user preferences

New Events

Central America / Caribbean

no event posted in the last week

Nobel Laureate: Haitian leader’s plan to restore disbanded army an “error”

category central america / caribbean | imperialism / war | non-anarchist press author Thursday December 08, 2011 17:23author by Associated Press Report this post to the editors

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti — Nobel laureate Oscar Arias has advised Haitian President Michel Martelly that it would be an “error” to restore the disbanded army, according to a letter delivered to presidential offices on Monday.

In the two-page letter dated Nov. 28, the two-time president of Costa Rica tells Martelly that armed forces in the region have records of thwarting progress and quashing democratic values, and that the $25 million Martelly has proposed for the new military should be invested in education, health and strengthening other institutions.

“I seek not to show disrespect for the sovereignty of a sister nation, but simply to share advice I see written on the wall of human history,” Arias wrote in the letter shared with The Associated Press. “In Latin America, most armies are enemies of development, enemies of peace and enemies of freedom.”

The Haitian army was disbanded in 1995 because of its history of abuse, a move that was applauded by Arias’ own foundation.

First-time politican Martelly said he wants to fulfill a campaign pledge of reviving the army in an effort to restore national pride. He also envisions a force that will patrol Haiti’s porous border with the neighboring Dominican Republic, protect the environment and respond to natural disasters.

But the United States and Canada have said that the money for the military would be better spent on strengthening the police force, which has 8,000 officers in a country of 10 million. Canada added that it wouldn’t help pay for the new military and that Haiti has more pressing needs as it struggles to recover from the 7.0 magnitude earthquake almost two years ago.

Martelly later conceded that Haiti had other priorities, namely improvements to the country’s health care and education sectors, but that he stills sees a need for the armed force.

Martelly last month announced that he would form a commission to define the agenda of the military but that has yet to materialize.

In his letter, Arias turns to history to show why he believes Haiti doesn’t need an army. He notes how Costa Rica was once bordered by two countries with dictatorships but its absence of an army, he wrote, allowed the nation to be viewed as an ally.

And since 1995, when Costa Rica’s neighbor, Panama, disbanded its army, the two nations have shared “the most peaceful border in the world,” wrote Arias, who won a Nobel Peace Prize in 1987 for his peacemaking efforts in Central America.

“It is not by chance that these two countries also have the most successful economies in Central America, because the money we once spent on our armies is (now) invested in the education of our children and the health of our citizens,” Arias wrote.

He added: “To reinstall the army would be an error, and that is why I cannot keep silent.”

Martelly spokesman Lucien Jura couldn’t be reached for comment Monday night.

Related Link:
This page can be viewed in
English Italiano Deutsch
Revista "Socialismo Libertário" num. 2

Latest News

Central America / Caribbean | Imperialism / War | en

Sat 19 Apr, 22:36

browse text browse image

img_0001wb.jpg imageOctober 19th Mobilization against UN troops in Haiti 16:49 Fri 21 Oct by Batay Ouvriye 0 comments

72a2d82c4bd14e14f80e6a7067000da2.jpg imageEnough is enough: let us all demand an end to the UN occupation of Haiti (29th February 2012) 16:27 Mon 17 Oct by Various Authors 0 comments

35224_114775465236655_100001126067519_82272_7402679_n1.jpg imageCosta Rica: No cheeks left to turn 00:18 Thu 05 Aug by Colectivo La Libertad 2 comments

460_0___30_0_0_0_0_0_pwen_6.jpg imageHaiti: workers take over Flag Day (May 18th) 23:20 Sat 12 Jun by Batay Ouvriye 0 comments

demokrasi_popile_1.jpg imageSolidarity with the Haitian people! No to militarisation! 06:06 Wed 24 Feb by Comité Democrático Haitiano en Argentina 0 comments

dscf0017.jpg imageReport on the Haiti Solidarity Day demo (Dublin) 19:58 Thu 08 Feb by Paddy Rua 7 comments

haitis.gif imageThe UN’s Christmas present to Haiti -- Assault on Sité Soley 06:49 Tue 26 Dec by Haiti Action 2 comments

02.jpg imageUN whitewashes massacre amid new attacks in Haiti 01:33 Mon 16 Jan by HIP 0 comments

pwen_1.png imageHaiti: On the January 9 (2006) Strike 20:22 Sun 08 Jan by BO 3 comments

pwen.png imageOn the Haitian Elections 19:27 Sun 08 Jan by BO 0 comments

more >>

Opinion and Analysis

imageMartelly’s (s)election in Haiti: dance to the sound of Duvalierism! Aug 02 by José Antonio Gutiérrez D. 3 comments

imageBaby Doc returns to Haiti: the Duvalier Restoration Jan 19 by José Antonio Gutiérrez D. 0 comments

imageThe Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and the UN Occupation in Haiti Nov 03 by B.O. Solidarity Network 0 comments

imageNo to US/Imperialist Occupation of Haiti Aug 02 by BO Solidarity Network 0 comments

imageWhy We Should Oppose the U.S. Occupation of Haiti Apr 20 by John Reimann 0 comments

more >>
© 2005-2014 Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by [ Disclaimer | Privacy ]