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BRAZILIAN CONLUTAS DELEGATION VISITS HAITI

From June 26th to July 3rd, 2007, a Brazilian delegation met with us in Haiti . Following two of our visits to Brazil , we had shown the organization CONLUTAS the interest of such a trip, given the specific relationship presently existing between our two countries and this organization’s often reiterated stand of rejection of the occupation.  

The delegation included twenty persons, mostly union representatives but also members of peasant organizations, professionals, students, neighborhood organizations, women’s’ groups, retirees, organizations fighting racism… and, finally, political parties, such as the PSTU (Unified Workers’ Socialist Party) and the PSOL (Socialism and Liberty Party). Reporters and photographs also accompanied the group (see http://www.solidariedadehaiti.blogspot.com/). All were members of CONLUTAS (the National Coordination of Struggles), an organization born of the “National Workers’ Congress (CONAT” held from May 5th to 7th, 2006.

This delegation first met various Batay Ouvriye leaders in Port-au-Prince and Cap-Haitian. Then, they participated in open assemblies, including participants in Port-au-Prince , Cap-Haitian and Ouanaminthe, counting industrial workers and workers from different other categories, whether of Batay Ouvriye or not.

It also met the university milieu. First, during an open student assembly, mostly from the School of Ethnology , with presence of the dean; later, with the university governing body, with the University President and Research Vice-President, as well as certain professors, who, upon invitation of the governing body itself, participated in the meeting.

At the St. Martial auditorium, the human rights’ sector principally, workers’ defense and solidarity organizations in general, as well as the representatives of political parties, were present in an open meeting for the public in general.

The members of the delegation also wished to present their position to the national and international authorities. Thus meetings were held with the President of the Republic, with the ambassador of Brazil and then Chili, with the Labor Direction of the Ministry of Labor and with the Direction of Free Trade Zones of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry.

In all these meetings and equally, the Brazilian workers’ delegates informed of their position against the occupation which they denounced not only as a violation of our sovereignty as a people, but also because it is a concrete support to the project of exploitation and domination which the multinational imperialists (of the textile industry in particular) relay to their local managers and the national governments at their service. This exploitation project is so cruel and antagonistic, and the Haitian ruling classes’ and their reactionary State’s incapacity so flagrant, that the occupation to take care of it and see to its accomplish has become necessary for them.

This is the same project that the ruling classes of Brazil and the reactionary classes that always loyally accompany them are presently attempting to implant there as well. So it is a fight we have in common in which the enemy of the workers and the peoples is everywhere the same, the general situation similar, even while the specificities of each country convey  particular aspects, namely the fact, precisely, that it is presently Latin-American military troops, under Brazilian command, that, in our country, are confirming this class domination, in this extreme case of occupation, shameful for both countries.

The recent presence, at the Ouanaminthe free trade zone, of the Brazilian Vice-President’s son, who is, in his country, the most important owner of the largest textile industry; the launching  - at least in words – of the ethanol project, by the US and Brazilian presidents; the various “free trade” treaties and the frenzied privatization process of the public services… all partake of this global dynamic of exploitation and neoliberalization that multinational imperialism seeks to impose to dominated peoples in general and those having “cheap labor”  in particular, using the latter as a “comparative advantage” in the context of international capitalist competition, under imperial dictates, with governments and financial institutions in support.

The “Letter to the Haitian People” conveyed by the members of this comrade delegation, read and transmitted at each of the meetings, reveals this logic and their partisan support, crystal-clear and historical. It is attached, in original form as well as translated.

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We should note the variety of reactions manifested during the different meetings.

At the popular encounters, meeting with the workers who suffer so from the bourgeois exploitation that maintains them chronically in such a high level of extreme misery and from the deadly attacks of the MINUSTAH which supports this state of affairs unreservedly, all applauded loudly the declarations of the Brazilian comrades that denounced so clearly the causes of their sufferance and brought them a more than brotherly solidarity, sign of the unity of a future people and of budding common struggles. Songs, free speech and appropriate comments filled the full rooms: a region was creating before our eyes; a homeland of a new type began to be felt. One of the Brazilian comrades went so far as to say that if, one day, the Haitian people stood up against this project of domination, exploitation and occupation by multinational capital, and, in this heroic and historical act, burned the Brazilian flag, he would stand by the Haitian workers in this!

Amongst the middle classes, hesitations linked to their nature and internal quarrels between fractions appeared most strongly and, in this, generally made the debate duller. Naturally, also, their adhesion to this position, although historically such an important one, was more lukewarm, even if some speakers did demonstrate an interesting theoretical precision and patriotic vigor.

