Contribution from Haiti: Principled position on respect for the February 7th, 2006 ballot

We have received the following declaration, in both English and Creole, from student groups in Haiti on last month’s elections. The declaration details the difficulties the masses faced in voting and the alliance of the Haitian ruling class with imperialism.

We have received the following declaration, in both English and Creole, from student groups in Haiti on last month’s elections. The declaration details the difficulties the masses faced in voting and the alliance of the Haitian ruling class with imperialism.

The international bourgeoisie, allied to the small wealthy Haitian bourgeoisie, reacted quickly to prevent the student mobilization from shaking the foundations of this society based on exploitation. They pulled on every proverbial string to push aside the claims from students whose roots, whose umbilical chords are intertwined with the people, the people the bourgeois have impoverished, while making sure that the Grennnabounda Movement (GNBs) did not survive beyond February 29th, 2004 (the day of the coup against Aristide – editor).

The military invasion of our national soil, on February 29th, 2004 is proof that the international bourgeoisie reacted to prevent the progressive students from uniting with the popular masses and to prevent them from consciously defining common objectives to change their living conditions. From that point on, the people with the means, - the owners of all the tools that allow them ideological domination - have launched a series of smear campaigns to denigrate the people in the poor neighbourhoods, pinning on their backs a number of ugly labels, like “Chimeres”, “ratpakaka” (rats are not shit), “hot neighborhoods”, “outlaw zones”, etc.

Meanwhile, the fat-cat state and government functionaries did absolutely nothing to try and address or resolve the many problems that define the reality of life in popular neighborhoods: no security, unemployment, abject poverty, starvation, no schools, no health care etc., just to name a few.

Since the intervention of February 29th, 2004 the international bourgeoisie, allied with the local puppet bourgeoisie, have managed to plunder the resources of the country.
They also took the opportunity to grant themselves fiscal exemptions that will allow them to pay no taxes whatsoever; they've grabbed all the institutions and wealth of the country; and instituted a free trade zone. Their plan is to privatize all public institutions established to give the people good quality service at an affordable price.

For the last two years, the international and local looters have set up a sham electoral machine to disenfranchise the people and to make sure that they would not have the opportunity to choose who should be their new chief of state. It was clear to everyone fighting for real change that these people wanted to organize elections in the name of the Haitian people, yet they spared no effort to make sure that the Haitian people would not participate. To be convinced, it suffices only to examine how they named the members of the electoral council, how they registered the voters and distributed the electoral cards, how finally, in the heavily populated areas they delayed the registration process and set up very few registration centers. In upscale Petion-Ville, at Saint-Pierre Square alone, there were five voting centers for 80 voting booths. But, in Cite Soleil, there were no voting booths at all. What more does one need to know in order to understand the strategy that was deployed to keep the popular masses outside of these elections?

Despite the heavy crosses they were forced to bear to so many stations, despite the many trials and tribulations they were nailed to in the process, the people in the poor and populated areas managed to avoid all the pitfalls thrown onto their path by the exploiters and the raiders to prevent them from expressing their will.

When the popular masses got up at 2 am, 3 am, and 4 am in the morning to walk many kilometers (miles) through plains, mountains, and cities and formed orderly queues in front of the voting centers;

When the popular masses stood in long lines under the sun to wait for the voting stations to open, at 8 am, 10 am or even 12 noon, without complaining;

When the popular masses in Cité Soleil, Carrefour, Lascahobas, Gros-Morne took to the streets on the day of the vote to demand that the CEP provide them with stations where they could vote; this behavior alone foiled the Machiavellian plans that would have reinforced the division of society into a rich camp and a poor camp. It also translates as the will of the people to take their destiny into their own two hands. It expresses their gritty determination to choose for themselves who should lead the country.

We students, young women and young men who have our roots, our umbilical chords entwined with the people that have been reduced to poverty, when we take note of the behavior and determination demonstrated by the Haitian people on Tuesday, February 7th, we solemnly raise our voices to demand that the CEP respects the vote cast by the multitude of people on that day.

