BBC Home
Explore the BBC
BBC News
Launch consoleBBC NEWS CHANNEL
Last Updated: Friday, 5 March, 2004, 21:42 GMT
What next for Haiti?
The US State Department says the rebels in Haiti do not have a role in the political process following President Jean-Bertrand Aristide's departure.

The comments in Washington were made in response to a declaration by the rebel leader, Guy Philippe that he had become Haiti's new military chief.

Earlier, deposed president Aristide made a claim he was "forced to leave" the country by US military forces.

The White House, US defence officials and the State Department have denied the allegations.

Are you in Haiti? What are you witnessing? What do you think is going to happen next? Send us your views and experiences.

The following comments reflect the balance of opinion we have received so far:

Aristide betrayed the immense hopes of his long-suffering people
Daniel, Managua, Nicaragua
Nicaraguan not-so-distant history resembles that of Haiti today. Aristide betrayed the immense hopes of his long-suffering people. It's good he's gone. Peacekeepers and foreign aid may help, and foreign armies should go there and stay long to prevent a bloodbath by unsavoury characters, but the real solution for Haiti lies in good Haitians who will work for every other Haitian, not for themselves. What Haiti needs is to become a true nation.
Daniel, Managua, Nicaragua

Let the Haitians decide what they want for their country. If they need or want outside aid, they can ask for it.
Antonio Perez, San Diego, California U.S.A.

President Aristide shouldn't have left Haiti. He should of stay until 2006.
Linda, Worcester, USA

I am relieved that Aristide's lawless rule has ended. I hope that the majority of Haitians both in Haiti and abroad will put their political differences a side and focus on the country's best interest. I sincerely believe as long as there is peace, stability, and rule of law in Haiti; it can move in the direction of progress and growth for all its citizens
Edwin, Atlanta, USA

Haiti has long been the poorest country in the western hemisphere with high rates of illiteracy and very little experience with democratic institutions. The world must EXPECT political instability and violence in such a place until some of the gross economic imbalances are addressed and basic education is provided.
Tom Hunsberger, Canadian in Mexico

If Haitians earn less than $1 a day, then let's blame predominantly US multinationals who rely on the cheapest labour in the subcontinent. The anti-Aristide rebels are led by the same people who backed former dictator Duvalier.
Neil Gardner, Dunfermline, Scotland

The brave, long-tormented people of Haiti deserve a great deal of international grassroots solidarity and support
Zeljko Cipris, Stockton, California
What next for Haiti? A temporary return to unqualified domination by the US, France, the local elite, and its repressive apparatus. In the short term, the rich will grow richer and the poor poorer. The long term prospects may be brighter, especially if the movement for global justice continues to gather strength. The brave, long-tormented people of Haiti deserve a great deal of international grassroots solidarity and support.
Zeljko Cipris, Stockton, California

Nothing will change in Haiti. A dictator will be replaced by a "champion of the people" who will soon be corrupted by power and become as bad as his predecessor. American and foreign troops will stay a year or two until their governments declare Haiti is stable and then will be brought home until the cycle begins again.
Scott Westwood, Port Orchard, USA

Aristide is claiming that he was forced to leave by American diplomats and Marines, and is being kept against his will under guard in the Central African Republic, surrounded by French and American soldiers. He insists he did not resign, but was the victim of a US-led coup.
Nerissa Russell, Ithaca, NY, USA

Aristide should have been asked to leave much earlier
Anis Mohiuddin, Calcutta, India
This action has come a bit late. Aristide should have been asked to leave much earlier, well before the rebels started taking the law into their own hands.
Anis Mohiuddin, Calcutta, India

This is democracy the American way. First back or install a president, then force him to quit. Have we seen this before? What a disaster!!
Hakim, Montreal, Canada

The US should just take over Haiti and make it a territory, like Puerto Rico. It may cost us, but in the end the stability in the Caribbean would be worth it.
Dan, Williamsburg, VA

As a Haitian I am deeply humiliated and saddened at what has happened to my country. Like it or not Aristide was democratically elected. If this can happen in Haiti it can happen anywhere. The world should take note of what America has done.
Emerald, Les Cayes, Haiti

Aristide should have been asked to leave much earlier
Anis Mohiuddin, Calcutta, India
This action has come a bit late. Aristide should have been asked to leave much earlier, well before the rebels started taking the law into their own hands.
Anis Mohiuddin, Calcutta, India

As a Haitian I am deeply humiliated and saddened at what has happened to my country. Like it or not Aristide was democratically elected. If this can happen in Haiti it can happen anywhere. The world should take note of what America has done.
Emerald, Les Cayes, Haiti

This is democracy the American way. First back or install a president, then force him to quit. Have we seen this before? What a disaster!!
Hakim, Montreal, Canada

The US should just take over Haiti and make it a territory, like Puerto Rico. It may cost us, but in the end the stability in the Caribbean would be worth it.
Dan, Williamsburg, VA

I am hesitant to give my more anti-American friends fodder for their canons, but my governments handling of Haiti has been deplorable. 300 miles from the US and one of the most savagely poor nations on earth and we simply collect Haitians at sea, and return them home. Hardly a policy.
Philip H., Atlanta, USA

Enough is enough. Let Haiti evolve as it will
Norman G Mowling, Essex England

Enough is enough. Let Haiti evolve as it will. The US keeps interfering in so many arenas and I fail to see any satisfactory results. They wade in, wade out and ergo, everything is the same, sooner or later.
Norman G Mowling, Essex England

