Governance in Haiti and our roles as Haitians

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Jean Colin

Gonaives

Post by Jean Colin » Sun Feb 08, 2004 10:42 pm

Someone or a whole section in Haitian Society felt asleep at the wheel... FYI

"Nan pwen anyen moun deyò kab fè pou ede gouvènman peyi yo, si gouvènman an pa deside asime responsabilite pa l kòm sa dwa." Translation: There is nothing we in the Haitian Diaspora can do to help if their government back home if they don't wish to assume their responsibility as they ought to. (Comments by Haitians in the Diaspora)

I beg to differ! There are plenty we can do -- for one thing this forum where we share our visions and solutions for a better Haiti. Why not take it a step further and create "virtual governmental institutions" and/or NGOs with resources, brain power and the ability to do things as well as lead and deliver services in Haiti and abroad.

The Government of Haiti is responsible to a great extent for what is happening in Haiti and Gonaives by giving the appearance and creating the impression that as an institution an
d government leaders, you don't have to do anything to rule, govern and take control and responsibility for the well being of the Haitian people.

That is why those idiots and gangsters in Gonaives can claim to be in charge and in control of our cities because they too can do nothing and don't have to provide any services either to enjoy the title of Mayor, chief of police or any Haitian government officials they wish to emulate.

They would not dare take over the administration of their hospitals because they are not doctors or nurses. They would not dare take over the administration of their banks because they are not bankers or accountants but they will take over the mayor office and other government officials because they too can do nothing, produce nothing and say nothing of value as the previous occupants of those offices.

We, too in the Diaspora, have been too patient, irresponsible and not willing to tell our friends in power and those in the opposition that enough is enough
and that politicians function is to facilitate jobs creation, provide education, health care and building the infrastructure for water management, road, electricity, food production, tourism, etc... we know it; we have witnessed and lived it because as employees and resident aliens, we have contributed to deliver those services in New York City NY, Montreal Canada, Miami Florida, Paris France etc, we know better.

Thanks to the Internet, we no longer have to be in Haiti to effectively run our HOMELAND and provide those services. The takeover of Gonaives is a lesson for all of us not just the people in Port-au-Prince, but also ourselves in the Haitian Diaspora. The reason they took this important and historic city over is because we are willing to put up with such nonsense and that we have created a vacuum in the first place for such incompetent, irresponsible and unpatriotic gang leaders to step in because of our own long absence, lack of leadership and courage to take actions on behalf of our nation
to deliver the services which qualify a nation's citizen to earn and be confered upon the title of government leaders.

We must control the damage, regain our honor as beneficiaries of the Haitian Revolution and reclaim our common decency by providing real services and bringing valuable assistance to our brothers and sisters in Haiti, a very unlucky population that has, for so long, been the subject of much abuses and neglect, and giving these thugs some competition not for government titles but job performance.

This should not be too tough because they are not providing any service. Let us make sure that we beat them and not equalize them in their incompetence.

Jean F Colin
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Post by admin » Mon Feb 09, 2004 1:02 am

[quote]"Nan pwen anyen moun deyò kab fè pou ede gouvènman peyi yo, si gouvènman an pa deside asime responsabilite pa l kòm sa dwa." Translation: There is nothing we in the Haitian Diaspora can do to help if their government back home if they don't wish to assume their responsibility as they ought to. (Comments by Haitians in the Diaspora)[/quote]

Jean, this should be corrected. I do not represent "Haitians in the Diaspora". I am merely "a" Haitian in the Diaspora. Perhaps others agree with my statement, but surely others, like you, will disagree. So, let's keep it real.

You begged to differ and I am glad for it! But let's examine what you propose. You have presented several ideas, some of which are most welcome (I hope we can elaborate on them together), though others leave me somewhat perplexed. To boot:

[quote]There are plenty we can do -- for one thing this f
orum where we share our visions and solutions for a better Haiti.[/quote]
agreed, but...
[quote]Why not take it a step further and create "virtual governmental institutions" and/or NGOs with resources, brain power and the ability to do things as well as lead and deliver services in Haiti and abroad. [/quote]
Could you explain in greater detail what you mean by "virtual governmental institutions" ?

