Friday, August 19, 2005

Lectures and Découvertes Personnelles

Tout récemment, un ami m'a comme quoi poussé à faire la découverte d'une revue "éducative et culturelle" publiée dans la diaspora haïtienne par la Haitian American Cultural and Eductional Foundation (HACEF) siégeant apparemment à New-York.

En feuilletant deux numéros de cette revue de publication trimestrielle, j' ai découvert des articles qui ou bien vous 're-transportent' tant soit peu sur le territoire de notre Ayiti Chérie (Haïti Chérie) à cause de leur contenu local ou bien d'autres qui, de par leur portée éducative ou informative, vous font penser que certains de nos compatriotes sont des gens qui se préoccupent vraiment de l'éducation des autres.  Car comment imaginer que sur cette terre étrangère  où  la plupart de nous ap bourike preske 24 sou 24 ou byen 7 sou 7 il ya des gens de bien qui trouvent un peu de temps pour nous offrir cette revue qui brille autant par le fond que par la forme!

Cela dénote, je dirais, cet esprit de volontariat dont nous avons besoin ( évoqué déjà quelque part dans ce blog), cet esprit de désintéressement dont nous tous devons faire montre pour sauver ce pays.  On n'a pas pas besoin d'être président pour sauver Haïti, j'ose répéter à nouveau!

En tout cas, les auteurs/éditeurs de cette revue, dans le numéro de Spring 2005, nous ont montré sur la couverture une belle photo de Issa El Saieh avec son saxophone alors qu'à  l'intérieur nous trouvons un article écrit par Louis Carl Saint Jean à l'occasion de la mort du musicien.  Un article-clé susceptible de vous faire revivre la "Belle Epoque" de la musique haïtienne.

Vous qui êtes friands de l'art culinaire, vous pourriez --toujours dans le même numéro-- 'déguster' l'article de Max Manigat intitulé: "Aux Origines de la cuisine haïtienne", découvrir l'origine du kasab, savourer en pensée le kilembé, le sirik, le koliwou, etc, etc...

La revue vous chatouillera aussi les côtes avec ses blagues amusantes ou encore avec son sketch faisant évoluer deux personnages comiques mais cinglants, Merlestine et Koupesèk ( écrit par Eddy Garnier)....

Une liste notoire est responsable de  la publication: Dr. Ghislaine Auguste, Madeline Torchon, Dr. Jacques Vital-Herne,  Dr. Louis Joseph Auguste,  Danielle Auguste, et tant d'autres.

Chapo Ba, Mesdames, Messieurs de Reflets. Continuez ce beau travail dont bénéficiera  tout Haïtien (ou Haïtienne) vraiment épris de culture et surtout 'd'haïtianisme progressiste'.

Cette revue peut s'acheter via la HACEF, c/o Madeline Torchon, 91-40 Lamont Ave, Apt 4M, Elmhurst, NY 11373-2770


Breaking News:  Father Gerard Jean-Juste, a Pro-Aristide Supporter, (see picture above) Declared "Prisoner of Conscience" by Amnesty International  Click Here for Details

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Food for thoughts, not for only the so-called MRE (Morally Repugnant Elite) of Haiti

Violence intruding on elite in Haiti (Miami Herald, 8/16/2005)

Haitians of means have always occupied a tenuous position in their impoverished nation. Now a wave of violence has pushed many out.


PORT-AU-PRINCE - In the quiet green hills above this lawless city, a couple hundred of Haiti's well-to-do gathered last month in the upscale Hotel Montana to attend a daylong seminar. The subject: How to keep one's sanity under the constant threat of violence.

In the past few months, a surge of kidnappings and killings has traumatized Haiti's upper classes. Women and children have reportedly been raped in front of relatives, men have been tortured and families have paid ransoms, sometimes only to retrieve their loved ones in the form of a mutilated corpse.

Some of those wealthy enough to afford it have fled the country, cooling their heels in Miami and Paris and hoping to return once the chaos runs its course. Those who have stayed live in a strange state of comfortable siege, holed up in hillside homes behind iron gates and shotgun-wielding guards, while making panicked runs to work, the grocery store and the rare social event.

These days, having money in the hemisphere's poorest nation does not always entail the easy lifestyle that once got Haiti's privileged few branded by foreign diplomats as MREs -- Morally Repugnant Elites. Now, theirs is a narrow, paranoid world, growing more so.

'My family calls me from Miami and says: `What are you, nuts? When are you getting out of that place?' '' said Jean Pierre Mangones, who runs a program that promotes Haitian crafts and owns a second home in Plantation. ``A lot of my friends have left. My wife will be leaving before November.''

