Haiti's National Elections: Issues and Concerns [March 23, 2011]   [open pdf - 203KB]

"In proximity to the United States, and with such a chronically unstable political environment and fragile economy, Haiti has been a constant policy issue for the United States. Congress views the stability of the nation with great concern and commitment to improving conditions there. Both Congress and the international community have invested significant resources in the political, economic, and social development of Haiti, and will be closely monitoring the election process as a prelude to the next steps in Haiti's development. For the past 25 years, Haiti has been making the transition from a legacy of authoritarian rule to a democratic government. Elections are a part of that process. In the short term, elections have usually been a source of increased political tensions and instability in Haiti. In the long term, elected governments in Haiti have contributed to the gradual strengthening of government capacity and transparency. [...] The main priorities for U.S. policy regarding Haiti are to strengthen fragile democratic processes, continue to improve security, and promote economic development. Other concerns include the cost and effectiveness of U.S. aid; protecting human rights; combating narcotics, arms, and human trafficking; addressing Haitian migration; and alleviating poverty. State Department and USAID officials say that the Obama Administration regards Haiti as its number one priority in the Latin America and Caribbean region."

Report Number:
CRS Report for Congress, R41689
Public Domain
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