As far as creating "NGO's with resources, brain power and the ability to do things as well as lead and deliver services in Haiti and abroad", I wholeheartedly agree with the word "abroad", because God knows the Haitian community in the Diaspora needs services and our attention too. Our children need our attention. Our battered men and women need our attention. Our jobless need our attention. Our "illegal" residents need our attention. Our drug addicts and lost souls need our attention. Our unschooled need our attention. So, there is absolutely no
question that we, Haitians in the Diaspora, need to do exactly as you said for Haitians in our own communities and this can be done with the structure already put in place by the American government -- and I assume by other governments as well. Agreed.

So now, let's turn our eyes to what specifically we can do for Haiti aside from sending money to our immediate and extended families, as so many of us have always done.

When you talk of creating NGO's, you should think foremost of which jurisdiction they will fall under and their financing. Would those NGO's be registered in U.S. / Canada, in Haiti, or both? Would they be financed through private channels or be government funded (through USAID for instance and therefore subject to all USAID restrictions and rules of engagement, or through even more politicized institutions)?

How would we be able to deliver services in Haiti, "without the government willing to assume its responsibilities"... because that was the point I was making
. Can we even fancy about creating "virtual government institutions", which would naturally lead to what... "a virtual government"??? Should Haitians in the Diaspora even pretend to govern when there is a real government in Haiti, elected by the people TO GOVERN THEM responsibly.

I would think the better question would be: "HOW CAN HAITIANS IN THE DIASPORA BEST INFLUENCE THE HAITIAN GOVERNMENT TO ASSUME FULLY ITS RESPONSIBILITIES?" rather than think we can do the job for them. The truth is we have been neglecting our own, because we only think of Haiti (the physical Haiti) and not enough about Haitians (who live not only in Haiti, but also in the Dominican Republic, in the Bahamas, in Little Haiti's everywhere in the United States and Canada). We cannot govern Haiti from outside Haiti but there are other things that we can do, such as:

1) We can always go back to Haiti...

2) We can continue to live abroad but assume additional responsibilities, such as lobbying for positive U.S./
... actions towards Haiti and lobbying against malicious U.S./... actions towards Haiti.

and, longer term:

3) Get elected or appointed to positions of influence in our countries of residence or citizenship. Think of the Jewish model in the United States. Think of the Cubans in South Florida. What influence do Haitians currently exert, other than "the boat people menace"?

and most importantly:

4) inform and influence public opinion on the critical issues Haitians face each and every day.

Anyway, I do not mean to write in opposition to what you said, because you are suggesting that we can do more... and that we should do. I just want to invite you to clarify some statements which seemed too vague for me and to elaborate on your overall proposal.

Ezili Danto
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There must be trust and institutionalization of our energies

Post by Ezili Danto » Mon Feb 09, 2004 4:04 am

Guy, JeanCollin;
I don't mean to intervene here with respect to the points both of you have made because I am interested in reading Jean's response to Guy's last post.

However, I have some comments on governance at this juncture. Our relatives, friends and compatriots have died and are dying now in Gonaive and on the streets of Port-au-Prince because of these violent campaigns to overthrow Aristide, which started with the set up of a parallel opposition government years back. Inaction about that little lawless travesty has taken its toll and today I hear the lawless gangsters in Gonaive are using civilians as shields to prevent the authorized police from re-taking the City. I can't corroborate this. Only reliable hearsay for now. But we know our Haitian police are losing their lives and this is bringing grief to their love ones and the population in general.

What a
re those civilians and defenders of law and order in Haiti dying for and who shall witness to their senseless extermination and make sure their deaths are not in vain? I've spoken out about the role of the international community in inciting this lawlessness and civil war in Haiti. That's a given. But, the Haitian government must act despite this David vs Goliath backdrop. It must. What is has been doing is not nearly enough. Because, tomorrow, if the streets of Port-au-Prince, or even Gonaive, are filled with the peoples of Haiti, who would have stepped-up to, again be body shield to stop the return to rule by force, does this mean success for democracy? No. This is not a popularity contest. All of Haiti may come out onto the streets and it still will not bring those who've been senselessly exterminated or hit with machetes, thrown into sewers or our small grade-school children who are learning to be afraid to get an education, wholeness again. The damage is irreparable. Only a decisive decision, backed-w
ith-action, to mitigate these evil deeds and bring justice to those injured will begin our interminable long road towards healing. I don't care how many hundred of thousands of pro-government people are in the streets. It's no longer necessary for Haitians to prove they stand for the rule of law and respect for the election process. It's necessary for the government to ACT on it. Yes, it was important to show our force and commitment during the January 1st bi-centennial. We needed to pay respect to the ancestors. But now, what does it do, at this point when we know, without a shadow of a doubt, the leaders of the opposition are about inciting violence and not about a civil disobedience-free-speech-campaign at all? We don't need to demonstrate against these terrorists and fascists. We need to isolate them, make them accountable for the lives lost and call them to task in a legal and open manner.

