Haiti needs inside-out change

The Haitian people need everything. Their elite business class have everything. This absolutely has to change.



July 15, 2021 - 8:39 AM

Haitian President Jovenel Moise walks on the tarmac of Toussaint Louverture International Airport in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, on May 7, 2020, as coronavirus aid from China arrives in a cargo plane. (Pierre Michel Jean/AFP/Getty Images/TNS)

In trying to understand the assassination of President Jovenel Moise, I’ve been pondering its roots in recent Haitian political history.

Haiti is divided into two factions: the Haitian people, who need everything, and the elite or business class, who have everything. It is basically that stark. And that’s what is being fought over as Haitians and the international community decide how to proceed with governance after Moise’s killing.

In the three decades I’ve reported on Haiti, I’ve seen two foreign occupations. One in 1994, when the Americans went in to return President Jean-Bertrand Aristide to office after he’d been deposed in a coup in 1991, and another that began in 2004, when Aristide was once again ousted from the presidency. That coup led to the United Nations mission to stabilize Haiti, which remained in the country for 13 years.