Cherfilus-McCormick Says Stabilizing Haiti is Needed  for Overall Regional Security

Cherfilus-McCormick Says Stabilizing Haiti is Needed for Overall Regional Security

Grayson Bakich
Grayson Bakich
October 15, 2023

While much of America is preoccupied with the war in Israel, policy for other regions is still being worked on in Congress. The Floridian sat down with Representative Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick (D-FL) to discuss the ongoing instability on the Caribbean nation of Haiti, and how aiding in their stabilization could contribute toward solving the ongoing border crisis.

Rep. Cherfilus-McCormick first said she would "love" to visit Haiti as part of a Congressional Delegation trip (CODEL) "once we find stabilization," referring either to the ongoing battle for a Speaker of the House or actions taken by the United Nations to quell unrest in the country.

Moreover, Rep. Cherfilus-McCormick stated that one issue to discuss would be "our inability to really treat the root causes specifically." By this, Rep. Cherfilus-McCormick meant efforts in alleviating Haitian poverty and violence that has caused so many to flee in the first place.

"Until we can treat those root causes consistently, then we are going to have people always coming to our border and washing up on our shores," she continued.

In September, Cherfilus-McCormick and Representative Maria Elvira Salazar (R-FL) made a bipartisan commitment to extend the Haiti Economic Lift Program (HELP) for ten additional years, especially after a massive earthquake killed several thousand people in August 2021.

Earlier that year, Haitian President Jovenel Moise was assassinated as tensions between his allegedly corrupt government and the people were already high. Since then, criminal gangs have terrorized Haiti, and many demand the de facto President, Prime Minister Ariel Henry, resign.

As a result, the United Nations through Kenya recently announced plans to fight the gangs through a multinational security force, a move praised by Cherfilus-McCormick.

"So that is why it is so imperative that we stabilize Haiti and actually take a CODEL there and encourage businesses to reinvest into Haiti, to encourage the government to actually be more stable and actually have a real shot at democracy," Cherfilus-McCormick told The Floridian.

Finally, she commended Vice President Kamala Harris's June announcement of over $100 million going toward the Caribbean, including agricultural and humanitarian aid for Haiti.

"I was very proud of the work that the Vice President did investing in the Caribbean and investing into Latin America because that is helping the whole region become stable. Once we see stabilization in the region, we will have less people coming to our borders," Cherfilus-McCormick concluded.

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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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