Police officers patrol a street in the Haitian capital of Port-au-Prince (courtesy Marvens Compère/Haitian Times)
Kenya has chosen its side. That nation has agreed to give cover for the next occupation of Haiti by providing a Black face for imperialism.
Originally published in Black Alliance for Peace.
For Immediate Release
AUGUST 3, 2023—The Black Alliance for Peace (BAP) condemns in the strongest possible terms Kenya’s proposal to lead what amounts to a foreign armed intervention in Haiti.
Kenya has offered to deploy a contingent of 1,000 police officers to help train and assist Haitian police, ostensibly to “restore order” in the Caribbean republic. Yet, their proposal is nothing more than military occupation by another name; an occupation of Haiti by an African country is not Pan-Africanism, but Western imperialism in Black face. By agreeing to send troops into Haiti, the Kenyan government is assisting in undermining the sovereignty and self-determination of Haitian people, while serving the neocolonial interests of the United States, the Core Group, and the United Nations.
There is an urgent need for clarity on the issue of occupation in Haiti. As described in a recent statement on Haiti and Colonialism, Haiti is under ongoing occupation. No call for foreign intervention into Haiti from the administration of appointed Prime Minister Ariel Henry can be considered legitimate, because the Henry administration itself is illegitimate. BAP has repeatedly pointed out that Haiti’s crisis is a crisis of imperialism. Haiti’s current unpopular and unelected government is propped up only by Haiti’s de facto imperial rulers: the unseemly confederacy of the Core Group countries and organizations, as well as BINUH (the United Nations Integrated Office in Haiti), and a loose alliance of foreign corporations and local elites.
Henry and the UN have made a mockery of sovereignty by mouthing the slogan “Haitian solutions to Haitian problems,” yet finding the only solution in violence through foreign military intervention. After repeated failed attempts to organize an occupying force to protect their interests and impose their will on the Haitian people (including appeals to the multinational organization, the Caribbean Community [CARICOM] for troops), they have now found a willing accomplice in Kenya, an east African country with its own set of internal problems.
As Austin Cole, co-coordinator of the BAP Haiti/Americas Team, argues: “At best, Kenya is allowing itself to be used in a violent line of neocolonial puppetry that will inevitably result in more death and imperial plunder for the masses of Haitians. At worst, Kenya sees this as an easy opportunity to serve the colonial ‘masters’ and win favor for political and financial needs.”
Indeed, what’s in it for Kenya? An opportunity to both train and enhance the salaries of local police forces and garner a patina of prestige, or at least bootlicking approval, from the West. And for Haiti? White blows from a Black hand and a further erosion of their sovereignty.
BAP demands that Kenya rescind their proposal to send 1,000 police to Haiti, while calling on the Kenyan people to join the Haitian masses and radical voices worldwide in condemning the continued occupation and governance of Haiti by the Core Group and the UN.
No to occupation. No to foreign intervention. No to Black face imperialism. Yes to sovereignty. Yes to a true Pan-African alliance between the people of Haiti and Kenya.