Haiti's Folly of Dependence

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Haiti's Folly of Dependence

Post by Guysanto » Fri Apr 10, 2009 11:46 pm

Haiti's Folly of Dependence
Guy S. Antoine
Mar 11, 2002

"Haiti is now making payments to the Inter-American Development Bank (IADB) on its arrears and credit commissions on loans that Haiti has signed and yet has never received. As a result, Haiti is now in a negative cash-flow position with the IADB to the tune of $10 million. In essence, Haiti is financing the IADB instead of vice-versa."
--Ronald V. Dellums

I think that Haiti should say "NO" to continued dependence on foreign aid, since we have to literally surrender too much of our nation's sovereignty just in order to be on the list of those who are promised aid. However, our country is in agony. Just as the death of a canary is the tell-tale sign for coal miners, the increasing number of our boat people disappearing at sea or washing ashore "unwanted" is a sure sign of our desperate economic situation. At times like this, it might seem cold-hearted for anyone to speak of refusing "monetary help" that would go towards reducing our state of misery. However, I contend that it is precisely at this time that our greatest obligation is to examine what dependence on Foreign Aid (or the promise of such) has done for Haiti historically. If you share in my conclusion that this dependence has in fact been killing our people (while feeding, in a vicious circle, the internal corruption that diverts it from reaching the poorest in our land) , then we must look for an alternative. We should encourage greater participation by Haitian Nationals living abroad. That is an essential component of the solution we must create in partnership with Haitians living in Haiti searching themselves for an alternative.

None of us, alone, has the technical superiority to craft by himself an alternative solution for Haiti. We must band together to accomplish the task and do so without ulterior political motives. Too many of our current architects want to own the house. All independent-minded Haitian people should band together to heed the call of our boat people and the peasants leaving Haiti voluntarily to work on Dominican plantations in slavery conditions. They are themselves searching for an alternative and voting with their feet every single day to escape the hell of their existence. Any initiative that does not target the poorest of our poor is an exercise in futility as far as the future of our country is concerned. That is so, because they are the overwhelming majority.

Many have have proposed regular financial contributions from members of the Diaspora. However, there is a serious concern with such reliance on the blind generosity of Haitians Nationals living abroad, sending MORE money than they already do. The truth is that our nationals will contribute only if their increased assistance translates into tangible "rewards", i.e. the purchase of bonds for reforestation (dollars for trees), environmental clean-up, pisciculture, community development projects, and so forth. The problem still resides in implementing the structures that will make such good-faith investments attractive and efficient. Efficiency cannot of course coexist with high levels of corruption, so this too needs to be addressed.

Weaning ourselves from our dependency on foreign aid is not going to be achieved overnight. Saying NO to Foreign AID is not saying no to the investments of our own people or even to properly guided foreign investments. We have a history of pride in paying our debts as a people, even those that were ill-conceived. The challenge now is to secure new partnerships that can work to meet the needs of our neediest, without burdening them with unrealistic financial obligations.

I hope that the contribution of these ideas will elicit others, which together might take us one decisive step closer to an alternate path for Haiti's development, free of corruption and free of foreign dictates on our political processes. Let's regain a share of the independence and sovereignty we have already surrendered in exchange for ill-invested AID (when at all disbursed). Let's forge new partnerships with our people first and with others if they are willing to accept our directives. Development must start with the goal of enabling the destitute people of our country to live in their country and not end up elsewhere as slaves or shark feed.[/quote]

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Post by jafrikayiti » Wed Apr 15, 2009 9:25 am

From 2002 to 2009 this same message repeated in many different ways and languages seem to be falling on death ears.

Meanwhile, yet another conference is organized to discuss how to save Haiti, with the same old strategies that have never failed to fail in the past decades.

Kase chenn yo mezanmi!


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