In 2006, millions cast their ballots for what they believed was going to be real change in our troubled country. After suffering a great psychological defeat by the international community in 2004, the Haitian people once again turned to Rene Preval to restore hope and dignity to our country.
History will not be kind to Preval’s second stint at the national Palace. He was giving a mandate by the Haitian people to bring forth real change. Halfway through his presidency, Preval has shown little capacity to be an agent of change.
When Preval won the presidency back in 1996 to succeed Jean Bertrand Aristide, many observers claimed that he was only holding the post for the return of the populist leader, and that he was not his own man; in essence, he was simply doing Aristide’s work. This time around, with Aristide in exile in South Africa, Preval could have proven how much he really cared for the development of the country.
An agronomist by training and former owner of a bakery shop in the capital city, Preval has the pedigree and connection to move Haiti to a brighter sphere if he wanted to. I don’t believe that our leaders are the only one to blame for the stagnation of our country, but it would be a huge mistake on my part to not point out what I believe to be a clear lack of devotion and commitment to the betterment of the nation by this current administration.
Although Preval might go down in recent Haitian history as the only President to fully complete two terms and still remain in the country afterwards, I have no doubt that his two terms have served no real purpose in establishing a better Haiti.
What will be the Preval legacy? I hope we would not look back and say those times where peaceful because we had no coup d’etat, for we all know Preval has served his two terms while the country was basically in de facto occupations. The fact that the majority of the people’s lives has not improved at all under Preval forced me to conclude that he is not the leader the Haitian people were hoping that he could be.
Between Presidents Aristide and Preval, the country has wasted 14 years, time that could have been used for preparing a better future for our children. Instead, our people’s hopes have been betrayed by both men. It is a hard pill to sell to those loyal to those two men, but there is no mistake about it, they represented everything for the poor, and their failures represent a colossal lost for the development of the country.
Preval is practicing the policy of laissez-faire just to stay in power. He stands for nothing, and he has no vision for the nation.
The current administration has overseen thousands of the nation’s children dying by the weapons of foreigners, and does nothing. They have witnessing the force of Mother Nature ran wild in Gonaives, and much of the country, and yet they provide no definite help to those in need. Just in the past several weeks, two schools on the outskirt of Port-Au-prince have collapsed, and all the president could offer to the victims and their families are just a few rambling words about how the codes for good construction practices are already in the book. In moment of crisis, which Haiti is constantly in; President Preval has been nothing short but fictional.
I am not in any capacity to criticize the characters of the last two democratically elected leaders of our country, but as a concern citizen I have every right to critique their stance as leaders of such an impoverished country. I am fully aware of all the outside forces that are making the job of leading a nation like ours so difficult. To lead a country like Haiti should take more than a populist platform, and definitely a leader who is not afraid to pay the ultimate price for true changes.
Leadership is not an easy task. If one does not fully have what it takes to lead, it would be best to stay out of leading posts. We can not afford to waste any more time. Our country has been stagnant for too long. It is time that we realize that only the Haitian people can bring about real changes in the country. Let’s end the ideology of supporting a person or a political party, but instead let’s open our eyes to new ideas, new leaders, and definitely a new form of leadership for Haiti. Time is of the essence, so let’s move from being a stagnant country to a kinetic nation. As TVice puts it “Ayiti pap Kraze”, and I am a strong believer in the will of the people; therefore I know the Haitian people will never let Haiti goes to extinction. The best antidote to stagnation is a revolution. Let’s put an end to all those years of demagogue, and build a nation of worthy men and women.