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9711: These power hungry individuals must leave! By Smarck MICHEL (fwd)

From: Stanley Lucas <slucas@iri.org>

These power hungry individuals must leave!
By Smarck MICHEL That's enough!

We have come full circle. We have made a complete return to where we started. Wrenched by thousands from Africa, thrown naked like animals into the bottom of the ships, creatures without soul or dignity in the eyes of those savages who were the slave traders, here we are, in 2001, three centuries later, naked like animals, creatures without soul or dignity in the eyes of those savages who are our jailers, on the cemented yard of the National Penitentiary of Haiti.
However, 198 years went by since we declared our Independence, and 11 years since "Lavalas" took power with the slogan "All people are people." 
The picture published in the front page of the Nouvelliste on Friday, November 16, 2001 will remain in the mind of everyone, and particularly those persons who lived during several days, months and years naked like animals, creatures without soul or dignity in the eyes of those savages who were there jailers on the concrete floor of the cells of Fort-Dimanche.
It is unfortunate that the picture was published in the front page without a caption, without an outraged editorial, without a thought for the dignity of those human beings and the humiliation caused to them by such a display, without a word for the fathers, mothers and children of those individuals lying on the concrete yard of the National Penitentiary and embarrassingly trying to hide their nudity under the laughing eyes of a young reporter caught by the camera. That laughter was indeed a nervous one, but it reveals the extent of the damage caused in our minds by the process of dehumanization, and by the lack of respect for others and for ourselves.
That image would have been chocking, even if the prisoners had been convicted of a crime. It is known, however, that most of them were in preventive detention.
Are we, as Haitians, condemned to transmit from generation to generation such a low level of self-esteem? Are we condemned to produce, from generation to generation, that kind of slave drivers, only interested in their selfish interests, that kind of governments who succeed one another in power, where they arrive poor and leave rich while the Nation is becoming poorer?
If the symbol evoked by that image in the front page of the newspaper did not provoke general condemnation, it would then be true that people only get the government that they deserve, and that the mediocrity, greed, demagoguery and meanness of our own only represent the unbearable image of ourselves.
Enough of the downfall of the values of Humanity!
Enough of the attempts to corrupt the youth!
Enough of the murders!
Enough of the contempt for others and ourselves!
Can we not come out of that nightmare and wake up to a new life? The problems are many, and the obstacles enormous, but if we are to overcome, the collective will must be heard.
Our efforts must spring from self-respect and respect for others. Those who lead the community must be motivated by the duty to serve, and not by their hunger for power.
When the slogan "Makouts are Out" was the order of the day, we thought that it meant "Makout" mentality and "Makout" behavior. With that image just published, we understand now that it only meant the promotion of a new class of slave drivers to perpetuate Fort-Dimanche.
It is still time to stop the mess. Those who are only driven by their hunger for power must leave, so that the Nation can find a chance to recover its betrayed Dignity.

 Le Nouvelliste, November 19, 2001