The new saying in P-au-P these days is danse petro. It refers to the time honored tradition in Haitian society: corruption. Corruption has existed throughout our history but more so in the last 60 years. In the beginning of the 20th century, around 1905 to be more precise we had the famous trial called the Consolidation trial. It was about a group of government ministers, among whom Leconte, Oreste and Zamor figured prominently who were indicted and tried for stealing a large amount of money for those times from loans to the Haitian State. They were tried and there was enough evidence to convict them but curiously enough they were not sent to jail. Rather, all three became president of Haiti shortly after. So we have history of rewarding crooked official with our highest office housing individuals with loose morals and questionable ethics. Which brings us to our present topic Danse Petro. Three billion eight hundred million dollars gone with the wind or maybe eaten by the ravenous mice that run around P-au-P night and day. The Haitian Senate has published a report which probably is only the tip of the iceberg and already voices are screeching about witch hunts and the need to protect people’s reputations. The President of the country Jovenel Moise has come out strongly against the report and further investigations on the matter to protect those he feels are unjustly targeted. But the money has been stolen and it’s gone so do we do nothing about it as usual. Are we to be eternally poor destitute in an bad environment just because a few decided to enjoy luxury at the expense of the population?
In the Dominican Republic the government through the state has used the same program, Petro Caribe to build bridges a cable car system and improve a lot of their infrastructure while providing housing at an affordable price. Noble endeavors that will continue to make our neighbor enjoy a quality of life far above ours. In Haiti development means the elite builds beautiful houses and drives really expensive cars while the streets are filled with potholes in the capital while highways to the provinces are nonexistent. We watch millions siphoned away so the lucky few can buy homes in NYC, Miami and Boston with money that should be building infrastructure and providing a good quality of life for citizens. And that’s OK because our elite really enjoys itself and cares little for the working stiffs who pay taxes, buy commodities and generally make a country work. People are literally walking on trash and cram in public transportation vehicles like sardines while the money that should make their lives better is spent on luxury and depraved parties. For years to come anyone associated with Haiti will have to chip in to reimburse that money for it’s a loan not a gift, although we have allowed those funds to be claimed as a gift by those in the loop. It is their compensation for sacrificing their time not providing any service but scheming to steal.
Danse Petro is the in thing nowadays. Every teenager is dreaming of getting the chance to do likewise because this is how far we have fallen. Our youth look at dishonesty as being smart. If you are honest you are stupid according to the new moral values in P-au-P and cheating has become the norm. We are sinking in an abyss where negativity prevails. What do we tell our children and grandchildren, that it’s OK to be a crooked politician and/or civil servant. Unless we find a way to reverse this situation our country will become a haven for criminals if that is not already the case. We need to educate the youth so they think differently. To be rich at all costs should not be the norm but the aberration. Moral values need to become more prominent not just something to hear in one ear while doing the opposite. But enough preaching.
What a great idea by President Donald Trump. Let us turn our schools into shooting galleries. Teachers will walk around toting guns ready to fire at a any moment while students get ready to become collateral damage. What’s next: seniors will also come to school strapped in the name of protecting students. Janitors and the cleaning personnel will also want in on the bonus for carrying and we have shooting galleries inside schools. Let us face it, even police officers who are trained shoot people by mistake. Teachers are not trained to shoot guns. They are trained to teach and provide a learning environment. Schools need to have more security. That is granted, but teachers are not security guards. They cannot replace trained security personnel. As usual Trump is speaking out before he has a chance to think things true. He is a twitter thinker who cannot think and reflect over a long period of time. Twitter is too short and too fast for deep thinking and intelligent reflection. It’s about who yells the loudest. Sad indeed. Our schools need a better approach which takes into account prevention rather than OK Corral reaction. Better to prevent such a situation with good intelligence and proactive prevention. In the USA there has been a lot of school shootings. People also shoot each other a lot in our major cities with Chicago and New Orleans leading the pack. Too many guns readily available. People in the USA collect guns and ammunition like it’s candy for halloween. People buy handguns, shotguns, assault rifles, sniper rifles; you name it if it can shoot people will buy it. Teenagers buy guns all the time with no one looking over their shoulders. Just too many guns around.