Haiti’s problems stem from numerous sources. Among them, but not limited to are: Washington, Paris, and Montreal, who planned, orchestrated, and financed President Jean Bertrand Aristide’s kidnapping and coup d’etat in February 2004 (more on this later) and are forever involved in Haiti’s politics.
The thing about Haiti, as in most places, is that if the people who pull the strings, namely the aforementioned, really wanted the violence and instability to be eradicated, it would be. However, that is not the case and the most money is made when the country is kept in a perpetual state of chaos and the poor are kept poorer and without a voice and a means to mobilize and organizeâ€“â€“Aristide.
Another force with which we must also contend is the embattered and somewhat useless UN security force (MINUSTAH); which is badly in need of more civilian police, a clearer mission, and an overall stronger force and UN. Mark L. Schneider from the Boston Globe has suggested, and the Bush Administration has not completely ruled out, sending US Marines to Haiti to aid and embolden the hapless UN mission there. However, this has repercussions and if one looks into the history of Haiti, those repercussions will become apparent. Haiti needs less, not more US involvement. Thus far, the UN has not proved that it can provide adequate protection for the Haitian poor, let alone provide security for safe, fair, and democratic elections.
Then, of course, there is Andy Apaid, and his group 184 (helped in part by US taxpayer dollars), which has done nothing but cause ruckus. Mr. Apaid is also Haiti’s wealthiest man and is involved in rather dubious undertakings, such as the hiring of anti-Aristide gangs that roam the slums and kill his followers by the handful.
There are many more forces at play here and the levels at which they work are complicated. The point being is that under the current conditions, which get worse weekly, if not daily, elections at the standards that many in the Western world enjoy (well, at least some of us), will never come to fruition. In fact, as much as I would like to believe that things will get better, I am of the opinion that they will continue to deteriorate ahead of, and after elections which are slated for fall of this year. Of course though, you will not know that by reading the headlines, as much of it comes from a Haitian bourgeousie bias, eagerly supported by the established media. Nor will you know that the crowd of a “couple hundred” was actually hundreds of thousands demonstrating for Aristide, or vice versa.
This account by no means is a thorough or an intricate analysis of the situation. It is meant at least, to help to begin to understand some of the forces at play in Haiti’s struggle. I suggest reading ICG reports and checking the blog for more detailed analysis, and even better, visiting the country yourself.