I know the current government is not good a delegating task and therefore not competent at trusting thos
e who trust it, but how incompetent is a government who is getting pummeled and paralyzed by lies when the truth is well known? Haitians deserve better and especially since the population has stepped up, many times, to make its wishes known. Those wishes must be actualized or at least the dirjan yo must move more decisively to show the people their efforts at actualizing them. If they need help, call for it, the way they call for the people to come out into the streets!!! Let us Haitians be a more active part of the solution. This is not about the survival of Aristide, but the future of the Haitian people.

And we-Haitians need more than survival. Quality of survival is critical. Democracy is about institutionalizing the rule of law. Democracy is not a popularity contest. And, certainly it's not about reconciliation with injustice. We must harness the resources of the people towards that institutionalization. It requires some creativity and trusting[/b:157a3f1
761] of one another. The same sort of trusting the people have put forth in electing the current govenment. That trust must be reciprocated. The alternative, that is reconciling with injustice, though pragmatic for a politician or a businessmen, has never been tenable for those of us in the public who stand for institutionalizing the rule of law, of justice, and, moving towards a transparent and participatory democracy.

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Post by admin » Mon Feb 09, 2004 10:08 am

[quote]Democracy is about institutionalizing the rule of law. Democracy is not a popularity contest. And, certainly it's not about reconciliation with injustice. We must harness the resources of the people towards that institutionalization. It requires some creativity and trusting of one another. The same sort of trusting the people have put forth in electing the current govenment. That trust must be reciprocated. The alternative, that is reconciling with injustice, though pragmatic for a politician or a businessmen, has never been tenable for those of us in the public who stand for institutionalizing the rule of law, of justice, and, moving towards a transparent and participatory democracy.[/quote]

Thank you for crystallizing exactly what is at stake here in the Haitian struggle. Those words bear repeating again and again.

At this point, I am going to perform an administrative function and crea
te a new thread on governance and our possible participation in it, not as elected officials, but as HAITIANS (regardless of where we reside or actual citizenship). Much has been made of "la double nationalité" but the focus has always been on the restoration of old privileges or the creation of new ones that would equalize opportunities between Haitians living in Haiti and those in the Diaspora. However, as you know, Constitutional Law has as much to do with DUTY as it has to do with PRIVILEGE. The State cannot dole out privileges if its subjects do not first perform their duty. That is an impossibility. Therefore, before speaking about rights and privileges, and rushing the adoption of "formal" democracies that ostensibly do not fit our country at this juncture, we must speak of the democracy we need to create in Haiti. We must speak of the role of the government in a Haitian Democracy and of the role we must play to support it in our respective capabilities.

For this, I have moved a few of th
e postings from the Gonaives thread to this one about governance for the future of Haiti, and not just in response to the terrible tragedy that is currently unfolding in Haiti.

Jean Colin

Post by Jean Colin » Mon Feb 09, 2004 3:46 pm

Why not take it a step further and create "virtual governmental institutions" and/or NGOs with resources, brain power and the ability to do things as well as lead and deliver services in Haiti and abroad. Could you explain in greater detail what you mean by "virtual governmental institutions" ?
--------------------------------------
Basically, what I mean is: let's get busy...not just talk and Internet chats but actions. Actions to create jobs, deliver services and do what needs to be done. Nobody will prevent you from cleaning the streets in Port-au-Prince, (they might think you are nuts) so, let get organized and do it (virtual government services), nobody will prevent you from building schools in Haiti, so let's get organized and do it -- no talks all actions. Who's permission are you waiting for? Nobody is doing it now and the government will take another 5 years to process to required papers. Let's deliver the baby and we will wo
rry later about who the father is (virtual Government). Let us provide the services and forget about the titles.

As beneficiaries of the Haitian revolution, we are way to timid and fearful to think out the box and to adventure on roads less traveled. Consider the following to help reverse Haiti's isolation both cultural, physical and national:

A new vision for Haitian Identity and its government bodies: Franco-Hispanic Treaty of Wynswick should not determine Haitian Citizenship and beneficiaries rights.

