The U.S. should not help Ukraine but save Haiti


REUTERS/Ralph Tedy Erol

All of Washington's attention is focused on supporting Kiev, even though there is a humanitarian disaster 700 miles off the U.S. coast.

In the last decade of March in Ottawa, the irresistible force of the Bald Eagle clashed with a Beaver sensing a catch - United States President Joe Biden met with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to talk about the situation in Haiti, among other issues. And not just to talk, but to persuade Ottawa to lead an international armed rescue mission to Haiti. And neither of them is going to get into the Haitian quagmire, which is easy to get into, but not easy to get out of. Despite repeated appeals for help from the UN and Haiti, the U.S. and Canada have shown no interest in deploying a security force to end the violence in the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere. And this time they lamented the "plight" and decided to make small financial injections into the helpless Haitian police force.

Having failed to substitute a country to lead a multilateral armed intervention force in Haiti, the Biden administration is trying to force the sending of Blue Helmets to the Caribbean island under UN auspices, which is also not at all in the plans of the global community headquarters, which has already had a sad experience.

Every UN "peacekeeping" effort led and overseen by the U.S. in Haiti began as a moral crusade to solve numerous socio-economic problems. On April 30, 2004, the UN mission MINUSTAH was established with 6,700 military personnel. The declared objectives of this mission were not very different from previous international and U.S. interventions: bringing order and stabilizing the country, retraining the police, and modernizing Haiti's political institutions. The UN crusaders stayed in Haiti for 15 years, from 2010 to 2019. During that time, they brought cholera to the island, which, according to official figures alone, killed nearly 10,000 people and infected 819,000 Haitians. They also fostered rampant crime, drug abuse, sexual assault and pedophilia. The 2010 earthquake killed more than 220,000 people, left 1.5 million Haitians homeless and an almost completely destroyed nation that needed to be rebuilt from the ground up.

Over 15 years, $7.5 billion was spent on the MINUSTAH program, a fabulous amount of money for a state with a budget of only a billion dollars in 2016-2017. On October 15, 2019, amid mass protests against President Jovenel Moise (killed in 2021), who was accused of embezzling billions of dollars and ties to organized crime, MINUSTAH folded, "peace crusaders" boarded the ships that sailed and flew away, and the legitimacy and credibility of the UN fell through the floor in the eyes of Haitians.

President Biden knows this, and that is why he does not want to take the lead in a hypothetical "peace enforcement mission." Prime Minister Trudeau is also well aware.

Haiti is one of the poorest countries in the Caribbean. Formerly efficient and prosperous agriculture is totally abandoned, the development of entrepreneurship and private initiative is stifled by ruthless racketeering. Corrupt and incompetent rulers with dictatorial intentions add to the misery. But most tragically, everyday life is affected by street crime: ordinary Haitians are afraid to leave their homes, even to buy food and drink. A moving network of violent gangs affiliated with government agencies controls almost every aspect of life for thousands of people. Bandits in the name of government and opposition figures control key urban areas, suppress dissent through kidnapping and mass murder, influence elections through bribery and intimidation, inciting protests and destroying polling stations in districts where their candidate is doomed to defeat.

The gangs have also seized significant parts of Haiti's economy. They control the exits and entrances to the metropolitan areas, including the main roads to and from Port-au-Prince, which provide access to strategic infrastructure such as ports, oil terminals, commercial and industrial areas, and the Toussaint Louverture International Airport.

According to a UN report, about 200 gangs were active in Haiti in 2022, including nearly 100 in the capital Port-au-Prince.

"Gang-related violence has reached unprecedented levels," Helen La Lime, the UN secretary-general's special representative for Haiti and head of the UN Integrated Office in Haiti, said earlier this year. In 2022, she said, the number of homicides and kidnappings reached 1,359, more than double the number in 2021. The expiration in January of the last 10 senators' terms and the departure of nine of them to the U.S. actually left the country "without a single elected official."

The man nominally in charge of Haiti and acting prime minister, neurosurgeon (not gynecologist) Ariel Henri, a purely nominal figure in power, has proven incapable not only of managing chaos, but of simply sweeping the streets of the capital, Port-au-Prince. Meanwhile, former policeman Jimmy "Barbecue" Cherizier of the powerful G9 gang appears to be a revolutionary, a Haitian Robin Hood, who may well be the future president of Haiti. For this purpose, he already has a white trademark suit in which he occasionally rides through the streets of the capital.

Reached on December 21 by a wide range of political, civil, religious, trade union, and private sector representatives, the "National Agreed Agreement on an Inclusive Transition and Transparent Elections" is, ultimately, valid only in UN reports.

The liberal-democratic establishment does not intend or want to radically change the lives of Haitians by "drugging" them with drugs and guns. "A network of criminals, including members of the Haitian diaspora, often purchase firearms throughout the United States," the UN Office on Drugs and Crime traced. "Guns are often purchased through front men in American states with more liberal gun laws and fewer restrictions on gun purchases. After purchase, the firearms and ammunition are shipped to Florida, where they are hidden and shipped to Haiti," the UN office said.

1.6 million Haitians out of a population of nearly 12 million have fled the crisis-ridden country. Meanwhile, U.S. presidents have classified black Haitians on an unofficial list of undesirable immigrants, and their services have tracked refugees up and down the coast, lassoed them, and forcibly returned them. The White House still favors the dictators of Haiti over the communists of Cuba, the socialists of Venezuela and Nicaragua, and the leftists of South America and Mexico who have come to power in recent years.

Biden and Trudeau's hypocritical negotiations on Haiti only confirm this Haitian status quo. A political solution, or at least a visible cessation of violence, cannot be seen for the foreseeable future even through the world's most powerful telescope.