VANGUARD - Expressing the viewpoint of the Communist Party of Australia (Marxist-Leninist)
For National Independence and Socialism •


Haiti: for thousands of new Louvetures

Above: Portrait of  Toussaint Louverture -artist unknown    Wikimedia Commons

Haiti is a country that has a rich history in revolution and has been an inspiration to revolutionaries across the world ever since the Haitian revolution in 1791, that roared until 1804 when Jean-Jacques Dessalines declared independence of Haiti. 

Deeply inspired by the French revolution, in a French colony once called Saint-Domingue, the enslaved masses stood up and crushed their slave masters. Haiti’s revolution is far more significant today considering this was a slave revolution and Frances’s revolution was a bourgeois revolution.

I’m not discrediting the historical significance and necessity of the French and other bourgeois revolutions but when we look at what Marx and Engels’s vision of the proletariat is, that “The Proletarians have nothing to lose but their chains, they have a world to win”, (1) we can see very clearly the masses of Haiti that were subjected to slavery literally had nothing to lose but their chains. Sadly, they couldn’t win the world but Toussaint Louverture the revolutionary general of the Haitian revolution and the Haitian masses won a piece of the world in the Haitian revolution of 1791. 
Today is a different story though. On the 11th of March 2024, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken “announced an additional $100 million to finance the deployment of a multinational force to Haiti following a meeting with Caribbean leaders in Jamaica to halt the country’s violent crises.” (2)  “The Bahamas, Bangladesh, Benin and Chad have also formally notified the United Nations of their intent to contribute personnel to an international force to help Haitian national police fight armed gangs.” (3) With the history of US Imperialism and the destruction and interference that has followed, it is almost certain that if successful, Haiti will become another puppet government and proxy state like so many other third world countries US Imperialism and their imperialist running dogs have sunk their teeth into. 
Before the revolution Haiti was under French occupation and the masses of Haiti were enslaved. The enslaved being “Afro-Haitians” being imported from West Africa by slavers to the colony and the Indigenous population called Taino. Haiti was very much a typical case of settler-colonialist terror with treatment being horrific and harsh. Even freeman who were Black or what was then known as “Mulatto” were treated with the utmost discontent and exploitation. The Slavers and Plantation owners didn’t even want to permanently reside in Haiti and saw France as their true home country. 
Seeing their time in Haiti is a lag time in the colonialist’s mindset also led to the degradation of any infrastructure that wasn’t purely for profit. Haiti and its people were overworked and not paid at all. They truly had nothing to lose but their chains. Haiti being a French Colony was inspired when it saw the French masses rise in the French revolution in 1789. Toussaint Louverture was inspired by the Jacobins and Robespierre particularly and rallied the masses of Haiti to overthrow their French slave masters. They were successful and unstoppable. The power of the masses was truly unleashed on their French Colonial occupiers. 
Toussaint and the revolutionaries of Haiti were supported by the French revolutionaries until 1799 when Napoleon Bonaparte ordered a coup d’etat that lead to the counter-revolution both in France and Haiti. Louverture was assassinated and 50,000 troops were sent to Haiti to cement the counter-revolution and reinstitution of slavery. Napoleon the person who would be put into the books of history as one of the greatest and most destructive conquerors, could not defeat the revolution. Napoleon was defeated and the masses of Haiti were victorious. The Haitians After many wins and setbacks, officially declared independence in 1804 under Dessalines. 
Haiti is the first and only case of a successful slave rebellion leading to the seizure of the old and establishment of a new independent state. This victory of the once toiling and enslaved masses would inspire the oppressed, the world over for centuries to come. 
It is important to know that the labour power wasn’t the only economic resource colonialists and imperialists sought in Haiti. Haiti is extremely rich in all resources, timber, copper, hemp, soil, sugar, rum, flour, coal, tobacco and much, much more. Its environment allowed for very profitable resources to flourish. The strongest rising economic power at the time realised this in 1915 and wanted to capitalise from it. This imperialist power was the United States. 
On the insistence of the National City Bank of New York, President Woodrow Wilson sent troops to Haiti at this time to take control of its political and economic resources and institutions. This led to an ultra-violent, colonialist occupation and subjugation of the Haitian masses for dominance of the region and resources for U.S Imperialism. 
Although the U.S officially withdrew from Haiti in 1934 it continued to interfere with Haiti’s political and economic climate through Haiti’s Bureaucrat Capitalists and U.S Neo-Colonialism. This situation remains to this day and is flaring up dramatically with a multi-national force being readied for deployment in Haiti. If all goes to plan for the U.S, this will result in occupation and overthrow of Haiti’s Government and the establishment of a puppet regime to secure interests for U.S capital. 
As Australians we can not save Haiti. Haiti is to be liberated by thousands of new creative and socialist Louvertures and the Haitian masses. The only way we as Australians can help is by overthrowing capitalism at home and establishing socialism in Australia. 
Australia as it is, is a running dog for U.S Imperialism. If we can break our leash and become an independent, socialist Australia, we can take pressure off Haiti and stop our support of U.S Imperialism.  
For an amazing resource on the Haitian revolution I strongly suggest reading C.L.R James – The Black Jacobins
Sources – 
(1.) Karl Marx, Friedrich Engels – The Communist Manifesto (Chapter 4)
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