Military Intervention is Not the Answer to Haiti’s Crisis

By Elson Concepción Pérez on October 24, 2022

image: Haiti Action Committee

History has shown that military interventions, generally against poor countries of the so-called Third World, far from being a solution to alleviate hunger and constitute stable governments, have been the cause of destabilization and mere formulas of colonization and neo colonization.

Haiti, the most impoverished nation in the region, has suffered many military interventions which, if they had been translated into economic aid, would have contributed greatly to its development.

In recent days, the U.S. newspaper The Washington Post published an editorial on the situation in Haiti, in which it spoke of “forceful action on the part of external actors”.

Days later, the governments of the United States and Canada announced the dispatch of military aircraft to carry weapons for the country’s security services.

But the situation added a new component: on October 15, the United States submitted a draft resolution to the UN Security Council calling for the “immediate deployment of a multinational rapid reaction force” to Haiti.

Earlier, at the UN General Assembly on September 24, 2022, Haitian Foreign Minister Jean Victor Geneus admitted that his country faces a serious crisis which, he said, “can only be resolved with the effective support of our partners.”

The lessons of history suggest that both the UN and the international community should bet on the formula -practical and supportive- of stimulating negotiations between the Government and some sectors, not only opponents, but also destabilizers, and -fundamentally- make contributions that facilitate work, investment, education and health plans, and the construction of a less violent society, more committed to its present and future.

Haiti, the first colony to achieve its independence in the Caribbean region, has gone through, since that January 1, 1804, after a fierce armed struggle against the French metropolis, a thorny path in which adverse elements converge, such as colonization itself, the subsequent American presence in neocolonial style, misery and hunger, armed gangs and, if anything, the punishments of nature with earthquakes, times of drought and other adverse components.

It would be worthwhile a greater conjunction of external factors, that the word intervention be replaced by that of solidarity contribution. Haiti needs food, not weapons.

The food crisis, an inflation rate of 33%, and more than 40% of the population below poverty levels, with 4.7 million people suffering from food insecurity – according to data from the United Nations World Food Program (WFP) – cannot be solved with foreign military interventions.

In addition, in recent weeks a new outbreak of cholera has already claimed the lives of dozens of people, and there are many more confirmed cases.

Solidarity and the search for solutions that contribute to abolish hunger and unhealthy conditions should not be left for later, while denying any attempt that weapons and military interventions are part of the formulas for the Caribbean country.

Source: Granma, translation Resumen Latinoamericano – US