Haiti's Continuing Challenge to U.S. Policy Makers

Report Americas

Haiti's Continuing Challenge to U.S. Policy Makers

January 18, 1990 24 min read Download Report
Michael G.
Senior Fellow and Director of Government Finance Programs

(Archived document, may contain errors)

746 January 18,1990 HAITIS C0NTIG CHALLENGE To uasa POHCY MAKERS INTRODUCTION 1 will Haiti join Cuba and Nicaragua by becom ing the next communist regime in the he&sphere? This is a question that should be bothering United States policy makers An answer is becoming increasingly urgent as Haiti ap pears ever more politically unstable. Some experts even predict yet another Haiti an coup early this year.This would not be good news for Washington..

Political instability in Haiti could threaten U.S. interests. Because of its proximity to the U.S only 750 miles southeast of Miami to important Carib bean sea lanes, and to communist Cuba, Haiti is very strategically located.

Haiti is burdened by a pair of dismal distinctions: it is one of the few remaining military dictatorships in Latin America and is one of this hemispheres poorest countries. Its annual per capita income of $370 dolla rs tops only Nicaragua. To make matters worse, Haiti also is one of Latin Americas most violent countries, with dozens of political murders monthly.

Because of the political, economic, and social chaos, Haiti is a likely can didate for leftist revolutionary activity, supported by Cuba and possibly.

Nicaragua. Indeed, in August 1959, just months after Fidel.Castro took power ces were dispatched to repel them.

Escaping to the U.S. At the very least, increased instability and chaos in Haiti could again escalate the flow of Haitian boat people to the southern shores of Florida. This occurred last March and April, forcing the U.S. Coast Guard to return 2,359 Haiti a ns to the capital city of Port-au-Prince. Since 1981, an estimated 19,525 Haitians have been apprehended off the Florida coast in Cuba, a small force of Cuban revolutionaries tried to invade Haiti. U.S. for 1 1 Julia Preston, Haitian Refugee Stream Grows, 77ie Washington Posf, April 30,1989, p. A30.

Since the ouster of long time Haitian dictator Jean Claude Baby Doc Duvalier in February 1986 Haiti has suffered through a series of coups and countercoups. Just last April;-several-Haitian Army units tried to topple the U.S.-backed govern ment of President Prosper Avril.Though the week long coup ultimately failed, dozens were killed and injured, and hundreds were arrested or deported Drug Haven. Haiti also is increasingly threatened by international narcotics t rafficking. It is widely believed that Colombias dominant drug syndicate the Medellin Cartel, has penetrated various levels of the Haitian government and that senior Haitian military officers play a sig nificant role trans-shipping drugs to the U.S. Examp le Colonel Jean Claude Paul once one of Haitis most powerful military figures and important political players until his assassina tion in November 1988 was facing a U.S. grand jury indictment on nar cotics smuggling charges.

Haitis future holds some promis e. Avril has been giving Haiti what is probab ly its best government in decades. He was ushered into power on September 17,1988, on the heels of a revolt by non-commis sioned officers of the Despite these problems 2 Palace Guard, backed by hundreds of ran k and file soldiers, against the dic tatorial government of Lieutenant General Henri Namphy. Since Duvaliers 1986 ouster, Namphy had been the countrys real political and military power.

Namphys reputed ties to the dreaded Tonton Macoutes secret police of t he Duvalier family, drug traffickers, and former Duvalier cronies, are believed to have angered the moderate elements of the Haitian military As a result of their revolt, Namphy was forced into exile and the Haitian leadership purged Avr31-then-proelaimed -hiscomtn.itment--to-establishing. democracy. This has won him Washingtons tentative backing and financial support, which now to tals some 42 million per year.

