Solidarity in Action: MPP Congress in Haiti Inspires a United Peasantry

From August 5th to 11th, the Mouvement Paysan de Papaye (MPP) congress is taking place in Papaye, in the commune of Hinche, Haïti. This peasant organization, which has been a part of La Via Campesina since its inception in Mons 30 years ago, has brought together approximately 1500 delegates from across Haïti, including peasants from the other two LVC organizations, Tet Kole and Mouvman Peyizan Nasyonal Papay (MPNKP).

The main purpose of this congress is to ratify the MPP’s five-year action plan, which aims to strengthen the promotion of agroecology, peasant and popular feminism, as well as advocate for comprehensive agrarian reform. These objectives and principles serve as the driving force behind the Haitian peasantry’s struggle against land grabbing and the anti-peasant policies imposed by those in power. This situation has created an atmosphere of violence and insecurity that deeply affects the people.

Furthermore, this event addresses other interconnected struggles, such as the fight for access to basic social services for all and resistance against the interference of international capital, supported by fascist governments aiming to exploit the crisis for further subjugation. It’s worth noting that this congress is also an occasion to celebrate the MPP’s 50th anniversary.

Within this context, an international delegation from La Via Campesina, including the movement’s General Coordinator, Morgan Ody, delegates from the Dominican Republic, and the movement’s technical team, has arrived at the congress to express the solidarity of La Via Campesina as a whole. This journey is part of the movement’s efforts to support the Haitian peasantry and people in their fight against social, political, and economic violence, as well as the recent threats of foreign military intervention. This situation has persisted over time and worsened since 2011, under the PHTK regime and President Michel Joseph Martelly. Throughout this period, there was widespread promotion of the mass importation of firearms by the political class and bourgeoisie, which led to the transfer of weapons into the hands of criminal gangs and fostered impunity. Starting from 2017, this situation experienced even more pronounced and rapid deterioration under the presidency of Jovenel Moise, who was ultimately assassinated in 2021. Nowadays, Prime Minister Ariel Henry governs the country without a parliament and following the orientations of the “core group”, composed of the United States, France, Canada, the European Union, Mexico, Brazil and the UN office in Haiti (BINUH), threatening the people’s sovereignty while blocking a democratic, participatory and people-centered transition.

The purpose of La Via Campesina’s delegation’s visit is clear: to directly understand the realities faced by the Haitian peasantry and people in their daily lives. Through this experience, the movement seeks to listen to and support proposals that offer solutions to overcome the crisis.

In the face of adversity, the unwavering tenacity and patience of the Haitian people amid incessant crises stands as an inexhaustible source of inspiration for the global peasantry. If you wish to support the Haitian people’s struggle, particularly the efforts of the peasantry and LVC member organizations in Haiti, the MPP has launched an online fundraising campaign. This initiative has enabled many to express their solidarity with the situation in Haiti.

Our journey to Haiti has been marked not just by the physical travels but by a journey of understanding, empathy, and unity. Our presence in the country goes beyond mere words; it’s about immersing ourselves in their reality, standing side by side with them as they strive for a better tomorrow.

The authentic interaction taking place at this MPP congress underscores a constant truth: Solidarity is the tenderness of nations, and within La Via Campesina, we will continue to promote it.