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kplim oponaCSMS Magazine

There is a growing consensus among Haiti watchers in Washington that the Obama Administration is on the verge of committing a serious foreign policy blunder in the Caribbean. The New York Times editorial may be the biggest public manifestation to this assertion. The Times, which represents one the principal mouthpieces of the establishment, does not always editorialize in the premise of justice for all. We know that; and we also know the New York Times is by no means pitching for the participatory democracy that Haitians are dying for daily, facing an increasingly politicized police force along the unforgiving streets of Port-au-Prince.

Nonetheless, the Times’ editorial on Sunday, which adamantly advocates for a “legitimate election,” confirms the political discomfort or the dreary malaise vis-à-vis Haiti from a powerful sector in the US capital. Titled “Haiti Deserves a Legitimate Election,” the editorial implicitly recognizes that the Martelly-Opont charade ought to be dismissed. The Haitian government has been accused of orchestrating “massive fraud through vote-rigging and intimidation” during the last elections.  

The Times goes on to call “for an independent, Haitian-led inquiry to examine the October vote. The runoff should be postponed, so the October ballots can be openly counted and the results legitimized — if that is even possible, given the irregularities.” On the last point here, CSMS Magazine totally agrees, for it is highly unlikely a recount of ballots will change the outcomes. The CEP, which distributed more than 900,000 accreditation cards, knew why the move was orchestrated. It was designed to ensure victory for Jovenel Moise, Martelly’s handpicked stooge. The cards quickly triggered the flourishing of a “black market” because it allowed those who had the cards free access “to polling stations and [they could] vote even if their names were not in the list.”

Heretofore, you can recount ballots as many as times you want, the outcome stands to remain the same. If there is a genuine effort to help Haitians gain control of their government, this whole Martelly-Opont masquerade has to be thrown out, along with the Martelly government. A consensus government MUST be put in place with an urgent mandate to organize free and fair elections financed by the State—the Haitian state that is.    

The times also takes aim at the Provisional Electoral Council headed by Pierre-Louis Opont. “And any effort at staging a credible election should include reform of the electoral council, which has been accused of partisanship and incompetence.”

Of course, we didn’t have to wait for the New York Times to tell us how low and ugly things have become in Haiti. Furthermore, the Times is not interested in true political independence for Haiti. It rather aims at exposing the mismanagement of a client state and, by extension, embarrassing Bill Clinton as Obama’s proconsul of Haiti. Martelly and his clique, like many of their predecessors, have hijacked the State bureaucracy and made it their piggybank to fill their lots while average Haitians wallow in hellish conditions daily. They have used the country’s misery as one of their pivotal points to go panhandling abroad.

We need to understand no one can cure this malignant tumor eating away Haitian pride, history and dignity, but Haitians themselves. We need to cease to subordinate our intelligence to the ignorance and—too often—the blatant prejudice of others. We need to rise up against this deadly continuum to rewrite the narrative. We cannot forfeit our rights, our human rights, to the interests of recalcitrant bourgeois and their international backers. Whether they like it or not, democracy will take roots in Haiti.

Let’s not forget life has many seasons; and after living through the grayish chill of autumn and the bone-cracking cold of winter, spring will come, pile ou face. There is nothing they’ll be able to do to stop the coming of the blooming season. It WILL be spring in Haiti—someday!

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Note: You can read the New York Times editorial. Click here: Haiti Deserves a Legitimate Election

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