...your suggestion of a nine-member panel to be put in place in Haiti is a good one but I would take it further and hope that Caricom would operate as an equal partner in the executive and legislative branches of the Haitian Government. This experience would open a whole new future to the region and indeed reconcile with the vision of Toussaint Louverture for a free Haiti and the rights of all (black) men and women in region that embrace its revolution for universal justice, human rights
, human dignity, liberty, equality and brotherhood.
The presence of Caricom in Haiti, as we share the world stage today for all the bad reasons, can and should be utilized to work to the advantage of Haiti and the region, after these political nonsense that we are presently dealing with, by using the concept of "all beneficiaries of the Haitian Revolution of 1804 that would include all these Islands or Haitians without Borders" that would give Haiti a position of leadership again in the Caribbean Basin.

Haiti belongs to all of us (all former slaves in the area) and the more of us the better. Our selfishness as Haitians limiting that right only to those of us born within the territorial limits set by the Franco-Spanish Treaty of Wynswick is foolish, self defeating and should be changed to reflect and adjust to the revolutionary concept of the actions taken by Boukman, Toussaint Louverture, Dessalines and other major heroes and freedom fighters of Haiti Independence war.

Who do you think will
prevent us from building school, hospitals and community centers in Haiti? Who do you think will prevent us from building water fountains and cleaning sewage in Haiti? Who do you think will prevent us from feeding a hungry child in Haiti? Who do you think will prevent us from cleaning the streets in our parents neighborhood. Let us do the jobs and we will wary about the titles later. Our time has come! Let us come out of hiding and take responsibility to do our part, to the best of our abilities, in order to protect the little self esteem and dignity, we have left as a community and a nation.

Take a look at www.sun-sentinel.com/haiti and pick the project you want and let's organize our community and fix it in Haiti. Whose permission are you waiting for? If Toussaint and Dessalines think like we think and behave today, we might still be waiting for Napoleon permission to be free. I don't advocate chaos and lawlessness but for God sake if there is no doctors present to deliver the baby, let's us at l
east bring a clear towel to protect him from the dirty environment that our country has become and help the (mother) country regain consciousness.

And since you mentioned the Cubans in Miami that I am very familiar with, their Cuban American Foundation is in deed a "virtual government" with a 501C3 tax exemption qualification that allow them to raise money worldwide for their budget and wide ranging community services both here and in Cuba. Nothing that Haitians, organized and committed, can't do.
Virtual governmental institutions to me only means governmental services performed by a private entity-- nothing offensive or political. A good example here would be for instance the Red Cross. So, when do we start the clean up of Port-au-Prince?

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Post by admin » Tue Feb 10, 2004 4:25 am

Having enthusiastically supported Aristide in the early 1990's, today I do not feel any regret whatsoever for my earlier disposition. As best as I could, as a Haitian National living in the United States of America, sympathizing with the historically underprivileged class in Haiti, I lent support to a movement impregnated with revolutionary ideals, along with the overwhelming majority of working class Haitians living abroad at that time. Our support of Aristide was just the expression of a deeply rooted thirst for the advent of social justice in the face of the continued military repression that followed the departure of Jean-Claude Duvalier. At that time, Haiti's freedom seemed connected to other liberation movements in the world, such as the anti-Marcos uprising in the Philippines and the anti-apartheid struggle in South Africa. As instrumental as Corazon Aquino and Nelson Mandela were in voicing the hopes o
f their peoples, they understood particularly well that they were not the end objects of such aspirations. They each served their constitutionally mandated terms and passed on the torch to others, designated by their people through the electoral process. In either case, the end object was democracy and not the cult of personality, however inspiring that personality may have been. Ask any South African black who either opposed Nelson Mandela or became disenchanted with his leadership when he assumed the presidency whether he would have preferred the continuation of apartheid in South Africa. Similarly, I cannot regret my political choices of the early 90's because they led to the end of militarization in Haiti and a system of governance of such brutality that it should never be trivialized. This does not signify however that I do not have profound differences with what has become of the leadership of the party in power in the past several years. However, beyond those differences, I feel equally committed
not to see Haiti return to the same set of social and political conditions that preceded the advent of the Lavalas movement.

