October 26, 2021

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US disdain for Haiti & Haitian refugees has a deep history

2 min read

Just weeks ago, as we reported previously on The Real News, onlookers around the US and around the world were horrified yet again by scenes of pain, desperation, and brutality at the US-Mexico border in Del Rio, Texas. With COVID-19 and global vaccine apartheid continuing to exacerbate a public health crisis, with continuing political turmoil following the assassination of former president Jovenel Moïse in July, and after another devastating earthquake shook the battered nation in August, thousands of Haitian refugees have been forced to leave their homes in the hope of seeking asylum in the US.

Instead of having their appeals for asylum heard and their situation recognized for the crisis of humanity that it is, these refugees were met by menacing US Border Patrol agents on horseback who rode them down and rounded them up in brutal fashion. Since then, the US government under President Joe Biden has deployed the Trump-era Title 42 policy to mass expel thousands of refugees back to Haiti without hearing their asylum claims, even though the Department of Homeland Security designated Haiti for Temporary Protected Status in May.

While the news cycle has moved on from the immediate so-called “crisis at the border,” the nightmare for Haitians and the country of Haiti is still very much ongoing. In this interview, TRNN Editor-in-Chief talks with Pascal Robert about the larger political context that led to the horrifying scenes at the US-Mexico border last month, and about the deep disdain, fear, and imperialist designs that have historically shaped US policy toward Haiti and its people. Pascal Robert is an essayist and political commentator whose work covers Black politics, global affairs, and the history and politics of Haiti. He is the co-host of the podcast THIS IS REVOLUTION, a frequent contributor to the Black Agenda Report, and his writing has been featured in outlets like The Huffington Post, Alternet, and the Washington Spectator.

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