Foreign relations of Haiti

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Haiti was one of the original members of the League of Nations and was one of the original members of the United Nations and several of its specialized and related agencies. It is also a founding member of the Organization of American States. It maintains diplomatic relations with 37 countries, mostly in Europe and Latin America. Haiti also has diplomatic relations with the Republic of China, commonly known as Taiwan, instead of the People's Republic of China. Taiwan is one of Haiti's major trading partners and the two countries maintain very friendly relations. Haiti has also re-established very warm relations with Cuba in which a major act of bilateral cooperation has resulted in Cuba's large contribution of doctors to the country. The Haitian government has publicly shown admiration to Fidel Castro and his administration.

The international community rallied to Haiti's defense during the 1991-94 period of illegal military rule. Thirty-one countries participated in the U.S.-led Multinational Force (MNF) which, acting under UN auspices, intervened in September 1994 to help restore the legitimate government and create a secure and stable environment in Haiti. At its peak, the MNF included roughly 21,000 troops, mostly Americans, and more than 1,000 international police monitors. Within six months, the troop level was gradually reduced as the MNF transitioned to a 6,000 strong peacekeeping force, the UN Mission in Haiti (UNMIH). UNMIH was charged with maintaining the secure environment, which the MNF had helped establish, as well as nurturing Haiti's new police force through the presence of 900 police advisors. A total of 38 countries participated in UNMIH.

In order to spur Haiti's social and economic recovery from three years of de facto military rule and decades of misrule before that, international development banks and donor agencies pledged in 1994 to provide over $2 billion (USD) in assistance by 1999. Disbursements were largely conditioned on progress in economic reform. Parliamentary inaction, principally as a result of the political struggles and gridlock that plagued Haiti since 1996, resulted in the blockage of much of this assistance as disbursement conditions were not met. The electoral crisis that has brewed in the aftermath of the May 21, 2000 local and parliamentary elections has resulted in the blockage of most multilateral and bilateral assistance. Major donors are led by the United States, with the largest bilateral assistance program, and also include Canada, France, Germany, Japan, Republic of China (Taiwan). Multilateral aid is coordinated through an informal grouping of major donors under the auspices of the World Bank which, in addition to the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and the European Union, is also a major source of Haitian development assistance.

Visas are required for citizens of Colombia and Panama due to the actions of nationals of those two countries in using Haiti as a drop-off point for narcotic drugs bound for the United States. Panama's proximity to Colombia and their thriving off-shore banking industry has lured many traffickers to use that nation and Haiti as bases for their activities. Citizens of the Dominican Republic also require visas to visit Haiti, not only due to the hostile, sometimes volatile relations between both nations, but also because since the late 1990s, the Dominican Republic has become another base for illicit drugs bound for the United States, which usually enter illegally via Puerto Rico. Once in Puerto Rico, drugs can easily reach the United States due to the absence of both immigration and customs between that island and the mainland.[1]

Disputes - international: claims US-administered Navassa Island

Illicit drugs: major Caribbean transshipment point for cocaine en route to the US and Europe (see Illegal drug trade in Haiti)

Relations by country[edit]

 Bangladesh[edit]

 Benin[edit]

Haiti and Benin maintain diplomatic relations with a Haitian office in Cotonou, although Benin does not currently maintain an official diplomatic presence in the country due to the 2010 earthquake. Benin contributed a contingency of 32 police/civilian personnel to MINUSTAH.

The two countries share an extensive cultural history by way of the Atlantic slave trade and the resulting importing of Vodou as a religious force in Haitian society. The earthquake was followed, among many reactions, by an outburst of solidarity prayers in Benin with the victims.[2] Traditional ceremonies were organized to appease the spirits and seek the blessing of ancestors for the Haitians.[3]

 Canada[edit]

During the unsettled period from 1957 to 1990, Canada received many Haitian refugees, who now form a significant minority in Quebec. Canada participated in various international interventions in Haiti between 1994 and 2004, and continues to provide substantial aid the Haiti,[4] the second poorest country in the western hemisphere. [1]

 Chile[edit]

Chile sent 650 peacekeeping troops to the island as part of the United Nations peace keeping mission[5] Praising the work of the Chilean policemen in Haiti, National Police official Javiera Blanco said, "Even though today there is a need for the key presence of this mission, which is in mid term, the exit should be prepared for, considering that the country (Haiti) must take those responsibilities and build their capacities to do what is done by our mission." The police are planned to withdraw from Haiti in 2011.[6]

 Dominican Republic[edit]

Relations between Haiti and the Dominican Republic vacillated between barely tolerable and potentially combustible throughout the history of both countries' existences, reaching their lowest points in the Haitian invasion of the Dominican Republic, the aftermath of the Parsley Massacre and related Haitian-targeted ethnic cleansing campaigns by the Rafael Trujillo dictatorship. The periodic influxes of Haitian economic (and, in times past, political) migrants across the border have also strained relations between the two countries at various recent times.

 France[edit]

 Israel[edit]

 Jamaica[edit]

Jamaica has an honorary consul in Port-au-Prince. In 2012, Haiti closed its embassy in Jamaica.[7]

 Mexico[edit]

Diplomatic relations between Haiti and Mexico were established in 1882.

  • Mexico has an embassy in Port-au-Prince.[8]
  • Haiti has an embassy in Mexico City.[9]

 United States[edit]

Maintaining good relations with and fostering democracy in Haiti are important for many reasons, not least of which is the country's geographical proximity to the continental United States. In addition to the many Haitians who receive visas to immigrate into the U.S. (averaging over 13,000 annually in fiscal year 1999-2003), there is a flow of illegal migrants. Over 100,000 undocumented Haitian migrants were intercepted at sea by the U.S. Coast Guard in the past two decades, particularly during the 1991-94 period of illegal military rule when more than 67,000 migrants were interdicted. Since the return of the legitimate government in 1994, the interdiction of illegal migrants by U.S. Coast Guard vessels has decreased dramatically, averaging fewer than 1,500 annually. Neighboring Caribbean countries, particularly The Bahamas, continue to interdict Haitian migrants as well. The prospect remains, however, for the renewal of higher flows of illegal migrants, particularly under conditions of political unrest or further economic downturn.

 Venezuela[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Embassy of the Republic of Haiti in Washington: Visas
  2. ^ "Africa helps Haiti earthquake victims | Radio Netherlands Worldwide". Rnw.nl. Retrieved 2012-08-13. 
  3. ^ Anonymous (2011-10-21). "Benin: Voodoo rituals to calm the spirits in Haiti | Radio Netherlands Worldwide". Rnw.nl. Retrieved 2012-08-13. 
  4. ^ "Canada-Haiti Relations". Foreign Affairs & International Trade Canada. Retrieved 2009-04-22. 
  5. ^ "Chile's Bachelet heads to Haiti, Jamaica and Dominican Republic". AFP in Caribbean Net News. June 8, 2006. President Michelle Bachelet leaves Wednesday for a tour of Haiti, Jamaica and the Dominican Republic and a visit to the United States, where she will meet with President George W. Bush, Chile's foreign ministry said. 
  6. ^ "Chilean police mission in Haiti to withdraw in 2011". People's Daily. February 5, 2009. Retrieved 2009-06-23. Chilean policemen participating in the United Nations peace mission in Haiti could return to their home country in 2011, local press quoted National Police official Javiera Blanco as saying Wednesday. 
  7. ^ Haiti closes embassy in Kingston, Jamaica
  8. ^ Embassy of Haiti in Mexico City (in Spanish)
  9. ^ Embassy of Mexico in Port-au-Prince (in French and Spanish)

External links[edit]