The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

U.N. “Security Support Mission”—Another Armed Group on the Ground

Oct 30, 2023

This article is translated from the February issue #309 of La Voix des Travailleurs (Workers’ Voice), the journal of the Organization of Revolutionary Workers (Organisation des Travailleurs Revolutionaires) active in Haiti.

On October 2nd, the United Nations Security Council approved the deployment of a “multinational security support mission” in Haiti. It will be yet another armed group in Haiti. It will aim to restore the authority of Haiti’s ruling class and the political elites, much impaired by the criminal gangs. But for working people, security always depends only on their ability to organize their own force to protect themselves from criminal abuses in their neighborhoods.

It is an illusion to believe that the Haitian ruling class can survive without the services of armed gangs. The permanent presence of gangs alongside other armed bodies like the army and police historically testify to the desire of the wealthy classes to maintain power by violence against working people and to hold them in abject poverty and total destitution. Bosses in subcontracting, big merchants, and the political elites vastly prefer putting up with armed gangs than helping to raise the standard of living of ordinary people in Haiti.

The current problem for this parasitical minority and their imperialist allies is not so much the existence of these gangs as the hegemony of power they have won on the ground. Massacres and abominable crimes by the gangs are problems—but more problematic for the rich are the hurdles the gangs put in the way of the wealthy class’s pursuit of riches.

Only time will tell whether the U.N. mission succeeds in loosening the grip of the armed gangs enough for economic activities to revive, for people to move from one province to another, and for the political class’s circus to resume, etc.

But ordinary people have nothing to expect from this mission. The U.N. force’s job is not to address unemployment, low wages, bad or no housing, or exploitative jobs, nor to distribute land to poor farmers or build hospitals and schools. And in terms of the gangs mentioned in the resolution presented to the U.N. Security Council, the mission’s soldiers will not tear up the foundations of the society that created these gangs.

With or without the presence of foreign troops, the safety and security of ordinary people in the neighborhoods, cities, and on the highways, and the improvement of their living conditions all depend on what their own struggles can win. After all, no one is going to hand this to working people as a gift.