Democracy Hypocrisy: Horrors in Haiti

Following the ouster of Haiti’s president one year ago this week, then-Secretary of State Colin Powell spoke of “bring[ing] democracy, prosperity and hope to the people of Haiti” through a combination of a new U.S.-backed government and a fresh infusion of global aid. Months later, freedom is clearly not on the march in the “hurricane of violence” known as Haiti:

U.S.-backed gov’t? Weak, not credible: “Almost a year after the abrupt departure of former President Aristide, the political, security and social-economic situation in Haiti remains in crisis. The transitional government is weak and fighting to maintain credibility, and there are no clear signs of either political reconciliation or economic reconstruction.” (International Crisis Group, 2/8/05)

Promised aid? Still waiting: “The situation in Haiti has gone from bad to worse since former President Jean-Bertrand Aristide was ousted from that desperate country this year. … Little of the $1.3 billion in foreign aid promised by the United States and other international donors in July has been delivered.” (Dan Erikson and Adam Minso, Baltimore Sun, 11/24/04)

Freedom on the march? Not quite: “After ten months under an interim government backed by the United States, Canada, and France and buttressed by a United Nations force, Haiti’s people churn inside a hurricane of violence. Gunfire crackles, once bustling streets are abandoned to cadavers, and whole neighborhoods are cut off from the outside world. Nightmarish fear now accompanies Haiti’s poorest in their struggle to survive in destitution. … There has been no investment in dialogue to end the violence.” (Center for the Study of Human Rights, University of Miami School of Law, 2/8/05)