The sight of American forces in Haiti is raising questions in the quake torn country. Nearly 20,000 U.S. troops are operating in Haiti, a beefed up military presence which for some locals has sparked scepticism towards the former occupant of their country.
Within days of the catastrophic earthquake the US military was handed control of the airport. Reports say they turned away planes carrying humanitarian aid. Local people’s reaction to their presence is mixed.
“I would like to say to the Americans, you are welcome in my country,” said one, while another voiced a more critical response.
“We don’t have our government. We don’t know where our president is, actually speaking. We have actually 12,000 US soldiers on our soil, and we want to know what their mission is about. If they are here to help us to rebuild the country, we don’t have any problem with that. But diplomatically speaking we see that this is the battle between the US, Canada and France. Which is going to win? But the loser is the Haitian people.”
As the people across this Caribbean island wonder what the future might hold, it is clear countries like the United States must continue to work at winning the trust of the very people they are there to help.