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a190: Does our culture only breed negativity? (fwd)

From: IRSCP@aol.com

2001 has been quite a year for Haiti. After a presidential election in November 2000, a new president was sworn in. 

Those who are reluctant to accept not only the legitimacy, but also the presence of the new president at the National Palace for the next 5 years, began by assessing that no more than 5 percent of Haitians went to the voting booth and elected the new president. Others of the same group, more militant, decided that they would have their own president. They thus selected Gérard Gourgue as their president. Gourgue is an otherwise honorable man who is now known as the president of Pont Morin, in reference to the location  of the OPL political organization's headquarters.

In July 2001, the hard core reluctant attacked the National Police Headquarter in Pétion Ville. Law and Order officials died. The reluctant crowd called it a staged coup by the government.

In December 2001, the hard core reluctant once again attacked the National Palace, trying to either overthrow the government, or simply kill the president. Once again, the reluctant crowd called it a staged coup by the government.

It is no wonder that Haiti has so many problems. How can a country move forward when its sons and daughters disrespect, mistrust, and dismiss the very authorities that are in charge of its future?

Granted, Haiti has many, many problems. Nonetheless, a quick assessment of the reality should have been more encouraging. Here are some facts that are encouraging, whether we agree with them or not.

1-Despite the recent difficulties that members of the press have encountered in assuming their duties, Haiti enjoys more freedom of the press than it has during my still young life.
2-The presidency is no longer and hopefully will never be again, a lifetime event. It is now an elective  function that lasts no more than 5 years.
3-There are more opposition political parties and politicians in Haiti now, than there has been during my still young life.
4-There are more schools and school children in Haiti now, than there have ever been in the country's history.
5-There is an extremely difficult, but still viable democratic process in Haiti now.
6-There are now, more independent organizations functionning freely in Haiti, than ever in the country's history.

Please do not get me wrong. The problems are still numerous. From the attack and horrible wounds with machetes by Convergence supporters of a Lavalas supporter in Petit-Goâve, to the revenge by killing with machetes wounds by Lavalas supporters, of  the young 31 years old journalist in Petit-Goâve, Haiti still has a long way to go. Nevertheless, we must admit that we have made some strides. Why can't we admit it?

>From the early 1960's, until 1986, it was an accepted fact that most Haitian politicians were corrupt, crooks, and did not care about the common good. Now, we all are rightfully so, demanding transparency from our government. We are demanding that they care about the common good. Accountability is becoming, although slowly, a requirement for good governance. Why then can't we pride ourselves to being on the right path?

If we can focus on the problems, and learn to suggest and bring solutions to those problems, if we can demand better administration and more transparency from our government, won't we be further ahead say 10 years from now? Or do we prefer jumping around and only saying that things are much worse when the facts clearly suggest otherwise?

How far down the drain do we have to go to, before we realize that we can refocus our energy on what is important, and build upon what we have already constructed, rather than only crying out "bloody murder", when the facts suggest otherwise?

Is negativity, part of our mental construct? If so, how can we begin resolving that problem let's say, in 2002?

January 1, 1804-January 1, 2002---198 years of independence. 

Happy Birthday Haiti.

Hyppolite Pierre