Haitian police at Port au Prince on July 8.  Photo: AFP.

The world struggles to find a solution for Haiti


Previous military interventions in Haiti failed to resolve the crisis, forcing the international community to find a new solution after the assassination of President Moise.

When Haitian President Jean Vilbrun Guillaume Sam was assassinated in 1915, the United States quickly sent troops into the Caribbean nation and occupied it for 19 years. In 1994, the US sent troops to this island nation in the “Maintain Democracy” campaign, to restore a president who was ousted by the Haitian army.

After many other interventions by the West, Haiti remains the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, steeped in chaos, violence and natural disasters. The country was ravaged by political, economic and security crises, while the capital Port-au-Prince saw a rampage of criminal gangs.

The crisis in Haiti threatens to peak after President Jovenel Moise was assassinated on July 7, leaving a power vacuum that cannot be resolved by the constitution. Experts say that it is time for the international community to come up with new solutions to the crisis in this country.

Haitian police at Port au Prince on July 8. Image: AFP.

“There’s a lot that can be done to help, but we need to be very vigilant, learning from past mistakes,” said Brian Concannon, formerly of Haiti and executive director of Project Blueprint, organization promoting human rights in US foreign policy, said.

“During the most recent military intervention in Haiti, UN peacekeepers were in Haiti for 13 years, spending $7 billion and when they left, there were more guns and less democracy than they did in the past. months before their arrival. In addition, UN peacekeepers are accused of causing cholera epidemics and sexual abuse cases in the country.”

Before Moise was assassinated, there was much controversy surrounding his tenure. Moise claims his term will run until February 7, 2022, while the opposition says his time in office will end on February 7, 2021. This disagreement stems from Moise being elected in a 2015 vote but annulled for fraud, then re-elected in November 2016 and taking office in February 2017. Many protests took place to demand Moise leave his seat.

The United States, the foreign power with the most influence on Hati, supported Moise’s view of tenure. After the assassination, the Biden administration reiterated that Haiti should hold elections in September to find a new leader.

Francois Pierre-Louis, who served in the cabinet of Jean-Bertrand Aristide, Haiti’s first elected president and twice ousted in coups, said it was “wrong” to suggest that the government America supported Haiti.

He commented that US interest in Haiti has clearly waned under former president Donald Trump, who is said to have spoken ill of the country when discussing immigration. But Biden should have quickly sensed the urgency of the crisis here.

“I know that Biden has too much work to do, but they have done nothing differently than the Trump administration,” said Pierre-Louis, a professor at the City University of New York Graduate Center. “If Biden had intervened sooner, Jovenel Moise would not have been assassinated.”

Pierre-Louis believes that the option of the international community to intervene militarily in Haiti will not be helpful, however, they should impose an international arms embargo to prevent Haitian gangs from accessing weapons from the outside. .

International powers should persuade Haitian police to disarm the gangs, demand more transparency about aid money and include the opposition in any solution, he said.

U.S. lawmakers led by the leader of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Gregory Meeks, earlier this year called on all sides to rethink the situation in Haiti, saying it would be best not to rush elections and listen to voices. say more.

Monique Clesca, a writer based in Haiti, said that Haitians first need to deal with pressing everyday issues such as health, employment and education. “We are all struggling because the necessary social investments are not being made and we keep hearing the same thing: let’s hold elections,” she said.

“Haiti’s problem is deeper and it’s really rooted in inequality,” she said. “We need to hit the stop and restart button.”

The US occupied Haiti from 1915-1934 partly due to fear of a German invasion of the island. But with few exports, Haiti is rarely part of any great power game, raising further question marks over the Haitian government’s official explanation that President Moise was assassinated by a group of soldiers. foreign hire.

However, Robert Fatton Jr, an expert on Haiti at the University of Virginia, says that the stability of Haiti is an important benefit for Biden, as the country’s deepening crisis could spur a wave of Haitian seekers. on the way to the US, further heating up the controversy in the US about immigration issues.

“To put it bluntly, the US is not going to let great chaos and disorder happen in its backyard,” he said.

Phuong Vu (According to the AFP)

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