Haiti: Small victories and revolution grow out of fightback
Saturday, June 15, 2019 at 1:08PM
Challenge_DesafĂ­o

Haiti—These are bad days for the bosses and their lackey politicians. There is hardly any growth in the capitalist economy. But it’s even worse for workers—double-digit inflation, currently at 15%  (worldbank.org). The value of the Haitian gourde is falling at breakneck  speed (currently 95 hgd (Haitian gourdes) to $1 U.S.,while just last year it was 66 :1), meaning the cost of living really went up about 50 percent. And with an unemployment rate of 70 percent (haitipartners.org), life is an agonizing struggle. The masses are angry!
Tens of thousands took to the streets throughout Haiti on June 9 to demand the ouster of Pres. Moïse Jovenel, just found guilty of allowing the theft of PetroCaribe funds (profits from the sale of subsidized Venezuelan oil). As our comrades here pointed out, amid the police bullets and teargas,  the whole damn system is putrid and cannot be fixed just by putting another actor in the same role. The whole play has to be rewritten—communism—with the working class and its communist party in charge.
Capitalism feeds Haitian workers misery
The world produces enough food to feed twice the number of inhabitants on the planet (Jean Ziegler, La faim dans le monde expliquée à mon fils, 2011). Yet food insecurity (a socio-economic term, indicating hunger and starvation) threatens 2.6 million working class people here (out of a population of 11 million), and 386,000 in phase 4 starvation, according to the last report of the CNSA (National Council for Food Insecurity, cnsa509.org). Each working class person—here or anywhere in the world—who dies of starvation is actually murdered, and the capitalist system is the assassin.
Six million Haitians live below the poverty line with a daily income of $2.41 U.S. ; 2.5 million live in “extreme poverty,” with $1.23 U.S. per person (worldbank.org).  Although tuition is “free” in public universities in Haiti, the rulers line their pockets by increasing the “fees.” In Public University of the South, the university fees were 4,000 hgd in 2015; between 2016 and 2018 they were raised to 10,0000 hgd. This year, the school administrators demanded another 25 percent. Most students in public universities are children of the working class, who clearly don’t have the economic ability to pay these outrageous fees and fee hikes. University bosses know this, but cast a blind eye to the difficulties of their students and their parents. They are only concerned with digging an even deeper ditch of social inequality. Yet things didn’t go as expected.
PLP, a party for the international working class
A member of Progressive Labor Party (PLP) is studying at this university. While most students were complaining about fees, she gathered friends to demand no fee hike. They wrote a letter to the university dean and demanded a meeting to discuss the issue. Never having experienced a militant and unbending student delegation protesting a university decision before, the dean was speechless. He feared the birth of a radical movement on this campus, following the tradition of militant communist student movements throughout the region. The dean rescinded the fee hikes, for the moment!
But the struggle is clearly not over. Our PLP comrade made it clear to her classmates that raising fees in one public university where there is already hardly enough funding and resources for those who want to attend, let alone enough students who have the economic means to  attend, is just another attempt to block access of the working class to education in general. They agreed that this was a class question and would have to be fought by the working class as a class. And that this was a small victory that might be taken away at any moment, and that they must keep up the fight. Our comrade was initially disappointed that many more students did not join the struggle, out of fear of repercussions or inexperience in struggle. However, she learned the important lesson of working with the most advanced and class-conscious students around her, building their confidence in organizing struggle, with the outlook of having them bring along others as the struggle grows.
Our Party is a party of the working class; we are involved in class struggle, big and small. We point out every attack against our class in order to fight for and win the liberation of our class from the yoke of capitalist exploitation and misery. Our young student comrade has only recently joined the Party. Yet with the support of the Party, she is learning to arm herself with the ideas Marxism-Leninism and to bring these ideas to the class struggle on her campus, and beyond. Her plan is to organize a PLP study group with some of her friends in struggle, to develop both her and their revolutionary leadership.
While millions of workers and their families in this part of the world currently known as Haiti can’t find enough to feed themselves, and many more are under constant exploitation, engaging in anti-capitalist and pro-communist class struggle is more important than ever. For a small few, it’s a good life, but at our expense! The only way out of this trap is to make the commitment to fight the system and smash it completely. The only solution is communist revolution, under the leadership of the PLP.

 

Article originally appeared on The Revolutionary Communist Progressive Labor Party (http://www.plp.org/).
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