Washington Post - Letter to the Editor
The Dec. 28 editorial “Haiti’s broken politics” concluded that, absent international intervention, Haiti will crumble into anarchy. In fact, Haiti’s crisis is, in large part, a consequence of U.S. and international intervention.
This country has been occupied by U.N. soldiers for more than a decade. And it was U.S. pressure that led to the 2010 elections, months after the earthquake and weeks after the eruption of a virulent cholera outbreak, introduced by those U.N. troops. Fewer than 23 percent of registered voters cast a ballot.
President Michel Martelly has never had a democratic mandate. It was only after a nine-member team from the Organization of American States, controlled by the United States and its allies, reversed the first-round results — in an unprecedented maneuver and without justification — that Mr. Martelly even made it to the second round.
Since taking office, Mr. Martelly has failed to schedule elections, now more than three years delayed. He has appointed more than 130 mayors, sidestepping the democratic process. He stacked the electoral council with his supporters. The six “opposition” senators blamed in the editorial are a convenient scapegoat. These senators (and the thousands who have been protesting daily) are demanding legitimate, fair elections rather than a repeat of 2010.
The international community indeed plays a role in shaping Haiti’s political future. But it is not one that it should be proud of.
Greg Grandin, New York
Keane Bhatt, Washington