On July 7, President Jovenel Moise of Haiti, and member of the centre-right Tet Kale party, was assassinated in an attack on his home by multiple gunmen. At a press conference, Director of the Haitian National Police Leon Charles announced that the twenty-eight member assassination squad had been identified, several members of which remain at large. The squad was composed of two Haitian-Americans and twenty-six Colombians, several of whom are confirmed retired military personnel. As the nation is once again thrusted into political turmoil, the United States has sent officials from the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Department of Homeland Security for the stated purpose of advising Haitian and international officials on maintaining order in the country.
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki dismissed the possibility of the deployment of American troops to Haiti. However, Pentagon spokesperson John Kirby has stated that the Pentagon is ‘analyzing’ the Haitian government’s request for military assistance.
First and foremost, there must be an independent investigation into Moise’s assassination, and until the results of said investigation definitively exonerates both U.S. and Colombia of assisting in the assassination, any possibility of bilateral intervention should be met with extreme skepticism, if not rejection.
The Republic of Haiti was born in the bastion of freedom, as the only successful state in history to be established as a result of slave revolt against colonial authorities. However, the nation’s history has been marred with strife, being subjected to neocolonial debt traps by the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, and France; severe neglect and mismanagement by the United Nations; continued exploitation of its labor and natural resources largely by foreign powers; and repeated regime change operations and occupations by the United States, who on-and-off supported authoritarian leaders such as Jean-Claude ‘Baby Doc’ Duvalier and Jean-Bertrand Aristide. These episodes, coupled with the destructive impacts of climate change, has left the country riddled with poverty, corruption, crime, and regular violence.
The struggles of Haiti are emblematic of the struggles of the larger Global South, and sadly, as long as institutions such as the United Nations, the IMF, and the World Bank remain as the core levers of power in this world, little is likely to be done. The liberation of Haiti thus requires nothing short of a global restructuring of power in order to address the issues the country faces.