With 14 days left in his mandate, President Jovenel Moise is threatening to eradicate those he feels are funding the opposition. In a recent address to the nation, Jovenel issued strong warnings to the population, refusing to step down as the constitution states. He stated that there are a few who are giving money to persons so that they make trouble in the country. He is ready to send his storm troopers after them. He does not realize that Haiti is a boiling pot ready to spill its content, as people are mobilizing everywhere to make the president respect the constitution. Now that time is running out Jovenel is trying to cower the population into accepting his plan to stay away in power until 2022 and beyond if he has his way.
Led by the U.S., the core group of international actors in Haiti’s crisis are sending a mixed message of support for President Moise, while behind the scenes voices are creeping in demanding that he respect the mandate he was elected under. You see, President Moise set a trap for himself when he dismissed all the elected members of parliament, save for ten ineffective senators; most of them too busy raking in the little money left while they are around. With this dismissal signaling that four years had passed, the president finishes his five years a year after, according to his own calculations because four plus one equals five not six. Jovenel had one year to extricate himself out of that trap by holding whatever bogus elections he could present, with constitutional amendments allowing him to run. Time has run out, and he has 14 days left. The international friends can also add, and to them four plus one equals five. Mike Pompeo tried to warn President Moise and the PHTK back when he still had a job. Now a new man is coming in, and who knows how he will feel about a president who is not clean, while his mandate is finished.
With the latest position paper from the jesuits, as reported in the press, the gauntlet is growing in strength. They are calling for a strong resolve in order to oust Jovenel and the PHTK. The order is asking for the people to extricate the country out of a situation that will lead them to doomsday. In the streets, all kind of groups are mobilizing everyday, some starting to sporadically erect barriers and burning tires to prepare a general uprising, it would seem. Organizations like Nou Pap Domi, Petro Challengers and different grassroots groups vow that they will lead the population toward the palace on February 7. This situation has created a lot of anxiety in persons who can only wait anxiously for things to develop. At the same time you hear of the PAP Jazz festival going on with moderate success. The Nouvelliste has announced that the first edition of “Haiti: Springtime Art” has been running for more than a week. It will end at the end of the month, a week before the festivities. Many plastic artist have gathered to expose their works to a select group of aficionado. So, many people are trying to lead a normal life, it would seem. But we all know that underneath it all there is a growing fear that things may explode in unparalleled violence. We always hope that this will not happen because enough people have died already in Haiti. Last year alone we can’t even count the amount of victims from criminal violence, including persons kidnapped and killed, road accidents with many fatalities caused by poor conditions and no ambulance service on the highways, illnesses resulting in death since the healthcare system is nonexistent and those who die at sea trying to escape the hellish existence they live in. Too many people just died with no one giving a hoot.
So far the police has been able to squash most street demonstrations by using tear gas indiscriminately on any gathering. Students from a neighborhood in Kafou were demonstrating in the street a couple of days ago, asking for justice because one of their classmates had been kidnapped. Police showed up lobbing tear gas and brutally broke up the gathering. The force is under orders to break up any group of people gathered in the street. The government is nervous because it knows that if people take to the street massively nothing will stop them. In major towns like Gonaives and Les Cayes when crowds gather police officers prudently stay away waiting for departmental anti riot units. Even those specialized units are easily overwhelmed when it comes to Gonaives especially, and in other provincial towns. There is not enough police officers to adequately hold the fort, so Port-au-Prince and its metropolitan area is where they flex their muscles. And PAP is also where the opposition and grassroots leaders are gathering strength for what they call the last battle. The jesuits have likened this period as the second coming of 1804 in the recent paper they put out. Many militants had been saying the same thing in recent demonstrations, all calling for President Moise and the PHTK to leave.
14 days left to D-day.