Solidarity and Respect for Popular Sovereignty: Haiti is Calling
We stand with the people of Haiti at this time of infinite suffering and tragedy, taking on their cry and calling on the whole world to respond with urgent and persistent solidarity. We call on peoples and governments everywhere to be shaken with the same force with which the earth shook the very foundations of that worthy and brave people’s life, affecting directly one third of the population - three million people - and adding a destruction of unimaginable proportions to what was for the vast majority, already a situation of tremendous precariousness and the routine violation of its most basic human rights.
This tragedy exceeds the borders of Haiti. It is the responsibility of the international community to provide immediate relief to the victims as well as the resources and policies which will be needed, over the near and medium term, in order to support the Haitian people’s own efforts to reconstruct their country and future, free of the domination and dependency that have so marked their life. Without a doubt, the people of Haiti have the strength and the creativity they need, and together, we cannot permit this tragedy to be used by those who have always sought to stifle this popular will, in order to impose a model and brand of reconstruction in accordance with their own stingy interests.
Together with many Haitian organizations, over recent years we have denounced the military occupation of the country by United Nations (UN) troops and the impacts of the domination imposed via the mechanisms of debt, free trade, the looting of its natural habitat and the invasion of transnational interests. The vulnerability of the country to natural tragedies – provoked to a large extent by the environmental devastation, the non-existence of basic infrastructure, and the systematic weakening of the state’s capacity to act - should not be seen as something disconnected from these policies, which have historically undermined the sovereignty of the people.
Now is the time for the governments that form part of the MINUSTAH, the UN and in particular France and the United States, the governments of Latin America, to revise this action that is contrary to the basic needs of the Haitian people. We demand of those governments and international organizations that they substitute the military occupation with a true mission of solidarity, and that they take action to ensure the urgent cancellation of the debt that is still being collected of Haiti. We further demand that the resources to be provided for relief and reconstruction not give rise to new indebtedness nor be used to impose conditionalities or any another form of external imposition that detracts from their stated aim, as is the common practice of the International Financial Institutions such as the World Bank, the Interamerican Development Bank and the IMF, the so called "donor countries", and the corporations that they benefit.
Now is the time for the international community, and in particular the countries and interests that have enriched themselves as a result, to recognize and fulfill their obligation to make reparations for the ecological, social, historic, and climate debts that they have accumulated with the Haitian people. And now is also the time to recall not only that it is women who generally bear a disproportionate share of the costs of such tragedies, but also that women are able and should be leading artifices of the reconstruction process.
We also urge social movements, organizations and people the world over, in particular those linked to issues of health and popular habitat, culture and communications, to mobilize, creating and engaging in aid campaigns and organizing local committees and volunteer brigades to help Haiti at this difficult moment. We share with the heroic and resistant Haitian people our mourning and our solidarity, in the conviction that the country will once again overcome such tragedy, reemerging free and sovereign.
Jubilee South / Americas