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Clinton Administration Policy Toward the Caribbean Country of Haiti

The topic for this paper is the United States policy towards the Caribbean country of Haiti during the Clinton administration. The subjects which will be discussed are the issues of: Refugees, Foreign Aide as well as human rights the United States involvement in Haiti issues of national interests. What will also be examined is what the Clinton administration trying to achieve concerning Haiti. What the United Nations and the U. S. roles were, and what the public thought was concerning these issues.

Also why the United States was involved with the internal dispute of a third world country where the ational interest was not clearly defined. The issue of why was it or was not so important for the United States to send troops to Haiti will also be discussed. The problem in Haiti was the pro democratic elected president Aristide was exile from Haiti during a military coup. Several issues arose out of Haiti after the exile of Aristide. Issues of: human rights there were reports that the new regime brought back “death squads” killing people who opposed the new leaders.

One of the main targets of the Clinton policy is a group called the Front for the Advancement and Progress of Haiti of FRAPH. The administration has targeted this group for their continued backing and support of General Cedras, for their human rights violations. Issues of , refugee’s illegally trying to enter the United States creating an economic burden on much of south Florida. All of these issues arose during president Bush’s term in office. The Bush administration was to turn back the refugee’s.

The Bush administration saw no vital national interest in concerning it self with the internal problems of Haiti ,because there were so many problems at home in the United States, other than to turn the refugee’s way from south Florida. When president Clinton took over the office of the presidency he would become very indecisive and weak on the issue of Haiti. President Clinton began badly on Haiti. With his continual indecision and lack of any real back bone to the policies which were decided upon.

First, he gave charge of his policy to Bush administration holdovers who over the previous year had made clear their intent to construct in Haiti a version of democracy that left the president in exile but with an Aristide – appointed prime minister and cabinet. This tortured scenario was doomed to failure ecause over two thirds of the Haitian people equated democratic government with the return of Aristide and no arrangement that excluded his presence could rule without massive repression. “The Clinton foreign policy team so recognized this error and appointed a former ambassador wise in the ways of Latin American dictators, Lawrence Pezzullo to head up Haitian policy.

Things began to move. In mid 1993, a United Nations sponsored agreement was signed a Governors Island, New York. In return for removal of the oil cut off which Clinton administration had promoted ithin the United Nations, plus a four – month transition period, the army agreed to the return of President Aristide, the installation of a consensus government and replacement of the army high command.

It looked as though a transition from arbitrary, oligarchic rule towards constitutional government had been found. In short the Clinton foreign policy towards Haiti was to remove the leaders of the military coup and return exiled President Jean – Bertrand Aristide to power. The policy was also designed to put pressure on the military government in the way of a United Nations trade embargo. he hope was to bring the leader of the new government to their knees and hope the leaders would return the government back to the people of Haiti.

The history and the political background of Haiti is a history of oligarchic rule, and fear of the government. Their country in the early part of the century until 1950’s was basically under the thumb of the United States government. “In 1915, the United States , acting under the Roosevelt Corollary to the Monroe Doctrine, occupied Haiti to straighten out its finances, pay off foreign debts , and ensure stable government. When the Marines departed in 1933, heir principal legacy was a constabulary officered by light – skinned mulattos.

The tension between the ruling mulatto elite and the black majority runs like a discordant motif through Haiti’s turbulent history. ” In 1956, blacks surged into control with the election of Francois “Papa Doc” Duvalier. Papa Doc installed a reign of terror directed primarily against the elite professional class. His son, Jean Claude, “Baby Doc” became president -for – life upon the death of the elder Duvalier. Baby Doc possessed none of his father’s political dexterity. His marriage into one of Haiti’s richest families cost him popular support.

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