How many people here would risk their own life to bring "peace" to Haiti. Let these people figure out their own problems, the US has too much influence in Latin America.....and Latin America has too much influence in the US.
Peter, Monterrey, Mexico

Where is Jean Bertrand? Hasn't he some corruption charges to answer for?
Ricardo, Brazil

Where is Jean Bertrand? Hasn't he some corruption charges to answer for?
Ricardo, Brazil

What's next for Haiti? What a simple question that can be answered with two words: more poverty.
Jack, USA

Not being an expert on Haitian affairs, I do not see what a rebel group which calls itself "Cannibal Army" can offer the people that a democratically elected president could not.
Andy, Canada

Shame on France, Canada and especially the USA, for their complicity in the overthrow of a duly elected president.
Guy A Azza, USA

For any type of peaceful, organized society you need a population dedicated to those ends. Haiti has had something like 30+ coups within the last century. All the money, manpower and resources in the world cannot force civilization and democracy on those who cannot grasp the concept.
Lisa, USA

It is good that military forces are going to ensure proper security amid chaos. Perhaps once the security is established, the economy may start to bounce back. An additional comment, everyone always wants to blame the business elite in Haiti for all its problems. There are business elite in every country in the world and at the same time this group of individuals fuel the economy by investing in the country. For all those who blame the business people, when was the last time you invested in Haiti or fuel the local economy?
Olivier, New York

I think his departure shows that he is truly not fit to be the President of Haiti.
Umar Sani Maikudi, Kaduna, Nigeria

I am convinced Haiti is really a country that has never gotten off the ground
Court Fisk, Attleboro, Massachusetts

Having met quite a few Haitian people on mission work tours to the Dominican Republic (buildings hospitals, churches,) and heard their incredible stories I am convinced Haiti is really a country that has never gotten off the ground, and has never had any reason to either, unfortunately. Like many southern African countries Haiti is a place more people are trying to get out of then into.
Court Fisk, Attleboro, Massachusetts

Time for the Caribbean countries to realise that the road to peace and prosperity is for them to unite into a region wide country, share bureaucracy, resources and utilities and crackdown on the evil corruption that ruins their lives.
Andrew, London UK

People joke about there being no oil and the US cornering the banana market, but the plain fact that is ignored by the media which explains the US policy of interference and embargo in Haiti is simple: Haiti is the closest neighbour to Cuba.
Gregory W, Santa Rosa, California USA

How long is it going to take the political elite to learn that real power belongs to the people
Christian Sanusi, Freetown, Sierra Leone

How long is it going to take the political elite to learn that real power belongs to the people. Now that he is no longer part of the show, the people should come together and work for a better and decent life through development.
Christian Sanusi, Freetown, Sierra Leone

Haiti needs a good authoritative figure, a good general who can be respected and can lay plan toward democracy. Democracy can not be respected in a country where people are hungry and have no shelters. Humanitarian aids and building infrastructure are the best basis for democracy in Haiti.
Robert Bouloute, Dekalb, USA

Well, it's not so much "what next for Haiti?" but more what next for the region. The coup in Haiti has already had an impact in Venezuela as people there now see that it is possible for the people to remove a tyrant who is adamant that he'll never leave.
Guillermo Power, UK

The sudden disgraceful departure of the President of Haiti is a welcome development, I hope other corrupt leaders all over the world would take a clue from this and have a change of heart and govern their people responsibly.
Timson Ndupuechi, Jos Nigeria

Removing a democratically-elected leader by force is a very dangerous precedent for Haiti and the world. Also, anyone following this situation sees its inherent contradiction - this was choreographed, not spontaneous. Victory to the people!
Paul, Florida, USA

Haiti is under the World's eyes... for how long?
James Leeson, Chelmsford

As a former regular visitor to Port-au-Prince I can say that the re-elevation of Aristide to President (supported by the US) was a disaster in the making. Haiti is under the World's eyes... for how long? A couple of weeks? To re-build this proud and quite beautiful country will take a truly monumental effort and I fear that we will see further coup d'etats before that goal is even partly achieved.
James Leeson, Chelmsford, UK

I have been monitoring the situation in Haiti religiously, as I sponsor a seven year old girl, through Plan International. At present Plan gas had to suspend their work, due to the increase in violence. There is also a shortage of food and medical supplies. A lot of the villages are reliant on Plan and I fear for Shirley and her family, who when I last heard from them, were sick. Their village is one of the lucky ones, as it has a medical centre but when supplies run out, what then?
Catherine Ruffy, London, England

This is the perfect example to let big countries know that democracy can't be brought in like a piece of luggage as Clinton did in 1994. Clinton thought at that time by putting Aristide in power the problem was solved.
Celette, Port-au-Prince

I'm a proud Haitian; however, my question is why can't my people see that the cost of our independence is not lucrative. We have been an independent country for over 100 years and realistically speaking, at what cost? We've lost much more than we've gained. I think that it's time that America did us the best favour known to mankind and just take over Haiti.
Maggie Stjean, Orange

The way he had organized and armed so many gangs, apparently without any idea that they may turn those guns against him one day, tells how foolish he is
Junie Hyacinthe, Port-au-Prince

We will miss the chief of all the gangsters. We do understand Mr A has bought many peoples souls. Those are no more independent thinkers .They cannot think without him. To me, Mr A was a shame to the country from the beginning. He has sold our country to gangs. I am ashamed of him. He was not able to lead the country any where. His vision is very short, as for now and here.

