Mar 3, 2018
President Moise has promised a best effort to solve the Nation’s problems, accumulated without solution – since Duvalier’s 1986 departure. No matter how talented President Moise might be, the challenge is daunting, if not impossible in the time available to him.
All he can do is what he can do!
President Moise has inherited an entrenched, extremely complex mess, with many recent time-bombs left behind by Privert’s illegal one year kidnap of our Presidency. Thousands of new civil servants were added, debts accumulated, bills unpaid, fortunes stolen, multiplying the already overwhelming challenges extant.
There are no overnight solutions, for Haiti’s problems. To expect an instant cure is a naive. To criticize President Moise’s efforts, without a well-founded understanding of the elements in play, is non productive.
Instant gratification is a long-standing concept with the American government. In 1985 -86 this was the philosophy of Reagan’s team, without consideration of the long-term result.
This will be the first of a short series that follows Haiti’s path from the Security and Economic expansion of the Duvalier period to our present, disastrous, near Failed State situation.
Since over 54% of Haiti’s present voters are under the age of 27, 1986 is ancient history, a history still recalled warmly by the voters’ parents and grandparents. It seems to have been some sort of Golden Age, a myth spoken of around candle-lit tables after dark. Listening to their parents and grandparent’s accounts, it could not have been anything like the descriptions in modern media reports of that era.
32 wasted years ago, bridged by a generation, and more, of Aristide/Lavalas chaos, violence and instability. One would think we have had enough, but the UN seems to think we need more as Susan D. Page, of the United States, Special Representative, Head of the UN Mission for Justice Support in Haiti (MINUJUSTH) speaks with a truly Aristide/Lavalas accent. She supports such people as Andre Michel, hopefully without understanding his motivation.
If she “does understand” Andre Michel’s motivation, and still makes her remarks, she should be asked to leave.
It would seem that many, including Page, still refer to the long-discredited dossiers containing words like “landslide victory,” …. “first democratically elected president,” … “charismatic leader,”… when referring to the Aristide presidency. There were at least 4 democratically elected presidents before Aristide, including Francois Duvalier. Landslide victory does not mirror a possible 67% of 300,000 votes cast in 1990, especially when an illegal French embassy FM station declared Aristide the winner at 11 AM election morning before .5% of 1% of the vote was tabulated, according to Aristide’s personal survey! And Aristide has never been charismatic.
He is colder than a dead fish!
The dossiers avoid mention of hundreds murdered by the Aristide/Preval/Lavalas team during their terms in power.
The beginning: What about the 1985 – 1986 moment in history that brought us towards our present disaster?
1983 and 1984 had seen Duvalier hold successful local and legislative elections. Many incumbents lost their place.
In 1986 as this positive action was underway, President Reagan went into an anti-dictator mode and pressed for the departure of Marcos, in the Philippines, and Duvalier in Haiti , even after American Ambassador Ernie Preeg published a monograph –
HAITI AND THE C.B.I.: A TIME OF CHANGE AND OPPORTUNITY –
on Reagan’s Caribbean Basin Initiative, in which he stated, among other positive things:
“Violence and bloodshed have been reduced dramatically to the point here the Jean Claude presidency can fairly be characterized as the longest period of generally violence-free stability in the nation’s history”
What we wouldn’t give for that today!
The Reagan CBI was a massive investment to improve the region. It was most successful in Haiti, while it failed elsewhere. Duvalier’s infrastructure, created over the previous 10 years, was credited for this success.
So we had Security, Stability and Infrastructure, which generated Law & Order, Investment, Tourism, better Health Care, increase in Literacy, and more! It really seemed like a formula for Success!!
What did we lack?
Well, the Americans thought we lacked DEMOCRACY, even though Duvalier had initiated the process with local and legislative elections in 1983-1984.
NOT FAST ENOUGH!!
Big Brother said we must have DEMOCRACY – immediately!! Many wild promises were made – to undermine Duvalier – that would see mobs on Port-au-Prince streets, 7 days after Duvalier’s departure for France, chanting “ We have had Democracy for a week. Where are the jobs? Where is the food?” 32 years later they would be asking the same questions, having lost over 100,000 assembly jobs, mostly to another American intervention. More about that later.
The pressure was on.
Duvalier departed for France, February 7, 1986 and an Interim Government, headed by General Namphy, took control. I am not going to comment on the Namphy period other than to say a Constitution was written that effectively disenfranchised a majority of Haiti’s population. There is an overpowering tendency to assume Haiti’s majority was for Duvalier’s downfall. This is simply not true. If truly free-and-fair elections were held, after the Duvalier departure, P.U.N, the Duvalier party would have swept the polls. To avoid this embarrassment, the Americans had General Namphy bar P.U.N.
With this act, Namphy betrayed the Nation.
A similar American motivation saw Cedras forced into exile, October, 1994, when he actually wanted to remain in Haiti. Had he remained, Aristide would have lost the election.
More of this later.
Reality with Duvalier saw law-and-order, a society in which man, woman and child could travel the streets in safety, 24 hours a day. Democracy replaced this “unhappy situation” with one in which even the dogs were off the streets, after 7 PM. Murder and violence were commonplace.
Lavalas roadblocks hijacked and terrified motorists.
Aristide’s beloved child, “Pere Lebrun,” claimed victims with a frightening regularity. Even 2 blind musicians were Necklaced.
People starved to death as the Standard of Living plummeted.
It has never recovered.
Democracy has no calories!
Under Duvalier, he Haitian and American Dollar exchanged 1 to 1 or sometimes with a 5% premium. We are now at over 12 to 1. 1200% Inflation!!
A number of messages here!
These are some of the tangible and intangible challenges, created by our American associates, now faced by President Jovenel Moise.
Lavalas’ Aristide, Preval and Privert made no positive contributions to our society. Now Susan D. Page our new MINUJUSTH chief takes shots at our society that mirror past American desires for impossible instant results.
Already, one year into his term, President Moise has moved decisively in many areas to create a better environment for his people.
He needs our support to make Year Two even better.
PART TWO: will see the 1990 elections create the first step on the ladder to disaster. Aristide is alive and well and remains the major threat to the Jovenel Moise Presidency!