In my opinion, it is foolish of our compatriots to call for the departure of the current government, without having prepared a clear alternative that would propel forward the aspirations of the Haitian people. In the early 90's, the Lavalas movement appeared to offer more than a simple rejection of Duvalierism. That is the key reason why the mobilization against macoutism, militarism, and Duvalierism was so successful. Today, some of our cities are in the grips of anti-Aristidism. However, no alternative has been clearly formulated. In fact, the guiding principles of the Lavalas movement have not been openly rejected, even by those who curse the very name of "Lavalas". So, it would appear that the opposition to Aristide would gain from formulating anew the earlier guiding principles and adopting them as their very own, as opposed to their current advocacy of getting rid o
f Aristide, damn the political or social consequences.

Yet, I will be the first to admit that my expectations of good governance in Haiti have taken a serious beating in recent years. No doubt, the causes for the lack of significant progress on a social scale are complex, and as is unfortunately our nature, we will keep pointing the finger at each other seemingly till the end of time. Let me briefly expose however some aspects of the astonishing failures of the government in Haiti, regardless of how we all decide to play the blame game:

1) Haiti should become a STATE OF LAW. That principle should never have been compromised. Again and again, we have witnessed botched investigations... to cite only the most talked about among the many: the assassination of Jean Dominique. The grave mishandling of the Dominique case in particular brought a severe blow to our confidence in the will of the government to bring powerful criminals to justice. To compound matters, take into account the politicization
of the police force, the overt intimidation of judges, and the cabinet-level appointments of individuals with questionable public records, particularly at the Ministry of Justice.

2) To whose benefit did Haitians continue to portray themselves as the "Restavek" of the financial community, particularly France and the United States? The long talked about issue of the "500 million" in loan guarantees, secured by contractual agreements, was a valid legal position. Certainly the unlawfulness and high hypocrisy of the United States Government in this matter should have been exposed and pursued vigorously by government lawyers. However, the government should have never adopted the "500 million" as its most highly vocal refrain for so long in order to explain its inability to set Haiti on the path to economic recovery. Messages of self-empowerment would have been a badly needed alternative. A genuine stance (not in rhetoric only) against hurtful globalization policies dictated by the United States government
and the International Monetary Fund would have been most welcome. Taking all necessary steps to secure the full participation from the Haitian Diaspora would have been intelligent. What we saw instead was a continuation of the politics of dependency.

The most disheartening piece of this misguided economic policy was the proposed establishment of a Free Trade Zone along the borders of the Haitian and Dominican Republics, sponsored primarily by American and Dominican big business. Sa se “politik bay chat veye bè” (the politics of letting the cat guard the butter), giving historical exploiters of Haitian labor trump cards to use as they please against uprooted and disenfranchised Haitian peasants.

3) Anti-corruption, Transparency, Justice should have never been so trivialized. Why are so many government posts given to dishonest individuals or allowed to be kept by others who become famous by their thievery? What has ever happened to the FRAPH/FADH papers that we in the diaspora fought for so lon
g to have the United States government suspend its illegal confiscation and return the thousands of pages, unadulterated, to the Haitian government so that justice be served? Why have we not been entitled to hear the least bit of information about their actual disposition? Why were not the Free Trade Zone agreements properly debated and voted upon by the elected representatives of the Haitian people? We could keep asking questions... Unfortunately, we have come to expect that they will never be answered by officials of the current government. Extremely unfortunate!

As a Haitian-American, I owe respect to the Constitution of the United States and I fervently wish that the Constitution of Haiti would be respected as well by all Haitians, pro-government and anti-government alike. In all likelihood, the Constitution needs to be amended to allow the voice of the Haitian people to be heard more clearly and much more effectively, such as referendums and processes for impeachment would allow. I believe that
Haitians will continue to strive for a fully functioning participatory democracy. The criminal justice system should be made to work – finally, finally, finally. Transgressors should not be allowed to simply walk away from their crimes, by virtue of their political affiliation, or to defy their judges, or to openly intimidate them. Transparency in government should be given a chance – or why was it ever talked about in the first place? But above all, we should learn to set aside our personal ambitions and pathological thirst for power to press on fully for the needs of the Haitian people, including the millions of its poor, that are hardly represented in the current struggle for power between those who have it, those who used to have it, and those who wish they had it instead.

