Haiti: Transitional Council has direct ties to imperialist forces wreaking havoc in Haiti

Photo: A Haiti solidarity demonstration in New York City. Credit: Liberation photo/Natalia Marques

On April 25, news spread that a transitional council had been appointed into power in Haiti. You read that right, appointed. This nine member transitional council, with its seven voting members will have the authority to set up a new cabinet and other key state institutions, nominally to prepare for elections in 2026 that remain very much in doubt. This council has been a long time in the making – yet not made by or elected by the Haitian people.

After the disgraced former prime minister Ariel Henry resigned from his post on March 11th, the chair of CARICOM, Guyanese President Irfaan Ali, almost immediately held a press conference in Kingston, Jamaica. Ali put an agenda on the table for a “transitional governance arrangement” in order to enforce the “rule of law” in Haiti. The Haitian people were not consulted on this strategy. In fact the only ones consulted were a few hand-picked “Haitian stakeholders” and “international development partners” like Canada, France, Mexico, the United States and UN — nations and bodies that have always had colonialist interests in Haiti that has led to Haiti’s current crisis. Since last year, it has been clear that the installment of a U.S./UN-managed, pliable Haitian government to carry out a hidden occupation has always been in the works.

Ariel Henry’s resignation speech was posted to social media on April 24 and the transitional council was immediately “officially installed” the next day. Henry’s corrupt outgoing cabinet named Economy Minister Michel Patrick Boisvert as interim prime minister – who had been serving as the Prime Minister of Haiti for Henry since he was blocked from entering Haiti at the end of February! CBS News reported that Henry has been protected by the United States Secret Service while abroad. 

But then, among the new transitional council’s first official acts was appointing Fritz Bélizaire in a shock move to replace Boisvert, gaining the support from four of the seven voting members on the nine-member panel. Yet other panel members said they were unfamiliar with Bélizaire – who had been serving as the Minister of Sports and is largely unknown to the Haitian people. Another iteration of puppet leaders has been appointed to maintain the status quo in Haiti. 

The “transitional council” is packed with elites from the traditional establishment. This includes Smith Agustin, who is the former ambassador to the Dominican Republic. Louis Gérald Gilles, a former senator, is also a member of the council. His grouping is still associated with outgoing prime minister Ariel Henry. Fritz Alphonse Jean is an economist and president of Haitian Institute of Public Policies who had been a top central bank official. Edgard Leblanc Fils used to lead the Haitian Senate. Laurent Saint-Cyr is the president of the American Chamber of Commerce in Haiti and an insurance company executive. Emmanuel Vertilaire, the chairman, is a judge of the Cap-Haïtien court. And Leslie Voltaire is a longtime politician who was a member of previous presidential administrations.

Some members of the Transitional Council. Clockwise from top: Laurent Saint-Cyr, president of the American Chamber of Commerce in Haiti and an insurance company executive; Edgard Leblanc Fils, former leader in the Haitian Senate; Fritz Alphonse Jean, economist and president of Haitian Institute of Public Policies and former top central bank official; Emmanuel Vertilaire, the chairman, a judge of the Cap-Haïtien court. Liberation graphic.

The observers include Régine Abraham, who rose to prominence in the wake of the PetroCaribe embezzlement scandal. She has worked for major institutions responsible for the destabilization of Haiti – the World Bank and the European Union. And lastly Frinel Joseph, an evangelical religious figure. These nine individuals, with ties to political corruption, theft and direct ties to imperialist forces that have wreaked havoc in Haiti, hope to be in power until at least 2026. The majority of the Haitian people don’t buy this transitional council and consider it just as illegitimate as Ariel Henry’s presidency was. 

The transitional council is expected to support the U.S.-orchestrated deployment of a Kenyan police force into the nation. In other words, this transitional council is supporting a U.S./UN backed foreign intervention into Haiti. In fact they are bringing out the welcome mat. This deployment is part of the Multinational Security Support Mission or MSS, a UN/U.S. manufactured deployment. The same imperialist forces responsible for Haiti’s crumbling infrastructure have fully funded Haiti’s upcoming occupation. As the Dominican Today reported, MSS, “…will be deployed in Haiti to assist the Haitian police, [and] has been a fully funded operation. Of the millions raised, Canada has provided the most ($8.7 million), followed by the U.S. ($6 million) and France ($3.2 million), so the spokesperson’s office once again urged member states to be more generous and fill the gap to cover all the needs.” All the while this occupation is being painted as a peacekeepers mission- yet the Kenyan police forces won’t even be able to communicate with the Haitian people because they don’t speak Haitian Creole or French. And let’s not forget that the Kenyan police forces have carried out human rights violations in Kenya and yet they will be allowed to roam freely in Haiti under the guise of “security.” The Haitian people need their self-determination and dignity recognized in order for them to be safe and to be free.

Jean-Jacques Dessalines once said “We have dared to be free. Let us dare to be so by ourselves and for ourselves.” Since 1791, the Haitian people have been daring to be free, fighting for their self-determination, pushing the needle of liberation forward against all imperialist odds. But the struggle for freedom has not ended. This orchestrated transitional council proves that. This upcoming hidden invasion proves that. The Haitian majority require our support. There is a solidarity call that still stands that is clear: no US/UN backed transitional council, no occupation. It’s time for Haitians to have the nation they fought for and deserve. Hands off Haiti now!  

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