While the U.S. alone cannot save Haiti, the Bush Administration can help the Avril government mo ve toward political and economic freedom. And now, with reports mounting of a possible coup attempt against Avril Washington has a direct interest in ensuring that Haiti becomes more stable To protect U.S. security interests in the Caribbean Basin, encour a ge the development of democracy, and help strengthen U.S.-Haitian ties Washington should reforms and of its withdrawal from politics. The Bush Administration should press Avril to honor his pledge to hold elections this year democratic and free market val u es. The National Endowment for Democracy (NED), a U.S. agency created by the Reagan Administration and Congress to nurture democratic movements around the globe, should identify and financially assist political parties, business groups, trade associations schools, and independent media outlets dedicated to democracy and political pluralism Use economic assistance as an incentive for democratic reform and improved human rights conditions Assist in creating a free and independent judicial and law enforce men t system in Haiti. The U.S. Justice Department could train Haitis lawyers, legal associations and Justice Ministry officials. The U.S. also cou Id help Haiti establish an independent police force by providing law enforce ment training and material assistan c e, as it does to Colombia, El Salvador Peru, and other countries Encourage the Haitian military to fulfill its promises of democratic Assist those Haitian institutions and organizations that support Explore possibilities of expanding U.S. military trainin g and sales for Haitis armed forces to encourage democracy within the Haitian military and enhance Haitis capabilities to combat terrorism Work with Haiti to combat narcotics trafficking. Cooperation so far has been good, but can be improved.The U.S. could give Haitis anti-drug for ces such equipment as patrol boats, off-road vehicles, and radar to help cap ture drug traffickers Development (AID) programs in Haiti. AID should concentrate on improv Expand the current $42 million U.S. Agency for International 3 ing Haiti's agriculture, the small business sectors of the economy, and its education and health service systems THE RECORD OF US RELATIONS Since its earliest days as a fledgling republic in the early 19th century Haiti's political and economic history predictably has been closely linked with history: fist in 1915, when the U.S. intervened militarily to protect U.S citizens and property and to prevent an anticipated European invasion; and second during the 1986 collapse of the Duvalier r

me, when the Reagan Administration pressured Baby Doc to flee Haiti.

The US. Occupation and Rs Aftermath The U.S. feared in the early 1900s that European influence in the Carib bean was on the rise and that this would threaten U.S. security.The outbreak of World War I in tensified this concern. Because of the substantial German economic investment in Haiti, the U.S. was worried that Haitian ports would be used by the Kaiser's submarines. A substantial number of Americans lived or owned property in Haiti, and this too heig htened Washington's concern about stability in the tiny Caribbean nation cal and economic disorder broke out in Haiti in 19

15. When that nation's leader, General Vilbrun Guillaume Sam, was murdered on July 28,1915 Washington decided to act. Woodrow Wilson dispatched 350 U.S. troops to Port-au-Prince that same day, to occupy Haiti and restore order.They and other U.S. troops stayed until 19

34. In this period, U.S. Marine Corps ad ministrators restored internal order, introduced constitutional and legislative reforms, built schools and roads, improved health care, and introduced telephone and telegraph services?

Yet the U.S. presence did not spur democracy or greater economic development. Most of the U.S.-introduced reforms were quickly discarded after the Yankees left. Indeed, the Marines' departure largely was the result of growing Haitian hostility toward the American presence and massive anti U.S demonstrations.

The Duvalier Years authoritarian norm. Between 1934 and 1957, Haiti was controlled by a suc ces sion of dictatorial governments. During this period, the Haitian military also became increasingly politicized, either ruling directly or backing up civilian strongmen by force. Post-1934 Haiti was characterized by human rights abuses, political turmo i l, and corruption t&'uiSi Bcf'fl$ti ~als'b~~n'a'k-~~U;S.''fo.~~i~.pdlijl'-dan~ern twice in its The U.S however, did not become overly alarmed until widespread politi After the U.S. withdrawal, Haitian politics returned to its pre-1915 2 Georges Fauriol Th e Duvaliers and Haiti Otbis, Fall, 1988, p. 587 3 Robert I. Rotberg Haiti's Past Mortgages its Future Fomp Afuin, Fall 1988, p. 103 4 Following a year of political upheaval that witnessed six governments hold ing power, Francois Duvalier a wealthy physicia n, was elected president in 19

