From Renaissance, Volume 1, No. 5. Click here to get your free examination copy.
P.O. Box 278162, Miramar, Fla. 33027. Tel. (954) 447-4496.
A few years ago, there were problems between Mexico and the United States, but the U.S. administration has shifted its policy toward Mexico since the last election. There is a warm relationship between Vincente Fox, the Mexican president, and the Bush administration. Last December, the Bush administration shifted its policy toward Haiti also. That shift does not mean that Haitians and Americans are not friends. We are friends. The problem exists between two governments, not between individual people. A few years ago, Aristide?s Administration enjoyed an unconditional support from the Clinton administration, but Aristide?s administration did not keep their word. Aristide signed an eight-point agreement with the Clinton administration before he left office. Even after the change of power, President Bush and the U.S. Secretary of State, General Colin Powell said that they would honor that agreement. President Clinton had gone against his own administration, the CIA, and the FBI to return the embattled Haitian president to power. This was a favor and he did not have to do it. If George W. Bush Sr., former president had been re-elected the Haitian president would have remained in exile indefinitely. Jamaica is smaller than Haiti, but its economy is in pretty good shape by the region standard. The Dominican Republic, the Bahamas, St. Lucia, Barbados are also small countries with a fair economy, Is the treatment of the Haitian refugees directly linked to the color of their skin? No, of course not! Jamaican and Bahamian immigrants live here too and most of them are black.
Let?s go a step further. The Cuban refugees are of light and dark complexions, and they are accepted equally. Therefore, race is not a factor. Most Haitians entering the U.S. are economic refugees, not political. 99% of those who are political refugees are granted political asylum, such as Judge Gassant, the judge of Saint Marc, and so on. This is a very sensitive issue and we let our passion dictate our behavior.
Question: Does Haiti have a democratic government? Miami staged various public demonstrations against the Duvalier regime and during the coup d?etat. It has appeared that the Lavalas regime enjoys more support in Miami than its native land. So, if you believe that the Lavalas government is legitimate and democratically elected, then Haiti has a democratic regime and the Haitians are economic refugees not political refugees.
It is unfortunate that the U.S. administration is sending the latest refugee back to Haiti. We know life will be tougher for them; they sold their house, their farms, or borrowed money from friends with the expectation to repay them back. This is another story.
As for those Haitians who had taken to the streets in Miami, NY, and other places, I question how many of them are U.S. citizens or naturalized? How many of them can vote? I strongly believe if many of the Haitians had naturalized and were registered to vote the politicians would have listened to their pleas. It is about time to stop fooling people. After 25 years in the U.S. the Haitians should have become American citizen and register to vote. Without any doubt if 250,000 Haitians had registered to vote in South Florida, the outcome of that election could have been different. Whatever State you live in, if 250,000 registered voters speak out, united for a common cause, the candidate will listen and will try his/her best to satisfy their demand. The next election is two years from now, if you want to make a statement, you must become a Haitian-American registered to vote, and put people who are sensitive to your cause in office. My friends, you have to deal with the reality and stop acting. If you want to become an actor go to Hollywood! It is not the first time nor the last time refugees will be sent back to Haiti. Each group defends its own interest! My friends, the refugee issue is not going to go away anytime soon. If you really want to help the Haitian refugee, you must first become naturalized. Then you must register to vote but more importantly, you must vote for those who are sensitive to your cause. We failed to protect our Haitian brothers and sisters. If Jeb Bush had known that 300,000 Haitians could have voted against him and sent him to an early retirement, he would have called his brother, President Bush. Welcome to the American politics ? Also you could have played a major role in influencing the U.S. policy toward Haiti. Instead, you are looking for a favor; someone with goodwill who might be willing to sponsor your cause. My friends, if you don?t vote which means you do not do your civic duty, you don?t count! So, do not complain.
You know there is no friendship between the Lavalas and the Bush administration. Sadly, Washington and Port-au-Prince are playing hardball and the Haitian people are caught in the middle. Two years from now President Bush if not re-elected may be out of power and his Haitian counterpart may have one more year to go or be forced out; nobody knows. The economic condition of Haiti is alarming; the Lavalas government has not created a single job since 1994. The unemployment rate in Haiti is over 60%, which means anything can happen. More people are going to try to escape this harsh misery that has been going on in Haiti since 1977 without interruption. The poor Haitian people have two choices: Die from hunger and starvation or risk their lives in the shark-infested water. If Haiti wants to eliminate these two intolerable and unacceptable choices, they must form a coalition government, organize a free and fair election, and respect the democratic principles. I strongly believe the United States of America, Canada, Mexico, the Bahamas, Jamaica, South Africa, and the Haitian nationals who are currently living in the U.S., Canada, France, Haiti, and so on can assist in putting in place a democratic regime in Haiti.