Spartacist Canada No. 165

Summer 2010


Canadian Imperialists Out of Haiti!

Following the devastating January earthquake in Haiti, Spartacist Canada No. 164 (Spring 2010) reprinted two articles from Workers Vanguard, newspaper of the Spartacist League/U.S., which justified the presence of U.S. imperialist troops as essential to the aid effort. As the statement by the ICL’s International Executive Committee printed in this issue (see page 3) notes, this was a social-imperialist line.

Alongside these articles, we printed a short companion article, “Haiti, Somalia, Afghanistan— Canada: Junior Partner of U.S. Imperialism.” Neither in this article nor elsewhere in the issue did we raise the demand that the Canadian imperialist troops get out of Haiti. We failed in our elementary duty as revolutionary Marxists to oppose—when it counted—our “own” capitalist ruling class and its predatory actions. From the start, the Trotskyist League should have declared: U.S./Canada/UN, all imperialist troops out of Haiti!

Canada sent 2,000 troops to Haiti, almost as many as are presently in Afghanistan. Unlike the bloody Afghan occupation, sending troops to Haiti was widely popular. For the Canadian imperialists this was a chance to bolster their “humanitarian” credentials. Our article attacked the reformist left for pushing illusions in Canadian imperialism. But by failing to demand the immediate withdrawal of Canadian troops, we ourselves gave cover to the nationalist mythology of Canada as a “kinder, gentler,” more benevolent power.

—Trotskyist League/Ligue trotskyste Central Committee