Just International

Fighting for Ayiti’s Second Liberation: Jimmy Chérizier and the Revolutionary Forces of the G9 Family and Allies

By Gerald A. Perreira

“It is among the masses, in the people of the shanty towns and in the lumpen proletariat that the insurrection will find its urban spearhead. The lumpen proletariat, this cohort of starving men, divorced from tribe and clan, constitutes one of the most spontaneously and radically revolutionary forces of a colonized people.” Frantz Fanon, ‘The Wretched of the Earth’

One week ago on June 25th, 2024, the first contingent of Kenyan security forces arrived in Ayiti (Haiti). The deal was brokered between US neo-colonial stooge, William Ruto, who, as I write, is under pressure to quit the presidency. His resignation is demanded by thousands of young demonstrators (Gen Z), the length and breadth of Kenya.

Back in Haiti, the Kenyan troops, sent by Ruto on behalf of the US Empire, signals yet another invasion. On January 1, 1804, Ayiti declared itself the first Black Republic in the world, and the first post-colonial state in South America and the Caribbean. Ever since that day it has been under siege.

From Ayiti to Gaza

Like Gaza, Ayiti is a type of concentration camp, and like Palestinians, Ayitians have never stopped resisting their occupation and never will. In addition to successive military interventions, the US and West European powers have unleashed brutal and unrelenting repression in every sphere of Ayiti’s existence, including the psych-ops campaign to demonise Ayiti’s rich cultural and spiritual heritage. Despite this, Ayiti remains a “problem” for them, because no matter how hard they try, they have never been able to crush the indomitable spirit of the Ayitian people.

We are told that the Kenyan soldiers have been sent to Ayiti to restore “law and order”. We know this to be a euphemism for maintaining the existing oppressive and exploitative arrangement and crushing any resistance strong enough to topple the hegemon. The Kenyans are there to protect the very arrangement that the Revolutionary Forces of the G9 Family and Allies, led by Jimmy Chérizier, are fighting to overthrow. Chérizier has made it abundantly clear in interviews with Al Jazeera, in documentaries, and on numerous videos, that he and his fighters are in a face-off with the Empire and the local oligarchs. At every opportunity, Chérizier speaks about the need to end the rule of the oligarchic capitalists that have ravaged his country.

The Real Criminals

Chérizier and his forces now control 80% of Port-au-Prince, however, the imperialist-appointed governors are saying that Chérizier and members of his liberation movement cannot have a seat at the table, or any input into the decisions that will determine Ayiti’s future, because of their past criminal activities, including murder. This is rich coming from transitional council members with clear ties to centres of imperial power and international agencies and organizations, which have been directly and indirectly involved in the murder of millions globally and have been involved in the kind of theft and plunder that makes Chérizier and his liberation army look like angels.

It is said that Chérizier was a police officer, trained by the imperialists, and they have a damning dossier on him. I fail to see how that separates him from the overwhelming majority of neo-colonial politicians and regimes throughout the Caribbean. They may not have been trained as police officers, but they were most definitely trained and groomed by the imperialists for their current positions. One Caribbean activist said to me recently, “The gangs kill each other – show me one oligarch they killed”. This actually made me smile, as I replied, how many oligarch’s did you kill this week? He thought I was joking. To be honest, it simply exposes the fact that these activists have not been in the trenches in a place like Ayiti. If they had, they would know that Chérizier and his fighters have to remain in the areas they control and then, a good distance from the frontline of these areas, or they will surely be taken out.

I have even heard commentators try to make out that Chérizier’s call name “Barbeque” is somehow related to a penchant for burning people alive, when in fact he acquired that nickname as a young boy when delivering the barbeque his mother sold.

My question is, how does Jimmy Chérizier, a former police officer, trained by the imperialists, break free? Can he ever redeem himself? Can he choose good over evil? On a recent podcast, a well-known Ayitian activist said smugly, “Chérizier is not a revolutionary”. I beg to differ.

Real Revolutionaries

Many of those who live comfortably beyond Ayiti’s borders, and even some activists in Ayiti, are looking for textbook definitions of what constitutes legitimate struggle and revolutionary action, and they need to stop. Those who over the years have been building so-called vanguards to act on behalf of the people, need to abandon their dogma and enter into dialogue with the people, participating in the process of conscientization that is ongoing for all of us. No struggle for human dignity and emancipation is born in the halls of academia. However, this does not prevent self-professed “revolutionaries” and the progressive intelligentsia from pursuing their rigorous intellectual dissection of those on the front lines. Kwame Ture warned us constantly to be wary of those who discuss struggle incessantly but are not part of any organization to change the world.

Paulo Freire reminds us, “The more radical the person is, the more fully he or she enters into reality so that, knowing it better, he or she can transform it. This individual is not afraid to confront, to listen, to see the world unveiled. This person is not afraid to meet the people or to enter into a dialogue with them. This person does not consider himself or herself the proprietor of history or of all people, or the liberator of the oppressed; but he or she does commit himself or herself, within history, to fight at their side.”

