How did we get to become Haitians? I sure hope it was not a strike of luck. History has told us that we are mostly of African descent by our genetic make up, and almost entirely European, French to be more precise, by our cultural tendencies. From the start, the hegemony of confusion was deeply rooted in our existence.
After 205 years of trying to be independent, we still have not determined where exactly we want to go. Reaching the Haitian destiny seems to be as unlikely as one person winning the lottery twice. At this point, we have a generation that has more doubts about its future than it has hope in this current government. Regardless of how one analyzes the situation in Haiti; the conclusion is as bleak as ever before.
Michele Duvivier Pierre-Louis, the most recent victim of Haitian political demagogy, was ousted from the helm of the current administration all in the name of safeguarding Haitian democracy. The claims against her are what they are, and at the end of the day no one with any sense could buy into what those senators were selling. Ever since 1990, the words of democratizing Haiti have been the pet peeve of the international community. Finally, it seems that they might have been bitten by their own medicine.
I always have a hard time quoting the much violated Constitution of 1987, but the 18 senators who voted to replace the Duvivier government did so based on articles 129-2 to 129-6 of the constitution. In that case there is nothing unconstitutional about their right to censure the Prime Minister. At present, the issue is not a matter of constitutionality as it is politically expedient.
I hardly know anything about Prime Minister Duvivier, but one thing that seems certain on the surface was that she wanted the international community to do much more for Haiti. I met her this past August in Miami at the Haitian Diaspora Unity Congress and listened to her speech, she delivered a very interesting message about Haitian unity. In her speech, she sounded as a person who was willing to do the hard work required to get the country on the right track, but apparently 18 senators of the great republic of Haiti thought otherwise.
The move to censure the government of Duvivier left me with no hard opinion. I’m a believer in democracy, and honestly sold on the idea that true democracy is the best system for human progress. Without democracy progress can’t take place, and if what those senators did was really their way of putting democratic values in application, I would be totally in support of them. But unfortunately, we know all too well that their motives have nothing to do with democracy.
Many of them ascend to the senate via an undemocratic election and an unconstitutional one at best. How can one take those senators seriously that they truly believe Madame Duvivier was a bad pill for the country, when in fact they could not even draft a minimum wage bill that put the interest of the country first.
My biggest issue with this whole saga was how the international community was so quick to leave Duvivier to hang. There have been rumors before the censure that the Prime Minister was ready to resign, but each time she quieted the rumors, and reiterated her interest to serve the remainder of President Rene Preval’s mandate. It is a known fact in Haiti that Haitians do not make important decision for the country. As I said to a friend who asked me about my opinion on the censure, I simply told him that, if the international community did not want for Madame Duvivier to go, there is no one in Haiti powerful enough to do otherwise. In essence, the international community might not have led this coup, but they had no issue with it either.
It might have surprised a few as to how quick a new Prime Minister was designated, when the last time the same thing happened it took almost five months to get a replacement. I’m not going to pretend to be a predictor of future events, but the smell of whatever is brewing for Haiti is not good.
At a time when the international community is making believe that they want stability, progress and development in Haiti, it just seems wrong that they would be so quick to accept the overthrow of their best ally inside the country. I’m not sure if there was any back door deal, but this censure does not have the imprint of Haitian politicians playing game. Something much bigger has just begun.
In a little over a year, Haiti is supposed to have general elections, so far the only known fact is that Preval is not eligible to run, at least according the 1987 Constitution, but who knows what might happen between now and then. In Haiti, just like in a suspenseful movie, you know something is about to happen, but each time it does, you cannot stop yourself from being surprised.
Haitian politicians are stuck in trying to understand the value of democratic ideas and that of holding a nation stagnant. For the moment, they seem to be mastering the art of playing democracy for the outsiders, while holding a whole population hostage.
We are at a juncture in history where we would have to decide to deliver on the promises of democracy or face the harsh reality of a dying nation. The decision is ours, and this is the battle of our time. The cry today is not liberty or death, but rather democracy or stagnation. I believe that this generation is ready for the challenge.
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