Letters to the Editor

Haiti elections

It was interesting to read Roger Noriega’s March 12 opinion piece, Haiti’s politicians are the ones accountable in election chaos, in which he credits Sen. Marco Rubio with leading a “bipartisan group in the U.S. Congress calling for fair and transparent elections,” and that “[a]s a result, Michel Martelly had little choice but to convene elections last October.”

There are at least two problems with this: First, the Congress prohibited U.S. aid to the Martelly government unless it took steps to hold free and fair elections starting back in December 2014, long before Rubio raised his voice.

Second, while some international observers concluded, despite many problems at the polls, that the first round of elections last October were not marred by a “pattern” of fraud, it is clear that large numbers of Haitians do not believe that President Martelly’s hand-picked successor, a little-known businessman with no political experience, won fair and square.

On this I agree with Noriega: Haiti will not progress until its politicians care more about the welfare of the Haitian people than they do about enriching themselves.

Patrick Leahy, U.S. senator, Washington, D.C.