Those who have immersed themselves in communities of resistance and been a part of the day-to-day struggles of the oppressed have come to the realization that the people are capable of deep political reflection. They will not express it in language used in academic and political circles, but it will be the clearest analysis of where the people are at.

Muammar Qaddafi spoke about this time, referring to it as “the era of the masses”. He explained, “it is time for the masses to be in control of their destiny, for them to grasp the keys to their liberty, for them to rebuild their lives on the foundation of real democracy, a democracy in which the power of decision and sovereignty lies with the masses alone. The masses owe it to themselves to destroy all the forces that are hostile and oppose their aspirations. They owe it to themselves to remove all the obstacles that impede their march towards victory, towards liberty, towards a new world”.

A Formidable Force

The people, once conscientized, are a truly formidable force. This is nowhere more evident than in Gaza, where the Alliance of Palestinian Forces, which includes Palestinian Islamic Jihad, Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, National Resistance Brigades, Al- Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades, Palestinian Mujahideen Movement, Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine and Hamas, cannot be defeated. After almost nine months of incessant bombing and ground combat by the world’s 4th largest military, Israeli Defence Forces’ top spokesman, Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari said that the stated goal of the war in Gaza – to destroy Hamas – was impossible, and to keep promising it was like “throwing sand in the eyes of the public”. He added “Hamas is an idea. Anyone who thinks we can eliminate Hamas is wrong”.

There are those on the so-called Left who call for a free Palestine but condemn Hamas, once again joining in the criminalisation of a legitimate resistance movement. It is no surprise that the heroic resistance waged by the people of Gaza is a decisive factor in accelerating the demise of the Empire. The word Gaza means strength. In Islam, Ghazi means Muslim warrior. especially one victorious in battle and is often used as a title of honour. The strength, honour and dignity of the Palestinian Resistance and all the people of Gaza is galvanizing this global uprising. Despite being literally slaughtered, along with their entire families, Palestinians are refusing to be pushed off their land. Their spectacular courage is inspiring people everywhere to stand up. The microcosm that is Gaza is highlighting just how connected this world is and just how much of a scam is Western capitalism and liberal democracy. The clay feet of the Empire are most definitely cracking.


At the heart of the message of every Prophet-revolutionary is the idea of human redemption and liberation. Redemption is about reclaiming that which has been taken or usurped by hostile forces, seen and unseen. To achieve the liberation of your family, your community and your nation, you must first redeem yourself and find your rightful place. Liberation starts at the personal level. No one can free another. Freedom comes with an awakening of consciousness; redemption is a precondition for liberation. Jimmy Chérizier and others, who have gained the consciousness of freedom, are amongst those who have discovered that power resides within them.

In 1970, in his seminal work, Blood in my Eye, George Jackson wrote from Soledad Prison, that “Prisoners must be reached and made to understand that they are victims of social injustice. This is my task working from within (while I’m here, my persuasion is that the war goes on, no matter where one may find himself on bourgeoise-dominated soil). The sheer numbers of the prisoner class and the terms of their existence make them a mighty reservoir of revolutionary potential”.

Malcolm X, aka Al Hajj Malik Al Shabazz said: “I believe that it would be almost impossible to find anywhere in America a Black man who has lived further down in the mud of human society than I have; or a Black man who has been any more ignorant than I have; or a Black man who has suffered more anguish during his life than I have. But it is only after the deepest darkness that the greatest joy can come; it is only after slavery and prison that the sweetest appreciation of freedom can come”.

In his selected prison writings, titled We are our own Liberators, former Black Panther and US political prisoner, Jalil A. Muntaqim, observes that “people from the lumpen proletariat will join the revolution because it will provide hope for their future, offering life some meaning and purpose devoid of the self-destructive cycle of hanging out on street corners, shooting dope, prostitution, and going in and out of jail. Hence, it will offer an alternative to all the illicit activity of the lumpen proletariat subculture, which usually amounts to no more than preying on their own kind and desperately aspiring to the social values of the bourgeoisie, the accumulation of material goods by ,means of illegitimate capitalism”.

Finally Frantz Fanon pointed out that if the revolutionary forces do not mobilize the lumpen-proletariat, then the oppressive State and the forces of reaction will mobilize them against us.

Crisis of the Caribbean “Left”

The crisis of the Caribbean “Left” is primarily one of theory. The Caribbean “Left” are so obsessed with theoretical analysis that very often they have no connection to the reality on the ground. It is theory for the sake of theory. After the implosion of the Grenadian revolution, which opened the door to a US invasion and the assassination of Maurice Bishop in 1983 and following the collapse of the Soviet Union and the Eastern Bloc in 1991, the Caribbean “Left” lost its bearings. Almost overnight, across the Caribbean, many communists and self-proclaimed Marxist- Leninists morphed into liberal democrats and apologists for neo-liberal economic policies, while others adopted social democracy.

