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Friday, April 12, 2024

A reflection on Haiti’s Flag Day

By Ardain Isma

CSMS Magazine

Haiti celebrated yet another Flag Day last weekend. Haitians across the globe reacted differently to this unforgettable day. Some seized the opportunity to showcase their country’s past glory, and they did it lavishly in concert halls, in beach front parks and in fancy homes throughout North America. Others simply used the moment to reflect upon the current status of their homeland, a land their forefathers had crossed insurmountable odds and had made indescribable sacrifices to beat back waves after waves of Napoleonic soldiers in order to rid the island of Hispaniola of the venom of slavery.

May 18th or 18 Mai, as it is called in Haiti, is indeed an awesome day, but it is also a day that can only be a vivid reminder of how low the country of Dessalines, Pétion, Christophe etc… has fallen. Despite the resilience that historically characterizes the Haitian people, one has to agree that Haiti is an abused state—bullied by its neighbors, pillaged and betrayed by its traitors, humiliated by its donors and left almost naked to fend for itself.

Few countries in the Western Hemisphere has suffered this much; and yet when one thinks that the country has already hit bottom and that it can only swing to upside, Haiti’s detractors and destroyers have always found other means to prove everyone wrong. Since its dramatic birth in 1804—over 200 years ago—the country was imposed a policy of containment, allowing it just enough to survive, but not substantially enough to thrive.

It was/is always the enemies from within that usually hold the reins of power, keeping the vast majority of the people firmly at bay in a holy conspiracy with international players—those with little desire to see that Haiti rises to full political and financial independence.

Today, Haiti’s post earthquake government is headed by stooges of the soi-disant donor countries. Their sole aim is to feel their lots off donations given in the aftermath of the 2010 earthquake that left the country crippled. France, The United States and Canada have long taken control of who should be in charge of Haiti. Haitian leaders are completely beholden to Bill Clinton as head of Haiti’s Reconstruction Commission, a commission put in place to lead the rebuilding effort.

Of course, no country can flourish on its own. Since the barbaric time, it has always been relations between nations that make some countries powerful, others become rogues while a substantial number of others remain weak and utterly vulnerable to all forms of exploitations.

I truly believe that only a genuine political and economic independence can guarantee prosperity for Haiti. For that to happen, there has to be a new way of doing things in Port-au-Prince. There has to be a government headed by not only patriotic Haitians, but also by Haitians that are revolutionary in their thinking and in their actions. Bold undertakings must be key to extirpate this current state bureaucratic machine—corrupt and shamefully ineffective—and to be replaced by democrats empowered with the wherewithal and most importantly with an unconditional love for their country.

Note: Dr. Ardain Isma is editor-in-chief of CSMS Magazine. He teaches Cross-Cultural Studies at the University of North Florida (UNF). He is a scholar as well as a novelist. He may be reached at: publisher@csmsmagazine.org

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