The prevailing sentiment in the Diaspora towards the government in Haiti is one of profound disappointment with the chaos in the country, the mismanagement of power, the high level of corruption in our public administration,
and above all the lack of leadership in setting a national agenda that is truly believable. In practically all of his speeches, President Aristide has resorted to demagogic sound bites, to rally the people's support, rather than setting forth realistic goals and the steps that would be implemented for achieving them. He has reveled in promising the moon, but when the speech is done, the economic reality and social conditions continue to worsen. Because the guiding principles of the Lavalas movement have been betrayed on one hand, and because we have witnessed a spectacular rise in insecurity coupled with impunity, in the last several years, the sentiment of Haitians in the Diaspora is quickly shifting away from supporting the government. However, no political party has of yet capitalized on this disenchantment to offer a coherent alternative to the current administration, with the sort of leadership that would appear to be something other than narcissistic opportunism.

The political situation in
Haiti is getting progressively worse. As a Haitian-American, I feel committed not to Jean-Bertrand Aristide's personality, but to the idea of his finishing the term for which he was popularly elected, and a concomitant constitutional transfer of power through internationally monitored elections. I have heard all about the argument that honest elections cannot take place under such a corrupt administration, but frankly, I believe that this is a smokescreen. The opposition parties know well that they would lose in general elections, for not having done their homework consisting of earning the trust of the majority class in Haiti. That is the real reason for their rejecting all calls for elections, legislative or otherwise. The math is simple, as they are easily outnumbered. Regardless of this government's virtues or lack of same, it is a fact that the various elites of Haiti have NEVER made a convincing case of their interest in the social and economic advancement of the Haitian people. Their only chan
t is "Aristide must go!"

How can one expect our severely disenfranchised masses to trust the group of intellectuals and industrialists who are leading the opposition to Aristide today? Just what will happen if they succeed in toppling the government? Will the interest of Haitian peasants now emerge, front and center? As a student of past and recent Haitian History, I am convinced that the opposition leaders are up to no one's good but their own. They want to create a better set of economic conditions for their narrow class interests. Fair enough. However, there is not a snowball's chance in hell that the path to which they are presently committed will lead to the betterment of Haitian society. They are guiding the country to a state of greater social upheaval than it has known in a long time. What we presently consider as the intolerable living conditions in Haiti may come to be remembered as the good old times.

Consider that the presidency of Jean-Bertrand Aristide has faced a steady
and total obstructionist line from well before February 7, 2001. Some have traced it to the installation of a parallel government by the opposition on that very day. Well, that parallel government turned out to be a big joke anyway, an embarrassment for those who conceived of it. Others have traced it to the irregularities of the May 21, 2000 elections, which would somehow have justified the campaign of terror in Port-au-Prince that preceded the November elections, a few months later. It is still possible to trace the origins of such intransigence as far back as the colonization of Saint-Domingue. Those views certainly have their merits. More pertinent however, in my opinion, was the resignation of Prime Minister Rosny Smarth during the presidency of René Préval and the stubborn refusal of the Legislature to approve any and all nominations for a new Prime Minister. That was the death of compromise for the young Haitian Democracy. Since that time, the opposition to Lavalas does not appear to have budged
one inch. In its various formulations, it has embodied the so-called "option zero" approach, which is "the only solution we are interested in is your getting out of the way!"

In the United States, by contrast, American citizens know that it is far better for them to live with the temporary hijacking of their electoral process than to plunge their country into anarchy. In Haiti, we have openly flirted with anarchy, and everyone will pay the price. What will follow the breakdown of government? Will it be: a) the return of a brutalizing army to bring the “chimeres” in check; b) a protracted civil war; c) a return to a Duvalierist style dictatorship; d) the blossoming of true democracy? Darker days lie ahead. The path chosen by this odd and conveniently assembled set of characters we call Opposition, to replace the Government of Haiti is an unwise one. The Haitian people know that their government is not working as intended, they absolutely know it. But they also know that this proposed replacem
ent crew does not truly give a whit about their future, either.

Haiti's citizens should learn the virtues of patience and compromise for the country to become a STATE OF LAW, where the Constitution is respected, where Justice is meted out in the courts of Law and not in the streets, where the economy trickles up, down, and sideways. There are various people in the Diaspora meeting in community groups to foster such point of view. I do not see the emergence of a Messiah on the horizon and that's probably a good thing. We have to commit to push for those changes together and to place our collective faith, not in an individual but in a detailed program of national recovery, whose implementation should be made accountable every step of the way.

Guy S. Antoine
January 2004

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