We use this opportunity to blow the whistle at all tricks aimed at delaying counting the vote of the popular masses. It must be clear to the Haitian people that this maneuver is the work of a coterie of the traditional bourgeois and politicians who, not satisfied with having put the country under military occupation, prefer to lead it to full protectorate status rather than accept the simple idea that only the masses can, through their votes, decide who will lead the country.

The elections of February 7th, 2006 should allow the people and all progressive folk struggling in the popular sector, to see the naked truth: while the politicians and bourgeois of this country constantly pay lip service to "democracy", their real plan is to keep the country in the shameful and misery-stricken condition it has been in since they set it there in 1806.

These elections offer all progressive Haitians an opportunity to question whether or not the masses have the right to choose whomever they want to lead their country. They should not miss this occasion to ask how long the bourgeois and politicians here will be allowed to ignore the basic “one man one vote” principle of a democracy they clamor about - saying they want to establish in the country.

Lots of people have the courage to take to the streets to request that the Provisional Electoral Council respects the February 7th vote. We take off our hats to congratulate these people. On that occasion, we also sounded a warning cry for the people and militants in the struggle for the popular masses to stay vigilant. The authority that will evolve from the February 7th election will not be a popular power (even though the people have elected it).

It is necessary, even urgent for the people to organize, for the militants in the popular sector to strengthen their will to make the elected authorities understand that the vote it received was not a mandate to repress the people’s university, to further implement the cynical neo-liberal plan designed to overtake every publicly owned asset and give them to the private sector freeloaders.

This ballot was not cast for the elected authorities to open the flood gates and let the imperialist bourgeoisie come and pick what’s left of the fertile land currently in the hands of peasants and give them to capitalists leeches through free trade zones that will continue to suck a debilitated people’s blood.

The February 7th ballot is not a license for criminals to continue rejoicing in the streets without concern. It is not a free hand for jailed delinquents to be released without trials.

The February 7th ballot is not permission granted to the new authorities to continue with the occupation of the country. It is not a license to let them close their eyes to the misery of the popular masses in their neighborhoods, or to go shoot indiscriminately at them in order to please some bourgeois, or again to exploit their misery and turn them into political instruments as used to be done in past years.

We take advantage of this opportunity to ask all organizations on the people’s side to remain vigilant of all true demands of the masses.

This meaning that they must reinforce their organizational structures and force the authorities installed by the people to satisfy the following demands:

  1. The right to find a job free from abuse
  2. The right to free health care
  3. The right to good and free education for their children
  4. The right to be safe
  5. The right to have fun without being subjected to violence
  6. For the country to take back its self-determination.

The political experience provided by this ballot should lead the popular masses to the right path for a struggle to change the conditions affecting their lives.

The Organizations and their spokespersons who signed this note:

for Latin American Scene
Julien Sainvil

for Gramchi Reading Circle
Jules Armand Joseph

for Berthold Brecht Theater Workshop
Jean Léon Amboise, Jean Louis Louis

for Mouvman Etidyan Granmoun Ayisyen (MEGA)
Jean Wilson Junior

for La Lutte
Franck Séguy

for Atelier d’écriture en art dramatique Les GOLOS
Ernst Alcéus

for Delege etidyan Fakilte Syanzimèn yo nan Rektora Inivèsite Leta a Wilson Jean Baptiste

Port-au-Prince, February 13, 2006

Pozisyon prensip sou respè vòt 7 fevriye 2006 la

Boujwazi entènasyonal mele ak tiklik posedan boujwazi nan peyi Dayiti a te kouri vit reyaji pou anpeche leve kanpe etidyan yo souke nannan sosyete eksplwatasyon an. Yo te fè tout mannèv pou mete sou kote revandikasyon etidyan ki genyen kòd lonbrit yo mare ak pa moun yo rann pòv yo, pandan yo bloke mouvman grennnanbouda a pou li pa ale pi lwen pase 29 fevriye 2004.

