Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti

How International Media Misconstrues Haiti’s Election Crisis

This letter to the editor of The Washington Post attacks the problem of the way much of international media has portrayed Haiti’s election crisis. Particularly, it responds to WaPo‘s latest editorial which claimed that more foreign intervention is needed to get Haiti back on track. This claim is ironic given that foreign intervention played a major role in causing the crisis.

Don’t oversimplify Haiti’s problems

Erica Lloyd, The Washington Post
February 14, 2016

Regarding the Feb. 4 editorial “Haiti needs new leadership — fast”:

No one will deny that Haiti is facing severe problems, not the least of which is a political crisis that only threatens to make things worse. However, it is shortsighted and irresponsible to propose that the solution to Haiti’s problems lies in international intervention, particularly when international intervention was instrumental in creating this crisis.

The international community, specifically the United States, pressured Haiti to continue with an election marred by violence, fraud and irregularities. Yet further investigation has yet to occur because the foreign governments helping to fund the election process just wanted to get it over with. The international community wants a stable government in place but doesn’t understand that if you chase stability over democracy, you end up with neither. Fortunately, Haitians do understand that and, through largely nonviolent protests, blocked the Provisional Electoral Council from proceeding with the sham election.

It remains to be seen whether the international community has learned its lesson and will allow the democratic process to function properly.

When the media portray Haiti as besieged by crises without contextualizing those problems in five centuries of continuous foreign exploitation and intervention, they perpetuate racist and xenophobic ideas about the country. Those who wish to see progress in Haiti must start by telling the whole story.

Erica Lloyd, Port-au-Prince, Haiti


Click HERE for the original letter.

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