Because I had made and presented the case against Manigat on a generational front, some had accused me of discriminating against her on the basis of her age. Well, the generational front is not the only one I am going to fight her on. She has a leadership problem.

As I said many times, Haiti is at a juncture where intellectualism alone is not going to reverse things around for her. She is in desperate need of a leader with iron spine and fist to lead the surgical intervention she needs to keep her alive.

I had made the leadership argument many times in the past but never really taken the time to explain what leadership really entails. This time I am going to do my best to hit it right in the head.

Leadership is the ability to motivate people to do things they would not otherwise want to do. It takes leadership to get people to believe in a better tomorrow. It takes leadership to get people to change, especially when they are so accustomed to doing the same things over and over.

The job of any leader, if I may, is to prepare your people for the challenges ahead. So in terms of leadership attributes Manigat does not have any. She is the symbol of leadership failure.

From 1986 to present, as leaders of RDNP, Lesly and Mirlande Manigat, failed to prepare a new generation of RDNPists for the challenges of tomorrow. So she is a failure as evidenced by the fact that after 25 years being active inside the party, not one young person is prepared and ready to lead.

Barack Obama is today the president of the United States mainly because the Democratic Party in Illinois had prepared and given him a chance to surface. In fact, they had brought him from the Illionois state senate to the national stage in 2004 at the Democratic National Convention held in Boston to give the keynote address, which had put and kept the spotlight on him. Today, 7 years later, he, not Bill Clinton, is the leader of the national Democratic Party.

In the Obama era, you have now an array of new, fresh and young Democrats such as Rahm Emanuel and Herald Ford, surfacing. In fact, these two guys had served in Congress and been in many leadership positions.

So that is what a political party is for –to prepare leaders to emerge and lead. The fact that Mirlande Manigat at 71 years old is still the leader of RDNP shows that she and her husband have failed to prepare a new generation of RDNPists for the challenges of tomorrow. Why they did not prepare a new generation of leaders to lead the party to victory is beyond my pay grade. However, one thing I can tell you is that it does tell a lot about them.

They, Mirlande Manigat and her husband, are two selfish individuals who initially brought this political party to life to serve their selfish and short-sided political interests, not those of the Haitian people. If Mirlande Manigat, as the leader of the party, could fail in her mission to prepare the party for tomorrow, chances are, if becomes president, she will fail the future of the nation, the Haitian youths, just as bad. Therefore, she does not have the leadership attributes Haiti needs at this juncture in her existence as a nation. She is a danger to the survivability of the Haitian nation. As a young Haitian, I love my country too much to let that happen. That is why I vow to do whatever in my human power to stop her from getting elected.


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.

REJOICING CHILEAN MINERS: Preval is not their president


Rejoicing chilean miner seconds after being brought to safety

The world has just finished watching the rescue operation that was going on in Chile all day yesterday; I am sure Preval too has, for it was being broadcasted around the globe minute by minute and action by action.

The 33 Chilean miners had been trapped under the ground for over 2 months, precisely since August 05. The Chilean government, led by President Miguel Juan Sebastián Piñera Echenique, ought to be praised for the sophisticated operation they put together to bring these men to safety. Mind you, this government has been in power for only seven months, and the country has just got through an 8.8-magnitude earthquake on the Richter scale, releasing an energy range between 500 and 900 times that of the magnitude 7.0 quake that hit Haiti on January the 12th.

By most people’s accounts, the government’s response to the tragedy was excellent. I bet the 33 miners are right about now thanking their God or gods for not being in a country like Haiti. Otherwise, they would have been left under the ground to die. If the authorities in that country were irresponsible like Preval, the president of Haiti, the miners would have had to “naje pou yo soti,” meaning they would have had to dig their way out.

Preval’s “naje pou w soti” philosophy could have not been any more evident than it has during and after the earthquake. While the people were dying and confused about which direction to go and whom to turn to, he was nowhere to be found -not even the foreign journalists dispatched on the ground minutes after the quake could find him. He went AWOL “Absent without leave” on the people.

All day yesterday, President Piñera of Chile and his staff were on the scene overseeing the operation to make sure that everything went as planned and expected. That played very well in the psychology of the rescue workers who were there doing their very best to bring the 33 men to safety. Yet, when the earthquake hit Haiti, it took our president days, if not weeks, to come out of the hole he was hiding in to show his selfishness, to make a statement only to complain about his palace and his house being destroyed. His selfish attitude could easily be translated in these terms: “the hell with the people; my palace and my house collapsed.”

The people of Haiti did not ask Preval to go out there and physically remove them from under the rubbles. They only expected him to command and lead in time of war, disaster and distress.  As a leader of a country, that’s what is required of you in situations like these. You have to be able to instill confidence in the people and make them believe that better days are ahead. And when you go AWOL into hiding and fail to do so, you’ve got to be held accountable.

Preval’s irresponsibility and failure to respond caused more people to lose their lives in the aftermath of the disaster. Some lives could probably have been saved had he used his office to command and lead in an expeditious manner. He has people’s blood in his hands. In the United States military, the institution I spent six years of my life in, that man would have been court marshaled and jailed for having failed to fulfill his duty expectedly and, because of that, loss of lives occurred. It is time that we hold our leaders accountable.

Accountability is the essence of good governance. We need to make an example out of that man. We don’t need to do anything more than what the Constitution of the land prescribes. We’ve got to organize the people to ask that the government’s response to the crisis be investigated. Preval needs to answer some very pertinent questions so we will know what went wrong and what needs to be done to not repeat the same stupid and silly mistakes in the future. We need to know why he, the president of the country, was so irresponsive for weeks while the people were desperately waiting on him to come through to provide them with guidance and reassurance in the middle of the disaster.

Now, what Preval’s fate should be is not for me to tell. But I am sure the law of the land has something for him. Therefore, he must be given what he deserves for the acts of failure he displayed.