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Keith Mines-Haiti: On the Verge of Starvation after a Political Implosion
July 19, 2023 @ 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm
Keith Mines, Director of Latin America Program at the United States Institute of Peace, will deliver an address entitled “Haiti: On the Verge of Starvation after a Political Implosion“ before the Baltimore Council on Foreign Affairs on Wednesday, July 19, 2023. The program will be held by live feed at 6:00 p.m.
Haiti is the second oldest republic in the Western Hemisphere and the first declared black republic on Earth. Today it is the poorest country in the hemisphere and one of the most troubled places on the planet. Its political system has imploded, and half its 11 million population are on the verge of starvation.
The U.S. role in Haiti has been helpful at times but often fraught. Woodrow Wilson sent in the Marines to strip the national bank of its funds in 1914, and a year later U.S. forces occupied the country, staying until 1934. An intervention in 1994 lasted six months and involved 25,000 troops.
In this century, one of Haiti’s biggest problems has been inadequate policing. Yet in 2017, the country seemed headed on the road to stability, aided by a U.N. peacekeeping force that supported local police. That’s when the U.S. cut funds for peacekeeping, which led to a drawdown of the 4000 “Blue Helmets.” Security deteriorated, politics turned chaotic and violent gangs filled the vacuum and overran the capital.
Today U.S. apparently doesn’t want to get involved in Haiti, other than to prevent Haitians from seeking asylum here.
How did we get into this mess? Is there a way out?
Our next speaker, Keith Mines, is a genuine expert on Haiti, having served there as a U.S. Foreign Service officer — just one of the troubled spots he has been in during 32 years in the diplomatic and military services. He has worked on governance and institution-building in Central America and Colombia, stabilization efforts in Haiti, Iraq and Afghanistan, financial stability in Brazil, security sector reform in Hungary and famine relief and tribal reconciliation in Darfur, Sudan, and in Somalia.
Today he’s the director of Latin America programs at the U.S. Institute of Peace.
His recent book tackles an unfashionable subject forthrightly, beginning with the title: “Why Nation-Building Matters.” He has ardent fans.
“Keith Mines has been an omnipresent figure at nearly every nation-building enterprise the United States has attempted in the past 40 years,” writes James Dobbins, himself one of the most renowned U.S. experts on state-building. “Mines has established a record of unparalleled service in the world’s most difficult places, recounted here with great insight and compassion.”
(University of Nebraska Press, 2020).
Mr. Mines has a bachelor’s degree from Brigham Young University and a master’s in foreign service from Georgetown University.
Reservations are required. Members may attend free of charge and membership is open to the public. Membership, event information, and reservations may be obtained by email ([email protected]).
Please note that all submissions are subject to approval prior to publication.