Over the weekend the news out of Haiti is that the president has been assassinated and Americans were at the heart of the deed.
A judge in Haiti said Friday that the two Americans arrested after the assassination of President Jovenel Moïse told him they served as translators for the conspirators. Judge Clément Noël said he interviewed James Solages and Joseph Vincent shortly after they were taken into custody, the New York Times reports. They said their only job was translating, though they admitted to meeting with other plotters at a hotel to plan the raid. The planning picked up in the past month, the judge said. Noël said the two had weapons and other items used in the crime on them when they were arrested after a shootout with police. He said Solages and Vincent said the plan was to take Moïse to the national palace, not to kill him. Neither of the Americans was hurt in the shoutout, the judge said. Moïse was shot to death at home early Wednesday; Solages and Vincent said they were not in the room when he was killed.
Government officials said they’ve asked the US for troops. With the situation in the streets becoming more chaotic, the government wants to ensure infrastructure such as airports, gasoline reserves and ports are guarded. The US State Department did not confirm the request, but the White House said FBI and Homeland Security officials will be going to Haiti to assess the situation. There’s a power void in the country now, per CNN, without a sitting parliament and with two leaders claiming to be prime minister. Ariel Henry was about to ascend to the post, replacing Claude Joseph. He said in an interview that “Claude Joseph is not prime minister, he is part of my government.” A leading judge said the order of succession is unclear. After Moïse repeatedly failed to hold national and local elections, many offices up and down government—including the parliament—are vacant.
US Troops for Haiti?
Not like that would be something new…..there is a history there….
Increased instability in Haiti in the years before 1915 led to heightened action by the United States to deter foreign influence. Between 1911 and 1915, seven presidents were assassinated or overthrown in Haiti, increasing U.S. policymakers’ fear of foreign intervention. In 1914, the Wilson Administration sent marines into Haiti who removed $500,000 from the Haitian National Bank in December of 1914 for safe-keeping in New York, thus giving the U.S. control of the bank. In 1915, Haitian president Jean Vilbrun Guillaume Sam was assassinated and the situation in Haiti quickly became unstable. In response, President Wilson sent the U.S. Marines to Haiti, claiming the invasion was an attempt to prevent anarchy. In reality the Wilson administration was protecting U.S. assets in the area and preventing a possible German invasion.
That was a 19 year occupation….does that sound at all familiar?
And now the Pentagon under Biden is considering an intervention (of ciurse they will sell this under some sort of ‘good’ sounding BS)….
While the Biden Administration says they have no plans to get militarily involved in Haiti at this time, the Pentagon says they are analyzing the idea, and that no decision has yet been made.
Following the assassination of President Jovenel Moise, Haiti is facing another crisis, the latest in seemingly countless crises over the past several decades. This could serve as yet another excuse for US intervention.
Haiti’s current government seems on board with the idea of having US troops ensure their ongoing rule. Not everyone is so comfortable with another foreign intervention, however.
Opposition leader Andre Michel argues that the solution to the latest crisis needs to be Haitian, and that there needs to be serious debate on what to do next. Many argue that the international community has for too long kept Haitians from making their own decisions, and that what’s left of the government has no legitimacy to call in foreign troops.
For now, the US has sent FBI and Homeland Security officials to Haiti, but it’s to be seen if they are the replacement for a military intervention or simply the advanced guard to oversee their arrival.
History is not on the side of intervention doing Haiti any real favors. The most US and UN interventions can say is that they brought relative stability while they were there, but time and again they left and watched as Haiti fell apart.
Will this be the US next long term intervention and occupation?
The US needs to keep our troops at home….we have had enough intervention of a lifetime….
Haiti offers a larger foreign policy caution. In recent years Washington seemed to take the Monroe Doctrine worldwide. America acted like it was entitled to intervene everywhere on earth and treat the entire globe like the Western Hemisphere. Hence the almost fanatical obsession with at nation-building and regime change, no matter how unsuccessful previous attempts.
That US involvement in Vietnam, Afghanistan, and Iraq were disasters should surprise no one. Social engineering gets harder as differences in history, religion, culture, geography, and politics grow. Yet Washington had ample warning nearer home, having failed to do much better in its own neighborhood.
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