Position Paper / White Paper

LEGACY Spain UNSC 1994 - Topic 3

single post cover

Thomas Romanchek

Lake Forest High School

Historical Security Council 1994


Topic III: Restoration of Democracy in Haiti


    Haiti has served as an unfortunate example of how established democracies can fall prey to the corruption and greed of a few powerful elites. Since its independence in 1804, Haiti has seen a series of military dictatorships emerge from the ashes of previous governments toppled by coups. After the ousting of President Jean-Claude Duvalier in 1986, Haitians demanded a more accountable government and stronger democratic institutions. Although the 1990 election was observed by the United Nations and deemed highly successful by the head of the UN Group for the Verification of the Elections in Haiti (ONUVEH), the military remained unsatisfied and successfully staged a coup. Lieutenant-General Raoul Cedras rose to power and worked to maintain military funding and increase revenue generated by illegally supporting the narcotics trade. The military-led government has oppressed the middle and lower classes for their continued support for the fairly-elected President Aristide and have expanded the drug trade in the Americas, despite dissent from neighboring countries. Thousands have fled the island entirely for fear of violence from the military or expanding drug cartels. With government restriction of the activities of NGOs, the UN Security Council has been mostly limited to implementing the arms and oil embargo it established in 1993 and investigating human rights violations through the International Civilian Mission in Haiti (MICIVIH).

    Spain has close ties to Haiti and the Dominican Republic as a result of its former colonial past. Spain remained in control over the island Hispaniola for a couple of centuries after it was claimed by Christopher Columbus, but eventually conceded both of the colonies to France. During the period of its rule of Hispaniola, the Spanish monarchy helped develop commerce through international trade and support the construction of infrastructures like cities and roads. However, corrupt and incompetent leaders have abused Haiti’s resources and people and have left the country in tatters over the years. Spain, along with the French and other nations, have taken actions in the twentieth century to support impoverished Haiti by sending food and medical supplies to its desperate populace. Without greater responsibility from the government in providing for its citizens, however, these actions are not likely to be substantial or very impactful.

    The Kingdom of Spain has historically been close to Haiti through its colonial past and continues to share the same, if not a greater concern as many other western nations for the role the military government in Haiti has in enabling the drug trade, creating many thousands of refugees, and destabilizing the countryside. Furthermore, the government of Spain is disturbed by the human rights violations by the military and police. With these in mind, Spain desires to support the activities of MICIVIH on the humanitarian side of things while pushing for a stronger stance against the government by using sanctions and the weapons and oil embargo as leverage in negotiating for the removal of Cedras from office and reinstating President Aristide.