THP Statement in Response to Recent Unrest in Haiti

The following reflects The Haitian Project’s (THP) statement and update on the ongoing unrest in Haiti as of 5:30am ET on 2-13-2019. The statement has been prepared under the advice of THP President Deacon Patrick Moynihan and Haitian private sector leader, THP Board Member and Head of THP’s Partner Foundations in Haiti Patrick Brun, during their assessment of the situation on the ground early this morning in preparation for the exit of THP’s U.S. Community from Haiti.

North Kingstown, RI & Port-au-Prince, Haiti—February 13, 2019—The Haitian Project (THP) pulled its U.S. community out of Haiti this morning, joining the U.S. Embassy in Haiti which yesterday ordered the departure of family members of Embassy staff under the age of 18 and approved the authorized departure of adult family members and non-emergency U.S. personnel. Louverture Cleary School is closed due to the inability of students and staff to safely travel to the school and will remain closed until the security situation improves.

The situation on the ground in Haiti and/or the fear created by the current conditions has created an impediment to THP’s operation, an operation that has withstood earthquakes and other times of unrest.

The current unrest is not a civil demonstration, but one involving violence and the destruction of property. It impedes regular daily activity. It is different than the demonstration marches of the past. 

It is clear that the general population is not with the movement to bring about an end to the current government. The general population deserves the right to daily activity, schools, marketplaces, etc. 

Black smoke billows from burning tires during a protest on Saturday, February 9, 2019, in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Photo credit: AP Photo/Dieu Nalio Chery

Black smoke billows from burning tires during a protest on Saturday, February 9, 2019, in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Photo credit: AP Photo/Dieu Nalio Chery

Having monitored the situation closely since it began last week, THP now believes U.S. support is warranted and that U.S. military forces should be deployed to provide security in Haiti once again.

THP President Deacon Patrick Moynihan has provided the following statement on behalf of THP:

“I would hope that the United States will once again support rule of law and ordinary daily life with security forces if necessary. I find it challenging that we have military bases and ongoing activity in regions far away and antithetical to our way of life when Haiti, the second oldest republic in our own neighborhood, is left to chaos. How can we be serious about democracy and the ending of the criminal, immoral legacy created by slavery and not come to the aid of our brothers and sisters in America. America is one and Haiti is at its root.

“My plea for assistance is in the name of the general population, especially the children who are being kept from going to school. Whatever issues may or may not present in the current administration can certainly be better handled through a judicial process rather than the streets. Haiti must emerge from revolution and strife to a full practice of Justice and Democracy based in civil process.”