Today, Arcahaie, a small town between Port-au-Prince and St Marc hosted a massive conference coordinated by AIMER HAITI. It celebrated the past and looked to the future.
Haiti was a French colony until the world’s only successful slave revolt tore control from the hands of France
In 1803 Jean-Jacques Dessalines, father of Haiti, held a conference in Arcahaie to mend differences between various parts of Haiti’s society. In a symbolic gesture, Dessalines took France’s Tricolor and tore the white from it, creating a new flag for a new nation, the world’s first black republic. The red and blue were symbols of a unity between Haiti’s blacks and mulattos against the French.
In 1804 Haiti declared its independence.
Now AIMER HAITI calls the various segments of Haitian society together in an effort to rebuild a shattered nation. Created as a non-political movement last year, its leaders hear a Nation’s cry for help and leadership. More than 15,000 filled the center of Arcahaie to overflowing as people from all corners of Haiti flowed together in support of AIMER HAITI’s goals.
Jean-Henry Ceant spoke to the gathered patriots, urging them to come together in an effort to save the nation. Ceant is a founder of AIMER HAITI and has just been accepted as a presidential candidate. A well known notaire, businessman, community leader and philanthropist, Ceant makes an ideal candidate for Haiti’s presidency, a man with popularity throughout all levels of the diverse Haitian society.
He faces several dozen other candidates, with only a few credible challenges. Leslie Voltaire and Jude Celestin are mentioned as front runners, along with Mirlande Manigat.
Recent media reports tie Voltaire and Celestin to a variety of criminal acts over the past months, making their acceptance by the international community a questionable factor, should they win the election.
Celestin was a key player in a move that saw a false passport obtained for the gang-leader Amaral Duclona, killer of French Consul Mourra and Haitian businessman Moreno. Duclona stayed at President Preval’s sister’s house the night before he fled to the Dominican Republic. Celestin now fills Moreno’s position as head of Haiti’s reconstruction. Duclona was extradited to France where he now testifies to Celistin and Preval’s involvement in a number of killings.
Voltaire, while a member of a previous government, was in charge of funds slated for poor children’s scholarships. He, and his cousin, Leslie Delatour (late husband of Preval’s present wife and Celestin’s one-time mistress) stole the funds.
Madame Manigat is the wife of ex-President Manigat. She is not seen as a leading contender for the presidency.
The list is filled out with many others who are not seen as real candidates.
However, there is still some doubt that elections will be held in November, as planned. President Preval is still making efforts to derail the process and may be successful in this.