Lavalas: Peut Il Encore Battre Les Autres Candidats?


Post by T-dodo » Tue Jul 05, 2005 6:59 am

[quote]Without daring to answer for Jaf, I would say that I do not see that he would be so much in the cliuds to think that Haiti could pull herself out of the hole by herself. No , not at all. From what I understand, - and I believe you would would be in agreement with because you suggested it many times before, - it is that we Haitians should put our house in order: respect for human rights, fight against corruption, education, agriculture, housing etc etc.[/quote]


I have been thinking like this for so long now that I decided to face the reality that time and time again it was wishful thinking. To me, the best shot we had at this was with the Preval and Aristide administrations. You could say we were that close, but internal forces - primarily the elite - formed alliance with external forces and derailed that plan.

I do agree with the last part of your statement, whereby once we start a
cting like we respect ourselves, others will have no choice but to start showing respect as well. But, from the standpoint of moral weakness where we are now - cycle of coup d'états, rampant corruption, misery of our masses, etc. - it will be difficult for us to be left alone since we lost our credibility in the world. This is a reality we need to learn to survive through first before we start dreaming again about opportunities that we had in the past and that we failed to capitalize on.

So, as long as the politicians continue to think about revenge against Aristide and the Aristide people continue to beleive the only salvation is by returning Aristide to finish his term, there will be no order in the house. I fear for the next twenty five years. Chaos and dictatorships seem the only order in those conditions of state of minds.

Both sides have significant forces and power on which depend a viable outcome, and both are too polarized. Since in my opinion they need to coalesce to stop the declin
e in Haiti even before we can start moving forward, I cannot see how we can put our house in order ourselves when indispensable and necessary elements for this to be accomplished are missing. Unless you want to bet on which side will compromise first, the Lavalas people or the elite. Based on the Haitian way of doing things, what we are facing here is the Solomon's solution - I hope you don't mind my using that parallel. Rather than letting the other mother have the baby, let's cut it in two. This way none of the two win and we both become losers. That's the all or nothing mentality that we all Haitians share.

Leonel JB

Post by Leonel JB » Tue Jul 05, 2005 8:28 am

Jean-Marie, good point.

But, I think the Elite has to compromise. For, the masses have nothing to lose. Their lives, they've been slaughtered for a long time now. Can someone put some senses into their behavior? We are at the Dawn of a Civil War! More people will have to die or will die. Meanwhile, Haiti is losing!

Like you Jean-M, I tried to blame all the sides, including ourselves. We really need some great sacrifices if we want to see light at the end of the Tunnel.

Anyway, let me let you guys debate further (so interesting to watch). By the way, I do not see Hyppolite and Gelin??

Nou rale kO nou, nou fE lach!!!

L'union fait la force,


Post by Gelin_ » Tue Jul 05, 2005 8:57 am

[quote]Each time a new government comes to power, they spend their precious time persecuting the members of the previous government on and on and on like a mad dog chasing its tail![/quote]
Historically not true.

[quote]What wrong with us?Why could we be like the other islands in the Caribbean?We perform well abroad, but we drop our pants at home.Could it be that Haitians back home are ungovernable???[/quote]
The answer is simple. The law of the land (1987 Constitution) is not respected. It's that simple - nothing magic or genetic about it. Haitians perform well abroad because of the same reason.


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Post by Hyppolite » Tue Jul 05, 2005 10:12 am

I am not sure why neither one of us has to take a uniquely partisan stand on the issues at hand in Haiti. At least in my case, ever since the second term of Aristide's presidency got going (by early 2002), I had learned to take a more or less non-partisan stand.

Once I noticed that things were not changing in the directions I was hoping for, I became more suspicious, but bent on giving the gov't in place at the time, the benefit of the doubt. The reason was simple: I wanted to see Aristide finish his term but by the end, I as well thought that it would have been the best thing for him to resign. But I forgot a few things:
1-Haitians are vindictive;
2-They would make sure that Aristide is out of the country;
3-They would persecute regular Lavalas partisans (mostly the poor);
4-They would scapegoat Lavalas for all the wrongs in society.

So basically, we hadn't learned that much thus far. So to me, the issues have force
d me since then, to try even harder at not being partisan. Granted, I mistrust G-184 not because it is a pro-business group, but because I think they have overwhelming influence on the current government. That has translated for me into an uneven situation for otehr groups and interests in Haiti. By the end, Haiti and even G-184 comes out weaker. I have come to the realization that it's probably best not to have all the power, or too much power in order to govern effectively. But at the same time, your adversary must be willing to work with you, based on consensus.

