CLAIM: The United States military is invading Haiti.
AP’S ASSESSMENT: False. While the U.S. and Mexico said Monday that they are preparing a U.N. resolution that would authorize an international mission to help improve security in Haiti, no such deployment has happened. The U.S. and Canada have sent armored vehicles and other supplies to aid the Haitian police.
THE FACTS: Haiti has been gripped by rising food and fuel prices, issues that have been exacerbated by political instability and protests, with many calling for the resignation of Prime Minister Ariel Henry. On Oct. 7, Henry and the Haitian Council of Ministers requested assistance from the U.N. to help restore security and alleviate the humanitarian crisis.
Social media users have claimed the U.S. is actively invading Haiti.
“The US is invading Haiti. It’s not in the news. At all,” reads one post on Twitter that was shared more than 13,000 times.
Another Twitter post with more than 11,000 likes reads, “Everyone else is just going to ignore that the US is invading Haiti huh?”
But the U.S. has not deployed troops to Haiti. The U.N. resolution proposed by the U.S. and Mexico that would authorize the mission is still being worked on, and has not yet passed.
“I strongly don’t believe that there is any kind of invasion taking place by the United States,” said Vanda Felbab-Brown, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution. “In fact, the United States has not been keen on sending U.S. troops to Haiti at all.”
Reached for comment Thursday, the U.S. Department of State referred the AP to comments made by spokesperson Vedant Patel at a Tuesday briefing. Patel said at the briefing that the U.S. hopes the U.N. Security Council will unanimously support the resolutions and that he had no “timeline to offer.” He added that the mission would “improve the security situation and enable the flow of desperately needed humanitarian aid.”
Two resolutions concerning Haiti are being considered by the U.N. The first would enact sanctions against the influential gang leader Jimmy Chérizier, nicknamed “Barbecue.” The second, which is still being worked on, would authorize a “non-U.N.” mission that would be led by “a partner country,” according to U.S. Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield, who made the announcement on Monday at an emergency meeting of the U.N. Security Council. The mission would have a mandate to use military force if necessary.
“This would be a limited, carefully scoped, non-UN mission led by a partner country with the deep and necessary experience required, with whom the U.S. could find ways to support,” Patel said.
Daily life in Haiti began to spin out of control in September just hours after the prime minister said fuel subsidies would be eliminated, causing prices to double, the AP reported. Gangs blocked the entrance to the Varreux fuel terminal, leading to a severe shortage of fuel at a time when rising prices have put food and fuel out of reach of many Haitians, clean water is scarce, and the country is trying to deal with a cholera outbreak. And political instability in Haiti has simmered since last year’s still-unsolved assassination of Haitian president Jovenel Moïse.
The Security Council vote on the resolution authorizing sanctions against Chérizier was called for Wednesday afternoon but has been postponed for a few days, the AP reported.
A spokesperson for the U.S. mission to the U.N. referred the AP to Thomas-Greenfield’s comments on Monday.
Since the early 1900s, there have been at least three major foreign military interventions in Haiti led by the U.S. and the U.N. The U.N.’s 2004-2017 peacekeeping mission was marred by allegations of sexual assault by its troops and staffers and the fact that peacekeepers from Nepal were blamed for introducing cholera into Haiti’s largest river in October 2010 by sewage runoff from their base, the AP reported.
Characterizing this newest potential intervention as an invasion is an “oversimplification,” said Robert Fatton, a professor specializing in Haitian politics at the University of Virginia. However, he added that the “vast majority of Haitians kind of have a love-hate relationship with the United States and they don’t want an intervention.”
“It’s very complicated because previous interventions have really failed to change the situation in Haiti,” Fatton said.
Opponents claim Henry hopes to use foreign troops to keep himself in power – a leadership he assumed last year after Moïse’s killing and that many consider illegitimate because he was never elected or formally confirmed in the post by the legislature.
“We’ve had consistent protests,” said Chantalle F. Verna, an associate professor of history and international relations at Florida International University. “There’s been clear pushback and reference to the standing government as an illegitimate government.”
This is part of AP’s effort to address widely shared misinformation, including work with outside companies and organizations to add factual context to misleading content that is circulating online. Learn more about fact-checking at AP.
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