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#1606: Questions about Leadership : Chamberlain replies to Dorce

From: Greg Chamberlain <GregChamberlain@compuserve.com>

Kathy Dorcé wrote:

 "They" didn't let Aristide implement any of the social reforms necessary
heal Haiti.  Stopping graft being just one of them.  When you change the 
entire system from one of entitlement (if you are in a position of power
may take what you can) to one of doing the job you were elected or
to do, for a set salary, that might be harmful to your health!  "Just when
I get 
elected they stop the money flow!"


Just a minute, let's not rewrite history as it speeds away from us.  It's
true that
Aristide was overthrown, that the elite and maybe even the devilish
were glad about it and that much of the elite then set to and backed army
But the coup was set off by a dispute with the army over its budget, the 
ill-thought-out humiliation of its leaders and above all by the reflex of
one of its 
drug lords, Michel François (who conceived and executed the coup, not
and who Aristide was supposedly "pursuing"). 

Aristide did not try to "change the entire system."  In fact, one of his
first actions
was to do the usual thing of appointing a cabinet of his friends and their
(some competent, some corrupt), completely shutting out his political
allies who 
organised his last-minute campaign.  There was some perceived reduction in 
corruption, but in most cases everything continued in the same rotten 
old way, where 99% of people are appointed because of who they know, not 
what they can do.  Check out why his health minister, an honest guy called
Henrys with years of solid work in NGOs, quit in disgust a week before the

Because Aristide was overthrown by a bunch of baddies, human psychology 
is such that the victim at once becomes an angel.  Very handy.  If there is
a great 
need, and people wish to believe in someone, this is what will tend to
but that belief rarely squares much with what's happening on the ground.

Aristide's one great achievement is his abolition of the army.  He didn't
much fight 
corruption and in recent years has not been fighting it at all (to put it

The money flow did not stop when he was elected either.  In fact, his
negotiated a package of $500 million in foreign development aid a couple of
before the coup, evidence of foreign goodwill and the government's good
The problem was and is the concrete presentation of projects to justify the

use of this money.  The Haitian government and officials are pretty bad at
this, for all 
the reasons we know.  The foreign funding suppliers have since mostly been
and waiting and waiting... rather like the Dutch lawyer in the Pharval
case.  There's not 
much getting round this, by using desperate last-ditch devices of
definitions or blaming foreigners for everything, so as to avoid the
substantive issues.
How is the vicious circle to be broken?

        Greg Chamberlain