Will the international community intervene in Haiti — again?

IJDH’s Brian Concannon and allies are featured in a Responsible Statecraft article on international intervention in Haiti.

“These interventions of course have tended not to help Haiti. “Meddling in Haiti’s affairs, not to protect democracy, but to protect U.S. interests, has been the norm,” said Monique Clesca, a Haitian writer and activist, in an interview with RS. 

MINUSTAH was a “failure by any standard,” Brian Concannon, the Executive Director of the Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti tells RS, “except for keeping democracy out of Haiti.”

In short, the United States’ history in Haiti has failed to create any kind of sustainable political change, instead yielding a cycle of crises and foreign intervention interspersed with other periods of calm in which the quality of life for most Haitians has remained poor and stagnant. Given the history of international meddling, Clesca told Responsible Statecraft, “even the thought of an intervention in Haiti is almost sacrilegious.” 

Jake Johnston, Senior Research Associate at the Center for Economic and Policy Research, told RS that the U.S. and its partners may be more interested in re-establishing basic stability in Haiti to keep their preferred leader in power, rather than see a true transition to democracy. “Henry is the embodiment of the political system that has been created and perpetuated by the international community in Haiti (…) to me the motivation is to get Haiti back on the tracks it was on, to get things back to how they were two or three years ago,” he says. “Troops feed into that because that is the mechanism by which you can get to that next point quickest.”

“There is an assumption there that a military intervention can do something to alleviate the humanitarian crisis. And I think that’s a mistaken assumption,” says Johnston. “Explain to me how this is actually supposed to address these concerns. I don’t think anybody has an actual plan for how this is supposed to work in a way that is at all feasible.””

Read the full article here.