An equally significant death blow is the dominance of the Caribbean ‘Mulatto’/Creole middle-class over political parties and movements. The privilege enjoyed by this social stratum affords them the ability and access to be very vocal, dominating societal discourse and shaping narratives. They are the authors, the producers of knowledge, their voice is large, but their following is small. In fact, they are most often, with very few exceptions, alienated from the people they purport to represent. This means that they find themselves in the doomed-to-fail situation of fighting “for” the people, rather than “with” the people. The disconnect has led to their growing marginalization. Their haughty condescension is what is preventing them from dialogue with Jimmy Chérizier, causing them instead to pronounce judgement on him, while they remain silent about the illegitimacy of the transitional council. Their elitist contempt for the lumpen proletariat is rooted both in their class character, and for many of them, a dogmatic adherence to the orthodox Marxist position that it is the working class that is the primary agent of revolutionary transformation.

It is no wonder that the recently formed transitional council was sworn in at a secret ceremony in Ayiti in April this year. The line-up, selected of course by the imperialists, and rubber-stamped by CARICOM, is depressing evidence of the weakness of progressive forces in Ayiti and the wider Caribbean.

The voting members of the transitional council, pictured above, are Central Bank Governor Fritz Alphonse Jean, former Ambassador to the Dominican Republic, Smith Augustin; Barrister, Emmanuel Vertilaire; former Senate President, Edgard Leblanc; ex-Senator, Louis Gerald Gilles; Businessman, Laurent Saint-Cyr and former diplomat, Leslie Voltaire.

The non-voting observers are, Evangelical Pastor, Frinel Joseph, and Regine Abraham, who once worked for the World Bank and the country’s Environment Ministry. Missing are those who risked their lives to liberate Ayiti from the unelected Ariel Henry, that is, Chérizier and his G9 family. Henry was selected and imposed on Ayiti by the US, France, Canada, Germany, Spain and Brazil, members of the so-called Core Group, the same group that selected the Transitional Council.

We see you

To Jimmy Chérizier and his freedom fighters we say, we see you, we know what you are up against. We ourselves have experienced the reality of the criminalization of people who have fought their way up, become conscious and sought to channel their energy into the fight for economic justice and national self- determination. We have experienced the wrath of Black faces in high places, who, like William Ruto and so many CARICOM leaders, operate as the Black face of White supremacy. They are nothing more than governors and overseers on neo- plantations, masquerading as independent nation-states. The only country that has been able to systematically dismantle the neo-plantation arrangement at the structural level in the contemporary Caribbean is Cuba.

We take sustenance from the fact that a new day is coming. There is no one alive who can’t smell change in the air. Confronted with what is a global resistance, galvanized by US, EU and Israeli genocide in Gaza, the imperialists are in panic mode. They are scrambling as they find themselves in free fall. They are losing influence and control of global affairs faster than they ever thought possible. And of course, being the ignorant and arrogant fools that they are, they are making one blunder after another. Watching the recently televised US presidential debate was surreal. Here were two decrepit old White men, one definitely demented, arguing with each other and competing to decide the fate of humanity. Empires always collapse from within, and it is no different for the US Empire. The rot truly sets in when the Empire’s own citizens no longer believe its lies. At this stage, the Empire’s naked fascism is obvious to all. We see it everywhere in American society as the bogus liberal-democratic mask is ripped away. The whole world watched the brutal repression unleashed by the State against its own citizens, on campuses throughout the US.

There is no turning back

The demise of the Empire, and its surrogates is inevitable. As they move from one crisis to another, from war to war, with no coherent vision for the future, and a past that has caught up with them, a global shift of power is in full swing. Saudi Arabia, a full member of BRICS, will not renew its petrodollar agreement with the US, countries throughout Africa are pulling their gold reserves out of the US. Truth be told, the US is insolvent. Its federal debt stands at 34.73 trillion dollars and grows by 1 trillion dollars every 100 days. Their permanent-war economy is fast becoming unsustainable. Che Guevara’s imagined scenario, “create two, three, many Vietnams” to undermine US hegemony has been activated.

2023 and 2024 will be recorded in history as the years when numerous ‘axes of resistance’ launched extraordinary campaigns against the Empire and its surrogates, from the African Sahel to Palestine, from Yemen to Lebanon, from Iran to Syria to Iraq, from Ayiti to New Caledonia, and most recently Kenya and beyond. Victory is inevitable.

Gerald A. Perreira is a theologian, educator and political activist. He is chairperson of Organization for the Victory of the People (OVP) based in Guyana www.ovpguyana.org

4 July 2024

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