This is dedicated to the few people I have heard mention that Haiti’s tragedy is Haiti’s problem. I consider you insensitive, uneducated, and elitist. In this so-called free market, the United States had a huge role in stripping Haiti of its democracy and empowering a right-wing extremist government who would comply with U.S. corporations’ interests of market deregulation.

Haiti has been controlled by outside powers ever since their slave rebellion in 1791. In 2004, President Bush took it upon himself to single-handedly strip Haitians of their democracy by sending American forces to abduct democratically elected President Aristide and his wife.

Randall Robinson, author of An Unbroken Agony goes as far as saying, “Bush was responsible for destroying Haitian democracy.” Our fear of a “radical” left-wing party and love of imposing laissez-faire policies on other countries goes further than party lines. Indeed, President Clinton favored “a program of economic development that supports the idea of sweatshops. Haitians in Haiti today make 38 cents an hour,” Robinson says. Not only did we oust the country’s President but we also imposed an economy that allows for the exploitation of workers, often children, and the environment.

Instead of solely pointing the finger at Haitian government failures, American media must look at who is meddling with Haiti’s freedom to elect their own President. Yes, they may choose someone that does not conform to American economic ideals, but if we claim to believe in a democracy, we must trust Haitians to elect their own leaders. We must look to who is responsible for arming dictators and impeding the largest party in Haiti from even being on the ballot!

Haiti’s tragedy is not just Haiti’s problem. The United States owes very much to this country.