Sign-on in Support of Haiti, MINUSTAH Out!
To the Secretary General of the UN, Dr. Ban Ki-moon;
To the Governments of States members of the Security Council and the MINUSTAH;
To the international community and public at large
Receive our greetings.
It is surprising and humiliating to certify that "Haiti is a threat to world peace and security", as the UN Security Council does, year after year, in order to ratify the presence there of a military-police mission said to be for the purposes of stabilization: the MINUSTAH.
It is a statement that hides the impunity of the major powers and the hypocrisy that allows them to intervene militarily, politically, and economically in Haiti, drawing as well on the services of others.
The real threat is that intervention itself, a laboratory as well for new forms of domination and popular control.
The intervention of foreign troops over years, whether from the United States, France, other powers, or now the MINUSTAH, has not improved the lives of the Haitian people. Rather, their presence undermines the sovereignty and dignity of that people and ensures the process of economic recolonization that is directed now by a virtual parallel government – the Interim Commission for the Reconstruction of Haiti – whose plans are more responsive to the lenders and entrepreneurs than to the rights of Haitians.
As if this were not enough, the MINUSTAH directly usurps some USD 800 million per year (equivalent to nearly half of Haiti's annual budget) of resources needed by the people for their health, education, housing, water and sanitation, food sovereignty and job creation. Worse still, the MINUSTAH troops have built-up a real criminal record: they abuse and rape women and youth, and they kill. They kill with bullets when people stand up to hunger and low wages, and they kill with cholera: some 6,000 Haitian women and men have been killed by the disease introduced by the MINUSTAH. Enough!
We demand the immediate withdrawal of troops and non-renewal of the MINUSTAH mandate. The Security Council will vote on the renewal of the MINUSTAH before October 15, and some governments have begun to pose the need for changes. According to the Haitian organizations with which we are in permanent contact, the defense of Haitian people, of world peace and security, demands an indepth, structural decision in this regard. In addition to the MINUSTAH withdrawal, the non-intervention of any foreign military or police presence must be ensured, including in particular the total rejection of the permanence there of any U.S. troops. It is also vital that the crimes committed be sanctioned and reparations made.
We further urge the States and organisms involved to urgently review their policies of regional and international cooperation with Haiti. It is not a question of responding to the problems that do affect the social peace and security of that people with short-term, assistencialist measures that sharpen their dependency. The country needs changes whereby the Haitian people are the protagonists of their own life and builder of their own history. The Cuban medical presence is irrefutable proof that another cooperation is possible.
Haiti, predecessor and benefactor of antislavery and anticolonial struggles throughout the region, renowned for the creativity of its artists and the organizational strength of his people, has endured throughout its life enormous depredation and calamities. But the Haitian people have also demonstrated their persistence and solidarity in the struggle to build alternatives in the face of injustice and adversity. It is essential that their right to sovereignty and self-determination be respected: ridding them of occupations and illegitimate debts; supporting them in their struggle against impunity; acknowledging their abilities; and restoring to them the resources that have unjustly been taken from them – the historical, social, ecological, and financial debt due to the Haitian people – and that they need for life and dignity.