57. Washington hoped that Duvalier would break with the past, possibly bringing democracy to Haiti. This, however was not to be the case. Instead Papa Doc as he was commonly called, dissolved the Haitian legislature in 1958 a nd six years later grandly proclaimed himself President-for-Life repressed, political activity tightly controlled and the economy strangled. The situation became so bad that Haitians began fleeing; at least a half-million did so. Dozens of newspapers were shut, and tens of thousands of political op ponents were killed with thousands more imprisoned. During this period several rebellions against the government were attempted by opposition members and disloyal military personnel, all of which failed: Papa Do c created the Volontaires de la Securite Nationale (VSN the secret police force known popularly as the Tonton Macoutes (Bogeymen).The practice of voodoo, meanwhile, increasingly became mixed with political terror to be used against Duvaliers opponents. Ind e ed, voodoo traditionally has been used by Haitian authorities to intimidate.and control the people. By the end of Papa Docs 14-year reign, the Tonton Macoutes had grown to at least 10,000, larger than Haitis 7,000-man regular armed forces. In addition, th e Tonton Macoutes could call on an informal support structure of thousands for localized intimidation and common thievery.

The year before Duvaliers death in 1971, at age 64, he changed the Haitian constitution to give him unrestricted power to designate his own successor.

He chose his 19-year-old son Jean-Claude (called Baby Doc A rigged referendum in 1971 approved his acces sion to the leadership by a margin so lopsided that even Chicago machine politicians would blush: 2,391,916 to 0.4 Nevertheless, Washington initially felt that Baby Doc might offer a win dow of opportunity to promote greater political and economic sjabili ty.

Minor Reforms. Baby Doc pledged to launch an economic and political revolution in Haiti to attract increased international economic assistance.

His first several years in power saw gradual economic and :social liberaliza tion. He ended the Tonton Maco utes monopoly of effective power, for ex ample, by creating the U.S.-trained Leopards counterinsurgency unit and by integrating some senior Macoute members into the army. He also intro duced such minor democratic and economic reforms-as allowing for elect ions and the return of exiles by making international aid programs more effective.

These policies brought increased economic assistance from Canada Western Europe, and such international lending institutions as the World Bank. Washington also tried to guid e Haiti toward democracy and economic prosperity. U.S. economic assistance was expanded from the approximately 20 million annually in the early 1970s to $50 million by 19

84. U.S. military SolitCca Terror unaer.Duvalier..s-~o~gh~~le 9ppos!ti!?n groups wer e 4 Fauriol, op. cit pp. 590-591 5 sales increased from an average of $300,000 per year to a level of $3.2 million in the same period Arranging A Transition. Nevertheless, Baby Docs regime began to un ravel by 1981, because of mounting corruption, politic a l repression, and economic mismanagement. What tipped the balance against Baby Doc was the July 1985 referendum to make him President-for-Life. After the vote tally, his goveprnent qounced that.99:9-pe_rcent.oftbeuelectorate had voted in his favor.This cl e ar manipulation of the polls triggered street demonstra tions and protests in Port-au-Prince.The summer and fall of 1985 saw the kill ing of foreign priests and numerous Haitian opposition members. Riots erupted in the costal city of Goinaives in November 1985.This sparked a nationwide anti-government movement which the Haitian armed forces and Tonton Macoutes tried to suppress by arresting scores of opposition leaders and closing such media installations as Radio Soleil the Catholic Churchs radio station.

January 29,1986, and over the next several days the U.S. Embassy in Port-au Prince told Duvalier that a political transition had to be arranged. Edward Seaga, Jamaicas Prime Minister and the Reagan Administrations closest Caribbean ally, was encouraged by Washington to press Baby Doc to leave?

Finally, on February 7,1986, after almost 30 years of Duvalier family rule Baby Doc, his family key aides, and millions of dollars surely stolen from the national treasury fled Haiti on a U.S. Air Force C-141 cargo plane for exile in France Post-Duvalier Haiti An interim military-civilian government called the National Council of Government (CNG) was established in Port-au-Prince immediately upon Baby Docs departure from Haiti. At its helm was Lieutenant General Hen ri Namphy, a 54-year-old career Army officer and former army chief of staff.

His goal he said, was to restore full democracy in Haiti within two years.The U.S. cautiously endorsed what he was trying to do and restored U.S. aid to Haiti, raising it to $102 million for 1987, more than double the 1985 figure.

