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#3980: Campaign Reform in Haiti: Chamberlain replies to Pina (fwd)

From: Greg Chamberlain <GregChamberlain@compuserve.com>

Kevin Pina writes:

> It is time to call for end to US patronage and 
> funding of political parties in Haiti. Let the 
> opposition play by the same rules of the game 
> as Lavalas which has not been offered, nor 
> received, financial assistance for its party 
> apparatus and election campaign.

Kevin is quite right -- foreign funding is undesirable. 
It distorts the relationships between the political 
parties and can also delay the political maturity of 
any person or party in any country, rich or poor, that 
receives such money.

However, as for playing by the same rules as 
Lavalas, I think we all need a sharp dose of that
famous "transparence" (invented by Lavalas in 
1990) about that $20 million donation from Taiwan
which was freely handed over to Aristide to do what
he liked with and which seems to have since 
disappeared.  Renaud Bernardin, Aristide's 
minister of planning and foreign aid (and now
leader of the Lavalas-allied Pati Ouvri Baryè), 
has since related how the Taiwanese asked 
him who the cheque should be made out to.
I think it was written to Lafanmi Selavi in the
end, but it then seems to have disappeared.

Nothing perhaps wrong with a nice fat foreign 
donation like that for a good cause.  But where
_did_ the money go?  $20 million is an 
enormous sum for an orphanage.  There was 
a lot of (non-CIA !) speculation and not a peep 
out of Tabarre.  So let's have no "pot calling
the kettle black."  All sides are at the trough
of foreign moolah, Lavalas included, though
I don't know of any such funding for Lavalas'
present election victory.  

I would also be intrigued to know by what 
miracle Lavalas manages to stay absolutely 
clean of the curse of drug money in which the 
country is currently awash?  I can't reasonably 
imagine how it can, what with everyone 
struggling to climb on the bandwagon of the
returned Messiah.  Perhaps I am grossly
unfair.  Someone please tell me how they
(or anyone in Haitian politics right now)
manage that trick.

        Greg Chamberlain