Anti-imperialist Struggles in Haiti and Around the World
Over the past year, the people of Haiti have taken to the streets time and time again to protest corruption and imperialist domination of their country. They have deposed a prime minister and now are on the verge of ousting their corrupt president as well. This is in line with a long legacy of people’s struggles in Haiti. This article investigates the current anti-imperialist revolt in Haiti as well as past struggles for liberation.
People hold a sign reading “Where is the PetroCaribe Money?” at a protest in Haiti. Demonstrations against corruption have rocked the country over the past year.
Over the past year the Haitian people have been waging a fierce struggle against the imperialist domination and plunder of their country. This struggle intensified last summer, when the government announced a plan for massive increases in the price of gasoline and other basic necessities. Large protests and street demonstrations led to the resignation of the then-Prime Minister of Haiti and to a hasty cancellation of the planned price increases. More recently, people have demanded the resignation of the current President, Jovenel Moïse, for his role in a huge corruption scheme that plundered billions of dollars from Haiti. In the past few months this has developed into a nation-wide protest movement which has rocked the country and paralyzed the economy for days at a time, sending the Haitian ruling elite into a frenzy.
This movement is part of a very long struggle that the people of Haiti have waged against slavery, imperialist domination, poverty, and oppression. It is inspiring to see the Haitian people’s resistance to the grinding poverty and systemic deprivation that prevail throughout the country. Their struggle shows the power of the people to resist and fight for change even in very difficult conditions.
The corruption case that set off the current protests is staggering in its scope. The exact amount of money which has been stolen or misappropriated isn’t completely clear, but it is clear that it is on the scale of billions of dollars. This is in a very poor country, where the vast majority of people have almost no personal wealth and live in serious poverty. The sheer audacity of the Haitian ruling elites trying to pull off plunder on this scale shows that they are utterly shameless in their exploitation and oppression of the Haitian people. As long as they can line their pockets they do not care how many poor people go hungry, die from preventable diseases, or are forced to work in brutal factories run by foreign imperialists. Many Haitian politicians, like the current president Jovenel Moïse, talk about the importance of “democracy” and “development,” but their true colors and ruthlessness are shown by their willingness to loot their own country while so many Haitians live in desperate poverty.
Haitians burn an American flag in protest against the U.S. domination of their country and the corporate plunder of Haiti by American businesses.
The corruption case centers on the misuse and theft of money obtained by the Haitian government from the government of Venezuela. The money came from both the Venezuelan oil company PetroCaribe, which offered Caribbean countries like Haiti the option of buying oil on credit, and aid from the Venezuelan government. In both cases the money was earmarked for usage in development projects and reconstruction efforts aimed at fixing the infrastructure and buildings destroyed by the 2010 earthquake. Large amounts of this money have disappeared in a variety of ways, some of them exposed by official reports by the Haitian government or by journalists, others still unknown.
Through signs and chants at protests Haitians have raised the slogans “Kote kob la?” (“Where is the money?”) and “kote lajan petrokarayib la?” (“Where is the PetroCaribe money?”). Some of the money just disappeared, such as $4 million which is reported to have disappeared alongside every oil shipment PetroCaribe sent to Haiti. Some of the money was spent on projects which went absurdly over-budget, such as a water viaduct project by a Dominican Republic-based firm which ran $6 million over-budget. Other money made its way into various people’s pockets through old-fashioned, straight-up corruption and looting.
Jovenel Moïse, the current President of Haiti, was personally involved in numerous ways. His company, Agritrans, is a major recipient for money which was intended for various aid and reconstruction projects, including rebuilding the country’s infrastructure in the wake of the devastating earthquake that Haiti suffered in 2010. But in most cases the money was paid out even though the work was never done. In one case Agritrans was paid by the Haitian government to repair a road, but the road never got repaired, and when investigators tried to locate the contract for the work it had been “lost.” This is all the more ridiculous because Agritrans is not a construction firm, a paving firm, or an engineering firm: it is a banana plantation.
The banana plantation itself seems to have been something that Moïse helped himself to at the expense of the Haitian people. In one case, Agritrans received a $6 million loan and more than 1,000 hectares of land—tax-free—from the government.
