CSMS Magazine Staff Writers
Last week, Haitian-Canadian and Governor of Canada, Michaëlle Jean (left in the picture), visited Haiti with her baggage filled with gifts for the Haitian state. But he entire agenda seemed to have centered around the security issue plaguing the country. First, she went to the country’s southern peninsula, where she oversaw the renovation of a police station in the town of Torbeck, near the city of Les Cayes, some 70 miles south of the Haitian capital, Port-au-Prince. While there, she also granted several vehicles to the authorities of Les Cayes and paid a visit to an irrigation system near that city.
According to radio Métropole, a Port-au-Prince based station, 24 vehicles and 22 motorcycles along with bullet-proof vests and computers were handed over to the authorities of Les Cayes. Still according to radio Métropole, the Canadian government is currently financing the renovation of 14 police stations in the southern part of Haiti.
During her stay in Haiti, Mrs. Jean told the press that all this effort is part of an estimated 3.2 million-dollar project designed to help put under control the out-of-control security problem in the country.
Haiti’s police chief, Mario Andresol, used the occasion to thank the Governor while acknowledging that the strengthening of police personnel in the South will certainly help combating drug trafficking. Madame Michèle Pierre-Louis, Haitian Prime Minister, expressed her gratitude toward Canada while reminding police authorities that the materials given must be used according to the intent of the gift.
Préval and his mea culpa
Upon arrival at the Toussaint Louverture Airport in Port-au-Prince, Mrs. Jean’s was greeted by Haitian president René Préval, the Canadian ambassador to Haiti, and many other dignitaries. As usual, Préval’s speech could not be more thankful, a form of mea culpa reminiscent to the impotent, good-for-nothing head of states whose sole vocation is to rule with no obligation toward their people.
In his traditional message to the nation on January 1st, Haiti’s Independence Day, René Préval made it clear to the Haitians and to the world that there is nothing he can do to ease the plight of the vast majority of his countrymen, who wallow in poverty every day. Yet, he did not have the slim sense of decency and morality when he sneakily suggested that he should be allowed to go for a second mandate. If that is not possible, according to many insiders, he still has another card to play: his mistress and soon-to-be his wife (if one wants to believe the rumors), Elizabeth Delatour Debrosse, could also be catapulted to country’s top post—a lesson the president learned very well from his predecessor, Jean Bertrand Aristide, and a lesson of which he intends to apply scrupulously.
Poor Haiti, when will deliverance arrive? Lawlessness is the law of the land, the state bureaucracy is the fertile ground from which petit-bourgeois with no shame and no sense of patriotism prey on the country’ s resources to become arriviste bureaucrats bent on selling everything, including their dignities, to fill their lots while occupying the top echelon of the government.
The country is disintegrating under their noses, but the craving for stealing and pillaging what belongs to the Haitian people leaves them no room to do otherwise.
Never before in the history of a country has one witnessed such absence of pride and dignity from its leaders. Haiti’s sovereignty is hanging by a thread; many of its youths have resorted to prostitution just to survive and the infrastructure is virtually crumbled. Haiti’s leaders travel overseas and participate in many international forums, but one thing seems to be in their minds: seeking the slimmest opportunity to swell their lots even more at the expense of the destruction of Haiti. And when confronted with the truth, they bray like horsey leprechauns in the hunt for the crocodile cry.
Notwithstanding the aid brought to Haiti by Michaëlle Jean who seemed to have motivated by the same desire and, perhaps, may have suffered by the same disgust that most Haitians living outside of the country now suffer, the idea of accumulating donation on the back of the Haitian people has long been a lucrative enterprise, which makes Haitian leaders look more like international panhandlers rather than respectful statesmen. Being Haitian, Mrs. Jean would probably want to use her position to help alleviate or reduce what seems to be the everlasting misery of a Nation. Writing grant proposals appear to be the only skill they have mastered.
The Haitian left: The viable alternative
One group is wholeheartedly sincere: the Haitian masses. So, where is the Haitian left? The only historical ally of the masses, La Gauche haitienne, MUST be resurrected to hold the torch—the only torch still not entirely extinguished. If Haiti must live, La Gauche holds the key to its cure, for it is the only political entity with the vocation and the know-how capable of shining the path to liberation. Haiti can no longer continue to go on this way, and if the masses’ attitude appears to be passive it is because no alternative looms in the horizon.
Abel Jean Simon, activist and revolutionary to the core, attempts to give us an alternative in a 12-page document published here in this magazine last week in the Creole section, where he still believes in the reconstitution of an organized left “as the cornerstone to any vibrant rejuvenation of the democratic movement in Haiti,” claims Abel.
Abel’s document could be used as the burgeoning of a reborn left or, at the very least, the catacomb by which all new ideas in the search to rid the country from its nemeses must come through. In saying so, we should not seek the exoneration of those who still hold the reigns of power, nor should we try to relieve them from their obligations. The burden of proof still rests on them, and it is the duty of the Haitian masses to ask them to step aside if that burden cannot be met. Préval and his cronies will still continue to claim to be part of the Haitian left, for having spent many years as a militant of En-Avant. Préval only reneged on his promises to uphold the revolutionary banner to the very end when it became clear he was going to be Aristide’s protégé—clear nature of petit-bourgeois opportunist.
For a genuine renouveau (rebirth), the social democrats—fuzzy politicians of the left—must be weeded out in order to create a vanguard, holistic and powerful, suitable for the struggle that lies ahead. In order to be free at last and for Haiti to seize to be the playground where proxy politics are being played, a government by the people and for the enhancement of Haiti must be in charge. Only then we can claim to be truly independent.
Also see: High Noon for René Préval in Haiti