Danse Petro: October 17

A date to be remembered all over the world because history defines the burden.
In Haiti, October 17 represents the death of The Emperor who is a rallying symbol for a revolution that has yet to arrive. Jean Jacques Dessalines was killed on that day, and curiously enough Haiti has chosen that date to officially celebrate his life. It is a official holiday in the country followed by all schools and business. Dessalines led the indigenous army that defeated the French army of Napoleon Bonaparte in 1804 to lead the first black nation to independence in the American Continent, which also led to the end of the slave trade in the Caribbean and most of rest of the continent.

This year in Haiti to commemorate the date, people took to the streets and despite demonstrations all over the country not achieving their stated aim: the overthrow of President Jovenel Moise, the sheer magnitude of the different groups in major towns yelling and screaming out their rejection of this government and its allies was a strong reminder that many in the population despise the president. Yeah sure, some are going to say what’s the use if Jovenel is able to stay in control. And those who say that have a point, but first and foremost a large part of the population showed that they reject the president, his allies and the upcoming elections. This is a serious blow to President Moise’s plan to hold elections before the end of the year. In Port-au-Prince, Saint Marc, Jacmel, Cap-Haitien and many other towns militants with huge crowds accompanying battled police officers who lobbed tear gas, shot rubber bullets, while Delmas became a battlefield urban style.

Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

All over the country people showed that they reject the upcoming elections and this is a blow to any plans to hold them. It is critical to Jovenel and his allies that the country looks peaceful enough to have people vote, even if the amount is small. Any turnout will satisfy the gallery and allow the international community to breathe a sigh of relief. After all Jovenel is their baby, to be cuddled, coddled and led to his obedient post of decision taking for the good of his masters and for the bad of the population. Make no mistake about it, plans hatched by Moise and his allies, the PHTK will lead to disaster for the country both politically and economically. Another parliament for sale and a president for his pockets will not solve all the problems Haiti faces. Starting with the environment, then follow with education, employment, small business development, agriculture -and this is vital – security and quality of life, the country is in bad shape with all indicators in the red. Jovenel and his allies have had four years and they are continuing Martelly’s PHTK reign of corruption and ineptitude.

Photo edited by Ashley Xochilt Montas

October 17 was sad in Haiti. Many people were hurt and there are unconfirmed reports of deaths. A sad day of unrest where, as usual, the President stayed silent and out of sight, save for a quick appearance to lay flowers at the Mupanah on Champs de Mars early in the morning. After, the streets were left to the fight between police and the population and many towns in the country were the theater for this macabre play.

Will elections be held in this atmosphere of violence, rampant crime, fear and distrust? Who can trust that President Moise will allow free, fair and legitimate elections to take place? The main thing most young people in Haiti think about is survival and day to day despair. You do the same useless activity on a daily basis, basic survival being the main thing with no avenue for a better future. As day turns into night fear creeps in because violence and gunshots happen often all over town. Every part of society suffers from the present social situation, riding in darkness, trying to avoid pot holes and keeping a weary eye for trouble of all kind. This upcoming selection will only lead to disaster.

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