Build Workers and Popular Councils! Down with the Regime of President Jovenel Moise! For a Workers and Poor Peasants Government!
Statement of the Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (RCIT), 21 July 2018, www.thecommunists.net
1. A popular insurrection has brought down the Haiti's government of Prime Minister Jack Guy Lafontant. Lafontant was forced to resign on 14 July after days of violent mass protests. Workers and poor effectively controlled the main streets in the capital city of Port-au-Prince as well as in the northern city of Cap-Haïtien. Likewise the masses blockaded roads and brought public life to a standstill in other provincial towns in the north, on the central plateau, and in the south. At least seven people were killed and dozens of businesses looted or destroyed. In short, a revolutionary situation has opened in Haiti.
2. This popular uprising started after the government unveiled a proposal to eliminate fuel subsidies which in turn would have hiked fuel prices: 38% for gasoline, 47% for diesel and 51% for kerosene. This price increase would have had brutal consequences given the fact that the mass of the people is forced to cook with coal and kerosene because they have no access to gas supply. As a result of the revolt, the government was forced to withdraw this plan. However, the protests continued until the resignation of Prime Minister Lafontant.
3. The elimination of petroleum product subsidies has been one of the conditions of an agreement which the government signed with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in February. Haiti faces a devastating debt trap – a result of centuries of colonialism and imperialist domination. Today, the country is burdened with public debt of about US$3 billion out of which $1 billion represents internal debt and $2 billion of external one. The IMF exploits this situation to enforce brutal austerity programs.
4. In Haiti’s history, the imperialist masters could often rely on the aid of loyal local lackeys. The most prominent has been the notorious Duvalier clan with the murderous dictators “Papa Doc” and “Baby Doc”. Today, Haiti is ruled by President Jovenel Moise – a corrupted business man who came to power by fraudulent elections in 2015 and 2016 which were largely boycotted by the population. Moise is a bourgeois lackey of the imperialist powers.
5. Moise’s regime could not survive without the economic, political and military support of foreign capitalist powers. One pillar of this is the so-called United Nations Stabilization Mission In Haiti (MINUSTAH, recently renamed into MINUJUSTH). MINUSTAH began its occupation of Haiti in 2004 after the US-initiated coup d'état against President Jean-Bertrand Aristide. MINUSTAH includes about 5,000 military and police forces, led by units of the Brazil army. This mission has always been a pro-imperialist force in order to safeguard the reactionary rulers in Haiti. The MINUSTAH mission has received the support of various “progressive” governments like those of Brazil’s Lula, Argentina’s Kirchner or Bolivia’s Morales which demonstrates once more the pro-imperialist character that these forces.
6. As a result of centuries of imperialist domination and capitalist exploitation, large section of Haiti’s population lives in utter poverty population. Around 60% of Haiti's population lives on less than $2 a day and are extremely vulnerable to increases in the price of goods and services. On the other hand, the richest 10% of Haitians receive 70% of the country’s total income.
7. The Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (RCIT) strongly welcomes the popular insurrection of the workers and peasants in Haiti. It is another link in a chain of popular uprising which we have seen in the last 6 months around the globe and which might be the harbinger of a new world political phase of crisis, instability and revolutionary turmoil. Mass revolts in Nicaragua, in Palestine, Syria, Jordan, Iraq, Yemen, Tunisia, Morocco, and in Iran demonstrate that the working class and the popular masses in an increasing number of countries are no longer prepared to accept capitalist exploitation and oppression!
8. It is of crucial importance that the workers and poor peasants in Haiti utilize the current crisis of the ruling class. The uprising which brought down the government of Lafontant was largely spontaneous. However, in order to get rid of the regime of President Jovenel Moise, the masses must organize themselves in workers and popular councils in the workplaces, neighborhoods, schools and universities. Such councils should direct the struggle and organize a general strike. In order to defend themselves against the repression apparatus, the councils should create popular militias.
9. Key demands of the struggle have to be the cancellation of foreign debt, the creation of a public employment program, the expropriation of the parasitic bourgeoisie and the nationalization of the key sectors of the economy under workers control. The struggle should also aim for bringing down the Moise regime and its replacement by a workers and poor peasants government. The program of the workers revolution in Haiti can build on the proud tradition of this country which was the place of the only successful slave uprising in modern history. Led by the ex-slave Toussaint L'Ouverture, Haiti’s oppressed masses waged a liberation struggle from 1791 to 1804 which created a state which was both free from slavery, and ruled by non-whites and former captives.
10. Most importantly, socialists need to advance the construction of a revolutionary party nationally and internationally. Only such a party can give the necessary leadership for those struggles. Only such a party can transmit the socialist program to the masses. It is therefore the central task of all consistent revolutionary forces to focus on building such a party. The RCIT urges all revolutionaries in Haiti to fight together for the founding of such a party.
* Victory to the popular uprising of the workers and poor peasants in Haiti! Down with the regime of President Jovenel Moise!
* Cancel all foreign debts!
* For a public employment program under control of the workers and popular organization! Such a program could abolish unemployment and poverty and help reconstructing the country! It should be financed by expropriating the rich elite!
* Organize an indefinite general strike! For the formation of workers and popular councils in the workplaces, neighborhoods, schools and universities!
* For a workers and poor peasants government!
International Secretariat of the RCIT
Many more articles on the Latin AMerica can be read on our articles on our website at: https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/latin-america/
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