Being a nation with no previous democratic experience in our two centuries of existence, in terms of technicality, we Haitians are not doing too bad in our handling of our democracy. We have a lot of work to do, but we are on the right path.
Democracy is an ongoing process. Therefore, we must never stop growing, and we certainly must never stop strengthening our institutions if we want to enjoy the beauty of a strong democracy in Haiti.
The institution of democracy is not really a component of Haiti’s problems, since most Haitians favor a democratic Haiti embedded in these two basic principles: freedom of expression and freedom of choice. What we really need to do going forward is to civically educate the people on how to play the game of democracy with a winning state of mind. And the way you achieve that is by teaching them the rules of the game and how to apply them in their daily lives.
I am convinced that our problems are both political and economical. So fixing them requires of us all to be bold in our approaches.
By now, regardless our ideological differences, we all can agree on the fact that we have a vacuum of leadership in our country. In fact, you do not need to take my word for it. Just take a look at the way the aftermath of the earthquake has been managed. The so-called recovery plan they crafted along with the international community is an embarrassment.
Leadership and mediocrity/incompetence are mutually exclusive. It is impossible to get commonsense and proactive leadership out of dumbfoundedness, a trait which only incompetence and mediocrity nurture.
The solution to that aspect of the country’s problems is in the hands of the Haitian people, not those of the international community. We, the people of Haiti, need to break ties with mediocrity; it has proven time and time again to be the opposite force preventing us from progressing forward.
Solving the leadership problem will not happen overnight; it will take time. But we must keep in mind that we cannot be having the same failed politicians on the wheel leading the nation and expecting different results. Their failure has contributed to what Haiti has become today. So we need a new generation of leaders to emerge from the rubble of the disaster to send these “rat do kale” politicians occupying the country’s political landscape for over a quarter of a century to retirement. We need to retire their old, archaic and obsolete ways and replace them with the freshness of ideas emanating from a new class of leaders. We have no control over time, but we do have control over who we are going to choose to represent us and speak on our behalf.
On the economic front, in terms of economic wellbeing, Haiti was, prior to January the 12th, already a “failed” state. The earthquake did nothing but worsening the situation.
The country was the way it was mainly because of the financial or monetary conditions imposed upon it by the major international financial institutions -World Bank, IMF, etc. -dominated for the most part by the United States. If the US really cares and wants to help us to rebuild our nation, they need to start with addressing the evil manners the country has been dealt with by these international financial organizations. Otherwise, any effort to rebuild the country will be vainly undertaken.
In conclusion, we must not believe in the fallacy that the international community has our best interests. It would be foolish to have that in mind. They have their own agenda, which always conflicts with ours. The destiny of our nation lies in our hands. If the international community is really serious about building a strong partnership to help us rebuild our country, they need to be honest about it and stop playing games. In whatever capacity they want to help us, the approach must be systematic and comprehensive, meaning it must not be limited to the infrastructural aspect of the problem. It needs to go beyond that -it needs to touch on the way the country has been treated by the international financial organizations. Until they do that, any reconstruction effort will be a waste of time, money and resources.