nation according to the interlocking of objective and subjective conditions. Also, the revolutionary classes to contribute to the development of their just cause at home and among other working peoples must never fail in their national tasks. Karl Marx was well understood: other working peoples must never fail in their national tasks. Karl Marx was well understood: other working peoples must never fail in their national tasks. Karl Marx was well understood:

“It is absolutely self-evident that if only to be able to fight, the working class must organize itself at home as a class and that the respective countries are the immediate theater of its struggle. ”

It is in this that the class struggle is national, not to its content but as the Communist Manifesto says “as to its form”.

Karl Lévêque did not betray the author of Capital when he wrote:

“Nationalism is not only a prerequisite for well-understood internationalism. Historically it can be verified that all the successful socialist revolutions in fact relied on a deep nationalist sentiment that galvanized all the energies of the nation against an external enemy, a colonial or imperialist power that had to be bumped out “… “Nationalism may be the most noble and effective spring to inspire popular struggles. ”

Against narrow nationalism with its conservative penchant, progressives can develop a form that is capable of responding to the real need of the majority or in other words to the real need of the nation. Proponents of this trend intend to participate alongside rural and urban workers in the defense of their immediate and long-term interests. This nationalism differs from the other in its structural nature. Workers and revolutionaries not only confront the local ruling classes (immediate enemies, tactical enemies) but also and above all the international bourgeoisie (fundamental enemy, strategic enemy) and that, not primarily on a race or color basis, but on a class basis without denying the color parameter in the understanding of our specific social problems. The secondary role that history attributed to this reality, however, forbids it to place itself above the classes and struggles that they engage themselves.

The internationalization of capital unifies more and more the bourgeoisie around the world. Immanuel Wallerstein speaks of “World Bourgeoisie” as being two sides of the same coin, one does not attack the external branch without touching its internal component and vice versa. One of the causes of the failure of the great uprising of cacos during the years 1917-1920, in addition to its regionalist limits, came from the fact that the revolutionaries had not organized an anti-bourgeois struggle. They were fighting against a foreign army without worrying about their local henchmen. The peasant fighters badly identified or did not identify their enemies enough. Guerrilla warfare commanded by Charlemagne Péralte and then by Benoît Batraville touched only the anti-interventionist aspect.

Most of the intellectuals of the time who refuted the occupation had not woven an organic link with the armed rebels and had given them only limited ideological and logistical support, given their petty-bourgeois ideological vision. Even the latter had prevented them. How far could they go? Vincent, who in the opposition fought with his pen the occupation, became president, adulait. The presence of the Marines which guaranteed its security and its maintenance in power, has once again shown that the secondary contradictions within a class, can not metamorphose easily or automatically into an irreconcilable situation, unless serious errors are made. treatment. There is confusion too to avoid. Any anti-imperialist struggle does not does not necessarily equate to an anti-capitalist struggle. But imperialism can only be defeated at home by overthrowing its local capitalist valets.

Moreover, how can one defeat imperialism if it is not by a struggle without truce on the national ground? This means that in the context of a liberation struggle, nationalism and internationalism come together very closely. Organized forces of workers, exploited women’s groups, students, peasants, progressive and revolutionary activists rely on the support of all progressive political organizations and parties around the world and even , and especially aggressive countries to achieve their anti-imperialist goal.

The bourgeoisie of the country, with the exception of a few individuals who denote a real interest in its progress, functions like a lackey of imperialism. She who does not shrink from any means of making money, even to the detriment of the vital interests of the nation, deserves no consideration in a popular project.

This bourgeoisie, which at all times testifies to a virulent anti-Haitianism, would never have felt the need to equip itself with a political instrument to transform this land that nourishes it and helps it to suck the blood of rural and urban workers. . The Haitian revolutionary militants can not count on any of the bourgeois factions to launch the country to the conquest of progress, as the Lavalassian movement and other social democratic tendencies would make it understand today. To succeed, we must arm ourselves with an autonomous popular project, a great revolutionary courage and be able to shout like Karl Lévêque: “We are not afraid to be against the current”.

Or like Immanuel Wallestein, who in one of his works suggests reconsidering another epistemology in order to apprehend social facts, has given the revolutionaries the following advice:

“Since the end of the 19th century, we have become confused in a pseudo-debate on the gradual or revolutionary ways that lead to power. Yet these two tendencies were and have always been essentially reformist because they seek in the transition a controllable phenomenon. A transition that is controlled, organized, implies a certain continuity in the exploitation. Let’s stop fearing a transition that would be upheaval or disintegration. Disintegration is disordered, it can sometimes be anarchic, but it is not necessarily disastrous. There are no truly revolutionary “revolutions” without such a collapse. “

Who was Karl Leveque?

Karl Lévêque was born in Cap-Haïtien (HAITI) in January 1936 in a wealthy family. He did his classical studies in Port-au-Prince at the College Saint-Louis de Gonzague led by the Brothers of Christian Instruction.

In 1956, then twenty (20) years old, he entered the major seminary Notre-Dame of Port-au-Prince, thus ending his studies at the Faculty of Medicine.

In 1960, he moved to Quebec where he began his first year of novitiate with the Jesuit fathers in Saint-Jérôme. The novitiate finished, Karl will complete his philosophy studies in Montreal and then in France in Strasbourg.

In December 1967, he will obtain his doctorate of postgraduate studies in philosophy. In January 1968, he returned to Montreal to complete his theological studies. It will be ordained among the Jesuits in May 1969. he returned to Montreal to complete his theological studies. It will be ordained among the Jesuits in May 1969. he returned to Montreal to complete his theological studies. It will be ordained among the Jesuits in May 1969.

Back in Quebec Karl is deeply involved in the Haitian diaspora in the fight against the Duvalier regime:

• involvement in the Haitian Committee of Patriotic Action (CHAP);

• animation of En Avant, a revolutionary organization focused on struggles for political change and the social and economic transformation of Haiti;

• collaboration with Nouvelle Optique intellectual journal, militant and engaged of high quality;

• Animation of political reflection and analysis programs on CIBL community radio and others.

Karl returns to Haiti in the first plane from Montreal after the fall of Jean Claude Duvalier on February 7th. He spends two weeks traveling the country. During his brief stay, he reports on the evolution of the situation for the CIBL. In his reports, his lucid enthusiasm for the country’s immediate future has hit more than one. He already foresaw in 1986 the possibility of survival of duvalierism without Duvalier.

Returned to Montreal to put order in his business, with the determination to return as soon as possible to the native country, Karl will be surprised by the death in March 1986. Karl left, but his ideas, his courses of action of a unexplored wealth, can still serve as a point of support for all those engaged in the path of social transformation in Haiti.

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