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Brazil's Lula urges swift action for crisis-torn Haiti

February 29, 2024

Haiti's public healthcare system and economy is in tatters as the Caribbean country continues to witness widespread violence and political unrest.

Brazilian President Lula da Silva giving a speech
Lula da Silva said he wants to resume Brazil's diplomatic presence in Caribbean countriesImage: Evaristo Sa/AFP

Brazil's President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva said he wants the world to "act rapidly" over the situation in crisis-torn Haiti as he spoke at a Caribbean summit on Wednesday.

"In Haiti we need to act quickly to alleviate the suffering of a population torn apart by tragedy," Lula said in an address to a summit of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) in Georgetown, Guyana.

During the summit, the Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda, Gaston Browne, told reporters "we have made a lot of progress" in talks with Haiti's Prime Minister Ariel Henry who has "committed to serve as an honest broker and to share power."

Lula also stated his intention to resume its diplomatic presence in the Caribbean countries.

How the West messed with Haiti

The Brazilian president said he will contribute to the Caribbean Development Bank and that he is going to prioritize building "the connection between Brazil, Guyana, Suriname and Venezuela."

Political turmoil in Haiti

Haiti, a country with a population of 12 million, is the poorest in the western hemisphere and has been grappling with gang violence that has resulted in the breakdown of its economic and public health system.

In the past few weeks the country has also been experiencing major political unrest.

Thousands of people demonstrated on streets and demanded Henry's resignation that he was supposed to handover as part of a political agreement signed in December 2022.

As per the agreement, which concluded more than a year after the assassination of President Jovenel Moise, elections were to be held in Haiti and Henry was to cede power to newly elected officials by February 7, 2024.

But not only has he continued to stay in power but also intends to form a government of national unity, according to one of his aides.

Browne said a power-sharing arrangement could enter into force "within a short period of time."

Later on Wednesday, CARICOM leaders said in a statement issued at the end of the summit that Henry has agreed to hold general elections by mid-2025.

Why Kenya volunteered to lead a security mission in Haiti

mfi/jsi (AFP, AP, Reuters)