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The West enflamed Haiti’s nightmare Decades of foreign intervention have ended in chaos

Demonstrators protest in Port-au-Prince (RICHARD PIERRIN/AFP via Getty Images)

Demonstrators protest in Port-au-Prince (RICHARD PIERRIN/AFP via Getty Images)


August 23, 2023   5 mins

Yesterday, as television and radio sets across Haiti issued warnings about a tropical storm churning across the Caribbean Sea, its residents could be forgiven for wondering what they did to deserve such torment. Already the poorest country in the Western hemisphere, the Caribbean nation is currently in the grip of an unprecedented wave of gang warfare that has claimed more than 2,000 lives and forced 200,000 people to flee their homes. It is estimated that large portions of the country, including up to 80% of the capital Port-au-Prince, are now directly under gang control. The Haitian state and police have effectively been overrun, paralysing economic life and driving a surge in murders, kidnapping and sexual violence.

Amid this anarchy, Antonio Guterres, the United Nations Secretary-General, has called on the international community to deploy a “robust use of force” — in the form of a UN-sanctioned multinational peacekeeping mission — to disarm the gangs and restore law and order. After all, the situation in Haiti is, as Guterres put it, “nightmarish” — surely the Haitians would welcome a foreign military intervention with open arms? Not quite. When the Haitian government first called for an international mission at the end of last year, people took to the streets and social media to voice their opposition. For them, the brutal realities of gang warfare were less pressing than the country’s fraught relationship with its long history of foreign interventions and occupations — and the disastrous legacy they have left behind.

Haiti declared its independence from France in 1804, following a successful insurrection by self-liberated slaves. But foreign powers — first France, then the US — have undermined Haitian sovereignty ever since. Since America’s occupation of Haiti between 1915 and 1934, during which the country was transformed into an official US protectorate where atrocities against the local population were rampant, the country’s reins passed from one US-backed dictatorship to another until 1991. That year, following widespread political mobilisation, Jean-Bertrand Aristide, a former priest with strong anti-imperialist leanings, became Haiti’s first democratically elected president.

Within a few months, however, he was removed in a coup, which likely saw the involvement of the CIA. In 1994, amid huge protests, the Clinton administration helped restore Aristide to power, but not before getting him to sign an agreement to introduce market-oriented reforms in Haiti. Years later, Clinton himself admitted that these liberalisation policies had devastating consequences for the poor Haitian economy: “It was a mistake… I had to live every day with the consequences of the loss capacity to produce a rice crop in Haiti to feed [its] people because of what I did, nobody else.”

After stepping aside in favour of a close ally in 1996, Aristide returned to office in 2001 in a landslide victory. Three years later, though, he was ousted in yet another coup d’état, after Right-wing ex-army paramilitary units invaded the country from across the Dominican border. Aristide and many others have alleged that the United States had a role in orchestrating the coup against him. At the time, he claimed that US forces, promptly deployed to Haiti, effectively kidnapped him and brought him out of the country against his will. “The way I see it is [US soldiers] came to his house, uninvited,” said Maxine Waters, a Democratic Congresswoman close to Aristide. “They had not only the force of the embassy but the Marines with them. They made it clear that he had to go now or he would be killed.”

The US has always denied that it had anything to do with the 2004 coup or that it forcibly removed Aristide from the country, claiming he acted of his own will. But in 2002, none other than the French ambassador to Haiti at the time told the New York Times that France and the United States had “effectively orchestrated ‘a coup’ against Aristide” by pressuring him to step down and forcing him into exile.

In his place, a transitional government took over, which petitioned the UN Security Council for the intervention of an international peacekeeping force. A few months later, the UN officially launched its “Stabilisation Mission” in the country, comprising a 7,000-strong force led by Brazil and backed by several other countries. However, despite its presence, and the return of formal democratic rule following the 2006 elections, Haiti has continued to be plagued by violence. Several natural disasters, most notably the 2010 earthquake, which killed around 250,000 people, made the situation even worse.

The country was plunged into even further violence following the assassination, in 2021, of President Jovenel Moïse, who had become deeply unpopular amid fuel shortages and spiralling inflation. The 53-year-old president was shot dead inside his home by a group of mercenaries — allegedly 26 Colombians and two Haitian Americans. Two years later many questions remain concerning the true motives behind the murder and its potential masterminds. Not a single person has been charged for the crime in Haiti, while only one person — a Haitian-Chilean businessman — has been sentenced in the US.

In the vacuum left by his death, a power struggle ensued between Claude Joseph, the country’s acting prime minister, and Ariel Henry, a neurologist by training, who was named prime minister by Moïse just two days before his murder but was never officially sworn in. Major foreign powers, as well as the Organization of American States and the United Nations, backed Henry, who was officially sworn in shortly thereafter.