Many other members of the Haitian elite are implicated in the corruption scandal. The president before Moïse, Michel Martelly, appointed his son Olivier minister of “Sport and the Accompaniment of Haitian Youth,” a position which was created specifically for him. He then went on to appropriate some $70 million to construct a series of sports facilities across Haiti. In a “shocking” twist, the facilities were either not built or never completed, but Martelly has since become one of the wealthier people in Haiti. This sort of corruption has become typical.
Tens of thousands of people have repeatedly taken to the streets to protest corruption and imperialist domination of Haiti.
Over a period of several years, and through a variety of different scams and hustles, the Haitian ruling elites involved in this corruption case have stolen or mismanaged a colossal amount of money. Although the complete picture of all the money involved in the case hasn’t yet emerged, many activists and journalists in Haiti believe that around $3.8 billion has gone missing. Outright plunder and corruption on a scale like this would be a huge scandal anywhere around the world, but it is especially glaring in a very poor country like Haiti, where the majority of the population survives on around $2 each day. The GDP of Haiti is around $8 billion, so those currently accused of corruption have stolen the equivalent of roughly half of what the entire population of Haiti produces in a year.
Haiti still has not fully recovered from the 2010 earthquake which devastated the country, and there are still roads, hospitals, and schools which were destroyed in the earthquake that have not been repaired. Many Haitians cannot afford adequate food every day, and many suffer from preventable diseases which the country’s healthcare system is unable to deal with. Before the earthquake Haiti was already a desperately poor country, and Haiti’s schools and hospitals were already inadequate.
The earthquake and subsequent lack of recovery further impoverished many struggling farmers, and pushed more Haitians to leave the country is search of work in the Dominican Republic, Chile, the U.S., and Canada.
While the earthquake was a disaster for the Haitian people, for the Haitian ruling class it represented a golden opportunity. All the aid money flooding into Haiti and the lack of oversight about how the money was being spent gave them ample opportunities to line their own pockets. As they did so hundreds of thousands of Haitians were dying needlessly, millions were living in grinding, unrelenting poverty, and thousands were forced to flee the country. But this was not a concern for the ruling elite; instead it was just a more open display of how they operate.
Haiti’s poverty, after all, isn’t an accident. It’s the result of decades of domination of the country by the U.S. and other imperialist countries, made possible by the eager cooperation of loyal lackeys like Moïse. In order to dominate and control the country the foreign imperialists need local elites, who can keep rebellion and resistance in check and generally run the country in a way which is favorable for foreign capitalists, all at the expense of the Haitian people.
These elites are also needed to maintain the illusion that Haiti is an independent country, although it is becoming increasingly clear to many Haitians that this is not the case. It used to be that the ruling class of imperialist countries ruled over other countries and peoples by direct colonization, such as when the UK ruled the Indian subcontinent as “British India” or when various European powers like France directly controlled huge swaths of Africa. However, this system of direct colonization eventually became outdated and could not be maintained. During the 20th century there were a series of anti-colonial and national independence struggles which made it effectively impossible for imperialists to maintain this policy. The French were kicked out of Algeria and forced to grant independence to all of the other countries they controlled in Africa, and the British had to give up direct control of India. However, wherever they could do so the imperialist powers sponsored local elites who helped them maintain a firm grip on their colonies, even if these countries became formally independent.
In certain cases the imperialists had no choice but to get out, such as when they were all decisively and firmly kicked out of China after the revolution in 1949. However, in many countries the imperialists were able to work closely with hand-picked local elites to ensure that even after independence the imperialists would retain a firm grip on the markets, resources, and people in their former colonies.
The British were able to pull this off in India, where the Congress Party worked with the British to ensure that even as India became an independent country it remained under the thumb of British monopoly capitalists. This actually ended up being a more efficient way for British capitalists to exploit India–they were able to make investments in India and exploit India’s resources without having to worry as much about the day-to-day governance. This actually resulted in increased British investment in India following independence. India changed from a British colony to a neocolony, a country which is technically an independent country but in reality is thoroughly dominated and controlled by foreign imperialist powers.