To me, the tragedy of Haiti, of present day Haiti, isbased on the refusal first and foremost for politicians from the other side (or sides) to accept the right of others group to exist. In order word, each political grouping is bent to believe that their existence requires the negation, the non-existence of the other. That is the crux of Haiti's tragedy from day one, and it is still occuring.

We may blame the international community
all we want. But if we're unwilling to look at ourselves and figure out what we've been and are doing wrong, the country will continue going down the drain, the abbyss. That's the sad part.

Look at how we like to do voye monte politics. Every violent act perpetrated in Haiti now, kidnappings and mourders, are blamed on Aristide and Lavalas partisans. Yet, no one can prove it. If one reads Simidor on the Corbett list fr instance, one would tend to believe that Lavalas is the cause of everything that had gone wrong in Haiti. One would believe that Lavalas is responsible for the purported plot of burning down the Natinal Archives. But the big question remains, how do we/does he know this? He doesn't, nor do we. Those in the know, are people at the US Embassy, people from the diplomatic corps in general and the big three in particular (US, Canada, and France), the top echelon of MINUSTHA, and the National Police official and the Haitian government's top echelon as a whole

If one reads excerpts from Ambassador Foley's speech yesterday, it is clear now that there really is an attempt at disrupting the upcoming elections and normal societal functionning as a whole, for political reason.

Yet, although Foley knows, he refuses to clearly state who those people are. The question is therefore: who is or are behind the current violenin Haiti?

Now, knowing how desperate many are to rid Lavalas off the political landscape, wouldn't it makes sense at this point for one among those officials to have accused them by now, if truly Lavalas was behind the wave of violence?

That, to me, makes sence, But even that would be considered partisan. It would be considered pro-Lavalas, wouldn't it? Such is not my intention here at all. My statement/conclusion is based on the facts on the ground. The political establishment currently in Haiti would like to get Lavalas out of the picture. Why would you therefore be so kind by not denouncing publicly Lavalas as the culpri
t, if it is indeed true that Lavalas is behind the murders/abduction/killings going on in Haiti?

Haiti is the most frustrating country EVER, at least as far as I'm concerned, in regards to politics.


Post by Gelin_ » Tue Jul 05, 2005 3:50 pm

[quote]...Haiti is the most frustrating country EVER, at least as far as I'm concerned, in regards to politics.[/quote]

Haiti's recent history is like that of Clara and Davis Harris:

[quote]HOUSTON, Texas (CNN) --Clara Harris was sentenced to 20 years in prison and a $10,000 fine Friday for killing her husband in a hotel parking lot with her Mercedes-Benz.

Clara and David Harris were married on Valentine's Day. Their 11th wedding anniversary would have been Friday.

The jury began deliberating the penalty phase of Harris' murder trial about 10:30 a.m. EST Friday after closing arguments, which became a battle of tears between the defendant and prosecution.

On Thursday, jurors found Harris, 45, guilty of murder for repeatedly running over her 44-year-old orthodontist husband with her car. The crime was caught on tape by a private investigator Clara Harris had hired t
o document her husband's affair.

Jurors found that Harris acted with "sudden passion," which could have reduced the jurors' recommendation to probation. Instead, the jury said Harris should be fined and sentenced to prison at the upper limit of the sentencing guidelines for the special circumstance.

Harris slumped into her chair as the sentence was read.

Harris' attorney, George Parnham, had argued that the crime happened moments after an emotional and volatile confrontation between Harris, her husband and his mistress at the same hotel where the couple was married.

During his half-hour closing, Parnham also focused on Harris' twin sons and how they need their mother.

He pointed out that even David Harris' parents and brother had testified on Clara Harris' behalf.

"I think that speaks volumes to what this jury should do," Parnham said.

Prosecutor Mia Magness used her rebuttal to try to dismantle arguments for probation.

She said Harris' boys would
be provided for and they would adjust and survive, "because that's what children do."

She also scoffed at Parnham's statement about keeping the boys with "the last parent they have on Earth."

"Well, she ought not to be given credit for making herself a single parent," Magness said.

She then brought up David Harris' daughter, Lindsey, and began crying as she spoke.

Lindsey Harris was the prosecution's only witness during the penalty phase of the trial. She was in the car with her stepmother when her father was killed.

