Haitian political experts are demanding that president Jovenel Moise resign because his administration is being accused of corruption and the mismanagement of government funds.
The demand for transparency from the government has resulted in mass unrest and protests that have stopped students from attending school, prevented hospitals from functioning properly, and taken the lives of many Haitians since September 2, 2019. Moise shows no intentions of resignation or compromise despite the violent unrest.
There is a historical precedence of extra-governmental entities using instances of crises in the Caribbean to execute human rights violations. After the 2010 Earthquake in Port-Au-Prince, the United Nations sent a group of “peacekeepers” to Haiti who have since been connected to an outbreak of cholera that claimed the lives of many Haitians. Nearly a century earlier, the United States government used the assassination of Haitian president Vilbrun Guillaume Sam as an excuse to occupy Haiti and steal resources—resulting in the death of 30,000 Haitians (Hernandez-Ramdwar).
Similarly, the United States government has also occupied nations including Cuba and the Dominican Republic to offer “reinforcement” (Hernandez-Ramdwar). A PBS article released on October 2nd mentions that Haitian officials are already in talks with the United Nations. If the unrest goes unresolved, this current situation in Haiti may warrant international interference which may create even more human rights violations.
It’s awful that there are people in Haiti who do not feel safe in their communities, children who cannot go to school, ill people who cannot be tended to, and survivors of the devastating Earthquake in 2010 who are now experiencing yet another crisis. The international media could be covering this story more extensively, but they are not so it is up to us to support those who are doing the work of sharing factual information about what’s happening in Haiti.
This uprising in Haiti demonstrates the disregard for democracy and laws within the current executive administration in the country. Haitian citizens are accusing the president of corruption, and he has made the decision to ignore their outcries for over a month.
His demonstrated disregard for the population he serves is outwardly anti-democratic. The fact that no other nation has spoken out against his administration means that this standard of government is slowly becoming acceptable, or at least normalized.
Haiti is not the only country with a president who repeatedly shows a disregard for the population they serve and the law, yet has not been impeached. The United States’ president too, like Moises, has accusations of corruption that date back as far as 2017. This commonality invokes the greater question of whether the standard for democracy is declining globally; because if the answer is yes, this suggests that individuals around the world are having even less of a say in the government of their countries and thereby less of a say in their life outcomes.
You can stand in solidarity with the protesters in Haiti by donating to the Haiti Information Project—a group of leftist Haitian journalists with the mission of sharing reliable, descriptive, and representative information about current events in Haiti. They are currently fundraising to distribute cameras and phone cards to keep the flow of information going despite the government’s efforts to silence the opposition. You can donate to Haiti Information Project on Paypal, and check out their work on their Patreon page, twitter page, and their official website.
If you know of any other organizations or groups fundraising to support the people of Haiti and giving money directly to Haitians, please share their donation link in the comments so we can help even more people!
Photo credit: New York Post
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