A Brazilian Appeal: Help Haiti, Fast!

The Brazilian Minister of Defense, José Viegas, reinforced today the need for international aid to Haiti. “The effort made by Brazil on behalf of the preservation of international peace and security and on behalf of stability in Haiti necessarily demands a joint effort by other agents of the UN, contributors, and the Haitian government,” he said.

According to Viegas, Brazil – which maintains peace forces in Haiti – is asking the UN and the Haitian government to take these steps urgently.


“Brazil is demonstrating its dedication and desire to contribute to peace and security. Brazil does not feel isolated, but it is aware that the success of the operation requires a concerted effort involving the military component, which should be complemented, as well as the police aspect and the part that has to do with funding and Haitian social development,” he observed.


Viegas explained that there are projects that must be undertaken at once in the country, such as the restoration of the electric power network, the construction of roads, and the removal of debris from the capital, Port-au-Prince.


Viegas also declared that the crisis Haiti is undergoing is a complex matter that is not restricted to the military aspect.


He added that Brazil sent 1,200 troops and commands the military operation.


“The preparation of the Haitian police force needs to be accelerated. The plan was to prepare 1,622 members, but at this moment there are only a few more than 600.


“More police officers from various countries, not just Brazil, are needed to help in the training of the Haitian police,” he said.


Agência Brasil
Translator: David Silberstein

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  • Lloyd Cata

    Brazil & Haiti. Change or Status Quo?
    Haiti becomes a clear indication of how Mercosur will operate as a instrument for progress throughout Latin America and the Caribbean. Follow the US(and French) policies with regard to Haiti, considering the history(PapaDoc, etc). Of course, dooming this operation to failure only reinforces the claim the Mercosur itself is ineffective and should be disbanded.
    What is the excuse for US and France for the abject misery of Haiti? When did they pursue a course that would lift the Haitian people? Of course they can show you how much money they put, how much grain they donated, and how they do good in Haiti. Now they must only blame the Haitian people, and reinforce for everyone else that the status quo is all that is possible for such a miserable people.

    I had much hope for the Mercosur agreements to support Haitian self-determination. Haiti is one of the first democratic nations in the region, and the first slave nation to gain its freedom. The treachery of the Dominican Republic to facilitate Aristides removal and US policy stinks worse than the sewers of Port-o-Prince and will not be forgotten. If that behavior is acceptable to Mercosur, then agree to FTAA and WTO right now, because eventually you will find yourselves in the same pot.

    The use of Mercosur as a tool to continue the policies of US-France, which only prolongs the suffering of the Haitian people, is a calculated attempt to discredit Mercosur as an instrument for ‘change’ throughout the developing world. Use of Brazilian and other troops to enforce the status quo will be a shame to them throughout the world. If you are in favor of the status quo, then continue. If not, then somewhere the break between Anglo-European interests and Mercosur must break. The sooner the better, for Haiti and for Mercosur.

    The present situation is also inconsistent with Brazil’s commitment to the Non-Aligned Movement. The smell of this operation not only comes from Haiti, but from the impending death of Mercosur.

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