Whither Haiti?

  • April 01, 1996
  • Dr Donald E Schulz

Dr. Donald E. Schulz looks at the prospects for political stability, democratization, and socioeconomic development. His conclusions are sobering. While by no means dismissing the possibility that Haiti can "make it," he presents a portrait of the imposing obstacles that must still be overcome and a detailed discussion of the things that could go wrong. In a nutshell, he argues that without a much greater willingness on the part of the United States and the international community to "stay the course" in terms of providing long-term security and socioeconomic aid, Haiti is unlikely to make a successful transition to a stable, democratic, economically modernizing nation. (Even with continuing assistance, the outlook will be problematic.) He argues that unless the United States and other foreign donors recognize this and do what is necessary to give the Haitian experiment a better chance to succeed, the "tactical success" that has been enjoyed so far will sooner or later be transformed into a "strategic failure." His policy recommendations, in particular, deserve close scrutiny.