Haiti Crisis Draws International Intervention for Third Time in 30 Years

Interview with Kim Ives, an editor with the Haiti Liberté newspaper, conducted by Scott Harris

Amid ongoing violence in the streets of the Haitian capital Port-au-Prince where armed gangs control much of the city, Haiti’s newly-installed transitional presidential council convened on April 30 and chose former Sports Minister Fritz Bélizaire as the country’s prime minister and Edgard Leblanc Fils, former president of the Haitian Senate, as president of the body.  Haiti’s unpopular acting prime minister Ariel Henry had resigned on April 24, after a coalition of armed groups had earlier blocked his return to Haiti.  The seven-member council’s mission is to oversee day-to-day governance of Haiti, schedule elections within a year, and prepare for the arrival of a Kenyan police force to quell the violence.

Representatives of the United States, Canada and members of the Caribbean Community regional bloc known as CARICOM, had met last month in Jamaica on March 11 and established the framework for the presidential transition council. Amid growing food shortages, more than 90,000 people have fled Port-au-Prince over the past month.

Between The Lines’ Scott Harris spoke with Kim Ives, a journalist and editor with the weekly newspaper Haïti Liberté.  Here he assesses the credibility of Haiti’s new transitional presidential council, and the prospect of another foreign intervention in Haiti’s affairs, the third in the last 30 years.

KIM IVES: Two groups which have been warring for the past four years have come together into a united front, called the Viv Ansanm, the “Live Together.” And this is really the work of Jimmy Cherizier, a former cop who basically has been moving to the left, moving to a revolutionary position over the past six, seven years.

And, he managed to cobble together this alliance, which is, of course, very ragtag, very motley, very contradictory, but that was really what brought about the crisis, which erupted on Feb. 29. Essentially, the Viv Ansanm occupied the airport in Port au Prince and said, “Ariel Henry, you’re not landing here. You’re not coming back.”

And that was the beginning of the crisis that forced Washington to scramble a meeting on March 11 in Kingston, Jamaica. And now with Ariel, who they held onto for too long, they went to the other extreme and they said, “Okay, we’re going to put the entire political class into this nine-member commission” they’ve concocted, which is basically everybody from the left to the right in it.

And it’s completely dysfunctional. It’s a total joke, because they can’t really work. They’re all in-fighting, fighting among each other, fighting even the groups who have seats are fighting in among themselves. And at the same time, the whole condition for them to sit on this council was they had to accept another foreign military intervention into Haiti. This will be the third in 30 years: 1994, 2004 and now again 2024.

So the Haitian people are fed up with military occupations. All these people are seen as traitors, including the family Lavalas representatives. And, that is why you have this incipient, what we call an incipient revolution, underway.

SCOTT HARRIS: Thank you for that, Kim. Explain to our audience what is the ostensible mission of this transitional presidential council? What are they supposed to be doing in terms of future elections or bringing order to how our media describes the violence and chaos in the streets there in Port au Prince, particularly?

KIM IVES: Well, their official name is the Princess Royal Commission to bring a peaceful and orderly transition, you know, which is just the most absurd, ridiculous thing. I mean, it’s so far past that point. It’s really ludicrous, I could say. And their mission is to pick a president and a prime minister to oversee this transition.

SCOTT HARRIS: There have been reports that U.S. troops and/or mercenaries will be taking charge of guarding this new presidential transition council in Haiti. What can you tell us about that? That certainly could be a very dangerous flashpoint in the future.

KIM IVES: Well, yeah, absolutely. And in fact, I could say almost exclusively Haiti Liberté, who came with that story this past week — one of our better investigative reporters, Travis Ross, found this in one of the deep state think tanks.

The U.S. endgame is they want to get in place a thing called the Global Fragility Act, which is to put U.S. troops on the ground based in Haiti and put the country on an intravenous lifeline of USAID food.

But they can’t do it by bringing in the 82nd airborne and doing it. And then having them elect government that invites in the U.S., it would sort of defeat the purpose. They don’t want to be as blatant and transparent as they were in 1915. That’s how they did it then. So they want to use a proxy force, which is these Kenyans, Benin, Chad, El Salvador, a few other countries, Barbados, the Bahamas, you know, put a black face proxy force in place to buckle it down, but they can’t even get there because this presidential council is so fragile that they need to protect that so the Presidential Council can renew a Ariel Henry’s invitation to the Kenyans to come in. So in that little tiny gap, they’re trying to figure, what do we do? Do we bring in U.S. troops? That’s what former U.S. Ambassador to Haiti James Foley proposed in an op-ed in The Washington Post last month.

But another deep state guy called Keith Mines, and that’s what we talked about, he proposes mercenaries or what he calls privatized security forces. And in fact, there was a thing today where he was giving a million bucks to some company to start to bring in security people. So we’ll see which way it goes.

But it looks like the U.S., as hard as they try, as their empire crumbles, you know, is having trouble even handling the situation in Haiti.

For more information, visit the Haiti Liberte Newspaper website at 

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