Thursday, March 23, 2023

Canada Prime Minister Trudeau Leads on Talks to Quell Haiti’s Crisis

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Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s arrival in the Bahamas on Wednesday means the beginning of talks on Haiti’s deepening crisis after the US suggested it lead the intervention in the failed island nation.

When Haiti’s Prime Minister Ariel Henry, who will also participate in the CARICOM meetings, asked for a foreign military intervention due to the strangled hold gangs have on his country’s resources, the United States immediately suggested that Canada lead the discussions and send military troops on the ground.

Trudeau has since stated that any effort to restore Haiti must be led by the Haitian people and has left the idea of military intervention as a last resort, though the US said it should lead one.

Before his arrival to the Bahamas, Trudeau’s office said his discussions at the Caribbean summit, will allow leaders to consider political, security, and humanitarian assistance to Haiti and seek “Haitian-led solutions to the ongoing situation.”

According to Canadian media, Trudeau, when speaking in French, stated before his arrival, that Caribbean countries must play a role in “legitimizing” international help for Haitian people after decades of failed “colonialist” interventions.

In a prèss conference on Tuesday, Bahamas Prime Minister Philip Davis said Canada and the United States must step up to assist Haiti since the Bahamas has felt the brunt of Haiti’s economic and social instability, through the influx of thousands of Haitians fleeing the troubled state.

“We (The Bahamas) do not have the resources to be able to deal with the Haiti problem ourselves and we do need outside help.”

Davis hinted that the Bahamas would be willing to send personnel to a security mission if it’s needed.

Waves of violence have swept Haiti marked by poverty, the assassination of Haiti President Jovenel Moise in 2021, rising energy prices, corruption, and civil unrest.

Trudeau will speak to the Caribbean panel on Thursday and leave for Ottawa later in the evening.

Photo: Prime Ministers Justin Trudeau and Ariel Henry arrive in the Bahamas on Wednesday to attend the Caribbean Summit

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