A Statement from New Jersey Solidarity - Activists for the Liberation of Palestine
March 5, 2004

As activists in solidarity with the anticolonial liberation struggle of the people of Palestine, we condemn the U.S. government-funded, backed and supported ouster of democratically elected Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide and stand in solidarity with the people of Haiti in their centuries- old struggle for liberation.

The U.S. government continues its colonial war on national independence and self-determination, seeking to remove from leadership any person, movement or government who prioritizes the needs and rights of the people over the interests of U.S.-based corporations. President Aristide has been targeted for refusing to bend to U.S. pressure to hand over state-owned resources to private foreign investors. Despite the impoverished conditions in Haiti - the fruit of colonialism and exploitation in such a resource-rich nation - the U.S. has, since 2000, blocked the release of a $500 million loan package in retaliation for the free and democratic re-election of President Aristide by the Haitian people. After 200 years of independence, achieved in the world's first successful slave revolution, Haiti is still being punished for daring to free itself from colonization and slavery.

We demand the return of President Aristide to Haiti where he must be allowed to complete his term in office. We similarly demand the cessation of U.S. efforts to overthrow Hugo Chavez in Venezuela. In April 2002, a U.S.-backed coup attempted to remove President Chavez from power, but the people of Venezuela thwarted the plans of the elites to remove their democratically-elected leader and undo their powerful movement for social justice. We also demand the cessation of the U.S.-backed campaign of assassination and imprisonment against the Palestinian people, their activists and their leaders. The U.S. government has continually sought to deny the right of the Palestinian people to organize themselves, choose their own leadership and exert their independence from Zionist colonialism, as it does the same around the world.

President Aristide joins many others around the world who have been kidnapped, imprisoned and/or assassinated in the interests of colonial and corporate power. He joins the proud company of political prisoners held - historically and at present - in the U.S. and internationally. He joins the company of Mumia Abu-Jamal and Leonard Peltier in the U.S., longtime political prisoners and fighters for justice in this country, and Sami Al-Arian and Sameeh Hamoudeh, two of the numbers of immigrants - especially members of the Arab and Muslim communities - who have been targeted for political persecution under the guise of "war on terror," and the Cuban Five, five Cubans held in Miami for daring to attempt to protect the Cuban revolution from U.S.-backed private terror groups. He joins thousands of Palestinians held in Zionist jails as political prisoners, jails that are funded by $15 million in U.S. tax dollars daily, and Ahmad Sa'adat and his comrades, imprisoned illegally in a prison in Jericho - under the administration of the U.S. and Britain, Palestine's previous colonial master.

Indeed, we are witnessing the reestablishment of direct colonial war and occupation around the world. While Palestinians have continued to struggle against the colonization of their land and nation, the occupation of Iraq - where, once again the British flag flies, alongside that of the U.S., over its former colonial territory, and, now, the occupation of Haiti - where French troops, from whom Haiti's slave revolution won independence 200 years ago, join U.S. military presence in overseeing the coup in Haiti.

The U.S. backed coup in Haiti provides further evidence that the U.S. is not engaged in a "war on terror" but rather is the aggressor in an imperialist war on the world. With aims of expanding and protecting its markets and bringing more world resources under its control, the U.S. topples regimes, imposes crippling sanctions, exploits labor, colonizes and occupies, and denies self- determination. At the same time, the U.S. engages in a war at home on people of color, workers and immigrants aimed at undoing civil rights and liberties, and the gains that have been achieved through long struggle, and diverts funds that can be - and should be - used for housing, education, and social services toward occupation and exploitation around the world.

We demand an end to the occupations of Iraq, Palestine, Haiti, and everywhere! We demand the right to free, democratic elections without U.S. military intervention or U.S. veto! Palestinian refugees must be allowed to return to their homeland! Return President Aristide to Haiti!