Neocolonialism is particularly advantageous for the imperialists because it obscures the ways in which the oppressed countries are dominated by foreign powers. Instead of being occupied by a foreign country and directly controlled, as in old-style colonialism, under neocolonialism oppressed countries are “independent,”, with their own names, flags, official languages, laws, and so on. In the case of Haiti, which has been independent for a long time, imperialist powers have never ceased their schemes for dominating and controlling Haiti to serve their imperialist interests.
Haiti was founded in 1804 by former slaves, who revolted against the brutal system of French plantation slavery. They waged an incredibly brave and heroic struggle against France, which sent some of its best troops to crush the nascent rebellion and “restore order.” The Haitian people fought for 12 long years against France, and after decisively defeating the French they finally declared independence and created the first Black republic in history, and the first independent country established as the result of a slave rebellion.
During the Haitian Revolution, the former slaves fought heroically to defeat the French colonialists. Often they fought against better armed enemies, but nevertheless, they overthrew their oppressors and won their freedom.
The Haitian people’s victory over their oppressors continues to be a major inspiration for oppressed and exploited people around the world. It showed that the power of the people, united in struggle, is stronger than the force of the oppressors. It also showed the world that the racist myths of white supremacy are vicious lies. French troops were defeated and outsmarted time after time by former Black slaves, the vast majority of whom could not read or write, who were fighting with whatever weapons they could make themselves or take from the French oppressors.
But for the elite of the powerful capitalist and slave-owning countries of the time, like the United States, Britain, and France, the victory of the Haitian people over slavery was not something to be celebrated. They were concerned that their own slaves might take inspiration from the Haitian example and start to rise up. Like all oppressors throughout history, they hated nothing more than having the oppressed slip from their grasp. So all of these countries started working in various ways to keep Haiti from being truly independent. For example in 1825 France threatened to attack Haiti unless Haiti agreed to pay an enormous sum of money, the equivalent of $40 billion today, to compensate former French slaveowners for what they viewed as their lost “property,” namely the people who they used to own. Haiti had to take out massive loans to pay this indemnity, which kept it mired in debt and poverty over a century. The debt wasn’t fully paid off until 1947.
Although early on France played the primary role in oppressing Haiti, as the United States developed into a more powerful country it became the primary imperialist oppressor of the Haitian people. For the U.S. ruling class there is a lot of money to be made by dominating and controlling Haiti, so they want to make sure that they will be able to count on the Haitian government acting in their interests. For this reason the U.S. ruling class has a long history of treating Haiti as its personal backyard, backing leaders who will cooperate with U.S. business interests and constantly interfering in Haiti’s affairs if U.S. interests are threatened.
This has allowed the U.S. ruling elite to ensure for a long time that the government in Haiti is a subservient puppet government. But the Haitian people also have a long history of struggling against the imperialist domination of their country, so the local U.S.-backed ruling elites have had to rule with an iron fist, brutally suppressing any popular democratic or revolutionary movements that threaten their rule.
Jean-Claude “Baby Doc” Duvalier (center right) dressed in the uniform of the Leopards, a special branch of the Haitian military trained by the U.S. to suppress the insurgency against the Duvalier dictatorship.
The U.S. government supported the brutal Duvalier dictatorship in Haiti, which lasted from 1957 to 1986, and during which tens of thousands of Haitians were slaughtered. François Duvalier and his son, Jean-Claude, ruled Haiti with extreme brutality, suppressing any threat to their rule with extreme repression. They stayed in power by maintaining a reign of terror throughout the country, using a militia called the Tonton Macoutes (the name of a boogeyman-type monster in Haitian folklore). The U.S. Marines provided them with weapons training. The Tonton Macoutes killed and tortured thousands of Haitians who dared to resist or even just to criticize the Duvalier dictatorship. Thousands of Haitians were forced to flee the country to escape death or imprisonment. The U.S. has also repeatedly used former Tonton Macoutes to serve U.S. interests in Haiti, including those who carried out war crimes and massacres against Haitian workers, farmers, activists, and dissidents.
