Monday, October 30, 2006

Re: Latortue's Legacy

HC:Haitian Politics - Re: Latortue's legacy - Article published in the Jamaican Gleaner

Thanks Harry :

For this enlightening article, which gave an analysis of the conditions on the grounds after the departure of Aristide and his replacement by the Latortue interim administration. The goal of that interim administration was to bring peace, reconciliation and a beginning of democracy, as conceptualized by the international community.
That Haitian situation after the forced departure of Aristide and the selection of Latortue reminds me of the Iraq war at the very beginning when the neocons kept telling the American people that the American soldiers would be greeted there with flowers and candies.  But I knew that "destabilization" was going to be bad.
But what those "planners" seem to forget always is when a political community or a political majority is evolving in the midst of governemental inefficiency, ineffectiveness plus illegitimacy, you have right there a formula for disaster. The Minustah was or is still perceived as an occupying force, and an important sector of the people called the Lavalassiens felt or still feels that Aristide, despite all he may have done wrong in Haiti, did not get a fair deal especially from the opposition and the international community. 
Now they may have tried to rectify this by encouraging Preval (supposedly a clone of Aristide) to run and get to the presidency so the legitimacy factor could be reestablished.
But if Preval does not deliver (the effectiveness factor for a stable situation), we will be back soon to those same streets demonstrations and revolts that chased Aristide away.

I'll refer the so-called "political strategists" on Haiti to the book "The Political Man" (The Social Bases of Politics) by Seymour Martin Lipset, winner of the 1962 MacIver Award, so they can grasp some of the facts that I mentioned here.

