Does Haiti still matter?

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Does Haiti still matter?

Post by admin » Mon May 12, 2003 7:02 pm

After 200 years of a vilified and often miserable existence, do Haitians still aspire to become "one", as a free people; as a nation worth living in, worth dying for, worth bequeathing to future generations?
Is "Haitian Pride" a reality, an illusion, or a delusion?
Does Haiti still matter?
Does it matter to you?

In the United States where I live, the good news most often get filtered out. The majority of the time, whenever Haiti is talked about, it's down, down, down. One wonders how the country has been able to even survive to this day. Sure, when I go to Haiti every couple of years, I get a shot in the arm, because I discover that while the economic situation is not rosy for the majority and the physical environment could be much improved, Haiti still has a pulse and Haitians have a way of life that has survived centuries of exploitation and is bound to blossom one day, once the naysayers become themselves involved in a work of transformation. I know that this will not happen magically... but the coming of this day would be much accelerated if Haitians living abroad also realized that there exists a country, with a pulse and a soul that is unique in this world, that they could confidently invest in and secure her future. Of course, the politicians in Haiti could also work to restore that confidence, instead of just chasing the elusive IMF, IDB, and World Bank dollars. I am not saying that they could do without on an absolute basis, but my own perception is that many opportunities have been wasted because of the clear prioritization of seeking foreign funds over investments by Haiti's own children.

Much is still left to be done in that regard.

Gifrants

Opinion on the first question--If Haiti disappeared.....

Post by Gifrants » Tue May 20, 2003 8:06 am

It took me some time to decide whether I was going to voice my opinion on this subject. The reason why remains in the way I am always astonished about the level of emotion that "blinds" the reasoning of most Haitian intellectuals, when it comes to Haiti's "sad existence".

"If Haiti disappeared from the face of the Earth tomorrow, what would the world lose?"

The world would lose NOTHING! Why? It's simple. What does Haiti have to offer?

In 1803, Haiti had a lot to offer to the world. It was not its mineral resources, (gold), its plantations, (sugar). It was the will of its people to be free. The IDEA that no human being should be enslaved, and FREEDOM is inherent to a human being's existence, that DEATH or FREEDOM is a divine equation for life, has made us the first Black nation on this planet. Our ancestors tried to IMPORT THAT IDEA. However, they failed to sustain their own existence, not necessarily because of isolation, but because they could not feed positively that general consensus to remain a FREE NATION FOR ALL HAITIANS, BLACK AND MULATTOS, and to move forward as A UNITED AND FREE PEOPLE.

IDEAS RULE THE WORLD. You have a good idea. Then, use the means and ways to suggest it, or impose it. I, Marcien Guy Frantz Toussaint, without bragging, would say however, that on a cultural level, we do have something to offer. On February 9, 1980, my cousin Boulo Valcourt set up a meeting for me with Gerald Merceron. That meeting lasted almost two hours. After Merceron listened to a few of my songs, he talked to me about the uniqueness, richness and power of Haitian music. He also said: "The logic of Haitian music questions, and defies the logic of Western music." I've been experimenting and exploring this matter for the last six months. We do have something to offer. In order to do so, WE NEED TO RE-INVENT OURSELVES BOTH AS INDIVIDUALS AND AS A PEOPLE.

I grew up in Haiti with a strong sense of self-criticism, and criticism about my own people. I grew up looking at the way my own people lived. I could see what worked and what did not. I'm not saying I know everything. I'm only saying that WE ARE OUR OWN PROBLEMS. The minds of the Haitian intelligensia are full but they are not well rounded. The majority of Haitian intellectuals are well educated, but they are very irresponsible, indecent, immoral, poorly chauvinistic, ridiculously proud, with a strong servile state of mind, and they are a bunch of cowards. Between death and freedom, they have chosen a fruitless compensation from the Western World in order to remain free slaves. It is only a matter of time before the Dominican Republic shows us how weak we have become.

If Haiti disappeared from the face of the Earth tomorrow, what would the world lose?

The world would lose nothing if we do not show to the world what we can offer in order to make it a better world for every one of us on this planet. It is our own responsibility to improve our own lives, not anybody else's. When we do it well, we lead by being a role model.

Gifrants

After 200 years of a vilified and often miserable .....

Post by Gifrants » Tue May 20, 2003 4:32 pm

Nobody in this world instinctively aspires to become "one" with somebody else even when there is a physical attraction, or something more than a physical attraction. There must be a common interest.

Unity cannot be forced among people who feel they are different. We did not have a bunch of ancestors who spoke the same language, had the same traditions and the same values. They might have had the same belief. They were facing the same enemies and the same problems. Even in the middle of those terrible conditions of slavery, the white masters were trying to divide them. Their strong will and desire to be free was the motivation to find a common ground. Their belief in Voodoo was the glue for fighting together, not necessarily for living together. This is where we should work on. Do we want to live together with equal and mutual respect for each other?

I do not sincerely think that we, Haitians, want to live with equal and mutual respect for each other. Consequently, WE MUST FIGHT. That's only after that bloody fight, we should reach a consensus. That fight would rather be now than later.

"Nou sanble, nou pa menm." Only those who believe, nou sanble, nou menm should be able to say "Kafou a pou nou de"!

To be emotional about it, and think or pray that there will be a miracle somehow, and Haitians will be united at last is JUST TOTALLY RIDICULOUS AND LUDICROUS!

Gifrants

Is "Haitian pride" .....

Post by Gifrants » Tue May 20, 2003 10:37 pm

I cannot determine what really makes each one of my Haitian fellow citizens proud. I cannot prevent them from being proud either. To anybody who wants to ask me if I'm proud to be a Haitian or a Black man, I may not bother to answer, not because of an inferiority complex but because my mental level is preventing me from falling for this elusive approach of existence. I can only be proud for who I am as a Haiitian citizen and a Black person.

However, if we want to elaborate on this elusive approach of existence, I would still say that I find my Haitian brothers and sisters "ridiculously proud," as I mentioned earlier. The notion of pride strongly suggests a sense of achievement or fullfillment. If Toussaint Louverture had said that he was proud, I would understand and approve. If Dessalines, Christophe, Petion, Capois La mort, Charlemagne Peralte even in his grave, had said they were proud, I would under
stand and approve.

But, by God, what a heck my parents have done for Haiti in order to say they are proud Haitians? What a heck have we done for Haiti to brag about being proud? Personnally, I feel no joy saying this. It's awful and laughable to hear Haitians talking about their pride of being Haitians. I'm tired to hear that we should do something for Haiti. What a heck are we doing now?

Again, I would say that. As a musician trying my best for my country, I've been taking the rap right and left from most Haitians, intellectuals and illiterate alike, who keep talking about "progess" and reject a priori innovations and creativity. Every politician is a good politician, and desserves a chance to rule because he mentions the need for progress and development. Where the heck is his plan and his vision? Promises, and promises. How the heck we are going to be out of this mess?

I believe that my fellow Haitians are proud of a past which they have nothing to do with. The first generation o
f our victorious and newly free fathers could not even enjoy the sweetness of their victory because the struggle for freedom was still going on among them, and it is still alive among us. As a collectivity, we really have nothing to be proud of. We did not truly make history. We did not inherit the genes of victory. If victory runs in our blood, we should be a nation of fighters. We are shamelessly surviving, and we are taking pride in doing so. We look like bastards, but not the true children of Toussaint Louverture, Dessalines, Christophe, Petion, Charlemagne Peralte. We shall not honor our ancestors by crying over them or just naming them, we should do for Haiti, our country, what they would have done if they were alive still. I would even add that we should do more and better than what they have done. That's only at that time we can be proud of ourselves and justify the reason why we are proud of them.

Gifrants

Does it still matter?

Post by Gifrants » Wed May 21, 2003 7:56 am

Once again, my opinion may be very different on this subject. I believe that it is my duty to do my best for my country, and even to give my life for my country. I live for a cause, and I will die for my cause. I live by my principles, and I will die for my principles. I'm not living in order to prove anything to anyone. However, I do have a lot to prove to myself by fully exploring my potential both as a human being and as a human God. Consequently, Haiti does matter for me. It's my birth land. I was born Haitian. I grew up as a Haitian. I'm still a Haitian. I love my country. I'm living for my country.

In the course of my life, however, I've never had to deal with any people with such a great lack of civic responsibility as my own people. It's even worse for those who live in the diaspora. We all remember we left Haiti for a better life. There's no question about it. How most of us want to help Haiti, or intend to contribute, is what I find the most outrageous.

Let me give you my first example. I went down to Miami, and I was talking to a group of Haitians. One of them decided to go to Haiti, and he did. He wanted to open a "FACTORY OF CANDLES"... why? Haiti has no electricity. Providing candles was good business. I was so mad that I left and went to my hotel. We are talking about a guy who went to Brooklyn College, and had a bachelor degree. Imagine this! Haitians have been using candles forever. His way to help was to provide more candles.

Some say they want to go back to Haiti, and build a house. Yep! That's their dream. So what can I say? They say they love Haiti enough to spend their last days in Haiti. Do not worry, they are doing us a favor. Go figure!

Some say they want to go there and open a business. They want to sell something; and to whom? to people who have no money and no job. How many employees are they going to hire? The logic is if every Haitian does the same thing, we definitely will be doing something good. Go figure!

Some say they are going to open a school. Is it a public school? Will it be free? No? Who the hell is going to attend? Children of struggling parents who are starving, who have no homes? Yes, Haitians need good education and we'll be there to provide it. Good luck! Thanks for your help. Go figure!

Let's make the story short. Those disparate actions or interventions are not efficient, sufficient economic and financial infusion in the case of Haiti. Haiti does matter for us? Yes? Then, let's think big. In order to think big, we have to share the same vision. In order to make big things happen, we have to regroup ourselves. Big business can help Haiti. Haitians need jobs. Not a few Haitians, but all Haitians need jobs. We need an invigorated, nationalist and responsible private sector. The diaspora is more qualified than anybody else to be that private sector.

