The URL for this article is:
Back to the Past
Turning Haiti into One Big Sweatshop
June 19, 2004
"The glorification of war and conquest and the absolute power of the authoritarian state; the belief in the Aryans, or Germans, as the master race(these) are not original to HitlerThey emanate from that odd assortment of erudite but unbalanced philosophers, historians and teachers who captured the German mind during the century before Hitler with consequences so disastrous"These the thoughts, so poignantly composed by the renown historian William L. Shrier, tastefully denounce the laughable argument that the German populace was abruptly and precisely bamboozled during the reign of the Third Reich; that the son of Alois' vociferous rantings and megalomania were but an occurrence of the most obscene misfortune; the isolated combustion of ill-bred genes, forming the withered silhouette afflicted with a rare Bi-polar disorder brought on by post-Bohemian-Vienna-trauma; a wretched corpse that pumped vital fluid to a skull carved in the likeness of Lucifer, juices that animated the most vile of theories, the backdrop of xenophobia before which his masterpiece was painted, on display for all humanity, till her rule extinguishes in the same flash of glory from whence she came.
As history has demonstrated in reoccurrence, nothing is without practical or theoretical precedence. To the above, it would behoove any in subscription to peruse the writings of Hegel, Treitschke, Fichte, Neitzsche or Wagner and the despotic record of Bismark. Point being, although the vast expanse that was once Germania undoubtedly housed millions of kind humanitarians, the spliced seed of supremacy and oligarchy had not only long been planted, but was rapidly maturing to a gargantuan oak under which the world would soon cower.
Lessons as such are easily forgotten; oftentimes advertently neglected to facilitate the means of the selectively absentminded.
1937--20,000 Haitian workers (mostly sugarcane pickers) massacred at the will of General Trujillo of the Dominican Republic.
The General's explanation (as if he needed one considering the enormity of his butchery): Retaliation for the alleged assassination of DR spies by the Haitian government. Retaliatory acts are nothing new to tyrants inasmuch are the nuances of hyper-conservatism. The sugarcane pickers who perished to the lead of Garrands and Carbines, snuggly gripped by the paws of self-hating, Uncle Tom Dominican conscripts, were entrenched in assiduous struggle for worker's rights and basic freedoms, on the bordering plantations of the Spanish versions of the Maritime Bourgeoisie.
General Trujillo, in Hitleresque honesty, put forth not a murmur of doublespeak pursuant to his hatred of the Haitians and all descendants of Africa. Again as Hitler did, Trujillo put his anti-social theories into practice by establishing a mandate prohibiting two persons of color to engage in either "relations" or matrimony; this to cleanse the "nigger out the arse;" proving his studiousness as a subordinate to the Irish Trader vernacular. Trujillo and the puppet leaders that followed bettered this discourse by aiding the U$ in suppressing movements of socio-economic autonomy in Haiti by "any means necessary," literally.
Earlier this year, Haiti fell victim to a third coup in 14 years (yes, Big Dawg's occupation of 1994 was a sacking of state, economically if nothing else). Boot licking scoundrels under the leadership of convicted war criminal Guy Phillipe, outdid the vacillation of Haitian Mulattoes and loyalists Rigaud and Beauvais, stepping to a "march of death," illegitimately asserting CIA backed authority on a sovereign government; the drummer boy pounding the calfskin with the clip of a Yank M-16. Reports have now circulated as to the reunion of this death squad in the DR during the months leading to their spineless coup. Rumor tells of a recent weapons shipment from the U$ to the DR, this including approximately 20,000 M-16's, as part of some Neo-Con "Democracy Upkeep Initiative," or something along these lines. Perhaps the brilliant think-tanks who orchestrated this exhibition of Democratic support are adhering to the lessons of Roosevelt and McCarthy masterfully administered in the Philippines?
The seminar is in full swing.
The cultural antagonisms between the neighboring nations, speculatively rooted in a historic, communal sense of jealousy on the part of the Dominicans, surrounding the Haitians' triumph in the righteous revolution of 1804 versus the appalling capitulation of the Dominicans to the Spanish Monarchy; and conversely the Haitians' envy of the relatively advanced state and wealth of the DR (economic actualization resulting from U$ Imperialism and subordination of the Dominican people through a bloody occupation, Cold War détente, Neo-Con stratagems and continued support of a right wing junta; as opposed to a 200 + year campaign of destabilization and colonization specific to Haiti, mere retribution for the "uppity" brazenness of an upstart revolutionary by the name of L'Overture), are ever so evident today.
June 14, 2004--301 workers have been fired by the Groupo M jeans factory in the CODEVI free trade zone in Ouanaminthe Haiti.
The CODEVI free trade zone is a fetus of the genocidal World Bank, bordering the two countries in the north eastern city of Ounaminthe, Haiti. Groupo M is a seedy Dominican subcontractor of light textiles and sorts, currently contracted by Levi Strauss & Co. The workers being persecuted are Haitian laborers, seeking employment beyond the sparse market of their country, the majority of whom are affiliated with two major worker right's groups: The Batay Ouvriye and the SOKOWA Workers' Union.
