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Anarchy In Haiti: The Whole Story

By J.C Okechukwu

As the already impoverished nation of Haiti descends into deeper chaos and anarchy of historic proportions, the question on everyone’s lips is, “What is going on?!”

Haiti is a Caribbean nation located in the Greater Antilles archipelago. The nation shares the island of Hispaniola with a counterpart Caribbean nation of the Dominican Republic. Haiti sits on about 27,560 sq km of land, about 190 sq km of water and has a population of about 10.8 million inhabitants.

Now, let’s cut to the chase. It’s a long story but let’s start from the timeline of the immediate past president of Haiti, Jovenel Moise who was assassinated on July 7, 2021. Prior to his assassination, a few interesting events unfolded in Haiti. In March of 2021, a Tweet originating from the Foreign Ministry of the Russian Federation stated that Haiti was entering a new period of “political instability and the largest ever social and economic crisis.” The Tweet further emphasised, “Russia is ready to help Haitians restore political stability, maintain internal security and train personnel.”

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Three months later, in June of 2021, Haitian President Jovenel Moïse welcomed the Russian Federation’s newest and third ambassador to Haiti, Sergey Melik-Bagdasarov. In a June 2 announcement on Twitter, Moïse said the two “discussed the prospects for strengthening bilateral relations between the two countries,” (which essentially implied Haiti had opened its doors wide for Russian military interventions and personnel training on multiple levels. But things were still at the incubation stages.)

A month after the historic, open display of partnership with Russia, Moïse was dead, shot 12 times in his private bedroom in the hills above Port-au-Prince after a group of Haitian Americans, Haitian nationals and former Colombian soldiers failed to kidnap him two weeks earlier when he returned from an overseas trip to Turkey, where it is believed he had met with Russians to evade the prying eyes of the west, especially the USA.

When the news of his death broke, the nation was thrown into mourning. Protests broke out everywhere, with Haitians accusing the imperialist forces (chief of which is the U.S.) of brutally assassinating their president. Gang warfare escalated and insecurity in Haiti degenerated beyond control. Amidst all the confusion and protests in much of Haiti over the brutal assassination of Moise, American President Joe Biden was quick to throw his weight behind a quick replacement for Moise in the person of Prime Minister Ariel Henry who filled the void. So, a Russian-leaning Moise was assassinated and a Biden-supported Ariel was immediately railroaded to power, to replace him amidst protests – just for the records.

The choice of Ariel and the fact that he has been supported by the U.S. president to quickly replace Moise at a time that no one has been able to explain what happened to Moise further infuriated Haitians who already seem to have developed a deep-seated hatred towards the USA, whom they believe is at the centre of nearly all the political, social and economic woes of Haiti.

Protests across Haiti quickly took a turn for the worst and then something that hadn’t happened before happened: Haitian protesters were seen in their numbers waving Russian flags! According to a news article in the Haitian publication, AyiboPost, as recently as 18 October 2022, an author, Boaz Anglade, asserts that an undercurrent of pro-Russian sentiment in Haiti already existed prior to the current crises, but that recent events have made it far more widespread than previously. Anglade states that there has always been a fringe segment of Haitian society that has idolised leaders and nations whom they perceive as defying US imperialism, but that this fringe had previously been limited to self-described socialists and socially-conscious university students.

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That has changed in recent months as large groups of protestors have taken to the streets waving Russian flags, carrying portraits of Russian President Vladimir Putin, and even writing pleas for Russian military assistance on cardboard signs.

Like most French colonies and treasure-rich African countries, Haiti has never been allowed to be free to manage anything that it has. Haiti has ever since been the poster child for acute poverty and crass economic degradation. If they hadn’t assassinated Moise, another French colony in America’s backyard would’ve solidly been in Russia’s basket of emerging, Russia-leaning African nations. And guess what? Russia hasn’t left and America hasn’t won, in Haiti.

To give you an idea of how dangerous this situation is right now and where things are likely headed, the current Biden-supported Haitian Prime Minister, Ariel Henry has not been able to return to Haiti. He’s been running from pillar to post, visiting so-called “friendly” nations and signing deals that may never be implemented. He just left Kenya and went to his next location, indicating he was ready to go home. That didn’t happen, and may not happen any time soon. The gangs have taken over everywhere. Days ago, they even tried to take over the airport and are still lurking around. That was the final signal to the current Prime Minister that he indeed has been locked out of his own country, and may end up having to resign or govern from overseas, which really isn’t governing at all.

When I heard that Kenyan Police officers were getting ready to go face the Haitian gangs, I immediately thought about ECOWAS threatening to invade Niger and I couldn’t but wonder how badly that has aged.

The billion-dollar question is, in what fashion or through what machinery is Russia expected to bring about revolutionary change in Haiti? Another question is, how can gangs become so strong that they literally run an entire nation? This really doesn’t take rocket science. These are not your usual kind of gangs. They’re not alone. Before you make the decision to send people’s children to face those guys, you ought to think it through, thoroughly. Those who have ripped Haiti off for generations should face the invisible force behind the gangs in Haiti. They all know what has happened in Ukraine. They are not ignorant. It’s us Africans who swim in ignorance with pride. The West led by the U.S. know they messed up big time. They’re desperate for someone to help them clean the mess. And as always, African slave boys will take the suicidal plunge to please their masters. We must wake up and smell the coffee in Africa!

“They messed it up deeply,” James Foley, a retired career diplomat and former U.S. ambassador to Haiti, said in an interview about the Biden administration’s support for Henry. “They rode this horse to their doom. It’s the fruit of the choices we made.”

REMINDER: Haiti is the first black colony of slaves to revolt against the French colonisers and actually defeat them, sending France away from their land in shame. To this day, the French still haven’t gotten over that. In terms of natural resources, a recent finding has shown that the nation of Haiti might have some of the largest oil reserves in the world. The oil reserves are estimated to possibly be larger than those of Venezuela. Nations that are found close to the Greater Antilles such as Puerto Rico, Cuba, Dominican Republic, and Haiti are estimated to be sitting on natural gas of about 159 billion cubic feet and oil of about 142 million barrels. It is also estimated that undiscovered reserves could hold as much as 941 million barrels of crude oil and natural gas thought to be about 1.2 trillion cubic feet. Areas thought to be rich in oil include the Central Plateau, the bay of Port-Au-Prince, Thomond, and the Cul-de-sac plain. Haiti also has huge deposits of Gold, Copper, bauxite, calcium carbonate, marble, hydropower, and arable land.

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