Yes, Haiti does matter for only for those who are ready to serve, not in public office only, but especially in the private sector. We need good servants, not good capitalists, good businessmen, not only a few good men. WE NEED GOOD SERVANTS!

Gifrants

To Marilyn

Post by Gifrants » Wed May 21, 2003 3:11 pm

I can hardly understand what you wrote.

Let me just say that-I do not pretend to be better than anybody else, or to be a better patriot than anybody else. I could never discount the integrity of a few, and they are a few, who are doing everything they can within their ability to contribute to the Haitian society.

The idea that I've been voicing my opinion seems to frustrate you That's too bad. Guy has brought up the subject with different questions. I have voiced my opinion for each question.

The truth is the truth hurts. Yes, it is not an absolute truth for as long as we are different, each one of us would interpretrate my opinion differently. Am I lying about my own people? I do not think so. Am I being blunt? Indeed, and I must be. I have always been. Today, my friends believe that I was right about Aristide--I was blunt and I'm still. "lavi pa pou granmesi". I'm not going to kid around when it comes to ma
ny important aspects of my life, of people's life, and life in general. I read what Jafrikayiti wrote. You feel comfortable with he said. Please, you do not have to be my guest. Share his ideas, his opinions. I am not writing on this Forum in order to seduce an audience. I am not writing to impress. In fact, I know that I am a marked man. I am not being so frank because I am stupid, or I want to be a hero. It's for me a matter of responsibility. How many times do we, Haitians, share honestly our ideas without expectations? I do not expect to be elected by anybody here. I do not expect to be the leader of any social group here. I've learned a lot from other people's experience. If anybody feels they can learn something from me, it is good. If not, why do the hell they care about what I have to say?

I always believe that this Forum is "a door", and a training ground for mutual understanding. Obviously, those who want to write in order to impress only won't have too many serious things to say. It's
their right and their privilege. I can careless if they cannot decide to be serious. That's their choice, and again their right and their privilege.

Please, Marilyn, you want to be serious, we talk. Otherwise, do not mention my name. Please.

Gifrants

To Marilyn

Post by Gifrants » Wed May 21, 2003 4:31 pm

You did not take any RISK by voicing your opinion. Either we agree or we disagree.

My reaction is not impetuous. Which word in my comment suggests to you my impetuosity?

Labeling--This is one thing which is very common in our culture.

If someone writes something and I read it, I'm going to dissect what he or she says. What he or she says will tell me the obvious and the underlining of that writer's state of mind. Depending of the seriousness of the subject, you bet I would go straight to the mind. "Nèg pa vle wè Nèg"--that's exactly why Haiti is lagging so much behind. "Nèg pa sensè". I'm not afraid to write down my name, to say who I am, what I think and what I believe. "Zafè Nèg sere nan kè Nèg". "Pa pale koze w pou van pa pote l ale". I defy that state of mind which is destroying us as a people.

Do you think I do not understand you when you say "you took the risk?' Do you think I do not understand you when you say "my reaction is impetuous?"

Some much has been said about me on this forum. So much has been said behind the scenes. So much has been brought up to me. Do you know why, Marilyn? I am not the typical Haitian fellow. I am not the typical Haitian intellectual. I am not the typical Haitian musician. But I believe one thing with all my heart, if most Haitians did share the values I cherish so much, Haiti would not be so miserable. Call it bragging if you want.

Once again, you want to be serious, we talk. Otherwise, do not mention my name. Please.

Gifrants

So I say

Post by Gifrants » Wed May 21, 2003 4:51 pm

"We have reconciled ourselves with ourselves and with our true maker and we are indeed free. Free at last, free at last - we have broken the chain and as our forefathers swore "LIBERTY OR DEATH", we stand and let you know straight up that on this 27,750 square kilometers there shall be BLACK MAJORITY RULE TODAY, TOMORROW and FOREVER !

Jafrikayiti
"Depi nan Ginen bon Nèg ap ede Nèg !"

Jaf, Jaf, Jaf,

Let me put your words in a better way for you:

We, the Haitian people, have reconciled ourselves with ourselves and with our true maker and we are indeed free. Free at last, free at last - we, the Haitian people have broken the chain and as our forefathers swore "LIBERTY OR DEATH", we, the Haitian people, stand and let you know straight up that on this 27,750 square kilometers there shall be BLACK MAJORITY RULE TODAY, TOMORROW and FOREVER !

Jafrikayiti
"Depi nan Ginen bon Nèg ap ede Nèg !"--You sound just like the typical Haitian intlellectual. Very impressive! Indeed....not.

We have reconciled ourselves with ourselves-- Really?
And with our true maker? The lwa? Really?
And we are indeed free. REALLY?
Free at last, free at last? REALLY?

UTOPIA! UTOPIA! UTOPIA!

So I, Marcien Guy Frantz Toussaint, say. So I say, Jaf!

Nou sanble nou pa menm!

Pitit Ginen

Post by Pitit Ginen » Sat May 24, 2003 9:51 pm

Does Haiti matter to me??? Much more than that (...)

Before adding anything else, let me say that Gifrants has almost said it all. And with an interesting clarity. The line of thinking of that brother is one that many Haitians refuse to embrace, let alone to voice and spread in the very heart of Haiti and in the diaspora. I have the feeling that some brothers fear to analyze the reality the way it should be. There is also a lot of misunderstanding and misinterpretation in the face of our tragedy. In this regard, it is very important to see how Haitians are not ashamed to talk about a so called bi-century of Independence celebration. That observation alone is enough to tell us into what illusion and irrationality a whole nation is living, and in the year 2003.

Does Haiti matter to Haitians? Probably yes. But how?

To answer such a critical question, it is imperative to make a brief analysis of the different sectors, groups or components in our nation. If we fail to do so, I fear that we might leave our core obstacle on the side. In my view, in Haiti there exist no classes per say. Since we have no system of production to sustain such a claim. But we do have a few groups of interests on all sides fighting one another for what can be suck up out of the people or pick up from the imperialist system's after-party floor.

Many of the affluents inside the country are unpatriotic, some are even opposed to any social change in the country. We can't forget that those individuals are the sons and daughters of those who, after the death of Dessalines, have confiscated into their own hands all the resources of the nation, the land in particular, for the satisfaction of their personal greedy instinct. To lift the country out of poverty, those thousands of unused acres of agricultural lands should be used. Will this sector accept to invest? Of course not. It would have done it a long time ago. Can a responsible leadership force or lead it, after serious negotiations, to do so? This can be done. After all, it should be said that a fringe of that sector has accepted to play by the new rules set by the progressive government of 1991. Yet, it remains to see a nationalist leadership similar to that of 1991 arise again(...)

The exclusive import business sector won't give up on Haiti because its business has been growing undisturbed for centuries in the country and the tropical climate is just marvelous there. There is no better place than Haiti to do business where you pay virtually no taxes and where a business has no social responsibility. For centuries business has been going on in La Saline and Croix des Bossales, and no Haitian leaders have taken any measures to make sure that the shop owners get financially involved into improving those areas sanitary conditions. I criticize the business sector which is inherently reactionary everywhere while I cannot deny that the core problem remains essentially a leadership one.

Another sector of our society is what is called, rightly or wrongly, the intelligentsia. This term, applied to those brothers and sisters who have been in school for a long time and hold different kinds of diplomas, bothers me a lot. The very root of that term is "intelligent". Would someone be "intelligent" by stealing, by contributing and inducing into abject poverty the great majority of his or her own people? If that so. So, I am more than happy to know that an idiot. The very nature of that group, that I prefer to call the intellectuals because an intellectual is not necessarily intelligent, is profoundly opportunistic. This opportunism is the direct consequence of colonization and the absence of any effort to promote and preach by example the civic virtues in our nation by the leaders. Actually, our so-called leaders have encouraged this trend that now is rooted into the blood and veins of the entire society. Will our nation ever be cured from that deadly disease? That rem
ains to be seen (...)

History has proven times and times again that no "Nation" can evolve or progress without a committed, responsible and nationalist leadership. There is no going around it. While I am saying that, I must point out that a real leadership, like we can see in beloved and admired " The Little Great CUBA ", is not suppose to be seen as a demiurge, but rather as example of true nationalism. In Cuba for instance there is no cult of the personality. The humility of the leaders set the good example naturally. An example of self-sacrifice for the good of the whole nation; an example of hard work; an example of blind dedication in working for the well-being of the entire society. Just like Cuba, the great majority of the asian countries have done just that in order to invigorate a strong and firm sense of civism and nationalism throughout their societies. After nearly 200 years, we haven't even started to initiate that movement of civism in our society. On the contrary corruption and opportunism keep leading the way.

So far, I haven't described or explained what I mean by opportunism in the haitian society. That point and others will be expanded in my next analysis. But, before I go any further, it is highly important to underline that if Haiti dearly and deadly matters to just a very few(including the author of these lines) and not to the majority of those chosen by History, the task of building our nation might be impossible. By beginning with an overview or analysis of the different components of the society, I intend to sort out the challenges that that very question of "Haiti Matters Or Not" involved. "Will the world lose anything given an eventual disappearance of Haiti? " will be considered in the end.


Pitit Ginen

Pitit Ginen

Post by Pitit Ginen » Mon May 26, 2003 4:44 pm

Imperialism will always be triumphant as long as opportunism (preference for a comfortable life like a slave rather than a humble one like a man) prevails in the Third World. In the context of our society, that opportunism translates what we are witnessing with those individuals inside the Convergence accepting money from enemies of the country to block any progress in the society. On the side of what is called Lavalas, many supporters are just assuring their jobs or their affiliation with a party in return of favors of all kinds, but with no sense of any true nationalist sentiment. As for those who are on either sides, they are just waiting patiently for their time when they will have a chance to participate in that fight for left-over pieces of crap that can be obtained via the power. Those back-home haitian students that I discuss with over the internet cannot shape up any profound ideas for a radical change in the country. They are just claiming their right to survive. It is interesting to note that those students are feverishly in favor of the marvels promised by "Globalization", which system would come to create jobs specially for that group they are in. Can the very few who are dedicated to making a real difference succeed, given that they to come to power? This is not mission impossible, just very hard.

