President Jovenel Moise presented his evaluation of one year in office. His evaluation amounted to a set of promises for the next four years and a list of accomplishments with very little concrete evidence. The president showed great composure in trying to make the bottle look one third full rather than two thirds empty. You only need to go to the international airport and watch the country’s future leaving in droves heading to Chile, Brasil and Argentina as hundreds of young people in their twenties and early thirties leave the country perhaps forever, We are talking about the most important segment of our society our future working force. Many of those young people have graduated from local university program or have finished classical studies. In a country with a rate of illiteracy near 60 % this is a brain drain. We are losing our wealth and it is no surprise that other countries are opening their doors to welcome such a gold mine: young people in good health willing to join your labor force at the bottom level. The Dominican Republic built its wealth on the back of Haitian labor and others in the continent want to follow suit. Too bad we in Haiti do not want to build a strong labor force, the key to development. Marx says the most important component of an economy is the labor. In Haiti we are throwing our labor force away like unwanted garbage.
Perhaps that is what President Jovenel Moise meant when he said unemployment was decreasing. Less job seekers. President Moise did not address the ignominous remark made by Donald Trump comparing Haiti, Africa and Salvador to Sh** holes. The Haitian community in New York, Miami and other cities in the U.S. reacted swiftly by demonstrating their anger through marches, demonstrations, petitions and social postings. We “schooled” Mr. Trump on our rich history and the importance of this small but vibrant and resilient country. We have sent two teams to the FIFA world cup finals and we have the ladies U20 going to the finals in France in August. Congratulations to those young ladies who are representing their country well. As a small, poor country this is a great feat.
Reactions to Trump’s remarks are still going on but some people are saying that we need to look at our country and come together to fix our gaping problems. Haiti has a deficient almost non-existent health care system. In some areas of the provinces away from Port-au-Prince there are no doctors, nurses or even first aid. Sanitation is also non-existent with garbage in the streets at all times. With great effort people clean their homes, the sidewalk in front but the system is ill-equipped and overburdened, while water is scarce sometimes. On my next post I will present the justice system, but it did not have a good year either. So President Moise claiming a fruitful year was at best optimistic and at worse many lies. The truth lies somewhere in between nearer to the negative than the positive.
Carnival season is upon us and the usual war of decibels, drunken displays, debauchery and sexual orgies. Carnival is a perfect show of the haves and the have nots where the haves are on stands high off the sidewalks watching the mass of the have nots fight for space below them in the street as the floats squeeze the crowd against the stands. Perfect slice of life to show the hiearchy. Michel Martely, former president of Haiti, was banned from Jacmel and Gonaives as they enjoyed their carnival. Martely is known to curse so much at his political and social rivals that he is shaming the population. He is taking aim at a respected member of the media in Haiti Lilianne Pierre-Paul. Instead of attacking her with information that is concrete and presented in a professional manner he resorts to base curse words and trivial expressions. Shameful for a former president. But then again the people who voted for him have only themselves to vote even though they were few, especially in the first round. As usual the country is shut down waiting to enjoy three days of wild partying, big time decibels and some good laundry. Chalè has a good meringue and it’s getting a lot of airplay and so does Brothers Posse, the senator is raging in his denunciation.
WWIII will come in my next post.