Human rights, not politics, should be priority for Haiti

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Post by admin » Fri Sep 29, 2006 3:21 am

Hmm...

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Post by admin » Fri Sep 29, 2006 4:04 am

just like that...

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Post by admin » Fri Sep 29, 2006 4:05 am

right under our nose...

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Post by admin » Fri Sep 29, 2006 4:06 am

Thank you. We, too, are moving along.

Leonel JB

Post by Leonel JB » Tue Oct 10, 2006 6:02 pm

Gentlemen, Relax!

The only one who could exclude or include anyone is MR Guy S Antoine.-
And I am pretty sure that Guy won't do it. Unless one is very disrespectful...

Anyway, I was also baffled by moving the discussion elsewhere. But, I also understand MD and Wim when they say that they don't feel "Welcome".

One thing that I forgot to warn anyone who would like to be part of our Political Threads. Some of us are way too emotional which could be very personal. Politik an Ayiti se menm jan ak Texas, It's either you're with me or against me... Get it?

Let me rephrase this once more, Haiti needs everyone. Please Help in anyway possible.

I believe that a lot of us would agree with me. If you don't, it is OK. For, we don't have to be carbon copy of each other.

My question to anyone who would like to exclude others is this, what are your plans for Haiti?

What makes your plan so valid?

Anyway, guys, we need to change that Politic of Exclusion. It won't work for Haiti!

Ayisyen bezwen manje, dlo, travay, wout, lopital, lekOl e sekirite...

What will be your Role to help the People of Haiti?

Talk, Talk, more Talk alone won't do it.

L'union fait la Force,
Leonel

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Post by admin » Wed Oct 11, 2006 9:46 am

Guys, I am going to try to make myself perfectly clear this time around, but be warned that I do not have the time to keep fetching the grenades that you lob at each other and try and disarm them before they explode. By day, I am the Haitian Program director at the New Jersey Immigration Policy Network. By evening, I am the executive director of the Haitian-American Initiative Toward Integration, an organization that I have co-founded this year and that I am trying very hard to push into playing a significant role in mobilizing Haitian immigrants, documented and undocumented alike and without differentiation, around human and political rights that arise from the unfair and often racist implementation of immigration policies in the United States, and about access to tools and programs leading to self-empowerment, particularly in the areas of education and civic engagement. Sorry, that's a lot of words and so far, I have not accomplished much, but God, I am trying! Also, I happen to have a wife of 24 years (no that's not her age, but the number of years she has stood by my side) and three children, one finishing high school and two in college. And I do get to play husband and father once in a while. In addition to all that, there is Windows on Haiti. Enough said!

So, guys, understand that out of all of this, I carve my own priorities and, as much as I respect all of you, I will not live by your expectations of how I should go about this and that, and how I should handle the moderation of this forum. You keep tossing grenades all you want, but do not expect me to go fetch them for you. I have enough on my plate and from day one, I have been doing this from my own limited resources. I have received occasional contributions to the development and maintenance of this site and I have made them all public (except for the few recent ones that I have not had time to post yet -- but I will). So, I am trying to earn a living, I am trying to assist my Haitian brothers and sisters the best way that I can, I am trying to fulfill my family obligations, I am trying to contribute to this forum with my ideas, and I am trying to keep this web site afloat still after 8 years and a half. If I fail in any of those, it's very likely that I would have to live with the failure on my own, but I try to keep thinking positively because I would much prefer to share in the success of our pooled contributions than wallow in the misery of my personal failures. I know that many of you are trying just as much as I am, and some of you even more, perhaps much more. Let your success be my success and my success be your success. But, once and for all, let 's put to rest the idea that I am going to feel obligated to jump in every time you think that I should, in order for me to comply to your very own expectations. I only have one person to answer to, and thankfully that's myself.

Now, a word to Wim in particular: Regardless what others may have told you, and that is plainly their own right, I welcome you to this forum. Not because of who you are or who you might be. I simply believe that all ideas need to be debated. Whether your ideas are welcome by "members of this forum" or whether you are made to feel unwelcome is really none of my business. I welcome you as a contributor. Period. I do not have to insure whether you will feel loved or unloved. That's for you to handle.

I did not go into much detail as Marcien Toussaint did, because quite frankly I did not feel nor think that I should have. In my own way of seeing things, I saw it as quite disrespectful to start a conversation in one forum and then announce that you have moved it to another. Perhaps in your own cultural way of looking at the world or in anyone else's, that's a perfectly acceptable way of doing things. But not in mine! I thought that my expression of disbelief would have been enough to express my disapproval, but if that were not enough... though! (as I explained above).

Simply said, I thought it disrespectful, regardless of how many others participated or how others may have made you feel unwelcome (there are enough areas of disagreement that surface on this forum, and the idea, sometimes advanced, that this is a monolithic group that does not accept any deviation from an ideology or political line of thought is PURE BULL!), I do not believe in that sort of condescending attitude that you should move about discussions as you see fit for your own comfort zone. I fully accept the sentiments of regret that you have expressed (every one of us makes mistakes!!!), but I will never accept any condescending tone from anyone. I try to give you and everyone the respect that I think is due me and my community.

Now to the idea of moving the conversation back from Michael's blog to this forum --with Michael's permission -- forget it! Reparations, in this case, are not needed. Forum members, who are so inclined, can follow the link that you have provided and follow your conversation with Michael on his own blog. It is SO EASY to click on one link to do just that. I have no claim to Michael's management of his blog, just as I accept no other claim to the management of this forum.

Finally, let me say this one more time: I welcome you, I welcome all others, as CONTRIBUTORS OF IDEAS, to this forum. It's permissible to share your feelings about every thing under the sun, but do not expect universal agreement. Whether others welcome your presence or not is their own business and not mine. I try not to intervene in others' expression of their thoughts, unless I judge them expressed in a clearly annoying manner (accusations without any semblance of analysis) or they are couched in indecent language. The arbiter in all of this is me, whether one likes it or not.

I may be as idiosyncratic as any human being could be. For that, you may blame my parents, any other person, or the country that has nurtured my personal development. But truthfully, the responsibility is all mine.

I do grow weary of people who say "Haitians are like this and Haitians are like that" as though their own people were better or superior in any way that was not afforded by their merciless exploitation of other people on this planet. Nothing is inherently good in you that is foreign in Haitians, and vice versa. We do have a specific set of problems that were created by our own actions, and demonstrably by the actions of other peoples. In as much as we can help fix those problems and liberate each other from complexes of superiority/inferiority, and legacies of exploitation (either exploiting other peoples or being exploited by other peoples), then it's all to the common good.

Most unwelcome on this forum are wholly undeserved attitudes of condescendence and/or superiority from anyone. We are in this together. The bottom line is that I do not exist without you and you do not exist without me, no matter how smug I feel about my chances of survival and how smug you feel about your own chances.

