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

The Exploited Masses Have No Choice But to Revolt

May 20, 2024

This article is translated from the May issue, #314 of La Voix des Travailleurs (Workers Voice), the paper of Organisation des Travailleurs Revolutionaires (Organization of Revolutionary Workers), a Trotskyist group active in Haiti.

The ruling classes and their political henchmen have allowed criminal gangs to proliferate throughout the country. For them, it’s better to deal with criminal gangs and murderers who sow grief and terror in their wake, but who are also part of the defense of imperialism, than to confront millions of workers and the unemployed, who are revolting against the hell of the capitalist system of exploitation.

For several years now, the working masses have been living to the rhythm of massacres and terrorist acts, each more heinous than the last. Entire neighborhoods have been razed to the ground and emptied of their inhabitants. Hundreds of thousands of people become homeless overnight, some forced to live in camps or flee to provincial towns. Hospitals, schools and public markets are set on fire.

The bourgeoisie is not moved by this, as it continues to amass wealth, even if it means paying armed groups handsomely to protect its business. In any case, it’s the workers who will foot the bill in the form of higher prices. Then as now, the distress of the population has always been the least of the political class’ concerns. Despite the almost total disintegration of the country, they continue to fight for power like scavengers to satisfy their greed.

Imperialism, master of the scene through its embassies, is not concerned by the rotting situation. If things stall, contingents of foreign soldiers can be dispatched to protect its interests and evacuate its nationals, as they are currently doing.

Despite the country’s apocalyptic situation, large-caliber weapons, drones and grenades continue to arrive from the U.S., the Caribbean and Santo Domingo into the hands of criminal gangs. As a result, some say that Haiti and its working classes are the victims of a conspiracy.

Far from being the victim of a conspiracy, Haiti has been the victim of capitalist domination of the planet since the landing of mercenaries in the pay of the rising bourgeoisie in Europe, from 1492 to the present day. In this, Haiti is no exception. But for having, on the one hand, stood up to the French slave-owning colonists by wresting their freedom the hard way, and, on the other, inflicting a humiliating defeat on Napoleon by gaining their independence, the Haitian masses, victims of slavery, have singled themselves out as the symbol of the struggle against oppression.

If armed gangs have not yet taken over all the country’s major cities, this is largely due to the vigilance of the population. And even in Port-au-Prince, despite the omnipotence of the criminal gangs, certain neighborhoods such as Canapé-Vert, Juvenat, the town of Mirebalais, etc. are resisting. In some neighborhoods, people are getting organized and achieving some success.

It was through the general revolt of the population that the slaves obtained their freedom and proclaimed their independence from the French colonists and their allies. It’s the general uprising of the working masses that will put an end to the barbarity of the armed gangs and the system of exploitation that has given birth to them.