No one knows how many have left, but the number of Haitians with the money to get a visa and fly out is relatively small. The average Haitian earns less than $1 a day, and there have been estimates that 1 percent of the country's 8.1 million people controls nearly half its wealth.

The current bout of violence began last year during the armed rebellion that ousted President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, who had vowed to help the poor and had vilified the well-off and the skewed distribution of wealth. Since then, the political warfare has evolved into waves of brutal crimes blamed on almost anyone from street criminals to political gangs to drug traffickers.


Mangones plans to stay. He says Haitians' long tradition of fleeing abroad when things get dangerous at home has created a devastating, long-term brain drain.

''We are a repugnant elite because we haven't taken any responsibilities, which is what the elite should do,'' Mangones said. ``Instead, we leave for a year and come back when somebody fixes it for us.''

And really, nothing is ever fixed.

Wealthy Haitians -- some truly rich, others middle class by American standards -- simply circumvent the country's problems with money. Electricity doesn't work? They buy generators. TV is spotty? They hook up a satellite. Roads are awful? They drive four-wheel-drives. Police force barely functions? They hire armed guards.

And even in relatively peaceful times, the opportunities for education, high culture and amusement are so limited that Haitians of any means tend to have one foot out the door. They send their children to summer camps in the States, or college in Canada. They buy homes in Florida and the Dominican Republic and take long vacations in Europe.

''If you want to open the horizons for your children, you have to,'' said Mangones, whose son attended Barry University in Miami Shores and whose daughter went to American International in Massachusetts.

But many leave for good, particularly middle-class professionals with no land or business holdings in Haiti.


Georges Barau Sassine, who owns a garment factory, lost numerous supervisors, his executive secretary, his head mechanic and his computer expert in recent months. Only the latter is expected to return -- his son, whom Sassine told to stay with relatives on the French Riviera until the situation calmed down.

Sassine said he has seen friends kidnapped and had employees who were hit by stray bullets while on the job. The owner of a nearby business was executed on the dirt road in front of the factory.

''People on the street told us we were next,'' he said.


In July, when kidnappings hit a frightening high, Sassine woke up in a sweat every day before dawn, worrying about the morning commute.

''I would drive down with one hand on the wheel and one hand on my gun,'' he said at his office earlier this month. ``The second I arrived, I called my wife and told her I'm here.''

In the past few weeks, a slight lull in the crime -- what Sassine calls the ''eye of the hurricane'' -- has allowed him to put the gun back under his seat. Sassine accuses Aristide loyalists of waging the campaign of violence, sowing chaos to prevent the U.S.-backed interim government from gaining any effective authority. Aristide supporters deny he or his Lavalas Family party are behind it.

As president, Aristide attacked the elite as a light-skinned minority aligned with U.S. business interests and perpetuating a class system that has kept most Haitians in abject poverty.

Business and academic leaders reacted against Aristide in an opposition movement that gained supporters across all sectors, while a band of gang members and ex-soldiers forced him out.

Since then, life for rich and poor alike has just grown worse, and the specter of class war continues to loom over Haiti as it prepares for national elections, scheduled for November.

Business leaders say economic growth is the only way to lift most Haitians out of poverty. Sassine employs 700 workers now, sewing sweat pants for Hanes. If he leaves the country, his employees join the estimated two-thirds of Haitians who have no jobs.

But he says he has no plans to. ''We're stuck here,'' he said. ``I have no capital. The hits we have taken have dilapidated our reserves.''

After work, he unwinds when he can, but there is little to do. The roads are rife with carjackers and kidnappers. He no longer goes hunting for guinea fowl and doves in the Artibonite Valley. He does not relax on the Ctes des Arcadins, where some own beach homes.


Ginette Maguet, a psychologist in the capital who helped organize the Montana Hotel seminar on keeping one's sanity, said the violence is causing symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder -- trembling hands, insomnia, anxiety attacks.

To help them cope, Maguet tutored the participants in yoga and breathing techniques, and urged them to go easy on the sedatives. She told them to be aware of their surroundings without becoming hyper-focused on the possibility of violence.

''We have to be vigilant about being safe, but we don't have to think of it all the time,'' Maguet said. ``Some people just listen to the radio all day and it just increases the fear.''

Bernie Leon, 46, joined dozens of others at the Petionville Club on a recent night to drink and get away from that kind of paranoia. A cheerful bear of a man who runs one of the capital's port terminals, he mingled amid the flow of alcohol, beat of music and tropical heat.