In the last 30 years the U.S. and U.S.-backed right-wing militias have been involved in two coups d’état in Haiti, one in 1991 and another in 2004. Both have involved right-wing militias, armed and trained by the U.S., which were composed of former members of the Tonton Macoutes. One of the most notorious groups is the absurdly named Revolutionary Armed Front for the Advancement of Haiti (FRAPH, Front Révolutionnaire Armé pour le Progrès d’Haïti), a group composed of ex-Tonton Macoute goons. This group has carried out numerous brutal attacks on people in Haiti, including several large massacres.
The 1991 U.S.-backed coup was aimed at ousting the recently-elected president of Haiti, Jean-Bertrand Aristide. Aristide, a priest who played a leading role in the anti-Duvalier and pro-democracy movement for many years, was elected on a wave of popular enthusiasm and optimism that swept Haiti after the fall of the brutal Duvalier dictatorship in 1986. Aristide was himself not an anti-imperialist or a revolutionary. He advocated for increased spending on social programs, and proposed regulations which would slightly reduce the degree to which foreign corporations plunder profits from the labor of the Haitian people. The funds from these changes were to be used for educational and public health programs.
Aristide did not advocate for kicking the U.S. imperialists out of the country once and for all, and he was not opposed to continued foreign investment in Haiti. Still, the changes he proposed, modest though they were, would have reduced the profits for foreign capitalists who are desperate to squeeze as much as possible from the blood and sweat of the Haitian people. To protect their profits and their bottom line the U.S. ruling class orchestrated the coup in Haiti.
After the 1991 coup, several U.S.-backed paramilitary groups, including the FRAPH, kept popular opposition to the coup in check through brutal repression. On April 22, 1994, the FRAPH carried out one of the most notorious massacres of the period in Raboteau, when they murdered around 50 people in a neighborhood which was a center of support for Aristide.
FRAPH goons also raped a large number of women. In both of the U.S.-backed coups many working people in Haiti were killed by these right-wing thugs, and the chaos unleashed by these coups devastated the country.
Aside from outright coups, the U.S. has also interfered in elections to ensure that only people friendly to their interests are elected. Haiti uses a runoff election system with two rounds, where many candidates compete in the first round. The two with the most votes then face off in the second round, with the winner becoming president. In the 2010-2011 election the Organization of American States and the U.S. State Department worked together to certify the first round election results as “fraudulent,” after their favored candidate, Michel Martelly, didn’t make it into the second round. The next candidate who did, Jude Célestin, was forced to drop out of the race, and Martelly went on to win the presidency.
As a result of imperialist plunder and the corruption of local elites, the people of Haiti face crushing poverty and dire health conditions.
The U.S. and other imperialist countries really will do almost anything to maintain control of countries like Haiti, from sponsoring right-wing death squads that murder and rape with impunity to blatant election-rigging. For the U.S. and other imperialist countries, there is a lot of money to be made by controlling and dominating the economies of other countries, and they are perfectly fine with the disastrous results of this kind of meddling for the Haitian people.
For foreign capitalists it is advantageous to have Haiti be a poor country which is relatively undeveloped. This lets them pay lower wages to Haitian workers than they would have to pay in the U.S. In Haiti the current minimum wage is around three dollars a day, and many employers pay even less. Even though many basic necessities are much cheaper in Haiti than in the U.S., this is a poverty wage which is almost impossible to survive on. For the capitalists who set up these factories the poverty and deprivation in Haiti is not a human disaster, but a great business opportunity.
In addition to producing huge profits for U.S. and French capitalists, the foreign-owned factories in Haiti keep the country mired in poverty. This is because the profits produced in these factories through the blood, sweat, and tears of Haitian workers are owned by foreign capitalists. This means that a large part of the wealth produced in Haiti leaves the country, and even the elites in Haiti are only given a relatively small share compared to the huge profits that foreign capitalists make. This parasitic relationship is immensely profitable for the U.S. and French capitalists who produce t-shirts, jeans, sweatshirts, and other goods in Haiti, but it keeps the Haitian people in a perpetual state of poverty.
