U.S. Considers Lifting Its Embargo on Arms Sales to Haiti
By Staff (gp apr)
English | French
Editorial note. One says the drug traffic has intensified, the other says it has slowed. You’d think they’d get their stories straight. Anyway, both agree that what Haiti needs, despite its measurably low crime rate (one of the lowest in the region), is more police and more weapons. This looks awfully like a plan by the U.S. to introduce a stealth occupation army into Haiti. DC
Translated from the French by Dady Chery for Haiti Chery
Port-au-Prince — Assistant Secretary of State [for the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs], William Brownfield, announced on December 1st that the U.S. government intends to lift the embargo on arms sales imposed on Haiti in 1993 during the period of the military coup against former President Jean Bertrand Aristide.
“The United States is now open to the idea of providing weapons to the Haitian National Police,”
said the senior official at a joint press conference with the Director General of the Haitian police, Mario Andresol.
This will be done
“under the conditions established by the two governments,”
he said, revealing that the U.S. initiated
“dialogue with the Government of Haiti”
on the subject.
For Brownfield, the first step toward lifting the blockade is the establishment of a professional and well-trained police force.
“The Haitian police has reached this level,” he said.
The U.S. Assistant Secretary of State, who had just started a working visit to Haiti, claimed to have found
at the police, which has in its ranks a
“very professional staff.”
For his part, Mario Andresol submitted to the government the announcement of a five-year plan for the expansion of the police force from 10 000 to 16 000 members in 2016.
“The strengthening of the police is a key point… and we expect a lot from our partners, including the U.S.,” said Andresol.
The Director General believes that strengthening the police is needed to enhance the fight against drug trafficking, which intensified in the country after the 2010 earthquake.
The most affected areas are the South, Northwest and Central regions, where, in addition to the traffic, there was a high level of consumption, according Andrésol, highlighting the danger this poses to young people.
He added that the number of officers in the brigade for the fight against drug trafficking (BLTS) will soon grow from 200 to 300 agents.
The Assistant Secretary of State of the U.S., William Brownfield, noted, for his part, that there was a slow down of drug trafficking in the Caribbean, but he warned that the networks could again establish bases of operations.
Sources: AlterPresse (French) | Haiti Chery (English) | Andy Singer (cartoon)
© Copyright 2011. This material is available for republication as long as reprints include verbatim copy of the article in its entirety, respecting its integrity. Reprints of this English translation must cite the original authors, Dady Chery and Haiti Chery, and also include a “live link” to the article.