Do Not Forget Crisis in Haiti

Bruce Radtke, inspired by the InterReligious Task Force  on Central America, suggests that everyone sends a letter such as the one below to our 3 Congresspeople

I ask you to not forget the growing security crisis in Haiti. According to the UN, there have been more than 1,230 killings and 701 kidnappings in Haiti from July 1-September 30 of this year alone. More than half of all Haitians face hunger as a result of the high cost of imported food and a decade of drought. Hunger leads to civil unrest, as people become desperate to feed their families.

Kenya is preparing to deploy troops, but this will not address the root of the violence. Here are five, nonviolent steps I urge you to take to address Haiti’s security crisis:

1. Help pass the Haiti Criminal Collusion Transparency Act S. 396/H.R. 1684 which requires the State Department to investigate and report on collusion between Haitian elites and violent gangs, and impose sanctions on officials and private individuals supporting the gangs terrorizing Haitians.

2. Pressure the Department of Homeland Security to eliminate illegal gun smuggling from the U.S. to Haiti. Haiti does not produce weapons or ammunition, and most are coming from the United States, usually though another Caribbean country. Homeland Security should step up inspections in Miami.

3. Call on Secretary of State Blinken to end U.S. support for Prime Minister Ariel Henry. Henry was not elected, and has impeded civil society efforts to a democratic transition. There is evidence he was involved in President Moïse’s assassination. The U.S. should instead insist that Henry relinquish power, and that the Haitian government support Haitian-led efforts for a transitional government and a return to democracy.

4. Help fight rising hunger by leading Congress to use its appropriations, oversight, and legislative authority to change USAID’s approach to hunger and agriculture in Haiti to invest in initiatives to mitigate the impact of drought, as well as training and technology for small-scale farmers, so that Haitians can feed themselves.

5. Call on the White House and DHS to halt deportations of Haitians and accelerate work permits to migrants who have received TPS and Humanitarian Parole.       

Sincerely, Bruce Radtke