Wikileaks: US Embassy Makes Its Case for MINUSTAH

An October 2008 cable just released by Wikileaks called “Why We Need A Continuing MINUSTAH Presence in Haiti” recommends MINUSTAH’s presence continue until at least 2013. The US pays one fourth of its budget. Some notable passages:

A premature departure of MINUSTAH would leave the Preval government or his successor vulnerable to resurgent kidnapping and international drug trafficking, revived gangs, greater political violence, an exodus of seaborne migrants, a sharp drop in foreign and domestic investment, and resurgent populist and anti-market economy political forces – reversing gains of the last two years.

The fundamental USG policy goal in Haiti is to make it a viable state that does not post a threat to the region through domestic political turmoil or an exodus of illegal migrants. To reach that point, Haiti must be able to assure its own domestic security, govern itself with stable democratic institutions, and create a business climate that will get the economy moving. Haiti has made progress but is still a long way from these goals. The United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) is the largest and most effective external institution pursuing them.

We must be sensitive to Latin fears that any Haitian opposition to the UN presence undermines their domestic support for deployments in Haiti. During the April riots, the Brazilian MINUSTAH Force Commander told Ambassador and others that his greatest fear was that his troops would be forced to fire on demonstrators. He understood that this could ignite opposition in Haiti, Brazil, and other contributing countries to his troops’ presence in Haiti.

Read up on the other Haiti-related disclosures in Wikileaks cables here.

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