The hundreds of thousands of deaths that occurred on January 12th 2010, no doubt tragic and unfortunate, could have served as a catalyst for a renewal of the Haitian spirit that has been adversely afflicted with a defeatist sentiment as long as any Haitian alive today could remember. But the hope of Haitians retaking and rebuilding their country is becoming more and more a distant dream struggling in the shadows of the unimaginable loss of lives and physical destruction of Haiti. The country’s political leaders’ inability to find a Haitian solution to the crisis and their overreliance on foreigners practically doom Haiti’s chance at regaining its sovereignty for the foreseeable future. What other country in our world would ask for outside “technical” help with recounting ballots, which involves matching cast votes with voter registration lists? With these fraudulent elections and René Préval’s pathetic plea for outside help with the recount, Haiti has sunk to a new low and revealed to the world her shortcomings. The country founded on the sweat and blood of resolute lovers of freedom and justice does not deserve such fate.
When Nazi Germany surrendered on May 7th 1945, the victorious Allies were quick to tell the German people that they were not in Germany to restore civil life in that country which, they insisted, was the task of the German people. Even though Haiti was not defeated in a war, but a victim of geopolitical power play, this historical analogy is nonetheless warranted, since the Haitian leaders, unlike the Germans, simply abandoned the building of their society to the care of the occupiers. This sentiment has permeated the population to the point where the nation sits idly and waits for the administrators of the occupation 2004-? to come up with whatever they may perceive is best for Haiti.
Sadly, there is currently no institution in Haiti with the moral gravitas to impose a solution on the feuding political class which remains pathologically inclined to bring destruction to the country and its people. However, the quest for international mediation by the government and Michel Martelly, the wronged presidential candidate, is reflexive amongst Haitian politicians and only reinforces the notion that we have failed as a nation.
Furthermore, it is outrageous that the presidential candidates, having accepted the legitimacy of the Electoral Provisional Council (CEP) by participating in what was from the beginning a fraudulent endeavor, are now crying foul. Given that the framework established by the CEP was one of exclusion which they willfully agreed on, the aggrieved candidates must now accept the consequences. Because countries are ruled by laws that must be respected, especially by those aspiring to lead them, any solution outside the framework of the Constitution and the electoral laws would only accelerate the country’s descent into the realm of the rule of necessity. Adding a third candidate to the January 16th run-off, as advocated by the international community or a second vote that includes all 18 presidential candidates, as suggested by Michel Martelly, would be illegal under the 1987 Constitution and the current electoral laws.
The politicians’ appeals to the international community for mediation may seem reasonable, seeing that the country is hopelessly locked in a battle of wills amongst the actors and a consensus cannot be reached, however, is there really a need to proceed with this course? Unfortunately, the international community is actually the chief protagonist in the crisis and cannot therefore be expected to play a constructive or impartial role that could bring peace to the dysfunctional and weary nation. One must remember that before the closing of the polls on November 28th and frauds were evident and widespread, the international community had come out in favor of upholding the legitimacy of the vote. It is therefore inconceivable that a solution could come from an entity that stood ready to sanction an elaborate deception that was only thwarted by the vigilance of the people.
Any Haitian or a presidential candidate, for that matter, who willingly encourages the prolongation of this crisis, does not represent the interests of the country. The cholera epidemic (2402 deaths) that must be contained and the urgent need to rebuild Haiti must supersede political or personal ambitions, if the country were to regain its footing and move forward. Undoubtedly magnanimity and patriotism are presently in short supply, but plain common sense can still prevail since the ramifications from a prolonged crisis are too dreadful to contemplate. While Haitian politics is devoid of morality and ethics, saving a dying Haiti is a moral obligation to which all politicians must bear. The aggrieved candidates must therefore look past the November 28th travesty and work toward reforming the CEP which, within its actual framework, can easily be corrupted by Machiavellian characters, like the ostensibly harmless but astute René Préval.
Haiti has become a laughingstock due to the actions of its politicians and Haitians everywhere are treated with utter disrespect by others because they represent a failed nation, notwithstanding their academic and professional achievements that surpass those of many of their detractors. The paternalism and intrigues of the international community that pitted Haitians against Haitians and caused us to lose of our raison d’être must end, because in our hands, lies our destiny. The sooner collaborators and occupiers come to this realization, the better the solution, and the pernicious “threat to international peace and security” will automatically disappear.
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