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9641: Re: 18 November 2003 - Antoine responds to Harper (no flame) (fwd)

From: GUY S ANTOINE <guyantoine@windowsonhaiti.com>

Lawrence A. Harper Sr. said in his response to my questions:
> Haiti must repay the debt because as with all business
> people are trying to make money.  That is how things
> are done in the real world.

Actually, Lawrence, it's a little more complicated than that.
When it comes to U.S. Foreign aid to Haiti, it has a lot more
to do with control over Haiti than just the U.S. trying to make
money.  We are not talking about your small business loans.
> To begin with; the people who were to benefit from the
> money probably never received the money.  My guess,
> without benefit of direct knowledge, is that the money
> went to govenment officials who paid themselves, 
> relatives, friends and assorted govenment pals.  As
> such since it was the rich who received it, then the
> rich should repay it.  The every person in Haiti has
> no money and therfore is not expected to re pay the
> lan

Well said, but I wonder how you plan to have the rich who
received the loans actually repay them... and that the poor
will not.  Do you actually think that's the way it works?

> Haiti whines a lot and never does anything to change the 
> core of its probelms..

Of course... Haiti is a whiner, another easy label for our good
friends who wish to save us from ourselves, on the next plane
to Haiti.  I guess you probably need to bring plenty of psychologists
with you to examine just what is wrong with poor Haitians' minds.

However, let me just add this: My questions were not meant to
be considered as an editorial, rather they were posed as food
for thought to elicit a good discussion of this complex issue of
foreign aid.  But so many people have already misinterpreted
my position, that I am forced to come up with this set of positions
before I have the chance to elaborate on them:

1)  YES, I am in favor of the International Community forgiving
Haiti's debt, unless they find a better way to make us pay for it
other than strangulation.  It's the right thing to do.

2) NO, I don't think Haiti should pay interest on loans she has 
not received.  That is abysmally immoral.

3) NO, I don't think Haiti needs more foreign aid.  We should
wean ourselves from this addiction.  We seriously need to
explore ALL ALTERNATIVES to our continued dependence
on foreign aid, which in fact encourages corruption and creates
even more dependence.  

If you thought I was asking for more foreign aid, you are simply
dead wrong.  Haiti needs a break, and that includes a break from
receiving foreign aid as well (excluding direct investments which 
are not based on political shenanigans but on well-formed projects
based on the actual needs of the overall population, starting from 
the bottom up).  We MUST walk away from our regular sources
of poisoning.

I welcome your critique, but please do not continue to make wild
assumptions about what every Haitian thinks whenever he raises
an issue.

Guy S. Antoine
Windows on Haiti