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Opinion

Haitian Diaspora Lack Vision to Wield Meaningful Influence in Haiti

By Bobb Rousseau and Rosi DeJean

The Haitian Diaspora faces an unresolved contradiction if it wants to deliver the needs of people in Haiti and to become the source of salvation for Haitians at home. However, they are failing miserably due to the fact they are so focused on fulfilling their own high expectations that they lose the sense of who they are and what they are about. 

The diaspora wants to build political power in Haiti through backdoor politics or infiltration into governments, not through mobilization, involvement, and engagement. 

They want economic power not through social entrepreneurship, but by agitating the right to vote although there is no law depriving them of such rights. They do nothing but whine about the $1.50 fee on money transfers and the small fees associated with international calls. They claim they are more educated than the Haitians in Haiti. They believe they are experts in governance, in economic development, public policy and they will make the best leaders if allowed. 

They criticize, expose problems, denounce corrupt leaders, but they are yet to bring plausible solutions. They are so selfish that they even threaten to stop sending money to their loved ones if the government does not adhere to their wishes. Diaspora, do you know that your money transfers alleviate individual poverty, not community economic empowerment.

Hands down that the diaspora has unlimited potential to succeed, but they lack the leadership, organizational, problem-solving, and decision-making skills necessary to achieve a fraction of what “we the people” expect from them. The amount of Haitian diasporic organizations indeed substantiate that diaspora wants to be involved, but it also reveals a stronger proof that they want a piece of the pie. 

It shows passion and patriotism, but not commitment or engagement. The diaspora will continue to fail if it does not concentrate on countering policy that the government and the international community use to drive and maintain a dependency system that pillages the resources of the country and keeps Haitians poor. 

Granted, there is no easy solution, but the diaspora must start at the beginning. Starting at the beginning entails that the diaspora begins to behave as social entrepreneurs and economic activists to have economic value without seeking political value or a voice in the transition.

A diaspora equity or investment fund is overdue. This means the international community, the banks, and the money services benefit from the diaspora remittances more than the recipients do. Thus, the diaspora must counter policies and multilateral contracts or international agreements that obstruct the nation’s means of control over its right to sovereignty. 

While this fight is ongoing, the diaspora must subtract 25 percent of their remittances to deposit onto a fund to sponsor projects, which will directly develop a domestic national enterprise sector with the capacity for innovative solutions to human problems and win demand in export markets.  Once the diaspora has products that add values in the supply chain, create jobs, protect human rights, and lead to social justice, it will become an attractive economic force. 

The international community shows that money talks or that economic power fuels politics. Thus, the right to vote or to run for office, as well as, the underhanded strategy to infiltrate politics and government are fruitless endeavors, as they show a lack of patriotism and nationalism.

The diaspora must make its presence felt by formulating and implementing bold policy solutions that match the scale of the socio-economic crises facing Haiti. They all know the problems, and they all know the political position of Haitian leaders and the international community regarding Haiti’s economic dependency. 

Furthermore, the diaspora must organize itself to become a serious non-political force to work closely with Haitians in Haiti, because it is not possible to bring support to Haiti without assessing the needs of the people. Let’s no longer ask them to let us breathe, let’s stop focusing on the problem for our inhuman conditions and let’s stop practicing identity politics so we can create breathing wealth to oxygenate our economic independence; thereafter, we can do hardcore, die-hard, and active politics.  

Bobb Rousseau is a law, public policy, and international development expert. He is a contributor to The Haitian Times.

Haitian Times

Haitian Times

The Haitian Times was founded in 1999 as a weekly English language newspaper based in Brooklyn, NY.The newspaper is widely regarded as the most authoritative voice for Haitian Diaspora.
Haitian Times
Jul. 07, 2020

ONE COMMENT ON THIS POST To “Haitian Diaspora Lack Vision to Wield Meaningful Influence in Haiti”

  1. Mireille Saint Juste says:

    Let’s hold that thought for a minute please. Diaspora from Haiti are first of all haitians and nothing can change that. We may not have the same views because we value greatness instead corruption. Listen verily carefully without our dollars haitiens would have been dead because the have absolutely nothing but us to feed them. The government is forever brainless, and the political parties are crooked parasites ( most of them).and careless. Yes we have a voice and we can teach these authorities what to do to keep Haiti in the right path if they are willing to listen , stop being crooked and learn to live themselves and their brothers and sisters.
    The authorities believe in violence but show no values in education, health and building wealth nor structural development. Tell me/us diaspora where our money goes ? For 300 plus years and Haiti is this behind? Why ? Because Haiti government has no vision as we do. Each time us diaspora tried to do something benefiting Haiti, they paid people to burn it down because they do not like competitive companionship in the business. Who do you think would do that? The big egoiste /selfish businessmen. They hold the country hostage. Let’s talk about boulos. I am not sure who he thinks he is. He doesn’t want to see anyone coming in Haiti to do do business. All he talk bout is selfish crap. He should get the hell out of Haiti if he doesn’t want to correct his savage behavior. Mr boulos is one of the many bad seeds in Haiti. If you do not like what I said you can kiss it or be a better man and change along with all the others who are screwing Haiti to its core.
    The second partype are the judgesame who are nothing but parasites feeding on the poorest stealing their lands , houses and putting them to jail to keep their properties. Let take for example judge Ricard Aristilde who is doing nothing but stealing in the city if st Marc. Why
    This what the government must focus on to keep the country going.
    When are they going to get ODVA to start working in order to grow crops so the country can be out of this mere poverty?.you see , us diaspora have visions for Haiti.
    We’re I is the department of Justice when crimes are mounting 300 degree high more than the coronavirus killing people.? Where are the department of sante public when we have garbages all over the country more than trees or flowers? We diaspora would like the Haitian’s government yo clean up their acts and fix the counter so we can come in an help .

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