But Henry, who was effectively anointed by foreign powers, led by the United States, lacks any real political (or even legal, some argue) legitimation and remains deeply unpopular. The Montana Accord opposition group, which represents a broad spectrum of Haiti’s civil society, has contested the legitimacy of Henry’s government and has been demanding elections for more than a year. Last December, Henry finally reached an agreement with opposition groups to hold elections this year — but no date has yet been set. Adding to the distrust are rumours that Henry may be implicated in Moïse’s killing. The country’s chief prosecutor claimed that he had been in touch with one of the chief suspects in the killing in the days before and hours after the assassination, and asked the justice minister to formally charge Henry. They were both swiftly fired.

If Henry hoped to project an image of strength, it didn’t last, as rival armed gangs started to exploit his weak and controversial rule, effectively taking control of large portions of the country. In recent weeks in particular, the violence has intensified. And yet, as noted, there continues to be widespread opposition among Haitians to a foreign intervention.

Part of this has to do with mistrust in Henry, with many of his opponents convinced that he is calling for foreign intervention in order to strengthen his grip on power and control the outcome of the next elections (or even postpone them indefinitely). But, on a deeper level, it has to do with the Haitians’ resentment over more than a century of disastrous neocolonial interventions and occupations — mostly by the US. As the Haitian sociology professor Jean Eddy Saint Paul recently put it: “Throughout Haitian history, the US has been actively engaged in undermining the legitimacy of Haitian leaders who refused to bow to American imperialism.”

And unfortunately, as the current chaos demonstrates, the latest UN peacekeeping mission — which left the country in 2017, replaced by UN police until 2019 — is no exception. During their 13-year-long stay, the UN peacekeepers raped hundreds of women and girls, or sexually exploited them in exchange for food or support. UN peacekeeping forces were also responsible for dumping toxic waste into the Artibonite River, the longest on the island of Hispaniola, causing a cholera epidemic in 2010 that cost the lives of 10,000 people. Despite acknowledging its responsibilities, the UN has failed to pay any compensation to the victims or their families.

No wonder Haitians revile the prospect of a new UN army coming to their country. For all the responsibilities that Haitians themselves may have for the sorry state of their country, Haiti is clearly paying the price of the West’s systematic interference in the country’s affairs. Rather than infringe once again on its sovereignty, the best thing America and other countries can do is help Haitians recover it. A good starting point would be to stop the massive flow of weapons into the country — the majority of which come from, you guessed it, the US.


Thomas Fazi is an UnHerd columnist and translator. His latest book is The Covid Consensus, co-authored with Toby Green.

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Kirk Susong
Kirk Susong
9 months ago

You gotta be kidding me… history, as they say, is written by the losers.
It’s amazing how an ideologically motivated writer can pick and choose his facts. The author intimates that following the Haitian slave revolt, the people of Haiti were just on the brink of building a thriving democracy but for the racist intervention of their former or would-be colonial masters. Not hardly. For example, when the US occupied Haiti in 1915, Haiti had undergone seven violent changes of power in the previous four years, either by coup or assassination. It was a failed state all along, and foreign powers – motivated of course by the mixture of humanitarian concern and self-interest that motivates *all* human behavior in these circumstances – have repeatedly intervened in an effort to bring order to a lawless place.
Because these comments sections usually lack all nuance, let me be clear that foreign occupiers have done lots of bad things in Haiti, and that people who commit crimes, regardless of their skin color or nationality, should be punished for them. But those foreign occupiers have done some good things, too – things like schools, roads, hospitals, etc. The Haitians are not morally superior to their foreign occupiers, nor are they of one mind about what should be done – there is no democratic consensus begging to break free of colonial shackles. What there is, is desperation, and of course, fatigue with ‘help’ that fails to help.
Unfortunately what Haiti really demonstrates is that freedom is not possible without order. And that order does not arise magically from within societies; quite the contrary, “things fall apart.” Where does it come from? It is imposed by force until, over the course of decades or centuries, cultural norms and social expectations are so accustomed to it, that it can stand on its own. The peaceful transfer of power, and the rule of law not of men, is certainly the exception, not the rule, in world history.

Last edited 9 months ago by Kirk Susong
T Bone
T Bone
9 months ago
Reply to  Kirk Susong

Very well written. I’m generally opposed to the interventions by Neoliberal peacekeeping missions that also establish capital market footholds.
That said, western technology has clearly helped developing countries increase their gdp, lifespans and quality of life. I agree the UN has historically done some good things but they’re also way too involved with trying to socially engineer Stakeholder Capitalism throughout the developing world.

I would say there is a point where global missions thumb the scale of “Democracy” so heavily that the thing they’re promoting doesn’t look anything like Democracy. When you start creating western vassal states, it’s a bit difficult to argue a country is sovereign. And that gets to your issue of when is help actually help and when is it just control?

I don’t ascribe to the postcolonial theory nonsense but it contains Kernels of truth like every other Liberation Theology.

Last edited 9 months ago by T Bone
Cathy Carron
Cathy Carron
9 months ago
Reply to  T Bone

It’s time to disband the United Nations. It’s served its post-war purpose. Today, it is just one big gab session for the Third World which just repeatedly attempts to shakedown Western nations while not taking care of business in their own homelands. NYC could use the land where the UN headquarters is located to house the 100,000 plus illegal migrants from said nations.

