By Arthur Piccolo
News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Thurs. Sept. 22, 2022: On Wednesday, September 21st, in his address to the United Nations, US President Joe Biden took a few moments in that speech to address Haiti. Unfortunately, it was very brief, and Biden said absolutely nothing about what the United States will do going forward.
It should have been timed to include an action plan for Haiti’s future, but it did not. President Biden’s record concerning Haiti since he took office has not been impressive.
The Unite States current policies toward Haiti is mostly one of neglect. There have certainly been no new significant initiatives since Biden too over the Presidency in January 2021. He seems to be no more focused in Haiti than was his predecessors. President Biden has not even made the symbolic gesture of appointing a new Ambassador let alone a very impressive Ambassador who can have an impact. Haiti is one of the few nations around the globe to which Biden has not appointed an ambassador.
There is only a charge a Charge d’Affairs for Haiti appointed by Biden so Mr. Eric Stromayer in effect an assistant Ambassado. Biden has appointed over 100 Ambassadors so far even to a tiny island nation you have never head of halfway across the world with a population of 1 million named Timor-Leste.
In August, four members of Congress – Representatives Val Demings, Yvette Clarke, Ayanna Pressley and Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick – wrote a letter to President Biden with an impassioned plea that he appoint a new Special Envoy to Haiti; not even a full Ambassador that Haiti needs, which still has not been done.
While President Biden cannot solve all the world’s problems, he and his administration certainly can do much more as conditions only get worse in Haiti in many ways, including with gang violence raging. Haiti has been suffering from neglect by the United States all the way back to when President Jefferson withdrew support from the successful rebellion of enslaved Haitians because Jefferson, the leader of the slave dependent South, feared Haitians would inspire the enslaved in his plantation – with its over 200 enslaved Africans, and all over the new American nation, to rebel here.
Today, there is no master plan for Haiti’s future and it should include major commitments by Fortune 500 companies and well known business leaders to state what they can and will do to create a new Haiti here in the 21st century. President Biden has an obligation to follow his brief comment in his UN speech that was empty of any specifics. “We continue to stand with our neighbor in Haiti as it faces political-fueled gang violence, and an enormous human crisis, and we call on the world to do the same,” Biden said. “We have more to do.”
Leaders lead. The question is what will President Biden do to lead the way? Where is the Biden’s Administrations action agenda for Haiti and when will President Biden finally appoint a new impressive Ambassador to Haiti?
‘Haiti in Exile,’ under the leadership of Porez Luxama, has recently been formed here in the United States to lead the way forward. The group is focused on the future, not the past or the present situation in Haiti. Funds to alleviate the never-ending suffering of Haitians, which are always needed, are not enough.
Without a blueprint and action to create a new Haiti, nothing will change. To quote that well known phrase” “Give a person a loaf of bread and they will not stave today but give them a plow and seeds and they will feed themselves.”
Give Haitians the support they need to create the future and they will build a new Haiti for themselves and the world.
Haiti in Exile’s first proof of its seriousness will be a full day Conference on the Future of Haiti at the Alexander Hamilton U.S. Custom House at Bowling Green in Lower Manhattan on Thursday, November 17, 2022.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Arthur Piccolo is a professional writer and commentator and often writes about Latin America for New Americas.