Colonialism In a Poncho: Ecuador and Brazil Help Install New Haiti Military

During a visit to Haiti on February 1, 2012, Brazilian President Dilma Roussef congratulated MINUSTAH troops on their work and offered to build a hydroelectric dam in Haiti's most fertile region: the Artibonite valley.

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Editorial comment

Many Latin American governments, especially that of Brazil, have been eager to repress Haitians, and a decision to let these governments play “the heavy” in Haiti is yet another experiment in repression in our small island republic, for future export.

The United States, of course, is already selling weapons to Haiti, and France agreed to train the new “Haitian” army as soon as Haiti promised to relax its international adoption policy. That’s right: the France about which General Jean-Jacques Dessalines proclaimed, “let this be our cry: Anathema to the French name! Eternal hatred of France!” is adopting thousands of Haitian children every year and setting up an army in Haiti. If the U.S. and France had been up front, the stench and nakedness of decaying empire would have been too much to countenance. A poncho was called for.

Dady Chery, Editor
Haiti Chery


Martelly and a Haitian delegation visited Ecuador’s Military College and met Defense Minister Miguel Carvajal, Military Academy Director Eloy Alfaro, General Gustavo Cabrera, and President Rafael Correa. Their discussions included plans to build a “modern armed force for Haiti” and strengthen the Haitian National Police. (Photo credit: Xavier Granja Cedeño – Ecuadorian Ministry of Foreign Relations, Commerce and Integration).

Ecuador, Brazil to help set up Haiti new military

By Joseph Guyler Delva
Reuters via Buenos Aires Herald

Brazil and Ecuador have agreed to help Haiti set up a new army that will eventually replace the UN peacekeeping force that has protected the impoverished Caribbean nation on and off since 1994, officials say.

Haitian President Martelly together with a delegation including Defense Minister Rodolphe Joazil and National Police of Haiti Director Mario Andresol got red-carpet treatment and military honors in Ecuador on Wednesday, July 11, 2012.

Haiti President Michel Martelly (center) arrives with Ecuador Foreign Minister Ricardo Patino (right) for a meeting with President Rafael Correa at the Carondelet Palace in Quito, July 11, 2012. “I know well the history of Haiti. Its contribution to the cause of Latin America, is noble. We are ready to work with Haiti… the two armed forces, Haitian and Ecuadorian, as well as police, can indeed work together.” – Minister Patino (Photo credit: Reuters/Erick Ilaquize).

Haiti’s President Michel Martelly has been pushing the idea of reconstituting the army for almost a year, saying Haitians would prefer to have their country protected by its own troops rather than United Nations soldiers deployed in Haiti.

During a visit to Haiti on February 1, 2012, Brazilian President Dilma Roussef congratulated MINUSTAH troops on their work and offered to build a hydroelectric dam in Haiti’s most fertile region: the Artibonite valley.

Brazil’s Defence Ministry confirmed it was prepared to help Haiti in everything it needs to restore its army, including military training and engineering. Ecuador has also pledged its support, a defense ministry official said.

“Brazil will give all its know-how to help Haiti rebuild its army,”

a defense ministry spokesperson said.

Brazil, which heads the UN peacekeeping mission in Haiti, will send a military team to Haiti in the next two to three weeks to assess the situation, the spokesperson said.

Martelly personally requested Brazil’s support during a visit by President Dilma Rousseff to Haiti earlier this year, officials said. An agreement was made in Brasilia last week during a meeting of Haiti and Brazil’s defense ministers.

US and UN officials are concerned that restoring the army could undermine international efforts to train and equip a new civilian police force, a key goal of the UN mission in Haiti. Critics also point to the Haitian Army’s appalling human rights record, including a bloody coup in 1991.

International aid donors and human rights activists also say they fear the return of the institution could be divisive and divert resources from more pressing challenges of rebuilding after a 2010 earthquake killed more than 200,000 people.

The outgoing US ambassador to Haiti, Kenneth Merten, said recently that Washington had no plans to help fund the army but would not interfere with Haiti’s rights to set it up.

Martelly acknowledged that some countries have been reluctant to contribute but maintained that a military force was necessary to replace UN troops when they leave.

“What we want to create is a force that will help with development, natural disasters, protecting our borders and supporting in security issues when the police are overwhelmed,” Martelly assured.

“We are talking to other partners that had concerns, particularly because of past practices of the Haitian military that were involved in human rights abuses and coups,” he added.

