#netwayeAyiti2024 : Restitution vs GNB

Back in mid 2004, there was a movie called GNB vs Attila which really depicted the brainwashing that prevailed during and in the aftermath of the Coup d’Etat against then democratically elected former President of Haiti Jean Bertrand Aristide. The wildest rumors became truth in a campaign orchestrated by French and U.S. agents, with the help of Haitians politicians, civil society leaders and members of the leadership in a majority of universities. All to sabotage the bicentennial in 2004 and the demand for restitution made by then President Aristide.

Nowadays, the Haitian civil society, as it is called, is leading the Montana Accord, the coalition in opposition to the government led by de facto prime minister Ariel Henry in an attempt to lead a period of transition. First, this so called civil society represents only themselves and their respective associations and organizations, which account for very little in terms of leadership of the population. These so called leaders only lead their friends and a few persons looking for an opportunity to make some money, similarly to most politicians in Haiti. Second, the majority of these leaders of civil society are funded by foreigners in the form of grants, which can be traced to governments in the United States, France, and the rest of the Core Group of friendnemies. With the funding there is advice from the purse holders that gives direction to those “soldiers of the cause”.

Back in 2003 at the height of GNB, I remember participating in the meeting of the civil society parliament of the Caribbean countries, which gathered representatives from different civil and non government groups from the region. The representatives from the other countries like Trinidad, Dominica, Cuba, the Dominican Republic and some of the others could not understand why all the members of organizations and groups from Haiti repudiated the call for reparations from France made by then President Aristide because they claimed that the money would be stolen. Most of the people from other countries participating in the meeting were from progressive organizations which fully supported the concept of reparations, which was a novel idea then, but the Haitian participants were adamant in their opposition to the demands for restitution and the celebration of the bicentennial of Haiti’s independence. They claimed that both of these things would benefit Aristide whom they said was a dictator, even though he was democratically elected. None of the civil society groups in Haiti organized anything to celebrate the bicentennial. They were more interested in destroying anything that was organized to commemorate the achievements by the Haitian revolution. As for the demand for reparations and restitution, they were quickly forgotten once Aristide was overthrown. Today, these same demands are at the forefront because of articles by The NY Times. Leaders of associations in Haiti did not bring up the role France played back in the 1840s and later in pushing our country in poverty. It was reporters from the U.S. publication who wanted to highlight the robbery of the century.

De facto Prime Minister Ariel Henry is once again talking about elections, while planning to represent Haiti in the meeting of Nations of the Americas. This guy acts as if he was elected by a majority, not selected by Core Group ambassadors in a tweet. Haitians everywhere should be up in arms because of the disdain, contempt and belittling of our sovereignty by those who have put Henry in power. While representatives from Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua, all countries with elected governments, are given problems Ariel Henry is welcomed as our leader. We should not accept such an insult to our dignity. There was a time when Haitians took control of the financial district after shaking the Brooklyn Bridge in New York to declare that we did not have AIDS. We need to recapture that spirit. It is inconceivable that Haitians everywhere are going about life as usual, while our sovereignty is being soiled by those who are making a mockery out of our country with the help and participation of our sold out politicians and so called civic leaders. The youth in Haiti deserves better and it needs all the support that dignity can garner. We have a beautiful country, rich in resources and natural scenery waiting to feed and embrace all Haitians.

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