Published on September 20, 2010

By Jean H Charles

“After Rwanda and Yugoslavia, Haiti seems to be the next theater of a major mischief by some international institutions.”

I must state at the outset that I am not advocating nor promoting neither a violent nor an armed revolution. I am talking about a democratic revolution in the minds and the spirit of the people, a revamping of the institutions and a new covenant of the government to usher in a true process of democracy. Once this revolution is on the way, Haiti can then proceed with a free and fair election.

Jean H Charles MSW, JD is Executive Director of AINDOH Inc a non profit organization dedicated to building a kinder and gentle Caribbean zone for all. He can be reached at: jeanhcharles@aol

The country needs a hiatus of three to five years of reconstruction, free of politicking, to heal the nation and set the country on the road of reconciliation and nation building. The present regime can be compared to a piece of wood filled with termites in a piece of furniture. To repair the furniture one needs to cut and throw away the damaged wood before affixing a new piece. Otherwise the damage part will eventually infect the entire furniture, including the new piece.

It was Alexis de Tocqueville who coined the concept of democratic revolution, while speaking of the birth of the United States. Akin to South Africa before Mandela, Haiti must transform itself from a de facto apartheid country to a state where the sense of appurtenance is the rule. It needs now a democratic revolution not an election.

I have this week visited a rural community named Mazere on the road from Grand River to Bahon. I have in mind these pictures that depict the extent of the misery, the magnitude of the squalid conditions as well as the inequality that 85% of the population of Haiti is forced to live under.

The public school, the only state presence of the area is located across the river. There is no bridge for easy access. I asked the kids how they get to school, one of the mothers interjected to let me know they carry the younger ones across the river, which sometimes destroys everything in its way, including an irrigation dam recently built.

Inquiring further with the adults, I asked them what their most pressing needs are. They told me that the government used to protect the land with rock formation on the hills to prevent avalanches during the rainy season. This operation has not been done for the past decades. We have now huge amount of water sitting for months in the fields destroying our produce.

It has been decades that the Haitian government has been a predatory entity preying on its people instead of providing services and support to help its citizens to enjoy the pursuit of happiness.

As such the people of Haiti educated or otherwise are waiting for the Blanc (the white man) to bring about deliverance. On the political scene, the question is not what is the agenda of the candidates, it is rather who has the blessing of Barack Obama for the presidency of Haiti? The sense of civics patriotism and leadership has been dimished by the last sixty years of corrupt governance.

The entire population is a crowd in transit. The rural world with no services from the government is in transit towards the small cities. The small towns have become ghost entities with the citizens in transit towards the larger cities, their citizens are in transit towards the capital and there the dream is to find an American visa or take a leaky boat towards Florida or the Bahamas.

Building up the sense of nation has not been a governmental priority or a United Nations foreign intervention initiative. MINUSTHA (the UN force) is substituting itself as the Haitian army without assuming the defense of the country. Inequality and injustice is queen, extorting the notion of appurtenance from and for each other. The sense of noblesse oblige of the past that kept the poor ones afloat has been substituted by the doctrine of “rock in the water against rock in the sun” or class warfare by Aristide. The Preval regime has introduced the concept of “swim to the shores at your own risk” leaving everyone to fend for themselves… It has left no lifeline of security for the majority of the population which is going into a free fall abyss.

In an article this week in the Miami Herald, Jacqueline Charles depicted the fetid situation where the Haitian refugees are living under in the Corail camp. “What was supposed to be the model for a new Haiti looks like the old one, a menacing slum.” Jean Christophe Adrian the United Nations Human Settlements Program added “the international community has a tremendous responsibility for creating this monster.”

Haiti, after Rwanda and Yugoslavia, could be the scene of a major catastrophe orchestrated by a non sensitive government with the connivance of major international institutions. I was in Washington last June at the OAS mansion at a conference on Haiti organized by CARICOM. In a conversation with Mr Colin Granderson, the Haiti resident, I shared my intention of running in the next election. His answer: how much money do you have, instead of what is your vision for Haiti? Sounds like “how many regiments do you have at your disposal?”

The gang of three — the UN, the OAS and CARICOM — in its dealing with Haiti is using according to Emil Vlajky in the wretched of the modernity, the absolute rationality which is anti-human. The human rationality with its sense of ethics is not in favor. The poor, the wretched, the refugees of the catastrophe will continue to live with unkept promises. While the entire country is decrying the upcoming election as a masquerade with the president holding all the marbles, the General Secretary of OAS characterize the process as “credible”. The Haiti of the Duvalier’s, the Aristide’s and the Preval’s culture is a gangrene that must be extirpated to create a modern nation sensitive to the needs of its people.

Any policy short of this radical intervention is unfriendly to the gallant people of Haiti that deserve a break from a life of abject misery.


(Webmaster’s note: We are grateful to Stanley Lucas for bringing this article to our attention.)