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8420: State of constant dread? Gimme a break (fwd)

From: Lance Durban <lpdurban@yahoo.com>

<< Everytime I think about going to Haiti in the 80s and being
so safe no matter what time of the day or night, I fight the
temptation to appreciate those days of Duvalier repression.  >>

Kathy Grey responds...
   It WASN'T SAFE THEN!  It was safe for the elite and for
   foreigners, the average Haitian lived in a state of 
   constant dread!  

Well, I don't know when Kathy first got to Haiti, but during the
late '70's early 80's, I was working on a low cost housing
project in a Port-au-Prince slum, and my distinct recollection
was that most average Haitians were NOT living 'in a state of
constant dread' under Duvalier-fils.  I don't mean to say that
there was no abuse, and granted the legal system provided
virtually no means for redress if there was, but most people
understood that if you stayed out of politics you really had
very little to worry about.  

On the positive side, there was virtually no crime at all in
those days, and what we thought was shocking poverty back then
turns out to have only gotten worse since.  No, I certainly am
not calling for a return to the good old days of Baby Doc, but
honesty requires one to admit that compared with today, personal
security matters were simply not an issue back in those days.

L. Durban


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