The 17-year-old testified that she had tried to commit suicide four times in the months after her father's death July 24. Magness reminded jurors how Lindsey Harris had gotten her father's clothing out of the trash, where they had been thrown earlier that day, and laid the items out on her bed so she could feel like he was there.

"Your verdict will in part tell her what she went through was worth it," Magness said.

The prosecutor said it was
"almost offensive" to consider that the defendant has suffered, too.

"What about the brutality and violence involved in his death," she asked, going on to describe how Harris lay "dying on the pavement ... drowning in his own blood while his daughter was watching."

The prosecutor lowered her voice to almost a whisper as she made her final points.

"Doing the right thing doesn't always feel good," she said. "And that's the position you're in right now, but I know you will do the right thing."


...Except that Haiti's Clara Harris is a free woman even after destroying her unfaithful husband, over and over and over. After all, she has a sacred right to self-defense and she can remarry and choose a very docile and faithful man, this time around.

Here comes prezidan doubli bann machwè.


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Post by admin » Wed Jul 06, 2005 5:18 am

Gelin, humor me. Could you make the parallels more explicit?

In which ways has "Haiti's recent history [been] like that of Clara and Davis Harris" ?

[quote]...Except that Haiti's Clara Harris is a free woman even after destroying her unfaithful husband, over and over and over.[/quote]
Who is Haiti's Clara Harris? Who is her unfaithful husband? When and how has she destroyed him over and over and over?

[quote]After all, she has a sacred right to self-defense and she can remarry and choose a very docile and faithful man, this time around. [/quote]
? ? ?

[quote]Here comes prezidan doubli bann machwè.[/quote]
That sounds like a good Haitian "pawoli", except that in this case, I don't really know what it means.

En vérité, en vérité, je vous le dis: zafè parabòl sa yo fè tèt mwen toudi. Let's talk straight, man!


Post by Gelin_ » Wed Jul 06, 2005 11:34 am

Come on, Guy, it's very much in line with your own joke about Toto.

Haiti's Clara is the bourgeosie. The husband is the political power or the government. The two have been married for a looooong time, and as expected the government in Haiti has always served the interests of the traditional wife (historically, faithfully). That's why everything is good and quiet when the wife is happy. If Mama ain't happy, nobody is happy...:)

Recently, the traditional husband was caught cheating with the poor illeterate masses, asking his wife to contribute financially, building school for them, teaching them how to read and write, even providing transportation and thinking about land ownership. Oh! No! That made the wife very maaaaaad....She took the streets and .....

Laughter is good medicine. But <I> Even in laughter the heart may ache, and joy may end in grief (Prov 14:13)</I>



Post by T-dodo » Thu Jul 07, 2005 1:04 pm


The first part of your answer to my post was rather like to kill the messenger before providing a very weak argument against the message itself. You took my statements, spun them, and gave them a radical and inflammatory tone. Then you glorified yourified yourself as a visionary and a protector of haitian heritage. If I do the same thing you did in answering my post, I would conclude based on your post and previous writings that you are insensitive to the plight of the Haitian masses – since you are not either enduring the same conditions as them or just like most politicians are too obsessed with your personal ambitions. Those masses, for the most part, have no clean water, do not eat half of the times during a month, have no health care services available, are perhaps over 70% illiterate, died daily of malnutrition, curable diseases, inadequate government protection, etc. And, that the only thing that matters to you is power, eithe
r for you or someone you support. I hate to do these things but you left me no choice when you put spins on my statements. You could have gone straight to the second part of your post and have an informative debate about the points I made!

Serge said I am more pessimistic than he is. And perhaps, I can understand that he may qualify my stated position as such. But, what I try to be is realistic about the situation in Haiti. I wish to be optimistic, since I love Haiti and its people of which I am one of them, and that would make me a very happy man. I just want you to give me reasons to be more optimistic, not empty rhetoric that is good during campaigning and not in serious debate with people with no political ambitions.

My reasoning was simple. Haiti has virtually no resources left that he can market. The last part means that there are no other countries waiting to buy them or tourists lining up to obtain visas to go to Haiti. As an anecdote, even the Haitians living abroad refuse to go visiti
ng Haiti now. The ecosystem has a disaster to the country natural resources. Jaf said that those statements are the result of brainwashing from the evil countries and the evil race. Perhaps, but when people like Jacques Cousteau went to sweep the bottom of the ocean in Haiti and virtually found nothing else than empty sand with no fish, I confessed that Cousteau brainwashed me.