T Bone
T Bone
9 months ago
Reply to  Cathy Carron

Lol there’s an interesting idea! I like it!

Andrew F
Andrew F
9 months ago
Reply to  Cathy Carron

Great post.
It is time that useless sh&*e nations cut their noise and try to govern.
Obviously, it is unlikely to work.
Low IQ savages need to be left to their own devices.
All this nonsense that without colonisation and so called racism they would be thriving democracies is laughable.
They would be living in mud huts, running away from lions, throwing spears at each other.
Let’s have Hollywood movie showing how it was.

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
7 months ago
Reply to  Andrew F

I wonder if you are playing second degree humour ?
or are you a simple unashamed racist ?

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
7 months ago
Reply to  Andrew F

I wonder if you are playing second degree humour ?
or are you a simple unashamed racist ?

T Bone
T Bone
9 months ago
Reply to  Cathy Carron

Lol there’s an interesting idea! I like it!

Andrew F
Andrew F
9 months ago
Reply to  Cathy Carron

Great post.
It is time that useless sh&*e nations cut their noise and try to govern.
Obviously, it is unlikely to work.
Low IQ savages need to be left to their own devices.
All this nonsense that without colonisation and so called racism they would be thriving democracies is laughable.
They would be living in mud huts, running away from lions, throwing spears at each other.
Let’s have Hollywood movie showing how it was.

Cathy Carron
Cathy Carron
9 months ago
Reply to  T Bone

It’s time to disband the United Nations. It’s served its post-war purpose. Today, it is just one big gab session for the Third World which just repeatedly attempts to shakedown Western nations while not taking care of business in their own homelands. NYC could use the land where the UN headquarters is located to house the 100,000 plus illegal migrants from said nations.

N Satori
N Satori
9 months ago
Reply to  Kirk Susong

Thanks for that antidote to Fazi’s selective anti-Western tale. I can’t agree with your observation thatthese comments sections usually lack all nuance”. Most of UnHerd’s below-the-line professors like to pack a comment with as much nuance as it will hold.
Anyway, here is my unnuanced tuppence-worth. Good order may “not arise magically from within societies” but order of some kind will always arise as a kind of default mode of social organisation. The type and quality of order will depend on type and quality of people making up that society. Why does ‘rule by gang’ and the ensuing corruption arise so often in societies dominated by (for want of a better term) black Africans? Why did democracy, freedom of speech and thought, freedom of intellectual enquiry arise and gain such a foothold among white Europeans and in particular (again, for want of a better term) the Anglosphere?

Gordon Arta
Gordon Arta
9 months ago
Reply to  N Satori

Why? Geography – see Tim Marshall’s excellent books on the subject. In a nutshell, the Northern Hemisphere temperate zone, stretching from China in the east to the edges of western Europe, barriered from easy access by the great oceans to east and west, the sub-arctic in the north, and the Sahel in the south, was the hotbed of human social, cultural, technological etc development. It could support large, diverse stable populations, ease of internal travel, trade, warfare, etc, and had sufficient diversity – real diversity, not the skin-colour stuff – to drive progress. Almost all written languages originated and proliferated here, providing a genuine sense of past and present, cause and effect, and a persistent and growing knowledge base. Peoples outside this zone, Africans, Americans, Australasians, etc, were excluded from participation by geography, so their cultures, attitudes, etc, even their brains, developed differently. With the coming of European colonists, they were suddenly exposed to thousands of years of human progress, and are, not surprisingly, finding adapting, throwing off their traditional cultures and mindsets, difficult.

Kirk Susong
Kirk Susong
9 months ago
Reply to  Gordon Arta

Wouldn’t the geographic conditions you describe also cover (for example) the great flat, fertile expanses of the mid-continental United States. Why didn’t Indians there develop complex civilizations?
These historical explanations are “just so stories” – a fanciful fitting of current facts and historical hypothesis. They could never be “proven” so they all simply play upon the reader’s pre-existing assumptions. There are religious explanations, racial explanations, climate explanations, etc.

Cathy Carron
Cathy Carron
9 months ago
Reply to  Kirk Susong

The Plains Indians while they had buffalo to hunt had no reason to farm…

Andrew F
Andrew F
9 months ago
Reply to  Kirk Susong

If you overlay map of humans IQ over political map of of the globe, you will see why some countries thrive and others don’t.
It is that simple.
Why human brain developed in such way in some communities and not the others is great question.
But it is not job of Western countries to babysit savages for ever by giving them “gear” because they are incapable of producing much of value.

Cathy Carron
Cathy Carron
9 months ago
Reply to  Kirk Susong

The Plains Indians while they had buffalo to hunt had no reason to farm…

Andrew F
Andrew F
9 months ago
Reply to  Kirk Susong

If you overlay map of humans IQ over political map of of the globe, you will see why some countries thrive and others don’t.
It is that simple.
Why human brain developed in such way in some communities and not the others is great question.
But it is not job of Western countries to babysit savages for ever by giving them “gear” because they are incapable of producing much of value.

