It has been over 2 years since the former Haitian president Jovenel Moise was assassinated in his home. Mr. Moise was an unpopular leader, one who had no legitimacy having been installed following a fraudulent election and was a leader who sought to cling to power at all costs following the expiration of his term of office.

The assassination of Mr Moise and the subsequent power vacuum it has caused has left Haiti in a crisis.

The country has no parliament, no senate, no local government. Gangs roam the streets of the capital seemingly unchallenged, while wealthy families continue to enrich themselves from the exploitation of the masses.

The dire situation Haiti finds itself in was crystallised recently when over 30 Haitian refugees landed in Jamaica after being sent off course on their voyage to the US. The refugees told stories of unimaginable poverty, violence which puts ours to shame, and a struggle for survival so harsh that it made one ashamed to think of the complaints we make in this land.

But that is not why I write this. We are all aware of the trauma Haiti is currently undergoing just as we are all aware of the insane plan by our PM to intervene militarily in the French-speaking nation.

I write because it bothers me that we are so willing to intervene, spending a small fortune on this potential endeavour, yet we have seemingly decided to turn away the refugees who landed on our shores.

We act with such callousness and disregard for the Haitians’ struggle because we are not interested in their liberation or salvation.

No, we are interested in maintaining the status quo where Haiti is under heel, not bothering anyone and keeping its violence firmly inside its borders and within the realm of a state that kowtows to the dictates of wealthier nations.

No, we are not interested in the salvation of the Haitian people who have been calling for the removal of Ariel Henry and immediate elections in the face of increased state violence and terror, we are interested in saving face with the rich countries like the US, Canada, and France, who wish to intervene, quell a populace which is demanding a total change, a change which necessitates the removal of the influence of these countries.

The US, Canada and France know better than most, the trauma occupation has brought to Haiti. They more than anyone are also aware that the world is vehemently opposed to them intervening in that country.

They wish to have a black mask to hide the face of the imperialist intervention and therefore it should not be shocking that Rwanda has stepped forth as the latest country to help and intervention.

Rwanda has had a long history of acting as the armed proxy and black mask for imperialism. This was clear in their war against Congo – a war they instigated, along with the current destabilisation in Congo as they maintain open support for rebels and have troops stationed in Congo intermittently.

They have been so brazen in acting as the black mask covering imperialism that they have fully signed off and begun accepting refugees from the UK in a scheme which UK courts have deemed illegal and a breach of both UK and international law.

Haiti has had the assistance of black masks covering imperialism before, this is not a new phenomenon and they, not me, are rightly calling out and condemning the offer made by the Rwandan government.

Jamaica and CARICOM, the regional bloc Haiti is a member of, can assist and it is not difficult though it would mean making decisions which would radically transform our foreign policy from one of appeasement and dependency to an independent one.

We can demand that Mr Henry set a date for elections, and we can use the current dialogue mechanism as a way to organise a timeline for those elections. We can send election monitors from the various CARICOM nations who have shown that they have the ability to manage contentious elections as was seen with the contested election between Mr Ali and Mr. Granger in Guyana.

But Jamaica, the land which is most intimately affected by issues in Haiti, refuses to listen to the Haitian people and their demands. Jamaica whose PM stood up and pointed to the brotherhood between the nations chooses to return his brethren to a country which he acknowledges is unsafe.

That we cannot even fake it, accepting less than 50 people as refugees while at the same time mouthing that we want to intervene to save the poor Haitians shows the hypocrisy and imperialistic reasons behind the drumbeats of intervention.

Only one thing can resolve the ills plaguing Haiti and it is the removal of external interference and leaving the affairs of Haiti to Haitian people. that can only be achieved by the holding of free and fair elections in Haiti, free from external interference either explicitly or through Haitian proxies and fair in that the will of the people is listened to and not dashed aside or made to look evil as was the case with President Aristide.

As the situation in Haiti continues to deteriorate Caricom has a choice to make, and that choice will impact how we as a region function going forward. Either we stand up to the demands of the US etc and provide Haiti the space to liberate itself fully thereby allowing the region to prosper in a way only independence can achieve, or we toe the line and provide the cover for the further destruction of Haiti and the region.

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