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#3368: rambling from Richard Morse in a deteriorating situation in Haiti

From: oloffsonram <oloffsonram@globelsud.net>

I was thinking about the woman whose American son is being harrassed in 
Haiti. Did you mention at one point that he was part of a religious 
organization? Maybe he's paying for what some of his predesesors did. 
Does he where the white short sleeve shirt and the black badge. Perhaps 
that might have something to do with the problem. Maybe he's not being 
seen as an individual, but as part of an organization.
Things, however, do seem to be deteriorating in the "Pearl of the 
Antillies". Instead of the usual spot roadblocks, the police are now 
randomly searching pedestrians, frisking people with baggy shirts and 
checking handbags throughout Port-au-Prince. I understand the logic, 
but I guess there isn't an ACLU down here.The tension is mounting. 
There is daily talk of different people who have been assasinated. One 
man shot his four young children, his wife and them himself. The gossip 
is that he had financial problems. Reading the press, the boat people 
phenomenon has once again started up. Some are captured, some are 
drowned. The ones who go through undetected slip into Miami and try and 
start a new life. Its worth it. For those of you who aren't up on the 
lingo, "boatpeople" are Haitian and dark and the "rafters" are usually 
Cuban and light-skinned.
I thought all along that the priorities of the concerned governments in 
Haiti should have been economic but I was told that we couldn't get the 
economy in shape until a political and judicial infrastructure was in 
place. Well now that we have some evidence that politics and justice in 
Haiti are going down the tubes, whats the next step? The necessary 
infrastructure to put a brake on this 
social/economic/political/environmental freefall will have to be so 
enourmous, I'm wondering whose going to want to take that risk? Who can 
be trusted to hold up their end of a bargain? The next Haiti chapter is 
probably going to get very machiavellan. Not so much, "what do you 
think?" but more like "here's the reality".
I spent Easter weekend at a fairly secluded beach on the southern 
Haitian coast and eventually a small crowd gathered around, staring, 
wondering if it was really RAM. I broke the silence and we started 
chatting a bit. Eventually a few of them starting telling me their boat 
stories. One had been to Guantanamo and a couple of others had actually 
seen the Miami shoreline before being captured and repatriated. They 
were just waiting for their next chance. No regrets. One of them said 
something fairly interesting. They had learned on the radio how to say 
they were "looking for work" in English (No conspiracy theories 
please). I told them that that sentence immediately classified them as 
economic refugees, which is probably why they were sent back. They 
silently looked at me in response.

Richard Morse