N Satori
N Satori
9 months ago
Reply to  Gordon Arta

That must be Tim Marshall the ex-Sky News foreign correspondent. I’m sure that, as an accomplished journalist, his books should be an interesting read – according to the self-description on his Amazon page he seems to have been Johnny-on-the-spot in many recent epoch making events.
Yet should we regard him as the definitive expert on such a complex issue? After all, there are now quite blatant attempts to reframe history in such a way as to protect the self-esteem of the under-achievers while simultaneously denigrating those who have done most to create the modern world.

Kirk Susong
Kirk Susong
9 months ago
Reply to  Gordon Arta

Wouldn’t the geographic conditions you describe also cover (for example) the great flat, fertile expanses of the mid-continental United States. Why didn’t Indians there develop complex civilizations?
These historical explanations are “just so stories” – a fanciful fitting of current facts and historical hypothesis. They could never be “proven” so they all simply play upon the reader’s pre-existing assumptions. There are religious explanations, racial explanations, climate explanations, etc.

N Satori
N Satori
9 months ago
Reply to  Gordon Arta

That must be Tim Marshall the ex-Sky News foreign correspondent. I’m sure that, as an accomplished journalist, his books should be an interesting read – according to the self-description on his Amazon page he seems to have been Johnny-on-the-spot in many recent epoch making events.
Yet should we regard him as the definitive expert on such a complex issue? After all, there are now quite blatant attempts to reframe history in such a way as to protect the self-esteem of the under-achievers while simultaneously denigrating those who have done most to create the modern world.

Andrew F
Andrew F
9 months ago
Reply to  N Satori

Great post.
However, for sake of balance, let’s add Muslim countries to the mix.
The same dysfunctional societies.
Some of them lucked out on oil, which West needs.
So they can pretend to be civilised.

N Satori
N Satori
9 months ago
Reply to  Andrew F

And of course, without Western industrial technology that oil would never have been put to good use – and I do mean good in spite of assertions to the contrary by eco-fanatics.
Yes, the West needs oil but the West showed the world how to use it (along with many other natural resources).
Sadly, we seem to be entering an era where creativity and invention are slowly being stifled in the pursuit of petty virtue.

Last edited 9 months ago by N Satori
N Satori
N Satori
9 months ago
Reply to  Andrew F

And of course, without Western industrial technology that oil would never have been put to good use – and I do mean good in spite of assertions to the contrary by eco-fanatics.
Yes, the West needs oil but the West showed the world how to use it (along with many other natural resources).
Sadly, we seem to be entering an era where creativity and invention are slowly being stifled in the pursuit of petty virtue.

Last edited 9 months ago by N Satori
Gordon Arta
Gordon Arta
9 months ago
Reply to  N Satori

Why? Geography – see Tim Marshall’s excellent books on the subject. In a nutshell, the Northern Hemisphere temperate zone, stretching from China in the east to the edges of western Europe, barriered from easy access by the great oceans to east and west, the sub-arctic in the north, and the Sahel in the south, was the hotbed of human social, cultural, technological etc development. It could support large, diverse stable populations, ease of internal travel, trade, warfare, etc, and had sufficient diversity – real diversity, not the skin-colour stuff – to drive progress. Almost all written languages originated and proliferated here, providing a genuine sense of past and present, cause and effect, and a persistent and growing knowledge base. Peoples outside this zone, Africans, Americans, Australasians, etc, were excluded from participation by geography, so their cultures, attitudes, etc, even their brains, developed differently. With the coming of European colonists, they were suddenly exposed to thousands of years of human progress, and are, not surprisingly, finding adapting, throwing off their traditional cultures and mindsets, difficult.

Andrew F
Andrew F
9 months ago
Reply to  N Satori

Great post.
However, for sake of balance, let’s add Muslim countries to the mix.
The same dysfunctional societies.
Some of them lucked out on oil, which West needs.
So they can pretend to be civilised.

Callum McLachlan
Callum McLachlan
9 months ago
Reply to  Kirk Susong

From the very beginning of “Independence” Haiti was at a disadvantage. In order to be recognized internationally, it was forced to acquiesce to reparations to France to pay for the loss of French property (Ie: the recently enslaved people! FFS!!!). In order to pay these “reparations” it was forced to take on loans from French banks (!) at extortionate rates. Look it up, the numbers are astounding. This put Haiti at an insurmountable disadvantage from the very beginning, and if not the sole cause of instability, was certainly a huge contributing factor. History has not been kind to the only country ever founded as the result of a successful slave revolt.

Andrew F
Andrew F
9 months ago

Yes, that was 200 years ago.
How come countries like Singapore or South Korea developed in the last 70 years?
Because they are not low IQ savages.
Before you accuse me of racism, please note they are not white.

Kirk Susong
Kirk Susong
9 months ago
Reply to  Andrew F

There are plenty of smart Haitians. There’s a lot more to the story than IQ.

Last edited 9 months ago by Kirk Susong
Kirk Susong
Kirk Susong
9 months ago
Reply to  Andrew F

There are plenty of smart Haitians. There’s a lot more to the story than IQ.

