News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Fri. Dec. 2, 2022: Dear President Biden, as you regally entertained the President of France Thursday evening at The White House in a way most Haitians cannot even dream of experiencing ever, you might at least discuss with President Macron the horrendous destruction the French have heaped on Haiti for more than 200 years – leaving the nation destitute for generations and Haiti hopeless today.
I know you will – if not tonight, anytime during Macron’s visit this week. President Biden what are you doing for Haiti? You have no better answer than he does.
While my open letter to you will accomplish nothing, I hope that you might receive thousands of other open letters, and from those with influence, telling you President Biden to DO SOMETHING!
Being completely focused on the situation in Ukraine and spending unlimited government funds to assist Ukrainians as you should is no excuse to ignore Haiti. In fact, it highlights your failure in Haiti.
Why should I care about Haiti? More to the point why should you care about Haiti? That should be a question that does not require an answer, because it is part of your job as America’s President.
It is your job to ensure the stability of the region closest to the United States. It is your job to make up for the failure of the United States government, like France, given you both have ignored Haiti for 200 years. Most of all it should be the job of the American President, if you believe in the leadership responsibility you have as President, if not to solve Haiti’s problems, at least to do America’s fair share to assist Haiti.
As much as there are devastating problems all over the world that neither you nor the American government can solve, the closer they are to our nation the more they deserve our attention. In this context none more than Haiti.
A much as there is pain and suffering in many countries that surround the United States, Haiti is most in need as a completely failed state – held hostage by a small corrupt elite and the vicious gangs they support as The New York Times made very clear this week in yet another front-page article.
Not that anyone needs to read The Times to know. President Biden, even I can tell you what needs to be done and without the United States getting overly involved in Haiti. Simply allow Haitians to be able to rebuild their own country.
#1) There is no alternative but to begin by neutralizing these Haitian gangs. President Biden, how serious are you in announcing you want other countries in the region to send troops into Haiti, but absolutely no American soldiers will be involved. That is bizarre.
If you believe, as you should, that troops must temporarily be sent into Haiti then the U.S must lead the way while also insisting others do the same, starting with France. A sophisticated limited well planned and coordinated operation – after first making sure the gangs know the best thing they can do is run for their lives.
Anyone who thinks these gangs – no matter how entrenched they are, no matter how well armed they are, no matter how well fancied they are – are a match for a multi-nation elite force are wrong.
#2) At the same time, Haiti is a small country with a tiny elite that is funding these gangs. There is no doubt the American government either has detailed information and access to all their finances, or if not, it certainly should and can. You Mr. President can make their lives a financial hell as the US does in so many other places in the world – most notably in Russia by hitting them with sanctions and seizing their assets.
That will stop them funding the gangs as they flee to other countries where they have luxury homes and assets hidden away. These gangs can be neutralized, and their enablers forced to flee with them.
#3) In addition, many among both groups are guilty of major crimes – a host of major crimes. President Biden, you can provide U.S Justice Dept. support to make whatever is left of the Haitian legal system to apprehend and prosecute these criminals among the gangs and the elite and assist Haiti in building secure prisons to hold them.
None of this so far is going to rebuild Haiti and make Haiti a nation with a bright future and Haitians prosperous, but unless and until the problems are dealt with it cannot happen and these problems will never be solved by Haitians left on their own.
Equally taking care of these problems and doing nothing else will not work; it will only ensure these gangs and the corrupt elites take control again, sooner or later, and most likely sooner.
#4) Useful symbolism is likewise an important part of this plan. Mr. President, you must send your Secretary of State, the Defense Secretary, and various other Secretaries, other senior officials and the Attorney General, the director of the CIA and perhaps even the VP on a fact taking and morale building mission to Haiti – if only for one day each – and then have them prepare detailed reports for you with their recommendations.
#5) This is so obvious and so overdue; it is an insult to Haiti that this recommendation needs to be made at all. President Biden, right now appoint a very well qualified, well known and respected American as Ambassador to Haiti, who will be on the ground in Haiti continually with a very qualified senior support staff.
#6) Convene a multi-day conference on the future of Haiti simultaneously in Washington, D.C., and New York City. Use your stature as President to bring out the very best and the brightest from the U.S. and around the world from business, academia and foundations, with their ideas – both very immediate and practical – with the goal of allowing Haitians to transform their nation in the coming years and decades.
This conference can produce a series of useful reports and an action agenda for the coming years for the United States and others to support and contribute resources to Haiti and its future.
#7) Haiti needs a new state of the art electronic platform that can and will unite the entire nation of Haiti and be accessible to all Haitians and be the foundation for new kind of government for Haiti. This project will require tremendous expertise and funding to be realized and the U.S. should offer the necessary resources.
#8) Haiti requires the pledge of a $1 Billion investment fund from the United States and other countries willing to participate. A fund that must be secure from corruption and the type of phantom government in Haiti today. It won’t be easy to do, but if not, such a fund will only serve to undermine Haiti’s future and not find a list of worthwhile infrastructure and other projects Haiti needs now.
With all the above in mind here is …
#9) President Biden, deliver a prime-time message to the American people and Congress in the coming weeks proposing a plan of action like this or better and stating in no uncertain terms that the future of Haiti and the entire Caribbean region is of vital importance to the United States and the world just as Ukraine is.
That just as you as President and the United States government is fully committed to free and prosperous Ukraine, that you are as well to Haiti and the Caribbean.
President Biden, think of Haiti as you do Ukraine. In its own way, Haiti, is as important to the United States. President Biden read my letter and I hope many more like it.
EDITOR’S NOTE: About The Writer: Arthur Piccolo is a professional writer and commentator and often writes about Latin America for New Americas.