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747:re: Chamberlain replies to Pina -- Hyppolite Pierre adds

From: Hyppolite Pierre <hpierre@irsp.org>

We are dealing here with a very serious disease. It is a kind of gangrene that is eating out the heart of the government. Denying it and accusing others including the international community, especially the United States, will only make matters worse.

You have a rice scandal, a "taule" (ceiling cover) scandal, a law and regulations problem, a sanitary problem, and administrative problem, news of water being diverted from the Artibonite River to generate electricity, to the detriment of farmers in the region. None of these issues  is being addressed candidly and truthfully. No one in Parliament or at the Executive level seems to be acting upon them, or even discussing them. Let's hope they do so privately.

If we don't have the courage to address these issues, who will? Denying them and accusing others of causing those problems (international conspiracy) will not cause those problems to go away. If anything, things will get worse. Corruption will become even more rampant, and a beautiful 2004 will be nothing but a dream of ours. The majority, who are now behaving like doves, will be the same ones who will demonstrate massively on the streets against the government in not more than 2 years. Believe it, or not.

As the saying goes, there is no such thing as a free lunch. Lavalas has been assigned a job, and we have to do it.

Aristide has only returned to power a year ago. He technically still has 4 more years to go. He now has an opportunity to still remake himself and his leadership style with a new government: his prime minister was indeed forced to resign. Will he look for someone in Haiti, with the proper skills and character to do the job? Will he take a "hands-off" approach, so that person can do his or her job? If he doesn't and worse, continues on with letting the hawks of the party control his thinking, his base of power may tragically be decimated.

Many in his inner circle may be telling him that everything is fine. In the meantime, in the good ol' Haitian tradition of politics, they may be preparing their own exit by benefiing unscrupulously and unethically from the State's resources.

I know that many of us, partisans of this regime, are still fighting for the 550 million dollars. My questions remain, how do we plan on spending it? Do we have the administrative backbone to skillfully use that money in the interest of the country? Are there any accounting firms, aside from the CSCCA, that can and will honestly and rigidly control the flow of those dollars, so we know where that money goes?

I hope these are my last words on this issue. I will try to keep my hands away from the keyboard so as not to write anymore on these painful issues.

Hyppolite Pierre