The way he had organized and armed so many gangs, apparently without any idea that they may turn those guns against him one day, tells how foolish he is. I think he does not have any moral answer to any issue. He believes in sorcery and thinks magic and money can control every body. Any way those people who had their mind controlled by him have no chance but to be and to think like Zombies. At last, thanks to you, the US, for cleaning your mess.
Junie Hyacinthe, Port-au-Prince, Haiti

It's very upsetting and I'm scared for them
Marie, Jensen Beach

My parents, siblings and relatives live in Port-au Prince. I've been in contact with them everyday since the crisis started and, yesterday, they said that they were practically prisoners in their own homes. Going out was dangerous because the 'chimeres' were all over, they said. I suggested that maybe they needed to head to a safer part of the city but taking the car would be too risky I was told.

They're worried about their food supply going down since the stores remain closed in the area but, they can't really do anything but pray and hope that things will get better soon. When I asked irritated why didn't they buy supplies in large quantities they replied that it would draw attention and put them in danger if they walked the streets or got in a car with big bags.

It's very upsetting and I'm scared for them. Very scared.
Marie, Jensen Beach, Florida, USA

I worked in Haiti and during that whole period I had the feeling that Haiti should be under UN rule in order to restore all essential government services but most of all to restore confidence of the population in the countries' administration.
Wim van Campen, Amsterdam, Holland

I am personally affected by the situation in Haiti. My husband is originally from Haiti and last week his grandparents' house was burned down by a group of thugs. Luckily they survived, but please do not think that this is an isolated event. Unfortunately, this type of terror is becoming widespread in Haiti.
Daneen Paultre, Glen Allen, VA, USA

The departure of President Aristide will leave a vacuum that will be very hard to fill
Georges, Cayes, Haiti

The departure of President Aristide will leave a vacuum that will be very hard to fill. Haiti, once again, did not pass the democratic test. We all miss the boat.
Georges, Cayes, Haiti

Now is the time for peace keepers to go to Haiti and make sure that people get the food and medication they need. Also make sure that they can defend there own equipment. Have international aid from Canada go in. And not only 9 troops but enough to keep stability in al parts of the country.
Alfred, Oxford Mills Canada

Aristide's departure was planned long ago. 1991 - A Bush in the White House, 2004- again a Bush in the white. Just something to think about.
J Stephen, Bahamas

Saving lives is the priority. They can figure out the rest as they go along but right now people are dying. It's a pity we as Caribbean countries are so poor and needy ourselves - otherwise we would go to the rescue of our Haitian brothers and sisters ourselves, instead of waiting on the super powers who do nothing, unless it is in their own interests.
Yvonne Chin, Jamaica

To Yvonne Chin, Jamaica: As a Haitian I need to thank you for your kind words towards Haiti and Haitians. We have a chronic problem and the solution is not near. Our name says it, anywhere you turn we have the HATE with us (Haiti = Hate and Haitian = Hate its own). Could we change the name of this country?
Pastor Pedro, Miami, Florida

HE'S GONE!!!!!! Yeah!!! Maybe the country can become what it should be, the jewel in the crown of the Caribbean!
Chris Russon, Haiti

The US placed Aristide in power when most of Haiti did not want him... that in itself says a whole lot. At the same time Haitians fleeing the conflict need to know that there will be granted asylum. Why should they be turned away, are they not refugees too?
Aletha, Barbados, WI

The world should have done more a long time ago
Bukowsky, Santiago, Chile

The world should have done more a long time ago. We all knew for a long time that Haiti was the poorest nation in South America. Troubles were predictable and now it's too late and too little. They should now solve it between themselves.
Bukowsky, Santiago, Chile

The US doesn't pay 27% of the UN's peacekeeping budget for nothing. I would like to know where the UN peacekeepers are?
Justin Hughes, Tacoma, US

I am shocked by the indecision of the international community and the turning back of refugees to the US. It seems we have learnt nothing from Rwanda, we just watch and debate knowing full well that the longer we leave it, the less likely we have to do anything, because the people who need our help will be dead. Shame on us all
Dee, Wales

Why the UN has not sent already a military force to Haiti? What they are waiting for? A bloodshed.!
Ítalo Cavalcanti, Fortaleza, Brazil

As a Haitian and after seeing all the corrupted governments, the only solution for Haiti now is having a multi-international force established in the country. No matter what new government we can have, it will be the same chaos in a few years. So we need a foreign country to establish in Haiti and rebuilt the country.
Louis Phillipe, Haiti

What should the world do? Well wait and see another blood bath because there are no interests such as oil, coal or nuclear.
Mohamed, Maldives

The UN must intervene before is too late
Pedro, Santo Domingo, DR
As a Dominican, I'm deeply concerned for my neighbours to the west. Haiti is falling into utter chaos and the Dominican Republic is in no condition to assist it or withstand its turmoil, as DR is going through the economical hardship of this neo-conservatism era. Haiti lamentably cannot help itself. The UN must intervene before is too late.
Pedro, Santo Domingo, DR

The international community should help President Jean-Bertrand Aristide by sending an international armed force to disarm the armed groups. The police force should be upgraded. We count on you (international community) for help because this is the globalisation era.
Michelet Thenor, Dorchester, Ma, USA