So many individuals in our country are only focusing on survival or their own pity interest with no long term vision for their brothers that the battle for a real change is a huge challenge. When the government of 1991 was trying hard to reform the public services, it faced tremendous pressure and hostility from those who were hurt by seeing their ghost checks and other tricks of that kind suppressed. How will an efficient and public education system be set into place and be successful with all those so-called private colleges, the majority of which should be closed or forced to reduce considerably their extravagant fees. Will those greedy intellectuals give up like that on their pity interests in favor of a better public system? Hard game to play! Will the churches and those who confiscate the agricultural land make concession for the well-being of the nation? And will the affluents accept to diminish on their exclusive import business and start doing productive investment into the country? There is no way we can guess.

There's a new trend that is been spreading slowly but steadily throughout our communities, specially in the diaspora. The lack or absence of significant investment from our diaspora in its homeland leaves the place for what can be called "poor or trash import toward Haiti". This situation is explained by the fact that some Haitians, who wouldn't hesitate to tell you that they love Haiti to death, are sending, continuously for sale in Haiti any trash_ I must repeat_ any trash found in any garbage in the streets of New York or Canada. This practice is not trade and sheds a crude light on that opportunistic penchant. The example "FACTORY OF CANDLES" cited by Gifrants falls into that same tendency where even an educated child of the family is incapable of thinking change in a broader perspective.

In our society exists an amazing antagonism : We have a strong sense of brotherhood while we dramatically lack civism. I explain that brotherhood by the fact that a member of the family who has made it will help the rest of the family and friends. The strong support among neighbors is another proof of that particularism. However, when it comes to strive in the interest of the whole country, that virtue strangely disappears.

That observation leads me to what our brother has said : " We, the Haitian people, have reconciled ourselves with ourselves..." which is a strong and impressive slogan. But all its weakness shows up automatically when it comes face-to-face with the hard, harsh and tragic really of the haitian people. How can we possibly voice such a slogan when our Nation is now divided more than ever? How can we claim such pride when many of those so-called brainwashed haitian intellectuals are calling openly for the occupation of our country before 2004? How can we express such certainty when a civil war is almost imminent in our beloved Haiti? Some even expect that civil war to be launched on the eve of January 2004!!! If we have reconciled with ourselves, like most of the asian countries have shown, we must have then translated that through our own nation building. But we can see no real sign of such achievement in the horizon. The lebanese diaspora has contributed to rebuild its country after two decades of civil war. Will our diaspora do the same on the eve of that 2004?

If Haiti disappears from the surface of the earth, the world won't care a bit. The western world will simply continue to benefit from the huge pool of knowledge and saving accounts of its sons and daughters spreading out in the diaspora or 10th Department. That knowledge and those savings that could have saved and restored the "PRIDE" of Haiti, unfortunately, would have said an observer, hasn't been used for that purpose. The great haitian artistic contribution to humanity would only remains a far souvenir in some foreigners' homes. If we were exporting to the world like it is used to be in the old days, we would certainly be remembered. If we were still attracting tourists in numbers, no doubt, we would be remembered. For the time being, we are basically a dead country. We are still existing for sure. But we are not a living entity as a nation, a country or a people. Nevertheless, some seem to gain pride out of that mere existence. Aren't they talking proudly about the "Great Celebration " to come???

Pitit Ginen.

Ezili Danto
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Post by Ezili Danto » Sun Jun 01, 2003 12:59 am

One et Respe to all,

"If Haiti disappeared from the face of the Earth tomorrow, what would the world lose?"

I went away to think about this first question and came back to find the above enthusiastic discourse (s). I stick to what bothered me about the question and choose not to address anyone's specific response(s), not because I don't have reactions, but because the first question itself intrigues me and my answer to it addresses the rest of the questions raised. Ok, here is my response to Guy Antoine's first question. "If Haiti disappeared from the face of the Earth tomorrow, what would the world lose?" (A warning note and cryptic response - if you are tired of those ridiculously proud Haitians, Haitian self-love, Black love and the unruly struggle for Black self-determination, my comments are probably NOT something you should continue reading…)

The question is: "If Haiti disappeared from the face of the Earth tomorrow, what would the world lose?"

One: Many have already pointed out, including Dr. Martin Luther King, that because of our common humanity, injustice (and poverty) anywhere affects people everywhere. Injustice is like an infectious disease; it's a common danger with global reach and impact.

That's my general answer in a nutshell but, I must say, if I did not know the point of reference of the person asking the question, or that it was a rhetorical question sent out to illicit discussion and debate, and just read it out of the blue, I would also add that the question itself -of if Haiti disappeared, carries, from my point of view, a ridiculously farfetched, if not grotesque, assumption. For, there are too many, not only living but awake, determined, conscientious and loving Haitians around for Haiti to disappear. And, baring a nuclear-type disaster, which would, because of our many intimate connections, more likely, have us sharing a common grave with the wealthy North Americans, Haiti simply cannot disappear or be wiped out. If, the DR could manage to push us into the sea, unless they commit mass genocide unparallel in world history killing more than 8 million people at once, they too woudn't last, for that Haitian blood would soon brown out the white they are so desperate to keep on their skin and creeds. So that's an unthinkable possibilty. At worst, the international financial institutions, led by the US titans of industry and their USAID politicians and their mainstream US corporate media sycophants, could win. And, at worst, that would mean Haiti would again lose the little bit of sovereignty and dignity its people won in the 1990s.

Yes, the possibility exist if Haitians don't fix their own custom-specific pathologies, unite against common foes and get themselves a visionary strategy with global reach, that Haiti could again be transformed into a US-client-ruled state in military dictatorship. For, military and paramilitary force and arms are the only ways to keep the poor, but fiercely independent Haitians, from trying to built and develop a participatory democracy. Yes, in some short term, Haiti could be transformed, by the wealthy and opportunistic, to having a MORE miserable existence than the miserable existence it's now living under with its popularly-elected, but push-at-impasse and-chaos-and-manufactured-conflicts'-government.

The 1991 meager advances Haitians must today still struggle to move forward and to keep from being overthrown could be destroyed. Yes maybe. Yes, Haiti could be forced into another such step backwards, but never can the Haiti mindset I own be totally wiped out. Haitians like me would rise again and again and again Dessalinianly (if I may) advance the will to “live free or die.” I own this worldview. I and the masses of the Haitian peasantry, slum dwellers, professionals of all classes, even the tragic Haitian black and mulatto elites forced into opportunism under capitalism, have, from the beginning, owned this worldview in their own way.

It's not just “Haitian” or "Dessaline-like" to want to “live free or die”, or, in another words, to struggle for safe, healthy and productive lives, with freedoms of expression, association and the power and resources to make a difference in the world with our own individual perfect self-expressions. It's a universal human trait that's indestructible no matter the levels or levers of oppressions.

Yes, a Haiti with a popularly elected government and our peoples' incessant struggles for participatory and economic democracy may, in some short term, because of neo-liberalism and globalization pressures to only protect Euro-American investor rights, be suffocated. But in view of modern scales and global economies and reaches, sooner or later that struggle for freedom would escalate - reach a no-win scale of desperation right here in the Western Hemisphere. So, in the glare of borderless terrorism and easier access to weapons of mass destruction, the more pertinent question would not be "If Haiti disappeared from the face of the Earth tomorrow, what would the world lose? But, – “is it better, in the long term, for the wealthy North Americans and Euros, to share a common grave with Haitians, or, to co-exist and let Haitians live in justice and peace?” In the long term, I don't think humanity really has a choice. For, can the wealthy nations afford to sustain the systemic exploitation and underdevelopment of Haiti and the world's other exploited nations in the name of bringing democracy, civilization and modern advancements to them? For how long? Until their environmental barbarisms, social and economic inequities, gluttonous greed and control of resources completely marginalized the US populations with Patriot Act type-laws implemented because of manufactured fear, gluttonous greed; until the already marginalized US population completely loses civil rights and our façade of civility evaporates and our constitution rescinded; until this leads to circumstances that will wipe out humanity? For how long?

For, Haiti cannot, at this moment or ever, disappear from the face of the Earth. To erase Haiti, one must erase its historical significance, all Haitian people and the memory of its existence and its people's memory. But it's already way too late to wipe out what Haiti is or stands for. And to my mind in terms of the spread of Western chattel-slavery and wage-slavery oppression, Haiti was and is today, to those worlds of oppression, tyranny and white economic and social injustice and political/military hegemony/supremacy what good nutrition and an indomitable loving and positive spirit is to a hateful terminal cancer forecast. Oppression is that difficult and unlikely to lift given the wealthy nations current will and Western knowledge base. But yet and still, Haitians also know and have experience in the recent 1990s with the spread of “Poor People Power” in Haiti. That evidence fuels my belief that Haiti's current and historical significance as fighters for freedom is airborne and has little cure. And, as Africans and peoples of color everywhere gain more authentic influence, the implications of Haiti's worth must multiply and magnify. The Haitian populace is Africa's sacred trust - that mountain jutting out of the Atlantic beast's very intestines.

And, in modern history, it's our legacy to be the rallying point, that starting point that someday will help annihilate the cancer of oppression led by the titans of industry, international financial institutions and gluttonous human beings everywhere. If nothing else we own that starting point in the Western Hemisphere and, I, for one, amongst hundreds and thousands of Haitians, will never give up that starting point. For, it's not only from 1791 that Haitians have something to be proud of. Ask any political scientists and they will tell you we Haitians accomplished a real democratic feat, a real miracle, organizing a mass movement, a simple grass roots organizations in 1991 that could even teach the currently marginalized US-populace about how to built a participatory democracy. We accomplished a miracle in 1991, a feat that the US population, could not, in its last Presidential elections, accomplish with all the resources and “intelligence” it had at its disposal.

