Haiti. On January 31, hundreds of Haitian revolutionaries took to the streets of several cities in opposition to the US-backed Moïse regime. In the capital, Port-au-Prince, as well as in the cities of Petit-Goave, Mirebalais, Verretes and Saint-Marc, militants blocked major roads and highways with burning tires and stones.
Originally published by Aboliton Media Worldwide.
Haiti has been experiencing a new wave of protests against the right wing regime of President Jovenel Moïse. Since January 10, thousands of revolutionaries, students, workers, and members of various social movements have been mobilizing across the country in rejection of Moïse’s decision to hold presidential and legislative elections on September 19 and a referendum to replace the current constitution, which was established after the popular revolt to overthrow the US-backed dictatoship of Jean-Claude “Baby Doc” Duvalier in 1986, on April 25.
Haitian revolutionaries denounced Moïse’s decision as an attempt to extend his term of office until February 2022, which according to the constitution, ends on February 7, 2021. The referendum is invalid and unconstitutional, as the 1987 Constitution prohibits its modification through popular consultation.
Social movements, trade unions and revolutionaries have called on the people to organize against the national government of right-wing Tèt Kale Party and intensify their measures of protest throughout the national territory until February 7. In the past three weeks, almost everyday, at least one demonstration or mobilization was carried out in the country.
Haitian trade unions, such as the National Union of Haitian Workers, the United Movement of Haitian Workers (MUTH), the Lawyers’ Collective for the Defense of Human Rights and the Anti-Corruption Union Brigade (BSAC), have called for a general strike on February 1 and 2, to demand that the president respect Constitution and leave the National Palace. Since early morning, barricades have been erected in different parts of the country.
In the face of the recent popular insurrection, Moïse’s administration has deployed security forces in the capital and other important cities to suppress the social uprising. The Haitian National Police has been using tear gas and water cannons to repress the protesters.
Last week, on January 28, Moïse insisted that he must remain in power for another year. He claimed that he assumed power on February 7, 2017 to serve a five-year term, so he will retain the leadership of the republic until 2022.
However, Moïse’s term ends in February 2021 according to the article 134-2 of the 1987 Constitution, which provides for an early start of a new presidential term if there were problems with the counting of votes in the elections. This article is applicable to the present government because of what happened in the 2015 elections. The October 2015 elections were annulled due to allegations of fraud and were repeated in November 2016.
Since July 2018, Haitian revolutionaries have been tirelessly organizing and mobilizing against Moïse’s corrupt and neoliberal regime, which has plunged the country into a deep social, political and economic crisis. Moïse along with other current and former ministers and government officials have been accused of embezzlement of around USD 3.8 billion from Venezuela’s Petrocaribe funds. Moïse’s austerity measures, imposed in accordance with the International Monetary Fund policies, have pushed the majority of the country’s population into poverty.