Aristide was elected in Haiti in 1991. Who was president of the USA then and what did we have to do with it? We need to ask the Haitians what they need now and at least get them humanitarian aid.
Ingrid S, Seattle USA

Send in Canadian troops. The bi-lingual, globally respected peacekeepers are what is needed in this escalating crisis.
John, Vancouver, British Columbia

The Haitians did not want Aristide. They removed him. The United States returned him with an army in 1994. Since then, the situation in Haiti has been deteriorating. (Murders, kidnappings, rapes, no free press.) In November, a relative of mine was kidnapped. The kidnappers requested thousands of US dollars to release her. Fortunately, she was released. Aristide has to go. The United States should take back their mistake.
Mireille Leonard, New York, USA

The people of Haiti need hope, water, medicine, food, and a future
Karen, Novi, MI, USA
On a recent mission trip to Haiti, I visited schools built by churches in rural areas. These schools were overcrowded with children pre-school through to teenaged. They were "privileged" children who could afford to attend school (walking miles to do so), who would receive a meal of rice (often their only meal of the day), and not spend the day walking to and from sources of water, carrying water, gathering something to fuel a fire, or sit and watch life in abject poverty and hunger. Not one of the children even knew the United States less the rest of the world. Their smiling eyes and hopeful faces haunt me midst this turmoil. The people of Haiti need hope, water, medicine, food, and a future.
Karen, Novi, MI, USA

I fail to see what good the international community can do. Sad, but unfortunately true.
Richard Holding, Liverpool, UK

I was in Haiti on the 25th of February and personally witnessed thugs taking personal property from tourists and Haitians at roadblocks on the way to the airport while the police looked the other way. Aristide must go to save the country.
Eliezer Regnier, Nassau, Bahamas

An international force should be sent but Aristide should resign first.
Marlene Jean-Jacques, Plantation, Florida

Aristide has already shown a willingness to compromise. That is a very good sign. The rest of the world should be extremely wary of the remnants of the bloody Duvalier dictatorships among the anti-Aristide coalition. There is no coherent, democratic alternative to Aristide. Power-sharing is an excellent idea and the rest of the world should take an active part in helping Haiti out of this crisis. US diplomats should make a strong effort to bring about a working coalition.
Topi Lappalainen, Finland

I believe that the United States government should grant political asylum to Haitian refugees. It has been doing this for decades for Cubans, and right now I believe that the Haitians are suffering from a far worse political situation than the Cubans. Oh wait, I forgot, they're not fleeing communism ...
Ian, Newark, Delaware, USA

The US needs to step up to ensure that no more civilians die
Fawne Arriaga, Arlington, VA
This is not the time to shy away from intervening in what has become a state of emergency. The US needs to step up to ensure that no more civilians die for political reasons or otherwise.
Fawne Arriaga, Arlington, VA

The UN along with Aristide and the opposition should get together and set a time for Aristide to step down and set up a transitional government that will take over until democratic elections can be conducted.
Adeyinka Adebayo

The truth is that there is not enough accurate information coming out of Haiti to make an informed decision what to do. That being said...pump humanitarian aid into the country while we keep our troops out.
Matthew, Wilmington, OH, USA

Don't wait until it is too late. If the USA and France wait until a new government is in power it is already too late. They should intervene before the civil war reaches Port au Prince.
Ruben Wedel, Bonn, Germany

I think that the US should force Aristide to step down.
Henry Esteve, Haiti

The US had a role to play in putting Jean-Bertrand Aristide in power
David Hendrick, San Diego, California, USA
I think foreign governments should do as much as possible to stabilise life for the civilians, but not at the cost of getting involved militarily. The US had a role to play in putting Jean-Bertrand Aristide in power, it wasn't the will of the Haitian people. We should stop meddling in foreign countries' domestic affairs!
David Hendrick, San Diego, California, USA

Unfortunately someone needs to intervene to stop the chaos. The US has dominated Haitian politics for generations, and so bears primary responsibility for stabilising the situation. If the USA intervenes in Haiti, it could demonstrate that the "Bush Doctrine" of democratic nation building is genuine as Haiti is desperately poor and has no oil or other valuable resources to control.
Charley Kellermann, Portland, OR, USA

Aristide must resign. He tried to crush the opposition, but now Carter, Clinton and the UN cannot longer help him to keep power. Perhaps the French government can save him by letting him to stay in France with Duvalier.
Edgardo, Santiago, Chile

Mediators are usually only effective when most concerned parties seek their assistance. Otherwise the mediators are often viewed as taking a side and become targets for any other side. Thus, unless you believe that international intervention is required to prevent genocide or a major humanitarian disaster, you probably should conclude that it is not yet time to "step in".
Bruce Broker, Madison, WI, USA

Once again the people of Haiti have to put up with a dictator. They must decide what to do and how they want their country to be governed, not the US or the UN. It's time for the people of Haiti be free and the world has to remember that freedom does not come without sacrifice.
Darri Edvardsson, Mosfellsbaer, Iceland

I think that the president of Haiti should step down and give someone else a chance to see what they can do. The international community must strongly recommend that he leaves the country.
Natasha Glasgow, St Vincent & the Grenadines

I believe that the international community has waited too long before stepping in. Now is the time to come to the rescue of the Haitian people. However, that does not mean coming to the aid of Aristide.
Jean Marceau Lohier, Washington, DC/VA, USA