Yes Haiti's 1991 feat was quickly smashed by the US sponsored-Coup D'etat, but nonetheless, it was an unparallel feat of the resourceless. And, if El Salvador's people empowerment organizers, who lost out to traditional powers in the 1980s when their grass roots movements were decimated by the killing of priest, union organizers and peasant activists could start again to be rekindled, so can Haiti rebuilt its people's movement from the 1991-2003 ashes of Haitian fratricide and US/Euro embargoes. For, Haitians with capacity do indeed firmly see and don't doubt that despite today's many graven images and our endless struggles, that yes indeed, someday human history WILL record that the liberties, freedoms, work-rights to a dignified life and productivity in safety and in peace and security - the health care rights to not die of preventable diseases and for access to clean water and electricity - which the Haitian people fight for everyday, could NOT forever be opposed. Point, no virgule.

Two: The world of white power would win something if Haiti were to vanish. The reason is too obvious to require more comment, except this: The idea of white supremacy would find more breathing room if even Haiti's “sad existence” where to vanish.

Three: The rallying point for Haitians is and has been the successful Haitian combat against the wealthy nations of Europe and North America. It continues to be a combat and a rallying point, whether with the Cacos against the US Marines back in the day, or, Aristide against the new US Marines, in the form of the IMF, World Bank, WTO and their implementing arm, USAID and its Convergence.

As I've pointed out, it's not only Haiti that is struggling to lift the heavy weights and shadows of the Breton Woods organizations off its people's backs. Haiti is not the only entity refusing to allow a given like water, or, even air to be turned into a commodity by the rich titans of industry from Euro-American transnational corporations. But Haitian peoples are amongst an elite few who have managed, now twice in human history, to push the feudal lords oppression and barbarity by a united grass roots people's movement. First in 1791 and then beginning in 1986.

Though on vastly different scales, both times the entire Haitian population, of all hues and classes, was involved and managed to take power before betrayal set in.

Yes, it's true that both times the Feudal Lords came back and smashed the people's movement, but each time something survives and survived that no USAID-created “Convergence” opposition, nor IRI (or like-sponsored) contra-type paramilitaries based in the Dominican Republic or based in Protestant churches in Haiti, nor, their US-led financial embargoes and its deeply irrational conditions and pronouncements, nor even Haiti's own fratricidal pathologies CAN destroy what survives. If it could, we would NOT be having this current discussion on the internet. Point, no virgule.

For without resources, the people in Haiti took on American-backed dictatorships then American-backed transitional military teams and with no education or that almighty dollar, taught the world a lesson in participatory democracy by electing Aristide. Yes, the powers-that-be came back and smashed that 1990 election with a Coup; yes, today in 2003, we live in the good old US of A with the likes of Toto Constant - the Haitian paramilitary leader connected to CIA and other US intelligence agencies involved in the murder of 5000 Haitians from 1991 to 1994; a Toto Constant who along with the likes of Cedras and others got the peaceful asylum and refugee statuses prohibited to innocent Haitians.

Yes, we over here live with a Toto Constant who was a general in the effort to smash the popular Haitian freedom movement. A man whose FRAPH criminal activities resulted in the suffering of 300,000 internal refugees and more than 50,000 imprison in Guantanamo Bay and thousands more elsewhere by the US for their attempts to exist, contribute to their families and communities or simply live as free and productive human beings. We Haitians live with the likes of said Toto Constant in our faces out here in good old New York of USA; Yes, yes we have no illusions that Dessalines was killed, betrayed by his own. Yes two hundred years of containment-in-poverty was pushed by the Euros onto our people, but yes too is the FACT, that in this year of 2003, the Haitian peoples are still amongst an elite few in the world who have a popularly elected government, despite the overwhelming Goliathan battle of making it a productive participatory democracy with all the elite US/Euro maneuverings dividing, obfuscating and smashing our common grounds into smithereens. But twice now, we have found the unity within us to smash their power for a little while. Each time, no matter, how many years in-between, these successes make us stronger, gives the world and our children examples of what can be done with NO great Euro-American resources.

That irreducible common ground is what we awake-Haitians are trying, especially in this momentous 2004 period, to isolate, magnify and built on for Haitians of the future to capitalize on after we are gone. We are in this thing for the long distance run. Ours is the noblest fight there is on this earth. The Haitian price paid to date in blood and suffering and productivity makes us a special people, a meritocracy, an indomitable entity. But as a Haitian grouping, most of us are still unawake to Haiti's great strengths and significance only its corruptions. Of course, that, is no less than the sum result of our deliberate indoctrinations and lack of vision.

Four: What does Haiti have to offer today?
- One of the world's only populist government not supported by the wealthy nations that is still hanging on by a thread. Haitians have a rare in-this-brave-new-world-of-Anglo-American-and-Eurocentric globalizations, a rare if far-from-perfect, but nonetheless, rare populist government, fairly elected by the majority of the people, despite Western-man's objections and shennanigans. A government who is in a Goliathan battle against the same old adversaries of Dessaline and Toussaint. A people's government who refuses to, among other things, sell-off Haitian assets to these white neocolonialist, their transnational Euro-American corporations and their in-country Haitian client/sycophants. Today's popularly elected Haitian government has enormous managerial and leadership problems, but it still is OUR chosen government and for that, it, along with the Haitian population, are paying the hard price for said Haitian self-determination;

- I know others see the drawbacks in Haiti's current populist government - the internal corruption, lack of vision and inefficiencies. And I, by myself, from my daily activities in pushing the positives of Haitian culture, from my interactions, studies, research and personal experiences, like many other concerned Haitians, but especially because I've actually worked in Haiti's justice ministry for a brief but instructive period at the height of the destabilizations of Haiti's grass-roots movements in the mid-1990s, I could also choose, like many others, to be scornful, cynically and discuss only the insider knowledge I have of Haiti's populist government - its inefficiencies and how US Embassy and USAID's maneuverings in Haiti roundly capitalizes on this.

Yes, in view of the Coup D'etat and containment of the grass roots democratic movement, today's Haitians could rightly be disheartened and cynical about Haiti's future, some of us more so than others if we keep close our disappointments and catalogues of negative experiences with Haitian fratricide and Neanderthal macho views about power, what's Haitian, or, the Haitian child's and women's “uses”, “place” and duties under current Haitian society, both in the US and in Haiti. Defeat is a choice many truly concerned Haitians could reasonably take on. For, tone craze mwen, the problems are so enormous, the scales so large that it's just plain easier to point blame, forget Haitian sufferings and get, if you're lucky, suburban amnesia if you're in the US, joining the throngs of the US public out for self, or, if you're in Haiti, to join the queue of traditional opportunists.

But, in the era of US “regime-change” and blatant overthrowing of non-US-client rulers in the developing world by brute force and Ashcroft-type propaganda, which, in effect tells us “the little Haitian girl in the yellow dress in that overloaded boat we all saw on CNN” IS a terrorist. Under these constraints, it's unintelligent to think we Haitians have the luxury of feeling sorry for ourselves. It's not about the ME.

- Those grass roots Haitian women dissidents, whose names you'll never now, both in the hills and valleys of Haiti and in front of the United Nations in the early 1990s, did not sacrifice all sorts of stormy weathers, so you and I could have a pity-party because no one at the Aristide Palace saw our worth, validated our contributions, or, (to get personally specific) helped us out while USAID and the US Embassy kicked our Haitian butt out of the Haiti for designing and promoting Haitianist development projects. For, it's not about what I or you or we didn't get done in the 1990s, but what we are each doing this very moment to keep alive and immortalize the efforts of those faceless, nameless Haitian men, women and children, of all hues and classes, who fired-up Haiti's dissident movement from 1986 on, and the common ground they found and stood for and many died for.

- It's about confronting Haitian mediocrity but also it's about NOT adding to our intestine fratricidal conflicts because it's never about the individual, but the seeds planted. It's about paradigm shifts and creating more loving archetypes. For instance, to get more specific, it's about that Homeland Security Act Ashcroft is using to indefinitely detain our Haitian peoples; it's about that 6-year old Haitian girl or boy in an INS cell pen because we Haitian adults, as a group, don't have a strong enough united voice and power! It's about all those future Haitian children who will look to our generation in Haiti and in the Diaspora and ask why we didn't give them something more to built on.

- We all know Haitians who have put private interests aside and understand well any Haitian injustice anywhere is a disrespect to us all; they are positively dedicated to exposing the powers that be who use and exploit the dreams of not-so-little-Haitian-people just as blatantly as they did that little Haitian girl in the yellow Sunday dress because we, as a group, don't have the power to STOP their systemic abuses. Yes, that little girl and the huge migration of Haitians, and the miserable conditions in Haiti for the masses testify, among other things, to our failure to STOP exploitation and underdevelopment at home. But this is a global struggle brought on by global Euro-American economic and social terrorism. But yet and still, that little girl, like all Haitian boat survivors, is no terrorist. Her search for a safe place to grow offers us a glimpse of a sane decision by a resource-less Haitian mother and father, it tells of our failures in the 1990s but also proves a certain level of sanity and human thirst within a world full of powerful and deeply irrational but “educated,” “intelligent” resourceful white men like Ashcroft.

- What does Haiti have to offer today? - A hard working, fiercely independent people, proud of each other and who are working to know and fix their own pathologies, despite more than two hundred years of ecclesiastic colonialism and it's ingrained sexual and other, power-type assaults, passed on to Haitians under Catholic and the (relatively newer) Protestant ecclesiastic colonialism which, indoctrinations, misinforms Haitians of all classes and hues, forcing them to hate their ancestors' culture, history, knowledge's and therefore themselves and each other.

- A people who have inched along for 200 years of isolation and containment-in-poverty to STILL give the world, the beginnings of Pan-Africanism, Negritude, Black Power, the Kreyol language, the Vodun psychology, the Haitian cuisine, and the unmatched beauty and colors one finds in Haitian paintings; the vibrancy of Haitian traditional dance and roots music; the unequalled sophistication of Haitian drumming, of Haitian Vodun flags, veves, crafts and culture…etc.

