Will Things in Haiti Ever Change?

Photo Credit: Garry Pierre-Pierre

By Vania André

It’s time to take a side. Haitians need to either abandon their dream of democracy and succumb to neocolonial rule, and come under the full authority of the United States as a protectorate, or decide enough is enough, and unify to put power in the hands of a leader that is truly reflective of the values and needs of the people. Anything in between produces what we see taking place in the country right now — a quasidemocratic republic, where Western influence holds more power in our social and political affairs than our very own people. I can’t help but question, who are our masters?

The earthquake, while devastating, was an opportunity to propel Haiti forward. However, widespread corruption, systemic negligence and incompetence thwarted all possibility of realizing a Haiti that would be phoenix-like in her return from tragedy. The only way to put Haiti back on a course that leads to a period of reconstruction is with a new constitution that truly integrates the Diaspora in all facets of Haitian society. 

The goal is to shift the balance of power to where the Diaspora has an equal say in the affairs of the country just a much as those living on the island. What we’re experiencing in Haiti with the protests, and seemingly endless cycle of civil unrest, are the birthing pains that happen during a transfer of power. This is only the beginning. We see this struggle for dominance when those in power are grasping to hold on to a world that is quickly fading away. 

In order for Haiti to move forward and take her rightful place in the world as our forefathers intended centuries ago, we must shift how and why we push forward and support certain policies. We must create a constitution that truly embodies Toussaint Louverture’s vision when he recognized that what it meant to be Haitian was as much a matter of your lineage, as your capability to value freedom for all people. We must create a constitution that allows the Diaspora to vote, run for office and participate in all facets of Haitian government.

History has shown us opportunity exists amongst devastation. The way forward is to embrace a generational and social shift in power. 

I’m often asked, “Will things in Haiti ever change?”

Albert Einstein once said, insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, expecting different results. While thoroughly overused, this quote is especially appropriate when discussing Haitian politics. So, I posit the question back to you: “Will things in Haiti ever change?”

Oct. 15, 2019

5 COMMENTS ON THIS POST To “Will Things in Haiti Ever Change?”

  1. Things in Haiti will never change until we do away with religious dogma, capitalist behavior, and Eurocentric practices. As we shift forward towards our own Afrocentric identity, Haiti will progress to an independent and prosperous nation. The question: Are we willing to try?

  2. Erick Gerard says:

    Like Jovenel Moise predecessor had done in office for eight years, Pres. R Preval. Preval had spent eight years in office while the country was in political, social turmoil: he didn’t respond to the people’s demand for better social systems and to eliminate corruption among the politicians and the private sectors, he rarely addressed the public, replaced prime ministers after prime ministers, like jovenel moise has been doing: jovenel moise should be held accountable for financing his flagship project, “Caravan of change” hardly anything was ever built, where is the cash used to finance the “Caravan” 24 hour electricity, doubling passport’s fee, sold all these passport to the young Haitian to leave the country, more like evicting them out of the country, instead of uniting with the private sectors to create employment for most of those youngs, able personnel to help rebuild Haiti public infrastructures: like Preval had done before, stay quietly, out sight of the public to stay in power for five miserable years, so far, he’s done 32 months

  3. Claudy Jeune says:

    Dear Writer,
    I actually saved this piece in order to read it in my peace and quiet train ride to work. While my opinion of your take might be too lengthy, but the answer to the question is simple and quite frankly, it’s not even debatable. Time and capable people is all that’s needed. I can’t really speak on the Constitution as I have not properly reviewed the most recent amendments that took place under the Martely Administration, but I surely say that giving the same right to the diaspora to run for office is against the Louverturian way. Being in the diaspora myself, I would gladly like to be able to hold a foreign nationality and run for office. The diaspora would be at a much greater advantage than would be the average Haitian.
    To cut it short, Haiti needs all of its children and possibly reinstate the 1805 Constitution while implementing modern day amendments to bridge the gaps of lost centuries of the past.

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