As long as the international community’s patronizing approach to solving Haiti’s problems remains attune on the effects rather than the causes, Haitians should expect more NGOs, more peddlers of “gospel of resignation, and a more determined effort by the international community to “stabilize” Haiti with the use of force. Ban-Ki Moon’s remark that “Haiti can slide backward into darkness, if we do not properly help” epitomized that sentiment. While the U.N General Secretary’s statement was categorical and patronizing and made the case for the continued occupation of Haiti, it was also a tacit admission that the current approach may not be the correct one.
Was Ban-Ki Moon’s subtle change in tone an indication that the occupiers are rethinking their strategy or a tacit five 5 years of occupation, Haiti’s instability can no longer be blamed on Jean Bertrand Aristide, and its strategy of equating legitimate grievances with criminal activities for political purpose could not last forever. Since 2004, the situation has steadily deteriorated despite the disingenuous statements emanating from U.N officials claiming victory over God knows what. The purported rescue mission’s true purpose has become evident to a great majority of Haitians, as the country sinks deeper into poverty while the clique that enjoys the support of the international community is getting richer under MINUSTAH’s watch.
There exists a leadership void that cannot be filled because the political class that blindly followed the economic elite finds itself sidetracked and helpless. Saving Haiti requires a complete overhaul of the U.N strategy of the last five years, which should involve overturning Gerard Latortue’s grotesque and indecent policies (2004-06) and curbing the power of the economic elite. Despite the well-publicized speeches on Haiti being a good place for investments, do the members of the delegation that visited Haiti on March 9-10 know any investor who would be willing to invest in one of the world’s most dangerous countries? I doubt it. Besides, the infrastructure needed to achieving that goal, i.e., roads, steady supply of electricity and a modern communication network, remains inadequate. Removing Haiti from that infamous list would therefore be a tangible step, because the lack of foreign investments remains an impediment to social, political, human, and economic progress in the country.
Unfortunately, the international community may be unwilling to take this route because it would de-legitimize the occupation, which stands upon the institutionalization of the status quo that prevailed in Haiti for almost two centuries. Therefore, keeping the country perpetually dependent on capricious foreign friends for its survival is the logical way to achieving that goal.
Sometimes the grandeur of a politician is measured not by everlasting deeds but by the ineptitude of his predecessor or successor. This is the reason why Aristide, the exiled president, remains a formidable force that must be taken into account by the self-appointed nation builders. Considering the many mistakes he made during his truncated terms, Aristide, like many of us, is an imperfect human being. However, he was the only Haitian politician in generations to have attempted the restructuring Haiti’s primitive socio-economic system, but was denied the opportunity to either succeed or fail. Whether Aristide’s detractors like it or not, he ranks among the select group of Haitian presidents that stood up against the authority of the arrogant elite and history will judge him positively. The ruthlessness and arrogance of the former president’s adversaries, as his two truncated terms demonstrated, would be Aristide’s best defense.
Nevertheless Haiti’s struggle is greater than any man, and Aristide’s rehabilitation by future historians is irrelevant to exorcizing the country of its demons. The clique that that facilitated the occupation of Haiti should know that high treason has no statutes of limitation. From the liberation of Paris on August 25t 1944 to well into the 1980’s, France prosecuted many French citizens, who collaborated with the Nazis, in retaliation for its humiliation at the hands of the Germans (1940-44). Even prostitutes plying their trade and other ordinary French who collaborated under duress did not escape the wrath of their humiliated and vengeful nation. As defines by Article 21 of the 1987 Constitution, the crime of high treason consists in bearing arms in a foreign army against the Republic or serving a foreign nation in a conflict with the republic. Essentially, any elected official, currently serving the occupation and condoning the killings of Haitian citizens, is legally guilty of high treason under Article 21.
Parliament can help resolve the issue by passing a resolution declaring “Haiti to be under occupation”. Such resolution would theoretically absolve anyone currently serving under the occupation in any capacity, and the private citizens providing comfort to the enemy by renting their properties to MINUSTAH, but exclude those who, by the actions, facilitated the February 29 2004 events. Accountability is the foundation of public service and elected officials are servants of their constituencies. It is however a notion that eluded generations of Haitian politicians. The silence of the country’s elected officials is troubling; it gives credence to the notion of ineptitude associated with Haitian politicians and creates the appearance that the occupation is wholeheartedly supported by the population. Whether the occupation was ordained by God, Haiti’s elected officials have an obligation to vote for or against it, because the time will come when they would have to answer for their omission.

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