April 29, 2019
Most people are familiar with the childrens’ story, “Jack and the Beanstalk,” in which Jack’s mother sends him off to sell the family cow, their only possession.
Jack returns with a handful of beans.
His mother is angry and shocked. She sent him to make the best deal possible and he swapped their only possession, their cow, for a few dozen beans.
She sends Jack to bed without supper.
She throws the beans out of the window.
In the morning, Jack looks out his window to discover his beans have magically sprouted, creating a massive vine that reaches towards the clouds. Jack climbs, and climbs… arriving at a place where he discovers a wondrous palace inhabited by a Giant who possesses “The Goose who lays the Golden Eggs.”
Jack grabs the goose and runs for the vine. The goose squawks, drawing the Giant’s attention. An angry Giant pursues them. Upon reaching the ground, Jack hacks through the vine and the giant falls to his death.
Jack, the Goose, and his mother live happily ever after, as is the usual ending for neat fairy tales.
President Moise’s trip to Mar a Lago, for the “Meeting of Presidents,” has its parallel in the Beanstalk Story.
By backing Taiwan and opposing Venezuela, without getting substantial, quantitative commitments from Trump, President Moise sold our cow for a handful of beans.
American Airlines carried our President “up the beanstalk to Mar a Lago,” where the “Giant Trump” lurked. The “Golden Goose” was/is America’s Treasury to which a billion here, or there, means little. Some suggest American Senator Marco Rubio came to Haiti in order to assist in preparing a WISH LIST that would coincide with what Republicans knew President Trump would accept.
Trump wanted to make a deal, without “losing face.” Then he would appear as the magnanimous President, helping his neighbor.
Unfortunately, President Moise’s “Inner Circle” thought Rubio was a flake and ignored his suggestions, many of which were probably “pre-approved” by Trump and his own inner circle.
It isn’t President Moise’s fault that he didn’t come home with some very good deals, such a fuel to replace that lost when we dumped Veneuela.
Politics is the concept of “Quid pro Quo,” where you give something in return for something else of at least equal value.
But, like a poker player, you must know what cards you hold in your hand, balanced against those in your opponent’s. President Moise held a Royal Flush but played as though he only held a Pair of Deuces.
The fault lies in the fact that President Moise’s “Inner Circle” of advisors did not prepare our President for the meeting. Sadly, they do not have the individual, or combined ability to do this.
0 + 0 + 0 = 0 no matter how you calculate.
In dealing with American Politicians, everything depends upon PREPARATION!!
You do not just fly in and “ad Lib” the meeting.
President Trump’s time is infinitely limited, carefully disbursed in “minutes,” not hours. I was once given 45 seconds at the top of Air Force One’s passenger ramp, during 2000 when George Bush was in Miami. This extended to 15 minutes, but the original favor saw less than one minute programmed.
After all, Trump is a “Deal Maker” and loves the PR generated by a good deal on his part. And the way things were going for Trump in Russia, China and North Korea President Moise could get almost anything he wanted.
One of the realities in politics is to never ask for something you already know won’t work.
Another reality is – “IF YOU DON’T ASK, YOU WILL NOT RECEIVE ANYTHING OTHER THAN A PHOTO-OP, AUTOGRAPHED PHOTO AND FREE MEALS/ACCOMMODATION.”
Unfortunately, our President, because of bad advice, perhaps no advice at all, from inexperienced, self-centered advisors, did not travel with a well thought-out “Wish List” which could have/should have included, among other things;
PRESSURE ON TRUMP & TAIWAN FOR SUBSTANTIAL FUNDING, NOT LONG-TERM LOANS, for Haiti’s continued recognition of Taiwan. We are in the big league and this is worth a ton of money, for totally funded projects, such as massive solar energy projects to avoid the problems of BLACKOUT!
There is reason to believe Trump would have supplied the actual funds for Taiwan’s projects.
PRESIDENT MOISE COULD HAVE NEGOTIATED FOR FUEL, to replace that lost by our betrayal of Venezuela, from American reserves. Back-channel information had already mentioned this possibility before President Moise’s trip.
PRESIDENT MOISE COULD HAVE NEGOTIATED FOR THE 58,000 HAITIANS THREATENED WITH DEPORTATION. This would have been a “no-brainer” since Trump is already leaning that way, and both Trump and Moise could have benefitted from good PR. My advice, when Trump planned to Deport TPS people was to challenge each personal deportation action in court. At the moment the backlog is something like 15 years, meaning those involved would die of old age before their cases were ever dealt with.
That is the reality.
THERE WERE NUMEROUS OTHER ELEMENTS THAT COULD HAVE, SHOULD HAVE BEEN INCLUDED LIKE DISCOUNTED AMERICAN RICE – EXCEPT THIS WOULD UPSET HAITIAN MONOPOLY HOLDERS.
“The squeaky wheel gets the grease,” is not an empty saying. The one who speaks out, makes a noise, gets the attention, and follow-up action.
If the “beans” President Moise brought back from his Mar a Largo meeting, with the “Giant Trump” were thrown out the window, onto Haiti’s decimated soil, they will simply sit there, getting hot beneath our tropical sun. They are not magical beans that will produce a heavenly vine, leading to the “Goose who lays Golden Eggs.”
They are just small, simple pebbles that will sit there, getting hot with each passing sun, reminding me of Aristides’s oft-used proverb about rocks in the sun..
“Roch nan dlo pa konnen mize roch nan soley”
Haiti is lucky in that it continues to get SECOND CHANCES while others get none. Unfortunately, our ongoing series of SECOND CHANCES are continually squandered.
The President’s staff should have a ready-made “Wish List” for all occasions. This will allow our President to select those items that apply to his specific situation, at the time, and he will look good.
This is just a specialized set of “Talking Points.”
The President is our President.
He isn’t expected to be an expert in all subjects known to Mankind!
He is our conduit to the World and his advisors must give him the weapons he requires.