Entèvansyon militè sou teritwa nasyonal la, 29 fevriye 2004, se prèv reyaksyon boujwazi entènasyonal la, pou etidyan pwogresis pa rive fè yon sèl ak mas popilè yo epi pran konsyans pou transfòme kondisyon lavi yo. Depi lè sa a, moun ki gen tout mwayen yo ak zouti ideyolojik dominasyon yo gen anba men yo tanmen yon seri kanpay denigreman sou moun ki nan katye popilè, kole vye etikèt sou do yo : « chimè », « ratpakaka », « katye cho », « zòndenondwa »… Pandan tan sa a, gwo chabrak nan leta ak nan gouvènman yo pa fè anyen menm pou eseye rezoud ak ladrès pwoblèm moun yo ap viv nan katye popilè yo : ensekirite, chomaj, lamizè, grangou, pa gen lekòl, maladi…

Depi entèvansyon 29 fevriye 2004 la, boujwazi entènasyonal la mete ak boujwazi restavèk lokal la pwofite piye resous peyi a gen anba lanmè. Yo pwofite distribiye franchiz bay tèt yo pou yo pa janm peye leta okenn taks ; yo fè dappiyanp sou tout enstitisyon ak richès peyi a ; yo tabli zòn franch… Plan yo se privatize tout enstitisyon piblik ki la pou bay pèp la bon jan sèvis nan bon kondisyon.

Pandan de (2) lane ki sot pase yo, piyajè entènasyonal ak lokal mete sou pye yon aparèy elektoral zobop pou te fè eleksyon bouyivide epi voye pèp la nan yon kwen san li pa te rive chwazi ki moun li vle nan tèt leta a. Li te klè pou tout moun ki ap goumen pou chanjman tout bon, moun sa yo te vle fè eleksyon sou non pèp ayisyen an pandan yo ap manniganse tout sa yo konnen pou pa kite li patisipe nan eleksyon sa yo : kit se nan jan yo fòme K.E.P a, kit se nan jan yo fè epi distribiye kat elektoral yo, kit se nan jan ak kote yo mete sant pou moun al vote yo ; mete sou reta yo pran pou tabli jewontje de twa grenn biwo enskripsyon nan katye popilè yo … Nan Petyonvil, sou plas Senpyè sèlman te gen 5 sant vòt ki fè yon valè 80 biwo. Poutan nan mitan kè Site Solèy pa te genyen biwo ditou. Kisa yon moun bezwen ankò pou konprann ki valè estrateji akaparè yo deplwaye pou te rive mete pèp la kònè nan eleksyon sa yo ?

Malgre tout kalvè ak peripesi moun nan katye popilè yo pase, yo rive dejwe tout plan malouk eksplwatè ak piyajè te mete sou pye pou anpeche li eksprime sa li vle.

Lè mas pèp la leve bò 2 zè, 3 zè, 4 trè nan maten pou bat plizyè kilomèt nan plenn, nan mòn, nan lavil al kanpe devan sant vòt yo ;

Lè mas pèp la rete kanpe nan liy disèt longè anba solèy pou rete tann biwo yo louvri a 8 tè, 10 zè e menm midi san li pa plenyen ;

Lè mas pèp la nan Site Solèy, nan Kafou, nan Laskawobas, nan Gwomòn … pran lari pandan jounen vòt la pou egzije KEP la ba li kote pou li vote ; konpòtman sa a pa sèlman dejwe plan malouk ki ap ranfòse divizyon sosyete a an kan moun rich ak kan moun pòv, li tradui tou volonte pèp la pou pran destine li nan de pla men li. Li eksprime volonte li pou se li ki chwazi moun pou dirije peyi a.

Nou menm etidyan, jèn fanm ak jèn gason ki genyen kòd lonbrik nou mare ak pa moun yo rann pòv yo, lè nou pran nòt sou konpòtman ak detèminasyon pèp ayisyen an eksprime jou madi 7 fevriye 2006 la, nou leve vwa nou byen wo pou mande ak tout fòs nou fòk K.E.P a respekte vòt mas moun yo ki te al vote madi 7 fevriye 2006 la.

Nou ap pwofite denonse tout mannigans ki ap chache fè dilatwa ak vòt mas yo. Li dwe klè pou pèp ayisyen, mannèv sa yo se zèv tiklik politisyen ak boujwa tradisyonèl ki pa satisfè apre yo fin mete peyi a sou okipasyon bòt blan, ki pito ap chache koulye a lage peyi a sou pwotektora olye pou yo aksepte se vòt mas yo ki deside ki moun ki gen dwa pou dirije peyi a.

