Latin America Advisor

Latin America Advisor

A Publication of The Dialogue

Would Intervention by Foreign Troops Help Stabilize Haiti?

Haitian Prime Minister Ariel Henry has called for a foreign military intervention in order to stabilize the country, which is beset by a cholera outbreak, as well as shortages of food and fuel after gang members blocked a key fuel terminal. // File Photo: Haitian Government.

Haiti, gripped by criminal organizations and on the brink of a humanitarian disaster, appealed to the international community earlier this month for a foreign armed intervention and aid to help stabilize the country. The U.N. Security Council last Friday unanimously approved sanctions against powerful Haitian gang leader Jimmy “Barbecue” Cherizier, and U.S. officials have said the government would revoke the visas of current and former Haitian officials who are involved with gangs. Considering Haiti’s history of foreign interventions, what would be the implications of another intervention, and is it necessary? What is at the root of Haiti’s current crisis, and how is the situation likely to play out? What types of sanctions can be expected, and how would they affect the country economically, as well as its bilateral relations with the United States?

Bocchit Edmond, Haiti’s ambassador to the United States: “This time, an intervention would be different. It would be to buttress the National Police and buy time to beef up security around the country. Also, it would help to restore security to enable the government to organize democratic, free and fair elections within a reasonable time. So, it’s not a classic peacekeeping mission. This crisis is structural in that it dates from Haiti’s founding, the history of social exclusion and the absence of administrative, political and economic modernization. This has fostered corruption and hobbled the state, which has been captured by a sordid mix of political and economic special interests. In the short term, we want to strengthen our security forces’ capacity. In the medium to long term, we want to improve our economy to create jobs for the hundreds of thousands of youths who have been enticed into…”

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