Saturday, July 24, 2021 12:13 pm
Haitian Prime Minister Ariel Henry will likely fail to build a political consensus because he lacks legitimacy after being tapped to lead by foreign powers, analysts have told Sputnik.
Earlier this week, Henry was formally sworn in to assume his role as Haiti’s prime minister, a position he was appointed to two days before President Jovenel Moise was assassinated.
Moise was assassinated earlier in July by armed gunmen that included several Colombian nationals with US military training. A total of 26 individuals have been detained in connection with the plot.
Even Moise’s funeral on Friday was not safe from the instability, which was interrupted by gunfire that prompted the U.S. delegation to quickly leave the scene.
U.S. officials have repeatedly called for Haitian leaders to bring the country together in the wake of the assassination.
On Thursday, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken in a phone call with Henry stressed the necessity for the unity government to reach out to political and civil society groups to achieve a broad consensus.
“We’re in for a lot more instability because the government doesn’t have any legitimacy,” former Organisation of American States (OAS) translator Serge Bellegarde told Sputnik.
OAS, Bellegarde noted, also called for a unity government from different sectors in the wake of the assassination that rocked the island nation of 11 million and produced intense infighting among a number of politicians and political groups.
“This is a red herring. They rushed to congratulate a new government but for those who do not know, this is not a unity government.
“This is not a consensus government because not all political representatives are in this government,” Bellegarde said.
Moise, before he was killed, was the centre of controversy and had become widely unpopular.
He removed all of the country’s mayors and refused to allow for a new parliament to be voted in and seated.
Moise also arrested and forcibly retired Supreme Court justices and ruled by decree beginning in January 2020.
University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) Associate Professor Jemima Pierre told Sputnik the new government’s legitimacy is thrust into further question given forces outside of Haiti worked behind the scenes to engineer who would replace the assassinated Moise.
Tops amongst these being the CORE group, which is composed of representatives from the US, EU, OAS, and UN, she said.
“The Biden administration sent down a delegation and the CORE group and said Ariel Henry will be president and the State Department said a new government would be named.
“They decided,” said Pierre, a Haitian scholar and sociocultural anthropologist.
“Blinken announced that there’s a unity government, the State Department had already issued a statement and civil society was ignored. This is a continuation of imperialism,” she added.
Henry was appointed by a man, Moise, “who had no mandate”, Pierre said.
According to her, Henry is tied to USAID and the International Republican Institute.
He is also a member of the Council of Sages – a U.S.-appointed unelected group of prominent Haitian elites who supported the 2004 coup d’etat that deposed exiled Haitian President Jean Bertrand-Aristide.
Both Pierre and Bellegarde said a gathering of at least 200 representatives of civil society organisations, political parties, and peasant groups, among other entities, were looking to implement a solution for Haiti but were ignored.
“Haiti is a laboratory for imperialism. They work out all their stuff there.
“They create dissension and destroy states. They destroyed Somalia as a state. This is the perfect lab for seeing how imperialists maintain power, effect regime change.
“This is the depth of imperialist machinations. The U.S. has created absolute chaos.
“This is the moment to end Pan-European democracy,” said Pierre, who was born in Haiti and lives in the U.S. (Sputnik/NAN)