Let the Haitians solve Haiti's problems
J. Neyra, London, UK
The answer is simple and straight forward - nothing. This is an internal affair of Haiti, with no consequences for the rest of the world. If only one member of an international intervention force died, it would be one more than necessary. Let the Haitians solve Haiti's problems.
J. Neyra, London, UK

One just has to visit Haiti to see the problems first hand. Overpopulation, no birth control, natural resources stripped bare without any sort of conservation or renewal. The large tourist industry has vanished over the years due to the turmoil. To survive, they will have to rely almost completely on outside assistance for years.
Tommy, Fort Worth, USA

On the other side of the Island, the Dominican Republic has established itself as a competitive clothing and textile manufacturing power. Why hasn't Haiti been able to do the same? Because unlike Haiti, the US has struck a deal with the D.R. to have low tariffs to no tariffs on their exports. Perhaps Haiti would be better off if the EU had such policies to promote a more stable economy.
KM, Washington DC

Stay out of it. This is primarily a fight between Aristide and the organized gangsters who he paid to enforce his reign, who he supposedly double-crossed. There is no "right" side. The Haitian people lose out no matter who wins.
Jeremy, Regina, Canada

Ultimately, nothing outsiders can do will resolve the crisis in Haiti. The only effective response to state failure - and that is precisely what Haiti has been for most of its history - must come from the citizens of the failed state itself who must take responsibility for their fate. With America's military already stretched thin and the national interests of no major power at stake, the only thing the international community should do - and the only course of action that is ultimately practical - is to prevent the turmoil from spilling beyond Haiti's confines, while giving the Haitian people the time to sort things out themselves.
Dr. J. Peter Pham, New York City, USA

For the good of the country, Mr. Aristide should step down. He has been an incompetent non-democratic leader who was returned to power only because he knows how to say what he thinks western leaders what to hear. But, Mr. Aristide has never ruled in a democratic manner and has never subscribed to capitalism, the two fundamental notions that Haiti so desperately needs to implement in order to advance. He has been a miserable failure.
Nadia Biassou, Virginia, USA

International intervention rarely resolves such a crisis
Gavin Dow, Chicago, IL, USA
International intervention rarely resolves such a crisis, and inevitably the intervening organizations and nations wind up creating even more problems. Until the conflict reaches a point where there are war crimes being committed - genocide, mass murder of neutral civilians, etc. - the international community would do well to let Haiti determine its own future. I support, however, efforts to ensure that proper medical care is available in Haiti, and I expect neighbouring nations to be willing to take in refugees from the war, if necessary.
Gavin Dow, Chicago, IL, USA

Poor people will revolt ... it's natural.
Wayne, Canada

The decent thing to do is for a coalition to step in, stabilize the situation and move toward elections in a year or so. That way, worse bloodshed is averted and democracy gets a new chance.
Matthew van Bourgondien, East Hampton Ct USA

Aristide was deposed by an undemocratic coup. He was given a second chance by US intervention. He had a chance to make changes and lead Haiti to a better future, instead he choose to become a tyrant and rig his re-election. Let him fall, but be prepared to bring humanitarian supplies and aide the people in the reconstruction of their country.
B. Keller,

The question of US involvement in Haiti underscores the hypocrisy of our foreign policy. Why is it appropriate to force democracy on the Iraqis, but leave the Haitians to figure it out for themselves?
Todd, Chicago, IL

Let the Haitian people take care of their own problems. No one should try to save a dictator.
Pate Prosser, Eutawville, USA

As one of the poorest nations on this side of the Hemisphere, the situation in Haiti can only get worse. The world should assist only to achieve peace in any form as soon as possible.
Zak, Cleveland, USA

No country, including France, should be allowed to send troops into Haiti without clear authorization of the United Nations Security Council.
John Chik, Laguna Hills, CA

This is a chronic state of affairs that intervention cannot cure
David Myers, Warren, NJ
There is nothing to be done; this is a chronic state of affairs that intervention cannot cure. Only when conditions are such that domestic and foreign investors see acceptable risk in the creation of jobs can living standards improve, and this requires a political stance alien to this country's sad history.
David Myers, Warren, NJ

I think, it is better to leave Haiti alone. They don't threaten any other country, so it is their own business.
Mikhail Kononov, St Petersburg, Russia

The UN was created to take care of situations such as this. If it can't or won't it doesn't deserve to exist.
Curtis Ackeret, Germantown, WI USA

The international community doesn't want to help. Governments would rather see how this plays out then interfere. I don't have a problem with rebels overthrowing a corrupt government; i have a problem with rebels overthrowing a corrupt government without any plan of what to do after they win. These rebels are not an organized idealistic group, they seem to be angry ruffians. The rebels need a strong leader with a good plan to lead them, not armed bandits.
Chris Shepard, Philadelphia USA

The world should observe even-handed for a month or so and try to determine if the uprising is positive. If it leads to a desire for a democratic form of government, the world should move in and help with proper aid and resources. Otherwise, the UN should be called upon to settle the unrest and call for elections and a new government.
Eurith Rice, Newnan, GA, USA

This is the perfect time for the UN or EU to step in and show themselves willing and able to solve international crises. Does anyone really want the Bush administration to step in and worsen the situation? It's time for the international community to really become international and for people to stop relying on the US to solve problems. Granted this is a civil war, but there are innocent people dying and there are better ways to resolve the crisis than bloodshed.
Ricardo, Berkeley, CA, US