- A people whose educated elites, although always forced into the tragic elite (like the tragic mulatto) syndrome, although unable to do it in their own country, did manage to bring some noted reforms to Africa as they answered the call of African leaders in the late 1950s and 1960s to come and use their education productively in the newly de-colonized African nations as teachers, agronomists, doctors, educators in the 1960s. Haiti, like no other country, may claim that their educated classes were prepared and did spread out throughout Africa to help with African development.

- Haitian may claim that Haitian writers write and publish MORE books, per capital, in the Western Hemisphere second only to the US.

- Today, despite the fight to simply exist, Haitians who do survive US-sponsored poverty, political impotence-impasse-corruption and general world racism, sexism and Haitian fratricide, STILL are significant creators and contributors within this world's international communities of writers, painters, dancers, actors, lawyers, engineers, astronauts, scientists, singers, doctors, researchers, web designers, programmers…etc.

Five: If you don't know these Haitians with many communities and facets, perhaps you need to stop reading the propaganda spewing forth from the mainstream US press and get the broader view of the “Faces of Haiti.” It's not what they say it is. And, ohh, one last thing….

If Haiti was allowed to live instead of having to always fight to EXIST, what wouldn't the world gain?

Gifrants

To Ezili

Post by Gifrants » Sun Jun 01, 2003 4:41 pm

I'm very amazed. You do know about politics, but poltiics in western way. It has been very wise for you to use a pseudonym on this Forum.

First, let me tell you my own opinion about the fact you accepted the election of Aristide to the Presidency. Yes, it is a fact that the Haitian people elected Aristide. But it was a HUGE mistake. The coup d'Etat, even though I did not support it, is logical. It is too bad that we had to bring him back. You obviously think it is a matter of letting the democratic process move forward. Why don't you wait and see? In fact, you do not have to wait. why don't you voice FREELY your opinion against Aristide in HAITI? Jean Doninique was not so lucky. It is just a reminder.

We voice our opinion very differently regarding the western world. But still, I would love to see you on the table among those dudes. I would love to hear you talk. I would love to hear you make your points. I would love to see you WIN. Just remember, you have learned from them. They may have not taught you EVERYTHING THEY KNOW. Besides, I do not think you KNOW THEM WELL.

It is very nice to read your opinion. I wish you also good luck with your dreams.

Gifrants

Knowledge to talk about

Post by Gifrants » Mon Jun 02, 2003 4:36 pm

Every time I'm reading on the Forum all those hablabla, quotes of current non white powerful emissaries among white powerful rulers crying for help, begging, questioning, I feel enraged.

This is the best they can do? No democracy in most African countries, tribalistic wars, embezzlements, swiss bank accounts, corruption, hunger, and the list goes on and on. But everybody is blaming slavery. Everybody is blaming colonization. But still everybody is looking up to the way of the White Master.

I always believe that we, Haitians, our mindset was different. How can we Haitians look up to the Africans in our struggle? They have to look up to us. We failed them. Maybe that guilt among those who went to Africa under Duvalier's regime is tampering with our views of World politics. Let the Africans deal with their problems. Let's deal with ours! Haiti is not Africa and Africa is not Haiti.

It is nice to read here and there. It is nice to be informed. But all of this means nothing if we cannot face ourselves, face our problems and CONFRONT THEM AND OVERCOME THEM. What I want to read in this Forum, it is not dissertations, after dissertations. What I want to read, it is means and ways to solve our problems.

I'M ENTIRELY TIRED OF READING AND HEARING SUPERFICIAL ACCUSATIONS AGAINST THE WEST WHEN MOST OF US ARE LIVING IN THE WEST AND FEELING GOOD, BLESSED, AND FORTUNATE TO BE IN THE WEST, NOT IN AFRICA, NOT IN HAITI, BUT AMONG THE WHITE MASTERS!

NOW, LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, LET'S TALK ABOUT OURSELVES, WHAT WE CAN DO IN ORDER TO GET OUT OF THIS MESS!

The question still remains--Does Haiti still matter?
No hablabla, please.

Ezili Danto
Posts: 197
Joined: Sat May 31, 2003 11:57 pm

Post by Ezili Danto » Tue Jun 03, 2003 10:51 am

Hello,

I address this post specifically to Gifrants, responding to his post to me Posted: Sun Jun 01, 2003 4:41 pm. But it basically, also addresses many general questions on the Haiti situations I would like to see resolved. I hope it opens a wider, more constructive debate. I apologize, in advance, for the length and promise to keep future responses very short.

In Gifrants' post he wrote:

[quote]“I'm very amazed. You do know about politics, but politics in western way. It has been very wise for you to use a pseudonym on this Forum.

First, let me tell you my own opinion about the fact you accepted the election of Aristide to the Presidency. Yes, it is a fact that the Haitian people elected Aristide. But it was a HUGE mistake. The coup d'Etat, even though I did not support it, is logical. It is too bad that we had to bring him back. You obviously think it is a matter of letting the democratic process move forward. Why don't you wait and see? In fact, you do not have to wait. why don't you voice FREELY your opinion against Aristide in HAITI? Jean Doninique was not so lucky. It is just a reminder.

We voice our opinion very differently regarding the western world. But still, I would love to see you on the table among those dudes. I would love to hear you talk. I would love to hear you make your points. I would love to see you WIN. Just remember, you have learned from them. They may have not taught you EVERYTHING THEY KNOW. Besides, I do not think you KNOW THEM WELL.

It is very nice to read your opinion. I wish you also good luck with your dreams.”[/quote]
It was a HUGE mistake twice, Gifrants. In 1990, and, in 2000. How do you explain 70% of the population the first time and 60% of the voting population the second time? What make's it a HUGE mistake twice and perhaps, as I outline below, perhaps three times? For, after overcoming overwhelming pressures each time, the Haitian people still decided FOR Aristide.

ONE:

You say I know politics in a “western way.” I'm not clear what that means.

Should I take from this that “your” way of knowing is non-Western? Perhaps “Haitian?” But, my way of expressing is not Haitian, why? Why am I not following you, or, at best finding you range myopic on this "western way" thing.

And, why do you think it so “logical” to have a Coup D'etat the first time and I presume this second time also?

1. “Logical” is defined (by Microsoft Word dictionary) as something “based on facts, clear rational thought, and sensible reasoning; or, (when one is) able to think sensibly and come to a rational conclusion based on facts rather than emotion.”

2. Coup d'etat is defined as “the sudden overthrow of a government and seizure of political power, especially in a violent way and by the military.” Random House College Dictionary also defines Coup d'etat as “a sudden and decisive action in politics, esp. one effecting a change of government illegally or by force.”

So, Gifrants, if you mean the 1991 Coup D'etat was “logic,” in terms of “it was to be expected,” or, in terms of “something that could reasonably be inferred, or, naturally follows” then perhaps you're right (in one sense.)

Given Haiti's history with Coup D'etats, one could have “predicted” or “expected” the Haitian army and its men-of-power would take arms to restore their illegitimate rule, especially as the US was there to sponsor them as usual.

But you did not say it was “logic,” You wrote, and I quote: “The coup d'Etat, even though I did not support it, is logical.”

Even if you were exaggerating, laying it on thick, as seems to be your style when you wrote “The coup d'Etat, even though I did not support it, is logical.” And you meant “logic” when you wrote “logical.” I'm finding you illogical. For, in the broader sense of the word, the word “logic” means legitimate and we all know that Coup D'etat (s) are violent, illegal and distinctly illegitimate uses of force. And something that is illegitimate is, by definition, not logic - not in accordance with the principles of valid inference.

You follow the above sentence with “It is too bad that we had to bring him back.” This makes it clear you are saying violence and bloody Coup D'etats are “viable,” “good,” “reasonable alternative” to restoring illegitimate rule, unsanctioned by civil society when you say the Coup D'etat is “logical”. I respectfully disagree.

If you are indeed saying your logic is “Haitian” and, it's specifically Haitian to THINK a Coup D'etat of a popularly elected president IS LOGICAL, not once but presumably twice. Is that what you want to stand for, really? Do you believe, in your “Haitian way” of knowing things you know MORE about what's good for the majority of the Haitian people than they themselves know? Is that what you have been taught? Because I KNOW WELL THAT MINDET. It's the mindset of the elite white boys, the corporate capitalists, in American running this country, who believe THEY know what's good for the American public. THEY taught you well to disrespect the Black people's voice. And if you think Haitian self-flagellation is the way to go; if you think it logical for Haitian people be beaten to death in a FRAPH-like Coup D'etat and you want to call THAT “good,” “progressive” “democratic” “LOGICAL” whatever. I have just one comment to make. I do not aspire to think Haitian like you, or to “know” things like you do – because that opinion is mindless and morally bankrupt. Furthermore, if such opinions and “ways of knowing politics” are supposedly Haitian, it's the Haitian pathology we need to change. Except, as I outline below I know it's not Haitian to systemically use violence and terror to gain power. Frankly, I don't think your opinions are necessarily non-western. I think you don't know how loving Haitians, responsible and accountable the ordinary Haitian is. So you don't know Haitians very we
ll and need to get yourself a broader view.

For, if you think Coup D'etats are “logical,” if this is what you stand for, you own the mindset of those “dudes” the majority of the Haitian people (as they proved in 1990, 1995 and 2000) worked to remove from positions of power.

And though I thank you for the good wishes, also expressed in your post, I must tell you I can only WIN if guys who think Coup D'etats are good, don't win in this world.

But, if we have a “language” problem here. If I've misunderstood, excuse my “Western ways” of knowing please. I will try harder to understand you because, as you imply, I don't have your particular “Haitian” understanding and ways of saying things……

But however we express our desires, would you clear this up for me Gifrants:

Are you or do you advocate the violent overthrow of the current Haitian government and do you believe that that is “logical?” If so, I hope to change your mind by reminding you of the 1991-1994 terror which you pe
rhaps may have forgotten.

During the, as you put it, “logical” Coup D'etat in 1991, Haitians who were members of simple civic education and alphabetization groups were arrested by section chiefs, Tonton Macoutes, or FRAPH paramilitaries, their houses burnt, their wife and small children raped, beat to death, their arms and other body parts chopped off for the pleasure of presumably your equally “logical” Coup D'etat enforcers.