[quote]I was in haiti in December 2003- January 2004. I travelled from the island named Ile-a-Vache in the south to La Tortue island in the north. There is plenty of good land and sea coast waiting to be exploited efficiently.[/quote]

Jaf, I don't know your credentials in business and, as a visionary, other than that you have some difficulties with grasping realities, your above statement did not impress me. There was no scientific foundation to support your statement about the plentifulness of Haitian coastal resources. Just before the forced departure of Aristide, a well known busine
ssman from Haiti was in Miami with a development project for an island off the southwestern Coast of Haiti – it could have been close to Cotes-de-fer. I attended one of his presentations to raise capital for the project among Haitian-Americans in Miami. Nobody, as far as I know, invested in it. For one, nobody saw the tourist in Haiti in the near future. I recently heard Minister Alix Baptiste on Miami Haitian radio stations stating about a plan he envisions. He encompassed restoring some infrastructure first. Then, improve the security situation, then starts trying to attract Haitians in the diaspora as tourists. In the process continue to improve the infrastructure, then going after the non-Haitian tourists. There are many holes and hurdles in his plan, but it is more realistic than Jaf's campaign rhetoric.

[quote]2 million Haitians living in North-America, Europe, the Caribbean and elswhere.... productive cooperation with Cuba, Venezuela, South-Africa, and other nations who
se interests may align with ours at various times.....Borrowing money from whereever we can to invest in what we need - not what we are told we need - Taking control of the few mineral resources (gold and copper) we do have in Nothern Haiti - that Canadian companies like St-Geneviève are currently exploiting.... this is a path we can take if the will is there. [/quote]

I heard many people repeating that 2 million Haitians living abroad number. They reflect the way we treat reality in Haiti. Before making decisions nobody bother to obtain verifiable facts. The 2 million in the diaspora is dubious at best to me. The reason is that I believe that the Miami-Fort Lauderdale area must be one of the most with Haitians living outside of Haiti. According to the 2000 US Census, that area had about 95,000 Haitians living in Miami-Dade and about 50,000 living in Broward county – Fort Lauderdale area. If you extrapolate from these numbers and add up the number of people living in New York, Bahamas, Bosto
n, Montreal, Ottawa, Chicago, Dominican Republic, Paris, the Caribbean Islands - the highest places with concentration outside of haiti - and 100,000 for the rest of the world, and assign the same number as Miami to each of these major areas of large Haitian immigrants I just mentioned, you only got about 1.2 million people. We all know that most of these areas do not have as many people as Miami-Dade do. My guess is that this number is less 1 million Haitian people living in the diaspora. The problem we have is that politicians like Jaf use those guessed numbers to make decisions. No wonder they always end up finding good solutions but to the wrong problems.

As far as the gold and copper in Nothern Haiti, I wish Jaf could give us the number of tons of ore that we have there and what is the name of the mining or exploration company which found them. In addition, who owned them?

Even if Jaf's claims are right, Haitians historically had wasted most resources in their power. What is it to
day that we have different that would make us manage these resources better? I am not implying like Jaf attributed to me that it is impossible to put order in our country and move forward afterwards. All I am saying is that the conditions are realistically not there today for us to achieve that without help - and I am not an advocate for occupation. With the Lavalas people and the elite engaged in a suicidal struggle, that day is moving away from us further and further, which was the original point I made. As far as the state of decay Jaf attributed to me, which was not a term I used, I would like to know in what state Jaf thinks the country of Haiti is today, not only in terms of the well being of our people but also in terms of a comparison with other countries?

So, my points were: without resources and power in Haiti we have little control over our destiny; we don't have a history of democracy as a predictor of successful future democratic behavior in Haiti in the near future other than watchi
ng other people democracies; historically, Haitians have almost never cooperated well towards a major common goal in Haiti, except for the independence war, etc.


Post by T-dodo » Thu Jul 07, 2005 1:23 pm

As a follow-up to my post, I want to do a survey. I invite readers to come and answer that question:

How many of you would take $100,000, which represents more than half of your savings for retirement, and go investing it in some of Jaf's plentiful projects (tourist or mining) and expect to withdraw it, even without earning any interest, in 10 years for retirement? Let's assume you would retire in ten years in Haiti.

My answer is that investments in projects in Haiti today is not safe enough if you want to protect your capital for future use as retirement income.

Leonel JB

Post by Leonel JB » Sun Jul 10, 2005 9:09 am

All of you guys made some interesting points! Although, I find myself most of the time agreeing with Jean-Marie for the simple fact that He is very realistic in his writings.

