In Haiti everyday is a challenge as all are waiting for February of next year. Will Jovenel Moise be forced to leave because of popular pressure, or will he ride the waves of discontent by unleashing the police on demonstrations with tear gas, bullets and mass incarcerations? So far, militants from the opposition vow that come February 7 the president will vacate the palace; some of them go as far as saying that Jovenel and his wife will be in the penitentiary answering for their crimes. The president still holds many cards, notwithstanding the support of the “Blanc”, led by the self titled Core Group of policy makers masquerading as diplomats. With the gangs of criminals still supporting the government and stifling militants in the overcrowded shantytown neighborhoods, and units of the police breaking all public gatherings against the president, Jovenel Moise is looking forward to staying in power until 2022. He has the gall to set up a committee to change the constitution, so that he can acquire more power, while ensuring his re-election. The population seems to be willing to allow all excesses, for example the change in the criminal code has been forgotten, and all the declarations that followed the code have died down. As far as we know the government has not made any changes to the proposed code of justice, so it will be official soon if not already. There is a lack of continuity in actions from the opposition that allows the president to move forward with his dictatorial plans. Recently, students from the School of Law vowed to keep the pressure until they found justice for Monferrier Dorval the lawyer killed near the president’s home. But after days of demonstrations and barricades near the university the students have stopped and returned to their routine.
In Gonaives the water has reached the boiling point, as thousands of militants took to the streets last Thursday demanding the ouster of President Moise and his clan. Militants there are daring President Moise to come deliver the January 1 address to the nation, as accustomed. In Cap Haitien militants allied with Jean Charles Moise, the leader of Pitit Desalin, a political party opposed to Jovenel and the PHTK, are mobilizing daily waiting for February to start actions to destabilize the government. And in Port-au-Prince, the nation’s capital, groups like Nou Pap Domi are agitating, fostering dissent and educating the people. As the voices of the movement Pasacale Solages and Emmanuela Douyon are at the forefront of a new attitude by young women and men to live rather than survive. Nou Pap Domi represents a new way of thinking, where young people are concerned about each other and about what the future holds. We need to help them spread their message of hope and resistance all over, especially in the U.S. so that public opinion there begins to see the truth.
The Haitian National Police is imploding because of low morale, dissension, the lack of benefits and low pay for the rank and file. While the top brass gets all kinds of advantages, from paid housing in large well maintained homes to large, daily cash benefits for gas, food and extras, the police men and women working the streets are paid little and live in substandard housing in poverty stricken neighborhoods. Their children struggle in poorly equipped and managed schools that their parents afford with great sacrifice, and if a police officer is killed in action his surviving family gets next to nothing after months of waiting. The officers would like to have a syndicate to lead them to better conditions, and they have come together to convince the leadership to accept the union, but the high command is not listening. Between the HNP director and the President the police officers have no support, but that is not stopping them from fighting for the syndicate. The government depends on the police to quell dissent in the population and help it stay in power beyond February, but it foolishly allows low morale and resistance within the rank and file, to the point that many officers have lost respect for their leaders. One of the main support for Jovenel and his allies of the PHTK is eroding, and they are helping that.
Resistance is mounting in the country, especially in towns in the provinces. Even though gangs in those towns are supporting the president, they cannot stem the tide of masses of people marching and demanding the ouster of Jovenul. The President may be able to hide and hunker down in Petion-Ville or somewhere, but the rest of the country will become a burning field where his allies will run for cover. February will be the beginning of the end.