Danse Petro – Return from the Mountaintop

As I came down from the mountain it was time to reflect on the quest which had taken me to the mountaintop in search of the truth. What truth you may ask ? The meaning of existence, life as it develops, good and evil, nature or nurture, or the unending search for Petro ? By Petro I do not mean the time honored Haitian drum rhythm that accompanies the dance with the same moniker. No, we most certainly are talking about the Petro challenge, that is the search for the 4 billion dollars which has brought Haitians of all creed to the streets and the social media to demand justice and reparations. We all want to get results this time rather than a never ending investigation where the culprits die from old age before anything is done. We know who the culprits are and they reside right there in our midst parading and displaying their ill gotten wealth, while we wallow in misery and hard labor just to survive wether we toil in abject poverty in Port-au-Prince, starve in the provinces or are tied in the straitjackets of the infernal cycle of work hard and make just enough to pay bills in the diaspora. Being Haitian or Haitian-American these days carries this burden of witnessing the descent into hell of our cherished country, and it is a miserable feeling to not be able to do something about it.

On my way down from the hills I encountered a gaggle of youths who immediately began questioning me about my quest and its outcome. “Lo and behold I will tell what you want to hear and what you do not want to hear for life has dealt us a hand that is getting worst with the times.”

After a day of demonstrations that saw people in the streets of Port-au-Prince, Les Cayes, Cap-Haitien, Miragoane, Gonaives, Jacmel, Mirebalais and most of the other towns in the country demand the ouster of President Jovenel Moise and his government, the situation in Haiti is fast approaching anarchy. Petion-Ville suffered one of the worst moments with stores looted cars set on fire and the Police Station hit with a barrage of stones while demonstrators on a just display of discontent were infiltrated by “Casseurs” who proceeded to set fire and bring mayhem. The police was badly outnumbered while most residents cowered home hoping that the moment would pass. A change is in the air and rumors are rife with many different outcomes presented as credible and approved by the “friends of Haiti”. If President Jovenel Moise is able to survive in his post during the next month he will have shown incredible staying power coupled with a great deal of luck. His approach of using brute force for most and paying some is not working and unless he can inspire trust in an effort to appease the population mayhem and barricades will continue.

One of the main arguments for keeping Jovenel Moise in power as president of Haitiis that he was elected and declared the winner of an election. Never mind the fact that he only received five hundred thousand votes in a country of over ten million people, less votes than Anacasis Jean Hector received when he was elected Senator for the West with over one million votes; the election was widely discredited as thousands were unable to vote because of manipulations that sent them to vote miles from their homes, and ballots were either thrown away when they favored other candidates or multiplied when for Moise. So this was far from a model election that would convince people that Jovenel Moise was fairly elected. To add to this Jovenel Moise has just recognized Guaino as President of Venezuela over the elected president Nicolas Maduro. So, let’s get this straight; Jovenel Moise clings to power in the face of widespread discontent, demonstrations, anarchy and mayhem because he says that people must respect the mandate he received from a rigged election and at the same time he votes against Nicolas Maduro who was also elected after an election that even though many say was unfair was a lot more legitimate than what Jovenel portrays as his mandate. Once again Moose is bathing in contradictions as he obeys his masters like an obedient lap dog.

Demonstrations are continuing today, Friday February 8, as opponents are still barricading streets, throwing stones and keeping the pressure on the government. It would appear that the end is near and a decision must be made to keep the country from sinking into total anarchy. Petro challenge is the phrase of the day while many carnival songs are pushing the envelope talking about a change and demanding promises be kept. Delmas is barricaded, in Jacmel and Les Cayes the streets are on fire with tires and garbage burning and Cap-Haitien is boiling. The end is nearing.

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