Francis Crick, the Nobel laureate and one of the discoverers of the structure of Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) used the term forbidden transfers to describe the phenomenon that proteins cannot self-replicate nor can its sequence be used to reconstruct the nucleic acid that made them in the first place. In nature there are certain things that cannot be tinkered with, and there is nothing we can do naturally to change that, but accepting this harsh reality is sometimes very hard.
Haiti is facing a critical period in its history. We are at the junction of deciding our destiny, and the decision made today might not be possible to revert afterwards. We are entering an era of forbidden transfers meaning that we can decide to adopt democracy at all cost or pay the price for a pseudo-democracy.
One of the pre-conditions established at last month donor’s conference was the creation of a pretentious reconstruction body, which ought to include foreigners as well as Haitian officials. Last week, both houses of Haiti’s parliament voted in favor of such a body. In the senate, only one member, Youri Latortue, voted against the bill, which is now awaiting the famous signature of Rene Preval, the president of the Republic.
The reconstruction body will be co-led by the United Nations Special Envoy to Haiti, Bill Clinton along with the current Prime Minister Jean Max Bellerive for at least the next 18 months. On paper, it seems like a great idea, but why did the international community persist to be represented and even be part of the leadership of this new body, and more importantly why include the current Prime Minister, when his legal term should come to an end in about 9 months? We are talking about holding elections and yet we want those who are in charge today to still be in charge after any election.
It does not take much to understand that the current leadership of Haiti has failed miserably in responding to the aftermath of the quake, and ironically they are still managing to do a very poor job at bringing the country to some form of normalcy. They called for the reopening of schools without making sure that proper learning can take place under the tents and in those subpar conditions that exist today. They are relocating people from tent cities to places that are not yet ready to host people. They have not addressed any of the immediate need of the population among many other things. It begs to ask, why we should trust anyone in this current government to remain a part of any reconstruction plan of this new Haiti moving forward.
It is time that we start implementing the idea of forbidden transfers in Haiti, which should prevent incapable, corrupted individuals to remain in public office. Ever since I was a kid, there are a few names that are always in public office regardless of who is running the government. It is even said that the current Prime Minister has been serving in many past failed-government, so how can we expect someone so used to failures to suddenly be able to lead us to the promise land. We cannot continue with the practice of pretending as if no one is taking notice. If Haiti is going anywhere, a clearing house must be the order of the day. We should get ourselves ready for free and fair elections, whether it is in nine or eighteen months, but whenever it takes place, we cannot tolerate the failing players to continue to run the show.
The inclusion of President Clinton as co-leader of the reconstruction body is a signal that Haitians alone will not call the shot for the new Haiti, and only the future will be able to tell if it was the right decision.
It is a consensus all across the board that new ideas from all sectors of the population must be adopted in the reconstruction of Haiti. It is certain that many people would agree that new players are needed. It is definitely obvious that a change of the status quo must be precipitated, if we ought to ameliorate the living conditions of so many underprivileged Haitians.
Last week, I attended a presentation by Patrick Delatour, Haitian Tourism Minister at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, in which he was making the case for the Haitian government plan for the country’s reconstruction. Again, on paper it is a lot of great ideas, but sadly almost none of the ideas are genuinely Haitians. The presentation lacks the sense of urgency, priority and determination that could make us believe in our government.
The Haitian people are the only body that can put a stop to those forbidden transfers. We should no longer accept failing leaders, who never accept their shortcomings to lead us in other aspect. The failure in leadership during and after the quake is the strongest signal yet that the current players are not worth being transferred over to any new role as far as the reconstruction is concerned. We must decide with precision whether or not we want to change Haiti for good or if we are simply going to settle for yet again another band-aid to an ulcer. The Haitian parliament that has been absent since the quake has done the country a big disservice in their quick vote to allow Bill Clinton and Jean Max Bellerive to become Haiti czars for the next eighteen months.