Haiti also received significant assistance from other Western democracies such as Venezuela and France. Namphy, however, had been hand-picked by Baby Doc and was clearly associated with the Tonton Macout es Democracy did not take hold.The CNG set November 29,1987, as the day for national elections. As they approached, widespread violence broke out be tween suspected Tonton Macoutes and military groups on the one side, and civilians on the other, taking 10 0 lives. Elections were suspended by Namphy in the wake of bloodshed in the early hours of balloting Washington suspended Haitis $56 million in financial assistance on 6 5 Ibid p. 602 6 See Tile Washington Times, Sept. 19,1988, p. A-7 6 Independent Haitian s and foreign observers such as the international press and human rights groups believed that Namphy, members of the armed for ces, and the Tonton Macoutes had orchestrated the chaos to cancel the elec tions Successive Coups. The U.S. was bitterly disappoi nted over Namphys ac tions. It had contributed approximately 8 million of the $10 million cost for the.doomed 1987 electioq..To.express

j d&appry Wehington suspended 70 million of the remaining 1987 aid sackage, though allowing some humanitarian and anti-drug aid to continue.

Namphy reset the elections for January 17,19

88. In a vote widely seen as fraudulent, Leslie Manigat, an exiled 57-year-old political science professor was elected the new Haitian president. He was viewed as a puppet of Nam phy. But when Manigat attempted to remove Namphy as head of the armed forces, Manigat and his cabinet were ousted by the military on June 19.This action was condemned by the U.S. the following day. Less than three months later, on September 17, Namphy himself was toppled by a group of non-com missioned officers and elements of the Palace Guard.The new government announced the following day that Brigadier General Prosper Avril, himself a former Duvalier and Namphy ally, was Haitis new leader 7 OBSTACLES TO DEMOCRAC Y FACING TODAYS I Haiti is faced with myriad political, military, economic, and social problems that hamper democracys development. These include a history of military rule, severe poverty, corruption, and lack of such independent institutions as political parties, economic interest groups, business organizations, labor unions, and trade associations, all of which are indispensable for creating political pluralism.

I Political and Military Problems For most of its modern history, Haitis leaders have relied on rubber-stamp elections, rigged referendums, and political repression as a means of govern ing and controlling the country. Since Avrils coup in September 1988, how ever, limited but encouraging political signs of reform have emerged, prompt ing the Bush Administration to propose to Congress that Haiti receive $42 million in new economic assistance for this year.

In 1989, Washington was scheduled to provide Haiti with approximately 39 million in foreign aid 9 I I 7 The MoreThings Change Human Rights in Haiti,Arneicus Wutch, February, 1989 pp. 104-113 8 E.A. Wayne, Control Flows From Avrils Grasp, The chnstiun Science Monitor, February 3,1989, p. 7 9 U.S. Plans to Renew Haiti Developmknt Aid, The Washington 7imes, April 27,1989, p. 2 7 Laudable Goals. Avril stated in Port-au-Prince on September 29,1988 that his goal was to establish an irreversible democracy in Haiti and to enter history as the one who saved his co untry from anarchy and dictator ship.

He has taken some steps toward this. Between September 1988 and March 1989, he dismissed approximately 150 corrupt and anti-democratic military of dividuals, such as Major General William Regala, Namphys Defense Mini s ter, and individuals identified with the Tonton Macoutes; pledged to defend human rights and civil liberties; arrested dozens of suspected drug traffickers and promised democratic elections.

What clouds Avrils recent record as a democratic reformer are hi s years of trusted senrice as a Duvalier advisor. The 7,000-man armed forces, Avrils principal base for control, has been weakened by growing rank and file un rest, caused by internal military power struggles. As many as 20 percent of the officer corps ha v e been dismissed because of suspected disloyalty, involve ment in the drug trade, and such human ri hts abuses as the mistreatment of prisoners and armed attacks on politicians. ficers;..purged scores offormer..Du~.alies.,and NamphygSgciates and in 41 It is this that prompts the rumors of pending coups.

Despite winning cautious support from some Haitians and U.S. officials like U.S. Ambassador to Haiti Allan R. Adams, Jr., and other State Depart ment officials, Avril and his military leaders are still view ed with some suspicion in Washington as democratic reformers. After fifteen months in power, Avril has yet to move toward free elections or to demonstrate how he plans to yield power to civilian control. Furthermore, he has taken few if any measures to qu ell the recent waves of paramilitary political violence and ban ditry once again spreading throughout the country.

