Corporations and Haiti’s Ruling Families Profit From Young Labour and Warring Gangs - (pt 2/2)

Western interventionist policies in Haiti go beyond installing unelected government administrations: embezzling public funds earmarked for infrastructure and health purposes and providing illegal arms to gangs it claims to oppose. In Part 2, Jafrikayiti, an activist for Solidarité Québec-Haiti, discusses the various gangs operating on the streets of Port-Au-Prince, the differences between them, and their connections with Haiti’s notoriously decadent elite.

Catastrophic Foreign Intervention in Haiti – Jafrikayiti (pt 1/2)

Talia Baroncelli

Hi, you’re watching, and I’m your host, Talia Baroncelli. You’re watching part 2 of my conversation with Jafrikayiti.

We really can’t make this content without you, so if you’d like to support us, you can go to our website,, hit the donate button at the top right corner of the screen. Get onto our mailing list and also like and subscribe to the show wherever you watch the show, be it on YouTube, Spotify, or Apple streaming services. See you in a bit with Jafrikayiti.

Joining me now is Jafrikayiti, also known as Jean. He is an author, activist, artist, radio show host, and member of the activist group Solidarité Québec-Haiti. Thanks so much for joining me again.


Now, of course, there’s this story about people who are romanticizing some of the warlords in Haiti, saying, “Oh, Jimmy Chérizier, he’s saying exactly the same thing that Jafrikayiti is saying. He’s talking about the warlords.” Yeah, but the difference is that he has weapons in his hand, and he’s been killing people for more than four years, and all of the people that he’s killed are Black like him. I’m not going to stand for that fake story. 

Jimmy Chérizier used to walk around all the time with a U.S. flag on his chest. You can see those pictures online. Then a couple of fools, Kim Ives, who works with Haiti Liberté newspaper; Dan Cohen, who has a reputation as leftist, blah, blah, blah, and another one who is in Canada who is lesser known, they’ve been making documentaries about Jimmy Chérizier and all of a sudden Barbecue no longer walks around with the U.S. flag. They’ve given him a blue and red Haitian flag and bandanas that he carries and puts on his chest.

Talia Baroncelli

To make him look like a real revolutionary.


Completely ridiculous. That’s why I keep referring to a minstrel show. These people think this is funny. They bought a black beret, a Che Guevara-type beret, and gave it to him. Now that’s what he wears. When he gives his video interviews, he sits in front of a mural that has the face of Che Guevara. This is so insulting to us because we take revolutions very seriously.

The Cuban Revolution, I have seen the result of the Cuban Revolution because there are many Haitians who have lived in Cuba for several generations. When I went to the mountains of Sierra Maestra, where Fidel Castro and Che landed, I met some of the Haitians who were in that community. They said that at first, they were afraid of the Barbudos, but once they understood why they were there, they helped them. That’s why Fidel always had a lot of respect, love, and admiration for the Haitian people because not only was his godfather Haitian and he grew up around Haitians, but he also understood that when they went to the mountains of the Sierra Maestra, it’s those peasants, those Black peasants, mostly of Haitian origin, who cooked for them, who helped them hide from the government of the dictatorship, the white dictatorship.

Then what happened is that once the revolution was successful, yes, these people who were still in the mountains of Sierra Maestra, they were still uneducated and impoverished, but their children became doctors, lawyers, architects, leaders of the revolution. Some of them went to Angola to free Angola on the African continent.

We don’t take it lightly when people are taking a common in Haiti and giving them Che Guevara beret. Barbecue, Jimmy Chérizier, has not attacked a single of the oligarchs or even members of the PHTK Party that is ruling. They say that these guys are the reason why Ariel Henry cannot return to Haiti. This whole thing was a scenario. Ariel Henry was in the country all that time. Why didn’t they attack him? They organized an escape for Ariel Henry and, at the same time, used it to create a bravado posture for these common criminals so that now, when you’re going to negotiate, it’s a fait accompli. You have to sit down with them now because they have the power. Jimmy Chérizier, Barbecue, and Guy Philippe, these guys are more powerful than Bin Laden. They’ve been looking for this guy for four years, and he’s right across from the National Palace. They don’t know where he is. He’s doing Facebook lives with buildings behind him. Everybody can see exactly where he is. Obviously, the Americans are using all of these players.

It’s not a new scenario. They’ve done the same thing on the African continent. That’s why countries like Burkina Faso, Mali, and Niger have revolted. They said, “Those terrorists that are attacking us in the north of our countries, we now understand the game. They’re all funded by the Europeans. We don’t need your help to come and fight them. We will fight them.” They went and found resources, and they’re fighting, and they’re having tremendous success. That’s only since they started to chase out the white criminals from France and the United States from their country.

