Economics/Class Relations

Haiti Begins General Strike

By Ezra Bain, Left Voice

Industries across Haiti are shut down today as workers in multiple sectors participate in a 48-hour general strike. The strike was called by the labor unions following years of struggle in Haiti against brutal austerity and government corruption. Part of the reason behind the general strike is that the current president of Haiti, Jovenel Moïse, is refusing to step down on February 7, when many believe that his term is up under the constitution. Moïse claims that his term isn’t up until February 7, 2022, as he was elected to a five year term in 2017.

Many fear that Moïse is taking the preparatory steps to rule as a dictator of Haiti. He failed to call parliamentary elections within the required period, and since January 2020, he has been ruling by decree without a sitting parliament. Moïse has also handpicked a committee to re-write Haiti’s constitution, sparking fears for many who remember the decades of dictatorship under the Duvalier family, which only ended in 1986. Even more concerningly for the working class of Haiti, Moïse (like the Duvaliers before him) is backed by the United States. This means that, if necessary, the U.S. will use all of their imperialist power to keep Moïse in power as long as he represents their imperial interests. Any cursory reading of history shows that the imperial interests of the United States’ empire mean devastation for the working class of Haiti and other imperialized countries.

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