By Vicannia Merisma

Vicannia Merisma is a 22-year-old senior at Florida International University majoring in Psychology. She was born in Haiti and is deeply passionate about her country and growth for the future. She wants to make an impact for her land, people and preservation of Haitian culture.

Dear Mr. President,

It is with deep concern and sincere admiration of your leadership that I write this letter to you with hopes that this will somehow reach you in the midst of this crisis that our people are in.

I am simply baffled at the little effort that you and the Haitian government have put towards aiding our people in times of desperate measures — the time that they need your leadership to present itself. I don’t know what it will take to get your attention, even if it means posting this on social media. I intend to do whatever it is and go to lengths until something is done.

As a Haitian-born citizen, I am outraged, confused and saddened all at once. I say this with respect to you and those that have been elected to run our country, you are “all talk.”

You have showed aspects of good leadership since your winning election in 2011. Have your leadership skills faltered over the years? Is our government blind to the atrocity that the people of Haiti are facing in Dominican Republic? Or is that not in your agenda to come to our aid?

Mr. President, must I remind you of the bravery that runs deep in our blood?

I am sure you know of our country’s history, the first and only country to have led a slave revolution and won against the French with the great leadership of Jean-Jacque Dessalines! Have you forgotten Mr. President?

Our people need leadership more than ever. We have proven to the world what we are capable of doing with such leadership! Such unity! When you stand to speak to our people, are you not reminded of what is written on the coat of arms on our flag?? “L’union fait la force!”

How could you keep silent and ignore your people as they are being cast away by other nations and treated as “animals.”

It is my job as a Haitian to remind you of your duty Mr. President. Rise up! Be the leader that you promised to be. Do not forget the love that you claim to have for your country, and your people!

It is a shame that for more than 200 years after gaining independence; we have yet to establish a profound state and a stabilized government. You fail to acknowledge the great leaders that came before you and use them as an example in governing our country.

As I mentioned before, you are admired for the inspiration and the hope that you give our people, but I am saddened that you lack the leadership to carry out your duties to our people.

All across the world, our people are ridiculed by other nations; but yet you do nothing to lift us up! I admit that we are solely responsible for our actions; but you are to be the voice of reason, the pillar of knowledge and power that steer us to the right direction. We are living in the 20th century and still our people are subject to being robbed, raped and killed by our own. We have failed to establish a strong justice system that will defend the poor/weak and hold criminals accountable for their actions.

We have students who hope to make it in our country with the education that their parents work hard for them to get; only to not have a job awaiting them after they graduate. We lack the ability to constructs roads, provide jobs, and ensure protection for our people. We look to foreigners every time we are in great distress rather than building an army/ police force that are trained to withstand adversity.

We lack government funding to aid our own, nor do we have any organizations that are built to preserve our beautiful land. Yet, our government rather focuses their attention to allowing other nations to come and build and our land for their profit, rather than extending that opportunity to our people to be part of Haiti’s expansion. Does it not hurt you to see the disrespect your people receive from all over the world?

Rise up Mr. President. You made a promise, and I intend to hold you and our government accountable!

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