Haitians, Peace Activists Denounce Plan for Another US-Backed Intervention

Conor here. This post doesn’t get into the past four years of protests in Haiti against US interference there, including sanctions on Venezuela that caused fuel prices to soar and the installation of current president Ariel Henry, but is a good counterweight to recent pieces in the New York Times and Washington Post calling for US intervention.

By Brett Wilkins, an author and journalist. Originally published at Common Dreams

As U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau met Thursday in Ottawa to discuss a possible multilateral invasion of Haiti in the name of restoring “stability,” Haitian and anti-war voices denounced the prospect of yet another U.S.-backed intervention—which they say will bring the opposite of stability to the crisis-ridden nation.

The Biden administration is seeking a nation to lead a rapid-deployment international military force, an intervention backed by the United Nations Security Council and requested by de facto Haitian prime minister Ariel Henry to quell the gang violence that has spiked since last year’s presidential assassination, a 7.2-magnitude earthquake, and a hurricane that devastated much of the deeply impoverished nation.

While some Haitians—especially elites—and the U.S. corporate media push for armed intervention, other Haitians and peace activists have taken to the streets and to social media to condemn any new invasion.

“The U.S. wants another country to invade Haiti on its behalf to put down protests against the U.S.-installed government. They’re also ready to make it happen with or without U.N. approval,” tweeted the women-led peace group CodePink on Thursday. “The entire world must demand #HandsOffHaiti right now.”

In a recent interview with Democracy Now!, Guerline Jozef, executive director of the Haitian Bridge Alliance, said that Haitians “are saying no to an invasion, no to armed invasion from the international community, because every time there is the so-called ‘help’ invasion, that people go to Haiti, it results in chaos.”

Madame Boukman, a prominent Haitian political commentator, recently tweeted that “U.S.-style ‘humanitarian’ intervention is like a massive blow to the spine.”

“It has completely paralyzed Haiti’s development,” she added. “Haitians call for a localized, Haitian solution based on the principles of self-determination.”

Jemima Pierre, a sociocultural anthropologist, UCLA professor, and co-coordinator of the Black Alliance for Peace team on Haiti, said in a Wednesday interview on the progressive radio show “Between the Lines” that “the Haitian people… absolutely do not want foreign armed soldiers on the ground.”

“Haiti has been invaded many times by the U.S. government,” Pierre continued. “And every single time it’s been complete brutality, rape… And so the last thing people want is to have these soldiers going around with guns and tanks pointing at them, right?”

Each time the United States has invaded or backed intervention in Haiti—the only nation born from a successful slave revolt—it has cited the restoration of order and stability as its pretext.

The U.S., which had coveted Haitian territory since the 19th century, used civil unrest sparked by a gruesome presidential assassination to justify a 1915 invasion and subsequent 19-year occupation.


U.S. Marines, wrote Time at the end of the occupation, “landed at Port-au-Prince and began forcibly soothing everybody.” Thousands of Haitians who resisted were killed. Rape of Haitian women and children by U.S. troops ran rampant and went unpunished. Occupation forces implemented forced labor, Jim Crow segregation, and oversaw the looting of the country’s finances and resources for the benefit of Wall Street banks and investors. All the while, U.S. politicians and press hailed what they called America’s “civilizing mission.”

The U.S. would occupy Haiti until 1934. In the decades that followed, successive administrations in Washington supported Haitian dictators including the brutal Duvalier dynasty. Democracy was finally restored with the 1990 election of then-priest and progressive populist Jean Bertrand Aristide, but a year later he was ousted in a military coup whose plotters included CIA operatives.

Amid calls for an international intervention to restore stability, President Joe Biden, then the junior U.S. senator from Delaware, in 1994 opined that “if Haiti just quietly sunk into the Caribbean or rose up 300 feet, it wouldn’t matter a whole lot to our interests.”

Then-President Bill Clinton did not agree, and that year his administration secured United Nations Security Council authorization to stage a U.S.-led invasion to “restore democracy” to Haiti. Clinton sent 25,000 troops on a “nation-building” mission, and Aristide was returned to the Palais National. Ten years later, he was ousted in another U.S.-backed coup.

When U.N. troops deployed to Haiti following a devastating 2010 earthquake, they brought more than the stability they were tasked with maintaining. A cholera epidemic traced back to Nepalese U.N. peacekeepers infected more than 800,000 people in four regional countries, killing over 10,000 of them.

A fresh cholera outbreak has been cited by some people seeking renewed intervention in Haiti, but Jozef said that “that itself is a result of the U.N. being in Haiti after the earthquake.”

In related Haiti news, U.S. Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) and 15 colleagues—including progressives Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.)—this week urged the Biden administration to “immediately extend and redesignate Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Haiti,” a move that would allow Haitians currently in the United States to remain in the country until conditions improve in their homeland.

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  1. The Rev Kev

    Does the Clinton Foundation want another infusion of cash? Is that why the US wants to go back – kinda – to Haiti? Things are really changing on the international scene. Washington has been suggesting a new Coalition of the Willing to go into the Ukraine – but nobody is willing. And now the US cannot find another country to take the lead on the latest invasion of Haiti. The UN is out because the last time they came there, they brought cholera with them which killed over 10,000 people. The EU/NATO block is not likely either as Borrell is on a charm offensive in South America at the moment and invading Haiti would not be seen as very charming. The last paragraph intrigued me though-

    ‘In related Haiti news, U.S. Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) and 15 colleagues—including progressives Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.)—this week urged the Biden administration to “immediately extend and redesignate Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Haiti,” a move that would allow Haitians currently in the United States to remain in the country until conditions improve in their homeland.’

    So yeah, that could apply to poor refugees but would it also not apply to wealthy Haitians who stole as much of the country’s wealth as they could before bailing? There is form here.

  2. Sam F

    Foreign troops should have no contact permitted with civilians. They can protect government facilities, train domestic police, and conduct anti-gang operations. They can also build or repair infrastructure, operate a port and shipping, to free up domestic labor for tasks requiring contact with civilians. They can be placed under heavy supervision and penalty for civilian contact, drunkenness, etc.

    There should be established criteria for such intervention, based upon studies comparing estimated losses with or without intervention. Carelessness with risk/benefit analysis means lack of benevolent motives.

  3. Tom Stone

    Haiti has been punished continuosly since it became the first South American Country to free itself from European Domination.
    I’ve lost track of how many times America has “Restored Democracy to Haiti” as the SF Chronicle Headline put it.
    With a picture of the new Freedom loving and independent President descending from a USAF plane, red carpet flanked by US Marines in dress uniforms.
    The Chron is seldom deficient in irony.
    And the Clintons love Haiti, it’s one of their favorite places on Earth to do good!
    And they have done very well indeed.

  4. Dave in Austin

    As Joe Biden said in 1994 ““If Haiti, a God-awful thing to say, if Haiti just quietly sunk into the Caribbean or rose up 300 feet, it wouldn’t matter a whole lot in terms of our interest,” https://theintercept.com/empire-politician/biden-haiti-mass-killings-coup/

    Haiti gained its freedom ten years after the US and became the only Black republic in the western hemisphere. The US then banned all contact because it was a slave revolt, So whatever else we have caused it was not the failed state of 19th century Haiti. Haiti was a failure before the US 1915 intervention and the intervention from 1915-34 did nothing to improve the situation. Since 1934 the place has gotten no better.

    So now we must invade to stop the disaster caused by Haitians or allow “extended departure” (unlimited immigration) from Haiti. Why?

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