In the seven months following the International Donors’ Conference of March 31st in NY, it has become apparent to most Haitians that the promised funds for the Reconstruction Project are subject to international intrigues and the tent cities will be around for decades, unless Haitians extricate themselves from this dependency. Moreover, with the government practically bankrupt, hence deprived of its constitutional prerogatives to formulate economic and social policies, and the disbursed funds going to the battalion of NGOs operating in Haiti, ingenuity rather than dependency may be the only way out of this inopportune situation. Forget about the IMF’s blueprint, which is attuned to creating an unregulated market for multinational corporations to unload their surplus or defective goods in Haiti, a policy which fosters the culture of dependency, hinders the country’s development and exacerbates its misery.
Indeed Haiti is experiencing an economic, social and political dysfunction which can only get worse as long as the culture of dependence on foreign assistance, channeled through foreign-administrated NGOs, is not tackled. Since it is inevitable that a sham election will be held this November and a winner will emerge out of the current crop of candidates/collaborators, the next constituted government should try to make the best out of an awkward situation. As a remedy, an economic emergency must be declared; it will enable the incoming government to recover the lost constitutional prerogatives, set the stage for sustained economic development and hasten the occupiers’ eventual departure.
At the Nazi Doctors’ trial at Nuremberg (1946-47), Karl Brandt, who oversaw a program to euthanize mentally ill Germans, callously declared “It may seem to have been inhuman…The underlying motive was the desire to help individuals who could not help themselves…Such considerations cannot be regarded as inhuman. Nor did I ever feel it in any degree unethical or immoral.” Unfortunately, the U.N occupation of Haiti is based on the same principle: a twisted desire to save a helpless nation supposedly from itself. Accordingly, the thousands of deaths since 2004, the raping of young Haitian women by Sri Lankan soldiers who were swiftly repatriated, the random classification of opponents of the New Order as bandits, the marginalization of the vast majority of the population, and now a plague (Cholera), which has been absent in the country for a century, apparently caused by illegal dumping of Nepalese soldiers’ excrements in the Artibonite River are indicative that the end justifies the means. Since we are regarded by others as a diseased specie, (5.6 million Haitians were inoculated under a U.N-sponsored program three years ago), the Cholera epidemic certainly is not helping matters. Could another round of inoculation be in the work and an apology, if one is ever offered, will come decades later?
Extricating Haiti from this untenable situation necessitates a national consensus that rejects the culture of dependency, through belt tightening, and other fiscal measures. To that end, the next government must circumvent the suffocating control of the colonial authority by adopting an economic program uniquely suited to Haiti’s perilous situation. Such initiative will facilitate the recovery of the government’s lost prerogatives and the country’s sovereignty. Most importantly, this consensus offers a unique opportunity for Haitians to make peace with themselves and neutralize the impenitent collaborators and traitors who engineered the occupation of the country in the year of its bi-centennial, for Haiti is a crossroads and nothing less than its survival is at stake.
To that effect, five things must be done. Firstly: slapping a 10% tax on imports of essential goods and a 20% hike on non-essential goods to generate revenues. This will naturally discourage consumption of foreign goods, encourage local production and help build a nest of foreign currencies reserves, because even affluent countries living beyond their means, eventually get in financial trouble. Secondly: imposition of an indirect tax on the Haitian Diaspora that entails a 5% levy on remittances. Such levy could easily raise 80 to 100 millions of dollars annually, and will also be a remainder to the Diaspora that its never-ending albeit legitimate demand for privileges (dual citizenship) comes with obligations to the fatherland. Thirdly: an enforceable ban on the illegal circulation of U.S currencies outside of the banking system and a strict limit of 1000 U.S dollars that an individual can transfer or carry outside of Haiti for any 6 months period. Presently, many commercial establishments and private institutions of learning only accept U.S dollars as payment for goods, tuitions and books, an aberration which must end expeditiously. In 2002, in one week period, Jude Célestin, one of the frontrunners in the November 28 presidential election, purchased two homes in Dade County, FL. Needless to say, strict currency control could have prevented such occurrence. Fifthly: imposition of capital punishment for economic crimes involving corruption, willful tax evasion and hoarding of goods by speculators. This approach works for China, so why not try it in Haiti, one of the most corrupt places in our planet.
We do not need to conform to the “divide and rule” politic of the occupiers, which is genocidal in nature, as the unsavory events taking place under the New Order illustrate. This parcel of land called Haiti belongs to us, the descendants of Dessalines, not foreign mercenaries and their local acolytes. Time is clearly not on our side, since Haiti runs the risk of having generations of thoroughly indoctrinated leaders seeing the country’s problems through the perspectives of the occupiers.
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