Eleksyon 7 fevriye 2006 yo dwe pèmèt pèp la ak moun pwogresis ki ap goumen nan sektè popilè a wè klè : politisyen ak boujwa nan peyi isit ap kleronnen demokrasi tout lasent jounen, men pwogram yo se kenbe peyi a nan sitiyasyon lawont ak lamizè yo mete li depi 1806. Eleksyon sa yo se okazyon pou tout pwogresis ayisyen poze kesyon pou konnen si mas yo pa gen dwa chwazi ki moun yo vle dirije peyi a. Se yon okazyon pou yo pa rate pou mande jiskilè politisyen ak boujwa isit ap resi respetke prensip 1 moun = 1 vòt ki se baz demokrasi yo di yo vle tabli nan peyi a.

Gen anpil moun ki gen kouraj ki pa pè pran lari pou mande KEP la respekte vòt 7 fevriye a. Nou wete chapo nou pou felisite moun sa yo. Nan menm okazyon sa a tou, nou ap lanse yon gwo kri vijilans bay pèp la ak militan sektè popilè a pou mande yo rete vijilan. Pouvwa ki ap soti nan eleksyon 7 fevriye yo se pa yon pouvwa popilè (menm si se pèp la ki te vote pou li).

Li nesesè emenm ijan pou pèp la òganize li, pou militan sektè popilè a ranmase karaktè yo pou fè pouvwa sa a konprann se pa yon vòt yo ba li pou kontinye fè zak maspinay sou inivèsite pèp la, pou aplike plan malouk neyoliberal ki vle pran tout sa pèp ak leta posede bay atoufè nan sektè prive.

Vòt sa a, se pa baryè lib pou pouvwa sa a louvri vant peyi a bay boujwazi enperyalis vin pran tirès tè fètil pou peyizan yo travay la bay konstui zòn franch pou kapitalis sansi kontinye souse san pèp la.

Vòt 7 fevriye a se pa lisans pou kriminèl kontinye paweze nan tout lari san kè sote. Se pa kat blanch pou delenkan ki nan prizon lage san yo pa janm jije.

Vòt 7 fevriye 2006 la se pa otorizasyon yo bay pouvwa ki pral vini an pou kontinye ak okipasyon peyi a. Se pa lisans yo ba li ni pou fèmen je li sou mizè mas yo nan katye popilè yo, ni pou al tire kout zam sou yo pou fè boujwa yo plezi, ni pou sèvi ak mizè yo pou fè yo tounen enstriman politik jan sa te konn fèt nan ane ki sot pase yo.

Nou ap pwofite mande pou tout òganizasyon nan kan pèp la rete vijilan sou vrè revandikasyon mas yo. Sa vle di yo dwe òganize tèt yo pi byen pou rive fòse pouvwa vòt mas yo mete a satisfè revandikasyon sa yo : dwa pou jwenn bon jan travay san eksplwatasyon, laswenyaj gratis, dwa pou tout pitit yo jwenn bon jan lekòl gratis, dwa pou yo gen sekirite, dwa pou pran plezi yo san vyolans epi pou peyi a reprann dwa granmoun tèt li.

Eksperyans politik vòt sa a dwe mennen mas popilè yo sou bon jan chimen batay pou chanje kondisyon lavi yo.

Òganizasyon ki siyen nòt sa a se:

pou Tablo Amerik Latin
julien Sainvil

pou Sèk Lekti Gramchi
Jules Armand Joseph

pou Atelye Teyat Bètòl Brèch
Jean Léon Amboise, Jean Louis Louis

pou Mouvman Etidyan Granmoun Ayisyen (MEGA)
Jean Wilson Junior

pou La Lutte
Franck Séguy

Atelier d’écriture en art dramatique Les GOLOS
Ernst Alcéus

Delege etidyan Fakilte Syanzimèn yo nan Rektora Inivèsite Leta a Wilson Jean Baptiste

Pòtoprens, 13 fevriye 2006

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