We need to stop blaming others for our misery. Based on some of your views, Haiti is for Haitians. Therefore, only us can solve the problems. Very unilateral views which will have a hard time with this global world.

Time after time we see our country going down the drain. But, we more into beautiful words or sentences: Ti krik ti krak, Je demande la parole (PElin tEt). What will we do?

A couple of months we touched the subject of investing in Haiti. One other topic was to help others in Haiti, for instance giving money to our less fortunate brothers in Haiti. We have a lot of organizations like Fonkoze and others. What did we do? How much did we contribute? But we can blame: Blan or etranje or Lavalas or else for our problems.

We think buying a n
ice car, watch or jewelry would be more beneficial to us than helping... We have tons of excuses, a lot of ifs and buts.

Once more, like JM, I am not pessimistic but more realistic about my situation and haiti.

Haiti needs us or anyone who needs to help. I think it is an insult to our friends who tried to help when we used the term "Blan". For, it is very general.

We can not survive alone, guys.

L'union fait la force,


Post by T-dodo » Sun Jul 10, 2005 8:12 pm

[quote]This is how I understand Jaf's comments. I do not believe, as you say, that for Jaf, "the only thing that matters to you is power, either for you or someone you support". I have not detected that in his writings and I would hate to see this interesting discussion degenerate into this type of accusations. In fact, the kind of exchanges we are having on the future of Haiti is rather beneficial to all, including among those of us who may have differences of approach. One of the benefits may be for us to learn to express certain ideas in more precise terms. [/quote]


Your answer humbled me and I greatly appreciate and welcome it. But, Jaf's habits of attacking the messenger instead of the message, at times, gets the better of me. I should have remained above the fray, but I should not let that habit of personal attack continues to hamper the free flow of ideas in our discussions. W
e should be free to express our ideas without being called an Uncle Tom, brainwahsed, and It will be up to Jaf not to react in such a way that let others question his motives. I wish I am wrong.

Of course, there are some resources left in Haiti. Are there in such abundance to be able to use them quickly and effeciently to contribute to stop the misery in Haiti and start the rebuilding of the country? I have my doubts. The reasons are that the current situation is so dire it will require time and skilfful management of them to acheive such results. It is not impossible, Israel seems to have make more with less than what is available in Haiti today than they had in Israel. But they had the motivation, our Achille's heel, a highly educated population, money and the support of the international powers, none of which we had today. In fact, it is totally the opposite. Since we had had a hard time working together for our mutual interests in Haiti and putting our house in order all during my lifetime, I can
not help but being pessimistic.

Serge, I don't know Mr. Baptiste. I paid attention to him when he was talking just only because I have a former work colleague in Haiti named Alix baptiste and I was wondering if he was him. It turned out he was not. But during the process, since I had such a very low esteem for Haitian politicians and the current administration, I was surprised that there was an effort on his part to address the tourism problem instead of being vague as usual and being an advertiser for the current administration. And, please, don't tell me I totally bought his strategy of independence from the current administration. But, that does not mean I should not recognize any real effort made when, from what I understand, this may not be part of his responsibilities in the government. The bottom line is that I am not here to advocate support for this administration and that was not why I mentioned his name. The current administration has missed a lot of opportunities and totally discredited i
tself, as far as I am concerned.

Serge, I would like to answer some of your points one by one because there are valid ones. But, I was out of town and out of reach of a computer and just came back today. I can't do it now, but I will later during the week. I will also answer some of Jaf's comments. I also appreciate Leonel's comments which I think contributed a lot to answering some of our questions on the Haiti puzzling situation. The more we try to seek for solutions, the more we will understand the dynamics of what is happening to our beloved Haiti.



Post by T-dodo » Mon Jul 11, 2005 6:26 am

I am sorry, Serge, but the Alix Baptiste I know was just a banker like me working for La Banque Royale du Canada in Port-au-Prince in the 70s and early 80s. I wish he was as smart as the oceanographer, but banking is not a difficult and complex profession.

But, Serge, I really don't know the Minister, Alix Baptiste, other than what I already said here. I was just struck by his cautious approach during the interview, and his realistic expectations of improvement in the tourism area, which are not that far away from mine, assuming we have stability and competent leaders working on them. And there lie our problems! I can't stay longer now. One has to earn a living. But, later today, assuming tennis does not interfere too much, I will try to address some of the questions and pertinent comments you made.


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