The current political crisis in Haiti is not making big news here in the US, with only brief updates being offered of significant events such as the resignation last Sunday of the Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe. Citizens have been protesting for months over the government’s failure to organize elections, now three years overdue. Many Senator’s terms are expiring in January, leaving the government without a valid parliament, and President Michel Martelly to rule by decree.
On Sunday, protests erupted, and UN “Peacekeepers” fired on protesters, leaving at least one dead. Several observers have pointed to the similarities between the militarization of police in Haiti and here in the US. What is clear is that the citizens of Haiti are demanding more of their government. The failure to organize free and fair elections is violation of their human rights.
The international community has begun to pressure the Haitian government to follow the recommendations of a recent commission and hold elections quickly. Failure to do so will only damage prospects for Haitian self-determination and encourage further international intervention, which has never been a positive experience for the country.
We stand with our allies and partners in Haiti who are working to improve their country on a daily basis.