Martelly said the current U.N. stabilization mission can be considered a success only when it departs the island, leaving behind a peaceful and stable environment.

Ecuador President Rafael Correa with Haitian President Michel Martelly on the balcony of Palacio de Carondelet. “Haiti is part of the great motherland; it is our sister, it is a people hit hard but never defeated, that’s all. We confirm our affection and our full solidarity.” – Correa. Less than one week later Ecuador sent 66 fresh troops to Haiti for the UN’s occupying MINUSTAH force (Credit: EFE).

Haiti’s Defense Minister Rodolphe Joazile said Haiti’s plan did not signify any sidelining of international efforts to reinforce its civilian police.

“President Martelly’s plan is clear. It focuses on the reinforcement of the police, the setting up of the new force and a progressive and orderly withdrawal of U.N. troops,” he said.

Due to financial constraints the army would be relaunched with only about 1,500 troops, Joazile said.

Haiti was not ready to announce a cost for the new force or a timetable for its launch, because the support of other possible partners was being evaluated, he said.

Joazile, who accompanied Martelly during an official trip to Ecuador earlier this month, said Ecuador’s president, Rafael Correa, committed to providing support for the military plan.

“He said it very clearly to President Martelly during his last visit to Ecuador,”

Joazile told Reuters.

(Additional reporting by Hugo Bachega in Brasilia and Eduardo Garcia in Quito; Editing by David Adams, Tom Brown and Lisa Shumaker)

Sources: Reuters via Buenos Aires Herald | Haiti Chery (Editorial comments, Figures and captions)

 

Ecuador, Brazil to help set up Haiti new military

By Staff
Buenos Aires Herald

Brazil and Ecuador have agreed to help Haiti set up a new army that will eventually replace the UN peacekeeping force that has protected the impoverished Caribbean nation on and off since 1994, officials say.

Haiti’s President Michel Martelly has been pushing the idea of reconstituting the army for almost a year, saying Haitians would prefer to have their country protected by its own troops rather than United Nations soldiers deployed in Haiti.

Brazil’s Defence Ministry confirmed it was prepared to help Haiti in everything it needs to restore its army, including military training and engineering. Ecuador has also pledged its support, a defense ministry official said.

“Brazil will give all its know-how to help Haiti rebuild its army,”

a defense ministry spokesperson said.

Brazil, which heads the UN peacekeeping mission in Haiti, will send a military team to Haiti in the next two to three weeks to assess the situation, the spokesperson said.

Martelly personally requested Brazil’s support during a visit by President Dilma Rousseff to Haiti earlier this year, officials said. An agreement was made in Brasilia last week during a meeting of Haiti and Brazil’s defense ministers.

US and UN officials are concerned that restoring the army could undermine international efforts to train and equip a new civilian police force, a key goal of the UN mission in Haiti. Critics also point to the Haitian Army’s appalling human rights record, including a bloody coup in 1991.

International aid donors and human rights activists also say they fear the return of the institution could be divisive and divert resources from more pressing challenges of rebuilding after a 2010 earthquake killed more than 200,000 people.

The outgoing US ambassador to Haiti, Kenneth Merten, said recently that Washington had no plans to help fund the army but would not interfere with Haiti’s rights to set it up.

Martelly acknowledged that some countries have been reluctant to contribute but maintained that a military force was necessary to replace UN troops when they leave.

“What we want to create is a force that will help with development, natural disasters, protecting our borders and supporting in security issues when the police are overwhelmed,” Martelly assured.

“We are talking to other partners that had concerns, particularly because of past practices of the Haitian military that were involved in human rights abuses and coups,” he added.

Martelly said the current U.N. stabilization mission can be considered a success only when it departs the island, leaving behind a peaceful and stable environment.

Haiti’s Defense Minister Rodolphe Joazile said Haiti’s plan did not signify any sidelining of international efforts to reinforce its civilian police.

“President Martelly’s plan is clear. It focuses on the reinforcement of the police, the setting up of the new force and a progressive and orderly withdrawal of U.N. troops,” he said.

Due to financial constraints the army would be relaunched with only about 1,500 troops, Joazile said.

Haiti was not ready to announce a cost for the new force or a timetable for its launch, because the support of other possible partners was being evaluated, he said.

Joazile, who accompanied Martelly during an official trip to Ecuador earlier this month, said Ecuador’s president, Rafael Correa, committed to providing support for the military plan.

“He said it very clearly to President Martelly during his last visit to Ecuador,”

Joazile told Reuters.

 

Source: Buenos Aires Herald

 

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