Haitian police announced on Friday, November 4, the end of the blockade of the largest oil terminal, paralyzed by gangs.
There is no doubt that Haiti is in a terrible crisis, perhaps the worst in our lifetime. But the narratives the United States uses to justify its intervention in that country ignore a crucial fact: Haiti has rarely, if ever, been allowed to run its own affairs. Haiti experts, for their part, believe that U.S. interference would lead to disaster in that country.
Haiti’s national police announced on Friday, November 4, that they had regained control of the country’s largest oil terminal from gangs. But clashes were still ongoing in the area, according to two corroborating sources.
“The police conducted an operation between Wednesday and Thursday with the aim of allowing the resumption of activities in the main oil terminal that was taken hostage by armed men,” wrote the Haitian National Police on its Facebook account, with supporting photographs attesting to its presence on the scene. “Several police units were deployed with armored vehicles to dislodge the bandits” from the Varreux terminal in Port-au-Prince, the police added.
On Thursday, November 3, 2022, an operation by the Special Anti-Gang Unit (UTAG) of the PNH, which began on Wednesday, allowed them to regain control of the Varreux terminal (70% of Haiti’s fuel reserves), which had been in the hands of the heavily armed men of the “G9” led by ex-police officer Jimmy Chérizier alias “Barbecue”, radical leader and head of Haiti’s most powerful coalition of gangs “G9 Fanmi and allies”, for nearly two months, paralyzing all activities in the country. However, a police source announced Friday evening that “the police operation is continuing”.
In the midst of the chaos in Haiti, the international community is considering the deployment of a “multinational rapid action force” in the country, followed in the medium term by yet another UN peacekeeping mission. Already, the U.S. has sent personnel, armored vehicles and undisclosed “equipment” to “help the Haitian police fight a conglomerate of gangs that have taken over the country.
But now the problem has doubled: many innocent civilians will be caught in the crossfire between gang crimes and the interventionist actions of the U.S. occupation forces, which so far have had no other purpose than to plunder the wealth of the Haitian people, a plan also recognized by Western intellectual circles.
In a recent article, The Guardian discussed the disastrous intervention of the West, including the United States, in Haiti. According to author Pooja Bhatia, “The underlying assumption is that Haitians cannot manage their own affairs. The government is corrupt or ineffective or both. Its people are trapped in a “web of cultural influences resistant to progress,” as David Brooks was allowed to opine in The New York Times just after the country’s giant 2010 earthquake. Left alone, Haiti would descend into chaos and humanitarian crisis: disease, violence, death. […] That’s what we’re thinking about today”. The daily points out that the international community presents the idea of foreign intervention, but “Haiti’s point of view is generally different: foreign intervention causes a disaster.
Part of the note states that “Haiti, after all, was born out of the determination of slaves to throw off the genocidal yoke of the French, aka foreign subjugation. It has since suffered numerous invasions and intrusions, including a 19-year occupation by the United States from 1915 to 1934. The American occupation was justified as being for the good of Haiti. Its legacy included the enrichment of American elites and setting the stage for the rise of the Duvalier dictatorship.
According to the daily’s analyst, “there is no doubt that Haiti is going through a terrible crisis, perhaps the worst in our lifetime. [… But the narratives the U.S. uses to justify intervention ignore a crucial fact: Haiti has rarely, if ever, been allowed to run its own affairs.
Headlines have reported that Haiti has requested intervention. This is not true. It was Haiti’s Prime Minister, Ariel Henry, who requested it. Henry more or less appointed himself Prime Minister after the assassination last July of President Jovenel Moïse. He never had any kind of constitutional authority and was indeed involved in the assassination of Moïse. The people he claims to speak for despise him. His only constituency is outside the country.