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29000: Durban (response): Re: 28991: Ferdinand - Pringle IHT article (fwd)

Lance Durban <lpdurban@yahoo.com> replies

Anna Ferdinand (Corbett 28991) comes down just a bit too hard on James
Pringle for his admittedly cliche-ladden IHT article on Haiti.  My
guess is she doesn't like the negatives, particularly his unfavorable
comparison of today's Haiti with that golden Duvalier era.  But, as
Lyall pointed out in another post, there are quite a few people in
Haiti of all social classes who do remember the Duvalier era with some
nostalgia.  It's not that there wasn't horrific poverty back then... I
recall working on a U.N.-financed housing project in 1979 in a section
of town that couldn't possibly have been much worse.  The fact,
however, is that most people then (and now) avoid political problems by
simply not getting involved.  Unfortunately, for most people it is much
more difficult to escape their living conditions.  Haiti's tragedy is
that in the intervening years appalling living conditions have only
gotten worse, the slums have mushroomed, the schools deteriorated, the
jobs evaporated.  Government after government has been totally unable,
unwilling, uninterested and/or incompetent, and so far we haven't seen
much indication that the last (relatively honest) election is going to
change things.

Indeed, some things never change, recent talk on Radio Metropole was
about what kind of government-issue vehicles would be made available
for the new Senateurs and Deputes.  Priorities, it seems, need to be
addressed.  Wednesday night, driving up Delmas, I was nearly blown off
the road by a huge SUV (Plaque: "officiel 0824").  It sported the
standard dark-tinted windows of those gov't VIP's who don't really want
to be seen.  Siren-blasting, over-the-curb driving by someone who
obviously was on an important mission (hmmm, couldn't have been picking
his kid up from school, since schools aren't open yet).  Anyway, it
seems we have solved the government vehicle problem...

Oh dear, there I go, getting all cynical again.

L. Durban