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7463: Looking for logic in Haiti?
Looking for logic in Haiti?
This has been a sad sad week in Haiti. There are those who would like to
simplify facts by giving them a simple context. There are others who want to
accuse one or another of the protagonists. No matter who you talk to, the
people who are living in Haiti are feeling great sadness and puzzlement. One
group blames another but in reality all can be summarized to one event: the
mess of the May 21 elections.
The issue of the parallel government was a symbolic act to remind people that
the elections were not well-done. There was great anger in the heart of
those who had invested time at the registration office to obtain their voting
cards, and voted proudly. People really wanted to vote. They trusted the
electoral process until the evening of May 21st. They were wounded when they
saw the ballots on the street, especially when some of the unknown candidates
won. But their anger was subdued until last week. The violence of the last
few days has done one thing: it has given legitimacy to the "parallel
government". A recent poll published in the Nouvelliste reported that the
majority of Haitians thought the parallel government was "ridiculous" or
"symbolic".The Gourge "government" was not a substantial threat to the
Aristide government. It was a reminder that something was wrong with the
The same reason why Aristide had to be returned to Haiti is the same reason
why the convergence people did not give up. They believed that the
democratic process must be properly established. Those who wish to compare
the May 21 election to the Gore/Bush election may do that. Gore used all
the legal channels provided by a mature constitution to contest the election.
He lost, but those channels were available to him. In Haiti those channels
were not available and a group of politicians decided to act symbolically
just like the black caucus continued to symbollically challenge the election
of Bush, and walked out during the final steps of the electoral process in
Those who live in Haiti know that many were willing to give up this idea of
democratic process in the name of peace. People are tired of "dezod". They
want to work, send their children to school, feel safe, earn a living.
People accepted that Aristide would probably have won the presidential
election whether or not it was well organized. Many were willing to give in
to those deputes and senateurs, whether they were legitimate or not. What
difference would they make? What does government ever do for Haitians besi
des cause trouble? L’Etat only exists to collect taxes and give
money/jobs/cars to some selected few.
Who suffered the most during the last few days of trouble?
-the people who have the ressources to store food and water in their house or
the people who go out every day to gather some food and water?
-the supermarkets with independent power source and security guards or the
sidewalk merchants who had their goods stolen, trampled, or go to waste at
the height of the "demonstrations"
-those who get a daily pay by the "dyob" or those who get a monthly salary?
Why do the young people who were killed or wounded remain nameless? One was
killed in Petion-Ville. He is identified in conversations as: the young
crazy man with rasta hair who hangs out with his equally crazy twin brother
in the area across the street from Food-Max Supermarket, on the one-way
street thay goes uphill. He is said to often rattle anti-Lavalas words and
he was stoned to death. Why?
Where is the possibility of a good ending to this crisis? Thursday and
Friday are calm in the greater Port-au-Prince area. But there are threats
made by some elected congressmen about next Monday: the convergence people
must be arrested in 24 hours or else…. Why? Why is the Convergence group
such a threat?
No one knows what next week will bring. Or the next year. or Are we going
to celebrate our 200th year of independence in this mess? That's very sad.