Most of those who managed to get on those rickety boats to the US to flee the persecution where interdicted and imprisoned. Some were medically experimented on as Guinea pigs. Haitian men in Guantanamo Bay started getting odd illnesses and growing breast. Some women were deliberately sterilized so they would not have children, others forced to abort. AID's sufferers were not treated. The ti malere who survived US incarcerations were forcibly repatriated to Haiti by the US government. Once in Haiti, they were immediately identified as supporters of Aristide by your Coup D
'etat “logical” peoples and beaten, jailed, tortured and sometimes raped again and again until finally their badly mutilated bodies would be thrown to the dogs in the streets by these Cedras and Toto Constants' soldiers.

The lucky ones who had family in Haiti with $200 and up to bride jail guards were set free and immediately joined the ranks of internal refugees for fear of more brutal reprisals. There were more than 300,000 such peoples hiding already in Haiti.

I find it incredulous anyone would find this sort of thing “logical.” This complete totalitarianism, this Nazi terror, this reign of murderers and human rights abusers. How could any Haitian, except a complete lunatic in need of psychiatric help, want to condemn Haitians back into such an existence, or say it's reasonable or “logical?” How? Perhaps you didn't really know what you were saying and I've misunderstood?

I hope you and I are on the side and both are working to help develop Haiti into a more livable place - politically, economically, culturally, artistically and socially. I know there are Haitian men out there, and perhaps a few women, who want dictatorship back. I don't understand their logic. But you, you imply you want to help Haitians help themselves, Gifrants.

You say being informed means nothing if we-Haitians “we cannot face ourselves, face our problems and CONFRONT THEM AND OVERCOME THEM.” (Quoted from your post to JAF noted as Subject: Knowledge to talk about, posted, Mon Jun 02, 2003 4:36 pm.)

Well, let's start with your various posts, on the topic of “Does Haiti Matter? Gifrants. How do you face yourself when I don't see ANY positive suggestions or reminiscences from you at ALL about being Haitian? Only finger pointing, pessimism and criticism of Haitians in general and those Haitian “intellectuals” and “politicians” who have done you wrong all your life. Does that mean, because of your negative experiences, which I don't at all wish to minimize or invalidate Gifrants, that the Haitian pe
ople, as a whole, we are all trash? Why do we ONLY have your negativity to confront Gifrants? Why is that?

In my humble opinion, today and over the last 13-years, Haiti's PRIMARY PROBLEM (which we CAN do something about) lie with Haitians, with nothing better to do than to live to inhale and exhale and pontificate on the various stages, progresses and progressions of “the sudden overthrow of (the popularly-elected Haitian) government and seizure of political power, especially in a violent way and by the military.”

But if we-Haitians are to, as you say, “face our problems and CONFRONT THEM AND OVERCOME THEM” I implore you to stand by your own words and clear up for me this seemingly unique “Haitian” problem you yourself are displaying. For, your statement to me implies, if not outright indicates, that you are suggesting Coup D'etat (s) are sound alternatives, even though you did not support it. Let's be accountable. For there's a problem here that needs checking.

For this is no joking matter. There is nothing here to griyen dan nou about. Too many Haitians have died so that our history with Coup D'etats would cease. Those who died from 1991 to 1994 faced that problem and confronted it to overcome it, not so that 12 years later, they could turn in their graves while I sat by, even on the Internet, without reaction and let you blithely tell me directly “The (1991) Coup d'etat, even though I did not support it, is logical. It is too bad that we had to bring him back.”

I can't do that. Let it go, that is, because parts of your comments are so complimentary. I can't. I've been down there on the very floor of the movement, paid a lot personally and know too much to pretend I don't see your inferences.

Listen, I, like any sane person want to get along with everybody and not rock the boat. But like I said, pretense is not my bag, which is why I would never make a good politician or diplomat. I been on the floor and although perhaps I was not as physically affected as those who died, or were tortured, I do know I've died psychologically and felt battered, endless times, by the terror I watched on television and more directly, by the victims I've met and represented over the years, who have suffered so much. And although I've never been anyone's victim and have lived my American life fairly well, I think it a privilidge to fight and be a voice for those I know who are voiceless, whenever I am able. And here, in Forum at this moment, I call on such memories. So that we all remember what's at stake here. It's our dignity.

In fact, I'm remembering one very sweet quiet soul who wouldn't harm a fly who was killed. I'm remembering Guy Malary, Yves Volel, Feuille and a whole host of others. These people fought for the rule of law to take form in Haiti and for a civil society to be built in Haiti. It's heartless for the US and the international institutions to stand in the way of this. It's plain opportunistic for the so-called opposition to not come straight out and say we Haitians, as a group, no matter our differences stand on ONE common ground and that is the change of government by illegal means or force will NOT ever be tolerated by any Haitian because such a thing is un-Haitian, unpatriotic, and irresponsible. If all Haitians could agree that is the COMMON GROUND found in 1990, 1995 and 2000 and in the years in between, and that that is what we fought for after Duvalier. If we could agree, those Haitians fought so our children would enjoy more civic rights in Haiti and some respect in the world, in general, than that would be a step forward. It is something we-Haitians could do. And, frankly I thought this was done already.

So, please kindly think harder before you take these lost lives in vain like that. For, if you truly love Haiti, wouldn't the rule of law and international human rights standards and lawful procedures and not illegal, forceful and violent action be the more “logical” process for us survivors to use for working out our grievances?

The 1991 Coup D'etat and the Cedras/FRAPH years that followed have been documented as the bloodiest wave of continuous unremitting political terror EVER in Haiti and THAT, as you know, is saying something. At one time, I remember a report of 50 or more bodies turning up in the streets of just one Haitian town each month!

Under the Coup D'etat Regime (1991 to Oct. 1994) which you, I think mistakenly, find was so “logical,” the terror campaigned these assassins advanced, aimed at wiping out resistance to army rule, relied on, (perhaps-to-you the “logical”) techniques of burning down entire neighborhoods to flush out suspects and raping and kidnapping the wives and children of political organizers they were hunting.

WE, you and I, Gifrants, the living survivors of that rampage, who are of sound mind and body, should expect and demand MORE from our fellow Haitians than violence and physical coercion. That principle should not be up for debate, it should be a given. I am sad if that is not yet so. I am. I cringe at the significance of that for the Haitian people as a whole if the majority of us feel this way. For, violence is not a legitimate means of surviving, nor is corruption, murder or thievery - the very essences of a Coup D'etat. And, surviving that way is illegitimate, fraudulent and an extreme immorality and depravity. It's not the higher ground. It's not what Haitians trying to fix their problems aspire to.

TWO:

To go back to something else. When you say, and I quote, again: “Yes, it is a fact that the Haitian people elected Aristide. But it was a HUGE mistake.”

Well, I reiterate, the majority of Haitians have spoken, and though you may not RESPECT them or their vote, what they are telling you is that they don't want to be marginalized by Coup D'etat and kept passive and quiescent by fear and terror. They have proven that not once but TWICE (1990, 2000) with Aristide (three times – 1995 too - if you consider Preval as an adjunct to Aristide's first unfulfilled mandate).

As I've already pointed it, in my last post on this Forum, in terms of modern WORLD history, these elections are miracles of “poor people empowerment” only the HAITIAN movement and its democratically elected government have achieved.

Now I do want to add that the Aristide government has problems, that there is not PARTICIPATORY DEMOCRACY in Haiti under Aristide and none of his promised “transparence.” At least I don't see it. But, despite this and a myriad other negative things I could point to, I support his mandate because I respect the Haitian people and I know no other beleaguered-by-the-US-popularly-elected government anywhere in the world that has been able to survive this long, with the relative loses of life Haiti has had since Aristide's return in 1994, and with government which allows for a relatively free press and for freedom associations. None.

Check the facts on this if you want. Check out the history of Central America from the 1980s to 2003 and compare it to Haiti's popular-democratic struggle.

Its holding on, despite the misinformation, despite embargoes and the role of the USAID-created-Convergence. Despite the international financial institutions' efforts to starve the population and therefore make them so disillusioned they become de-politicized, become passive and quiescent. Despite all this manufactured fear and chaos and ill tidings, today I know slum dweller at Cite Soleil, with no education whatsoever, who will tell you how disingenuous the “opposition” is. And even when many say Aristide hasn't done for them, they still will tell you they would vote for him again because - he represents that they MATTER. The “Convergence” doesn't represent them. In general, they are being paid to locally pursue the welfare of US/Euro multinational corporations. And, in trying to illegally overthrow Haiti's popularly elected civilian government, the Haitian people see that, many in the opposition, only want to slip into the standard colonial relationship with the US the Duvaliers enjoyed.

Now, you may think those three elections a “HUGE” as you say “mistake.” And, you may, through legitimate channels and corridors, try to influence Aristide's current mandate to get your own views, policies and ideas across to be implemented in Haiti. I, I would and do defend your right to do so. But it's unthinkable, it's SICK, it's downright offensive for you to even “in words” try and turn the clock back on the advances the Haitian MAJORITY have made by terrorizing them with the Coup D'etat disease.

For, no matter our viewpoints AS HAITIANS, our task is to work for the establishment of the rule of law in Haiti AND the protection of Haitian civil and cultural rights both in Haiti and abroad. For anyone, to even INFER that a Coup D'etat is a “sensible” alternative in Haiti (yesterday or for today) is plain WRONG and, may I dare add, simply so MINDLESS and irrational that the statement is not worthy of an intelligence person.


THREE:

You say: “Why don't you voice FREELY your opinion against Aristide…”

What ever I could say against the Aristide Government I've already said, - that is, I've said its non-participatory and not transparent. Those are the big ones. But to dwell on this is pretty useless, for I agree with you “talk” “talk” “talk…” Africans talk too much. I spend my time trying to find an “Opening”, something that will help turn things around in Haiti.

