Analysis

ANALYSIS - A new era of chaos in Haiti

Haiti’s sovereignty was severely violated by trained and heavily armed terrorists as political instability continues

Necati Kutlu   | 17.07.2021
ANALYSIS - A new era of chaos in Haiti FILE PHOTO

ISTANBUL

While the repercussions of the assassination of President Jovenel Moise on July 7 prevail in Haiti, the poorest country in Latin America, information on the identities of the murderers and their instigators are emerging gradually.

While official statements point to a large group of foreign mercenaries, some claim that Moise may have been killed by those closest to him.

It was announced that his wife, Martine Moise, who survived the assassination at the official residence of the late president in the morning, was being treated at the Baptist Hospital of Miami and her health was improving for now.

Martine Moise’s detailed statement may contribute to the unraveling of the plot, but there are instances in history where the truth has never been fully revealed.

With this, the number of politicians who have come to power in Haiti after President Moise’s death has increased to three.

This shows that the island state might witness more turbulence in the coming period.

There is no question that the assassination was a planned and secret operation.

The legitimate and elected president of Haiti was murdered at his official residence and removed from power.

Former Prime Minister Claude Joseph took over duties, although for three days, as the seats of officials who were expected to take over in case of such an event (according to the Constitution) were empty.

For now, Prime Minister Joseph, who was temporarily appointed prime minister by the late president on April 13, 2021 and dismissed two days before the his death, has yet to step down.

Ariel Henry, who was appointed to replace Joseph, who was dismissed on July 5, seems to be effectively out of the equation, at least for now, with this fait accompli, as he was not sworn in and did not take office.

The Senate, which had 10 members left since 20 senators’ term had expired and new elections could not be held, made a different move and announced that it had temporarily nominated Joseph Lambert, the leader of the Senate for the last three terms, to be the president with the vote of eight of the remaining members.

With this, the number of politicians who have come to power in Haiti after President Moise’s death has increased to three. This shows that the island state might witness more turbulence in the coming period.

Sovereignty violated

The statements made so far indicate that the perpetrators of this heinous assassination were a large group with military training equipped with advanced weapons.

The current government also announced that some members of the putschist group were captured alive.

It is unknown whether the statements of the captured executioners will be enough to reveal the mystery behind the incident.

There are many negative aspects of the incident and we must consider these elements in order to produce any analysis on this issue.

Why these commandos came to the scene, on the other hand, is a mystery.

Another mystery is that no information was given on the death or injury of any of the presidency’s guards.

First of all, Haiti’s sovereignty has been severely violated by trained and heavily armed terrorists who seem to have infiltrated the country and the dark forces behind these killers.

Beyond the infiltration, this violation was brought to the highest level with the president’s official residence penetrated and the country’s leader murdered.

On the other hand, there are circles who argue that 28 mercenaries in question were brought from abroad by the oligarchs of the country to ensure their personal safety and that these mercenaries had nothing to do with the murder.

They argue that the mercenaries arrived at the scene an hour after the president’s death.

Why these commandos came to the scene, on the other hand, is a mystery.

Another mystery is that no information was given on the death or injury of any of the presidency’s guards.

It does not seem possible that the assassination, which took place at the official residence of the president, was carried out without the cooperation of the late leader’s close circle.

In addition, as noted above, questions on how many guards were in the residence at the time of the attack and what happened to them have not been answered yet.

Although it has been announced that several guards have been called to the prosecutor’s office for their statements, it is not clear whether these statements will be given as suspects or as witnesses.

It is highly likely that the coup, which was carried out through an assassination, has to do with the long-standing political crisis in the country, and the domestic and foreign forces that have benefited and will benefit in the future from this murder may shed light on the real killers behind those who pulled the trigger.

Haiti’s chaotic period

Haiti was the first country in Latin America to gain independence from imperialist European countries (1804).

It is also known that this fire of independence burning in western Hispaniola (La Espanola) inspired many Latin American revolutionaries.

It is a fact that Simon Bolivar, who liberated a vast geography on which six countries are located today, was also inspired and supported by Haiti.

Bolivar, who visited the island state in 1816 and asked for support during the most difficult and critical period of the Americas’ struggle for independence, was favorably received by Haiti’s then President Alexandre Petion, and given 4,000 rifles, 7,500 kilograms (16,500 pounds) of gunpowder, a printing press, three ships, and plenty of supplies and soldiers.

President Petion put forward only one condition in return for his aid and asked Bolivar to end slavery in the lands he was going to liberate.

The vital importance of this support was immortalized with the expression “Should I not let it be known to later generations that Alexandre Petion is the true liberator of my country?”

