Brazil and Ecuador to Help Rebuild Haitian Army

With the brutal military regime over for more than a decade and Haiti successfully transitioned into a democratic nation, President Michel Martelly is planning to create a new Haitian army to replace the U.N. troops. The president, along with the country's Defense Minister Rodolphe Joazile, has recently been able to convince neighboring countries' Brazil and Ecuador in helping on the cause. The two nations both agreed to assist Haiti by providing military training, equipment, and engineering.

Haiti's military was notorious for human rights violations and bloodshed in the 1900s. It had a strong involvement and influence in the country's politics, having the capability to overthrow presidents and government officials. One of the bloodiest movements led by the military was the 1991 coup d'état in order to remove then President Jean-Bertrand Aristide from office. It took three years of bloodshed between the military and Aristide's supporters before the United States intervened and put the Aristide back as Haiti's head of state. With the help of the U.S. and the United Nations, the government was finally able to disband the military in 1995. The country has since been protected by the U.N.'s peacekeeping force.

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Brazil to Help Haiti Build a Professional Army

The Government of Haiti has asked Brazil's military to help put together armed forces, capable of assuming peacekeeping duties the UN currently provides. Haiti Minister of Defense, Jean Rodolphe Joazile, along with Brazil's Minister of Defense, Celso Amorim, issued a joint statement on July 26, 2012 regarding the request. Amorim said Brazil would send military representatives to Haiti on a fact-finding visit to decide what kinds of resources Haiti would need to build their army.

Amorim pointed out assistance from Brazil is based on the stipulation Haiti train and pay their soldiers as a professional military operation. In other words, Brazil does not want a volunteer militia that can't perform the job now being handled by UN peacekeeping forces.

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Brazilian Devotion to Train Haitian Troops

On Thursday, July 26, 2012, the Brazilian Minister for Defense announced his government's decision of helping Haiti to form a permanent defense force. Speaking on that day, Celso Amorim said that his government is determined to train a Haitian defense force that would take over after the UN withdrew its peace keeping mission in the country. He said that Brazil would be sending a military mission which will be determined to help Haiti. Celso Amorim was accompanied by his Haitian counterpart Jean Rodolphe Joazile while he was making this statement. The minister said that the government of Haiti had asked Brazil for help and pledged to cooperate in all manners.

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United States Military in Haiti during Hurricane season

The United States military will remain in Haiti during the hurricane season; however, they will have a scale-down presence in the area.

According to a top United States military personnel, some 500 soldiers will begin a five-month exercise in Haiti starting in June, and the USS Iwo Jima will be available to provide aid in case a hurricane strikes Haiti or any of the nearby Caribbean countries. The 500 military soldiers that will take part of the exercise in Haiti will come from the Louisiana National Guard and the focus will be on helping to rebuild Haiti recovering from the devastating earthquake that struck in January. The USS Iwo Jima is a large-deck amphibious ship. Te U.S. Military ship will provide medical support at locales around Haiti. This ship will go no farther than a two-day sail from Haiti.

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