Politics Fuels Possible U.S. Invasion of Haiti, UB Historian Says

By Sue Wuetcher

Release Date: August 1, 1994 This content is archived.


BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Political interests are motivating even the consideration of a U.S. military intervention in Haiti, a University at Buffalo historian says.

"A U.S. invasion of Haiti has nothing to do with Haiti and everything to do with U.S. domestic policy," says Albert Michaels, Ph.D., UB professor of history and international studies.

"The United States has no vested interest in Haiti, and the human rights violations occurring are small compared to what is happening in Rwanda, Bosnia and the former Soviet Union," asserts Michaels.

The Congressional Black Caucus is pressuring Clinton for intervention, he says. Without the caucus' support, President Clinton will be unable to pass his crime bill or his health care reform plan. And without these bills, Clinton has little chance of being re-elected, he notes.

In addition, the refugee issue is playing a large role in talk of an invasion, Michael says. According to popular public opinion, there will be an unmanageable influx of Haitian refugees in Florida if the U.S. does not intervene. Clinton fears losing democratic support in Florida in the next election, he says.

Michaels is available for comment at (716) 884-5273.