April 28, 2009
What will be the future of Haiti?
Though the United States is currently preoccupied with events in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, and North Korea, not to mention the global recession; it should not forget about the nation of Haiti.
President Obama must understand that Haiti could pose a danger to the Western Hemisphere in the future if it remains a failed state.
As a result of the current economic slowdown, the United States and the rest of the world have completely ignored Haiti and the miserable poverty many of its people have to endure.
Because of the past and potential consequences to the future, it is more important than ever for the United States to help the Haitian people to build a stable society.
In the past, the United States had instead contributed to sad state in which Haiti is in now.
Back in 1915, President Woodrow Wilson sent Marines to Haiti to occupy the country in order to protect American business interests at the time.
With manipulation by the United States, 40 percent of the Haitian income was taken in order to pay off American and French Banks that had made loans to the country. This led to the Haitian economy to suddenly stop, when it was in a major need to grow.
When the Marines finally left in 1934, Haiti was primarily controlled by military-backed dictatorship for the next fifty years.
In 1994, President Bill Clinton helped to return then democratically elected Haitian President Jean-Bertrande Aristide with the threat of military force against military dictator Raoul Cedras.
As it turns out, Aristide was another in a long line of dictators that have trying to control the people of Haiti. Instead of using military soldiers, he used violent street gangs to maintain fear over the masses.
All of this has contributed to Haiti being in shambles.
An example of this would be the natural environment of Haiti. The natural landscape of the nation is in such terrible shape, that a minimal hurricane or tropical storm, has the potential to create floods that can easily kill hundreds if not thousands.
If not for humanitarian reasons, President Obama should also consider the dangers a continued Haitian failed state could have on the rest of the Western Hemisphere. If many Haitians were to become desperate enough, they could turn to piracy similar to current actions off the coast of Somalia, as a source of revenue.
Groups could start to hijack cruise ships, oil tankers, and other essential cargo ships. This would then lead to greater violence just off our coast, not to mention also have a detrimental effect on our economy.
President Obama should consider real investment in the country, instead of just instaliing another political leader we depict as being charismatic as we have done in the past.
While Obama is currently focused on events happening on the other side of the world, he should remember the about what's happening just a couple hundred miles off away from us and the consequences of ignoring them.