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Thursday, September 21, 2023

Haiti’s elections: The loser takes it all!

martellyaBy Ardain Isma

CSMS Magazine

Michel Martelly has always been known to be a clannish freak with a dull sense of purpose, and many have long come to believe that his politically Machiavellian maneuverings had—for good reasons—its limits. Last week, however, he defied his critics by leading his henchmen to forbidding land, to where an estimated one million Haitians cast their ballots to elect a new president.

Martelly has been ruling by decree for over a year after a protracted fight with his political opponents in the Haitian Parliament, a struggle that left him Solo Ruler in the land of the “crazies.” The Haitian president knew the country’s lawmakers were for the most part opportunists like him with little popular base—at least not enough to bring the country to a standstill in order to force him out. Martelly also understood that any free and fair election would have catapulted Moise Jean-Charles to the presidency, thereby ensuring criminal prosecutions against him.

Consequently, he made no secret about what he intended to see: a sub-stooge to replace him at all costs, even if it means killing thousands to achieve this dirty aim. As usual, bribery and intimidations gave way to ballot stuffing or ballot burning—depending on what would serve the purpose of the hour.  When it was over, his obscurely out-of-nowhere candidate enshrined in the persona of Jovenel Moise came out on top. Jovenel Moise, totally slavish and completely bewildered, would blindly serve the country’s nemeses as the newest coon.   

Few months ago, it would have been unthinkable for Jovenel Moise to believe in such “Providence.” Once again, politics of obstructionisms mixed with a weird form of brinksmanship have managed to keep the people’s desires firmly at bay.  But, for how long?

A very dishonest partner

Since the Duvaliers fled the country in 1986, Haiti has been locked in a bitter struggle with its enemies—locals and internationals. Through the years, many actors of this struggle have come and gone—pilgrims of liberty who have fallen into oblivion, lost to the passage of time like dusts in the tropical wind. While 29 years have already gone and the casualties of this struggle seem monumental, the masses of Haiti have never deviated from the course. The fight for political freedom in Haiti has one strategic aim: uprooting the corrupt bureaucratic machine, introducing democratic governance and restoring the authority of the Sate which will then guarantee under the Geneva Convention the 3 fundamental rights for every citizen in the island nation: affordable health care, a decent education and a professional job. Socioeconomic justice and human rights are mutually inclusive. Any attempt to forestall either or will undoubtedly lead to political disaster. 

Haiti ElectionsEvery time the country seems close to winning, the forces of evils simply tighten their ranks; and what happened last week was the latest testament to this assertion. It showed how cynical the Haitian rulers and their international backers are. In the aftermath of the electoral charade, Celmo Amorim, the OAS Chief, urges patience amid cries of massive fraud by the Martelly government. Amorim knew what he was talking about. He understood he had tacit Washington support, for on October 6th, US Secretary of State John Kerry made a brief stop in Port-au-Prince to land his support to Michel Martelly—the modern day Conzé—in his vulgar effort to ensure Haiti’s perennial status as a basket case, a pariah country. “Over the next three weeks there is all the opportunity … to take advantage of the election process and make sure this election is without incident, without violence, without intimidation, and that people go to the polls and vote,” Kerry was reportedly said between clenched teeth as he ordered Martelly and PM Evans Paul. This makes one remember how Hillary Clinton 5 years ago, then US chief diplomat, flew to Port-au-Prince to effectively order René Preval to stuff Martelly into the presidential runoff that led to his “official” nomination. Read René Preval bows as Hillary Clinton orders

What needs to be done?

After 100 years of foreign domination and political tutelage, it is now clear that salvation will have to come from within. It cannot be imported from abroad. Popular democracy is incompatible with reactionary politics. Haiti as it stands today is an independent country in name only or in the minds of some fools who still believe in illusory democracy—henceforth, they couldn’t care less about the sub-human conditions under which most Haitians live.

There is a thin layer of the petite-bourgeoisie—obtusely parasitic—which sole dream is to someday be a part of the nouveaux riches at the expense of millions of their fellow countrymen who wallow daily in the foggy haze of outright misery. They’re the first to claim Haiti was doomed from the start and “we alone cannot save the sinking boat,” they will say. They’re also the first to conform to the norm—traitors in the grand scheme against the land of Dessalines. Yet, on 18 Mai, Flag Day, they’re too quick to display their Haitianism. It’s hard to imagine or even contemplate such awkward dubiousness. Money has morphed them into that blackish poodle which wags its tail ceaselessly whenever its master shows up in the premises.

The Week That Was in Latin America Photo GalleryHeretofore, no serious change can be brought to bear in Haiti with these renegades. Moreover, we need to stop seeing politics as a one-man show. We need to understand that politics is an art through which no sense of morality can be found. Politics is the collision of forces, where the most powerful wins. Obviously, the forces of evil have money, power and, above all, are well organized. History is on our side, for sure. But how can we win if we’re not organized? There needs to be a united front to win the fight. We need to relinquish our petty bourgeois aspirations and adhere to the sacred cause of rescuing Haiti from the grips of its enemies. Remember, we’re not fighting for selfish ambitions. We’re fighting to stave off an avalanche they’ve set in slow motion until it completely swallows Haiti into oblivion.

Today, the loser takes it all, but the tide will someday turn in our favor—if we uphold what needs to be done!

Note: Dr. Ardain Isma is CSMS Magazine Chief Editor. He is a novelist and a passionate for social justice. You can read a synopsis of his books by clicking on this link: Books

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  1. good thinking, right now we must all fight with rest of the world for justice and development. We will win if we keep the union active and continue the struggle internationally, Haiti is not alone,.

  2. fjdelva You are right. The struggle for socioeconomic justice is a worldwide one. That is right solidarity among peoples is quintessential to winning it.

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