February 07, 2024

Van Hollen, Cardin, Durbin, Kaine, Merkley, Booker, Welch, Murphy Express Support for Democratic Governance in Haiti

U.S. Senator Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) joined Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, along with Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), and Senators Tim Kaine (D-Va.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Peter Welch (D-Vt.), and Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) in issuing a statement on what should have been Haiti’s Presidential Inauguration Day on February 7, 2024.

“Exactly 38 years ago, the Haitian people succeeded in expelling a dictator from their shores. Five years later, Haiti’s first democratically-elected president assumed office. Today should have marked the presidential inauguration of the first democratically elected Haitian leader since the assassination of Jovenel Moïse in July 2021 following commitments from the de facto government of Ariel Henry to hold elections in 2023 under the December 21 accord. However, rather than today being a celebration of Haitian democracy, continued waves of murders, kidnappings, and sexual assaults by violent gangs – often using U.S. made weapons – have made it impossible for the Haitian people to hold free, fair, and democratic elections.

“We stand in solidarity with the Haitian people who bravely and resiliently continue to aspire to create a safer, more economically prosperous, and democratic society. We urge the de facto government of Ariel Henry to take serious and concrete steps, alongside major opposition actors, to lay the groundwork for the creation of a transition consensus government capable of holding free and fair elections. We also urge the U.S. government and our partners in the international community to redouble efforts to support the Haitian people in sustainably addressing the country's ongoing security, governance, and humanitarian challenges. Only by doing so can we find a path forward to bring back peace and prosperity for all Haitians.”