In the famous Patrick Henry’s speech: “Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death,” he
eloquently said that it is natural to man to indulge in the illusions of hope, referring to
the hope that the colonists of Virginia still held that the British would accept them as
equals. As Henry ended his speech with the words give me liberty or give me death, it
was evident that he no longer hoped to be obedient to the British Crown.
Today, realizing where things stand in Haiti, it is obvious that many are lost in the
illusions of hope. The desire to believe that we are on the road to development has
blinded us from seeing the reality of misery, oppression, starvation, illiteracy and
their impact on the future of our country. We are a country held hostage against our
Deep within each Haitian, the core of the country’s problems are known; however, living
the reality that we are forced to live has created the illusions of hope that things are about
to change, when in fact, from year to year the conditions are moving from bad to worst.
The country needs to awake from these illusions.
The expectations are humongous for the Martelly’s presidency. The people expect him
to deliver on most of his campaign promises, which range from a complete overhaul
of the political system to free education for all children by the time he leaves office in
2016. The population is also looking forward to a solution of the housing crisis which has
exacerbated by the earthquake.
The country is still suffering from a high cost of food products and energy. The
public health system is in dire needs of improvement. We have an environment that is
deteriorating by the hours, and a meager infrastructure system. In all, we have a country
to build, but the strategies that are being put forth do not instill confidence that better
days are ahead.
The president must break from the rhetoric of the past, which has been based on a politics
of exclusion at the detriment of the most vulnerable, and start executing a plan that
will implant a new kind of hope, structured around rationality rather than illusions. The
Haitian people are thirsty for true hope, one that is based on concrete actions, which
ultimately will help spur the movement towards a self-sufficient nation.
As president Martelly promised to bring a systemic change to the country, he can start
proving that he means business with the nomination of a progressive Prime Minister,
along with all the cabinet members. The longer it takes to get a functioning Prime
Minister, the less confidence the people will have in his ability to lead. He must be
candid in his dialogue with the people rather than relying on political gimmick. It serves
no one’s interest to not have a working government two months after the presidential
There are real-life issues waiting to be addressed, such as housing for those still living in
tents, schools for all children, employment, the cholera epidemic, and more. The illusions
that a novice in politics could just snap a finger and transform a nation are just that,
illusions. What we need at this moment is more than just a desire to do; we need a team
that is capable of advancing some real policies to get this country out of this fantasy that
somehow we can completely depend on foreign investors and aid to come bail us out.
There must be a national strategy that put great emphasis on how to create our own
wealth, if we are serious about breaking from foreign dependency, which is a primary
accomplice in the cycle of poverty that has plagued our nation for most of its existence.
We must take a leap of faith in believing in our own ability to not only live together, but
work exceptionally well together as we embark in this journey to build our nation. We
must not let the scars of the past be an impediment in our ability to discover the cures of
our ills. False hope can only lead to more despair, and an anguish nation cannot move
forward. The challenge to get this country on the path to prosperity is not the problem of
one individual, but it is there for all of us to embrace, and carry it together.
There comes a time when we ought to separate illusions from reality, ability from
incapacity, friends from foes, and needs from wants. Now is that time. Too many of our
compatriots are subjugated to subhuman living conditions for far too long. We must do
something concrete to end their misery. We are too proud of a people to not be able to
put our differences aside and work for the common good of our country. The practice of
brainwashing a few in these illusions are keeping us from realizing our true potential.
This current administration must be candid in its approach to change and find a way
to facilitate those within and outside of the country who have the capacity to be game-
changers to get involved and offer themselves at the service of the nation. Time is of the
essence, and a critical approach to disband from bad governance is more than important if
we are to solve the greatest threat facing our generation: An immersion in the illusions of
Instead, we should invest more in attaining our true national identity and get to work
towards an all-inclusive, equitable and just society. We must no longer be obedient to
poverty, oppression, or illiteracy, especially when the solutions are within reach.