News & Media

For Immediate Release: Jul 23, 2021

Contact: Heather Cabral, hcabral@faithinaction.org, 202-550-6880

Faith in Action released the following statement on Haiti by Francois Pierre-Louis, Faith in Action Haiti Director.

“On behalf of grassroots members of the People’s Organization for the Development of the Northeast (OPODNE), organizers, and clergy in Haiti and the Haitian Diaspora that are part of the Faith in Action Network, we urge the Biden Administration to change course on Haiti.

“A better, safer, more democratic Haiti rests in the hands of the country’s vibrant civil society. The credible and respected leaders of peasant, youth, women’s, neighborhood and faith-based organizations who are meeting to chart Haiti’s future are the best hope for Haiti and the only reliable way forward.

“The first step that the Biden Administration must take to change the U.S. approach to Haiti is directly and consistently engage grassroots and faith leaders who are risking their lives to rebuild democracy in Haiti. Senior staff from the State Department and the White House must regularly meet with these leaders, respond to their collective analysis and proposals and follow their lead. The U.S. cannot dictate Haiti’s future, but it can lend its vast influence to reinforce Haiti’s pro-democracy movement in its struggle against impunity, corruption and authoritarianism.

“Second, it is long past time for the U.S. and the other so-called Core Group nations to abandon a failed policy of working through a small rotating circle of corrupt politicians and elites. Haiti is a prime example of the humility that Secretary of State Blinken is calling for in recognizing the negative role that the U.S. played in supporting Jovenel Moïse despite his decision to rule by decree and ally with gangs to repress widespread opposition to his corrupt rule.

“It is unacceptable for the U.S. to continue to stand with Moïse and his corrupt government in death as it did in life by supporting his handpicked prime minister and cabinet. The acute political crisis is an opportunity for the U.S. to hit the reset button, to acknowledge that it made a mistake in supporting Moïse long after he lost credibility with Haitian society. What Haiti needs is a broad, inclusive transitional government that incorporates and has the support of civil society. A credible transitional government is a precondition for credible, fair and violence-free elections.

“Third, the U.S. and other countries should support Haitian civil society efforts to establish accountability for the assassination of Haiti’s de facto President and many human rights activists, journalists, lawyers and ordinary Haitians struggling for Democracy. An end to impunity and a commitment by the U.S. to stop working through politicians who’ve committed human rights abuses and stolen funds is a precondition for stability and prosperity in Haiti.

“Faith in Action pledges our continued support to Haitian civil society, including OPODNE and the valiant grassroots leaders in communities across the Northeast Department who have stepped into the void left by the government and have organized an effective COVID prevention campaign as well as economic development cooperatives, micro lending projects, and community improvement activities. They and grassroots organizations across Haiti are modelling the kind of local leadership that the entire country needs and deserves.”

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Faith in Action International is a global network that enables those who are most vulnerable and exploited to build political and economic power to better their lives, communities, and societies. Faith in Action supports grassroots organizing and community-led development through affiliates in Haiti, Central America, and Rwanda. For more information visit www.faithinactioninternational.org

Faith in Action is the largest grassroots, faith-based organizing network in the United States. The nonpartisan organization works with 1,000 religious congregations in more than 200 cities and towns through its 46 local and state federations. For more information, visit www.faithinaction.org.

Faith in Action is a 501c(3). Faith in Action and its affiliates are non-partisan and are not aligned explicitly or implicitly with any candidate or party. We do not endorse or support candidates for office.

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