Danse Petro – Where are Thou ?

As I meandered through the forest I was amazed by the sounds emanating from nature, birds chirping, the gentle rustle of the wind sifting through leaves and sending the occasional flower to the ground. A nearby stem sang with a bubbling bass supporting the gentle sound of water rushing over rounded stones. A group of youngsters burst through some branches singing loudly about their quest for Petro, Petro Challengers cutting through the forest. As they saw me they stopped abruptly greeting me convivially. One of them asked,

“Have you found the truth in your travels around this world ?”

– “The truth is sometimes a lie that they will defend with their last breath as Professor George James had to say in his famous book Stolen Legacy“.

As we watch recent events unfold in Haiti we are perplexed when we consider the attitude of so-called human rights groups always so eager to pounce upon the least transgression from selected regimes as they remain silent on the plight of the Haitian population. They cheer the courageous opposition in Venezuela while they ignore courageous young Haitians demanding a better way of life. Is this what a double standard looks like these days or is Racism rearing its ugly head. African-Americans need to look at this not as a foreign event not worthy of their attention, but as the manifestation of the same racist forces which have kept Stacey Abrams and Andrew Gillum from winning elections in which they were favored. It is likely that President Donald Trump will send soldiers to interfere in Venezuela while supporting Jovenel Moise in his murderous quest to stay in power. We Haitians need to realize that we can only count on ourselves to get our country out of the abyss it has fallen into. As the recent carnival says we cannot be cowards. The last thing we want and need is another invasion of soldiers from “Friends of Haiti” in the international community. The last time they were in our midst all we got was sexual abuse and gangs in all the slums. What we need is for the opportunity to fix our problem ourselves without Mr. Jovenel Moise being propped up and supported by our “Friends”.

President Jovenel Moise has chosen the path of brutal repression using the police force to try to stem the tide of demonstrations that have engulfed the country since February 7. Countless people have been hurt by shots from fire arms, sticks, brutality and inhalation of tear gas from police and thugs dressed in police uniforms to repress a raging bonfire of spontaneous demonstrations that continue to erupt all over the country. All through this weekend people are in the streets demanding change, blocking streets with barricades and burning tires. Moise has asked for a dialogue to restore order but his call is largely unheeded since the police have kept firing at demonstrators and lobbing gas canisters. You cannot call for peace and dialogue while using repression. The two do not go hand in hand and the police needs to allow people to peacefully express themselves.

What is curious is the lack of reaction from members of the international press and a near silence from the usual Human rights organizations. Amnesty International which was so quick to denounce Venezuela President Nicolas Maduro has nothing to say about Haiti. Senator Youri Latortue has denounced the killing of three young men in Gonaives, yet we hear no denunciations from the activists who are constantly involved in fighting for human rights in Venezuela and Syria. Is it because the majority of young people being killed in Haiti by forces from the Jovenel Moise regime are black, poor and descendants of Africa ? The international community refuses to abandon the present regime in Haiti as it continues to provide support to a government that is failing its people. The past few weeks things have gotten so bad in Haiti in terms of living conditions that stores and businesses have closed their doors and food prices have climbed through the roof. Criminals are roaming the streets unchecked while police officers are used not to protect the population but to repress demonstrators. And yet, the “Friends of Haiti’ are standing pat, allowing for widespread violence and brutal repression of people with just demands.

How will all this end we cannot say but one thing is for sure: if Jovenel Moise remains president of the country it will be on a pile of bodies and many mothers will be left crying for their children. After the massacre in La Saline in November the population was not cowered and the demonstrations of today show a resolve that can only mean that either Moise leaves or kills a lot of people while piling young people in already overcrowded jails. That all these events are ignored by the press in general in the U.S. and the rest of the world is perplexing to say the least. It is up to Haitians everywhere to speak about the murder of our young people because others will not do it for us. Young Haitians are dying in Haiti and on the high seas, as we witnessed of the coast of Bahamas this past week, because of this bad government and it will not stop unless there is a change in the paradigm.

In a cave far above the plains of Grande Anse lives a sage who upon watching recent events spoke to us about his fears and concerns. We will go and seek him out for his wisdom is sorely needed.

Where are thou, artist and writers who complained so loudly in 2003 and 2004 ?

2 thoughts on “Danse Petro – Where are Thou ?

  1. Thanks. I agree with your analysis totally. I would like to add an element that, in my humble opinion, needs more consideration. What do the events in Haiti, the rightful exasperation of the people, mean for planners of a possible war in Venezuela? Losing control of the circles of power in Haiti would probably constitute a considerable impedement to the planners of war in the Americas. Because of Haiti’s location between Cuba and Venezuela position, it should be of strategic importance. Thus they will fight teeth and nails to maintain the status quo. The risk they are also embracing is that revolition may indeed take place in Haiti, as the masses are becoming more deeply involved in the process and are gaining momentum. The government is on life support. The return of Elliot Abrams on the scene annouces what is to come. But, the Haitian people has overcome difficult situations in the past. This is why the slogan “libete ou lanmo” has its rightful place in Haitian culture.

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    1. A very late reply to your comment Brother Alix, You have a valid point because war in Venezuela would affect all the Caribbean Basin including Haiti. Haiti cannot explode while at the same time there is a campaign of propaganda aimed at the government of Venezuela casting them as bad guys. Haiti would cause all tat campaign to explode when the role of the international community led by the United States is brought to light in the imposition of Martelly and Jovenel Moise to sabotage the ALBA initiative with their plunder of the money that was to be used for self sufficiency in food production and social development for the population in general.

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