The true problem of Haiti is the elite which represents 1% of the population but controls more than 50% of the wealth of the country
Lereseau Dere, Orlando
People who do not know about the Haitian people and their history think that the actual events are because Aristide is the problem. Under the surface things are more complicated than that. The true problem of Haiti is the elite which represents 1% of the population but controls more than 50% of the wealth of the country Whenever the elite's dislike a leader they call on their right hand to get rid of it. Unfortunately Aristide gave them the pretext possible to play this scenario. Haiti will always be the same or worse as long as this corrupt business class exists.
Lereseau Dere, Orlando

I hear people say that Haitians must be committed to democracy, that they must vote instead of fight. But Aristide already stole the elections; he killed democracy in Haiti. This is a people's revolt: pure democracy in action.
Andrew, Philadelphia, USA

Why does everyone keep saying the US should intervene? Which side should we take? It's not a matter of there being no oil. The problem is that whichever side we take will be the "wrong" one. It is a civil war that we cannot and should not try to solve. They need humanitarian aid and investment in their economy. American troops would not be helpful. Also, why do people say it is France's fault? As someone wisely pointed out, Haiti has been independent for 200 years.
Melissa, United States

This is a situation where you are damned if you do and damn if you don't. Intervening would mean aiding a corrupt ruler who may not be as democratic as he claims. Not intervening would mean allowing chaos to reign. Since military intervention tends to be costly, why bother? Just make sure the violence doesn't spread beyond Haitian boarders. Sure this would be selfish, but it is also practical foreign policy, for any country.
Roger Wang, Memphis, TN USA

It is high time US stopped intervening in Haiti under the guise of international peacekeeping and stays away from Haitian politics. Haiti is a sovereign nation and has the right to take its own decisions. The US can start by stopping military aid to the rebels so that a proper democratic government can rule the country without pressure.
Suneeth, India

Haiti was a poor country for many years before Aristide, to blame their economic problem on him is absurd
Danielle, New York

Haiti was a poor country for many years before Aristide, to blame their economic problem on him is absurd. Maybe one can look at the sanctions placed on the people of Haiti by the US Government who claimed Aristide had fraudulent elections. Funny, no one placed sanctions on the US when Bush Jr. miraculously won the White House. Let's get the facts straight and pray that Aristide can finish his term to set a precedent of political stability in Haiti.
Danielle, New York

Bill Clinton used the US military to put a brutal dictator into power, now the people are revolting to remove him.
Richard T. Ketchum, USA

I don't think the US can logically do anything. Not only are they overextended in Iraq, but since they put Aristide back in power, it would look bad for them to help depose him. Even though the people of Haiti are in serious threat, never underestimate the power of American Pride. But then again, former allies like Bin Laden (when battling Russians in Afghanistan) and Saddam Hussein (when battling Iran)eventually hit the chopping block....
Wayne, Windsor, Canada

I was born and raised in Haiti. I find it interesting that the media fails to mention that Aristide is an EX-COMMUNICATED priest. He is evil to the core; and Clinton should NEVER have put him back into power.
Sharon, Seattle, WA USA

Democracy is new to this country
Bob Cox, Waynetown, IN, USA

Democracy is new to this country. Even though Aristide's government seems so corrupt, it is hard to support a coupe. In a democracy the Haitian people must learn change comes at the polls, not by violence. One more thought, several Haitians told me that the rebels chose this time to revolt because it is an election year in the US and Bush would be very reluctant to intervene. Who would be in charge if Aristide stepped down? The international community cannot allow the militant thugs to take over. They could not run the country in a civil manner.
Bob Cox, Waynetown, IN, USA

Being as that it was the USA, specifically the CIA, that put him into power just like Baby Doc (Duvalier) and Papa Doc before him. I'm pretty certain we'll do what we can to keep him in there. Then, just as he is removed by the people (as should be the case), the US will step in and take credit for the coup.
Jason, Columbus, Ohio

President Aristide needs to step down because he has not done anything for his country during his presidency. The international community including U.S. need to put pressure on him and ask that he resigns. The people of Haiti have suffered enough. 95% of the population is unemployed. What will it take for the International community to get involved? Do they want a civil war before they intervene?
Wanneh Clarke, Monrovia, Liberia

This is a fight the Haitian people need to fight on their own
Craig Lynch, Cadiz, Spain

This is a fight the Haitian people need to fight on their own. The support that should be given is in the form of sustenance only. Yes, there are rebels demanding better treatment. What else are they going to be termed as, "congress-members?" Some people who speak as though these rebels need only to be quelled, don't know a thing about insurrection. You would think that a member of the American government would know better than to refer to revolutionists as "thugs."
Craig Lynch, Cadiz, Spain

The U.S.A. was so willing to quell a dictator in Iraq, half way around the world, but now has no "enthusiasm" to help innocent people in our own backyard. The drug-traffickers taking over Haiti are 'terrorists' on the local level. They merely are not attacking US interests at this point. And so, the US is sending the message that terrorism is fine, so long is it does not effect us.
Joshua, NYC, USA

With eight million frustrated, hungry and mostly illiterate people, the international community must be prepared to establish the conditions that can address these burning issues, no band aid. If the international community can assume the responsibility to educate, feed, provide health care, water, electricity, roads and help strengthen civil institutions with long term plans for security and economic aid to put Haiti on a path to socio-economic development - then it is time to intervene.
Frantz, Miami, USA

