Eight men including five Americans were arrested in Port-au-Prince, Haiti over the weekend and accused of being "terrorists" with plans to "target the executive branch of the government," according to Prime Minister Jean-Henry Ceant who called the men "mercenaries."

CNN quotes Haitian officials as saying the men were arrested following a traffic stop in the Haitian capital and were found to be in possession of a "cache of weapons (including) six pistols, six automatic rifles, two drones, five ballistic vests, three satellite phones, a telescope, and several license plates."

The men reportedly told Haitian authorities that they were on a “government mission," though they did not elaborate.

The Americans, former Navy Seal officers Christopher Michael Osman and Christopher Mark McKinley, and former Marine Veteran Kent Leland Kroeker as well as Americans Dustin Porte and Talon Ray Burton, were returned to the U.S. on Wednesday where they were met by U.S, Marshalls, according to the Miami Herald.

The group also included two Serbians, at least one of whom is a U.S. permanent resident, and a Haitian national who was deported from the U.S.

Haiti has been rocked by violent protests since February 7 as citizens continue to demand the resignations of both Ceant and President Jovenel Moise, who have been accused of corruption and doing nothing to ease Haiti's economic crisis. The U.S. State Department has issued a Level 4 "do not travel" travel advisory for Haiti, and American and Canadian citizens have been evacuated.

This story has gotten very little coverage since it broke. Why?

What were the Americans doing in Haiti in the first place and what "government mission" were they involved in? And for what government? Were they, in fact, looking to "target the executive branch of the government," as the Prime Minister suggests, and if so, why?

I hope someone in the media gets curious enough to begin asking questions, and that the Trump DOJ is ready to offer up some answers sometime soon.

Barry Richard is the host of The Barry Richard Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from noon to 3 p.m. Contact him at barry@wbsm.com and follow him on Twitter @BarryJRichard58. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author. 

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