Last edited 9 months ago by Kirk Susong
Andrew F
Andrew F
9 months ago

Yes, that was 200 years ago.
How come countries like Singapore or South Korea developed in the last 70 years?
Because they are not low IQ savages.
Before you accuse me of racism, please note they are not white.

T Bone
T Bone
9 months ago
Reply to  Kirk Susong

Very well written. I’m generally opposed to the interventions by Neoliberal peacekeeping missions that also establish capital market footholds.
That said, western technology has clearly helped developing countries increase their gdp, lifespans and quality of life. I agree the UN has historically done some good things but they’re also way too involved with trying to socially engineer Stakeholder Capitalism throughout the developing world.

I would say there is a point where global missions thumb the scale of “Democracy” so heavily that the thing they’re promoting doesn’t look anything like Democracy. When you start creating western vassal states, it’s a bit difficult to argue a country is sovereign. And that gets to your issue of when is help actually help and when is it just control?

I don’t ascribe to the postcolonial theory nonsense but it contains Kernels of truth like every other Liberation Theology.

Last edited 9 months ago by T Bone
N Satori
N Satori
9 months ago
Reply to  Kirk Susong

Thanks for that antidote to Fazi’s selective anti-Western tale. I can’t agree with your observation thatthese comments sections usually lack all nuance”. Most of UnHerd’s below-the-line professors like to pack a comment with as much nuance as it will hold.
Anyway, here is my unnuanced tuppence-worth. Good order may “not arise magically from within societies” but order of some kind will always arise as a kind of default mode of social organisation. The type and quality of order will depend on type and quality of people making up that society. Why does ‘rule by gang’ and the ensuing corruption arise so often in societies dominated by (for want of a better term) black Africans? Why did democracy, freedom of speech and thought, freedom of intellectual enquiry arise and gain such a foothold among white Europeans and in particular (again, for want of a better term) the Anglosphere?

Callum McLachlan
Callum McLachlan
9 months ago
Reply to  Kirk Susong

From the very beginning of “Independence” Haiti was at a disadvantage. In order to be recognized internationally, it was forced to acquiesce to reparations to France to pay for the loss of French property (Ie: the recently enslaved people! FFS!!!). In order to pay these “reparations” it was forced to take on loans from French banks (!) at extortionate rates. Look it up, the numbers are astounding. This put Haiti at an insurmountable disadvantage from the very beginning, and if not the sole cause of instability, was certainly a huge contributing factor. History has not been kind to the only country ever founded as the result of a successful slave revolt.

Kirk Susong
Kirk Susong
9 months ago

You gotta be kidding me… history, as they say, is written by the losers.
It’s amazing how an ideologically motivated writer can pick and choose his facts. The author intimates that following the Haitian slave revolt, the people of Haiti were just on the brink of building a thriving democracy but for the racist intervention of their former or would-be colonial masters. Not hardly. For example, when the US occupied Haiti in 1915, Haiti had undergone seven violent changes of power in the previous four years, either by coup or assassination. It was a failed state all along, and foreign powers – motivated of course by the mixture of humanitarian concern and self-interest that motivates *all* human behavior in these circumstances – have repeatedly intervened in an effort to bring order to a lawless place.
Because these comments sections usually lack all nuance, let me be clear that foreign occupiers have done lots of bad things in Haiti, and that people who commit crimes, regardless of their skin color or nationality, should be punished for them. But those foreign occupiers have done some good things, too – things like schools, roads, hospitals, etc. The Haitians are not morally superior to their foreign occupiers, nor are they of one mind about what should be done – there is no democratic consensus begging to break free of colonial shackles. What there is, is desperation, and of course, fatigue with ‘help’ that fails to help.
Unfortunately what Haiti really demonstrates is that freedom is not possible without order. And that order does not arise magically from within societies; quite the contrary, “things fall apart.” Where does it come from? It is imposed by force until, over the course of decades or centuries, cultural norms and social expectations are so accustomed to it, that it can stand on its own. The peaceful transfer of power, and the rule of law not of men, is certainly the exception, not the rule, in world history.

Last edited 9 months ago by Kirk Susong
Emmanuel MARTIN
Emmanuel MARTIN
9 months ago

Without evil evil bad western white man interference, whether peacekeeping or human aid, Haïti would be the land of milk and honey. White man bad !

Warren Trees
Warren Trees
9 months ago

I’m trying to understand what the strategic imperative would be for the U.S., or anyone else, to be so “imperialistic” with Haiti. Is there a hidden reserve of oil or gold on the island? Do they produce a commodity that is only available on this island? Are there secret enclaves of brilliant people who hold the key to curing cancer?
According to the latest estimates, the entire population of the country is about 11.7 million and the annual GDP is $20 billion, with a whopping $1.3 billion in exports of bananas, cocoa and mangoes. That amounts to about 12 hours of interest on the U.S. national debt. I don’t get why anyone would be so interested in “exploiting” the place.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
9 months ago
Reply to  Warren Trees

It was all part of America’s attempt to build an Empire. Cuba, Puerto Rico, the Philippines, Hawaii etc.
Incidentally in the 18th century is was far and richest of France’s colonial possessions, based on its sugar production.

