Biden Reportedly Urged To Stop Supporting Haitian Leader
(ConservativeHub.com) – The assassination of President Jovenel Moïse in July 2021 set off an unfortunate wave of unrest in Haiti. The acting prime minister, Dr. Ariel Henry, has had a rough road finding order in a country experiencing unprecedented violence. Citizens in the impoverished nation are struggling and living in constant fear. Now, more than 100 faith and humanitarian groups are calling on President Joe Biden to stop aiding the prime minister to help Haiti’s people.
State of the Nation
Over the September 17 weekend, protestors carried out demonstrations, which included gunfire, stone-throwing, fires, and looting. They blocked roadways and destroyed local homes and businesses, including a United Nations foodbank. The demonstrators want Henry out of office, BBC reported.
They blame him for cutting off fuel subsidies, leading to high prices. Henry explained in a speech after the weekend’s activities that the government could no longer afford to fund the discounts. He delayed a trip to the US for the United Nations General Assembly to speak to his people and encourage them to stop causing destruction. He condemned the demonstrations and said gas prices weren’t the actual cause but were an excuse.
Henry opined the real motivation is political. He says these protestors want the government to stop crackdowns on illegal activities. But, despite his address, the demonstrators continued with more zeal than before.
On September 15, advocacy and religious groups sent a letter to President Joe Biden, Secretary of State Antony Blinken, and Assistant Secretary of State Brian Nichols. They requested the administration withdraw any support for Henry, whom they blame for the current state of Haiti. They insisted this is a humanitarian crisis that requires addressing, but support from the White House for the prime minister is only feeding the issues.
Henry took over the position in July 2021 after President Jovenel Moïse’s assassination. In the letter, reported by The Hill, the groups directly blamed the country’s state on “the corrupt, repressive rule” of the Parti Haïtien Tèt Kale (PHTK), the party to which both Moïse and Henry belonged. They also believe the faction works with the gangs terrorizing the nation.
The letter accused the Biden administration of supporting Henry as the de facto Prime Minister. They explained the Haitian people want democracy in the country, and that the US is interfering where it doesn’t belong. The groups asked the White House to discontinue its involvement and allow the Haitian people to choose.
Concerns in US Government
The request is finding some backing in Congress, The Hill reports. For instance, Representative Andy Levin (D-MI) is onboard with withdrawing support from Henry, who he alleges was a part of the Moïse assassination.
Former special envoy to Haiti, Daniel Foote, suggested Biden is only backing Henry because he agreed to take back immigrants when the administration turned them away from the US border, according to the New York Post. The immigration issue drew more ire for the White House when multiple Democrats requested a stop to the dismissal of Haitians and an allowance of asylum.
Haiti has dealt with serious upheaval in the past year, leaving it unsettled. A violent presidential assassination and a devastating earthquake in the last year were just part of the problem. The country continues to contend with a food crisis and severe gang violence issues.
Henry’s assumption of power also caused concern. The government is in tatters, leaving him serving effectively as a dictator. Without much support from his people, he’s struggling to retain control. In the letter, the groups laud the US attempt to assist Haiti but suggest the larger nation must take a “step back” and allow Haitians to navigate democracy on their own to become genuinely free and functional.
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