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9393: Re: 9368: Re: 9351: Dorce to FAedouard (fwd)

From: Pierre Jean <pierrejean01@yahoo.com>

Kathy Droce wrote: 
> From: LAKAT47@aol.com
> Does anyone else get the irony of the above
> paragraph?  Does the poster 
> really believe we know how our tax dollars are
> spent?  Does the average 
> taxpayer bother to even try to find out?  

The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), while
imperfect, has done wonders for citizens of the United
States. As for us, in Haiti, it may be QUITE dangerous
to even think of getting what should be public
information. Witness the charade regarding the
purchase of the Cherestal house.

> What bothers me about the noble sounding
> transparency issue with regard to 
> the Lavalas government, is that it is so one sided. 

What's so one-sided about it? Lavalas MADE THAT
PROMISE! In fact, it was part of the Lavalas election
campaign slogan. This was one of the pillars of the
movement back in 1991. So do we have the right to ask
about transparency, or don't we, Ms. Dorce?

> I have never heard this 
> argument against any other government or junta in
> Haiti before this.  

Transparency was not expected for the simple reason
that the previous governments or junta made it clear
through their words or deeds that it would not be part
of their policy. Lavalas, to its credit, made the
promise of transparency. Now they must be held to it.

Why is 
> Aristide hobbled by all these accusations and
> allegations of impropriety and 
> the activities of the IRI and USAID are accepted
> without question.   We do 
> not have transparency in this country; 

The *Goverment of Haiti* is hobbled by allegations of
impropriety, not Aristide. Or are Aristide and the GOH
one and the same to you? Most posts on the subject of
transparency have referred to a political party or the
government, not to one man. Why the leap directly to
Aristide? Is he the only one who represents the

Also, and with all due respect, there is at least
*some* transparency in the United States. But the fact
of the matter is, I am a Haitian citizen, not an
American. So no matter what the US government does,
there is very little I can do about that. However, I
would have loved to have even 1% of the access to
public records that Americans have under the FOIA and
similar statutes.

What I am saying, and I suspect many Haitians on this
list will agree with me, is that we in Haiti would
like better accountability. That is all we are asking,
especially since the political party in power PROMISED
it in the first place. Most people had settled for
relatively low expectations of change after 1986, so
when we were constantly bombarded with messages of
change and transparency in 1990-1991, we took these
messages to heart. Unfortunately, it did not happen
... and please do not tell me that it is a case of IRI
or USAID interfering. 

USAID's actions were discreted a long time ago, at
least in my eyes, so that organization does not even
deserve to be mentioned in this discussion. As for
your theory that IRI and USAID are taken at face
value, I completely disagree. However, their programs
and actions can be tracked by American citizens
through congressional records. It is up to YOU as an
American to make your feelings known to you government
about their actions in Haiti. If enough of you ring
the alarm, I am willing to bet that someone in
Washington will listen.

> I don't think anyone, even conspiracy theorists,
> think USAID is out to 
> "destroy" Haiti.  But that is what they are
> doing......in their ineptitude.  
> They are representing US interests (need I say "big
> business"???).  They do 
> not represent the Haitian peoples interests or even
> the American peoples 
> interests.  It's about money.......what can you do
> for ME?  There is no 
> altruism in foreign aid.....let's please agree on
> that.  

I absolutely agree, which is why I stated in my
previous post (did you read it carefully) that I did
not care much about what the detractors of Haiti did,
since there is very little influence we have over

> And explain to me why Aristide is so heinous and the
> litany of dictators and 
> strong men the US has supported were so attractive
> and worthy of our help??

This an *American* foreign policy issue. Maybe you
would care to answer that one. 
> Honestly, I don't get it.  And why the righteous
> outcry over Aristide and not 
> others before him.....not even the coup leaders got
> press this bad.  

That last statement is quite an exaggeration. The
Economist's magazine "MRE" label about the Haitian
"elite" (but also about the coup leaders) sums up the
feelings of most Haitians. However, these coup leaders
are now part of our PAST. What we are looking for is a
way to build a better FUTURE ... and it isn't
happening right now.

We knew exactly what the previous governments were
about, so we did not expect much from them. But many
of us put SO MUCH HOPE in Lavalas. Between the
promises of Lavalas and the actual achievements, there
is quite a gap, some of which can be explained because
of external interference ... but certainly not all.
And therein lies the rub. 
> I am not proud to be an American.......especially
> when faced with our 
> treatment of Third World countries.........but, I'm
> damn LUCKY to be an 
> American.  So are we all.

Are you implying that all people on the Corbett list
are Americans? Well, I am Haitian, not American. So I
guess I am not part of the lucky crowd.

> Shall we please remember that we are part of a
> larger community and we have 
> social and moral responsibilities outside of
> ourselves?  Shall we not hold 
> our government accountable to uphold the values our
> flag is supposed to 
> represent?  Do we have to change the Stars and
> Stripes to Dollar Signs on a 
> field of red?  Haiti has been grievously harmed by
> this country.  She 
> deserves better, as do her people.

Wow! As an American, you are lecturing me
(Haitian-born and bred)and a few others because we
have the nerve to criticize our government about its
failure to fulfill part of its election campaign
promises. Then you go on to criticize your own
government in the same post. What's good for the goose
is not good for the gander, I guess.

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