It was a momentary break from a different reality. Earlier in summer, his wife moved to Miami due to the violence. While the relief of not having to worry about her was like ''taking a piano off my back,'' the distance has put an obvious strain on his relationship. ''She said if I don't move out in a year, we're getting a divorce,'' he quipped.

He hopes circumstances change and allow him to stay. ``I'm devoted to this country. I don't need to be here. I could easily get on a plane and drink piña coladas with you in South Beach tonight, but I don't.''


"Se prendre en charge ou disparaître".   Is the disappearance already here? The highlights above are from me!

Saturday, August 6, 2005

An article by Becky Branford (BBC News) on Haiti

Divisions derail Haiti one year on

By Becky Branford
BBC News
A rebel in Cap-Haitien, days before Aristide was overthrown in February 2004 The gangs which ousted Aristide are now a law unto themselves. A year after President Jean-Bertrand Aristide was ousted, the small Caribbean nation of Haiti is in gridlock.

The armed gangs, former soldiers and political groups which briefly converged to see Mr Aristide thrown out of the country on 29 February 2004 claimed to have an agenda for change.

They promised an end to the disputed elections, violent political repression and economic stagnation under Mr Aristide.

But a year later, observers on all sides agree, there has been little improvement.

In fact, "the situation - politically, economically and in terms of security - has deteriorated dramatically," says Colin Granderson, the head of the UN-led civilian mission in Haiti from 1993 to 2000, who is now on the secretariat of Caricom, the organisation of Caribbean states.

Security is at the heart of the problem. Despite a UN peacekeeping force of over 7,000 soldiers and civilian police, the interim government has struggled to assert control.

 POVERTY IN NUMBERS A Haitian woman walks past a pile of burning garbage used by gangs to block the roads in the shantytown of Belair,  Port-au-Prince Life expectancy: 53; 76% of Haitians live on less than $2 a day. Half the population lives below the minimum level of dietary energy consumption ; 5% of population has HIV or Aids.  Real GDP per capita declined 50% between 1980 and 2004 Source: International Monetary Fund

Remnants of the military which Mr Aristide disbanded in 1995 roam the countryside and have become the de facto authority in many towns outside the capital Port-au-Prince.

Meanwhile, pro-Aristide gangs run many urban slums.

Added to the mix are the criminal gangs which thrive on Haiti's role as a staging post for cocaine shipments from South America to the US.

"If you go downtown, to the slums, you are exposed to great danger," the head of the Haitian Journalists' Association Guyler Delva told the BBC News website.

"You could be hit by a bullet at any time."

The security problems have deterred international donors who months ago pledged more than $1.3bn in aid to Haiti from disbursing more than a tiny fraction of the money promised.

Without the funds, observers say, there is no way to finance the social programmes needed to kick-start the economy.

Haiti is the poorest country in the western hemisphere, with formal unemployment reported at around 70% and three-quarters of Haitians surviving on less than $2 a day.

Aristide's ghost

Meanwhile, the legitimacy of the interim government - already in question because of Mr Aristide's unceremonious removal - continues to slide.

The interim government was supposed to act as a non-partisan caretaker which would shepherd the country toward fresh elections.

In reality, it has done nothing to overcome the deep divisions of the country, observers say. Mr Aristide may be far away, but his polarising presence remains as strong as ever.

A supporter of former President Aristide protests in the Salino slum of the Haitian capital Aristide's supporters feel victimised and marginalised"Everyone in the country either loves Aristide or loathes him," Charles Arthur, director of the UK-based Haiti Support Group, told BBC News.

"The country can't move on - the ones who hate Aristide so much seem to have this psychological need to have this hate figure and they can't really let go."

While leaders of Mr Aristide's Lavalas Family party languish in jail without charge, gangs opposed to Mr Aristide "kill, burn houses and commit awful crimes" with apparent impunity, said Mr Devla.

This exacting of retribution on the Lavalas party, which still has a considerable following, has ruled out any process of national reconciliation, he says.

Poll challenge

It is national reconciliation that is desperately needed ahead of elections planned for October and November, many onlookers agree.

"Haitians voted in elections in 1995, 1997, and 2000," Mr Granderson said, "but each election has only aggravated the political situation."

One of the main reasons for that, he says, is that the elections were not seen as transparent and credible.

It is crucial now that a national dialogue begins to establish clear shared goals for national development and to lay common ground rules for the election before campaigning begins, he adds.

If Lavalas party supporters continue to feel excluded from the process, they are likely to stay away from the polls.

