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Sprinkles from the Left

⏰🚀 Ready, Set, Go: These opinions take 1.31 minutes to read.

The president’s death left Haiti without clear leadership. Elections were supposed to be held in two months. President Biden on Wednesday called the attack “horrific’ and “heinous.” For the people of Haiti, it is probably just plain terrifying.

The vacuum of power now makes the situation hard to predict. Moïse died with an interim prime minister not ratified by parliament and a new one, Dr. Ariel Henry, not yet sworn in. Another complication: Henry would be unable to get parliament’s blessing — because none has existed since January 2020, when Moïse declared the chamber dysfunctional.

There isn’t even a president of the Supreme Court: René Sylvestre, the president, died last week from COVID-19. In all, there are only 10 elected officials in the country, all senators. And one, Joseph Lambert, appears to be making a play for the job of interim president, or at least some of his supporters are.

All of this adds up to one thing: The United States, which has been content to stay mostly quiet on Haiti in both the Trump administration and the Biden administration, will have to get off the sidelines — immediately.

Editorial Board, Miami Herald

The pre-dawn assassination of Haitian President Jovenel Moïse puts one of the Western Hemisphere’s most impoverished countries at risk of anarchy. That poses an immediate humanitarian threat to millions of Haitians and an equally urgent diplomatic and security challenge to the United States and major international organizations. Swift and muscular intervention is needed…

The country now needs elections to produce a government that would be seen as legitimate in the eyes of most Haitians. The hard truth, at this point, is that organizing them and ensuring security through a campaign and polling, with no one in charge, may be all but impossible. To prevent a meltdown that could have dire consequences, the United States and other influential parties — including France, Canada and the Organization of American States — should push for an international peacekeeping force, probably organized by the United Nations, that could provide the security necessary for presidential and parliamentary elections to go forward this year, as planned.

Editorial Board, Washington Post

Sprinkles from the Right

⏰🚀 Ready, Set, Go: These opinions take 1.38 minutes to read.

The assassination of Haitian President Jovenel Moïse —in the wee hours Wednesday morning at the presidential residence in Port-au-Prince—is heartbreaking for the nation. I write this not because of any special affinity for Moïse. Rather, his bloody death, by a bullet to the head according to one source, marks the end of another failed chapter in Haitian institution building.

More than 200 years after slaves on the island of Hispaniola led a successful rebellion against French colonial government and proclaimed their liberty and independence, Haitians still aren’t free. The state is a predator and the rule of law remains elusive. A narrow cartel of special interests controls most of the economy. Haitians are desperately poor, yet Haitian immigrants to America have an impressive record of achievement. Given a level playing field, Haitians are more than capable.

Yet efforts to create the environment at home where honesty and hard work make social mobility possible are continually thwarted. This has led to a brain drain as those with the greatest natural talent and drive emigrate…

In a July 2 commentary for Global Americans, Center for Strategic and International Studies scholar Georges Fauriol laid out the institutional bedlam, enabled by the U.S. and multilateral bodies like the United Nations Integrated Office in Haiti. “None of this is going to end well,” he wrote. It didn’t, and now Haitians must begin again.

Mary Anastasia O’Grady, WSJ

The assassination of President Jovenel Moïse has amplified the political knife’s edge on which Haiti has long perched. The United States and others in the international community will have to act quickly to keep the situation from spinning further out of control.

It is in our interest to do so. Crisis and instability in Haiti tend not to stay in the country…
Instability also breeds insecurity and a more permissive environment for drug trafficking and other illegal activities. This is always a difficult challenge even when the government is functioning properly; it has not been now for some time…

Haiti’s democracy was under siege long before the latest tragic events. Let’s hope that the crisis soon ends, the perpetrators are identified and punished, and the needs of the long-suffering Haitian people can finally be put first.