Haiti is in crisis, reeling from the recent assassination of former President Jovenel Moïse and fighting back against the devastating erosion of democracy and human rights that he and his party caused. AJWS has been urging the U.S. to be on the right side of history when it comes to Haiti, including ending the misguided push for elections later this year and listening to Haitian activists and experts on what they think is best for their country’s own political future. AJWS activists across the country signed onto the below letter below to U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, urging him and the Biden administration to change course and support Haitians as they develop a Haitian-led solution to the crisis. Click here to read the full list of signatories.
Dear Secretary Blinken,
Haiti is under siege, still reeling from the assassination of former President Jovenel Moïse and the other ongoing crises of politically-motivated gang violence and hunger caused by Moïse and his party—and made worse by unjust foreign intervention. As the U.S. responds to this crisis, we ask that you please shape the U.S. approach to Haiti around the right of the Haitian people to decide their own political future.
As Jews and global citizens, we understand deeply the need for U.S. leadership to promote human rights worldwide—and the tragic cost of inaction. We ask the U.S. government to acknowledge that it is the right of the Haitian people, not the U.S. or any other international actor, to decide the way forward for their own political future.
We urge the Biden administration, the U.S. State Department and the U.S. Congress to:
- Respect the right of the Haitian people to shape their own path forward out of this crisis.
- Listen to Haitian civil society leaders’ perspectives on the best ways to repair their democracy, including supporting a civil society brokered transitional government tasked with restoring both stability and Haiti’s democratic institutions.
- Not call for elections this year. Instead, the U.S. must support the conditions for free, fair, participatory and credible elections in a timeframe aligned with what Haitians feel is possible—not one imposed on them by the U.S. or other countries.
- Oppose all foreign military intervention, which has not helped Haiti in the past.
AJWS’s partners in Haiti—many of whom have been working for decades to build a democratic society where
Haitians can live with health, safety and dignity—know what it will take to make their vision a reality. They are actively working to establish a transitional government that can repair the broken electoral institutions, support the police in restoring law and order, strengthen the Haitian judiciary and create the conditions for free and fair elections to take place in the future.
At this moment, the U.S. must not stand in the way of Haitians doing the tireless work to rebuild and repair their democracy. We urge your administration to change course and support Haitians as they develop a Haitian-led solution to the crisis.
Jewish tradition demands action, and we are grateful to you for putting your own values into action as you lead our country to build a better world.
Thank you for your ongoing leadership.