Talia Baroncelli

Well, you said that these gangs, these paramilitary groups such as Chérizier and Guy Philippe, are not attacking wealthy families. They’re not attacking the families that control the light manufacturing, the sweatshops, that sort of thing. So they’re not really posing any threat to U.S. hegemony or Western hegemony.

You already answered my earlier question, which would have been, why does the U.S. view Haiti as its own backyard? Why is Haiti so important to the United States? It’s partly because of the labor force that’s in Haiti that’s so important. This cheap labor force is producing all of these goods and generating a profit for these corporations and these wealthy families. If the gangs are not interfering with that, then it makes sense for U.S. interests, at least, to keep them there and to fund them.


Yeah. Of course, whenever we say U.S. interests, you can tag along Canadian and European interests. It’s also the fact that Haiti is considered to be the control. People who do experiments in science know what a control is. Haiti is also supposed to be the lowest threat in the region.

For instance, if you have the lowest salaries in Haiti and then workers in Guatemala, Honduras, in Canada clamoring for better wages, then the threat is, okay, we’ll close shop and open our factory in Haiti. That’s how they’ve been using Haiti. They also do experiments in Haiti, such as how do we create a justification for a Western invasion of a country and make it look like it’s a UN humanitarian intervention.

They’ve tested these things in Haiti. Why? You think they’re not going to apply them when they want to go steal mineral-rich countries in Africa, in Asia, and in other places? That’s what they’re doing.

When you see similarities with the fact that they kidnapped President Hugo Chávez in 2002, and they were flying with him 20 hours before they were forced to return him to Venezuela, then two years later, they do the same thing with Aristide, and then it’s successful.

So, imperialism is not very imaginative. These people are lazy, and they recycle the same tricks over and over and over again. Now, the question is, are we, the people of the world, going to sit here and pretend not to understand what’s going on? There is no more excuse. When Pamela White, the former U.S. Ambassador, comes out and praises Jimmy Chérizier and Guy Philippe, then why are you pretending as a leftist not to understand who these folks are? U.S. ambassadors don’t praise revolutionaries. That’s just an oxymoron. That doesn’t work. It doesn’t exist anytime.

I think the most important thing is to realize that Haiti has produced decent people throughout history, and they are present today in Haiti. Men and women, young people, or older people that I’m speaking with day in and day out want to stay in Haiti. They have opted to stay in Haiti despite the dangers, but they need our solidarity.

That’s why I keep on asking Ambassador Bob Rae, who was doing interviews with CBC yesterday, and again, walking around, self-congratulating and saying that we do better than the Americans. The Canadian identity is that we’re not as evil as the Americans. That’s not good, Bob Rae. We’re not supposed to be evil. We’re supposed to be decent people. You need to admit you were forced by activists in Canada to finally name those white warlords. We’re saying we’re not satisfied with naming them because you have the legal evidence that these people have been in cahoots with the militias. They’ve armed them. You have that information. We say that because Gilbert Bigio is the former Council of Israel, it should not be something that gives him immunity. He should be treated just like the other criminals, tried, and if found guilty, his resources have to be nationalized and put as part of the national budget of Haiti so that these Black children can have access to education, health care, to regular resources. We’re saying that there has to be a judicial system that reviews the evidence that Canada has, that Haitians have collected all of these years in order to try those criminals. It’s not an excuse because there’s no government in Haiti today that should get away with crimes. No. These assets that these people have belong to the people of Haiti.

When there was the Pandora Papers and the Panama Papers, some of the riches of these people were traced. We know where their money is hidden. Yeah, it may cause loss of income to some Canadian banks, to some American banks if you retrace that money. But really, folks, we’re not going to lose that much money. Let’s give the people of Haiti back the few million that they have.

We had a meeting a couple of days ago here in Ottawa where a number of folks were connected from several cities around the world because we’re setting up a set of demonstrations in the coming weeks in solidarity with the people of Haiti. We came up with three main statements. If you’d allow, I’d like to share that with your audience.

Essentially, we said that the Haitian people’s sovereign right on their territory is absolute and sacred, and foreigners who violate this right are enemies of the nation. Haitians who help the enemy to violate Haitian sovereignty are traitors who will be punished as our ancestors and the laws of our country command. We specify to support this first declaration that the core group, this is the ambassadors of the several countries, should be considered persona non grata. The Kenyan, Senegalese, CARICOM, Spanish, and other mercenaries better remain in their own territory.

We specify that Michel Martelly, Gilbert Bigio, Reynold Deeb, Johnson André or Izo, [inaudible 00:13:49], Jimmy Chérizier (Barbecue), [inaudible 00:13:52], André Apaid, Guy Philippe, all the criminals who broke prison walls and spilled the blood of innocent people must get arrested and be punished. The only transitional government we will recognize is one that comes from Haitian leaders who do not have the blood of the people on their hands. Black nationhood matters.

