HAITI: INTERFERENCE AND SUBTERFUGE

The country will continue to struggle as long as domestic and foreign interests collude to avoid real democracy

By Evan Anderson

In the early hours of July 7, 2021, a company-sized tactical unit claiming to be DEA agents descended on the residence of the president of Haiti, Jovenel Moïse, in the Pelerin 5 section of Pétionville in Port-au-Prince. Well-armed and apparently directed by an outside authority of some sort, the group entered the palace with little resistance, searched the building while the president frantically called for help, gouged out his eye, and summarily executed him.

Such a gruesome attack on a head of state leaves many questions to be answered, from the details of who would perpetrate such an assassination to the question of why, and the broader strategic question of what comes next for the country as a whole. To start, however, it helps to place the moment in its historical context. Modern Haitian politics is difficult to comprehend without at least a CliffsNotes version of how things got to where they are today.

 

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