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‘No military intervention’ in Haiti, Florida Haitian groups say

MIAMI — A group of Haitian community and religious organizations said Oct. 11 there should be no military intervention in Haiti and that the Biden Administration should take action against Haiti’s ruling class in responding to their homeland’s current crisis.

“This crisis that has put Haiti on the brink is a staged effort to direct intervention,” said Leonie Hermantin, director of development and communications at Sant La.

“Intervention means that there will be no system change,” she said. “Intervention means that people will not be able to fight for justice, for the just transparent government that they want that everybody else has.”

The crowd of more than 30 Haitian community members gathered at the FANM offices applauded at that comment. Hermantin and other leaders who spoke during the press conference pointed out that human trafficking and a cholera outbreak occurred during the last United Nations mission in Haiti.

“We no longer want the US and its allies, and our so-called friends, our so-called Gang of Eight, to make decisions on our behalf,” Marleine Bastien, executive director of FANM added.

The groups — Sant La, Florida Immigrant Coalition Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti, Florida Rising, NAACP, Faith in Florida — reiterated the messages Tuesday after taking their asks to D.C. on Oct. 8. More than 70 Haitian American religious and civil rights organizations have endorsed their stance.

“When we ask for no intervention, it doesn’t mean that we don’t want security,” Hermantin said. “It doesn’t mean that we don’t want the games to stop. We recognize that the gangs were created by the system, the same people who are asking for intervention are the same people who created and incubated those gangs.”

The organizations echo the same request that Congresswoman Shelia Cherfilius-McCormick has asked of the U.S. government, which are to appoint a new special envoy to Haiti, impose economic sanctions, assign terrorist designations to bad actors and withdraw support for Prime Minister Ariel Henry.

“The U.S. Administration has the moral obligation to stop its years-long anti-democratic policy of hand-picking Haiti’s leaders and propping up repressive regimes in Haiti,” the press release said. 

Hermantin said protesters risking their lives in Haiti have not asked for intervention. Rather, Haitians have asked for more transparency, education, access to decent housing, security and justice as well as for Henry to resign. 

“We have seen for decades we have been subjected to other nations’ perceptions of what we should be, how we should be, what we should do,” Tessa Petit, executive director of the Florida Immigrant Coalition (FLIC) said. “We have the solution in our people, we have the solution in our country. We do have a national police. We also have an army.”

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