Rep. Salazar Calls for Biden to Build International Coalition to Help Haiti

Florida Republican Congresswoman Maria Salazar is calling on the Biden administration to lead relief efforts in Haiti as the gang-ravaged country continues to face the possible collapse of its government. According to the United Nations, hundreds of thousands of Haitians have already been displaced by violence in the capital city of Port-au-Prince, with many expected to flee to the United States. While Salazar has come out against the resettlement of refugees in America, on Thursday, she called on Biden to intervene in the crisis by building an international coalition.

Salazar issued her call during an appearance on Newsmax’s Eric Bolling’s The Balance.

“Where is the Biden administration? Where are the Canadians? Where are the French and the rest of our brothers in Latin America?” Salazar asked host Eric Bolling. “This is not only a South Florida or Florida problem or United States of America problem. This is a hemisphere problem. And, unfortunately, the poor Haitians have been in one crisis after another.”

The New York Post reported a surge in violence this week, with several fires breaking out in Port-au-Prince and an attack on the city’s police academy on Thursday. Earlier in the week, the United States evacuated all non-essential personnel from its embassy in the city.

“But now things are worse than ever because Barbecue and the Gang of Nine control the airport in Port-au-Prince; they control the capital,” Salazar added. “One of the worst things that they’re doing is that they’re using sexual violence as a political tool. Terrible.”

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The Biden administration has pledged $300 million in support to Haiti, contributing to a Kenyan-led relief mission. During her interview, Salazar–who is a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee–criticized the administration’s current approach, comparing it to the repeated aid packages sent to Ukraine.

“We cannot be sending $300 million, which is what the State Department would like us to send, without a perfect plan,” Salazar said.  “Where are we going to spend that money? The same thing we’re doing with Ukraine. Where’s the plan? How are we going to spend it? What’s the exit plan?”

Salazar also stated that she is against admitting Haitian refugees into the United States, arguing that the country is already being overwhelmed by the southern border crisis. On Wednesday, Governor Ron DeSantis activated the state guard ahead of an expected influx of refugees from the Caribbean nation.

“We need to bring the international, at least Caribbean, community and say, ‘You need to help us,'” Salazar said. “And Canada. And the French. … The Biden administration needs to be a lot more forceful and say, ‘We’re going to be leading, but we need a lot of people following us.'”

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Salazar instead suggested temporarily housing refugees at the Guantanamo Bay Naval Facility in Cuba, roughly 200 miles from Haiti.

“The Guantanamo idea could be something feasible, just like we did with the Cubans years ago,” The Congresswoman said. Salazar herself is the daughter of two Cuban exiles who fled to Miami.

“Maybe we could put them in a safe land while we figure out how we can send them back. We cannot leave them in the middle of the ocean. We cannot bring them on land, because look what’s happening at the southern border. But we can give them some type of refuge and put them in Guantanamo.”

On Thursday, the Biden administration announced they were considering using the naval facility as a site for “repatriation processing.”

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