Haiti-Observateur Editorial: Ariel Henry, Being the Problem, is Not Part of the Solution!


Cet éditorial critique sévèrement la position d’Ariel Henry dans la crise politique et multidimensionnelle qui sévit en Haïti. L’auteur soutient que bien qu’Ariel Henry soit en poste depuis vingt-cinq mois, il n’a pas réussi à apporter des solutions significatives aux problèmes du pays et qu’il semble plutôt agir en faveur de l’intérêt politique de la formation PHTK.

L’éditorial met en évidence les échecs des réunions inter-haïtiennes dirigées par la CARICOM et suggère qu’Ariel Henry est un obstacle à la résolution de la crise en raison de sa résistance à la demande de démission formulée par certains secteurs politiques. L’auteur souligne également le mécontentement croissant au sein de la CARICOM à l’égard de la gestion d’Ariel Henry de la crise et la nécessité d’une action plus décisive de la part du gouvernement haïtien.

En fin de compte, l’éditorial conclut qu’Ariel Henry est devenu un problème plutôt qu’une solution pour Haïti, et que son maintien au pouvoir prolonge la crise, au lieu de la résoudre.

Being the problem, Ariel Henry is not part of the solution!

After twenty-five months in power, having inherited the multidimensional crisis policy initiated by Jovenel Moïse, Ariel Henry has made himself his worthy heir, becoming thus a party to all the ills inflicted on the country by the Head of State who was assassinated on July 7, 2021. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see that he cannot be part of the solution to that crisis within the framework of the ongoing negotiations to set up an interim consensus government and return the country to some normality.

Indeed, the latest and second version of the inter-Haitian meetings, led by eminent figures from the Caribbean Community and Common Market (CARICOM), the first of which took place in Kingston, the capital of Jamaica, last July, failed again. It seems that an agreement has been reached to continue these talks at the Catholic Nunciatura in Port-au-Prince, the details of which will no doubt be formulated at a later date.

Clearly, these meetings are set to continue, despite a major loophole that could result in another setback: Ariel Henry. In this case, those calling for him to be removed, if a solution is to be found to the crisis, are speaking from experience. For he’s infected with the virus of the Parti haïtien tèt kale (PHTK) (Bald-Headed Political Party), the politics of which he continues to follow. Consequently, from all points of view, he can only act in defense of the interests of this political formation. This is why he is striving to control the content of the negotiations and decide on the participants so a solution can be reached that would be totally favorable to those he represents.

The CARICOM delegation, which had met separately with Ariel Henry, was due to meet him last Thursday (September 7,) along with the signatories of the Kingston Declaration. That didn’t happen, with the de facto Prime Minister being conspicuously absent. The meeting, scheduled for Saturday September 9, was held without the expected results. Therefore, the CARICOM emissaries left empty-handed, without bringing back the favorable results that were expected prior to the September 15 meeting of the UN Security Council (SC) on Haiti. Much is riding on the success of the latest round of negotiations conducted in Haiti by the regional delegation before the vote on a possible Security Council resolution regarding the deployment or not of a special international police force led by Kenya.

In the past, the Caribbean facilitators had feigned ignorance of the neurosurgeon’s bad faith in the negotiations, meekly accepting their disappointment. This time, however, the Caribbean delegation, which met the de facto Prime Minister with his political allies on the one hand, and the signatories to the so-called Kingston Accord on the other, made no secret of their disenchantment with Ariel Henry’s attitude. It seems that the stumbling-block to a successful conclusion of the talks remains the demand for the resignation of the de facto Prime Minister, as formulated by the members of the Montana Accord and the Group of 8. Reportedly, André Michel, who was formerly known as the « people’s lawyer » due to his stance in favor of the interests of the people, rejects the proposal which is unfavorable to his boss. Instead, he suggested that it would be preferable for discussions to focus on the problem of insecurity, the establishment of a new interim government, the organization of elections, and the strengthening of the Montana Accord. However, the Haitian interlocutors rejected Dr. Henry’s policy which amounts to « treading water, » and mentioned his unfulfilled promises made in previous agreements.

It’s a tireless critic of Mr. Henry within CARICOM who, this time, reports directly on the group’s disillusionment with Mr. Henry’s handling of the crisis. Pointing to the Caribbean community’s « disappointment » with the Prime Minister’s handling of the crisis, last Friday Ralph Gonsalves, Prime Minister of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, told the EFE news agency: « It seems to us that more action is needed on the part of the Haitian government, which had accepted certain decisions taken at the CARICOM summit, in Trinidad and Tobago, in July. » Mr. Gonsalves is referring to Dr. Henry’s commitment to form a new, broader coalition government, in addition to taking steps to resolve the country’s longstanding socio-political situation.

An authorized CARICOM voice, the Prime Minister of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, further revealed the following to EFE: « . . . It is necessary for the Haitian Government to confirm, in writing, that it wishes CARICOM, with regard to the search for solutions to Haiti’s problem, to participate in the preparation of the resolution that will be presented to the United Nations Security Council by the 15th of this month. »

Again quoted by the Spanish news agency, Ralph Gonsalves took up a theme he has been repeating in relation to Ariel Henry, saying that, in Haiti, the political situation is extremely polarized and dangerously volatile, in addition to being the subject of much criticism in relation to the illegitimacy of the current government and its inability to resolve the country’s security, socio-economic, and administrative problems.

For several months now, these have been recurring themes in the media and in public conversations in Haiti against the de facto Prime Minister, who has turned a deaf ear, playing the blind in the face of the numerous crises into which he and his team have plunged the country. The crises, including some of which he’s to blame, have worsened since his appointment as Prime Minister by the CORE Group, under the dictates of the Americans.

There’s no doubt that Ralph Gonsalves, an astute statesman, has drawn inspiration from the cries of protest against Ariel Henry’s calamitous, even criminal, management, which have been heard from many quarters of Haiti’s political and socio-professional sectors. In all likelihood, his denunciations, which are well received within CARICOM, serve as a guide for the « eminent personalities » currently on a mission to steer the inter-Haitian talks, struggling to find a favorable outcome to their mission. So, though not said explicitly, it’s implied that the de facto Prime Minister remains the stumbling-block to the success of the latest CARICOM mission, as he has been in all previous efforts at finding a solution, especially in the discussions among Haitians. Having been identified as such by many Haitian socio-political sectors, the countries that persist in insisting on holding these meetings with Ariel Henry’s participation are seen as those prolonging, if not aggravating, Haiti’s multi-dimensional crisis, while claiming to be seeking solutions.

On the Haitian side, as part of the problem, the de facto Haitian Prime Minister has long since lost the right to speak and make decisions for and on behalf of the Haitian people. However, deprived of the means to get rid of him due to the strong support of his bosses in the international community, Haiti’s political players have had to make the best of a bad situation. Against their instinct, they agree to take part in this interminable dialogue among the deaf, the raison d’être of which is known only to Ariel Henry’s bosses. But following this latest round of discussions, under the guidance of the CARICOM representatives, the masks have come off. The time has come to take these discussions in another direction. For they’ve been going on too long, while the crises keep worsening, totally out of proportion, as indicated by Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves. Without the unconditional support of the de facto Prime Minister by his creators, he would soon be out of the picture. Such is the view of some astute diplomats and members of the U.S. Democratic Party. They agree that Ariel Henry, being the primary cause of the problem, cannot be part of the solution.


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