«Banditry tears Haiti apart», «Escalating violence threatens millions in Haiti», «Crises in Haiti have reached a critical point», «Unprecedented instability in Haiti demands urgent action»… Each week, month, year, almost all the world’s media scare the world community with these headlines. And nothing changes in the UN: it will identify the problem, discuss it and wait for what the US will say. Washington doesn’t care about strangers, it worries about its own. The whole world cannot stop a small band of criminals who terrorize 11 million people on the territory of 27.8 thousand square kilometers on an island in the Caribbean Sea.
At one of the regular briefings, the UN Special Representative in Haiti, former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ecuador and Ambassador to the Organization of American States, Maria Isabel Salvador, who succeeded the American Helen La Lime (former US Ambassador to Angola), virtually repeated her words, many times said to the UN Security Council: «I cannot overestimate the gravity of the situation in Haiti, where numerous protracted crises have reached a critical point».
Maria Isabel outlined the situation: 8,400 victims of gang violence documented in the capital Port-au-Prince alone by the UN office in 2023, a 122% increase from a year earlier. Some 300 gangs control about 80% of the capital, and are responsible for 83% of the killings and injuries. Moreover, she added, gangs conduct «large-scale operations to control key areas, systematically using murder and sexual violence to assert control».
The briefing took place about three months after the UN Security Council agreed, a year late, on Oct. 3, 2023, to deploy a multinational military force led by Kenya to Haiti to establish order. It is not clear from the UN documents whether the UN force intends to eradicate evil or only take control of crime on the island. Gangs currently control much of the metropolitan area of Port-au-Prince and key agricultural areas in the north of the country.
The first group of about 300 Kenyan police officers were expected to arrive in Haiti by February this year. That number should eventually rise to 1,000 officers to lead a multinational force of 3,000 from Burundi, Belize, Senegal, Jamaica and Chad. Ideally, according to the U.N., about 25,000 active police officers are needed to restore order, which is unattainable even for the UN. It is unclear what powers the current «peacekeeping force» will be vested with and what means of fighting organized crime groups will be provided. In any case, the US and its allies will give them less than the Haitian gangs.
Kenyan representatives, who have visited Haiti several times to find out about the living and working conditions of their contingent, have concluded that for the mission to be minimally successful, it should have at least 5,000 troops, with an annual budget of about $240 million. The Security Council considered this amount excessive.
But perhaps the main obstacle to the successful launch and completion of the Multinational Security Support Mission (MSS) will be that Kenyan and other countries’ police officers will not be wearing UN blue helmets, and thus cannot count on automatic support from the UN Secretariat. Incidentally, UN officials were quick to stress that the organization had nothing to do with the MSS so that the mission could not be called a failure in the future.
While many in Kenya have rightly questioned their country’s leading role in the mission, President William Ruto has said that «this mission is of particular importance and urgency to humanity». The Supreme Court of Kenya took a different view, finding the sending of law enforcement to provide security in Haiti unconstitutional and rejected the planned deployment of police officers to the country. Nairobi will now have to «bypass» its Supreme Court to protect Haiti.
Why has no one so far succeeded in cutting off the main sources of supply for Haitian criminal gangs? Cause and effect — the United States, without whose unofficial support it would be impossible to «breed crime» in Haiti.
Ghada Fathy Ismail Waly, the Director General of the UN Office in Vienna and Executive Director of the UN Office for Drug Control and Crime Prevention (UNODC), told the UN Security Council that Haitian gangs still have access to sophisticated weapons that fuel ongoing violence. UNODC, she noted in her latest report, has confirmed that guns and ammunition smuggled from the US are falling into the hands of criminals. Sent mainly from the state of Florida, they arrive in Haiti by ship and small airplanes. «UNODC has found that Haiti has four main land and sea routes and 11 unofficial or clandestine airstrips scattered throughout the country to bring illegal weapons into Haiti from the U.S.», said Ghada Waly.
The US has a vested interest in keeping crime in Haiti, which brings them economic profits. The Canada-Haiti Information Project reported that «since 1995, the U.S. has provided more than $13 billion in subsidies to U.S. rice farmers…This has made the price of U.S. rice exported to Haiti significantly lower than the price of rice produced by Haitian farmers». This agreement put the local farmers at a disadvantage; they could not compete with the Americans and eventually had to give in to them.
