With 12 days left until President Jovenel Moise’s mandate comes to an end, persons in Haiti are living through an increasingly tense situation. Yesterday schoolchildren demonstrated in front of the U.S. Embassy in Port-au-Prince wearing their uniforms, carrying their school bags, but it was not to attend class, get the necessary learning from teachers and start to become the citizens of tomorrow. They were there to ask for an end to the nightmare and the look the other way attitude from an untenable situation. The same day in Cap Haitien tires burned on Rue L, when demonstrators came out, a small group it was true, a brief panic started. In Kafou and Delmas barricades were set, as more schoolchildren came out demanding an end to the kidnapping of their peers. In Montrouis, usually a small peaceful resort near the sea, home to some of the priciest tourist resorts left in the country, a car was torched after its occupant fired at a crowd, killing a school girl.
People are constantly worried about their security, even as a few well off persons try to live and enjoy themselves. With barricades set on the roads at will, whenever a group of people suffer from the kidnapping persons in their vicinity; Delmas 40 B was closed this morning for that very reason; people are keeping movement to a minimum. Actors with influence in society, wether on President Moise’s side or against him are flexing muscle and gearing for an upcoming fight beginning in February. The president spoke on Facebook appearing tense, talking about electricity and announcing a task force to fight kidnappings. He spoke as if the people kidnapped did not matter, but politicians in opposition were his target once again, as he blamed them for all problems. In the streets, schoolchildren demonstrating, chanted that President Moise and the PHTK were the ones responsible for the kidnappings. It is hard to go against their logic because kidnappers are acting everyday, in broad daylight, with no resistance from the police. Most of the times, these legal bandits carry heavy weapons and show no fear of the police. Curiously, almost all of the persons kidnapped these days are young people of modest means. It looks and smells like a campaign of terror geared toward cowering the population into subservience. Many persons have sent the family abroad before D-day.
On Champs de Mars, and on the airways, militants and political leaders are telling Jovenel Moise that it will require him killing hundreds, if not thousands of people to remain in power after February 7, when his mandate ends. Young people are posting on social platforms, warning that they will not back down. In Montrouis once again today some people barricaded the national road, and burning tires are still there as we write this post. The situation is getting out of control and we have to wonder about D-day and it’s aftermath. While all this is going on in a country less than a hundred miles from South Florida, the U.S. media is strangely silent about the ongoing situation there. Yesterday, all the news report were about demonstrations in Russia and in India, and nothing was said about thousands of persons, mainly schoolchildren demonstrating in various towns of Haiti. In Kafou, part of the metropolitan area of PAP, once again, as of this writing a large crowd were out demanding freedom for kidnapped persons. A huge traffic jam is seen on the National Road 2 as the crowd is growing blocking this vital roadway, burning tires and demanding the release of kidnap victims in the area.
The silence from the U.S. media, especially in South Florida makes us wonder if there is a news blackout imposed on Haiti by the international media in their respective countries. It seems as if no one wants to talk about the country, even as it is going through a critical period in its existence. Haitians everywhere in the U.S. and Canada, to name some places, need to demand information about their home in the media where they live. We need to call in talk shows to make people aware of this situation because some of us are not even aware of what’s going on. There are many reporters in Haiti who probably file stories about what’s going on there, but the media does not feature those stories here. They prefer to talk about India, which is miles away, while the over one million in the U.S. do not get to keep up with their place of birth. It’s time to support the population in Haiti if we can in however small way we can, as we struggle to survive here. The media needs to show respect towards people from Haiti by at least putting it in the limelight as the situation worsens. It will be up to Haitians everywhere if people are murdered in silence, or the killing will stop because of light shed on its perpetrators.