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#3269: Letter to the editor: A response (fwd)


I believe the word foreigner in the Haitian context is pretty self 
explanatory or is it? Haitians outside of the political spectrum, those that 
work outside of government would consider any Haitian who has been out of the 
country as a Haitian regardless whether he has adopted another nationality or 
not. Haitians in politics would use different standards. Basically if you are 
not coming in to compete with them in anything, you are a Haitian whether or 
not you carry a "foreign" passport. There is a proverb that goes like this " 
When the through starts to dry, the horses begin to bite" Haiti as you well 
know has been living for years under conditions akin to that of a drying 
trough. You might disagree, but the Haiti of today, without changing anything 
in the system can hardly survive in the absence of some kind of "foreign"  
source bringing water to that through in order to keep it from drying 
completely, in other words some kind of "foreign" assistance, whether you 
define the word foreign as foreign born or foreign with another adopted or 
original nationality. I don't understand what your quarrel is with, whether 
it's the word itself or the concept. If it's just the word, then you can 
change it to whatever you want and move on. If you are of the true belief 
that only Haitians by nationality, and strictly those that have never 
renounced their Haitian nationality will and can get Haiti out of this 
marasm, then I beg to differ. Everyday experience teaches us otherwise. If 
you believe that only people that are Haitians by birth can save Haiti, then 
we have a strong departure in thinking and I would like to know what it is in 
the accident of birth that gives someone the good will and the skills to do 
something positive and good for a country. Some of the fiercest defenders of  
Nationality often don't hesitate to sell their country to the highest bidder. 
In Haiti, they don't seem to even wait for the highest bidder. On that note 
it might be appropriate to recall that the 1987 Constitution negates 
recognizes as Haitians only those that have Haitian nationality, excluding 
those born in Haiti who have adopted another nationality for whatever reason. 
 Che Guevara was born in Argentina, yet he is now revered as a Cuban 
National. Georges 'Washington was a British subject till the birth of the 
United States. I will grant you however that Haiti has been victimized 
throughout its history by supposedly well meaning "foreigners" who came to 
"help" under all kinds of pretenses, including the now infamous occupation of 
1914, but those are instances where Haitians simply crossed their arms and 
prayed for the "foreigner" to come and do the job for them or even invited 
them in with the prospect of self benefit or gratification. We need a new 
collaborative approach, and we can not afford to be blinded by narrow 
nationalism in a strugle of such urgency. For the Revolution that Haiti 
needs, we need revolutionary thinking. My post was really intended to be a 
call for action to those that feel they have the talent, the enthusiasm, the 
resources to engage in such a struggle or even take the ideas and give them 
shape. If you disagree that "foreigners" could participate, but still agree 
with the premises, then some common grounds can be found, I don't think I 
have made allusion to giving in to anything or to "compromise" as you put it.