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#2040: Re: #2000:Democracy for Haiti - Florestal responds to Morse (fwd)


First, let me express gratitude to Mr. Morse for his incisive posts from the 
inside that I read with a lot of interest in the past. However, he challenged 
the assertion of existence of political freedom in Haiti - in my recent post 
- when recent events show that participation in the political process by the 
people is being discouraged according to him? I am not an expert on this 
matter and would be hard pressed to refute his challenge. But, I noted in my 
original post that there was progress in political freedom in Haiti. The 
reason is that I spent the first thirty years of my life in Haiti. During 
that period of time, I cannot recall the following events ever taking place:

1) Presidential elections
2) Recognition of other political parties
3) Freedom of the press
4) Freedom of speech
5) Official opposition to the government by a state-recognized group of people
6) Having a voter registration card
7) Legislative decisions instead of decrees

If my memory is failing me on the number or the accurate stating of the 
above, please forgive me. But is the situation now in Haiti little changed 
from when I was there? I would admit that whatever the situation is now does 
not represent a quantum leap forward. Having said that, with all the 
weaknesses in the current situation, isn't it on the path of a better status 
than existed when I was growing up and living there.

Let me use a parallel here. Democracy is like a commercial patent. It will 
always be challenged. The judicial system will have to either uphold it or 
deny it. That the judicial system fails to protect it is not a judgment on 
democracy itself, or worst the ability of the Haitian people to live in a 
democracy. What is wrong is the ability of the justice system in Haiti to 
live up to its responsibilities. But this is no news to the people on this 
list. The Newshour confirmed the ineffectiveness of the judicial system, and 
efforts to improve it, in two recent, somewhat, well-balanced reports on 
Haiti. So, I stand by my statement.