By Daniel Zéphyr, Gazette Haiti, Feb. 19, 2023
In an interview this Sunday, February 19, 2023 with journalist Madeleine Blais-Morin on the program Les Coulisses du Pouvoir, Canadian Ambassador to Haiti Sébastien Carrière estimated that the operations to send armored vehicles, surveillance and the imminent arrival of military vessels are a "significant military deployment in Haiti". He also insisted on the need to strengthen the National Police of Haiti.
The Haitian political and security crisis was discussed at the 44th meeting of CARICOM Heads of State and Government. During this meeting, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that Canada will send Royal Navy military ships to the coast of Haiti for intelligence gathering as part of efforts counter gangs. This naval deployment adds to other measures already taken such as the delivery of armored vehicles ordered by Haiti, and the recent arrival Canadian military aircraft for surveillance operations.
Will this aid help improve the situation? “Absolutely,” Carrière replies. According to the ambassador, these ships which will disrupt the activities of the gangs who conduct criminal activities by sea. In particular, transporting hostages and drugs.
For several months, the United States has been courting Canada to take the reins of a military force in Haiti. Canada has been reluctant to do so.
“We took over. We delivered armor. There have been two deliveries since October. There would be a third delivery in the next few days and another one later in February. There is this CP-140 surveillance operation, intelligence sharing, there are ships arriving, listen, it's still military deployment in a significant way," Carrière said.
Ambassador Carrière indicated that Canada wants to work closely with the officers of the National Police of Haiti and not replace them. “This is the approach chosen by Canada in consultation with its partners,” Carrière said.
Shortly after the CARICOM meeting, Canada announced sanctions against former Provisional President Jocelerme Privert and lawyer Salim Succar, a close associate of former President Michel Joseph Martelly and former Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe. Both of whom are also sanctioned. These new sanctioned bring the list to 17 Haitian politicians and elites sanctioned by Canada.
“The sanctions have a very significant impact. Haitian banks have liquidated the assets of Canadian-sanctioned personalities to preserve their relationships with Canadian banks,” Carrière said, He also called on Canada's US and European partners to do more, calling on them to do better.
Posted Feb. 23, 2023