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#1325:Questions about Leadership : Foxwell comments
From: Guy Antoine <GuyAntoine@windowsonhaiti.com>
The following questions are addressed to all forum participants:
1) In a system of government such as the one recently adopted
by Haiti, what would be the most desirable attributes of a
President? The most desirable attributes of a Prime Minister?
Thanks for a very thought provoking set of questions. I will respond to your first question.
Certainly, the character of leadership in Haiti is of profound importance. Just as clearly, the
question of Haitian leadership rests on one man, Aristide.
When he began his journey Aristide was a Roman Catholic priest with few worldly
possessions. He spoke from the highest moral base. His authority was the Word of God.
Haitians were captivated by him because his personal motives were for the salvation of his
people. His popularity was based on his complete lack of selfish agenda and his commitment
to the highest ideals of caring for others, loving the downtrodden and seeking to bring all
Haitians together for their common good.
A cursed set of circumstances pulled Aristide away from his Christian foundations. His
message became perverted by an early and fatal fascination with revolutionary Marxism. Its
necessary principles of atheism, class warfare and violence were the unavoidable
consequences of this Faustian bargain. Haiti was jolted from an altruistic vision based on love
to a violent demand for blood by its chosen moral leader.
The hope in this tragedy lies in the universal human quality of loving-kindness. Haitians
showed their deep humanity by cleaving to a man of God. In the days of Jesus, all people
who heard him were deeply moved by Jesus' words and attitude. This same message, coming
from a small unassuming priest, moved the hearts of Haitians. The only hope for the tragedy
of Haiti is in the commitment of those who would be its leaders to be fully committed to a
deep and abiding love for the Haitian people. This love must be established upon selflessness,
altruism, and peace.
This is not a naive claim. The greatest moral leaders of this century have been men of peace
who, in the spirit of Jesus, confronted evil with fearless love. Even the non-Christians, Albert
Schweitzer and Mahatma Gandhi, spoke often of the importance of Jesus' teachings on their
own lives. Martin Luther King was a devout Christian who learned from these great moral
leaders the importance of being willing to die for the highest moral calling. Haiti needs no less
than a leader of the stature of these great men of peace and love.
Aristide has broken his vows to the Haitian people. He must recant his intrigue with
Godlessness and return to the Truths of his youth. He has tasted power, wealth and blood,
but true greatness does not lie in these things. Aristide must forswear evil, fill his heart with
sacrificial love for the people of Haiti and walk in the humble shoes of the fisherman. This is
the only way to bring Haiti out of the pit of its misery.
A bloodbath will increase the horror. Plundering the wealthy will increase greed and deepen
poverty. Dictatorial authority will bring a reign of terror. These are all tried and true methods
of governing in Haiti. Now it is time to change the hearts and minds of Haitians.
The vision of the Pearl of the Antilles lies within. It is a pastoral dream of peace and plenty. It
is based on the belief that only by giving can we receive and only by loving can we be loved.
It is Aristide's first and most important teaching. He must return to it.
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