The second statement we made is that (A) To defend the life of honest Haitians, we will fight against all wickedness until we disarm all criminals. Foreigners like Haitians will rebuild the legitimate defense forces of our nation. To support that, we decreed ongoing mobilization to rebuild all legal forces, the police, and the army, established to guarantee safety for everyone in our homeland as required without discrimination. (B) To abolish all private militias that currently protect and serve criminal oligarchs, white imperialist forces, and their accomplices. (C) We seek due application of international law to force the United States and the Dominican Republic to stop invading Haiti with deadly weapons while these countries are harboring major criminals who have Haitian blood on their hands in their territory, in particular, Bigio and Martelly.

The third and last point is (A) We declare relentless mobilization to expose and counter all malicious forces that gangsterize Haiti with the PHTK militias. To support that, we demand restitution and reparations from the government of core group member countries, the United Nations, the OES, for multiple crimes they’ve committed against the Haitian people in history as well as in the present era. (B) We open our arms to receive and offer solidarity to all struggling peoples, such as those of Cuba, Mali, Niger, Burkina Faso, Palestine, and Venezuela, who are facing the malicious actions of the same clan of colonizers, land thieves which form the core group. We stand for Haiti, Judge Bill Clinton, justice, dignity, and reparations for Haiti.

Talia Baroncelli

This statement would also apply to getting to the bottom of the PetroCaribe scandal.



Talia Baroncelli

As a result of that, in 2006, Venezuela gave oil to Haiti at a reduced price so that Haiti could use some of those funds in order to invest in infrastructure and that sort of thing. And $2 billion just went missing, pretty much embezzled out of the country, or just went to the elites; who knows what happened to that money? So your statement, I think, would also address getting to the bottom of that because that’s another example of money that should go to the Haitian population, just getting drained and lining the coffers of the elite.


Absolutely. A lot of the mayhem that you see happening today is to prevent the judicial system from operating and to try the criminals who stole the PetroCaribe funds, the Earthquake Reconstruction Fund, which Bill Clinton stole. That’s the problem. In order to stop justice from happening, they’ve created mayhem. The other thing that they’re doing is something that Canadian officials revealed to us when we were making presentations on Parliament Hill. I mentioned that in the last interview. They were saying that organizing free and fair elections in Haiti is not going to solve the problem because if they do, Lavalas will do it.

All of these years, they’ve implanted these militias in the very popular neighbourhoods of Port-au-Prince. That’s where Jimmy Chérizier and all of these guys have established themselves. They’ve created internal displacement. All of these people are leaving. My neighborhood is empty now.

If they organize an election, and that’s why they’re pushing to have an election quickly while the people are in disarray so they cannot vote. Because if they go and vote when they are at peace, you cannot win an election in Haiti if you don’t win Port-au-Prince because that’s where the majority of people live, and the majority of people who are politicized are going to vote for a socialist.

The folks from the Montana core, Lavalas, or other progressive groups in Haiti, although now they may not be popular, the reason why you don’t hear about them is because the militias have taken over the streets. Decent people cannot demonstrate in Haiti today. Am I going to go in the streets at the same time as Barbecue? Hell, no. I don’t carry weapons. This guy is a convicted criminal. That’s what he’s done. It’s not rocket science what they’re doing. They’ve implemented that. To them, this is the way they’re going to level the playing field. The last draw of it is this CARICOM resolution. Okay, we tried everything, so now we’re going to have a seven-member presidential council. Out of the seven, there are only two groups of people who are not part of the criminals because one of the seats is for the private sector. Again, when they say private sector in Haiti, they’re not talking about the street merchants. They’re talking about Bigio. The same people they pretend to be sanctioning, they’re giving a seat on the presidential council. Everybody in there is an enemy of the people except for two seats. What are they going to decide? They’re going to be outvoted every time.

For instance, a simple thing any decent Haitian will tell you is that anything that Ariel Henry and the fool before him, Jovenel Moïse and Michel Martelly, would have signed, such as mining deals for multinational corporations, should be annulled. That’s what logic would dictate because we have all the proof that these people did not win elections. They were imposed on Haitians. If they’re going to release large parts of the territory to multinational corporations, this thing should be revoked. Well, then, there’s a vote in the presidential council. Well, it’s going to be five against two. That’s what they’re doing. It’s a setup.

People from Lavalas and Montana, of course, are being criticized by their base, saying, “How could you send a name to participate in this charade?” Honestly, I find that some of the activists who are criticizing them need to be awakened to the fact that this is a kidnapping. They have the gun to their head, and they’re asking them to negotiate. So, yeah, some of them are saying, Well, we don’t want this deal. We don’t like this deal. But they’re still sitting and negotiating with the kidnappers. Haiti needs to be freed from the kidnappers.