Andrew F
Andrew F
9 months ago

Pretty poor attempt in comparison to Britain.
Most of the places listed were Spanish colonies.
I would say USA was improvement on that.
And definitely improvement on current Cuban, Philippines or Puerto Rico rulers.

Andrew F
Andrew F
9 months ago

Pretty poor attempt in comparison to Britain.
Most of the places listed were Spanish colonies.
I would say USA was improvement on that.
And definitely improvement on current Cuban, Philippines or Puerto Rico rulers.

Andrew F
Andrew F
9 months ago
Reply to  Warren Trees

Come on.
Lefties, as on here, are very keen on blaming Haiti problems on the West capitalist system, instead on savages populating the country.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
9 months ago
Reply to  Warren Trees

It was all part of America’s attempt to build an Empire. Cuba, Puerto Rico, the Philippines, Hawaii etc.
Incidentally in the 18th century is was far and richest of France’s colonial possessions, based on its sugar production.

Andrew F
Andrew F
9 months ago
Reply to  Warren Trees

Come on.
Lefties, as on here, are very keen on blaming Haiti problems on the West capitalist system, instead on savages populating the country.

Warren Trees
Warren Trees
9 months ago

I’m trying to understand what the strategic imperative would be for the U.S., or anyone else, to be so “imperialistic” with Haiti. Is there a hidden reserve of oil or gold on the island? Do they produce a commodity that is only available on this island? Are there secret enclaves of brilliant people who hold the key to curing cancer?
According to the latest estimates, the entire population of the country is about 11.7 million and the annual GDP is $20 billion, with a whopping $1.3 billion in exports of bananas, cocoa and mangoes. That amounts to about 12 hours of interest on the U.S. national debt. I don’t get why anyone would be so interested in “exploiting” the place.

Emmanuel MARTIN
Emmanuel MARTIN
9 months ago

Without evil evil bad western white man interference, whether peacekeeping or human aid, Haïti would be the land of milk and honey. White man bad !

Mary Bruels
Mary Bruels
9 months ago

Interesting that the author mentions Bill Clinton but doesn’t reference the presumed fraud and corruption associated with the Clinton Foundation’s billions of “lost” dollars in Haiti. Some CF projects included the building of industrial parks and posh hotels.While costly, these projects offered few benefits to the truly needy. Port au Prince was supposed to be rebuilt but that never happened. After the disastrous 2010 earthquake, Bill established the Haiti Reconstruction Fund and his loathsome wife as Secretary of State was in charge of US aid allocated to Haiti. Together they controlled the flow of funds from around the world. And what happened? Nothing. Where did all that money go? The first place I would look is the Clinton Foundation’s accounts.

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
9 months ago
Reply to  Mary Bruels

I’ve spent many months in Haiti since 2010, and I can assure you, nobody in Haiti is more reviled than the Clintons. Their “foundation” collected 11 BILLION dollars after the earthquake and Haiti never saw one dollar. Not one…

Andrew F
Andrew F
9 months ago
Reply to  UnHerd Reader

Not true.
Surely many leaders of the country got villas in USA or in Europe?

Andrew F
Andrew F
9 months ago
Reply to  UnHerd Reader

Not true.
Surely many leaders of the country got villas in USA or in Europe?

Andrew F
Andrew F
9 months ago
Reply to  Mary Bruels

Yes, it is quite puzzling how all the do goodies like Clinton’s, Obamas or Bidens are rich.
I exclude Blair since it is quite clear how he became rich.

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
9 months ago
Reply to  Mary Bruels

I’ve spent many months in Haiti since 2010, and I can assure you, nobody in Haiti is more reviled than the Clintons. Their “foundation” collected 11 BILLION dollars after the earthquake and Haiti never saw one dollar. Not one…

Andrew F
Andrew F
9 months ago
Reply to  Mary Bruels

Yes, it is quite puzzling how all the do goodies like Clinton’s, Obamas or Bidens are rich.
I exclude Blair since it is quite clear how he became rich.

Mary Bruels
Mary Bruels
9 months ago

Interesting that the author mentions Bill Clinton but doesn’t reference the presumed fraud and corruption associated with the Clinton Foundation’s billions of “lost” dollars in Haiti. Some CF projects included the building of industrial parks and posh hotels.While costly, these projects offered few benefits to the truly needy. Port au Prince was supposed to be rebuilt but that never happened. After the disastrous 2010 earthquake, Bill established the Haiti Reconstruction Fund and his loathsome wife as Secretary of State was in charge of US aid allocated to Haiti. Together they controlled the flow of funds from around the world. And what happened? Nothing. Where did all that money go? The first place I would look is the Clinton Foundation’s accounts.

Ray Andrews
Ray Andrews
9 months ago

As always, black failure is all whitey’s fault. He is bad for intervening in chaos and he’d be just as bad if he let Haiti slide back into the stone age.

Andrew F
Andrew F
9 months ago
Reply to  Ray Andrews

One correction:
Haitian savages never even reached European Stone age.

