Phares: U.S. Must Brace for Haitian Refugees

Wednesday, 20 Jan 2010 08:46 PM

By Jim Meyers

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Political Science professor and author Dr. Walid Phares tells Newsmax that the international community and the United States must work together to restore order in Haiti or America could face a mass migration of Haitians to the U.S.

Dr. Phares, a leading terrorism expert and Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, also called on Haiti’s neighbors Venezuela and Cuba — and oil-rich Islamic nations — to come to the aid of the earthquake-ravaged nation.

Phares is the author of 10 books and has extensive knowledge of Latin American and Caribbean affairs. He has testified before the U.S. Congress, the United Nations Security Council and the European Union.

See Video: Walid Phares talks about the U.S. stakes in Haiti - Click Here Now

Newsmax.TV’s Kathleen Walter asked Phares if a mass migration of Haitian refugees is likely.

“Unfortunately, after this shocking drama that happened in Haiti and the possibility that the death toll is beyond any imagination for a small nation such as this, as long as the international community is not serious enough one has to expect that many Haitians” will want to come to the U.S., said Phares, who was a longtime professor of Political Science at Florida Atlantic University.

“Those who have been dispossessed, those who have been shocked, those who do not have any house to go to, or job to go to, would want to head to the United States, and of course to Florida, where they believe they will have refuge and help from the authorities and from Haitian Americans.

“So authorities in South Florida, Florida in general, and the United States will have to be ready for such a possibility, that Haitians who are desperate will use all sorts of ways and means to get to Florida.

“The international community and the United States must come together to make sure that things are restored as soon as possible in Haiti for this exodus not to happen.”

Walter noted that the U.S. has actually been criticized by some for its humanitarian efforts.

“Many in the past years have criticized the U.S. — take for example [Venezuelan President] Hugo Chavez, who has been accusing the United States of invading and occupying Haiti,” said Phares.

“Others have criticized the United States for exclusively initiating humanitarian assistance in Darfur, in Sudan.

“But for all those who have been criticizing the United States, this is a time to show your support for Haiti. Hugo Chavez should send oil for free for one year to Haiti. Fidel Castro, who has been criticizing the United States for so long,” should also aid Haiti.

“This is [Cuba’s] neighbor. They should be staging rescue efforts, not just sending 90 doctors. They sent divisions to Angola to fight Africans during the Cold War. This is a time to show humanitarian concern.

“Russia has deployed its fleet all the way to Venezuela. It is time for these battleships to show up at the shores of Haiti and help.”

Phares also called on member states of The Organization of the Islamic Conference to contribute to Haiti’s aid.

“These oil regimes can easily send lots of support, also lots of cash, to make sure that every family in Haiti is basically secured,” he said.

“This is the time for regimes such as Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the UAE, Iran, Sudan, the very rich regime in Libya, this is the time for them to come and show the world” that they are willing to help.

Phares, whose most recent book is “The Confrontation: Winning the War Against Future Jihad,” warned that the U.S. and others should be wary that jihadist groups, including al-Qaida and the Taliban, may take advantage of the chaos and lack of government to place their agents in Haiti. Once there, these terrorists could pose as Haitian refugees to gain entrance to the United States.

See Video: Walid Phares talks about the U.S. stakes in Haiti - Click Here Now

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