"A government selected by a 10% to 20% turnout with some groups excluded would constitute the failure of the transition," the International Crisis Group cautioned in a February report.

But Mr Arthur warns that elections may not solve all Haiti's problems.

"Much more is required from the political process than just having an election, which it seems is all the international community is concerned about," he says.

"The point of an election is to find a party with a programme which can get the country out of this state."

The Lavalas party may have been discredited by its years in power, he says, but there is little evidence that the alternatives - the traditional political parties and the Group of 184, a new coalition of business and civil society groups - can offer such a programme.

"The root cause of Haiti's problems, put simply, is most of the population have nothing, and no potential to improve. Until politicians and the international community want to confront this problem, Haiti's problems will repeat over and over again."

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Un autre article qui met en exergue nos luttes intestines.  Yap991

Wednesday, August 3, 2005

'Ti Bouki, Ti Malis', a story by Manes Pierre (recueilli au hasard d'une promenade sur l'Internet)

Once upon a time, "Ti Bouki" and "Ti Malis" were heading to school. But "Ti Bouki" has never heard or been to a school before although he was already 12 years old. But, he has a brand new book bag filled with books and other school supplies. "Ti Malis," however has known the regiment and the routine of middle school expectations. Therefore, he had no problem adjusting to the academic regiment or academic expectations of middle school. He only had a binder, a pen and a pencil. Below is the academic interaction between "Ti Bouki" and "Ti Malis" on their first day of school:

"Good morning, Ti Bouki," said Ti Malis jokingly.

"Good morning, Ti Malis," replied Ti Bouki innocently.

"You understand your French homework?" asked Ti Malis.

"Non!" responded Ti Bouki with his shivery eyes.

"Give me your French book and I will show you how to do your homework!" exclaimed Malis.

"Oui!" replied Bouki innocently.

"Bien!" responded the skilled Malis.

"How about your geography homework, do you understand it?" asked Malis with a smirky smile.

"Non!" responded Bouki with his shivery eyes.

"Give me your geography book and I will show you how to do your geography homework!" exclaimed Malis.

"Oui!" replied Bouki not knowing what he is getting himself into.

"Bien!" replied the skilled and soft-spoken Malis.

"How about you science homework, do you understand it?" asked Malis with the same smirky smile.

"Non, not a all, nothing at all!" responded Malis in frustration and fear.

"Give me your science book and I will show you how to do your science homework!" demanded Malis.

"Oui!" softly but reluctantly replied Bouki realizing that his book back is getting less fat and a lot lighter.

"Tres bien!" replied Malis with a sign of excitement knowing that he is about to outsmart Bouki and takes all of his school supplies from him....

At the end of their interaction, Malis was able to take Bouki's books and his bookbag leaving him with nothing at all to go home with. However, Malis had all the books and school supplies necessary to complete all of his homework assignments. The fact that there is a deep rooted social class system in Haiti, Malis knows that he will not be allowed to be in Bouki's company but Bouki was totally unaware that he was being taken advantage of until he got home and faced some severe punishment for being slow, dumb, fat, and unintelligent. That sort of mindset plagues the Haitian society to a large extent because everyone thinks of himself or herself as being "Malis." Therefore, everyone is trying to outsmart the other in every segment of business dealings. Thus, makes effective power-sharing, equal access to public education, economic opportunities, infrastructures and integrity difficult commodities. Until a more positive mindset is surfaced in Haiti and a shift in the education of young children with regards to putting an emphasis on the art of Malis outsmarting Bouki, the multi-track conflicts in Haiti will escalate even more in every segment of the Haitian society.

Manes Pierre 

August 2004

My comment about this story: Cela va sans dire!!!! Chacun se croit le plus malin et le plus "save".  De ma vie, je n'ai jamais entendu un/une compatriote avouer qu'il /elle peut ne pas tout savoir. C'est pourquoi sur la terre étrangère, certains pensent parfois pouvoir "outsmart" le système bien établi des blancs.  Que leur arrive-t-il alors? Ils se font jeter en prison pour des magouilles faites à l'haïtienne. Ou mèt demanti m si'm manti!  Mwen pas fache pou sa. 

For more details about the author (Manes Pierre, pictured above), visit:


DERNIERE HEURE (QUI N'A RIEN A VOIR avec la blague d'en haut) Michaëlle Jean, brillante journalisted'origine haitienne, sera la prochaine gouverneure générale du Canada. C'est un poste honorifique.  Elle sera la representante de la reine d'Angleterrre au Canada. Le bureau du premier ministre Paul Martin en fera l'annonce officielle sous peu.

