Haiti's Dilemma

February 18, 2005 • Volume 15, Issue 7
Should the U.S. do more for its impoverished neighbor?
By Peter Katel

Introduction

A woman in Gonaïves prays after floods caused by tropical storm Jeanne ravaged the city in September 2004. Nearly 4,000 people were killed and thousands of homes were destroyed.  (AFP/Getty Images/Roberto Schmidt)
A woman in Gonaïves prays after floods caused by tropical storm Jeanne ravaged the city in September 2004. Nearly 4,000 people were killed and thousands of homes were destroyed. (AFP/Getty Images/Roberto Schmidt)

Haiti is among the world's poorest, least stable countries, beset by extreme unemployment, near-total deforestation, disease and chronic political unrest. After Haiti's elected president, Jean-Bertrand Aristide, was forced into exile a year ago, an interim government and United Nations peacekeepers sought to stabilize the little Caribbean nation just 650 miles from Florida. Soon afterward, a full-fledged U.N. relief effort was launched. But Haiti remains torn by violence and dangerously unstable. Parliamentary and presidential elections are scheduled to be held later this year, but some political observers say Haiti is a failed state that requires nothing short of a total U.N. takeover. Others blame the United States for causing many of Haiti's problems and not doing more to help it recover. Meanwhile, human rights advocates say the Bush administration's policy of allowing fleeing Cubans into the U.S. while excluding most Haitians is blatantly unfair.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Caribbean
Feb. 18, 2005  Haiti's Dilemma
Feb. 01, 1985  Caribbean Basin Revisited
Jan. 13, 1984  Caribbean Basin Policy
Jan. 11, 1980  Caribbean Security
Jul. 08, 1977  Puerto Rican Status Debate
Oct. 24, 1969  West Indies: Power Vacuum
Apr. 13, 1966  Dominican Dilemma
Nov. 21, 1962  Security in the Caribbean
Jul. 22, 1959  Invasion and Intervention in the Caribbean Area
Nov. 06, 1957  Caribbean Problems and Prospects
Jun. 14, 1943  Problems of the Caribbean Area
Jun. 10, 1940  Foreign Possessions in the Caribbean Area
BROWSE RELATED TOPICS:
Humanitarian Assistance
Regional Political Affairs: Latin America and the Caribbean
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