Pointing blame is so uncreative and unimaginative. And why blame poor beleaguered Aristide? The man can't even breathe with the pressures put on by US Embassy and USAID and their local Haitian agents of imperial power. He's holding on, crushed between his duty to the people which he undertakes with no real resources and the choices extend to him by Messrs-Let's Hoard-It All, which are “Listen Aristide, you either implement our defeated 1991-candidates' policies or watch your people starve to death.”

You have to be some kind of dimwit to believe Aristide has much maneuvering room, especially since many of his administrators have no imagination whatsoever, or, those who do, are not given room to make decisions. Either way, it's up to those outside of the Port-au-Prince quagmire to make new avenues. It's up to us folks to find openings. Up to this point, from what I know and have read, he's done his part for Haitian history and history will not judge him too badly for it.

Certainly he's done more, internationally and domestically, than anyone else to elevate Haiti out of 29 years of dictatorship. It's not realistic to aspire to those heights, but we can, each of us, at least help one Haitian child breathe easier and get to look forward to a productive future. That each of us can do, in whatever productive way our talent and means dictate.

FOUR

You said a few things to Jaf I feel compel to comment on. I can't get to all of them but here are a few. You say,

“'I'M ENTIRELY TIRED OF SUPERFICIAL ACCUSATIONS AGAINST THE WEST……”

Here is my accusation against US foreign policy across the globe, but particularly as it relates to Haiti. It's a fact, that the US rather funds terror in Haiti, then development and reforms – that is an uncontestable fact and it is not a superficial accusation. It goes to the heart of why Haitians cannot live decent lives.

It must be exposed. It is central. The role of Haitians who help the imperial power is of peripheral interest - they are powerless without the US checkbook. Besides, no matter the corruption they only have .50cents to the Haitian peasants' dime compared to the F**ck you money the white boys make off our backs. They are playing themselves and getting played BIG TIME.

So I say, these local mercenaries of imperial power, whose internal power in Haiti depend primarily on their support from the US, are, in the final analysis, selling their souls for scraps and ought to be pitied, not given importance. Besides, they don't represent the majority if you check our last three election results.

FIVE

You say,

“NOW, LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, LET'S TALK ABOUT OURSELVES, WHAT WE CAN DO IN ORDER TO GET OUT OF THIS MESS!

1. I think the first thing Haitians who advocate violence need to do is disavow it.

2. If you are a Haitian who is still on the violence-for-change page, it's time to get on a another, more civilized, page. That's the first thing a Haitian might do to help his country begin to get out of this mess!
3. Then, we must, together, find the answers to the following questions and organize toward that answer.

THE QUESTION IS:
Why should people, who own the economy, change it to a system, a popular. participatory democracy, with decision-making powers that undermines their profits or weakens their control? In essence, why should they want there to be a political system in which the Haitian population genuinely participates? Why?

For it is my considered opinion, that the lives of the Haitian people are being destroyed and marginalized, not by Aristide, but the international financial institutions and USAID. Institutions that have NO responsibility for the social welfare of the Haitian people. They, not Aristide, directly or indirectly control the price of gas, rice, electricity and water, whether roads are built, or health clinics are equipped, amongst other things affecting living standards in Haiti.

No Haitian voted for their policies. Yet, they design reforms and policies, policies which determine whether we live or die, get health care, justice, drive a car, go to work, go to school, etc. Yet, their policies are simply designed to ensure corporate profits so to better maintain the system of power of the US elites. This, is central to understanding and finding an opening for Haiti out of its quagmire.

The issue of Haitians who benefit for being the local agents of the US/Euro elites, that issue, is , at most , a peripheral issue to the system of POWER that vies for the souls of the black Haitian folks.

If you want unity, progress, democracy, first agree to NOT support, in any way, Coup D'etat in Haiti. Then, give Haitians, of all hues and classes, another thing they can rally around. Explain to them why? For, to simply keep focusing on Black-on-Black crime in Haiti or anywhere else is politically unintelligent, if not wrong since it's not Haiti's main problem whatsoever.

Second, identity the real people (institutions) in power in Haiti – the corporate capitalist and its implementing arms - the IMF, WTO, World Bank, IDB, all run by the US Treasury/State Department.

Then understand that today there is a concerted effort to destroy the Haitian people and their country by creating chaos and disorder through creating and arming an opposition (local agents of US imperial power) and by economic strangulation through embargoes, calling in loans and debts freely given to the previous US-backed dictatorship.

See this basic reality is the WALL Aristide faces, along with Haiti's years of systemic corruption, and the effects of a century of US underdevelopment, and before that, France's catholic-ecclesiastic underdevelopment of Haiti. - politically, culturally, socially, you name it.

If we can agree on our true history, then we must also understand people in power, no matter how relative the power, or super the power, won't give it up unless they hurt economically.

The current situation in Haiti is not hurting US interests – it feeds it. Our blood nourishes their industries and always has. The corporate capitalist must marginalize the population, both in Haiti and in the US, because people are basically decent, so you must, keep them passive and quiescent, whether it's through fear (as in the US with in the last 40 years of the Communist red threat, and now, it's with terrorist - Qqadafi, Al Queda, Hussein, threat of the uses of weapons of mass destruction, Homeland Security's red, blue, yellow fear alerts, etc.) or through Coup D'etat and its attendant oppressions in Haiti.

For, if there was real participatory democracy and people understood the real situation; if , in Haiti, Aristide could bring up real wages and there was justice and work, and peace, well how could they exploit Haiti and its people? But with chaos and disorder and fear, they can go right in, throw a few dollars at panting, starving people and, presto, some outright mercenaries are created. And presto, there's an “opposition” ready to do the job they want by force, but can't do in the light of day themselves.

So, if each Haitian would understand this reality and know that, these international institutions and their various tentacles are pursuing only short-term profits. That under the corporate capitalist system, they have to. And that means no social spending. No, for instance, Haitian government subsidies to bring down the price of gas and food in Haiti, just corporate welfare, corporate subsidies for the internationals who never pay any customs or tariffs or taxes – and just no development of real democracy in Haiti so the people can continue to be exploited. If we understood that except for the racist part it's not particularly personal and could figure a way to hurt them economically, make it economically unprofitable for them to underdevelop Haiti this way, then our people would begin to find a way out of this mess.

Ezili Danto

Gifrants

To Ezili Danto

Post by Gifrants » Tue Jun 03, 2003 11:57 am

I would say again that it's obvious you have studied politics, western way. You obviously know their conventions, their treaties, their protocoles. You also have their credentials. They also may have your psychological profile, the same they may have been building mine on this Forum.

It seems to me also that you were an official of a Goverment. It may have possibly been one of the Lavalas Governments. I do not share your views too much, but you do have my greatest respect. In fact, I do have a lot of respect for intelligence. I only wish from the bottom of my heart that you wish just as I do the welfare of our Haitian brothers and sisters. I have to command you also for taking all necessary steps to make your points.

Let me bring up this example to you.

I went to a barber shop on Brodway in Cambridge. I brought my CD. The owner accepted to play it. After listening to a few cuts. A shoemaker stood up and said:
Let me tell you this, I know NOTHING AT ALL, and I mean NOTHING AT ALL about music, but I can tell you this, you Gifrants, YOU PLAYING NOTHING AT ALL HERE.

His remarks find their logic in what Aristide said to the Haitian people in his rage to seize power, and I quote--Yo di nou analfabèt, men nou pa bèt. The truth is that unfortunately 85% or more of my Haitian brothers are illiterate, and dumb. It is irresponsible for the leadership to flatter their ignorance.

The same ignorance lead them to elect Aristide. I do not find them 100% guilty. But I find people like you more than guilty. Knowing very well the tremendous challenges we have been facing for so long, it is totally irresponsible to lead Haiti without having a blue print for a REVOLUTION, and if you are afraid of the word like most Lavalas officials are, I would say without being prepared.

La chance qui passe, la chance à prendre. My name is Marcien Guy Frantz Toussaint. I have been told that Georges Anglade has voiced such word
s. If it is true, I consider Georges Anglade one of the most irresponsible Haitian citizens of this century. That goes also for all of you, who even today are discounting the incompetence, the violence, the crimes, the state of lawlessness, the embezzlements, the dilapidation of the Public Treasury by Aristide and his clan.

Yes, the coup d'Etat was logical. I did not say logic. I say it was logical. Yes, we do have a history d'etats. The way of the Western World taught us it was wrong to do so. But the West does not miss an occasion to screw up any democratic process in order to maintain their interests. I repeat again--I did not support the coup d'Etat, but it was logical. One meets force with force. The Haitian people, including the leadership have nothing in place to back up their changes they wanted. In fact, the leadership did not want any change. The leadership main goal was to replace Duvalier, and today it shows that they are no better than Duvalier. These are not simple accusations.


I would also add that the non-violence approach to operate changes in Haiti is very unrealistic. In fact, Aristide has made it more probable to have not one, but a lot of civil wars in Haiti. The likeness to have only one would have to be coming from somebody who thinks like me. It must be A DECISIVE WAR ONCE FOR ALL. Then we reach a consensus, and move forward from that point.

It was nice to read your opinions. I do not believe that your services can be useful at a very high level with your approach on the National Affairs of Haiti. To tell you also the truth, I would have a lot of reservation to see you handling International Affairs. The Dominican Republic is more than a problem, and a burden for us. We do not have to go too far west, just let's turn east, please.

My regards,

Gifrants.

P.S. It is very rare to beat the Master to his game.

1- True Politics has no rule
2- The glory of victory is never indecent
3- Survival justifies all means

What you have learned from them is meant to keep you in line for mutual understanding--the dialectic of the rulers and the rulees. The control and power remains on the rulers' side.

Gifrants

To Jafrikayiti

Post by Gifrants » Tue Jun 03, 2003 3:26 pm

Haiti still matters. Aux grands maux, les grands remèdes.

Regarding our situation in Haiti right now, I strongly believe it would be a matter of National Security to remove Aristide from power. What makes it impossible to happen is not the so-called current democratic process under which Aristide is behaving himself as a brutal Dictator, it is rather the will of a Malval or a former General Abraham not to get involved in politics.