Carl G

--- In, fouche harry <HJF1954@...> wrote:
> Members
> For your review and information, an article published
> in the Jamaican newspapaper The Jamaican Gleaner.
> Good reception
> Harry Fouche
> ---------------------------------
> Haiti: Latortue's legacy
> published: Sunday | October 22, 2006
> Myrtha Désulmé, Contributor
> Last month, an alarming new report on human rights
> abuses in Haiti under the interim Government, by two
> social work scholars, Athena Kolbe and Dr. Royce
> Hutson of Wayne State University, was published in the
> British medical journal The Lancet. The report studied
> eight types of human rights violations: property
> crimes, arrests and prolonged illegal detentions,
> physical assaults, sexual assaults, murders including
> extrajudicial killings and politically motivated
> executions, death threats, and threats of sexual or
> physical violence.
> Households numbering 1,260 were interviewed during the
> survey period, accounting for 5,720 residents. To
> estimate the total number of victims in the region,
> the researchers applied crude rates to the estimated
> population of the greater Port-au-Prince area in 2003
> (2,121,000). From 219 murders and 1,698 sexual
> assaults, which were reported to them during the
> survey, they extrapolated that 8,000 people had been
> murdered and 35,000 women and girls had been raped in
> Port-au-Prince alone, during the 22-month period. The
> numbers seem shockingly high, and somewhat
> exaggerated, but the researchers nevertheless maintain
> that the extrapolation formula applied to this random
> sampling method is standard.
> These human rights abuses were allegedly perpetrated
> by the police, members of the disbanded Haitian army,
> organised anti-Lavalas paramilitary groups, partisans
> of Lavalas, criminals, unidentified masked armed men,
> foreign soldiers, and others (including neighbours,
> friends, and family members).
> Disastrous embargoes
> Under the pretext of encouraging the development of
> democracy in Haiti, the U.S. has imposed several
> disastrous embargoes, which have crippled its fragile
> economy and traumatised its people. Unemployment has
> soared. Urban violence has spiralled.
> Economic stagnation fosters the struggle for scarce
> benefits, which can be exploited by demagogues, the
> politically ambitious, and vested interests, foreign
> and local, intent on monopolising the means of
> production, the sources of wealth, and of economic and
> political power.
> Extreme poverty breeds illiteracy and miserable
> governance, which in turn intensifies hunger and
> instability. Expectations from rationalist theories of
> crime, civil war and social unrest, are that violence
> will rise as income per capita, education, and
> economic growth decline. This is due either to the
> declining opportunity cost of violence, (the less
> people have to lose, the more likely they are to
> create mayhem), or to the decline in state capacity,
> which are two competing causal mechanisms. If the
> state is weak and cannot effectively police its
> territory, a greater supply of agitators will become
> available to the rabble rousers. Education reduces the
> available supply of potential rebels. Unemployment
> increases it.
> Violent conflict will occur when it is expected to be
> more profitable than peace, and there is a difficulty
> in structuring a credible agreement, which avoids war
> or other forms of conflict. Theories of relative
> deprivation expect violence to rise as a result of
> higher inequality. Persistent inequality leads to
> anger and despair, which reinforces the demand for
> political change.
> The only lasting solution for Haiti is the same as for
> every other destabilised country - stimulation of its
> economy and wealth creation. A sound framework which
> combines key public investments - roads, power, public
> health and safe water, with the creation of long-term
> economic options, such as the improvement of access to
> schools, and the development of sustainable
> agriculture. Great gains need to be achieved in
> education, farming, health and income levels.
> Preval has his work cut out for him. Last month, Sorel
> François, president of the Foreign Affairs Commission
> of the House of Deputies, declared that more than U.S.
> $6 million, not counting luxury vehicles, were
> misappropriated by the Foreign Affairs Ministry over
> the two-year administration of interim Prime Minister
> Gerard Latortue.
> Preval has also inherited a disastrous human rights
> situation,which demands a serious and urgent
> response. He has so far been successful in liberating
> the more high profile political prisoners, but there
> are many more he needs to deal with. He does not yet
> control the judiciary, however, because in December,
> 2005, P.M. Latortue unconstitutionally replaced half
> of the Supreme Court judges, after the court ruled
> against him in the controversial case of candidates
> with double nationalities, who were barred from
> participating in the presidential elections.
> Replacements were unilaterally selected by the
> executive, and those judges remain on the bench,
> resisting the liberation of political prisoners.
> Haitians see MINUSTAH, the two-year-old U.N.
> "stabilisation" force, as occupiers, or worse,
> "tourists with guns", who are being paid to kill them.
> DDR (Disarmament, Demobilisation and Reintegration),
> was the first mandate of the U.N. peace-keeping force,
> but they have failed miserably at it. Unless MINUSTAH
> can live up to its original mandate of stabilisation,
> the US$25 million per month, which it is costing,
> would be better utilised in assisting starving and
> dislocated Haitians, who cannot earn a living in the
> prevailing chaos. With the war of attrition, which is
> being waged against the Haitian people since the last
> aid embargo, dating from 2000, US$25 million per month
> could go a long way towards providing food, water, and
> basic necessities, rebuilding infrastructure, sewage
> systems and utilities, providing social services such
> as health care, garbage collection, sanitation,
> education, the list is endless. It is precisely the
> fact that the people are forced to live in such
> miserable conditions, which undermine their human
> dignity, which is exacerbating the problem.
> No one knows for sure how many weapons are out there.
> The general estimate is 30,000. Last month, President
> Preval warned gangs based in the sprawling slums of
> Port-au-Prince to disarm or face death. Up to 1,000
> rank-and-file gang members, who voluntarily lay down
> arms and rejoin society, will be eligible for the
> programme, the biggest disarmament effort of the U.N.
> peace-keeping mission yet.
> U.N. envoy,Edmond Mulet, said that gang members
> participating in the programme will receive ID cards
> entitling them to money, medical assistance, food for
> their families and training for jobs. The initiative
> targets only rank-and-file gang members. Top gang
> leaders in the capital's volatile Cite Soleil slum
> have indicated a willingness to disarm, and the
> decision to leave them out sets up a potential
> showdown with the Government.
> What Haiti needs is assistance in building up
> institutions for local governance and democracy. It is
> imperative that Haiti change its political culture,
> and adhere to CARICOM's Charter of Civil Society.
> Haiti could take a page out of the British Caribbean's
> political traditions, such as the two-party
> Westminster system, of which her Majesty's Loyal
> Opposition forms an integral part. The main political
> problem in Haiti is that the Opposition is the enemy.
> When one starts out with that premise, it is quite
> difficult to manoeuvre a conflictive situation to the
> point where all parties can sit around a table and
> negotiate, or even agree to disagree, accept the
> opponent's right to his opinion, and coexist amicably.
> Channelling conflict
> Higher incomes and educational attainment reduce the
> risk of political violence by encouraging political
> participation, and channelling conflict through
> institutional pathways rather than violence. The U.N.,
> the OAS, and the international community should be
> offering economic assistance for reconstruction, and
> training in negotiation skills for conflict
> resolution, in order to achieve a new social contract
> leading to national reconciliation. Erasing Haiti's
> debt, restoring constitutional rule, ending arbitrary
> embargoes and sinking significant resources into
> public health, public education and public
> infrastructure, would ultimately be central to
> addressing, and indeed, solving Haiti's social
> problems.
> Myrtha Désulmé is the President of the Haiti-Jamaica
> Society.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Ce que nos compatriotes ont à l'esprit

Review of the postings of the last two weeks in Haiti Connexion Yahoo Groups

Comme annoncé la semaine dernière, nous vous donnons aujourd'hui une récap de tous les  messages publiés sur le site de Haïti Connexion pendant les deux dernières semaines.  Pour être exacts, nous disons que 209 messages ont été "postés" sur HC pendant cette période.  Grâce à vous les membres, le groupe, votre groupe, continue d'accroitre sa popularité à travers le monde. Tous les messages sont importants, et nous continuons à croire que chacun de nous  a un mot à dire au sujet de ce qui le préoccupe le plus ou de ce qu'il veut partager avec le monde tout entier.

Cependant, des 209 messages nous avons relevé quelques uns d'une portée immense, générale, humanitaire, nationale et internationale, et susceptibles  aussi de susciter grandement l'intérêt des membres de HC.  Si vous pensez qu'un article mérite d'être signalé, faites nous savoir:

      Compilation préparée pas les modérateurs d'Haïti Connexion

Source: Haiti Connexion Yahoo Group, un groupe d'Internet d'environ 650 membres (dont le nombre va croissant) créé en juin dernier par Carl Gilbert.

Pour lire à fond les messages, vous avez besoin d'un ID Yahoo!