We will only ever help if there exists some possibility that we can artificially install some power hungry, yet loyal (to us), puppet
Attica, USA

We will only ever help if there exists some possibility that we can artificially install some power hungry, yet loyal (to us), puppet who is willing to sell out his own people and rape their land and economy. If that potential future does not exist, we have no interest. After all, Haiti has been an instable country for many years, and their instability hasn't bled over into America.
Attica, USA

Haiti has no oil, so based on the Bush Manifesto no action is necessary.
Bob, Pittsburgh Pa

Developed nations, and the United States in particular, have the moral obligation to intervene in Haiti. But I fear that Haiti's lack of oil and political power in the capitalist world system will preclude any effective or timely action from the United States.
Myfanwy, Boston, MA USA

One thing is for sure: if the US steps in now we'll be vilified for trying to corner the banana market.
Steve Anthony, Raleigh NC, USA

Sovereignty is a privilege and its maintenance a burden of its people
Rick Eden, New York

Sovereignty is a privilege and its maintenance a burden of its people. It is their duty to control their own territory.
Rick Eden, New York

I am unsure if President Aristide of Haiti is just another corrupt politician, if he is honest but surrounded by corruption, or if he is simply not up to the job. It was amazing to me that he had nothing to say about the Haitian violence when he departed the country for the recent Caricom meeting. It smacked of a man who is convinced of the power of right and goodness but who is out of touch with political realities.
Gordon Jackson, Nanaimo, Canada

It's a shame that Haiti doesn't have oil or something else Bush thinks he needs, otherwise the 1st Airborne would have been deployed there long ago to end Aristide's reign. As for France intervening, I'll give them 48 hours from when they land until they find someone to surrender to.
Ian, Brit in USA

Aristide must go and Haiti does need help but US intervention has never done any good nor will it ever. The assistance of France and the UN is Haiti's best bet.
OP, New York

It's no use pouring tons of money into the pocket of only a few and hoping for the misery to end
Chris, New Jersey

As a proud Haitian I am not ashamed to affirm that our biggest problem was and always is education. Our leader have no clue what their doing, all the knowledgeable people are overseas and don't really care anyway.

All you have down there is a bunch of clowns that only care about the billions being given or borrowed to Haiti to instead spend toward their personal endeavours. I am surprised the international community never learn from that. Sometimes, I wonder do they really want to help?

I am not ashamed to say that we just can't do it on our own. If the UN wants to help I think they would do a better job providing the money and the people to work together with the Haitians to educate the people, to reconstruct the infrastructure, and help us to develop our economy.

It's no use pouring tons of money into the pocket of only a few and hoping for the misery to end.
Chris, New Jersey, USA

We, the Haitian people have suffered too much. Aristide should step down so that innocent people can stop dying.
Marie Hyppolite, Greenwich, Connecticut

From someone who lives in the Caribbean, mark my words, today it's Haiti, tomorrow it could be Jamaica or Trinidad
Jelani, Clarendon

It is absolute foolishness to say that the worst thing to happen to Caricom is the acceptance of Haiti as a member. Haiti was and still has the potential to be the jewel of the Caribbean. For the sake of humanity and in particular our black brothers and sisters in Haiti, Caricom must intervene and stop the escalation of violence. How can we talk of integration and Caribbean federation and refuse to assist each other in solving each others problems. From someone who lives in the Caribbean, mark my words, today it's Haiti, tomorrow it could be Jamaica or Trinidad.
Jelani, Clarendon, Jamaica

Haiti should be put on some type of UN auspices and governed for a period of time (5-10yrs). The problem is not leadership but poverty.
Robert Marecheau, Brooklyn

Have the Haitians asked the US and UK for help?
M. Blue, USA
Have the Haitians asked the US and UK for help? Haiti does need humanitarian aid, but at the same time, need to choose their own leader without Bremer telling them what kind of government he will let them have.
M. Blue, USA

The UN has had "representatives" working in Haiti since 1994, when US military forces finished their operations. Once again, the UN has completely failed.
Matt, Chicago, USA

If the government of Haiti was killing its citizens, then the UN would be obliged to step in. But this it the people of Haiti revolting against their government, in over words civil war. In which case they need to work this out for themselves.
Jason, Detroit, USA

Ah yes, Kofi Annan now says he has "extreme concern" over the situation in Haiti and may have a decision in the next few days. How many innocent Haitians will die in the time it takes the UN to decide what its role shall be? I hope the world will take note just how obsolete the UN has allowed itself to become.
John, US

It is possible for the Haitians to overrun Aristide and have a true revolution
Gigi, Ann Arbor

It is possible for the Haitians to overrun Aristide and have a true revolution. Why don't we give them a chance? Only the Haitian people can determine how to correct the wrongs that have occurred in their land and if this is the method they choose then let them. Involvement from outside sources may not be wanted, because to rely on an outsider would require payback and that is the last thing Haitians need to worry about when attempting to create a positive change in their own country.
Gigi, Ann Arbor, USA

The Western world is so eager to get involved when our interests are at stake - but when it is inconvenient we have no problem sitting back and watching our TV screens.
Chris Geoghegan, Vancouver, Canada

I hope that President Bush can make a brave decision this time again as he did in Iraq. Please intervene to help suffering people.
F Nakamura, Japan

