Canada imposes new sanctions on Haiti
The President of the Senate, Joseph Lambert, and one of his predecessors in this position, Youri Latortue, are targeted by the Trudeau government.
Haitian National Police officers deploy tear gas during a protest demanding the resignation of Prime Minister Ariel Henry after weeks of shortages in Port-au-Prince, Haiti.
The Canadian government imposes new sanctions on two Haitian politicians, in collaboration with the United States.
The President of the Haitian Senate, Joseph Lambert, and one of his predecessors in this position, Youri Latortue, are targeted by these sanctions, in response to the unacceptable conduct of these politicians, who provide illicit financial and operational support to gangs armed, according to the intelligence agencies of Canada and the United States.
Transactions with these two politicians will be prohibited, which will have the effect of freezing any assets they may hold in Canada as in the United States, according to the office of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mélanie Joly.
“We believe these are two key people in breaking the link between the political elite and armed gangs. ”
— Mélanie Joly, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Canada
Ottawa and Washington are trying to destabilize what they call the Haitian political elite which they say supports and funds street gangs.
Armed gangs use politicians to increase their influence and politicians use street gangs to get rich. It is a vicious circle of corruption that we want to break, explained Minister Joly, in an interview with Radio-Canada.
But for the moment, the Canadian and American governments are not are unable to say whether the two Haitian politicians targeted by these sanctions have property or assets that could be targeted in these two countries.
The largest Haitian diaspora is in Miami and Montreal, says a government source who points out that the possibility of an economic link is important.
Since September, street gangs control access to essential commodities such as water, food and oil. Earlier this week, the Haitian National Police partially regained control of the Varreux port terminal in Port-au-Prince, a critical infrastructure for the country, including with the help of armored vehicles sent by Canada in October.
Minister Joly confided that Canada is working closely with the Haitian police, we offer them resources, intelligence, etc., and we will continue to do so.
The Americans want substantial involvement of Canada in Haiti and ask it to assume a leadership role in a possible international intervention force to stabilize the country.
Canada is currently advocating patience, in order to assess the situation on the ground and to ensure that a stabilization force would not be unwelcome by the population, if the latter considered it to be colonial external interference in Haitian affairs .
A Canadian assessment team has just returned from Haiti, where it learned about the security and humanitarian situation. She presented her report to the responsible ministers at an Incident Response Group meeting earlier this week.