FROM PALESTINE TO HAITI, END COLONIAL WAR AND OCCUPATION!
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
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!