It's clear that the opposition is not really an alternative. It's also clear to me that it is imperative to eradicate the Lavalas movement. This can be easily done. We are not dealing with a well trained army, we are dealing with a bunch of thugs who cannot sustain a real fight. Everything will be in order when the going gets tough.

It is also clear to me that most of you who keep talking will take the streets where you live among the Masters, to protest and to ask the Masters once again to intervene. You'll be staying exactly where you are-stupidly nostalgic, talking about changes which you mean just changes with no real planning and know how, dreaming to visit and go back to Haiti just to have fun.

Once again, I reiterate my respect for those who truly believe in doing something good. Erzili Dantò reminds me of someone. I could have brought this up. I did not. For me, it is a chance to share very calmly what I believe, and maybe what she did, and why she did it. I do not expect some extraordinary revelations. It is fact that within a Government a consensus has to be reached. One's will within a Government does not always prevail. I'm being nice by saying that because now we know, that Aristide knows everything, does everything, and decides everything. It is not too prudent to have a different view from the President's view.

I strongly believe it is irresponsible to let Arisitide do his term. I can see his intent to retain power. I can see his determination to stay in control, even after his term, if he does not get his way with amending the Constitution. I'm not sentimental and emotional in politics, and I will never be. I will do whatever it takes to guarantee and improve not only the image of my country, but THE LIFE OF MY HAITIAN FELLOW CITIZENS.

You are dead wrong if you think one second that I would not support anything that is LOGICAL AND PRACTICAL TO ME TO SAVE HAITI. Right now, I believe that Aristide is out of control. We do not have a real progressist movement. I mean what I say, and I say what I mean. Around this table, there MUST BE AND THERE WILL BE PEOPLE WHO ARE DETERMINED TO TAKE FULL RESPONSIBLITY TO SECURE OUR EXISTENCE AS A NATION.

Keep talking, Jaf. Keep talking. Keep talking. It's so easy to talk. Enjoy your freedom for freedom for you means you do what you want, and say what you want. This is the simplistic interpretation of freedom in the mind of the rulees, and followers. It is different for the fighters. Freedom means the duty to stand up and make freedom reign. How far can you go with your voice? You will go far with those who feel hopeless, victimized, oppressed. Aristide did go far with those who feel hopeless, victimized, oppressed. They did not go too far. They are still hopeless, victimized, oppressed. You want to be their voice too? It's so easy to talk.

I bet you will be talking forever, and that's the only way you will show me how Haiti still matters.

Gifrants

To Marilyn

Post by Gifrants » Tue Jun 03, 2003 4:34 pm

Let me say it again:

Voodoo supposedly has united us to fight. But I believe that the realization of facing the same problems and the same enemies has imposed on our ancestors the need to reach a consensus--fighting together. But no consensus has ever been reached among ourselves to live together with mutual respect, and equality.

That tragedy has lasted too long. We must fight! Let's resolve our differences by the sword. In fact, there is a much greater need to terminate those who cannot be rehabilitated, and those who are determined to prevent us from getting out of this mess.

The situation in Haiti is seeing the majority of a Black population living a horrendous life. Those who live in Haiti who do not give a damn about it do not desserve the right to live on Haiti's soil. I do not give a damn also about whether they are rich or poor. It's IMPERATIVE FOR EACH AND EVERYONE TO PARTICIPATE. Those who do not want have 2 choices: leave or die.

Ezili Danto
Posts: 197
Joined: Sat May 31, 2003 11:57 pm

This is serious

Post by Ezili Danto » Thu Jun 05, 2003 10:07 am

Gifrants ekri [quote]....Let's resolve our differences by the sword. In fact, there is a much greater need to terminate those who cannot be rehabilitated, and those who are determined to prevent us from getting out of this mess.[/quote]

Mwen bebe, etone, lan chok.

Li ekri anko [quote]..I do not give a damn also about whether they are rich or poor. It's IMPERATIVE FOR EACH AND EVERYONE TO PARTICIPATE. Those who do not want have 2 choices: leave or die.[/quote]
Cheri ou gen anpil pwoblem. Sounds like baby Bush speil with his "you are either with the terrorist or with us."

Me, si gen moun ki pa konen anyen de Ayisyen, kap li e swiv diskou sa yo, m pa vle yo we selman denye post ekstrem anwo-a Grifrans ekri kom denye pawol, oubyen, kom yon pawol ou visyon de yon Ayisyen ki serye e responsab. Non.

Men yon pawòl ki tèlman serye, ki ale lan ke pwoblèm patisipasyon e transparans la, ki tèlman pa yon pawòl de moun tèt cho, ke mwen mete-l kòm dènye mo mwen vle soutni isi-a anvan-m soti lan diskisyon sa. Pawòl Petit Ginen ekri (Posted: Wed Jun 04, 2003 4:47 am, Post subject: Eske pwoblèm Ayiti se responsabilite yon grenn krityen vivan) fè anpil sans. Gen pati la dan ki tèlman enpòrtan pou ede nou avèk keksyon de transparans e patisipasyon, li merite tout moun li-l ankòr e ankor. Merci.

Pitit Ginen ekri:

http://haitiforever.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=272

!Sa se pawòl serye! Avèk bon refleksyon! Li ede-m anpil. Li tèlman serye mwen li-l twa fwa deja.

Ezili Danto

Gifrants

Does Haiti still matter? The reasoning.

Post by Gifrants » Thu Jun 12, 2003 8:54 am

Previously Posted on: 04 Jun 2003 04:27 pm

Does Haiti still matter?

Yes. For me it does.

How is the situation right now?

Worse.

Who is to blame?

Ourselves. We the Haitian people, in the first place.

Is there a President elect?

Yes.

What is he doing?

I can't really say.

Why?

We have so many problems.

What do you think are the major ones?

1- Political instability. There is no common ground, no consensus. I believe it is the duty and obligation of the President to use the power with which he was invested to ensure that political stability. He just cannot achieve that.

2- State of lawlessness. The Chimères, who are his non-special forces and his thugs, are no better than the Tontons Macoutes. The Zenglendo who also have police officers in their rank are not brought to justice. Political murd
ers, crimes, rapes, thefts, threats, kidnappings, gangs, embezzlements, drugs, corruption, prostitution, including child prostitution—none of these is being tackled.

3- A horrifying disdain toward the lives of Haitian people, our children and the elderly. No social welfare at all.

What do you think can be done?

Before I answer this question, let me state how most Haitian politicians including the President view both politics and democracy. It is a fact that everything evolves about politics in Haiti, my country. To discount it just because we are talking about democracy is unrealistic.

Politics provides the means and ways to be powerful and wealthy, and the President's mind to do also whatever he pleases. Democracy or the electoral process by which from now on a Haitian President is chosen provides the license for the President to be powerful and wealthy and to do whatever he wants. That's the aim of the Presidency. So any check and balance system will be derailed by fraudulent elections in the selection of multi-lateral party members for the Legislative Chamber and the Senate.

Let me underline this. Whether there has been a coup d'etat or not, it is imperative for the President to remember that most of his power has been delegated to the Prime Minister, and more importantly, that he has a very significant role to play in our history. He has to lay down very solid foundations for this new era in order to allow democracy to grow and flourish.

On those grounds, I believe that President Jean Bertrand Aristide has failed the Haitian people. He has sustained an atmosphere of political instability, and used it to his advantage. He totally disregarded the need to reach a consensus with any political parties that do not share the same points of view as his. He failed to maintain law and order under his presidency. He totally ignored that democratic process by constantly threatening the private sector and the media. His business dealings from which numerous scandals have erupted, and his acquisition of wealth, estimated at more than 400 million dollars, are highly questionable.

I believe it is very important to remove him from power. He won't resign. His resignation, if he were a true patriot, or even a man of good faith, could have brought more positive results to this very chaotic situation. The first one would have been the release of those international relief funds of at least half a billion dollars.

Is removing him necessary? To answer this question, one must keep in mind the stubbornness of the President, which a strong trait of his character. His continuous pursue for more power and control has taken him today to suggest the amendment of article 434, guaranteeing the President of Haiti longer terms. Why will the President bring up such a matter? Why is he doing it now when 2005 is around the corner? One can assume and predict more political instability. We cannot rely on his words because Jean Bertrand Aristide has never kept them. He never kept them
because he considers Haiti as his fief, discounting national and international appeals for true democracy in Haiti.

What's really wrong with that reasoning?

Some will promptly reply that it's focusing only on the President. And I will ask why we he should not be the Prime Minister. It's obviously because the President is in charge not the Prime Minister. What's the role of the Prime Minister? Does he have power? How limited is his power?

Some will mention the fact that the opposition maneuvers and implications are making matter worse. I will ask what the opposition wants.

Participation. Legitimate participation. This legitimate participation in such a chaotic atmosphere is AS IMPORTANT AS A GESTURE AS MUCH AS THE RESULT OF ANY ELECTORAL PROCESS. Whether those elections have been fraudulent or not, and we all have reasons to believe that some of the candidates and their followers were threatened, the INCLUSION OF SOME POLITICAL PARTY MEMBERS IS IMPERATIVE AS A FIRST STEP TO
REACH A CONSENSUS AMONG HAITIANS IN THE POLITICAL AFFAIRS OF THEIR COUNTRY.

ANY GOOD POLITICIAN, AND ANY PRESIDENT WHO IS TRULY A PATRIOT HAS TO UNDERSTAND THAT. That means, if the President of the Republic cannot concede that his Prime Minister can be his OPPONENT, or the President of the Senate, or the President of the Legislative Chamber can be his OPPONENT, or the majority of the Chamber can be his OPPONENTS, that means, and I say, he is AFRAID of DEMOCRACY. Consequently, he will do everything in order for Democracy to come to his terms--He and his party in power. THAT'S TOTALLY UNACCEPTABLE. It's no longer a Democracy, it is an AUTOCRACY, A MONOCRACY.

The Haitian People did not fight for this. Consequently, we must not let this happen. WE WANT A FREE AND DEMOCRATIC HAITI.

Locked