Diary

Time for an American Raj in Haiti?

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A recent post to one or another of the blogs I monitor suggesting that we annex Haiti as we did Puerto Rico brings me to suggest a better approach (having lived in Puerto Rico as a boy, I can relate to the suggestion, but like mine better).

The British Raj in India, for all of its typical British colonial excesses, had the end result of leaving behind a governmental and industrial infrastructure capable of evolving into the India of today, which its current blossoming middle class would probably say is a good thing.

The roots of the British Raj in the British East India Company gave me the inspiration to suggest that we take a slightly different tack than did Britain and put a uniquely American stamp on an attempt to establish a sustainable Haitian nation.

Rather than dumping billions of welfare dollars into the rat hole, I suggest that we enlist the services of Steve Wynn to develop Haiti into the premier resort country of the Caribbean.  The U.S. Government can plow the same dollars into infrastructure as it would anyway, but private industry would be given an exclusive 50 year license to implement the construction and operation of that infrastructure, all for the prospect of the profits such an operation would yield.  The American West Indies Company would pay for the use of the physical plant that it specifies and builds, as well as fees for use of roads and ports.  At the same time, the Company would manage the construction and operation of private housing and commercial infrastructure, with a lease/purchase option offered to the citizens.  The training of the large complement of employees required for all aspects of this operation would be an expense of the Company (since they would be the immediate beneficiaries), and would include the teaching of English, both spoken and written, mathematics, and civics, with a strong emphasis on the American Constitution.  Additionally, all Haitian children would have access to these facilities, with the incentive to participate being the opportunity to qualify for employment by the Company or private business enterprises operating the commercial infrastructure, of which there would be a great need.

Physical security, law, and order would be subject to martial law, administered and enforced by the U.S. DoD, until such time as a generation of citizens has emerged from the training / education system, at which time a Constitutional Convention would be convened to establish self governance by the Haitian people.  The physical plant infrastructure would be granted to the new Haitian government by the U.S. and our role would cease.  The American West Indies Company would be dissolved and an open bidding process for the license to operate the resort business would be instituted at the end of the 50 year period.

There would be no U.N. role in this process and any charitable organizations wishing to contribute volunteer labor and materials would be welcome, given they submitted to management oversight by the Company.  No restraints on the practice or teaching of religion would be applied.

Anyone objecting to this intrusion upon the sovereignty of Haiti would have to point to a viable sovereign Haiti that exists for an intrusion to be applicable.  If the American taxpayer is going to be footing the bill for the billions that will be flowing into Haiti anyway, it only makes sense to establish a mechanism, based on proven results, to ensure it isn’t just the next wasted dumping of welfare upon a failed state.