The Haitian people must be allowed to elect a president, without further arbitrary delays, who can govern the country effectively, responsibly and democratically. Haiti’s current environment of political instability has allowed rival groups to use violence to intimidate the National Assembly and prevent it from doing its duty to replace the de facto government with an interim head of government with the sole mandate of completing the electoral cycle that was disrupted by violence earlier this year.
This instability is damaging the Haitian economy and destroying jobs, as it has sent a signal to local and international entrepreneurs that the government does not protect property and investment.
The international community should not tolerate the campaign of violence, threats and corruption that has left Haiti today at the mercy of unfit political leaders. Moreover, U.S. diplomatic recognition should be reserved for a Haitian government that complies with the constitution and respects democracy and the rule of law.
The State Department, UN Mission, the Organization of American States, and other friends of Haiti should support the independent, elected Haitian National Assembly as it chooses a legitimate provisional government as contemplated in the constitution, with the primary objective of completing the electoral cycle that began in 2015.
The United States already has invested billions of dollars in Haiti, much of it for humanitarian purposes. We will remain partners and assist our neighbor through our continued support in the health and economic development programs. However, U.S. tax dollars cannot be expected to continue to fund elections that end up being overturned because certain parties are dissatisfied with the outcome.
I support the administration's decision not to fund the upcoming October elections in Haiti. We also need to ensure that no U.S. funds are used in any way to support an illegitimate government in Haiti.
I remain committed to the well-being of the Haitian people, and it is my hope that they will soon be afforded the opportunity to flourish under a legitimate and democratic government.
U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., was first elected to the Senate in 2010.