[News] Haiti - U.N. Troops: a historical perspective

News at freedomarchives.org News at freedomarchives.org
Thu Apr 21 08:49:53 EDT 2005

The crucifixion of Emmanuel "Dread" Wilme by U.N. Troops: a historical 
perspective by Marguerite Laurent

In a staged attack, on the night of Oct. 30 -31, 1919, a U.S. soldier named 
Hanneken, assassinated Charlemagne Peralte, a hero known to all Haitians 
living today. But that was not the case in 1919. Back then Peralte was a 
"chimeres," a "bandit" to almost everyone in Haiti except the poor 
peasantry who where being slaughtered by the U.S. Marines and their then 
newly formed Haitian "gendarmerie".

Back then, mostly the Haitian peasants protested the occupation and 
defended Haitian sovereignty. Not the leaders in the Haitian “intellectual” 
class - neither right wing nor progressive  (except perhaps a tiny few such 
as Rosalvo Bobo).  But in the main, the peasantry, not the bourgeoisie, not 
the University students, not the Haitian army, carried out the 19-year 
struggle against occupation in Haiti from 1915 to 1934. Only the poor and a 
handful from the middle class, but these came on board much later into the 
occupation. In fact, the University students in Haiti didn't even start 
demonstrating against the occupation until perhaps 14-years later when the 
stipends, visas and other benefits they had been given by the U.S. were cut 
off. That is plain Haitian history. Things haven't changed much today. 
Promulgating Haitian division with visas, U.S. aid, passports, arms, 
policing jobs and other rewards, such as the current $26 million to the 
demobilized ex-soldiers and their re-integration into Haiti new “law and 
order” apparatus benefits the foreign powers and is a consistent 
neo-colonial tool for oppression.

Most of those one might call “progressives” who lived during the first U.S. 
occupation of Haiti, even the communists or socialists of those old days, 
just like for instance those “progressives” of today, seemed to have been 
“pacified” or, to have swallowed the logic of the occupation - that Haiti 
would be modernized, bandits disarmed, Coup D'etat instigators outlawed and 
electricity and good roads laid in every hamlet. It's been a 
two-century-old method of divide and conquer and the Haitian bourgeoisie 
still are programmed to believe in the Western Santa Claus, still are 
pre-disposed to justify justice only for the rich, murderous alliances with 
human rights abusers and paid mercenaries. The poor in Haiti still pay with 
their lives and liberty for these follies (or is it "Foleys") of Haiti's 
so-called educated classes.

Every time the U.S. enters Haiti militarily, whether in 1915, 1994, or 
2004, the public pretext for intervention has generally been to bring 
stability, democracy and development. Most of the bourgeoisie and schooled 
Haitians, I say “schooled” Haitians because it’s an insult to people with 
wisdom to label the bulk of the Haitian bourgeoisie or schooled Haitians as 
“intellectuals.”); the point is, most of the bourgeoisie and schooled 
Haitians always swallow and adapt to foreign intervention because, they 
argue, the U.S./UN., or Western powers will bring development ­ 
electricity, schools, roads, communications, - for instance as in 2004, $1 
billion dollars ­ money to Haiti that would benefit the nation as a whole.

It didn't happen between 1915 and 1934; it didn't happen in 1994, and, 
U.N./U.S. presence in Haiti in 2004 has certainly not brought Haiti 
electricity, a living wage, more schools, jobs, or an improvement with the 
multinational corporate monopolies unfairly affecting indigenous Haitian 
businesses. The first thing the U.S. soldiers did when they got to Haiti on 
February 29, 2004 was to take over a medical school and turn it into an 
army barracks and prison and allow the demobilized soldiers to enter 
Port-au-Prince, release all the prisoners at the National Penitentiary and 
start the wholesale slaughter of all supporters of the ousted 
Constitutional government.

Peralte is entrapped: Jean-Baptiste Conze, a Haitian collaborator with 
foreign troops in Haiti in 1919, arranged to meet Charlemagne Peralte,  a 
Caco leader resisting the occupation, in a camp outside of Grande Riviere 
Du Nord.

Conze had promised Peralte he would come to the camp to discuss joining 
forces. Conze was known to have killed a few U.S. soldiers. Unbeknownst to 
Peralte, those attacks had been staged in order to give Conze legitimacy 
with the Caco. After getting the password to Peralte's camp through this 
subterfuge. Conze infiltrated Peralte's camp with White soldiers - Herman 
Hanneken and William Button - who had painted their faces black. Conze then 
pointed Charlemagne Peralte out for the soldiers to kill.

Perhaps this is what will happen to Dread Wilme, the armed suspect accused 
of defending pro-lavalas people in Cite Soleil against paid police 
enforcers like Labanye, the ex-military, renegade police and paramilitary. 
Defending pro-lavalas against systematic and state-sponsored terror is the 
allege crime and logic for the current U.N. offensive and cordorning off 
Cite Soleil residents to hunt for Emmanuel Wilme. Like Charlemagne Peralte 
Emmanuel "Dread" Wilme, may be summarily executed by foreign troops and 
dragged, as a trophy, through the streets of Haiti to cow the peaceful 
demonstrators who are demanding return of the Constitutional government; to 
demoralize, to "shock and awe" the Haitian poor with the overwhelming 
unjust and illegal power of foreign troops in Haiti.

In fact, a collaborator with the Coup d'etat, Jean Joel Corneille, the 
magistrate of Cite Soleil, has already publicly offered to the U.N. 
soldiers intricate details on the whereabouts of Dread Wilme inside one of 
the neighborhoods of Cite Soleil so that a modern day Hanneken/Button might 
add a new scalp to the wholesale-killing-belt of Lavalas supporters 
in  Haiti today or perhaps they might even "Fallujah" this area.

What the Powers who oppress poor Haitians do not realize is that our 
struggle is our life. It's in our walk, our common greeting phrases, our songs:

Grenadye alaso
sa ki mouri zafè a yo.
Nan pwen manman nan pwen papa.
Sa ki mouri zafè a yo!!!!

Poor Haitians have already mourned the death of Dread Wilme. We mourn all 
our deaths. Every waking moment of this coup d'etat has been like dying a 
thousand times. We will pray that Dread Wilme lives, that he does not die 
for Haiti. But if he should fall tonight or tomorrow night under the guns 
of the U.N. Haitian police or CIVPOL, he has already saved at least one 
Haitian life this year - he has covered himself with glory.

Like all the others falling in Cite Soleil, Bel Air and throughout Haiti, 
like Charlemagne Peralte, Marie-Jeanne, Claire Heureuse, and Jean-Jacques 
Dessalines, Haiti's true freedom fighters shall be remembered and sung 
about long after this latest Coup D'etat's killers have passed into history.

Marguerite Laurent
April 21, 2005

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