Haiti: it is not with weapons that the cycles of violence are broken › World › Granma

Haiti: it is not with weapons that the cycles of violence are broken › World › Granma
Haiti: it is not with weapons that the cycles of violence are broken › World › Granma

The governance crisis suffered by Haiti, aggravated since the assassination of President Jovenel Moise, in July 2021, which left the country in an institutional vacuum, seems to have no solution, at least not in the way in which we have focused on getting out of this .

Since the beginning of this year, criminal groups have taken control of large areas of the country, including 90% of its capital, Port-au-Prince. Armed gangs have been the protagonists of numerous and increasing episodes of violence, which have caused more than 2,500 deaths.

Criminal groups are increasingly “stronger, richer and more autonomous”, and the illicit trafficking of weapons and ammunition is one of the “main drivers” of their territorial expansion.

We are seeing in Haiti the aggravated result of the problems of inequality, poverty, lack of protection for children and youth, which are common in the rest of Latin America.

The solution to chaos and ungovernability seemed to reach a positive path starting on April 25, after the resignation of Prime Minister Ariel Henry, when a Transition Council was created, supported by the Caribbean Community (Caricom).

Violent groups prevented Ariel Henry from returning to the country since March, when he was on an official visit to Kenya, seeking help from the security forces of that African nation, to deal with the internal crisis.

After the resignation was completed, the Council made up of political representatives of civil society was sworn in, who would take the reins of the Caribbean country.

However, the Council did not begin its management with the success that was expected. The appointment to the position of prime minister of Fritz Bélizaire, who served as Sports Minister during the second presidency of René Préval, between 2006 and 2011, did not have the unanimous vote of the members.

In response, the councilors who voted against raised the possibility of challenging the appointment, an action that, if carried out, could fracture the newly formed political coalition.

The appointment was considered a “plot hatched against the Haitian people” by several of the civil society groups that are represented in the governing body.

It should be noted that the councilors’ meeting took place in a complex environment, under constant threat from gangs who promised to derail the swearing-in if armed groups were not allowed to participate in the talks to establish the new government.

WEAPONS ARE NOT THE SOLUTION

US military teams began arriving in Port-au-Prince this week to set up the logistics that the Kenyan security mission will use to combat criminal gangs, which was confirmed by US Undersecretary of State Todd Robinson.

The US Department of Defense has allocated around 200 million USD for security materials and equipment, plus advice from the Pentagon, to achieve the objectives of pacifying the country.

The Government of Suriname also announced that it will deploy its military forces to Haiti to collaborate with security in the transition process.

Haiti has been the victim of a long succession of foreign military interventions and “humanitarian aid” that, far from representing a solution to the country’s problems, have aggravated and perpetuated them.

We must remember that Latin America and the Caribbean is a zone of peace, as dictated by the proclamation signed by the Heads of State and Government of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), in January 2014, at the II Summit in Havana. , ten years ago now.

This document advocates a permanent commitment to the peaceful resolution of disputes, in order to banish forever the use and threat of the use of force in our region.

THE DEBT OF COLONIALISM WITH THE HAITIAN PEOPLE

Anyone approaching the “Haitian problem” must answer the following question: Who may be interested in maintaining the permanent cycles of violence and chaos in Haiti?

The “problem” began, let us remember history, after Haiti obtained its independence in 1804, when Baron de Mackau, envoy of the king of France, handed over to the president of the young Republic, at that time, Jean-Pierre Boyer, the Ordinance of Charles X on April 17, 1825.

That ordinance forced Haiti to pay large compensations to the colonial power, including a 50% reduction in French import tariffs and the payment of 150 million francs, in exchange for its recognition as an independent nation and to avoid a military invasion. .

The country had to request loans from French banks, with high interest rates, to be able to pay, and it was not until 1947 that it managed to settle the account, no less than 122 years later.

The enormous drain on resources prevented the Caribbean nation from building the infrastructure necessary for its socioeconomic development, making it impossible to build schools, hospitals, roads, and homes.

We cannot forget the role played by the United States in Haiti’s misfortune: the military occupation, from 1915 to 1934, the support provided by Washington to the brutal dictatorships of François and Jean-Claude Duvalier, and the interventionist practices of the 21st century.

The solution to the “Haitian problem” involves unrestricted respect for sovereignty, non-interference in its internal affairs and effective, supportive and selfless collaboration with the people of that sister Caribbean nation.

If the hegemonic practices of the great powers are put aside, we can sincerely advance on the path of peace.

A first step would be for the former metropolis to return the so-called independence debt, as requested by an important group of Haitian civil society organizations.

The regional community, most of all the Caribbean Community (Caricom), must offer its good offices, both economic and technical, and provide assistance where needed.

Breaking the cycles of violence and stopping chaos are vital issues for the Caribbean island, and it is not with weapons that these cycles are broken.

Haiti is no one’s colony. The “protective” and discriminatory vision of the former colonial powers must end. The Haitian people are capable of governing themselves and deciding their destiny.

 
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