In Haiti presently, a new round of mobilization just began on Monday this week, and this time conditions in the living conditions are driving persons to take the streets in search of some quality in their life. Nowadays what we refer to as quality of life is nonexistent in most if not all towns in the first Black Republic of the nineteenth century. Starting with basic security from criminals and continuing with health care, electricity, gasoline for private use, schooling for many children, noise at all hours in some places in the capital, garbage collection, traffic flow, all these things which are regarded as basic in most countries in the world have disappeared in the life of Haitians, especially those living in and around Port-au-Prince. Prices demanded for most food items and home supplies whether bought on the street or in stores have more than doubled over the past few months. Persons who had problems eating a decent meal each day are now unable to even eat once every two days, with a snack on the off day. Others are made to starve little by little, victims of all kinds of opportunistic diseases.
With all these problems in the country, persons are truly exasperated, and this new round of mobilization shows this. Even though thousands of persons hit the pavement following Jean Charles Moise in Cap Haitien, in all other towns, especially in the capital, Port-au-Prince, politicians were notably absent, and not welcomed by militants who were very combative. Reminiscent of the late eighties when the population was fighting the military, persons threw rivers of stones and bottles at cops and at stores on Delmas and other places, while a food warehouse belonging to an NGO was pillaged by a crowd of demonstrators. Not to advocate violence but this mobilization, which is still in progress today, is driven by despair, extreme poverty and a sense of being abandoned by the government, those in power, and an elite which is only that in name only. Presently in Haiti, the middle class has disappeared, and there are only two classes left, the ones who are making a lot, about five percent, and those who do not have the opportunity, the rest of the population. Persons who belong to the former middle class are barely making ends meet, while putting a decent meal on the table, while those in poverty starve. There you have all the ingredients for revolution, save for leadership, one of the main ingredient to success. Most Persons have lost trust in the all talk no action politicians who only show up on the pavement for a spell, and can’t wait to join the crew. The few who are honestly vying for change have lost most of the people’s trust because of the actions of their peers.
In Jeremie, on the tip of the southern peninsula, persons have to pay nearly the equivalent of ten to fifteen dollars USD for a gallon of gasoline in the informal market, the street ok, while the price at the pump is still officially under three dollars give or take a few gourdes. Today there were barricades all over town because persons in town refuse to continue paying these prices. They are rising in indignation because the price of rice, meat, and most food has risen in proportion. As in all the other movements, politicians are again not leading the population. It looks like a spontaneous reaction to the conditions, and in all cases persons are demanding that de facto prime minister Ariel Henry leave office and retire somewhere far. As usual, no reaction from him or members of his crew, can’t call that a government.
We hope this round of mobilization does not fizzle out like the past monster demonstrations and peyi lock of the past three years. This time the people need to put pressure so intense that the crew resigns, and takes cover, or is incarcerated, like it happened in the Sudan and in Sri Lanka. Of course, in both of these countries matters are not settled, but a step in the right direction has been taken. In Haiti, it is time for those looking for a better future for our country to come together and help the mobilization go right. To restore the beauty of our simplicity.