April 24, 2019
What has happened to the Haiti I discovered under the bloody dictatorship of Jean Claude Duvalier? During those visits, I could travel the nation, unescorted, unafraid, unbothered and really unaware of any Army/Police presence, day or night.
And I did!
In 1980, I wandered the streets of Cité Simone – now called Cite Soleir – by myself, unarmed, unaccompan ied and – most importantly – unharmed.. Today, April 25, 2019, should I wish to venture here, I would have to make careful contacts, and preparations, to ensure my safety….. even then no guarantee!
Now, the thought of even driving downtown requires the planning normally associated with a military maneuver. Timing, traffic, threat levels, rumors, fuel availability, sometimes armed security personnel.
The idea of driving to St. Marc or Jacmel is avoided since one must pass through a number of armed zones, almost like travelling from one nation to another. On occasion, the journey is smooth, without problems. At other times one is faced with thrown rocks, burning tires, gunfire, scattered bodies and mobs of angry people. The odd burning vehicle, or truckload of dumped gravel might block things entirely.
I can remember on journey to Titanyen when we took Route 9 only to find a half dozen burning cars, burning tires and a rock-throwing mob blocking our path through Cite Soleir. There was sporadic gunfire, 9mm and 12 gauge. Our chauffer quickly reversed and headed for an alternate route past Ministry of Agriculture, in Damien. There the road was completely blocked with 2 truckloads of strategically dumped gravel, and a rock throwing crowd. A body leaked a trickle of blood across the dusty surface.
Had I been driving, we would still be stuck on Route 9, but the driver quickly exited to our right and drove back to Petionville, via side streets, to plan for another day.
Another day never came.
It is just too dangerous to travel anywhere. Most of my life has been spent in what I considered to be REALLY DANGEROUS PLACES but now I watch as the violence and danger exceeds even those Hell Holes.
A tourist holiday in Afghanistan would be easier to promote than one in today’s Haiti!
Up until recently, the concept of danger to foreigners, any foreigners was unthinkable.
This is no longer the case. They seem to be the chosen targets, to create the most chaos.
Recently, (February 16, 2019) guests from Quebec, at the DECAMERON Hotel tourist facility, had to be evacuated by helicopter, at their own expense, when they needed to catch a flight. Really super for tourist promotion.
Just consider the recent activities:
Last night members of a gang went out to shoot a PNH – police officer. Not a specific one, any PNH guy would do since the gangs are just working to create chaos. And they couldn’t find a PNH officer so they shot and killed 5 innocent civilians, including one woman. Now 5 poor families must find some way to bury their dead and live without the few gourdes these five generated to save their loved ones.
News reports tell of more than 20 people killed since nightfall yesterday April 24.
Yesterday we heard that gang leader Jimmy Charzier, with a nickname “Barbecue,” had been shot on Delmas 2, Aviation Zone, near the old military airport. Unfortunately, this wasn’t true. He got the name Barbecue a week ago when he, and his associates, Necklaced a guy and he ate part of the roasted body for video cameras!
And then there was the recent gang attack on the PNH Commissariate at Petite Riviere, in the Savien locality, with local guys supported by the new Chief of Haiti, Arnel Joseph, the gang leader supposedly pursued by the government, but easily contacted by phone, or in person.
This same Savien locality saw gang members intercept a bus-load of MISSIONARIES – RAPING ALL OF THE LADIES!!!
And God cried!
This good PR news follows closely upon the recent attack on a team of missionaries, 4 hours after they arrived in Haiti, on a mission to deliver $20,000 in computer equipment to a school they support. One of the gang targeted, and I say targeted Doctor Doug Burbella, striking him with 3 bullets that should have killed him. He was lucky and survived. He may remain paralysed.
And recently, in the Savien district, the same area Arnel Joseph’s gangs attacked the PNH compound, we have reports of other kidnappings and deaths. Most unsettling is the disappearance of 8 children who could have been taken by gang-members involved in the sale of human organs.
The ongoing fragmentation of any sort of law-and-order has left the door open to many crimes, but the sale of human organs in an unbelievable crime, unless you understand the total lack of any sort of conscience that now permeates our once proud society. There are countless stories of Haitian prostitutes being lured across the Dominican border, and later discovery of their bodies, minus such things as kidney, hearts, and eyes.
Someone murdered to obtain the organs.
Another criminal has purchased the organs.
8 children are missing in this “organ gathering area” – now controlled by gangs, does not generate much optimism for their survival.
Yesterday saw gangs burn another market that supported many, many, many poor families who sold small items there for survival.
And those, who watch TV, or read the local paper, see our President, Minister of Tourism, promoting tourism and investment in Haiti. This is bizarre. It is like someone trying to sell a condo in a building experiencing a “5 alarm fire!”
The control, or lack of control of our Haiti, rests in the hands of two people, President Jovenel Moise and ex-President Michel Martelly.
Other factors, in the persons of Chief Gedeon, ex-Prime Minister Jean Henry Ceant and President Aristide stand in the shadowy perimeters of this accelerating disaster.
WE HEAR A LOT OF BULL SHIT ABOUT DIALOGUE/DIALOG (SPELLED DIFFERENTLY BUT THE SAME MEANING) – DELAY!!!
THERE IS NO TIME FOR FURTHER DELAY.
IMPUNITY CAN NO LONGER REPLACE THE WORD “DEMOCRACY.”
IF PRESIDENT TRUMP FINALLY GETS THE MESSAGE, HE WILL HAVE ONE OF HIS “KNEE JERK REACTIONS” AND REMOVE THIS IRRITATION WITH A COUPLE OF THOUSAND MARINES.
JUST BECAUSE THE AMERICANS HAVEN’T REACTED BEFORE IS NOT BECAUSE THEY ARE UNAWARE OF WHO-DID-WHAT-AND-TO-WHOM. WHEN IT SERVES THEIR PURPOSE, THEY OVERLOOK ANYTHING, INCLUDING MURDER. BUT WHEN IT SERVES THEIR PURPOSE THEY MIGHT MAKE A CAPITAL OFFENCE FROM A PARKING TICKET.
TRUMP HAS BEEN URGED TO SEND A BOEING WITH US MARSHALLS TO COLLECT A COUPLE OF HUNDRED DEA TARGETS.
SO FAR HE HAS RESISTED.
TRUMP CAN GO FROM THIS…..
TO THIS, WITH THE FLICK OF HIS “TWITTER FINGER.”
WHICH COULD RESULT IN THIS.
I THINK THE ODDS HAVE BEEN RUN AS FAR AS COMMON SENSE WOULD ALLOW. TIME FOR OUR LEADERS TO THINK SELFISHLY… AND CONSIDER THEIR VERY SURVIVAL. IF THEY ACT – ONLY ON THIS BASIS – THERE IS SOME HOPE FOR THE NATION’S SURVIVAL…. FOR THEIR SURVIVAL, AND THAT OF HAITI, DEPEND UPON EACH OTHER.
EVEN AS YOU READ THIS, COUNTLESS HAITIANS, WITH MONEY AND VISAS, ARE DEPARTING FOR THE STATES, CANADA, AND ELSEWHERE, TO AVOID THE COMING EXPLOSION.