Nearly all of Haiti’s infrastructure was destroyed in a 2020 earthquake and the economy came to a standstill as a result.

The earthquake, which destroyed the Port-Au Prince Cathedral, the parliament building, the National Palace and important hospitals in the capital, left more than a million Haitian citizens homeless.

Although in a difficult situation today, this beautiful country with noble historical roots shares La Espanola, the second largest island in the Caribbean, with the Dominican Republic.

However, the country, which has remarkably fertile lands in the Caribbean, has had a string of bad luck (especially) recently.

The gross domestic product (GDP) of the country, whose area and population is roughly the same as Belgium, is around $14 billion.

Considering that this number is around $500 billion in Belgium, the most important problem in Haiti unfolds: As the poorest country in Latin America, the per capita income in Haiti is only $800 per year.

Recent problems in Haiti, ranking 179th among 189 countries in the Human Development Index prepared by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), are not limited to the economy either.

The country was hit by an earthquake measuring 7.0 on the Richter scale in 2010 and more than 300,000 Haitians lost their lives as a result of this natural disaster.

Nearly all of Haiti’s infrastructure was destroyed in the earthquake and the economy came to a standstill as a result.

The earthquake, which destroyed the Port-Au Prince Cathedral, the parliament building, the National Palace and important hospitals in the capital, left more than a million Haitian citizens homeless.

In conclusion, it would not be wrong to say that the earthquake that lasted for 41 seconds in 2010 not only left Haiti in ruins but also destroyed the fragile economic and social order of the country.

The recent political instability in the country as a result of all these factors can be summarized as follows: The country, which went through a very difficult period in terms of public order and stability from 2010 to 2016, held the 2015 presidential elections with a delay.

The elections were first postponed and then canceled due to allegations of fraud.

Businessman Jovenel Moise took office, temporarily, as the president after the elections in February 2016.

Moise also won the elections held in November of the same year.

However, since the announcement of the election’s final results was delayed, Moise was only able to take office as the president officially in February 2017.

For this reason, President Moise argued that his five-year term would expire in February 2022, while the opposition took to the streets claiming that Moise’s term would be over in February 2021, adding to his term his interim presidency.

Moise’s efforts to prepare a new constitution and the five-person commission he established for this purpose also heightened the tensions.

Another of the most striking events of Moise’s presidential term was that the end of the terms of all parliament members and two-thirds of the Senate had come at the beginning of 2020 but the elections to replace these members could not be held.

The election calendar repeatedly being postponed on the grounds of the COVID-19 pandemic and the country’s security weaknesses fueled the unrest.

During this period, the strikes and street demonstrations organized by the opposition increased the tensions in the country.

It was announced on Feb. 7 that an assassination plot against President Moise was revealed and a group of 20 people, including senior executives, were detained in connection with the plan.

The tense atmosphere that expanded with constant demonstrations, marches and protests continued with the arrest of many important state officials and new appointments by President Moise.

As a result, it was announced that the first round of the presidential and parliamentary elections would be held on Sept. 26 this year, and this announcement was expected to reduce the tensions in the country.

Moise’s last foreign visit was to Turkey

In these circumstances, Jovenel Moise made his last foreign visit to Turkey to attend the Antalya Diplomacy Forum.

As a result of the technical talks and contacts made at the highest level during the visit, it was envisioned that the relations between the two countries would be improved in many areas such as trade, defense, education and energy.

And, the late president announced the decisions taken in this direction at a news conference.

Some 40% of Haitians are not literate.

As of July 2021, no coronavirus vaccine has been administered in the country where average life expectancy is at 63 years yet.

These data alone largely show why, in Latin America, Haiti should be one of the primary targets of Turkey’s “humanitarian and entrepreneurial foreign policy”.

The assassination process, on the other hand, has turned everything upside down in the country.

From now on, it does not seem plausible for the country to stabilize and public order, security and welfare to be established in the short term.

And, the best possible response to the circles that try to condemn Haiti to a struggle of instability would be to conclude the cooperation processes, the seeds of which have been planted.

While 80% of the population in Haiti lives below the poverty threshold, 1% of the population holds 50% of the wealth in the country.

Some 40% of Haitians are not literate.

As of July 2021, no coronavirus vaccine has been administered in the country, where average life expectancy is at 63 years yet.

These data alone largely show why, in Latin America, Haiti should be one of the primary targets of Turkey’s “humanitarian and entrepreneurial foreign policy”.

*Translated by Can Atalay

*Opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Anadolu Agency.

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