haiti unity summit
Delegates at the Haiti Unity Summit in Louisiana on Jan. 13-17 included representatives from civil society coalitions in Haiti. (Twitter photo)

By Dr. Georges J. Casimir

The writer is president of the Haitian Diaspora Political Action Committee (HDPAC). 

I was compelled to reach out after reading Another bad play from that old Haitian politics playbook by Mr. Garry Pierre-Pierre. While I appreciate the coverage of both HDPAC and the summit of Louisiana, he did not properly outline the mission and purpose. 

The Louisiana Summit was not organized by HDPAC, but by a group of organizations of the Diaspora under the umbrella Haitian Diaspora Interests Group, of which HDPAC is one. The goal was to provide a framework and an opportunity for all the accords existing in Haiti to fuse into one accord that would eventually guide an eventual government in Haiti. 

Eight accords, plus a dissident faction of Montana — called the “Protocole d’Entente des Signataires de l’Accord de Montana,” under the leadership of Dr. Anrino Destinoble — sent delegates to Louisiana. On the first day of the Louisiana Summit, two delegates representing each accord agreed after consultation with their respective organizations and leadership to unite under one umbrella accord called the Unitary Accord of Louisiana. On the second day, they decided the form of government they would like to see in Haiti — a bicephalic, or power sharing, government. They agreed on the former. Finally, on the third day, they suggested names for President and Prime Minister. 

One has to remember that the accords in Haiti had the same goal. That is, to propose a form of government and designation of specific names for related positions. It would otherwise have been political malpractice had the Louisiana Accord decided not to do the same. 

The Louisiana Summit proposal had a very strategic vision, and its purpose was to lead change in Haiti for the long-term. We were honored to have the support of  General Russel Honoré who gave a plethora, not a patina, of legitimacy, as Mr. Pierre-Pierre suggested, to the process. 

The Avoidable fallouts section suggests the supposed resignation of Fritz Clairvil indicates upheaval within HDPAC. This couldn’t be less true, as Mr. Clairvil was never an official member of the organization. We never had an international committee, therefore he was not chair of such or any committee. He was merely an advisor lending his services pro bono and we thank him for his service. He was not in Louisiana  nor had he any part in that work, so he cannot speak to those happenings. 

As for Mr. Emmanuel Roy, he has resigned from his position as the executive director and is currently the secretary of the executive board. We are glad to have his services and feel he is an invaluable asset to our organization. I personally believe, as a behavioral science expert, in restorative justice and not retributive justice.

I’d like to close with this oft-quoted Margaret Mead comment: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed  citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is  the only thing that ever has.” This is the intention of the Haitian Diaspora Political Action Committee to help facilitate meaningful and lasting change in Haiti. 

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