The Haitian parliament attempted to raise the standard of living of the citizens by raising the minimum wage for workers and employees to $5 dollars a day. The United States intervened and blocked the bill.
Haiti was part of the PetroCaribe Agreement, which was negotiated in 2005 by Venezuela under then-President Hugo Chavez. The agreement offered affordable prices for petroleum products in part and promoted social and economic development by addressing inequality and improving the quality of life in partner countries. Illegal and immoral sanctions imposed by Washington against Venezuela prevented Haiti from participating in the program and receiving petroleum products at affordable prices. In this way, the U.S. provoked price increases and fuel shortages on the island.
In other words, the current social crisis in Haiti has little to do with «gangs», but is the result of machinations carried out by the «core group» led by the United States and its allies: Canada, France, the European Union and the Organization of American States (OAS), which is favored by the UN.
Especially since there is already a sad experience in the 21st century. The UN-approved stabilization mission in Haiti, which began in June 2004, was marred by a scandal of sexual and armed violence and the spread of cholera that killed nearly 10,000 people. The mission infamously ended in October 2017.
«Haiti doesn’t need foreign troops to solve its problems, but it does need the United States and its partners to stop supporting a corrupt government linked to criminal gangs», writes Foreign Affairs, realizing that it is the US that supports «a corrupt government linked to criminal gangs».
In 20 months, the illegitimate, according to Haitian and UN analysts, Prime Minister Ariel Henry and his corrupt gang-linked government oversaw the rapid collapse of Haiti. Under his rule, the gangs not only intensified violence but paralyzed the country with a form of terror entirely new to Haiti: cutting off public access to the country’s main fuel depot, resulting in hospital closures, a worsening cholera outbreak, and widespread starvation.
Mass kidnappings, rapes, murders and massacres of ordinary people were almost never investigated, not to mention prosecuted. Under Henry, the judicial system ceased to function, the terms of Haiti’s last ten elected senators officially expired, leaving the country without a single elected public official.
With U.S. knowledge and consent, Henry rejected the Montana Accord and the December 21 Accord — two proposals drafted by various sectors of Haitian society that provided a roadmap «to create the conditions for national stability to return to constitutional normality and restore democratic order» within two years. The agreements set a timetable for the formation of a new elected government by February 2024.
February has arrived. Why didn’t it happen? Monique Clesca, journalist, former UN official and member of the Commission to Find a Solution to the Haitian Crisis believes that «Haiti’s criminally controlled leaders, backed by the United States, Canada, France, the European Union and the UN, have terrorized their own population, weakened Haitian institutions, led the country to rapid economic collapse, and demonstrated their contempt for Haitians by failing to provide social services, including security».
The last thing Haiti needs is foreign military intervention, she believes. The country urgently needs «the United States and its partners to stop supporting and pressuring the corrupt government to reach a political agreement with the opposition and civil society that can address the catastrophic humanitarian situation, the catastrophic security situation, and hold elections that will lead the country to a functional, stable democratic state capable of serving its people by fulfilling their basic human rights and respecting the rule of law».
For some reason, the analysts believe, the local bandits are willing to consider these possibilities. Americans aren’t.
In recent weeks, thousands of refugees from Haiti have risked their lives to arrive at the U.S.-Mexico border, desperately hoping to cross legally beyond the wall and barbed wire. The Haitian refugees believed that the United States under President Biden would throw them a lifeline. They were wrong. The Biden administration has forcibly sent thousands of people back to Haiti, a disaster zone from which the refugees will probably never return alive.
U.S. Ambassador Daniel Foote, appointed by President Biden as U.S. special envoy to Haiti last July, resigned in protest against his administration’s policies. «I do not want to be associated with the United States’ inhumane, counterproductive decision to deport thousands of Haitian refugees», he wrote in his resignation letter.
«I am appalled by the staggering and ever-increasing level of gang violence that is destroying the lives of Haitians, especially in Port-au-Prince», UN Secretary General António Guterres hypocritically «cried», virtually admitting the UN’s defeat in Haiti. It seems that he and the organization he temporarily heads are incapable of any more «revelation».