The ceasefire that is required is not between militias. It’s a ceasefire between the Haitian people and the white supremacist forces. When I am talking about white supremacist forces, I’m not talking about skinheads in the streets of Toronto. We’re not afraid of those. I’m talking about skinheads that are in the White House in Washington, that are on Parliament Hill in Ottawa. I’ve said it, and I will say it again. If I meet Prime Minister Trudeau, I will say it to his face. I couldn’t care less about the fact that when he was 21, Trudeau went to a Halloween party with Blackface. I know that’s what the white elite does in Canada, whether they say it, whether they admit it or not, that’s what they do. This country was established on racism. So this demonstration is like, he wears Blackface at a party. That doesn’t affect me. That doesn’t affect my children. That doesn’t affect my future. But when you’re trying to establish a Blackface fake government in Haiti, that is what I stand against. A Blackface president in Burkina Faso, we need to stop that. Let the people govern themselves. If you want to have the arrogance and say that, well, Haiti is a basket case. They can’t govern themselves. If you want to have the credibility to say that, well, stop interfering in our business so that we can know it’s really our failure. Right now, you cannot say it’s our failure because you are the one putting the puppets in there. It’s not rocket science what we’re saying.

If the Chinese were to invade Canada and impose a Prime Minister on us, I would fight the Chinese as well. Why is it that when we’re saying something that is logical, our fellow citizens in Canada cannot comprehend that foreign interference from the Chinese on Canada is wrong? Well, foreign interference from Canada on Haitians is equally wrong, and we need to stop it. I studied science. I studied biology. Of all the years of my studies, I saw nothing that suggests that the brain in the head of these impoverished children in Haiti is different than the brain that’s in my head, your head, the head of Justin Trudeau. Why should Justin Trudeau have a say in what’s happening in Haiti? That’s not his business.

Talia Baroncelli

I’ve heard some other people suggest that the solution here would maybe be to have other foreign powers fund a transition, like China and Russia coming in and funding it in order to get out of the grip of Western nations.


Hell no.

Talia Baroncelli

But to me, that seems like not really a real solution. It wouldn’t actually address the fundamental problem, which is this unequal distribution of wealth. There has to be a redistribution of wealth and consolidating control of Haiti’s resources and giving that to the Haitian people and not just reshuffling the deck, so to speak, and having other foreign powers who are maybe opposed to the West come in and take over.


This would be like when, for over 400 years, the Europeans were slaving us and making us work for them to enrich them; someone would suggest that some other force has to come and free the Africans. That’s not what happened. We rose and freed ourselves. Christianity did not condemn slavery. Islam did not condemn slavery. Nothing did. The Africans themselves rose up, and they offered another option to the world. That is ‘Tout moun se moun,’ every human is human. That’s what we’re fighting for. Yeah, it will take time, but I think we will get there faster if people listen to the admonition of Martin Luther King, who said, “Will we have to repent in this generation, not so much for the awful words and actions of the bad people, but for the deadly silence of the so-called good people.” It’s a paraphrase, probably not exactly how he said it.

All of this evil that’s taking place is because we allow it to happen. There are people rising, like I said, with this coalition that we’re building around the world. There are going to be demonstrations. Just like when the people of Palestine take to the streets, there’s always a group of us from the Haitian community who understand that it’s our duty to stand in solidarity with them.

We have two beautiful Haitians of Palestinian origin, Antoine and Georges Izméry, whose memories will always stay with us. They were killed by the imperialists in Haiti, and they were killed because they stood in solidarity with the impoverished people. Although they were millionaires, they could have sided with the other warlords, but they understood, because they were from Palestine, that they had to stand with the people of Haiti, the people who embraced them and who they also embraced. From Port-au-Prince to Palestine, occupation is a crime, and we will rise against it.

Talia Baroncelli

Jafrikayiti, it’s been great speaking to you. Thank you so much for all of your time. It’s been a pleasure listening to what you have to say about this current situation.


Talia, I thank you, and I thank theAnalysis because here you listen to a Haitian speaking about Haiti, and I don’t know how many times I have cringed when I turn on my TV and CBC and CNN, and I see Haiti expert. The Haiti expert is always some white guy.

Talia Baroncelli

Someone in Ottawa.


Sometimes, someone doesn’t even understand Creole, the language of Haitians, but they are the expert. Yes, thanks for having this conversation with me.

Talia Baroncelli

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Jafrikayiti is the co-founder of two self-help organizations AKASAN (Ayisyen ki ap soutni Ayisyen nètalkole) and Jaku Konbit which follow the principles popularized by Marcus Garvey. He is also an artist-activist immersed in the Global Peace and Social Justice movement. theme music

written by Slim Williams for Paul Jay’s documentary film “Never-Endum-Referendum“.  

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