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Thursday, February 22, 2024

Haiti: The heat is on

foto haiti1abCSMS Magazine

Thousands of Haitian demonstrators swarmed the streets of Port-au-Prince, denouncing the electoral coup and demanding the immediate downfall of the Martelly government. According to Agence France Presse, police moved in as usual to dislodge them, throwing tear gas to suffocate them. The move failed, and the politically defiant Haitians charged against the cops and threatened to submerge them. Salvos of rocks pelted cars and armored vehicles that were used as buffers to keep the demonstrators at bay. Waves of stones rained down from all directions. UN troops and Haitian cops alike got pinned down for more than an hour.

Emboldened Haitians grow increasingly confident, recognizing the strength and depth of their determination to rid their country of foreign interference. The tactical unity among the G-8 presidential candidates appears to have helped in channeling the streets protests and in sharpening the demands, which are becoming clearer by the hour. The masses in Haiti are now convinced what took place in their country on October 25th was far from being the final step of an electoral process. They now know they have been cheated.  

Every major news organization—national and international—has either shunned or loudly denounced the masquerade.  “Given the bribery allegations……the issue now is no longer whether the Dec. 27 presidential runoff remains a possibility, but whether any election with the current CEP will be feasible and acceptable to anyone.” That’s the Miami Herald.

Alibaba and his one-thousand thieves have been cowed into silence. They now lie trapped like flies in a spider web. But while we seem to get them cornered, the crazies and their allies still have punches ready to be unleashed from their arsenal. They can still use bribery, intimidation and outright threat when everything seems to fail.

Another dread that could send people jaded is the shallow conviction of their circumstantial leaders. Remember, this current “unity” among the candidates is only tactical, not strategic. In the aftermath of a Martelly downfall, the possibility or probability for a resurgence of the infighting is very much alive. Consequently, a cohesive front is urgently needed to keep the pressure on, not just on the crazies, but also on the presidential candidates.

Martelly and his Congo Sapeur are just a tiny hindrance on the road to political independence. Bigger fights lie ahead, and only participatory democracy will get the deprived masses to the Promise Land.

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