The elusive agreement between politicians and civil society leaders looking to come up with a plan to solve some of Haiti’s pressing problems is a dream that is often spoken of, but never actually realized. That a gathering of forces is needed and probably is the only way out of this hellish situation seems logical. But many forces are at work to ensure that this magical “Konbit” never happens, while those persons who possibly could spearhead such a movement are constantly discouraged by the negative propaganda spread constantly by “useful fools” on social media and news personalities on payrolls.
With our brothers and sisters getting brutalized and kicked out of the Dominican Republic and the United States because of their status as illegal immigrants, the national identity of all of us Haitians is being humiliated. Those of us who migrated legally and believe that our achievements put us in a different category are fooling ourselves. The harsh treatment given to our compatriots is not because they’re special, or represent a minority in our country. It’s because they’re Haitians from a country that is being colonized, while a significant part of its population is reduced to quasi slavery. There is a division within the Haitian population which not only prevents us from coming together, but also allows for bad treatment of citizens in Haiti and abroad. Looking at how we allow the majority of the population in most towns to live in substandard housing and in neighborhoods filled with garbage and despair, persons from other countries duplicate the same treatment. Of course, in the Dominican Republic there are extreme measures of repression and genocide toward our compatriots because of the color of their skins and the despair that forced them to leave their country. But in Haiti also the repressive regime, coupled with bloodthirsty gangsters is oppressing and killing members of the population, and nothing is being done, only militants and demonstrators are trying to bring a change.
The educated members of the population who read and write French consider themselves superior to the majority of the population, which mainly communicates in Haitian – the native language incorrectly called Creole. A significant part of the population is made of peasants and folks who live in the hills with no electricity just like it was back in the 18th century. With the population divided along social lines that are difficult to overcome, the political system does not allow for union or agreement among politicians. Most of them use that division to recruit followers among the most uneducated, and the few honest persons who side with the masses are vilified and ostracized by the intelligentsia whose members listen or follow orders from foreign tutors.
In Ouanaminthe, a town on the border between Haiti and the DR, citizens closed passage from the bridge which allows traffic between the two countries. Because of this, trucks bringing products and agricultural harvest from the DR cannot cross into Haiti. As a result of the blockade, Dominican wholesalers are losing money since the products they do not sell are perishable. As of this writing, even though Haitian authorities, along with the police have forced the persons to allow opening of the gate barring traffic, demonstrators have paralyzed traffic both in Ouanaminthe and in Cap Haitien with barricades and burning tires. A significant amount of food and products which are consumed in Haiti are sold by businesses in the Dominican Republic, so as one of their main clients Haitians have the power to hurt them economically.
Persons in the Dominican Republic do not realize that their country is dependent on Haitian consumers on the one hand, and Haitian labor on the other hand to produce the goods sold over the border. What makes matters worse for Dominicans is that a lot of businesses are owned by persons in the United States mostly, and Europe in terms of the tourist industry. Because of that a significant part of profits garnered by the large agricultural businesses are repatriated to the U.S., and there isn’t a lot left as savings in case of economic down times, like is happening now. The average citizen of the DR is suffering because unemployment is high and many persons are in debt. Many jobs are taken by Haitians because the pay is too low to allow the average Dominican to survive. Making matters worse, many Haitians with some means have come to the Dominican Republic to escape crime and despair in Port-au-Prince. They rent homes and are living there, and many Dominicans are not happy about that because to them Haitians are all the same, poor and dirty; so they don’t belong in housing that many Dominicans cannot afford. This is an explosive situation that is only getting worse. Racist politicians there are stoking the fires, and many Haitians are getting beaten and a few are killed by mobs. Of course, Ariel Henry and his de facto illegal government is saying nothing about this. Haitians cannot wait for a subservient government to do something; we need to respond to this somehow.
People need to mobilize and come together to rid the country of Ariel Henry and politicians from the PHTK and their allies. We need to understand the roots of the divisive nature within our social environment, and learn to accept each other, wether we live in towns or in the hills. We must embrace all aspects of our culture with no attempts to belittle the African base that makes us what we are. Only by coming together can we reclaim our heritage.