Since so much of the wealth produced in Haiti leaves the country, there is not much left over to pay for basic social services like healthcare, housing, or education, or to invest in infrastructure beyond what is needed to serve the interests of foreign capitalists. As long as Haiti continues to be dominated by imperialist powers the Haitian people will be unable to throw off the shackles of poverty and deprivation, since this constant parasitic withdrawal of wealth will continue to systematically impoverish the country.
After the 2010 earthquake, imperialists like Clinton and Bush rushed to Haiti, and used this disaster as an excuse to further deepen U.S. control of the country under the guise of humanitarian aid.
This is a big part of the reason why, almost ten years after the disastrous earthquake that struck Haiti in 2010, the country still has not been able to fully rebuild. For the imperialists the massive devastation caused by this continual impoverishment is actually helpful for maximizing their rate of profit.
Although Haiti is oppressed by a number of imperialist powers, the U.S. plays the primary role. U.S. capitalists own the majority of foreign-owned factories and farms in Haiti, and the U.S. government constantly meddles in Haitian affairs to protect U.S. business interests. The U.S. works to ensure that a puppet government is in power in Haiti, which they can count on to help them oppress and exploit the Haitian people. These people, like Jovenel Moïse and Michel Martelly before him, care far more about lining their own pockets than about their own people, and they are willing to sell out the country to the highest bidder.
The situation for the Haitian people is very dire. The corrupt neocolonial government in Haiti cooperates eagerly with foreign capitalists to help them exploit and oppress the Haitian people. Workers, peasants, and nearly everyone in Haiti is deeply impoverished, except for the corrupt layer of officials who get a kickback from the imperialists. Many Haitians are not able to get enough food to eat or access basic medical care. The situation is very bad, but in this difficult situation a large number of workers, peasants, activists, progressive intellectuals, and lawyers have taken to the streets. Last summer, when the government planned a massive increase in the price of fuel, huge street demonstrations and blockades forced them to cancel these plans, and the protests eventually forced the then-prime minister from office.
More recently, the protests against the massive corruption scandal engulfing Haiti’s political and business elite have rocked the country and ground the whole economy to a halt for days at a time. The strength of these protests shows how massive the power of the people really is. When hundreds of thousands of people take to the streets to demonstrate and call for change, the rulers are forced to take notice and make concessions, in ways that they normally do not. These developments are very inspiring to see, and they show that people are capable of tremendous acts of resistance, even when operating in very difficult conditions.
This struggle in Haiti also an anti-imperialist struggle, because the Haitian ruling class is so tightly linked up with the domination of Haiti by foreign powers, principally the U.S. The Haitian people’s struggle against the corrupt puppet government which they live under is part of a growing wave of anti-imperialist struggles around the world. In recent years the people of numerous countries have grown increasingly fed up with corrupt pro-imperialist governments which impoverish and oppress them. In some countries these movements take the form of organized, long-term revolutionary movements, such as the revolutionary struggles being waged in India and the Philippines.
A protest in Sudan against former president Omar al-Bashir. Mass demonstrations like this one forced him from office.
In other countries there is not yet an organized revolutionary movement, but the struggles against repressive puppet governments are still anti-imperialist struggles, and progressive and democratic people worldwide should support them.
Aside from Haiti, big protest movements have emerged recently in Sudan, Algeria, Jordan, Yemen, and elsewhere. In Sudan huge protests have forced Omar al-Bashir from office; he had ruled the country for thirty years. Bashir was supported by Chinese imperialists who propped up his government for years and controlled the country’s oil resources. The military in Sudan has attempted to seize power and turn his ouster into a coup, so they can put a different member of his close inner circle in power, but protests continue, and it is not yet clear who will take power in the country. Recently Saudi Arabia and the UAE have extended $3 billion in aid to the Sudanese military to support their coup. The people of Sudan are no doubt very familiar with the situation in neighboring Egypt, where Abdel Fattah el-Sisi came to power in 2013 as part of a military coup after massive protests. His rule has been incredibly harsh and repressive; his rise to power was also sponsored by Saudi Arabia and the UAE. If the people of Sudan keep up their struggle, they will be able to avoid military rule, but the road will be long and difficult.