On April 14, 2004, representatives from Batay Ouvriye & SOKOWA opposite CODEVI management & Groupo M management, formally resolved a conflict years in the making; a variance founded on the pillars of totalitarianism, Neo-Liberalism, Terrorism and general contravention to Internationally recognized standards of worker's rights. During the months prior to April 14th, CODEVI and Groupo M enacted a policy disallowing factory workers to either organize or unionize; in doing so eliminating all future possibilities for sorely needed work-place reform. Aside from simply disseminating this decree, these groups, Groupo M in particular, carried out a systematic offensive on the workers, spearheaded by Alex Corona. Corona is an especially despicable character; a thick-necked, half-wit-brawler who achieved notoriety through the tactics employed by the classic state-grunt: Intimidation by superior numbers and force--force in this context referring to the Colt .45 adorning his hip, the same piece known to pistol whip innocent and oppressed workers. He is the commandant of the CODEVI's and Groupo M's S.A. storm troopers; responsible for the beating of countless workers, the molestation of female employees and the overall environment of terror encapsulating the factory. Mr. Corona's official title is that of " Chief Security Officer." (On this subject I must segue: If there is an individual in this context deserved of the rage of the masses, it is he. The only thing worse than a cabinet of capitalist mongers are the mindless worker-bees who do their bidding, gladly at that. Mr. Corona is confirmed swine who need be dealt with commensurate to his character.). The campaign intensified by the firing of 34 workers who had been and were subsequently further beaten and harassed. The groups entered negotiation on April 13th, returning to deliberate on the following day. The agreement was as follows (this from a report by the Haiti Support Group, 4-18-04):
"the factory management finally agreed: to reinstate on 14 April all the fired workers, to provide continued medical treatment to those who were most severely beaten and are still suffering, to pay back-salaries at the minimum wage rate for all the time of the dispute, to recognize the right to unionize inside the factory, and finally to immediately enter into negotiations with a delegation from the union to discuss the workers' wider demands."As soon as the following work day, CODEVI and Groupo M began to renege on the agreements formerly reached. Badges denoting sonority ant title (hence salary codes, vacation etc.) were stripped and new ones reissued, workers were dismissed arbitrarily and some put on stand-by.
On June 14, 2004, the valiant Haiti Support Group published another report updating all to the plight of these sojourned workers. Sadly, the situation had worsened; hardly a surprise to anyone observing both its evolution and the lessons taught via the University of Dominican despotism (this to infer the government, private sector and all insuring U$ corporate interests, not the Dominican people). 301 workers fired, the Dominican Army dispatched to quell the "rebellious Haitians," and Groupo M announced they will "abandon production at the CODEVI free trade zone plant;" in doing so, ensuring the laying off of 700 workers. Within the 301 workers already dismissed, one finds the Secretary and Coordinator of the SOKOWA union.
The primary result of the latest coup in Haiti has been an omnipresent vacuum of power throughout. Those filling the void are members of Guy Phillipe's Praetorian rebel guard, formerly exiled and or docile Duvalierists, Industrialist opportunists (Andy Apaid and company) and many other serpent-like sub-creatures. On a border which has never been kept to the liking of the thousands of Haitians raped, massacred, brutalized and terrorized by Dominican and Haitian thugs alike, the imminence of this power vacuum is manifest. A day whence a foreign nation can send its troops into another, not to invade (preventatively or otherwise, i.e. Iraq), violently annex or subdue internal strife on the behest of recipient nation, but to intimidate factory workers in the interests of national and international corporate interests is remarkable indeed!
The guilty parties go without mention--most importantly Levi Strauss & Co. Group M and the Bush-lackey President Mejia would not have the impudence to make such moves if it were not for the most commanding of all figures, Mr. Dolla. The cluster-f--k interim / puppet government of Haiti had best remove their tongues from the rotten-orifices of the U$ empire and lift their heads high enough to see the magnificent tide of Revolution rising. The chances of this metaphor yielding reality are nonexistent--if for no other reason that the parties who orchestrated the coup and now find themselves in power, aspire to such an extinguished model of control and tyranny as the Dominicans have exemplified; you know, to keep the "niggers from straying afar the field."
As for the lesson learned, explicitly forgotten then followed to the last detail: What is transpiring in Ouanaminthe is irrefutably so, because wanton acts against the Haitian masses by the Dominican Government, private sector and U$ corporations is simply, very simply, nothing new. Lesson learned, I think.
JG is the lead Emcee for the politically leftist Hip-Hop duet, Over The Counter Intelligence (JG & HavikenHayes), based in Fort Lauderdale Florida. They are most recognized through their support of various grassroots organizations throughout the country; most notably The Coalition of Immokalee Workers -- The Taco Bell Boycott. They are of the best known Indie-Hip Hop groups nationwide. JG has written songs, articles and editorials specific to the oppression of the Haitian Global Village, most importantly, the virulent immigration statues pertaining to Haitian Refugees. He has recently recorded a solo album entitled "Insurgent," which will be released this year via record label. He can be reached through his website: www.insurgentjg.com
Reproduced on AfricaSpeaks.com from counterpunch.org with permission from the author.