Cherfilus-McCormick Reacts to UN Task Force for Haiti

Cherfilus-McCormick Reacts to UN Task Force for Haiti

Grayson Bakich
Grayson Bakich
October 4, 2023

Violence and civil unrest in the Caribbean nation of Haiti have reached a fever pitch since the 2021 assassination of President Jovenel Moise. In fact, the United Nations, through Kenya, has recently vowed to lead a multinational security force to help destroy the gangs terrorizing Haiti. Representative Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick (D-FL) spoke with MSNBC's Jose Diaz-Balart to discuss.

Rep. Cherfilus-McCormick described the various crimes occurring in Haiti, as gangs recruit young people into committing sexual crimes against women and children, among other atrocities. As a result, "this security mission is very much needed right now."

The question remains, however, is "How do we ensure that there are no human rights violations and that the Haitian people feel comfortable with the multinational security force? So those are the areas that we are seeking, but this authorization is truly a win for the Haitian people," said Rep. Cherfilus-McCormick.

Host Jose Diaz-Balart asked further questions on how the task force, and by extension, the United States, will help Haiti.

"Well, we first start by respecting their self-determination," Cherfilus-McCormick answered, "the two things they have made clear is that they need help fighting the gangs, and they want the de facto President, Prime Minister Ariel Henry, to step down. And there is actually a transition government that has actually started forming which has the consensus necessary."

Moreover, she described how Haitians living abroad have contributed input to the task force's goals, not only to quiet the unrest at present but to "give [Haiti] a real shot at democracy" and "make sure that the gangs no longer have a place in Haiti to terrify the people."

Actions to take, Cherfilus-McCormick continued, include holding the gangs and their backers accountable, sidestepping Ariel Henry, and supporting a transition government.

"It is now time for us to change that direction and trajectory of Haiti and to actually give it a fighting chance, and that is going to have to be with the participation of the Haitian diaspora, and that is going to have to be with the participation of the international community, but more so the voices of the Haitian people have to be heard. And we start right here today by respecting their self-determination and respecting the first act, which is to help fight the gangs. And the second act is to make sure that there is a transition government that does not include Prime Minister Henry,

 Cherfilus-McCormick concluded.

At the end of September, Cherfilus-McCormick worked with Representative Maria Elvira Salazar (R-FL) to extend the United States' Haiti Economic Lift Program (HELP) for another ten years.

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Grayson Bakich

Grayson Bakich

Florida born and raised, Grayson Bakich is a recent recipient of a Master’s Degree in Political Science at the University of Central Florida. His thesis examined recent trends in political polarization and how this leads into justification of violence.

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