Andrew F
Andrew F
9 months ago
Reply to  Ray Andrews

One correction:
Haitian savages never even reached European Stone age.

Ray Andrews
Ray Andrews
9 months ago

As always, black failure is all whitey’s fault. He is bad for intervening in chaos and he’d be just as bad if he let Haiti slide back into the stone age.

R Wright
R Wright
9 months ago

After two centuries of independence I have little sympathy for the people of such a poorly run country complaining about neo-colonialism. This is a people that genocided countless Franco-Haitians and got away with it scott free.

David George
David George
9 months ago
Reply to  R Wright

Yes, strange that the founding (1804) genocide of the French wasn’t mentioned.
Perhaps a nation founded on “squads of soldiers moved from house to house throughout Haiti, torturing and killing entire families” might have a bit of a violence problem.

David George
David George
9 months ago
Reply to  R Wright

Yes, strange that the founding (1804) genocide of the French wasn’t mentioned.
Perhaps a nation founded on “squads of soldiers moved from house to house throughout Haiti, torturing and killing entire families” might have a bit of a violence problem.

R Wright
R Wright
9 months ago

After two centuries of independence I have little sympathy for the people of such a poorly run country complaining about neo-colonialism. This is a people that genocided countless Franco-Haitians and got away with it scott free.

Hugh Bryant
Hugh Bryant
9 months ago

All good until he quotes Maxine Walters. Not a reliable witness in this or any other context.

Kat L
Kat L
9 months ago
Reply to  Hugh Bryant

Yes if she is supporting someone you know they have to be corrupt in some way.

Andrew F
Andrew F
9 months ago
Reply to  Hugh Bryant

Yes, but he is always fazy with the facts

Kat L
Kat L
9 months ago
Reply to  Hugh Bryant

Yes if she is supporting someone you know they have to be corrupt in some way.

Andrew F
Andrew F
9 months ago
Reply to  Hugh Bryant

Yes, but he is always fazy with the facts

Hugh Bryant
Hugh Bryant
9 months ago

All good until he quotes Maxine Walters. Not a reliable witness in this or any other context.

Dumetrius
Dumetrius
9 months ago

How did the UN acquire toxic waste to dump in the river?
Even by the UN’s low standards, that seems quite an achievement.

Last edited 9 months ago by Dumetrius
UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
9 months ago
Reply to  Dumetrius

The “toxic waste” he is referring to was human waste. Stored in a tanker truck by Nepalese troops, it was dumped into the river without any treatment. The cholera outbreak that resulted was from a microbe identical to one found in , you guess

Kat L
Kat L
9 months ago
Reply to  UnHerd Reader

??

Kat L
Kat L
9 months ago
Reply to  UnHerd Reader

??

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
9 months ago
Reply to  Dumetrius

The “toxic waste” he is referring to was human waste. Stored in a tanker truck by Nepalese troops, it was dumped into the river without any treatment. The cholera outbreak that resulted was from a microbe identical to one found in , you guess

Dumetrius
Dumetrius
9 months ago

How did the UN acquire toxic waste to dump in the river?
Even by the UN’s low standards, that seems quite an achievement.

Last edited 9 months ago by Dumetrius
UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
9 months ago

Due to the fact that we don’t really understand it’s really nature. That factor is voodoo. Voodoo is a spiritual practice, but it is also a political stance. Voodoo practitioners do not believe in any sort of progress towards prosperity or freedom in any form. They continually block any initiative to modernise the country, educate the people, or improve their lot. If Haiti were better-educated or economic improvements occurred, the people would have no need of voodoo any longer. A person in need or in distress in Haiti goes to the houngan, or voodoo priest, and pays him or her to help. That’s how voodoo is financed. Those Haitians who are well-educated, who have been fighting desperately to free their country from foreign AND domestic oppression, have been overwhelmed by events in the last two years, and Haiti is now at the mercy of the gangs, the same sort of terror that they suffered under the Tonton Macoutes (founded by Duvalier, himself a dedicated voodoo practitioner). This is exactly how the voodoo establishment wants it to be. Unfortunately, Haitians themselves say that voodoo will never be excised from the country, it is just too deeply ingrained in the culture.

Andrew F
Andrew F
9 months ago
Reply to  UnHerd Reader

That is why we should leave savages alone.
It is difficult with the news cycle.
People saying “something should be done”
It is not European or USA problem.

Andrew F
Andrew F
9 months ago
Reply to  UnHerd Reader

That is why we should leave savages alone.
It is difficult with the news cycle.
People saying “something should be done”
It is not European or USA problem.

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
9 months ago

Due to the fact that we don’t really understand it’s really nature. That factor is voodoo. Voodoo is a spiritual practice, but it is also a political stance. Voodoo practitioners do not believe in any sort of progress towards prosperity or freedom in any form. They continually block any initiative to modernise the country, educate the people, or improve their lot. If Haiti were better-educated or economic improvements occurred, the people would have no need of voodoo any longer. A person in need or in distress in Haiti goes to the houngan, or voodoo priest, and pays him or her to help. That’s how voodoo is financed. Those Haitians who are well-educated, who have been fighting desperately to free their country from foreign AND domestic oppression, have been overwhelmed by events in the last two years, and Haiti is now at the mercy of the gangs, the same sort of terror that they suffered under the Tonton Macoutes (founded by Duvalier, himself a dedicated voodoo practitioner). This is exactly how the voodoo establishment wants it to be. Unfortunately, Haitians themselves say that voodoo will never be excised from the country, it is just too deeply ingrained in the culture.