Economic and Social Obstacles 1988 gross domestic product (GDP) of only $2.1 billion and a per capita an nual income of $370 for its six mill ion inhabitants. It is ahead only of Nicaragua, which has a GDP per capita annual income of about $300.12 Haitis economy compares poorly with a per capita income of $800 for the Dominican Republic, which is a middle-income economy, ranking 20th in the Wes tern Hemisphere.13 The Haitian economy grew a meager 0.5 percent from 1985 to 19

87. Be cause of political turmoil, social unrest, and the suspension of over half of the Haiti is the second poorest of the Western Hedspheres 35 nations, with a 10 Joseph B. Treaster, Haitian Vows Irreversible Democracy, The Nau Yo& Times, September 30,1988, p.

A3 11 hid 12 B.J. Cutler, Ortegas Poverty Plunge, The Washington Times, June 30,1989, p. F1 13 See The World Fact Book, The Central Intelligence Agency, 1988, pp. 65 a nd 101 8 U.S World Bank, and International Monetary Fund (IMF) aid over the past two years, the Haitian economy continued to stagnate in 19

88. Despite the proposed partial restoration of U.S. and multilateral financial assistance, how ever, experts belie ve that the Haitian economy did not grow in 1989 Haiti has limited natural resources and lacks reliable roads, proper sanita tion, pot ble water, modern communications, and an adequate power supply Its-fe-w fegils. rggions are heavily populated, with an a verage density of 560 people per square mile and with moct famnibeing done on small subsistence plots.

Fostering the Private Sector. The Avril government has stated repeatedly that it recognizes that the private sector must play a key role in Haitis long t erm economic development. Haiti also has abundance of low-cost workers who have been found by U.S. businesses to be easily trained in such manufac turing assembly operations as textiles, electronics, and sporting goods.

Through such U.S. programs as the C aribbean Basin Initiative (CBI a Reagan Administration plan to spur Caribbean economic growth by opening up U.S. markets to regional goods, Haiti has profited from increased exports to the U.S. Since 1983, when Haiti became a beneficiary country of the CB I some 75 percent of Haitian exports have been sold to the U.S. annually, while 60 percent of its imports are U.S. manufactured.

In 1982, Haiti exported $326 million worth of goods to the US while im porting $299 million in American products. Two years later, after the CBI took effect, the figures were $395 million and $419 million, respectively.

Haitis exports to the U.S. in 1988 totalled $399 million, while its U.S. im ports were worth $479 million.16 gravate its political economic stability. For example, the literacy rate is ap proximately 23 percent, and infant mortality rate is 124 per 1,0

00. This com pares to 15 per 1,000 in Costa Rica, a more prosperous Caribbean Basin country.The avera e life expectancy of Haitians is only 54 years, compared to 66 in Costa Rica.

Only about 13 percent of the population has access to potable water; mal nutrition and such infectious dis ease as AIDS and tuberculosis are widespread.The unemployment rate in Haiti is 49.1 percent while inflation in 1989 stood at 40 percent IUm lf 15 Malnutrition and Disease. Haiti also has mounting social problems that ag 1.8 14 U.S. Department of State, 19 8 8 Investment Climate Statement for Haiti, April 25,1988, p.1 15 Foreign EconomicTrends and their Implications for the United States, U.S. Dept. of Commerce Washington, D.C May 1989, p. l3 16 International Monetary Fund, Direction of Trade, Statistics Year b ook, Washington, D.C., 1989, p. 413 17 For more information see U.S. Deptartment of State, Bureau of Public Affairs, Background Notes, Haiti April 1987 9 HAITI AND U.S. SECURITY INTERESTS Haiti is located on the Western third of the island of Hispaniola i n the Caribbean Sea, between Cuba and Puerto Rico. The Dominican Republic comprises the eastern two-thirds of the island. Haiti is strategically important to Washington because of its proximity to the U.S. and the sea lanes in the Caiibbean Basin. Over the maritime routes surrounding Haiti pass oil and Panama Canal. Approximately 1.1 billion tons of cargo transit these sea lanes annually, with about half originating in the U.S.

