Even before Haiti’s unelected de facto and extremely unpopular Prime Minister Ariel Henry shocked an already economically burdened Haitian populace by announcing on September 11 that he was ending fuel subsidies (a single gallon of gas now costs $4.79 in U.S. currency), the Haitian economy has been taking hit after hit from its foreign “investors.” Conflicts concerning who has the right to govern Haiti, and for what term, have torn up the country since prior to the assassination of Haitian President Jovenal Moïse in his Port-au-Prince home in July 2021. Moïse had selected Henry as Haiti’s prime minister just two days before he was trapped in his bedroom, roughed up (the autopsy showed several broken bones) and then slain in a hail of 15 bullets, one of which exploded his heart.
After a two-week power struggle between Henry and the then-incumbent Prime Minister Claude Joseph, Henry prevailed and assumed power on July 21, becoming Haiti’s seventh prime minister in four years. Henry’s alignment with the foreign oligarchic forces suppressing Haiti politically and economically was a factor in Daniel Foote’s resignation as U.S. Special Envoy a year ago. As Truthout reported, Foote did not mince words when criticizing the Biden administration for its decision to support Henry: “[W]hat our Haitian friends really want, and need, is the opportunity to chart their own course, without international puppeteering and favored candidates,” Foote wrote. “The hubris that makes us believe we should pick the winner — again — is impressive.”
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