Invasion Hits Haitian Students Close to Home
As many Harvard students watch the unfolding events in Haiti on TV and newspapers' front pages, for others the conflict hits far closer to home.
M. Astride Moise '95, who was born in Haiti but now lives in New York, has family still living in the island nation.
"The military can one day decide that you're pro-Aristide and they can kill you," she says. Her parents' siblings in Haiti have small children, she says, and worry about their safety.
But Moise and other Haitian and Caribbean students interviewed yesterday generally applauded the U.S. effort.
More than 2,000 American troops landed in Haiti on Monday. As part of a deal brokered by a delegation led by former President Jimmy Carter, the soldiers took control of airfields and ports without facing resistance.
Under the agreement, Haiti's ruling military junta will relinquish power to exiled President Rev. Jean Bertrand Aristide.
"It's a better alternative--the lesser of two evils," says Emmanuelle M. Fleurinor '97. Fleurinor, who was born in the U.S. and considers herself a Haitian-American, says ideally the military would have left the country voluntarily, but that option was not likely.
Marie E. Ambroise '95, whose parents are from Haiti, agrees.
"Usually, I really don't like it when the U.S. gets involved in many things, but in this case, I really think [Haiti] needed it," Ambroise says.
She says she wants the U.S. to start the ball of democracy rolling and then leave the rest in the hands of other Caribbean nations.
Like Ambroise, several students say the U.S. must get out of Haiti as soon as possible.
But they applauded the American pledge to refrain from violence.
The former co-chair of the Caribbean Club says he thinks that intervening and not invading was in the United States' best diplomatic interest.
The United States "doesn't want to