Needless to say, the Haitian and Latin-American authorities tried with evasive and quite weak arguments to uphold an untenable position. The Latin-American authorities showed condescendence towards the Haitian people (which our “big neighbors of the North” already accustomed us to), in order to pat themselves on the backs, all the while hiding their real project of exploitation and domination. The Haitian authorities, for their part, revealed quite clearly the odious submission and abdication of responsibility they are guilty of. Some went so far as to declare themselves “against the occupation” although convinced of its “necessity”, revealing in this way not only the inconsistency and incoherence of their position as “national authorities”, but also demonstrating a high level of irresponsibility: faced with their total incapacity, they prefer to leave it to the fatality of such a situation. The president of the Republic himself wasn’t able to answer these contradictions which, for him, appear inextricable.

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Threats and intimidations accompanied this encounter (see our “Communiqué” concerning this), revealing quite clearly the limits of the so-called “democracy” and “civil liberties” this bourgeoisie so rants about.

Meanwhile, the “independent press” shined by its absence. Only the National Television covered both events and Alterpress was the only one who made it to our final press conference. A general invitation had been distributed to all, including the public program in its entirety. No comment.

BATAY OUVRIYE, Port-au-Prince , July 11th, 2007


CARTA AO POVO DO HAITI


“Nenhum povo pode ser livre se oprime outro povo.”


Mais uma vez, o Haiti está sendo ocupado, agora, por tropas latino-americanas. São países oprimidos oprimindo um povo ainda mais oprimido.

Debaixo do falso manto da defesa da democracia, impõe-se a opressão, a exploração, a miséria, manchando o solo de vosso país com sangue de vosasa gente.
Na realidade, uma intervenção que fere a soberania de vosso povo, permitindo ao imperialismo explorá-lo ainda mais e transformar o território haitiano em uma plataforma de exportação dos produtos das empresas multinacionais.
O governo brasileiro de LUIZ INÁCIO LULA DA SILVA detém o comando das tropas militares neste território, cumprindo assim um nefasto papel de agente do imperialismo opressor. Os trabalhadores e o povo brasileiro não respondem por este crime.

Ao contrário, ao heróico povo haitiano, que protagonizou a primeira e única revolução de escravos vitoriosa, a primeira nação a conquistar a independência na América Latina, que com bravura enfrentou tantas ditaduras em sua História e que acolheu Simon Bolívar fortalecendo seus ideais de liberdade, queremos dizer que:


Estaremos juntos na luta pela desocupação do vosso território e seremos mais que solidários, pois somos parte de uma mesma luta.
Embora à distância, travamos uma única batalha contra a colonização
imperialista. Acreditamos, como Sandino, que Liberdade não se pede, se conquista...


Nós, que assinamos esta carta, estamos no teatro de operações, somos parte deste cenário. Partilhamos as angústias e os sofrimentos do vosso povo e também nos somamos na trincheira da resistência, da busca da autodeterminação de nossos povos.

Sonhamos o mesmo sonho de liberdade. A vossa luta é a nossa luta, a vossa vitória é a nossa vitória, a liberdade de um povo é motivo de júbilo em toda a humanidade.


Pela imediata retirada das tropas brasileiras e de outros países do Haiti.
Pela autodeterminação do povo haitiano


LETTER TO THE HAITIAN PEOPLE

"No people can be free if it oppresses another."

Here, once again, Haiti is occupied! But, this time, it is Latino American troops that are in charge. An oppressed country oppresses another which is so even more.

Under the false guise of "defending democracy", it imposes oppression, exploitation, misery, soiling the ground of your country with the blood of your people.

In reality, this intervention tramples your sovereignty, with the objective of allowing imperialism to exploit the workers and transform the Haitian territory into a platform for multinational corporations’ exportations.

The LUIZ IGNACIO LULA DA SILVA government has the command of the international military troops on this territory, thus playing the reprehensible role of agent of the imperialist oppressor. The workers and the Brazilian people do not answer of this crime.

On the contrary, to the heroic Haitian people, first and only people to have carried out a victorious slave revolution and who were also the first to conquer independence in Latin America and bravely faced so many dictatorships during its history, also welcoming Simon Bolivar and reinforcing his ideals of freedom, we say:

We will be with you in the fight for the liberation of your territory and we will be more than in solidarity, because we are all a part of the same fight.

Although from a distance, we are all carrying out but one and the same fight against imperialist colonization.

With Sandino, we believe that freedom is not requested, it is conquered...

We, the undersigned, are on the theatre of the operations, we a part of this scene. We share the same distress, have the same sufferings and are also in the same trenches of resistance, in the quest for the self-determination of our peoples.

We share the same dream of freedom.

Your fight is our fight, your victory will be ours: the freedom of one people is reason for rejoice for all of humanity.

For the immediate withdrawal of the Brazilian troops of Haiti .

For the self determination of the Haitian people.