A Missed Opportunity

It is our duty to report and our right to comment, especially when the happening of significant events are not of public knowledge. We cannot be wrong to think that candidates to any elective function must be concerned about his/her public image as a innovator who has carefully studied the country’s current situation and has envisioned concrete and practical improvements.

A case in point is the e-mail NOAH (National Organization for the Advancement of Haitians) sent to the Haitian presidential candidates on October 18, 2010, and their responses that is an interesting political event requiring some analysis. The message addressed in French to all the candidate’s available e-mails announced that “on the coming October 27, NOAH was organizing a special meeting in Washington D.C. to give to the presidential candidates the opportunity to present to all those interested in the future of Haiti the socio-economic politics they are proposing.” Thus, the candidates could also express their views on the role and participation of the Haitians living abroad and of the friends of Haiti.

For this occasion, the invitation specified that NOAH expected the participation in the Newseum of Washington D.C.. of some 200 VIPs who would meet the candidates at a special luncheon and at the end of the session. Also, it was question of travel arrangements and expectation of opinion on the format of the reunion. The first negative answer came from Mrs. Mirlande Manigat followed by Andre Apaid for Mr. Baker, and the same from MM. Cean, Martelly, Voltaire, all without any comment. However, the invitation listed ten topics that would be submitted at the meeting and each candidate would have 3 minutes to express his/her opinion..

The proposed topics, relevant and essentials are:
a. Gouvernance
b. Economy
c. Environment and Ecology
d. Security
e. Useful investments
f. International politics
g. Education
h. Public Health
i. National Reconstruction
j. The inclusion of the Haitian Diaspora in the
reconstruction process and the durable
development of the country.

Regardless the reason for not coming, these candidates could comment on the format of the reunion or, in their own interest, take advantage of the invitation to express their views on some if not all of the suggested topics. NOAH could transmit these candidates’ comments to its membership and the invited VIPs. Many members of the Diaspora have doubts on the ability or willingness of these candidates to make new approach to the solutions of endemic problems that handicapped the development of the country. Indeed, it is urgent and essential to rethink the curriculum of the fundamental years of instruction to insure a durable socio-economic development based on a solid mentality of productivity that can generate and extend a flourishing middle class. This can be attained in time with the appropriate training of devoted, creative, visionary, patriotic teachers, who love and respect their country’s language and tradition. Their ability to use that basis to challenge their students toward the acquisition of other languages and knowledge that can take them to higher level of their own possibilities for the good of their communities and the country at large.

Other topics of importance must included the decongestion of Port-au-Prince and the west department, the establishment of at least five (5) economic development zones, encouraging the construction of new modern cities and/or the renovation and expansion of self-supporting urban and communal communities with enough schools and competent teachers, public health centers, recreational facilities, secondary roads, irrigation and agricultural support. Better educated citizens will provide the country with better qualified personnel in all needed fields of the country.

Indeed, the Haitian presidential candidates missed another boat of opportunity..

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