These sea lanes also are critical for U.S. combat and military support ship ping , particularly during international crises. The region would assume strategic importance, for example, were war to erupt in Europe or Latin America. A strong anti-American military presence in Haiti during such a time might severely hinder Washingtons abi lity to resupply its forces and those of its allies. An anti-U.S. Haiti could be used by the Soviet Union Cuba, or any other power hostile to Washington for baring maritime forces eavesdropping on U.S. communication, and even for attacking the U.S. Navy.

P olitical Turmoil Growing political instability in Haiti threatens U.S. security interests for several reasons. First, it could lead to a dramatic escalation in the number of refugees fleeing Haiti for the U.S. At least 500,000 Haitians fled to the U.S Can a da, and the Dominion Republic during the height of Papa Docs terror in the mid-1960s. Second, it could provide opportunities for Cuban-backed revolutionaries and leftist opposition groups to undermine the Haitian government. These include the Conference o f Haitian Workers (CATH The United Democratic Committee (IUD and the pro-Cuban Unified Party of Haitian Communists (PUCH the Haitian communist party. Finally, Haitian political instability could undermine U.S. sponsored anti-narcotics operations in Haiti. C olombias drug cartels increasingly are using Haiti as a tranship ment point for drugs flowing to Europe and the U.S. In 1989, for example Haitian authorities seized 2.5 metric tons of cocaine, up from 1.38 metric tons for 1988.18 Haitian political and mil i tary forces have been unable to bring stability to the country since Baby Docs downfall in 1986.Two successful coups have been carried out since his departure; one which overthrew the elected govern ment of Leslie Manigat in June of 1988, and a second whi c h ousted Lieutenant General Henri Namphy in September of that year.Today, politi cal stability continues to remain illusory, largely because of internal corrup tion and because the Avril regime is being besieged by radical forces from the left and right. R adical forces on the left are led by the PUCH, while on the right they are dominated by extremist elements in the military bihk-f raG*fihtcfials- iaiKg t.c &j ffoh-th-e fi-&fi-o-~fiQ through the 18 International Narcotics Control Report, U.S. Department o f State, March 1989, p. 133 10 Cuba is only about 100 miles from Haiti. Cuban Communist dictator Fidel Castro hosts several military camps that train leftists from all over the globe in subversion, guerrilla warfare, urban terrorism, and Marxist-Leninist d o ctrine. Haitians, along with Chileans, Hondurans, and Salvadorans, now are believed to be training at camps in Pinar del Rio Province and Guanabo both east of Havana, according to U.S. intelligence sources. Since the 1960s Cuba also has been broadcasting Creole-language radio broadcasts at Haiti Narcotics Traffic U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agents are currently in Haiti attempting to impede the flood of drugs and Colombian Medellin Car tel drug traffickers pouring into that country.

Washingt on currently provides approximately 500,000 a year in anti-nar cotics assistance to Haiti. Avril so far, seems to have put this assistance to good use, with his stepped-up anti-drug efforts being applauded by the U.S Haiti may become a more attractive sit e for Colombias leading narcotics syn dicate now that the drug-running regime of General Manuel Antonio Noriega has been expelled from Panama. In the past, the lure of illegal nar cotics has even penetrated upper levels of the Haitian government. Colonel J e an Claude Paul, one of Haitis most powerful figures, had been facing a drug-related indictment in the U.S. His wife also had previously been ar rested in Miami on cocaine charges. It was believed that Paul conspired with the Colombian drug cartels to help raise money to buy more weapons for his already powerful 800-man Dessalines Battalion, a semi-private army made up of former Tonton Macoutes members.

Short on Resources. Even though U.S. economic assistance was suspended temporarily in 1988, a symbolic level of anti-narcotics aid remained in the pipeline because of the threat posed by the narcotics trade to U.S. security.