Hundreds of thousands have taken to the street in Algeria to protest against the corrupt government and imperialist domination of their country.
In Algeria too, the long time president Abdelaziz Bouteflika has been ousted following years of economic problems and cutbacks in social services. Bouteflika, who became president of Algeria in 1999, was forced to resign from the presidency following massive protests that rocked the capital city of Algiers every Friday for weeks. There, too, the existing powers have attempted to put another member of Bouteflika’s ruling clique in power, but popular protests have continued nonetheless, with people demanding power to determine the future of their country.
In Jordan last summer there were very large protests against a proposed new tax code, which would have greatly increased the burden of taxation on working people. The tax “reform” was ordered by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), to which the government of Jordan owes billions of dollars. The IMF is an imperialist organization which helps the U.S. and its allies dominate and control other countries through predatory loans.
When the countries that it loans money to are unable to pay back what they borrow, the IMF and the U.S. government will use their leverage to impose humiliating conditions on the indebted country. Sometimes the IMF will demand that one of their loyal lackeys be appointed to control financial policy in the country, or they will demand that markets be opened to U.S. products and investment. In the case of Jordan, which owes around $40 billion, the IMF decreed that the Jordanian government should tax poor people in the country more in order to pay back the debt. For poor and working Jordanians, who were already struggling to make ends meet, the imposition of further taxation was more than they could put up with, and so they took to the streets. Massive protests forced the scrapping of the law, and the prime minister was also forced to resign.
Millions of Yemenis protest against the U.S.-Saudi-UAE war on their country. This demonstration took place on March 19, 2019, the four year anniversay of the start of the war.
In Yemen, where the Saudi-led coalition has been waging a disastrous war with assistance and direction from the U.S., the people have demonstrated in massive numbers against the imperialist domination and destruction of their country. The current war in Yemen really started in 2011, when large protests broke out in Yemen as part of the Arab spring. Many Yemenis took part in these popular democratic and anti-imperialist protests, which opposed the foreign domination of their country and the corruption and decadence of then-President Ali Abdullah Saleh. Saleh had ruled as President since the unification of Yemen in 1990. During his years in power he personally stole around $60 billion, massively enriching himself while the majority of Yemenis remained mired in poverty. He also worked closely with corporations based in the U.S., the U.K., France, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates (U.A.E.) to exploit Yemen’s petroleum resources and the blood and sweat of its people. Yemen is the poorest country in the Middle East, with the vast majority of people earning just a few dollars a day.
In 2012 these popular protests forced Saleh to resign as President. His Vice-President, Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi, was appointed instead. Hadi’s government was backed by the U.S. and by the Saudi and U.A.E dominated Gulf Cooperation Council. Hadi implemented a series of minor reforms that were intended to pacify the protests, but his government was ultimately unable to quell people’s anger over their economic and political situation. These tensions came to a head in 2014, when the government announced it would cut fuel subsidies.
Despite the dire conditions in Yemen, mass protests against the bombardment and destruction of their country are routine.
These changes were ordered by the IMF as a condition for a loan. Like in Jordan, this change, which would have hit ordinary working people very hard, met with very strong popular opposition. The Houthis, a Shia political party and armed group which is supported by Iran, supported the protests and called for Hadi’s ouster. The previously deposed president, Saleh, attempted to take advantage of this situation to return to power. He allied with the Houthis and together they overthrew the government in a coup, eventually forcing Hadi to resign in January 2015.
Following Hadi’s ouster, Saudi Arabia and the U.A.E. launched a major military campaign in Yemen with support from the U.S. and other western imperialist powers. This campaign in support of Hadi’s so-called “government in exile,” which is based in Saudi Arabia, has spiraled into a massive and disastrous war in which numerous war crimes have been carried out by the Saudi and U.A.E.-led coalition. They have bombed schools, hospitals, funerals, and people’s homes, killing thousands of people. They have intentionally crippled Yemen’s healthcare system at the same time that they destroyed water treatment plants throughout the country. This has created a cholera epidemic which Yemen’s surviving healthcare system is unable to deal with. The coalition has also created a blockade, limiting the amount of food, medicine, and other essentials which can enter the country. This blockade has created a man-made famine, with around 18 million people at risk of starving to death.
This disaster for the Yemeni people, which has already claimed tens of thousands of lives, is part of the inter-imperialist competition over control of their country. The Saudis, the U.A.E., and the U.S. have launched this disastrous and genocidal war to crush the people’s resistance and also to prevent the growth of Iranian and Russian influence in Yemen. This war, while in part an effort to counter the maneuvers of rival imperialist powers, has primarily been a war on the people of Yemen.
Countless people have been slaughtered for daring to stand up against the imperialist domination of their country. For imperialist powers like the U.S. and Saudi Arabia this is simply acceptable “collateral damage.” Tens of thousands of deaths and the utter destruction of an entire country are worth it, to them, to prevent the people of Yemen from determining the course of their own future. Imperialists are likewise generally willing to slaughter millions to prevent rival empires from taking control of their colonies and neocolonies.
Throughout all of these twists and turns the Yemeni people have, in varying ways, kept struggling against these imperialist efforts to dominate and control their country. On the fourth anniversary of the war in Yemen this past March, millions of Yemenis came out to anti-war protests in several cities, when huge marches and protests were held across Yemen. Yemenis denounced the brutal Saudi and U.A.E.-led war, and denounced U.S. imperialist interference in their country. This in the midst of what the U.N. has called the world’s worst humanitarian crisis. This brave and courageous resistance of the Yemeni people is a major inspiration, and it shows that even in incredibly difficult circumstances people can find ways to struggle and resist their oppressors.
All of these struggles against imperialist-dominated governments are part of a growing wave of anti-imperialist movements around the world. This new wave of struggles is directed against both the corrupt and oppressive lackeys in power and the imperialists with who they closely cooperate to exploit and impoverish their own people. People in many countries are taking to the streets, demanding an end to brutal exploitation, poverty, and daily misery, and calling for the removal of the imperialist lackeys from power.
It is very important for revolutionaries in the imperialist countries like the U.S. to pay attention and support these anti-imperialist struggles in the colonies and neocolonies of the world. This is because the anti-imperialist struggles waged in the oppressed countries are part of the same struggle we are waging here, against the brutal system of capitalist-imperialism. The struggle to overthrow the monopoly capitalists who rule in the imperialist countries is inextricably linked up with the struggle against imperialist domination and control in the oppressed countries. Both struggles are part of the international working class struggle, for a world free from class oppression and brutal exploitation.
Revolutionaries in the U.S. have an important role to play in opposing the brutal U.S. wars and economic plunder of dozens of other countries around the world. It is very important that we develop powerful movements here against U.S. imperialism, as part of our internationalist efforts to support the struggles of people living in neocolonies dominated by the U.S. But it is very important that we not just oppose U.S. imperialism, but truly oppose the entire capitalist-imperialist system and the machinations of all imperialist powers. In particular, we cannot oppose U.S. imperialism by throwing our support behind a rival imperialist power simply because it opposes the U.S. After all, a rival imperialist power like China is playing the same game as the U.S., and if U.S. neocolonies are seized by Chinese monopoly capitalists the situation for the people there will be just as brutal and exploitative.
The truly internationalist position is to oppose imperialism in all of its forms. Here in the U.S. we must oppose not only the imperialist machinations of the U.S. monopoly capitalists but of all the imperialist powers in the world. By the same token we have to support all anti-imperialist struggles around the world, whether they occur in neocolonies dominated by the U.S., France, Russia, China, or any other imperialist power. All of these struggles are the struggles of oppressed people against the bloody and oppressive system of capitalist-imperialism, a system which must be utterly and completely destroyed in order for the working people of the world to finally be free. In Haiti and in many other countries around the world these struggles are intensifying. We must support these efforts by oppressed peoples to free themselves from the shackles of imperialist domination, and we must do all we can to oppose the efforts of the imperialists to keep people in chains.