Haiti activists rally at White House seeking end of U.S. support for Henry

by Brian Ellsworth

(Reuters) – Activists gathered Sunday at the White House to ask the Biden administration to end its support for Haitian Prime Minister Ariel Henry’s government as the Caribbean nation faces a humanitarian crisis caused by gangs blocking the delivery of the fuel. it compares.

Haiti’s dire situation has caught global attention in recent weeks, as severe fuel shortages have forced many businesses and hospitals to close, just as health officials confirmed a surprise cholera outbreak. .

A broadcast of the demonstration showed several hundred people gathered outside the White House, carrying signs with the Haitian flag or the message “Let the Haitians decide their future”.

“Many Haitians are confident that the US is actively keeping Henry in power,” said a statement prepared for the rally by US representative Maxine Waters. “The repression in Haiti must stop.

Henry, who led the country shortly after the assassination of President Jovenel Mois last year, last week asked for military help to deal with the gang.

He said he called for new elections as soon as possible. Many in Haiti say widespread violence from the armed gangs that control much of the country makes it impossible to vote under current circumstances.

The Biden administration has not indicated that it intends to change its stance on Henry.

Asked about the demonstration, an adviser to Henry said, “There is a lot of misinformation and misrepresentation about the current government, in Congressional testimony and in letters from lawmakers circulating on the Internet.”

“We urge Haitian citizens, wherever they are, to join forces to make Haiti a great country, rather than repeat the slander found on the Internet.

Last week, US Representative Val Demings introduced the Haiti Criminal Collusion Transparency Act of 2022, which calls for a new federal investigation into those who support Haitian gangs.

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres has proposed that one or more countries send “a rapid action force” to assist the Haitian police, without suggesting that the force be deployed by the United Nations.

(Reporting by Brian Ellsworth in Miami; Editing by Diane Craft)

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