Other Americans: American politics are deeply involved in the crisis in Haiti



It is still unclear exactly what happened before the early morning hours of July 7, when armed mercenaries invaded the home of Haitian President Jovenel Moïse. What we do know is that Moses was murdered, and eighteen Colombian mercenaries (seven of whom received a certain level of coaching army) and three Haitian Americans are accused of plotting to kill him.

The assassination is plagued by mystery, intrigue and contradictions.

For more than 215 years, the United States punished Haiti for its revolution, which occurred at a time when the American economy was driven by movable slavery.

Moïse was shot dead at his home in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, by gunmen claiming to be agents of the US Drug Enforcement Agency. The assassination sparked a new denouement of the delicate political situation in this Caribbean country, with rival factions trying to seize power.

“The crisis was in fact very serious even before the assassination of Jovenel Moise. But, after her death, the situation here is very uncertain, ”said Rosy Auguste Ducena, a human rights defender with the Port-au-Prince-based human rights organization, the National Network for the Defense of Human Rights. the man. The Progressive. “The [State] institutions were weakened by the Moïse administration and he did not organize elections when needed. Therefore, the void left by his assassination is very immense.

The situation in Haiti was largely falling apart before the assassination. Moses faces generalized criticism on charges of corruption, failing to address the rise in gang and paramilitary violence, and causing a constitutional crisis when Moïse declared that he had one more year left after his presidential term ended in February.

“The human rights situation was getting worse day by day,” said Auguste Ducena. “Justice doesn’t work at all. There are assassinations, kidnappings, gang rapes, massacres, a weakened police force, and the rights to live in safety are violated. This has been the daily situation in the country since 2018. ”

Moïse’s unilateral regime faced intense protests in the streets across the country as the security situation continued to deteriorate. Just a week before the murder of Moses, a journalist, a human rights activist and three others were kill in car shootings in Port-au-Prince. Yet the troubled president had received support the Biden administration, which has rarely spoken out against the crisis the US government helped create.

“The international community supported the administration of Moïse even as civil society kept saying that supporting the administration of Moïse was also supporting corruption and impunity,” said Auguste Ducena. “And today, even after the assassination of Moses, nothing has changed because the international community is still on the wrong side of history.

She adds: “To date, the international community is pushing for elections while we, civil society, demand a transition because the population does not trust this team and because of the spread of insecurity in all. regions of the country. “

Following the assassination, Claude Joseph initially assumed power as interim prime minister, but power ceded to Ariel Henry, who has the support of the international community. United States keep calling for the elections in Haiti.

President Moses was buried in the northern city of Cap-Haitienon on July 22 amid incessant protests.

The Biden administration largely upheld the Trump-era foreign policy toward Haiti, even as Moses centralized power around him, unleashed government-backed gang terror against lower-income neighborhoods, and targeted the Haitian press. In return, the United States obtained more support against the Venezuelan administration of Nicolas Maduro.

“A combination of fear and support from the United States had kept him in power,” said Brian Concannon, lawyer and board member of the Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti. The Progressive. “His fate was tied to the support of the United States, so he voted against Venezuela in the Organization of American States. “

Concannon points out that Moses inherited the structures of control that began with the United States-backed administration of Michel Martelly, a singer known for his obscene stage performances and lyrics who was elected President of Haiti in 2011. Martelly initially failed to secure enough votes in the 2010 elections to pass the second ballot, but after accusations of corruption and support from the Obama administration, he was pushed through the second round of elections, where he ultimately won.

“As long as he kept the United States happy, they continued to support him even as he raided government treasury to create his machine,” Concannon said. “The United States has continued to support him and downplay the complaints from the Haitian people and human rights organizations. “

Martelly’s term ended without a presidential election in 2016. As a transitional government was formed, the elections that followed were plagued by low voter turnout. Moïse was elected in 2016 and took office in February 2017, and continued to concentrate power. His administration was marked by corruption and the elimination of threats against his power, in particular suspend parliament and court co-optation.

Amid the crisis sparked by the assassination of President Moïse, then-Acting Prime Minister Joseph called on the United States and the United Nations to send military troops to help secure the situation. Initially, the Biden administration rejected this application. Any deployment of troops to Haiti would be extremely problematic, as there is a long history of Western intervention in Haiti.

“There is a bipartisan policy aimed at limiting popular democracy in Haiti and keeping Haiti workable for American interests,” Concannon said. “As long as this is the overriding objective, no intervention will help.”

Haiti was the first country where slaves were freed, forming the second republic in the Americas. But since the start of the Haitian revolution in 1791, culminating with the declaration of independence from France on January 1, 1804, the country has faced invasions, extortion and manipulation by foreign powers, including United States.

For more than 215 years, the United States punished Haiti for its revolution, which occurred at a time when the American economy was driven by movable slavery. It was only after the Civil War that the United States officially recognized Haiti.

Haiti was busy by the US Marines in 1915 after a series of presidential assassinations, which made Citi Bank fear that Haiti could not pay its debts. The first years of the occupation met with an insurgency led by Charlemagne Péralte, who was captured in 1919 and nailed to a door, resembling a crucifixion, by the US Marines in a grotesque warning to the population. The Marines were finally forced to leave in 1932 following a new uprising against the occupation.

The occupation did nothing to strengthen Haiti’s democracy. Rather, he established the country’s army which was responsible for the coups d’état over the following decades.

In the decades since the withdrawal of its troops, the United States supported the brutal dictatorship of François Duvalier, commonly known as Papa Doc, who ruled Haiti for decades out of fear.

The US Marines were once again deployed in Haiti in 1994 following the return of President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, a popular priest and defender of liberation theology who was elected to the presidency in 1989 and overthrown in a coup in 1991. Aristide will be reelected to the presidency in 2001, but was again overthrown in a coup in 2004 after demanding that France repay the money the country extorted from Haiti in the 1800s.

The United Nations deployed a military peacekeeping force in Haiti, known as the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti, following the 2004 coup, which was accused of serious human rights violations. These violations included United Nations troops in northern Haiti causing a cholera outbreak after human waste was dumped into rivers in October 2010. The militarized United Nations peacekeeping force ended in 2017 .

“When [the Stabilisation Mission] on the left, Haiti had more weapons and less democracy than the day before the mission was authorized, ”says Concannon. “The mission was really there to consolidate the blow.

Despite the current crisis in Haiti, the US Department of State said to Haitians not to come to the United States. For Haitian human rights defenders, there is a feeling that the international community will not be able to help in the crisis either. But the United States and other countries are likely to continue to exert their influence over Haitian politics in other ways.

And that is exactly what many Haitians fear.

“Haitians ask to have the chance to solve their problems on their own,” said Auguste Ducena. “We don’t want foreign intervention. Today, we are going to take care of our problems alone to find Haitian solutions to the crisis. No rush. Let us take the time necessary to understand it.


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