Haiti : Change or More of the same ?

The Ogre of Bel Air sat on top of his treasure, bills, coins, gold ornaments, jewelry, the usual trappings of relentless plunder.  As he gazed in the distance, a sliver of light shining atop the barren mountain top in the distance, a thought occurred:  would there always be flesh to devour or would he run out of victims and prey?  A sinister and worrisome thought this represented for the essence of the Ogre is his ability to descend upon the weak and satisfy his growing appetite.  A minstrel passing by sang in derision, “Time will tell slave hunter and your reach will dwindle with each passing day.”

President Jovenel Moise has decided that the peace of cemeteries will allow him to restore order and establish his vision of power at all cost for decades to come.  Fresh off the recurring and heartening visit from Under Secretary David Hale from the U.S. State Department, Moise feels comfortable in continuing his quest to quash all dissent and establish a long lasting regime for himself and his clan, notwithstanding the lurking overbearing presence of former President Michel Martelly.  The strategy in place is a tried and true method that has proven itself over time in numerous occasions and in many different places.  The regime is arming criminals and allowing them to roam at will while targeting militants and those working with the opposition.  The Petro Challenge movement is being targeted especially.  While the well known leaders receive threats from anonymous sources in order to cool their enthusiasm, the lesser known activists have had to go into hiding because they really fear for their lives.  In Port-au-Prince the past couple of months more than three hundred people have been murdered with two noteworthy massacres in Bel Air and again in Lasalin while in Mariani and Delmas two over a dozen young people were executed during the night.  In all these cases, as in the case of the massacre in Lasalin November of last year, there is little attempt to bring the perpetrators to justice.  Most of the time there are witnesses and people know who the criminals are, but nothing is done by the authorities in term of investigation and prosecution of those responsible.  There are more investigations done by the RNDDH, a human rights NGO that reports abuses in Haiti than by the PNH and the justice system.

As all these crimes and murders are committed President Moise is claiming innocence while using media outlets from France and The United States to present his side of this macabre opera.  He claims to want peace and to be in negotiations with some of the opposition to form a unity government that will right the country, allow the approval and implementation of the budget and help get a lot of the funds that will miraculously appear when order is restored.  So, according to the I’m coming out swinging Moise the “radical” opposition is the culprit by not allowing schools to function and refusing to sit at the table of negotiations.  After all the 500.000 ill earned votes he garnered during an election viewed by most as rigged to the core must be respected even if the other eleven million, five hundred thousand others who did not vote for him and make up the rest of the population do not care for him.  This president is clinging to power despite being the most unpopular leader in Haitian history.  Massive demonstrations have taken place asking for his resignation in Port-au-Prince and in most major towns like Les Cayes, Gonaives, Cap Haitien, Petit Goave recently, St Marc the other day where despite heavy repression from the Haitian National Police – PNH – people came out en masse to yell out their frustration and anger over a president who is starving the majority of the population and destroying the economy in the hopes that once he asserts his power with no more resistance Uncle Sam will come flying with funds and food for everyone.  Already we see signs of this when the government unashamedly asked for humanitarian aid along with logistical support for distribution and security from their benefactor last month.

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Photo by Donald Tong on Pexels.com

Jovenel is able to stay in power because of unflinching support from the Haitian National Police which has gotten more authoritarian and violent as the crisis carries on.  People have been arrested after every major demonstration in Port-au-Prince and in other towns sometimes merely for having attended the gathering.  Many times the PNH special units use tear gas to stop people from gathering, while they attack militants and sometimes beat them before carting them to jail, all in an effort to stop people from mostly peaceful demonstrations.  Thugs wearing police uniforms have been involved in deadly shootings of unarmed demonstrators with no reactions from those in command.  If the same tactics had been used in France against the Gilets Jaunes the whole country would have rose up and chased Macron out of power and put him in jail;  but as this is going on in Haiti U.S. media unabashedly and Media from France have mostly ignored the goings in Haiti because it is not the political agenda being pushed in their respective countries.  The demonstrations and mayhem in Hong Kong have of course been gathering more media attention, but the way the crisis in Haiti is being passed over is almost criminal.  In South Florida where many Haitians have emigrated the media has largely ignored the issue and our community has stood by allowing this to happen.  Of course we have many different ways of looking at the crisis in the Haitian community living in the United States.  Some of us even favor President Moise remaining in power because of self interest, blind allegiance to a way of life that is gone forever, class allegiance or simply belief that what the U.S. wants for us is good.  There are even some who think that too many presidents have not been allowed to finish their terms and this one should be allowed to so that we become a country that is ruled by law.  But regardless of what we believe we should at least get the media to report the goings in our home country.

President Moise has not been able to hold elections to keep the parliament viable.  Twice he was supposed to hold elections for legislative posts, first to replace a third of the senate a year ago and this year to replace the Regional Representatives – called Deputes – with nothing done.  If legislative elections have not been held what makes people think Jovenel will hold presidential elections if he is not forced to do it.  So, until the country is pacified the way the president and his political allies want there will be no elections and the present regime will stay ad nauseam.  They will cling to power and hope to install a new dictatorship because that is the system that works best according to American interest, French policy and those in the Haitian elite who will benefit from such a regime.  After all the past two presidential elections in Haiti were rigged to allow Martelly and Moise to win despite a poor showing in actual ballots because the international community demanded those results.  In the case of Martelly the so called friends knew that he was an incompetent fool who would drive the country to ruin while stealing, misappropriating and misusing the Petro Caribe, and also would allow the CIRH funds to pass through unaccounted for while not benefiting the Haitian people.  This is all a well planned operation to impoverish Haiti and keep it in a situation of continuous begging while natural resources and agriculture are either neglected or used by people other than those that deserve them in Haiti.  Of course we cannot forget that extreme poverty and the humanitarian response from NGOs from the United States developed in Haiti in the sixties and the seventies under the Duvalier regimes when poverty became a business.  Haiti is and has always been the country where they try all kinds of nefarious and quasi criminal tactics that can then be exported to other places.  During the U.S. occupation aerial bombing was used in Haiti first to quell the revolt and test this new weapon.  More recently Gerard Gourgue was used as a self proclaimed president to bring down then elected President Jean Bertrand Aristide and this same blueprint was used by Guaido in Venezuela, the same wording and the same approach.  As I say we are the guinea pigs for all the dirty work; who can forget the destruction of all the porcine industry in Haiti when U.S. interest demanded that we kill all the pigs in the country so that the disease that they had fostered themselves would not affect major investments in the Dominican Republic.

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It is important that we remember where we came from and what we accomplished in the past to understand that our identity is under attack from forces that we defeated in the past, but have returned stronger and deadlier.  The fight for change going on in Haiti now is a turning point in human history because it will signal a victory over the forces that are driving this planet to its doom.  Greed and savage exploitation of our resources are destroying this planet and we are on course toward wholesale destruction if we do not change the way we are surviving.  And I say surviving not living because whether in Haiti or in the United States the majority of us are surviving, not living what a truly fulfilling life should be.  I do not mean that we should all be rich because fulfillment is not wealth, just ask Epstein, but the ability to live a positive life where your work and your worth are valued to the fullest.  This revolution will start but it will not end in Haiti.  This will serve as the catalyst just like we did it back in 1804.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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