Compliments et Succès Continus à cette compatriote (Photo # 2 et 3 d'en haut) !!! 

Un autre gain pour le Canada, une autre perte pour Haiti, "grâce" à la dictature des Duvalier ayant forcé ses parents à prendre l'exil.  Une conséquence de nos inconséquences! C'est ainsi que je vois cette nomination.



Un homme de science rejette la véracité des "Pénis Trafiqués" en Haiti


Ces derniers temps il ya une rumeur qui circule en Haiti, à savoir que des jeunes –  qui seraient affiliés au régime déchu – se feraient insérer sous la peau de leur pénis des objets en  plastic et autres objets hétéroclites en vue d' augmenter leur performance sexuelle au moment des viols et d’autres méfaits qu'ils commettent dans les rues de Port-au-Prince.


Ne voulant pas croire à cette histoire sordide, abominable et bizarre,  qui fait passer notre  pays pour un lieu où des choses des  plus irréeelles (invraisemblables) se produisent, j’en ai parlé à un médecin ami qui, avec un visage déconcertant et un peu moqueur, m’a fait comprendre, après examen de l’une des photos circulées par des « gens éclairés »  à travers l’Internet, que c'est une histoire à dormir debout.


A  regarder les photos de près, cet homme de science m’a dit qu’il ne voit sur ces photos que des lésions cutanées qui ressemblent à des kystes, tous de dimension égale.  Pas de multiples incisions comme on veut nous faire comprendre !  De plus, l’argument le plus fort qu’il m’a offert est le suivant : la peau du pénis étant très fine en épaisseur, un corps étranger inséré sous cette peau, serait rejeté par l’organisme après formation locale d’abcès et d’ulcèrations , comme cela se produit assez souvent après qu’une écharde de bois ( très petite) eut fait son entrée sous la peau du doigt.  Imaginez donc des objets plus gros, pointus, rugueux sous cette peau fine du pénis, ce serait un désastre monstre pour cet individu, a conclu ce médecin ami.


Voilà! il se peut donc que cette rumeur sordide soit l’oeuvre d’un secteur essayant à tout prix de faire passer un autre secteur pour des gens des plus sauvages et des plus monstrueux qui existent en Haiti.  Et c'est bien  le pays en fin de compte qui souffrira de cette propagande mensongère, acerbe, vicieuse, nullement basée sur la science, comme on l’avait fait dans le passé pour le SIDA. 


Encore une fois, cela démontre comment cette société est divisée et ne se rend même pas compte que vouloir  tellement détruire « les autres », elle finira par se détruire elle-même,  et Haiti avec.


Pour conclure, je voudrais rapeller  à tous "qu'il y a plusieurs chemins pour aller de l'avant, mais un seul pour rester sur place."  A nous de choisir!!!

Monday, August 1, 2005

Un Signe Avant-Coureur?

Ouvrant au hasard le roman de Jacques Roumain, "Gouverneurs de la Rosée", ce paragraphe m'est tombé sous les yeux:

- Tous les habitants sont pareils, dit Manuel, tous forment une seule famille.  C'est pour ça qu'ils s'appellent entre eux: frère, compère, cousin, beau-père.  L' un a  besoin de l'autre. L'un périt sans le secours de l'autre. C'est la vérité du coumbite.  Cette source que j'ai trouvée demande le concours de tous les habitants de Fond-Rouge.  Ne dites pas non.  C'est la vie qui commande et quand la vie commande, faut répondre: présent...

Si bien dit!!! Fonds-Rouge est maintenant Haiti qui a besoin de tous ses fils et filles pour le coumbite national...

Et je jure c'est ce qui m'est arrivé quand j'ai ouvert le livre au hasard.  N'est pas un signe avant-coureur lancé de la tombe par Jacques Roumain? Je ne prétends pas être son médium, mais mon sixième sens me dit que Jacques aimerait bien voir maintenant un coumbite sur sa terre natale et non cet entre-déchirement entretenu par les uns et les autres, y compris certains médias soit-disant objectifs, et ce,  pour l'avancement de leur agenda personnel, mesquin et égoiste.

Ne dites pas Non (au Coumbite) nous dit Jacques... "C'est la vie qui commande et quand la vie commande" et vous dites Non, c'est la mort qui arrive, la mort d'un pays, d'une nation, sa disparition "total kapital"...

Et au dos du livre, on peut lire: les récents évènements d'Haïti donnent à ce livre la plus brulante actualité. Et dire que ces lignes ont été rédigées il y a des années!