After Avril seized power last September, he immediately pledged to punish corruption and wage a war against the Colombian drug pipeline that runs through Haiti. His anti-drug forces, however, are short on resources: they only have two jeeps, five radios, and are desperately undermanned lated directly to Haitis severe economic and political problems. Up to 1,500 Haitian boat people arrive d in the U.S. each year in the early 1980s, with thousands more being turned back.Today, it is estimated that as many as 100,000 Haitians a ear would head for Miami if they were not blocked by the U.S. Coast Guard enmaraging leftist subversion. s. de...i. A i.ii i L The flow of refugees and illegal immigrants from Haiti.to the U.S. seems re 19 Charles McCoy, CocaineTrade Snares Haitian Strongman, The Wall Sheet Journal, March 15,1988 p. 30 20 Preston, op. cit 11 U.S. POLICY TOWARD TI In formulating its Hait i an policy, the Bush Administrations primary objec tive should be to encourage and assist the Avril governments democratic refornis. Democracy would bring political stability to Haiti. Without the stability, Haiti could threaten U.S. security interests in t he Caribbean Basin To assist Haitian democratic development, Washington should 4 4 Encourage the Haitian military to initiate democratic reforms and withdraw from politics Avril has pledged a return to civilian democracy. He announced in Septem ber that l o cal and regional elections would be held this April, legislative elec tions in July and August, and that a civilian president would be elected as soon as October. The Bush administration should send a high-ranking team to Port-au-Prince, possibly consisti n g of Deputy Secretary of State Lawrence Eagleburger and Assistant Secretary of State for Inter-American Affairs Ber nard Aronson to press Avril to honor this election timetable. A careful and gradual democratization process of first local and then nationa l elections should be supported and encouraged.The Avril government also should receive diplomatic and military assistance if threatened by such non democratic forces as paramilitary or extreme leftist groups opposed to the electoral process. Already, lead e rs of Haitis communist party are saying that a change in government should not come as the result of elections democratic and free market values International Development (AID and other U.S. government agencies should identify and assist Haitian instituti ons supporting expanded political and economic freedom, such as political parties, private business groups trade associations, educational institutions, and independent media outlets.

Specific examples include the Movement for the Installation of Democracy in Haiti (MIDH the Haitian Institute for Research and Development IHRAD the Haitian-American Chamber of Commerce; and PROMINEX a Haitian business institute which provides loans to small businesses.

Americas NED and AID should give these organizations res ources, financial assistance, and such training as seminars on political democracy, party or ganization, judicial values, freemarket economics and long-term institution development. At least half of Washingtons $42 million in assistance should be used in these areas 4 4 Use economic assistance as incentive for democratic reform and greater respect for human rights.

Washington should continue reinstating gradually government-to-govem ment economic aid to Haiti as an incentive for democratic and economic ref orm, and improved human rights. The Bush Administration has requested approximately $42 million of economic and military assistance for the Avril government this year. Washington is providing this assistance incrementally I A IL C le I 4 4 Assist those Ha i tian institutions and organizations that support The U.S. National Endowment for Democracy (NED the U.S. Agency for 12 as an incentive for electipns this year and human rights improvements. U.S aid should be used not only to assist Avrils 1990 election ti m etable, but also for training police and military forces, and to provide credits for the growth of the private economy 4 4 Assist in creating a free and independent judicial and law enforce ment system in Haiti hWdep&ident;effective; and objectivejudicial - system is fundamentally important to the growth of democracy. The U.S. Justice Department and the American Bar Association can provide legal expertise to Haitis lawyers, bar associations, and Justice Ministry on how such institutions should operate in a d e mocratic society. Washington should encourage the Avril government to create a judicial system independent of the executive branch and fully separate from the military.To help combat the crime and criminal violence in Haiti, the U.S. should help establish a Haitian police force completely inde pendent of the armed forces. Police training and material assistance should be offered to help professionalize and modernize Haitis law enforcement 4 4 Explore possibilities of expanding U.S. military cooperation wit h Haitis armed forces to encourage democracy within the Haitian military and enhance Haitis capabilities to combat terrorism.

The Bush Administration has requested that roughly $400,000 in military assistance be provided to Haiti this year.This assistance is primarily granted through the International Military Educational and,Training (IMET) pro gram. It is administered by the Pentagon and provides technical training and contact between U.S. and foreign military personnel. U.S. training and assis tance sho u ld focus on anti-terrorism, narcotics, and riot control. The level of U.S. military assistance should be conditional on democratic reforms and an improved human rights record.Through contact with the U.S. military democratic values can be fostered and rei nforced in the Haitian armed for ces 4 4 Work closely with Haiti to combat narcotics trafficking.

