Like Ponzi-schemers, convincing themselves they are not hurting anybody, the architects of the February 29th 2004 invasion of Haiti continue their dangerous game of excluding a sizable portion of the electorate from participating in the country’s political life. Last Wednesday, Haiti’s Electoral Council president Gaillot Dorsainsil announced that the Lavalas Party, among others, will not be allowed to participate in the legislative elections scheduled for February 2010; so much for the new world order based on the premise of democracy for all. The announcement was therefore expected given that the de-Lavalastization process (2004-?) has not been as successful as the international community would have wanted and the banned Lavalas Party had scored a moral victory by organizing a boycott that crippled voters’ participation in the April 2009 legislative election.
Meanwhile questionable statistics are put forward by the occupiers in an apparent effort at portraying the occupation in a good light, even though the facts on the ground tell otherwise. In the midst of a global economic recession, Haiti, which exports almost nothing and practically imports everything it needs, is one of two countries, the other is Guyana, according to the IMF experiencing growth this year. The institutional corruption, extreme poverty, high unemployment, state-sponsored disappearances and executions of political opponents and other social ills that formed the rationale behind Haiti’s occupation by UN forces have remained static. Periodic trade delegations, seminars and press releases extolling the virtuous works of church missionaries (peddlers of the gospel of resignation), the NGO’s and the altruism of the international community have become the antidote to despair. Surprisingly the tactic seems to be working, since the population remains immersed in a stupor that not only belies the reality but also gives credence to the notion that the occupation is in fact needed.
The seemingly permanent electoral ban of the Lavalas Party, unquestionably the country’s largest, is consistent with the blinded arrogance and a sense of invincibility permeating the facilitators and collaborators of the occupation. Among the accusations is the flimsy claim that Lavalas’ local leadership may have provided the electoral council with a forged signature of the party’s nominal leader, exiled former president Jean-Bertrand Aristide, who incidentally is forbidden to return to Haiti in violation of article 41 of the Constitution. Legally speaking the local leaders have committed electoral fraud by intentionally submitting forged documents in a country where a foreign national got elected to the senate but never prosecuted for the offense. It seems that Legalism has been redefined in Haiti under the occupation touted as a moral crusade against impunity and arbitrariness, the very transgressions used as justification for the unlawful removal of Aristide on February 29th 2004. Collective punishment, the weapon of choice of the regime in power, should have no place in this world as prescribed in the preamble of the United Nations Charter that “ reaffirms faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person, in the equal rights of men and women and of nations large and small…”
In order to prevent the exclusion of a portion of the electorate, would the former president be allowed to return to Haiti and register his party? Not in a million years, if the party leaders persist in following the rules that are specifically tailored to obstruct their participation in the country’s political life. Given MINUSTAH’s record of duplicity, partiality and lack of credibility, its generic statement advising the electoral council to reconsider the decision is full of holes. Barring a reversal of the order, which is unlikely, the Lavalas party needs to file a formal complain with the UN Commission on Human Rights (UNCHR) and the U.N Security Council, the entity in charge of the occupation. Such complain would presumably be dismissed on the ground that the Security Council cannot interfere in an internal matter of a sovereign member state, an illogical reasoning which should help the population make an educated assessment of the situation.
So incredible is the situation that conspiracy theories proliferate, with two of the most fanciful being that Haiti is endowed with the largest oil deposit in the Americas that is considered the strategic reserve of the U.S, and a long-term plan by Canada, France and the U.S, the self-styled friends of Haiti, to unify the country with the DR. Given the dreamlike nature of the current order, it is appropriate that even the most farfetched nonsense is considered a viable theory. Perhaps Papa Doc’s allegoric dictum “I am the Haitian flag; one and indivisible” has eluded the attention of the international community and that of the collaborators. Aptly many irresponsible Dominican politicians, notably the country’s vice-president Euclides Gutierrez, are encouraging or even propagating this nonsense. Paradoxically the 1929 Borno-Velasquez understanding delimiting the current border between the DR and Haiti could hardly be considered definitive since the latter was under US occupation (1919-34), thus legally incapable to sign a Treaty which is, by definition, a binding agreement between sovereign states.
Injustice cannot metamorphose itself into altruism, as the architects of the occupation seem to think and many Haitians incline to believe. The excesses of the Latortue regime (2004-06) and the present dictatorship may be a blessing in disguise, as they are paving the way for a renewal of the Dessalinian spirit, which had become lethargic through nefarious actions of a few. It is expected that history will once again be made.