The Congress starts with a bang!

The MPP 40th anniversary Congress was declared open on Monday 18 March. 2000 delegates and guests gathered for the event, with songs, sketches, and talks.

A celebration...

The 2 000 participants gathered at 9am to attend the opening of the Congress. The organising committee and the Director Jean-Baptiste Chavannes spoke first, followed by other key figures. Political and religious representatives were there to lend their support to the MPP: such as Monsignor Simon Pierre Saintilien (Bishop of Hinche), Police Superintendant Rony Sineas (Departmental Chief of the national police force), President of the Senate Desras Simon Dieuseul, Deputy Abel Descolines (of the Mirebalais Boucan Carré district) and Deputy Musset Romains (Maïssade). Different international partners also spoke; all were unanimous in praising the actions and combat of the MPP. These speeches were interspersed with moments of festivity. One of the sketches was a humorous reminder of injustices suffered by peasants, and illustrated their fight for their rights. The morning ended with the much awaited inauguration of the MPP’s new head office. The bishop blessed the building and Jean-Baptiste Chavannes broke out the champagne, before a visit to the premises.

… and a reaffirmation of political policies.

The first conference of the afternoon set the tone for rest of the week: : Joao Pedro Stedile (Founder of the Landless Movement in Brazil), Jean-Claude Cherubin (Haïtian sociologist and political figure) and Jean-Baptiste Chavannes (Director of MPP) summed up the national and international context in a detailed analysis. The world is in crisis, we are faced with the failure of capitalism, which is, according to them: « a signal to open the door to change ». The only solution which would allow change is to study and understand the reality. South America and the Caribbean are faced with the economic hegemony of the United States and its multinationals, particularly those toxic ones such as Monsanto, which destroy small farmers. The conditions of small farmers in Haïti is the MPP’s principal concern; social injustice is omnipresent in Haïti. The majority of the population is marginalised and lives on a dollar a day; peasant farmers are not considered as people. How can we build a democracy when the majority of the population is marginalised? Chavannes is categorical : « it is up to civil society and organisations like the MPP to make it possible ».

According to these three speakers, it is essential to « strengthen mass movements to fight against our main enemies: banks, multinationals and communications controlled by capitalism».

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