The Latin American drug network, directed by Colombias Medellin cartel has spread to Haiti. No cocaine, however, was seized aboard Haitian vessels in Miami in 1989, as compared to 7,000 pounds in 1988.The indications-are that the Avril governments stepped-up anti-narcotics efforts are beginning to have an impact.

The U.S. Department of State certified last August that the government of Haiti has stepped up its campaign to prevent narcotics traffickers from using Haiti as a transhipment point in 1989, despite [Haitis] political instability Moreover cooperation with the U.S. has been good, with the Haitian government allowing U.S. government law enforcement vess e ls to pursue drug smugglers into Haitian waters. An agreement was signed between the Bush Administration and the Avril government on April 25,1989, that will facilitate such hot pursuit procedures for the U.S. Coast Guard inside Haitian waters by improvin g communications and cooperation between the 13 U.S. Coast Guard and Haitian military. Haitian anti-narcotics officials also have been attendin training courses in the U.S. to improve their drug inter diction capabilities.

The Bush Administration should provide the Avril government with the rgsqurces, informatioR a-nd trai-~ng to Fntinuq upgrading these anti-drug ef forts. Currently, Washington provides $SOO,OOO for Hgitis narcotics control.

This amount should be doubled in 1991 t o reward Haitis strong efforts and to help combat the growing regional drug threat. Such assistance should in clude patrol boats, off-road vehicles, radar equipment, communications equipment, computers, and helicopters Expand U.S. Agency for International Development (AID) programs in Haiti.

AID should focus on developing Haitis agriculture, promoting small busi nesses, and improving education and health service systems. To improve Haitis fledgling agriculture system, AID should provide the Haitian govern ment with such badly needed agriculture equipment and resources as seeds irrigation systems and fertilizers. AID also should help Haiti with its mount ing deforestation crises to help stop topsoil erosion.To stimulate the growth of small businesses, AID s h ould continue providing loans and credit guaran tees to Haitian entrepreneurs to promote business development. This assis tance, however, should be linked to free-market reforms and improved human rights conditions. Increased resources can be used for suc h things as management training and building construction materials. To improve Haitis education system, AID and the U.S. Department of Education should offer Haiti text books, computers, and teacher training, and help the Avril govern ment build needed sc h ools. This will cost about approximately $2 million a year 51 CONCLUSION Haitis new government, led by Brigadier General Prosper Avril, may have brought Haiti to a turning point in its long and violent history:With pledges of democratic reform, greater re spect for human rights conditions, and economic liberalization, Avril has convinced many observers that he is serious about reform. Yet Haiti faces many obstacles in.achieving democracy.

Haitis powerful armed forces, violent paramilitary factions, and extr eme left ist groups could impede democratic development. Its lack of modern, inde pendent judicial and political institutions, and extreme poverty, also will make it difficult for democracy to take root.

Ending the Plague. Stability in Haiti is no small m atter to the U.S. If Avril fails to democratize Haiti and improve living conditions, leftist revolutionary 21 International Narcotics Control Report, US. Department of State, Washington, D.C. August 1989, p. 53 14 turmoil, sponsored by neighboring Cuba, c o uld increase in Haiti. The U.S could be faced with the emergence of another anti-American regime in the Western Hemisphere. At the very least, Haiti would continue to be plagued by military coups and paramilitary violence Road to Recovery. The Bush Admini s tration can encourage Avril to deliver on his pledges for political and economic reforms.The U.S. should urge the Haiti.an mi1ita.g. t-o.wijhdcaw.from pol.itig send U.S aid 0 only C.V as political and economic reforms advance; press for improved human rig hts conditions; ex pand bilateral security cooperation to combat drug trafficking and terrorism improve Haiti's judicial and law enforcement capabilities; and expand U.S.

AID activities in Haiti. Without such assistance, Haiti almost certainly will continue along its path of dictatorships, violence, and poverty.

The U.S. should make it clear to the Avril government that continued military rule is in neither country's interest and that measures must soon be initiated with the specific aim of installing civi lian democracy.Through the ex pansion of political and economic freedom, stability will be fostered in Haiti and U.S. security interests will be promoted. In turn, U.S.-Haitian relations will improve, thereby, aiding Haiti's road to recovery.

Michael G. Wilson Policy Analyst 15


Michael G.

Senior Fellow and Director of Government Finance Programs