The June 5 editorial "A Battalion for Haiti" made inaccurate and unfair remarks about the U.N. Stabilization Mission in that country.
Brazil -- along with Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Ecuador, Paraguay, Peru and Uruguay -- has been doing a good job in carrying out the U.N. mandate to protect human rights and provide a secure and stable environment that can lead to free and fair elections in Haiti.
The stabilization mission had been supporting the Haitian police force in its efforts to disarm gangs. Most of the violent groups, however, are embedded in densely populated slums where access is difficult. The mission has had to be careful in its use of force, which could alienate the Haitians should innocent people be harmed.
The challenge in Haiti is to engage the international community not only in the security arrangements but also in the promotion of political dialogue and the acceleration of economic recovery. At the United Nations and other forums, Brazil has pressed for an acceleration of economic aid to Haiti. The security problem will not be solved without a fast injection of resources to improve the country's infrastructure and generate jobs. Regrettably, out of the $1.4 billion pledged for Haiti, only about $200 million has been disbursed by the major donors.
Brazil and the United States are working together to make sure that the stability mission is extended for another year and broadened to allow U.N. troops to be involved in improving Haiti's infrastructure. Brazil, for its part, is assigning 150 military engineers to that task.
Previous interventions in Haiti that were centered on the use of force failed to generate the conditions for lasting recovery and prosperity. Certainly, the use of force alone will not ensure free and fair elections this time either. Far from having failed, the work done so far by the mission is laying the groundwork for a successful international effort to help bring stability, democracy and development to the poorest nation in this hemisphere.
Embassy of Brazil
Regarding the June 5 editorial on Haiti:
The idea that Haiti needs any U.S. help to achieve peace is, at the least, ironic, considering that President Jean-Bertrand Aristide's "removal" last year was a U.S. proxy coup in the first place and the subsequent "interim government" in Haiti is a classic example of a U.S. puppet government.