Who rules Haiti? Certainly, neither the Haitian people nor Haitian civil society. Instead, in the two weeks since President Jovenel Moïse was assassinated, the absence of Haitian sovereignty and the hollow nature of Haitian independence has been cynically exposed.
“A rogue’s gallery of international actors—supposed “friends” of Haiti—have intervened in the republic’s internal political affairs, handpicking the face of Haiti’s government, while determining who best can serve Haiti’s imperial masters,” says Jemima Pierre, Haiti/Americas Coordinator for the Black Alliance for Peace.
First, the day following the July 7 assassination, Helen La Lime, head of the United Nations Integrated Office in Haiti (or BINUH) declared interim Prime Minister Claude Joseph would lead the Haitian government until elections were scheduled.
Then, a few days later, the Biden administration sent a delegation to Haiti to meet with both Joseph and Ariel Henry, a figure who Moïse had designated as prime minister. The U.S. delegation convinced Joseph and Henry to come to an agreement over Haiti’s governance. The delegation also met with Joseph Lambert, the man chosen to succeed Moïse by the majority of those 10 officials in Haiti who had actually been elected (yes, there are only ten), and convinced him to stand down.
A week later, on July 17, the Core Group, a self-appointed council of foreign ambassadors and special representatives from the UN and the Organization of American States (OAS), issued a statement calling for the formation of a “consensual and inclusive government,” directing “Prime Minister designate Ariel Henry to continue the mission entrusted to him.”
Two days later, on July 19, Joseph announced he would step aside, allowing Henry to assume the mantle of prime minister. The Office of the Prime Minister then published a list of cabinet appointees and announced Haiti’s new government would be sworn in on July 20. This “new” government and cabinet is composed mostly of Haitian Tèt Kale Party (PHTK) members, the political party of Michel Martelly, and of Moïse.
The U.S. State Department, the U.S. embassy in Haiti, the Core Group and the OAS then released similar statements applauding the formation of a new “consensus” Haitian government. “We welcome efforts by Haiti’s political leadership to come together in choosing an interim prime minister and a unity cabinet,” stated U.S. Secretary of State Anthony J. Blinken.
Haiti’s civil society organizations, which had been meeting to find a way to resolve Haiti’s political crisis, were entirely left out of the international community’s decision making process. They have rejected the new government formed by foreigners and imposed on Haiti. And they have roundly criticized the actions of the international community as a blatantly colonial move.
It is. And it demonstrates that Haiti, like other colonies in history, is ruled from afar.
So, who rules Haiti? The US, the UN, the OAS and the Core Group—with the eager support of the supplicant members of some of the Haitian political elite.
The Black Alliance for Peace stands with the Haitian people against colonial rule. We condemn the Core Group, the UN, the OAS and especially the United States, for continuing to undercut Haitian independence and undermine Haitian sovereignty as part of the ongoing project of foreign intervention in Haiti.
Posted July 29, 2021