SOUTH DOCK, Turks and Caicos Islands — On Friday, May 4, a boat carrying about 160 African men, women and children from Haiti to the U.S. capsized throwing its inhabitants into the shark-infested waters around the Turks and Caicos Islands.
The 25-foot boat left Cap-Haitien in North Haiti on Wednesday and met with stormy weather on early Friday morning. At this point, 78 survivors have been found.
The bodies of 36 other Africans were also found. A number of them had been victims of shark attacks. The U.S. Coast Guard has stopped searching for the more than 40 more missing.
The blood of these Africans is on the hands of the U.S. and other imperialist governments. Every year, hundreds of Africans find themselves on rickety boats trying to escape the misery in Haiti that is caused by U.S. and European imperialism.
The 2004 military coup in which the U.S., French and Canadian governments worked together to overthrow the democratically elected government of Jean-Bertrand Aristide has resulted in the political imprisonment of hundreds of Africans and the murders and rapes of tens of thousands of Africans.
Even before the imperialist-orchestrated coup placed in an illegitimate government of Gerard Latortue and Boniface Alexandre, the imperialist world had sentenced the island of Haiti to a life of poverty and misery. When Jean-Jacque Dessalines led the first successful slave rebellion in 1804, the French government forced the newly liberated island to pay it reparations for having defeated the French.
Since then, Haiti has experienced invasions, occupation and neocolonialism at the hands of U.S. and European governments time and time again.
On top of that, Africans attempting to escape this poverty and go to the U.S. — under the incorrect idea that there is a future for them or any African in the U.S. — are locked up in detention centers and forced back if caught by the U.S. government. Meanwhile, anyone coming from Cuba is allowed into the U.S. if they reach the shores because the U.S. government would attempt to use them if possible against the courageous revolution of Cuba.
Sadly, Africans in the U.S. often can see themselves in the eyes of their brothers and sisters from Haiti when they see them wash up on the shores. However, the reality is that it was the same contradiction — Europe’s attack on Africa — that brought Africans to the island of Haiti and to North America and elsewhere, and the only future for any African is in resolving that contradiction together as one people.
One Africa! One Nation!