Allison Barrows
Allison Barrows
9 months ago

My friend’s parents have been Christian missionaries in Haiti for over thirty years. Despite their seemingly futile mission, they remain stalwart in their work to civilize the place (my words, not theirs). But my Dominican friends want zero to do with the people who share their island, and for good reason. All attempts to acculturate Haitians to the 21st Century – heck, the 20th – have failed. That’s probably why the Clinton Foundation hopped on board post-hurricane. Perfect place to virtue-signal and run their money grift.

Allison Barrows
Allison Barrows
9 months ago

My friend’s parents have been Christian missionaries in Haiti for over thirty years. Despite their seemingly futile mission, they remain stalwart in their work to civilize the place (my words, not theirs). But my Dominican friends want zero to do with the people who share their island, and for good reason. All attempts to acculturate Haitians to the 21st Century – heck, the 20th – have failed. That’s probably why the Clinton Foundation hopped on board post-hurricane. Perfect place to virtue-signal and run their money grift.

Seb Dakin
Seb Dakin
9 months ago

It seems the West should just sit this one out.
And most of the other ones, come to think of it.

Seb Dakin
Seb Dakin
9 months ago

It seems the West should just sit this one out.
And most of the other ones, come to think of it.

Samuel Ross
Samuel Ross
9 months ago

Slaves have no ability to resist the force of their own desires. At one time or another, that ability was outsourced to ‘master’, who stated what should be done, and when. Until it is regained, an enslaved people is free in name only.

Samuel Ross
Samuel Ross
9 months ago

Slaves have no ability to resist the force of their own desires. At one time or another, that ability was outsourced to ‘master’, who stated what should be done, and when. Until it is regained, an enslaved people is free in name only.

Michel Starenky
Michel Starenky
9 months ago

Haiti has been paying for its freedom since 1790’s.

Michel Starenky
Michel Starenky
9 months ago

Haiti has been paying for its freedom since 1790’s.

Dominic A
Dominic A
9 months ago

Fazi’s articles put me in mind of the ‘Goodness Gracious Me’ sketches where the father proclaims everything to be “Indian!” (Da Vinci, The Royal Family, Shakespeare).

Dominic A
Dominic A
9 months ago

Fazi’s articles put me in mind of the ‘Goodness Gracious Me’ sketches where the father proclaims everything to be “Indian!” (Da Vinci, The Royal Family, Shakespeare).

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
9 months ago

One factor in the endless woes of Haiti is overlooked by westerners, and that’s largely due to the fact tha

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
9 months ago

A most interesting essay, I thank you.

I must say learning of US barbarism in Haiti makes me feel quite smug about England’s minor indiscretions in Ireland.

Cathy Carron
Cathy Carron
9 months ago

England actually was quite brilliant in the way it handled slavery on its once Caribbean islands- in the early 1800’s the English government floated a bond issue of about 30 million pounds – in 1800 an enormous amount – to compensate plantation owners for their slaves and setting them all free. No Civil War, just a ‘clean’ financial transaction. Rather brilliant that.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
9 months ago
Reply to  Cathy Carron

Exactly! But we mustn’t boast!
The business was arranged by Rothschilds and the single largest recipient was William Gladstone’s father.

Last edited 9 months ago by Charles Stanhope
Andrew F
Andrew F
9 months ago

And now his stupid family is apologising for it.
From PM to morons.
Quite a journey.

Andrew F
Andrew F
9 months ago

And now his stupid family is apologising for it.
From PM to morons.
Quite a journey.

Andrew F
Andrew F
9 months ago
Reply to  Cathy Carron

And what an amazing job they made of their freedom.
150 years later we ended up with bumrush.
Or something like that.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
9 months ago
Reply to  Cathy Carron

Exactly! But we mustn’t boast!
The business was arranged by Rothschilds and the single largest recipient was William Gladstone’s father.

Last edited 9 months ago by Charles Stanhope
Andrew F
Andrew F
9 months ago
Reply to  Cathy Carron

And what an amazing job they made of their freedom.
150 years later we ended up with bumrush.
Or something like that.

Cathy Carron
Cathy Carron
9 months ago

England actually was quite brilliant in the way it handled slavery on its once Caribbean islands- in the early 1800’s the English government floated a bond issue of about 30 million pounds – in 1800 an enormous amount – to compensate plantation owners for their slaves and setting them all free. No Civil War, just a ‘clean’ financial transaction. Rather brilliant that.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
9 months ago

A most interesting essay, I thank you.

I must say learning of US barbarism in Haiti makes me feel quite smug about England’s minor indiscretions in Ireland.