Aside from that... Welcome, everyone, to Ann Pale! I am happy when you participate but I won't lose sleep over your personal decision to be a member or not, to participate or not. Non-participation, just like refusing to vote, is in the end your own way of contributing to the state of the world that you live in. May your contribution be informed and aligned with your way of looking at your place in the world.

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Post by admin » Fri Oct 13, 2006 6:36 am

[quote]I shall prove you that you are dead wrong manu militari[/quote]
Here we go again... Can't you make your point without threats? Nobody can force you to talk to Wim, if you do not want to. That's your right and your privilege. But why the dark militaristic warning? Why all this drama? It's reminiscent of "Bring them on!" and other bushisms.

All right, now that I have taken exception to the tone of your speech, I know that it's going to get a lot darker on this forum very soon. It never fails.

[quote]as long as I am in charge of their [my fellow Haitians'] destiny. [/quote]
OK, that's good to know, but who put you in charge of your fellow Haitians' destiny? I do not recall any special election. Did you acquire this privilege through manifest destiny or some other un/obvious right of inheritance? I know that you will likely explode in anger when you read this, but my question is GENUINE. I do not mean any disrespect to you, but once again I am sure that everyone reading your statement would like to know HOW you have become in charge of the Haitian people's destiny.

[quote]Call it suicidal, you may. Be my guest.[/quote]
Too much drama. This is just an internet forum. Everyone is welcome. Everyone can ask questions. No one has to answer any of them. When the questions are answered, then the forum becomes useful. Why can't we just talk in terms of peace and development? There is too much hostility and destruction going on in the world already. To add to it at every turn is unnecessary.

I can predict your response. I am used to it. Be my guest, but let's make peace.

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Post by admin » Sat Oct 14, 2006 3:10 am

[quote]It is a fact that on this Forum, some people including you, have enjoyed the nasty habit of stretching my words or willingly putting them on a context that is far from their real meaning.[/quote]
Marcien, stretching your words would really not be something easy to accomplish... You have mastered the art of the overstatement. Everyone who reads you can judge you by your own words, not mine.

Besides, where's the interest?

[quote]I had made no threats to Wim--[/quote]
You may be right. I may have misunderstood "I shall prove you that you are dead wrong manu militari". My bad.

[quote]What do you expect me to tell you after you asked "since when I was in charge of the destiny of my fellow Haitians?"[/quote]
The only reason I asked is because you stated verbatim "as long as I am in charge of their destiny." Am I missing something? It was only natural that I ask, repeating YOUR phrase, word for word, not making it up. Is that what you call "stretching them" or "willingly putting them on a context that is far from their real meaning" ? Stretching your words by a factor of 1 is not stretching them, and the context is plain for everyone to see.

[quote]I made the decision to be actively involved in politics in 2004. I've clearly stated where I stood regarding the coup. My article was published on Haiti Progrès. We made the decision to form a political party, which is the Haitian Reformist Party. We wrote a manifesto that reflects our vision for our country. We made it clear that it is totally inappropriate to legalize it under the current circumstances. Morever, we believe that it is very important that we reach a consensus among Haitians living abroad before we move back to Haiti and start implementing those vital steps while reaching out to our fellow Haitians on the Motherland.[/quote]
Commendable! But a consensus around what? And what vital steps? Don't worry, I am not going to hold my breath for an answer. Only if you were to feel so inclined...

[quote]Am I in charge of their destiny? Not yet.[/quote]
Thanks for the precision.

[quote]Do I expect to have the honor to be among those true Haitians who want to do much more than glorifiy our past and are strongly determined to preserve it, protect it, and defend it even if I have to pay the ultimate sacrifice? You bet I do.[/quote]
Quite heroic.

[quote]Do I expect most people like you, former Haitian Nationals, to be among those who want to die for Haiti. I do not.[/quote]
I would rather live for Haiti, to tell you the truth. But don't be insulting to "people like me" who, first of all, do not consider ourselves "former" Haitian Nationals or former "anything"! I assume that you are referring to those of us who willingly assume our civic responsibilities as U.S. citizens, and not strangers in their midst after more than a quarter century. Guess what? We still consider ourselves Haitian Nationals, and there is nothing that you can do about it. I am every bit as Haitian as you are, by education, by culture, by language, by accent, by birth, by memories, by looks, by pride, by belonging, by bated breath.

Does this annoy you, Marcien? I hope not, because I am going to repeat it again, as my own declaration of independence from small-minded Haitians who dare think that they have the measure of control over anyone's nationality: I am every bit as Haitian as you are, by education, by culture, by language, by accent, by birth, by memories, by looks, by pride, by belonging, by bated breath.

There. Now, I will add this. The Haitian constitution, as presently construed, would not allow me to run for president of Haiti or some other high government posts. What a crushing blow! And to think that I could count on at least 5 people from Ann Pale to vote for me! That would be enough to qualify me at least for a second round! [Just kidding, folks] No, Marcien, you can rest easy on that one. Like you, I did not think that Simeus and citizens of other countries should have run for president either, because the constitution clearly forbade it. I know that this was a particular obsession of yours. However, let me make this clear. Though I have absolutely no political ambition whatsoever and forever in running for any political position in my country of origin, you and others like you shall NEVER succeed in denying me my Haitianity. Whether you live or die for Haiti has no relevance to that whatsoever. I am speaking, I am sure, for tens of thousands of others when I say: I am an American citizen, by choice, but Haitian I was born and Haitian I will stay. And those of you who are not happy about that notion may cry in your handkerchief if you like.

[quote]Do I understand why you asked me such a question? I understand very well. [/quote]
Good for you. And I got your answer... "Not yet."

[quote]That was the reason why on my first reply to MDeibet I mentioned that "he seemed more patriotic than most of us on this Forum". I read his plight on behalf of the masses. [/quote]
Take comfort, Michael. That's high praise indeed, considering what Marcien wrote above about a different Michael Diebert:
[quote]I have read only once a post of MDeibert and I do not feel compelled to reading any other one. Most of those foreigners who find themselves very concerned by "poor people and poor nations" showing their great sense of humanity do not really feel a sense of "brotherhood".[/quote]
Now, will the real MDeibert, according to Marcien, please stand up?

[quote]I read your misplaced and ill fated respect and support for Aristide which had nothing to do with the well-being of our people.[/quote]
Here we go again... Old obsessions never die.

[quote]You and many others believed in a man not in a cause, for if you have believed in a cause which is just and patritotic, you would have clearly understood that Aristide could not handle at all the job of President of Haiti.[/quote]
And you can? Well, let me tell you this: I have participated in U.S. elections, as a U.S. citizen, for a quarter of a century, and I will opt for my vote to be respected every single time. I have never voted for Aristide (I certainly would have if I could have at the time), but that does not stop me from wishing the vote of the Haitian citizen to be respected as well. Whether my sympathies, which you seem to know even better than myself, as I expressed them and clearly still available in the archives of this website, went to President Aristide or not is irrelevant to the issue of respecting the Haitian voters, isn't it? This was always in contrast to your repeated ultimatums for Aristide to resign his post, and when he did (didn't he?) your sudden change of heart (perhaps because you wished to force him to resign yourself?) ... So to validate your own ultimatums? No dice, as seemingly Stanley Lucas, and Guy Philippe, and Jodel Chamblain, and Dominique Villepin and co. had a schedule of their own. Too bad they did not consult with you, Marcien.

To this day, I believe in "twa wòch dife Lavalas" yo: social justice, a transparent administration, and popular participation. On all three scores, I have offered a more coherent critique of the Aristide administration than you have ever done, Marcien, in your wildest dreams. But I was not among those yelling "aba". I was not with you then. I am not with you now. However, I have no particular regards for your political sympathies, because as far as I can tell, they do not really matter. The votes cast by the majority of citizens should be the determinant of leadership in any true democracy. Lessons learned in Haiti. Lessons recently forgotten, twice, in the U.S.

[quote]But popularity not preparedness, popularity not vision, popularity not courage, popularity not a strong sense of responsibility, popularity not integrity is the determining factor in politics in Haiti.[/quote]
That's often the case, unfortunately. The only hope, in my view: civic education and civic engagement.

[quote]I love peace, but I resent those who expect me to enjoy it only in my grave.[/quote]
[Sigh] MORE drama...

Live a long and happy life, Marcien!

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Post by admin » Sun Oct 15, 2006 4:31 pm

[quote]if Mr. President Preval were to appeal to Mr. President Hugo Chavez for Venezuela to purchase Haiti's international debt[/quote]
You and I would not know about this until the deal is done.

President Preval should not appear like begging for help from Venezuela. Haiti has traded her dignity enough...

We can enter into bilateral agreements with Venezuela, but the purchase of our international debt should not be on the block, at the very least not directly. Besides, Haiti's international debt is not so extraordinary that it has become a stranglehold on her economy. There are many other factors, like tariffs on trade (or lack of) and incentives for local and foreign investments that should be given higher priority before we put our debt in the balance, hoping for someone else's mercy.

In fact, what you suggest would legitimize some highly questionable elements of our international debt. It should be thoroughly reviewed, and this requires guts. Do we have it?

Why should we ask Venezuela to refinance the expenses of bloody dictators that were put in place and sustained by American foreigh policy?

And do not forget France's obligations to return the loot extorted from Haiti, though in my opinion this should not be done in the very populist way that the campaign was conducted. A commission of world-class economists and legal experts should have looked or should now look into the matter, so that it does not continue to be trivialized the way it has so far.

Again, in my humble opinion, the government of President Aristide has poorly handled the matter. In popularizing it, it has trivialized it. In trivializing it, it has popularized it. I don't know which end came first. But no one I know, not even the fiercest advocates of reparations, has ever explained the numbers to me on the basis of economic theory and the mathematics of finance.

This does not alleviate France's sins nor does it invalidate Haiti's claim. But we need to proceed on a rational basis, not simply by shouting political slogans.

In fact, France could well owe us much more than has been stated so far. And France is not alone.

Haiti has been fucked over, repeatedly, by the Western powers of Europe and also by the United States of America, through outright thievery or through all sorts of shady deals which have benefited a few pockets in Haiti and enhanced first-class economies. In the end, only the corruption of the local whores is delivered in technicolor (or today in high definition media input) for the world's consumption. This way, Haitians themselves end up believing that they are the most corrupt people on Earth, while corruption is practiced even more openly across our borders, in the more highly respected Dominican Republic, and billions of dollars (some even say trillions) disappear without a trace from Iraq's economy.

In the same vein, European rulers have raped Africa over and over, and over again, depriving her from her gold, silver, diamonds and other precious stones, to the point that the discovery of vast oil reserves in Africa portend a specter of death through genocides and civil wars financed from abroad, rather than optimism for the possibilities that could be afforded by new found wealth. The vultures that are circling just above, namely Big Oil and other giant multinationals, manage to block the sunlight, that is the hope that Africa will one day be able to suffice to itself. So now, increasingly Africa is turning to China, the rushing global economic superpower of the twenty-first century. Will China treat Africa more like a partner than the restavèk that has been so thoroughly abused by the West?

But Black African countries and Haiti conjure up images of despotic rulers and corrupt leaders, and those images have been marketed so insidiously that we end up believing that somehow we are less human and we deserve to pay the price of our savagery. Dessalines, they have told me, was burning in Hell for his "koupe tèt, boule kay" strategy of overcoming SLAVERY, whereas his alleged admonition of "plimen poul la, men pa kite-l rele" (pluck the chicken, but don't let it squawk) was presented more like a nugget of wisdom, a general principle of managing a country's treasury (Michelle Benett let the chicken squawk, because she believed it did not matter, so Baby Doc was sent packing with crates of money, courtesy of the U.S. government, but mostly it is Michelle's greed that is remembered, not the Duvalier dinasty's). Still others have emerged to fill in the insatiable imagination of the purveyors of darkness.

Wherever we stand, we generally can contemplate only one half of the moon and speculate about the other half, that which we all refer as the dark side of the moon, where vultures are bred and nurtured by invisible hands.

But real world scientists, in astronomy or politics, understand that it is necessary to study both sides of the moon, the one that is exposed and the one that is hidden from view, in order to understand celestial dynamics or to understand the economics of underdevelopment which essentially fuel the assumed wealth of developed countries of the chosen peoples. In as much as the chosen peoples strive to understand the neglected peoples on earth, so too the neglected peoples should strive to understand the chosen peoples on earth. With full understanding may emerge either revolutions or at least a decent equilibrium?

We should never ignore Our Story. Those who ignore History are bound to repeat it, it is said. The story of our economic exploitation is too painful to be repeated. We should begin by demanding to be treated like a respected partner. We exist, therefore we have leverage. We have leverage, which is why we still exist. The hell with "beggars cannot be choosers". Let's break down the walls of international diplomacy, but not in getting new masters. Let's broker our own terms of development. Let's discover exactly what our leverage is, because it's there. Let us not believe that our salvation lies in the charity of others. In international politics, let us just assume that charity does not exist.

Long live Chavez, because he represents an alternative for Latin America (or for the Americas) that seems attractive, compared to the crushing alternative of the U.S. and International Finance Institutions. However, for all of his bravado, Chavez is in great danger. But whether or not the Bolivarian revolution succeeds and even expands well beyond the limits previously attained by the Cuban revolution, Haitians still have to grapple their own demons. We have to combat internal corruption, not because others snicker about it in total or near total obliviousness of their own corrupting practices, but simply because it is for our own good. In combating that internal corruption, we must bear in mind the sources of that corruption and deal with them accordingly.

For instance: everyone knows that the drug trade has, in a large way, sustained sustained the cash flow in Haiti for the last 30 years or so. Haiti has even reached a fair amount of publicity in that regard, being the (nth?) trans-shipment port for drugs originating from places in South America) to places in North America. The government of Haiti has been ridiculed for tolerating drug traffickers, and obligingly so. But where the hell are the drugs cultivated? Where the hell are they being consumed? In the balance sheet, who the hell are making and paying for the billions of dollars of the drug trade? Why is Haiti left holding the bag, as though we were the ones to go and pick up the damn drugs and deliver them them directly to unsuspecting church-going dwellers in the U.S.? Why is Haiti so infamous for drug trafficking? Damn if I know! Why do not they take significant measures to stop the drug traffic in the first place? Why is the consumption of drugs so recreational in American culture? Why do they demonize Haitians for a product that satisfies their addictions, a product that Haiti does not grow, a product that Haiti hardly consumes (for most who are intelligent enough to stay away from it), a product that has appeal only for the huge sums of money they are willing to spend for it? And who or what people does not love money? Who will ever ignore the source of easy money when other resources are scarce, due to politically motivated economic embargoes and other means of international isolation? Why is Haiti the poster child for the white powder that the U.S. consumes to oblivion?

Point in fact: the drug has to flow from here to there. Haiti will not increase the flow of drugs nor will it decrease it. When it is not delivered through Haiti, it is being delivered through another point. Once again, instead of demonizing Haitians, and instead of making open war against Colombian peasants, why do they not focus on reducing the demand for drugs, whether by way of legalizing them or else? Is the problem that there is just so much money involved in the illicit drug trade that the U.S. cannot come to grips with bleeding off such a rich flow of economic activity? Why the phony wars?

Doctor, heal thyself!

That is just once instance of the demonization of Haitians, but I will stop there for now.

What the world owes Haiti in reparations dwarfs our international debt, which is largely illegitimate in the first place. We need to deal with that inequality. We need to formulate it in more precise terms. We need to educate ourselves to the ways of the world and reach for a decent equilibrium. We need partners, not masters. We need to believe that we are not the pariahs of the western world as they have led us to believe.

We need leverage. Not charity. But leverage is found and exercised only by those who believe it exists, seen or unseen, in the first place.

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Post by admin » Tue Oct 17, 2006 3:49 pm

I don't think you quite understood my reference to "Doctor, heal thyself". The doctor in that instance was the Drug Enforcement Administration acting as an extension of the U.S. State Department and the U.S. Embassy in Haiti and other countries in Central and South America. I am not requesting mercy for drug dealers, as they are in fact purveyors of death and they are largely responsible for the erosion of safeguards in our culture, which explains at least in part the proliferation of kidnappings and other vile acts which have become so common to urban life in Haiti. On one hand, the Haitian government (including the Justice Ministry) must be given the latitude and the means to seriously crack down on the drug traffickers. Zero tolerance. On the other hand, one has to recognize that the drug traffic problem in Haiti exists primarily to satisfy the U.S. incredible appetite for cocaine and other stuff.

So, when I say "Doctor, heal thyself", I mean to say that the U.S. should stop parading a few heads in Haiti and elsewhere as the bad guys, as though they were the ones truly responsible for drug consumption and all the crack heads in the U.S.A. Their priority should be to find ways to drastically reduce the demand for illicit drugs from U.S. citizens in the first place. If they are serious about doing that, they should stop scapegoating their failures in impoverished ghettoes of the U.S. and Haiti.

Most important questions to answer: Who is consuming the illicit drugs? Classes and magnitudes of consumption? Who is making the most profit from the drug trade? Classes and magnitudes of profit making? Start there. Treat the problem. It is enormous, but supporting a war against the peasants in Colombia and demonizing political leaderships anywhere south of the U.S. border does not solve the problem and may in fact exacerbate it.

[quote]If his policies (such as his "trivialization" of reparations from France for example) were disagreeable to the people of Haiti, then they and only they, can or should replace him when his term legally expired, and not at the whim of the USA, France or other foreign interference. [/quote]
Well, you are not going to get an argument from me there, as I have always pronounced myself against coups. In the entire history of the United States, there has never been one coup d'etat, not a single one, zero, zilch. But how many coups have the U.S. promoted or got directly involved in, militarily and financially?

As far as the "trivialization" of reparations from France for example, this certainly was not impeachable offense (but perhaps from France's viewpoint it was). Credit must be given to Aristide for having made an issue of it in the first place, though in my humble opinion he should have framed the message better. I will expand on this another time. I was expressing an objection to the manner in which the campaign was conducted (and perhaps Aristide was made to pay the ultimate price for it), but that should never have been a reason for his demise. There could be such reasons. In a democracy, there should be avenues, such as a referendum or an impeachment process, to dispose of a government gone mad. But a coup d'etat (there have been more than 40 in Haiti's History) is totally unacceptable.

The U.S. has NEVER tolerated the idea of a coup against its government. NEVER! Why do they get so actively involved in coups against other governments?

They know why... but we should be intelligent enough to know why, too. And swear to never let it happen again. Unless we want to be designated "the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere" forever more.

Empress Verite

Thanks Guy ABout the Warning of Chavez' Charity

Post by Empress Verite » Mon Oct 23, 2006 8:26 pm

Guy:

I am glad that you responded so critically to the Chavez aid package deal. The fact is that he is promising the same deal that Bolivar did. It's a real trap in many ways for the poor Haitians really. First, I would begin by trying to figure out the condition or quality of life of Haitians in Venezuela like many of my relatives who have lived there for decades but may have never been fully been integreted into the society primarily because of their color and social class/caste.

Secondly, I think that it is very important that you insist that folks cannot take away your Ayisyanity/Haitianess. As you mentioned in your response to Marcien Toussaint. I feel that Haitian political theory is moving in a very dangerous and precarious position. It is following the call of nativity or the same kind of reactionary nationalism that is being expressed by many African theorist, primarily from West Africa. Chinua Achebe, the Nigerian scholar has written that he accepts tha he is not as Nigerian as those he left behind decades ago and who perhaps did not travel abroad to the metropole. However, those people still have a place in their native country's politics and social life. Haitians abroad are responsible for so much in addition to the remittances that keep the small economies going.

I also wish to thank Marcien Toussaint for his honest comments about the nature of "foreign" involvement or interference in Haitian life in the nation state. The fact that 60% of Haiti's economy or financial welfare is donated and by one single entity-the US should have us ALARMED! US hegemony in the hemisphere demands that they maintain some nation states as prisoners or colonial states by proxy. Do we forget Haitian [history]? I find your voice truly inspiring Mr. Toussaint and I really believe that only this kind of perspective will get us close to jerking off the oppressive yoke. Some folks have begun to try and figure out how Haitians could reach deep to find other ways and means of financing our economy. One such solution was to redirect the flow of dollars that Haitians spend travelling abroad to other places and this apparently would refund us with $5billion! that is way more than the annual budget! I am not a natif natale nor do I want to claim that position. However, since I am 100% Haitian biologically I care. And I would like to ask you not to give up on the Diaspora folks too quickly because of some feelings about authenticity. For instance, the 1st generation and the 1.5 are to a great extent the brain that Duvalier pere kicked out of the country and who have not returned. Are you willing to chase them away too because they have not been there. Believe me, I've been around some like Guy who seem to love Haiti way more than the folks who live there now. Those folks who need a one way ticket out with no permission to return EVER!

Lastly, I would like to say to the so-called foreigners (including myself I guess since I am not a natif natale) to please try not to impose their perspective on folks on this forum. It is true as Guy and Marcien wrote that the implication often is that Haitians are backwards and uneducated folks who need help coming out of the so-called dark (really white oppressive) ages and so they won't mind a little white (however unschooled about the situations or conditions) to their situation. This is the problem with missionary thinking and also with a certain kind of seemingly benign tourism. It keeps us down in every way. You know, after WWII many Orthodox White European Jews felt compelled to go away to a remote island (not occupied Palestine) to regroup and to solidify their relationship with each other in order to understand what had happenned to them and to heal and prevent it from EVER happenning again. I am so proud of those folks for their courage and I envy them because the world has left them alone to do this important and necessary work. But they are white and well off so they are allowed to have WHITE only clubs. Blacks students have tried for decades to do this at predominently white schools by organizing black student housing akin to Jewish student housing or women's housing or gay/lesbian/bi sexual or vegetarian/vegan or frat or soror housing. Well, when I was at UPenn they got bomb threats almost everyday and at my undergrad the black students were scared into integreting it for fear that they would ALIENATE too many whites and other color folks. Go figure. When I see folks like couples or others having private and intimate sessions I try not to interfere. I walked in on a white professor and his wife once in the lunchroom of their center at FIU and although it was public space I felt that I was invading their personal space somehow and I quickly retrieved. Part of me felt like I had accidently witnessed a private session and I had the most uncomfortable feeling. I would like for these folks to respect the right of Haitians to dialogue because sans interference in the hopes that they can eventually resolve their problems and find a healing space once and for all. We need it!

And so far as having China as the new colonizer, well, I would suggest further reading on the state of China and its workers at this time. The chinese are considered caucasians by law. Certainly, they are not white but they are not lovers of blacks either. Check out for instance, their role in Caribbean social life specifically Jamaica. What legacy have they left except for a lot of confusion and self hatred among the masses? The WSWS.org has great critical articles about the condition of the Chinese economy and (mis)treatment of workers.

Finally, Guy, you left out the millions of people that were stolen from Africa and who continue to be traded like chattel. What is the cost of that? I would give up all natural resources for one human life? Wouldn't you?

Mesi anpil.

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Post by admin » Tue Oct 24, 2006 8:54 am

[quote]Guy, you left out the millions of people that were stolen from Africa and who continue to be traded like chattel. What is the cost of that?[/quote]
[quote]European rulers have raped Africa over and over, and over again, depriving her from her gold, silver, diamonds and other precious stones, to the point that the discovery of vast oil reserves in Africa portend a specter of death through genocides and civil wars financed from abroad, rather than optimism for the possibilities that could be afforded by new found wealth. The vultures that are circling just above, namely Big Oil and other giant multinationals, manage to block the sunlight, that is the hope that Africa will one day be able to suffice to itself.[/quote]
I did not mean to leave out the millions [tens of millions?] of people that were stolen from Africa. But precisely, we cannot put a price on that.

The context here though is human rights and politics in Haiti. Aragorn placed the accent on economic rights, by suggesting strongly that Haiti should sell her foreign debt to Venezuela. What would that mean? Essentially, Venezuela would extend a loan to Haiti with the stipulation that the money be used to repay the Inter-American Development Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and other international creditors. The new loan would then be repaid to Venezuela under more favorable terms, I suppose. What would this accomplish, other than sticking it to the man with someone else's stick? I would rather see Haiti challenge in world courts and the court of public opinion the legality and morality of having to pay arrears and finance charges on loans not received, loans that were not disbursed for the purpose of strangling the national economy for petty political aims. I would rather see Haiti challenge debts that were signed on her back without her consent by unelected despots at the pay of the United States of America. I would rather see Haiti challenge the grand extortion applied by the International Finance Institutions which often behave like an International Mafia in that they implement policies specifically designed to impoverish the already desperate in favor of the already opulent.

If Venezuela were to extend a loan of that magnitude to Haiti, I would want to see it put to work immediately (and directly) in the public sector: development of roads, educational centers, hospitals, food crops including fisheries, and a general clean up of our environment.

And then, too, what would be the terms of repayment of such loan to Venezuela? I can well imagine that they would be more favorable than the sick, sick terms of our current debt repayments (and that's why I do not think that we should legitimize that debt with a wide brush stroke!) If Haiti must honor her debt, then why is the notion of a debt to Haiti so ridiculed in diplomatic circles? Why is international debt repayment a one-way street? Everything must be put on the table.

I am sure that Aragorn would argue that if Venezuela purchased Haiti's debt, that would free some resources for Haiti (the amount generated by least favorable repayment terms minus most favorable repayment terms). We should then bank on that differential in terms of planning our national development (food sources, roads, health care, environment, etc). That is perhaps what worked for Argentina. I have precious little information on that. But I know that it is always dangerous to look at a supposedly successful model elsewhere, borrow it without much examination, and then attempt to apply that model locally and find out later that it does not fit, for one reason or another. I would not urge the government of President Preval to do anything at all, except perhaps to place the matter under its radar screen. It should be considered for what it is worth. I sense, though, that there are more urgent national priorities.

Furthermore, the field of international politics and diplomacy in general has never been Preval's forte. Switching masters of international debt may be tantamount to putting a tutu on Preval and asking him to dance ballet. Let's focus on his area of strength: give him the resources (not just financial but more importantly, human) to fight local corruption and create roads, schools, and agricultural reforms. What I would like to see from the government is a clear blueprint and rationale for those roads, schools, and food development projects. Roads to where and for what purposes? Schools to teach what? (would it be same ol' same ol': more brick and mortar places to teach basic arithmetic and principles of a western-centric but haiti-phobic mis-education, instead of a most decidedly haiti-centric and haitianophile re-education?) Agricultural solutions that would lead elsewhere than a historic class struggle and a potent destabilizer of the basis of government in Haiti since 1804? A plan of national development that addresses Haiti's basic needs, but does not neglect to address its entranched counter-development foes, namely ignorance, corruption and insatiable greed. That is what Haitians have a right and duty to ask of the government they have themselves elected over all others that were preferred by foreign governments and private investment clubs. The government should not stay silent nor pretend that it really has the expertise to know what is better for the people of Haiti, without involving them in a clear national dialogue, hearing their voices and learning what it is they want. The people of Haiti too should learn not to treat their government automatically like a pariah of bad faith, but rather demand that it serves them through constructive forms of dialogue (not the humiliating rants on radio that ultimately serve no purpose whatsoever).

That's where it is at. The Cuban revolution was designed to benefit the Cubans most of all, but is currently benefitting Haiti also. The Bolivarian revolution is designed to benefit the Venezuelans and other Latino countries most of all, but may in the end benefit Haiti also. But before the Cuban revolution, before the Bolivarian revolution, and concurrently with the French and American revolutions, there was the Haitian revolution which seemed to benefit all others before its own people. It is high time that we reconnect with the central purpose of the Haitian revolution which was to create (and develop) a new nation led by Haitians for Haitians. Yes, the Haitian revolution has been a beacon of freedom, liberty, and human rights for students of History all across the globe but how long can we, could we, sustain that shining light if we do not focus on providing first for ourselves?

It is in a way similar to the notion of the U.S. being a nation of immigrants. Historically true. But how long will they be able to sustain that notion, when they turn decisively anti-immigrant and try to outdo themselves in a display of nationalism that is a disguised front for greed and racism? The U.S. militarily conquered vast areas of land that formerly belonged to Mexicans, and now U.S. citizens feel entitled to say with a straight face: "This is our land (which God mysteriously and unequivocally bequeathed to us) and it is entirely immoral of you to try and break our laws (because we, on the other hand, are a nation of law-abiding citizens who have historically and presently respected the property rights of other peoples)." How long can the U.S. present itself with pride as a nation of "¿supposedly legal?" immigrants without becoming the subject of international ridicule?

In this way, Haitians too had better pick up where the dreams of Toussaint Louverture and Jean-Jacques Dessalines left them. It's not enough to glorify our ancestors. The only way to truly honor them is to do for ourselves.

I will conclude by offering again the words I wrote on January 1, 2004:

"Countless freedom fighters and nationalist leaders have acknowledged that they were inspired by the Haitian Revolution, from the liberation wars of Latin America, to civil rights advocacy in the United States, and the anti-colonialist and anti-apartheid struggles on the African continent. So in many lands, the Haitian Revolution became synonymous with freedom of the oppressed. Indeed many of those struggles were successful in their execution, as many new nations emerged, following the examples of Haiti and one should add, the United States. That the United States was a white nation that prospered and that Haiti was a black nation on the road to total impoverishment is also a fact that has not been lost on the world. The aftermath of the Revolution can be murky to the indiscriminating eye. What's the big deal, might one say. Hence the struggle continues to have the Haitian Revolution come true for every single Haitian. It is associated today to the struggle for economic rights and political freedom, literacy and health, education and democracy. Any ordinary citizen or government leader, who would exalt the virtues of the Haitian Revolution and not dedicate himself or herself to the concretization of its revolutionary ideals in today's Haiti and for the Haitian poor, is simply mouthing words without a good appreciation of their meaning. For the Haitian Revolution to be completely successful, it has to live in every Haitian heart. It has to guide all Haitians in positive actions for a better future.

I think that there are greater forces aligned today against the political freedom and economic rights of the Haitian people than there were even at the time of Toussaint Louverture and Jean-Jacques Dessalines. Those forces yesterday were naked in their exercise of strength and oppressive ideology. True, at that time, they were also married to a program of Christianization of slaves imported from Africa. But, all in all, it was easy for a slave to tell his friends from his enemies. Today, all internal and external enemies of the Haitian people like to present themselves as its great friends. They act in the name of Haitians, but not for their benefit. They create economic initiatives to rob the people further of their last possessions, while pontificating about the fiscal benefits of one set of economic policies as opposed to another. They sow discord and hate to keep the people divided. They promise everything to those who do not have, while in practice they only deliver more to those who have already. They champion democracy in words, while they marginalize the masses and deprive them of their right to vote and participate in decisions that will greatly affect their future...

Today's political leaders should simply read their history and understand that their time is necessarily limited. Limited in securing material benefits for themselves or limited in extending the gains of Haiti's revolution to the disenfranchised masses. No one is immortal. However, their name and reputation will outlive them and they will be judged by their survivors and by the people for whom they have chosen to serve or not to serve. Far from the passions of the moment, History will record their deeds and judge them quite apart from empty speeches and promises.

Long live the Haitian Revolution. The people of Haiti have just begun to fight for their place in the sun."

Empress Verite

Guy For President

Post by Empress Verite » Tue Oct 24, 2006 12:36 pm

Guy:

I really appreciate that you took the time to explain and outline your thinking on this issue so thoroughly. You seem so familiar with the situation especially with the [historical] implications and roots of the problem as well as the economic foundations of the situation. I so much appreciate your plan to relieve Ayiti of this perpetual debt which is and has not been released but continues to accrue interest! That's outrageous this is the situation that the so-called 1st world has got the rest of the world into. Most of these countries who did get debt relief will apparently not even see the benefits for awhile either and why was Haiti not even included? Several of the countries on the list apparently had better GDPs than "our" nation state. Anyway, we know that this debt contributes a great deal to the poverty and then that creates the horrible social conditions that we have.

Moreover, I really liked your plan for the recovery of the Haitian educational and social life. You hit the nail right on the head with those points for me. I completely identified and I felt that this was THE WAY to do it if we are to see real and lasting changes. Unfortunately, I don't think that other leaders have been as concerned about these particular social problems as much. And I am dismayed that Aristide wants to return to work on issues of education when he should work on what he is good at which is religious freedom and spiritual elevation. I am afraid that he will re-create apartheid that already exists in the Haitian educational system.

Finally, thanks for reprinting your post on 1/1/04. It is apropos simply because we need to be reminded that Ayiti was a model of hope for many and that unfortunately the enemy is less visible now than back then. I am fearful that the recent (mis)leaders including Preval have been duped because in their quest for power they allowed themselves to be seduced by the nice sounding and smelling and looking "friends" who are in fact opportunists waiting for their turn to rule. Patrick Elie's recent interview on NACLA was an eye opener for me. I was shocked that Preval travelled around with a group of the moneyed and others have also said that he is meeting with the downpressors constantly. Well, where are we now? Elie pointed out that he cannot rule out the rich but alliances with them might be detrimental to the majority.

Most importantly for me Guy was your plan for a dialogue between the masses. One in which the rulers would pay close attention to and use in their work for the nation state. That part for me was the true sign of a compassionate leader who cares about the people's feelings and who really wants to deal with the problems from the "bottom" up instead of the same oppressive colonial model that reproduces the hierarchies with which we are so familiar. The people need this and it might give us the opportunity for the healing that must take place in order for us to move forward.

For me a true leader is not someone who is trying to lead and take charge or gain power. This is someone who cares and who has studied the situation thoroughly and completely and would like to see change for the better and from which most can benefit from. The fact that most of Haiti's population lives in the rural areas but yet little of the budget has been allocated to the needs of that community is SCANDALOUS! I myself am against de-ruralization of our masses. This is very DANGEROUS, it might lead to serious problems. For instance, the various anthropologists and social scientists who studied urbanization in Ayiti in the mid 20th century found that in fact folks were leaving these areas to go find a way in the urban center of PaP. Well, these folks have come to make up the vast majority of the city's homeless and other downtrodden folks, (sex workers, beggars, ti moun ki rete ak moun etc..) and that has put the nation state in further deterioration. The urbanization of our population causes all sorts of problems including perhaps the escalation of certain diseases and polution and overcrowdedness... By leaving the rural areas, most of these folks are contributing to the death of agricultural system that is so necessary for the growth of the nation state. I am a beneficiary of Haiti's agricultural possibilities and I will forever be grateful and thankful to have eaten food that were grown by familiar hands on land that belonged to us for generations. Besides, an agricultural based economy is a good thing. I recall that back in the late 1970s when we had a "mysterious" epidemic that affected the health of pigs in Ayiti, the US was so "generous" to provide us with aid by introducing their own brand which of course killed many because they were apparently sick as well but it also killed our industry and that contributed to the large numbers of folks who risked life and limb across the waters to go overseas and try to make it ELSEWHERE. As a vegan I am a strong advocate for a sound agricultural program. I will forever believe that had it not been for our skills and gifts as producers we would not have made it through slavery. (For one thing our bodies would not have been as strong and we would not have had the means or purchase power to buy our freedom and that of our loved ones. It has been documented that some slaves used what they produced in their gardens to sell in markets and used the money for those purposes.) Currently, the food shortages that we see in Ayiti that has plagued us for so long is a problem that will persist as most agronomists would probably agree if we don't revive our agricultural system. (As a person of Haitian descent living in the US in a post 9/11 world I wish for a Haitian market near my area because the fear that folks were coerced to feel about possible attacks especially on food supplies made the produce area of supermarkets like Publix in Miami a battleground for some of us. And an open market where Haitians could buy and sell produce from that nation state instead of being forced to support economies further South and the DR would have been WONDERFUL indeed!).

GUY FOR PRESIDENT BECAUSE YOU UNDERSTAND SO WELL WHAT NEEDS TO BE DONE AND WHAT HAS TO BE DONE SO THAT WE CAN MOVE FORWARD ONCE AND FOR ALL AND FULFILL THE DREAM AND THE COURSE SET BY THOSE WHO FOUGHT FOR OUR FREEDOM CENTURIES AGO. And Down with those seasoned politricksters who have studied all of the models but refused to cooperate with the true MODEL. Localized, de-mystify and Free our minds!



Mesi anpil.
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Post by admin » Tue Oct 24, 2006 3:14 pm

[quote]The urbanization of our population causes all sorts of problems including perhaps the escalation of certain diseases and polution and overcrowdedness... By leaving the rural areas, most of these folks are contributing to the death of agricultural system that is so necessary for the growth of the nation state. [/quote]
Urbanization has its place too, but it should be planned and not at the expense of ruralization. Why is it that in the United States for instance, the government has extended those incredibly huge subsidies to farmers? Just about everywhere, people prefer to migrate to the cities, because there usually are more jobs, more economic possibilities, and much more entertainment as well. And even when you do not have the jobs, the economic possibilities and the rich entertainment, people will still migrate to the cities because of their promise of such, as in a mirage. Therefore, you will always need a program of economic incentives to keep people happy where they are and less likely to fall for the mirage of life in the big cities.

Furthermore, urbanization needs to be controlled. What we have in Haiti, in cities like Port-au-Prince, Cap-Haitien, Gonaives, Cayes, Jeremie, and even the much celebrated and internationally famous JACMEL is a disaster (in various degrees, of course). Of the cities I cited, I think that perhaps Jacmel has the greatest opportunity to pull it through, especially if it can, as are the current plans, draw its sprawling street market away from city center to a nearby location, making it possible to beautify the city and preserve its attractiveness while reinforcing and enhancing its infrastructures. As for Cap-Haitian, it is apparent to everyone who has visited it lately that the famed character of the city has been ravaged by uncontrolled development, with local entrepreneurs building two or three story additions on top of pre-existing housing units whose foundations were calculated to sustain only two. We could also talk about the other cities, where the urbanization may be in even dire needs. How do we generate electrical power for everyone, rich and poor? Twenty-four hours a day, and all year long. To me, that is an absolute requirement of life in the city. How can we even accept the idea of hospitals and other critical services without electricity? Finally, what about the mountains of trash and the missed opportunities for recycling? Yes, recycling and sanitation engineering are essential components that must be integrated in our urbanization. Otherwise we become city-dwellers, with fenced-in attractive houses, who do not mind living in trash much as pigs wallow in mud. Our cities must be cleaned up and kept clean!

[quote]I am a beneficiary of Haiti's agricultural possibilities and I will forever be grateful and thankful to have eaten food that were grown by familiar hands on land that belonged to us for generations. Besides, an agricultural based economy is a good thing.[/quote]
That is a sharp insight, which too many people lose unfortunately. Like many bird species have vanished from our landscape, so too have some of our healthy staples. Everyone knows that our scrawny chickens were second to none (though right now, I would have to eat a whole one by myself, rather than share it with eight other people). What about our fruit of excellence, the grenadine? Almost completely disappeared from our territory. How the heck did that happen? Even when you manage to get some, it's not like the grenadines of old. It is really a shame that in Haiti today, the word " juice" has become more or less synonymous with grenadia, a fruit that did not even seem to exist on the island some thirty years ago! What about the varied and plentiful fruits we had all over? What has happened to their production?

Obviously, we could go on but you have made an excellent point about eating "food that were grown by familiar hands on land that belonged to us for generations". I have faith that it is still possible to get back to that. We should not have to import dark meat chicken from the United States of America. That should not be the Haitian food program.

[quote]I recall that back in the late 1970s when we had a "mysterious" epidemic that affected the health of pigs in Ayiti, the US was so "generous" to provide us with aid by introducing their own brand which of course killed many because they were apparently sick as well but it also killed our industry and that contributed to the large numbers of folks who risked life and limb across the waters to go overseas and try to make it ELSEWHERE.[/quote]
Excellent point that we need to get across those who create the conditions of our impoverishment only to blame us when we go and search life elsewhere!!! Stop messing with us already, so that we have a chance to stay home! Haitians must have an alternative to crossing the borders and slave away in the Dominican Republic. Haitians must have an alternative to crossing the shark infested waters that separate them from the Bahamas and the unwelcoming-to-Haitian Floridian beaches. Haitians cannot be expected to stay put otherwise. Every group of people that has migrated to the United States has done so for the same set of fundamental reasons.

[quote]GUY FOR PRESIDENT[/quote]
Thanks for your vote of confidence, EV. But... 1) you have to know this apt saying from our community: "Se gwo non ki tiye chyen"; 2) I have no political ambitions whatsoever, so no one should perceive me as a threat. But thanks, anyway. I hope that your endorsement will not cause any distraction from the fundamental discussion that is taking place on this forum.

Empress Verite

Thank You Guy

Post by Empress Verite » Wed Oct 25, 2006 12:07 pm

Guy:

Again thank you so much for taking my thoughts seriously about this issue. I am very concerned about some of our ground institutions in Ayiti including education and agriculture. These 2 social institutions were ingrained in me as being my salvation and perhaps they were. For one thing, my grandfather was a sugar cane "farmer" producer and he made siro and klerin from the yield. I heard about this topic every day while living in Leoganne for the first 5 years of my life (minus the 1 I spent in New York) and through to when we moved to PaP. The money that he earned from this endeavor which took him across the nation state was used to shelter us but mostly our education seemed to have been the most important thing. I was really proud of that because so many had to leave and go ELSEWHERE to make a way. And here was this man who was the youngest child in a family of dozens and who did not read or write nor did he speak French taking care of those who were gros filozof. Unfortunately, he did not live to see me graduate from High school or college because I would have given him my diplomas. (He was the main reason why I went to school in Leoganne at a young age, I wanted to help him run his business and to keep the books.)

Anyway, it turns out that sugar cane is not a good agricultural crop for the island as a whole (Hispaniola) because it leads to soil erosion. And when it rains for instance during a hurricane, the soil runs down under the water pressure and creates all kinds of problems. The other crops that are being produced such as bananas (and perhaps even cofee) are not resistant to strong winds and that's a problem for the entire Caribbean region. These crops are easily destroyed by hurricane winds and a farmer can loose the yield from a whole season and families have to go hungry for months and children unable to attend school etc...

In Miami, a couple of years ago, the Mayor, Manny Diaz finally admitted (after being compelled to visit homes throughout the Little Haiti and Little River and surrounding areas that had been destroyed or damaged by falling (Ficus) trees (which have strong roots)) that these were apparently the wrong kinds of trees for the area. And they are apparently not resistant enough to these strong hurricane winds and have killed many and destroyed so much. I learned about this from my a course that I took in the Geography department at a Research 1 University in California. The professor had written a lot about disasters in the area and discussed it a lot throughout the course. I also saw a brief documentary about this on HTN (Haitian Television Network) but it was short however, they made the same points and seemed to have a plan to plant trees. You know that most have been cut down to make charcoal and that also contributes to de-forestation and in turn creates the problems during the hurricanes that cost so many lives.

I'm sorry about the long lecture but my dream is to have my own organic garden where I grow tropical fruits like grenadines and all the various kinds of mangoes that we find in Ayiti and various herbs and plants and tubors and mostly kenneps and kachiman. (I will do it Guy, you wait and see!) I may have to do with hydroponics but it will be a worthy effort and cost effective for my family/tribe. Produce is the most expensive purchase for us and for many black folks. This is why most don't buy it and instead purchase canned goods and other stuff that make them obese and sick.

Finally, while the US government felt inclined to give "farmers" subsidies in the past 2 decades. (In my view this happenned primarily because of the celebrated case of the white farmers who were found cultivating illegal substances because their crops were no longer being purchased by the US who chose to go eleswhere-to the South (and now someday soon to Cuba) to get the crops for less. The Reagan administration moved quickly to relieve that and legitimize these seemingly innocent and benign white farmers. Unfortunately, black farmers in the US have not experienced the same kindness and sympathy from the US government. In fact, in the past decades black farmers have been pushed out of the industry. BET did a wonderful segment on this issue a couple of years ago and it was truly sad. The number of Black farmers at this time is miniscule in comparisson to their numbers decades ago. George Washington Carver would be OUTRAGED! And so am I because a people who do not grow their own food are bound to end up slaves and poor. Also, the lost of the tradition is really sad. (Another thing that I noticed is that perhaps this is also happenning in Africa like in Ethiopia where drought recently caused famine throughout the South). And I also noticed too that some produced like grapes that used to be imported from South Africa are no longer available in markets in Miami.

Lastly, you commented on my statement about de-ruralization and urbanization and I feel that your point is well taken. However, while I am not advocating rural life in any way as opposed to city life. I feel that the mass migration to city centers and to the metropoles have to be contextualize and understood in their own [historical] places. For instance, one professor pointed out to me that Caribbean people did not want to work the land because for many it was too reminiscent of slavery and the association of that kind of work with that ugly and treacherous [history] was one reason that they stayed away from it. So the tendency as he saw it was for them to migrate ELSEWHERE to go find their way by any means. That is their perogative but look at the results of the mass migration of African Americans at the end of the 19th and at the turn of the 20th centuries? What did they find exactly? At the urgence of liberal whites in power, they left the deadly South (where actualy the bow weasel had destroyed many cotton crops and blacks who were sharecropping had to find other ways) and migrated to city centers like Chicago, New York and so on. Carole Stacks's book about the return migration of African Americans to the South documents well how blacks from all social classes are choosing to go back to areas that they left decades ago. Just like Haitians who dream of returning home someday after meeting their goals in the Djaspora.

For me this is part of the new urban plan that Juan Gonzalez of Democracy Now! speaks and writes of. The new urban centers like New York are being modeled after European cities like Paris where the downtrodden are pushed to the subburbs that surround the city where the yuppies and well to do want to live (apparently because they no longer want to comute because of the cost of gas and proximity to the hip social life). And the inner city is less accessible to terrorist who might attack from above.

This is my piece for now and I hope that I clarified some of my statements better.

EV

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Post by admin » Sat Oct 28, 2006 1:57 am

[quote]my dream is to have my own organic garden where I grow tropical fruits like grenadines and all the various kinds of mangoes that we find in Ayiti and various herbs and plants and tubors and mostly kenneps and kachiman. (I will do it Guy, you wait and see!)[/quote]
I like your vision and I pray that your dream come true.

Empress Verite

Thank You Very Much

Post by Empress Verite » Sat Oct 28, 2006 1:34 pm

Guy:

Thanks for the encouragement.

EV

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Post by admin » Sun Nov 05, 2006 7:40 pm

Thanks, Aragorn. World Prout Assembly is a quite interesting website.

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