haiti unity summit
Delegates at the Haiti Unity Summit in Louisiana on Jan. 13-17 included representatives from civil society coalitions in Haiti. (Twitter photo)

BATON ROUGE, LA — Organizers of an event dubbed Haiti Unity Summit say they brought together nine Haiti-based civil society groups and, in the process, nominated their own transitional Haitian government last weekend. But to many diaspora leaders and Haiti experts, the event’s outcome and the way it was organized are the type of actions likely to impede progress in solving Haiti’s problems – long term and immediate. 

“I am not sure what was the point of this meeting, especially that it seems to be engineered by an American military figure,” said Robert Fatton, a University of Virginia political science professor.

Fatton was referring to Russel Honore, a retired U.S. Army general who helped lead the Jan. 13-17 meeting. Participants also nominated economist Fritz Alphonse Jean as interim president, which further surprised many engaged Haitian-American leaders.

To view the full story, please subscribe to The Haitian Times. You can choose a $60 Annual Subscription or a $5 Weekly Pass.

When you join The Haitian Times family, you’ll get unlimited digital access to high-quality journalism about Haiti and Haitians you won’t get anywhere else. We’ve been at this for 20 years and pride ourselves on representing you, our diaspora experience and a holistic view of Haiti that larger media doesn’t show you. 

Join now or renew to get:
— Instant access to one-of-kind stories and special reports 
— Local news from our communities (especially New York and Florida)
— Profiles of Haitians at the top of their fields
— Downloadable lists and resources about Haitian culture 
— Membership merch, perks and special invitations 

First-time subscribers also receive a special welcome gift handmade in Haiti by expert artisans! Do it for the culture and support Black-owned businesses.

If you’re seeing this message but you’re already a subscriber, you can log in for immediate access to this story.

Sam is a reporter for The Haitian Times and a 2020 Report for America corps member. He has covered Haiti and its diaspora since 2018. His work has also appeared in USA Today, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review and Haiti Liberte. Sam can be reached at sam@haitiantimes.com or on Twitter @sambojarski.