Haiti: Aristide Has Called for Violent Street Protests or “Dechoukaj” If Scheduled November 20 Elections Are Aborted

aristide

Former President Jean-Bertrand Aristide

The other day, as I was scrolling down my news feed on Facebook, I stumbled on this video clip of Jean-Bertrand Aristide campaigning alongside Maryse Narcisse, the presidential candidate for his Fanmi Lavalas Party, in which he is calling for “dechoukaj” [in English: violent street protests] in the event that his Lavalas associates in power fail to hold the scheduled November 20 elections.

That was very irresponsible on his part, being that he is a former president, someone who is expected to take the high road on the burning issues affecting our everyday lives.

I want to tell this man that we have enough of his politics of violence. The country cannot take another wave of “dechoukaj” and “kraze brize.” Ever since I know him, violence has always been his signature politics. His incitation to violence is proof that he has not evolved a notch.

Should his Lavalas associates continue to hold on to the people’s power illegally if they fail to organize the elections? Absolutely not. But we do not need a wave of “dechoukaj,” as Aristide is suggesting, to solve that problem.

Why should we always have to recourse to violence to make our voices heard? What has happened to the idea of holding peaceful protests in a democracy?

If his Lavalas associates in power fail to hold the elections, I am calling on the country’s social, political, religious and business forces to come together to propose the way forward to a peaceful transfer of power –to ask Jocelerm Privert, the country’s de facto president, and his cronies to get their grips off the people’s power so Judge Mecene Jean-Louis of the Supreme Court could take the leadership of the country with the ultimate mandate of closing the chapter of the overdue elections.

The country has had enough in the past few years –earthquake, hurricanes, floods, etc… –for this man to be inciting violence. Just last month, we got hit by a devastating hurricane, leaving the entire Southern peninsula in shambles. Yet, this defrocked priest could not find anything better to do with himself but to incite his followers to violent protests. He ought to be ashamed of himself.

Aristide represents everything that is not good for our country, everything that is keeping us in this state of lawlessness, instability and socioeconomic deprivation. We need to repudiate his politics of violence once and for all. After 30 years of the Lavalas anarchic philosophy, we say enough is enough. Now is the time for civility and tolerance in our political discourse. Now is the time to rebuild, not destroy. 

Advertisements

IF I COULD VOTE IN HAITI, I WOULD VOTE FOR…

A friend of mine on Facebook put me on the spot to state the candidate I would vote for in this election about to take place in Haiti if I were able to vote. This is the first time someone has ever done this to me –pou m afiche m je klè, kidonk san voye wòch kache men. Without making a formal and official endorsement, I answer her like this:

 

Despite my disagreement with Martelly’s economic plan, which I think is socialistic to some extent and is going to stall competition on the market, if I were to choose between him and Manigat, the two options we have now left on the table to choose from, for what the country needs at this juncture, he would get my vote. Why him?

 

He may not be as intellectual as Manigat, but I see in him someone who could bring our already torn and divided country together -regardless of creed, religion, socioeconomic status, political affiliation, ethnicity, age, gender, etc… -and motivate and inspire us to do what needs to get done.

 

I also see in him someone who does not play; he means business. He is not someone to mess with, for he will go after you, embarrass you publicly, and bring you to justice.

 

He also seems to be a person of discipline, attention to detail and meticulousness. You give him a task to work on, he will assemble a team of experts or problem solvers to get it done in a timely manner. On top of all that, he seems to be a person of consistency, which means a whole lot to me.

 

Lastly, he seems to be a people person, someone -if you go down in the mud by accident -to take his jacket and tie off and fold up the legs of his pants and the sleeves of his shirt to go down and get you out of there. In other words, he is a person of very few complexes; he is not uppity and presumptuous.

 

Those are the attributes I notice in his personality which would definitely make me cast my vote for him. He seems to have what our beloved Haiti needs to reverse the state of freefall she has been in for 25 years. He will not be able to do anything if we  (ALL of us Haitians) don’t stand with and by him. He is only the leader to show us the way. But we still need to follow his leadership, get down and do what needs to get done.  So Martelly would definitely get my vote.