Aristide should go! Haitians should solve their problems with the help of UN. But big brother USA and her allies should invest to make Haiti a Hong Kong of the Caribbean. No peace can be achieved without economic growth. Poverty is the second Satan; it corrupts the heart.
Manuel N Adamu Borico, Malabo, Equatorial Guinea

Haiti must do what Haiti must do.
Sharon Schafer, USA
My Haitian friends have told me for a decade that the place needs to bootstrap itself to normalcy. We have done enough. It has not worked. Haiti must do what Haiti must do...grow up and take charge.
Sharon Schafer, USA

The world should not stand by while the defenceless people of Haiti are being slaughtered. What are the world bodies there for? Why does it have to take human massacre for the world to pay attention?
Lovemore Mango, Dallas, Texas

The international community needs to do something, but it's a question of who has the credibility to do so. The Haitian people have had enough of puppet governments. Who will they trust to intervene, install and support a fair election, and then leave?
Steven Kite, USA

If Haiti does not find its own solutions to its problems, nothing will ever be settled and situations like this will flare up every few years. Time to let Haiti grow up and find its own way.
Ajana, Singapore, ex-UK

All this talk and no action - meanwhile, hell is about to break loose in Haiti.
Student, Boston, USA

The two parties should be allowed to negotiate utilizing the UN as the safe ground to do so. Negotiations will stop the bloodshed until a peaceful arrangement is made.
Dee, Stockholm, Sweden

If your neighbour's house is on fire you don't haggle over the price of the hose
Andy, Stoke-on-Trent

Of cause we should help in Haiti. If your neighbour's house is on fire you don't haggle over the price of the hose. Haiti is on fire. We should help regardless whether it's in our financial interests or not because we can.
Andy, Stoke-on-Trent, England

People do not revolt just for the sake of it, This is a sign that should be taken seriously. But then again, why would the international community care about Haiti? Unless they are not longer able to enjoy the sun and beaches and to take advantage of cacao and tobacco, the Caribbean region would never be in rich countries' agendas.
Esteban Dominguez, Dominican Republic

I just want to say that Aristide must go. He is a criminal. He must go.
Janinie, Haiti

Haiti should never have been admitted to Caricom. That was the grossest error ever.
CA Norman Archer, Bridgetown, Barbados

Something can be done and has to be done
Luc, France

It's a fact that international community cannot intervene in a country's political affairs (it seems that even the Americans begin to understand this). But can it let carnage happen without reacting, I don't think so. It has to intervene to enforce the dialogue between the two parts. Look at the French in Ivory Coast or the Brits in Sierra Leone, they have made the job of the UN in its name, and they have both avoided bloodshed. Something can be done and has to be done.
Luc, France

Haiti and its people of 200 years are an inspiration to black people the world over. Caricom should with the blessings of the currently elected government of Haiti, invade the island and restore order and peace for the interest of the people of Haiti. As a Jamaican and a citizen of Caricom, I believe we owe this to each other. We should not look to our former colonialists, as they do not have our best interest at heart. As people of African descent, it is full time to stop asking for hand-outs and solve our problems ourselves.
Jelani, Clarendon, Jamaica

The UN must intervene but should not negotiate power sharing to please power mongers but to create a conducive environment for Haitians to choose the leader of their choice. This will stop power mongers from causing problems for them to rise to power.
Eddie Sibiya, Durban, South Africa

How can people still try and blame the colonials (French?) The country has had independence for 200 years!
Ken, London

The world should tell Mr Aristide to step down
Anon, Port-au-Prince

The world should tell Mr Aristide to step down, people are dying, and the situation is starting to be very bad - lots of innocent people are going to die. He must step down has soon as possible to prevent a blood bath in the country.
Anon, Port-au-Prince, Haiti

Any intervention would be for purely humanitarian reasons, thus ruling out any help from the Bush regime. Unless the Haitians start dabbling in communism or radical Islam, or they suddenly strike oil, they won't get much attention from their rich neighbour.
Jon E

Why not let the Haitians solve their own problems. Why do we feel the need to rush in and police these people?
Charles, Montreal, Canada

Haiti needs some help before it turns into total chaos
P Nady, USA
Yes, but not to support either side. It's up to the Haitian people to decide their own fate after 200 years of independence. Haiti needs some help before it turns into total chaos. A little help for the international community will be welcome. After all didn't the Europeans rule this country in the 18th century, so did the Americans in the 20th. Therefore it will only fair to help now
P Nady, USA

The last thing the world needs is instability, particularly in either Europe's or America's backyards. How can NATO convince the world that it can restore peace and security in Central Asia and the Middle East if there is a continual instability issue in a small island off the coast of the US? Therefore, NATO must act in Haiti to demonstrate to the world that systemic instability and violence will be prevented or else large parts of the world risk losing control of their own state systems and returning to devolved and autonomous areas, with little international personality.
John Argus, Lyon, France

Let's bring in the UN! Send in another 200 peacekeepers. They're great at nation-building! They haven't failed in Haiti in like....6 years.
Jeff, USA

If Haiti risks becoming another anarchy state like Somalia, it is better to step in as soon as possible and help electing a more acceptable government.
Israel, Italy

No. Stop interfering in other countries affairs.
Lawrence, Zabbar, Malta

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


News Front Page | World | UK | England | Northern Ireland | Scotland | Wales | Politics
Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature | Technology | Health | Education
Have Your Say | Magazine | In Pictures | Week at a Glance | Country Profiles | In Depth | Programmes
Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific