WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senators John Hickenlooper, Edward Markey, and Reverend Raphael Warnock, along with three other senators, sent a letter to President Biden calling on the administration to address the rising state of insecurity and the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Haiti. In their letter, the senators expressed grave concern about the lack of progress Haiti has made in establishing a legitimate, democratically elected government that is supported by the Haitian constitution.
“…without a functioning, democratically elected government, an international security mission will not sufficiently address the complexity of the current [surging gang violence] crisis and could effectively reinforce [Ariel] Henry’s illegitimate and ineffective rule,” wrote the senators. “Haiti needs a transitional government that has credibility with the Haitian people and the ability and will to hold free and fair elections.”
Following the assassination of Haitian President Jovenel Moïse in 2021, Ariel Henry assumed the role of de facto head of state without being democratically elected as president by the Haitian people. Mr. Henry had been unconstitutionally appointed as prime minister by President Moïse and has been affiliated with Parti HaïtienTèt Kale (PHTK), a political party which has used gangs to repress its own people and helped spark the country’s humanitarian crisis. Without a democratically elected government, any international security mission approved by the United Nations to address Haiti’s current crisis will only reinforce Mr. Henry’s illegitimate rule.
In their letter, the senators request answers to the following questions:
- What is the U.S. government’s assessment of its efforts to rely on Ariel Henry to stabilize Haiti and organize elections? When does the U.S. expect elections to take place?
- Will you commit to reengaging with the civil society-led process for creating a transitional government in Haiti, without granting Ariel Henry or PHTK a de facto veto over a new transitional government?
- Will you commit to moving forward with targeted Global Magnitsky Act sanctions on Haitian elites and officials responsible for colluding with violent gangs and engaging in significant acts of corruption, including relevant leaders of PHTK?
- What additional steps will you take to stop the flow of heavy weapons and ammunition into Haiti from the U.S. and through the Dominican Republic?
Full text of the letter is available HERE: