Calling On Former High-Ranking Haitian Military Officers

Members of the demobilized Haitian military

I understand that these demobilized military guys want the return of the Haitian military. I do not think anyone with the Haitian blood flowing through their veins could ever reject or oppose to that. The return of a professional Haitian military is paramount to the country’s national security and prestige.

The argument is not whether the return of the Haitian military is feasible or not as it is recognized in the Constitution of the land; it is, rather, how should we proceed and what should be its mission and purpose.

I have heard many making the argument that we do not need to return with the Haitian military. I must ask these people this simple question: If you say we do not need our own military, what do we still need MINUSTAH troops in the country for? They are not there working for free; they get paid for what they do. Would it not make sense to replace these foreign troops occupying our land with our own folks -who know our culture, speak our language and are from us? I doubt anyone would disagree with that.

So until someone can show me how it is not going to be in the country’s best interest to reactivate or reinstate the Haitian military, I am standing strong and resolute for the return of the Haitian military as stipulated in the 1987 Constitution.

The way these so-called former members of the armed forces are proceeding to make their voices heard, however, is not going to help their cause. Rather, it will turn off people with the pen power to satisfy their concerns.

In terms of public relations, they are doing their movement a disservice. They are not being properly represented and portrayed in the press nationally and internationally. When I and most people look at them, to be honest with you, it is disheartening, appalling and disgusting. We look at them as a group of armed thugs in the heart of some jungle receiving military training for the sole purpose of terrorizing their own population of civilians -raping, killing, kidnapping, destroying, stealing, etc… Not a good image to project and promote when you want people to listen to you.

So I am calling on former military officers in the caliber of General Herard Abraham to come to the rescue of these so-called prior service military personnel. They will constitute a sort of a leadership council to represent these guys and push to the forefront their revendications. In other words, this body will play the role of a lobbying team to talk on behalf of these guys -whom no one in the international arena will ever sit down to talk to.

It is imperative that certain well respected former high-ranking military officers come forward to form this lobbying body to represent these guys. We all know that nature abhors a vacuum. So if nothing is being done urgently to structure and galvanize this movement and give it an allure of serious, I guarantee you someone from their ranks will emerge and proclaim himself or herself the leader of this movement. And when that happens, it will be very hard to ask this self-proclaimed leader to step aside and allow someone with the leadership skills, education and knowledge to lead the movement. Meanwhile, they have weapons in their hands; no one can foresee what may happen. It is very dangerous to allow someone with demands that cannot be met to have a weapon in his hand and become bitterly frustrated. You can expect the unexpected to occur. So we do not need to let things get to this point of no return, especially when we could do something to prevent that.

Deactivated Military: Martelly Must Be Careful

The Martelly administration needs to be very careful in the way it plans to deal with the armed deactivated military personnel illegally occupying the installations of the old Haitian military disbanded by former President Jean Bertrand Aristide in 1995.

This issue is like a ticking bomb, which, if not addressed properly, meaning if not addressed with tact and finesse, will go off and cause serious and irredeemable political drawbacks.

These guys are acting like a bunch of armed thugs with no sense of military discipline and respect for their Commander-in-chief. If they are really what they claim to be -disbanded military personnel -the fact that they could disobey the orders of the president to put down their weapons and evacuate the military bases, they technically enter in rebellion. For that, they should be dealt with by any means necessary, regardless if that means utilization of the use of force. That would be ideal, but for the sake of politics, it would not be the best course of action.

The orders issued by the Ministry of Justice and Public Security calling on the national police and MINUSTAH to go after these guys to disarm and force them to empty the sites they occupy will be like the spike needed to explode the bomb.

Using force in this situation is not warranted as it is not going to politically play in President Martelly’s best interest. It will quickly escalate into a political quagmire to be exploited by the president’s political opponents. In other words, bringing MINUSTAH in this affair will be politically disastrous for President Martelly as his political opponents will quickly jump on the bandwagon and start beating their drums of nationalism politics.

My advice to President Martelly is to create a multidimensional/multisectorial commission to sit down with these guys to come up with an agreement on a timetable to satisfy their claims, have them put down their weapons and evacuate the premises.

That is the most politically sensed approach to defuse this bomb and avoid a bloodbath in the country, which could politically weaken the president. I hope I do make sense and somebody with the power to influence the decision-making apparatus in Port-au-Prince could listen.


MINUSTAH peacekeepers

This United Nations Mission for the Stabilization of Haiti (MINUSTAH in French) has been established on June 01, 2004 by Security Council resolution 1542 -as a result of the fallout that followed the ousting of President Aristide.

The presence of this institution of the United Nations has been the object of many fulminating criticisms. Actions of certain members of the mission have infuriated people from many sectors in the population. Some see it as an occupation force that must leave the country by any means necessary and as soon as possible.

I think it is very unfair and dishonest to refer to MINUSTAH as an occupation force, for they did not come to soil the land of Dessalines, Christophe and Petion on their own; the Haitian government had requested it with the intent to stabilize the country after the ousting of former President Jean Bertrand Aristide in 2004. How can you call someone an occupier when that person is in your house upon your invitation? That does not make any sense whatsoever to me.

MINUSTAH, as a force, should not be discredited for the actions of some of its members, for those actions, I presume, do not reflect any of the institution’s policies. In any great and respectable human institution (military, business, philanthropic, academic, etc…), you will always find overzealous and corrupted personnel. But the actions of these people should not be used as a litmus test to totally disqualify or dismiss the establishment as a whole. When members of an institution violate the organization’s internal policies, disciplinary actions must be taken against them to address their violations. But to call for the complete eradication of the institution because of that is, in my opinion, illogical.

MINUSTAH must eventually leave because, in my humble opinion, it is an aberration to have a sovereign nation such as ours being under the tutelage of an international force –humanitarian or otherwise. That is an argument all of us Haitians can agree upon. We should have not gotten ourselves in this predicament in the first place. We Haitians put ourselves in it and now we are raising hell.

I am for the withdrawal of all MINUSTAH personnel, but that redeployment must be carefully studied, crafted and implemented. If anything, we must adopt a “step-by-step” approach to that, meaning we will die down the troop levels as we go.

The Martelly administration must immediately sit down with the United Nations Security Council to recalibrate and redefine the mission of MINUSTAH. We have work on the ground they can do. They can help to remove the tones of rubbles, plant trees and police our forest space to prevent further deforestation.

I reject the idea that MINUSTAH must leave now. President Martelly, being the man in charge of the security of the country, must not give in to the pressure coming from certain segments of the population protesting to ask MINUSTAH to leave -without any sort of structural preparation in place. That is very irresponsible on their part.

If MINUSTAH leaves now, there will be a security vacuum which will further destabilize the country. We must not let our emotions get the best of us. We must get it right so that we do not regret having taken the step later.

The Haitian government needs to lobby the international community for technical and financial assistance to accomplish three major things:

a)      double the size of the national police force;

b)      build from scratch a battalion/group of 500 – 1000 well trained and equipped professional special forces;

c)       institute a national intelligence agency

This national security structure, whose mission will be to stabilize and secure the country, can be put in place and fully operational in about 12 or 18 months -if we have the means and are really serious about it.

We do not need a big military like the ineffective one we had back then, which former President Aristide has deactivated and now the Martelly administration wants to emulate. We need a smaller, lighter, faster and smarter force –the model of all the modern militaries around the globe.

The mission of that small contingent of military personnel will be to back up the police force whenever necessary to secure the territory, which may include dismantling all the terrorist cells currently operating on the ground. With this level of coordinated action, capturing dead or alive these terrorists terrorizing the population will be just a piece of cake.

The professional intelligence agency will serve as eyes and ears of the police force. They will infiltrate the terrorist cells to get sensitive and highly classified intel on their locations, tactics, their next value targets, etc… These leads, once collected, will be sent to the rear, to the police, for treatment so they could mount their preemptive strategy to stop the terrorists before they carry on their mission.

Eventually, we will have to either close the Interior Ministry or change its focus. That ministry must be the center of coordination of the operations of the three independent institutions: the police, the small military and the intelligence agency. The head of that ministry must be someone with national security expertise and experience. He or she will be the president’s czar on issues pertaining to national security.

The constant babblings amongst us on the issue whether or not Haiti should have its own military really intrigues me. We need the return of the Haitian military by any necessary means.

It is a priority to secure the country. Nothing can be done without a secure Haiti. Secure nations appeal to investments (local and foreign), a necessary ingredient for economic development. Regardless how well-intentioned President Martelly can be, if he cannot arrive at securing the territory, he will not be able to do anything to better the lives of the majority poor.

Finally, these people speaking against the idea of equipping the country with a military force probably know nothing about the military. They probably have never served a day in their lives, yet, all of a sudden, they are all experts in military affairs. I am for a systematic and coordinated redeployment of MINUSTAH by using a step-by-step approach. Such redeployment should not go on until we have the structure in place to replace the mission when they leave. We need to stop the outsourcing of the country’s security. So we must prepare the nation to take charge of its own security. To achieve that, we must double the size of the police, put in place a small brigade of well trained and equipped professional special forces and institute a national intelligence agency.


The presidential election in Haiti is only days away, yet JUDE CELESTIN still matters. Something was not done right. I can tell you this much –it is because you guys (MANIGAT, MARTELLY, BAKER and LAGUERRE) did not play right. I would beat up all four of you for your complacencies. You failed to link him to the failed policies of the PREVAL administration.

The man in the White House, RENE PREVAL, said that CELESTIN is his man, what better evidence do you need to destroy or make him insignificant in the race? That’s exactly what you should have been wanting from him, and he delivered it to you “UPS delivery” at your doorsteps. How could you not use that to run an effective character assassination campaign against the man?

We democrats did it here in the US. How you think we literally annihilated McCain during the 2008 presidential campaign and gave Obama the election on a silver platter? We played three smart cards against him.

1. We linked him to the failed policies of the Bush administration –the baseless Iraq War, the recessive economy, the handling of Katrina in New Orleans, big tax cuts for big corporations and the top 2% Americans while neglecting the middle class, etc… 

2. We proved to the American electorate that he was out of touch with reality. On Monday, September 15, 2008, he hand-delivered to us the gift we had long been waiting for. On the campaign trail in Jacksonville, Florida, he declared: “the fundamentals of our economy are strong [despite] tremendous turmoil in our financial markets and Wall Street.” Mind you, he made such statement right in the middle of the recession, at a time when the economy was bleeding jobs.


3. We transformed Sarah Palin, the former governor of Alaska, his pick for vice president, into a laughing stock, a joke, someone not worthy to be taken seriously. By doing so, the McCain candidacy was viewed as a big joke. Her interview with CBS’s own Katie Couric did it for us.


We played the three cards so well strategically that before you know it, Senator McCain was already confined in history book. He was a done deal. We slashed him in the polls. So no one can tell me about the effectiveness of a character assassination campaign strategy, for I have seen it used many times in every single election (local and national) here in the United States.

I do not work for your campaigns, nor am I one of your cheerleaders. However, I want to place my country, Haiti, first. In this election, I do not have a fighting dog, which by now you should know. I do not know whom I am for. I do know, however, whom I am against. I am against PREVAL and his protégé JUDE CELESTIN.

Quit all the “kole mouda” with CELESTIN. The clock is ticking. You do not have that much time in front of you. It is time to proceed with PLAN B –CHARACTER ASSASSINATION. You guys need to run ASAP campaign ads on the radio and on TV telling the people that a vote for CELESTIN is a vote for the continuation of the PREVAL administration embodied in the policies that gave us -MINUSTAH, CHOLERA, LACK OF OVERSIGHT, CORRUPTION, MY PALACE COLLAPSED, etc…” Take my check to the bank and cash it. Trust me, it will not bounce.


Presidential candidate Axan Abellard of KNDA

First, let me thank you, sir, for having left this video interview on my page on Facebook. At least, it gives me an idea as to where you stand on some of the key issues. You make sense in most of the things you said, but you left me a little perplexed for having not said a word with respect to the integration of the Diaspora in the development of the country and the reform of our system of justice. I understand the time allocated for this video interview may have not been a lot, but I think you missed a golden opportunity. How could you not be addressing these issues?

You talked about a program of job creation, and I think that is great. But how can you possibly think of any developmental plan without reaching out to the Diaspora, especially when we contribute over $2 Billion dollars a year to the country’s economy? We in the Diaspora have our own issues too, sir. We are tired of being economic contributors with no representation. We need to have a say in the internal politics of the country and have our own representation in Congress. And for all that to happen, the Haitian citizenship must be granted to us Haitians who happened to acquire the citizenship of our host countries.

In terms of the military, you are speaking my language -the return of the HAITIAN military to replace the MINUSTAH. I think that’s a must. You score some heavy points with that agenda item. To restore confidence in the foreign investors and the Haitian investors living in the DIASPORA, you have got to put the wave of insecurity under control. And so far, the UN troops currently occupying the country are not doing so. That was great to see you speaking in those terms.

You talked about a specialized intelligence agency to fight the corruptive practices in the public administration. I disagree wholeheartedly with you on that, sir. We don’t need another bureaucracy to fight corruption. We just have to enforce the law. By the way, don’t we have a Court Superieure des Comptes? It should be and it is the responsibility of that institution -to audit and investigate fraudulent practices in the public administration. Here in the US, we have an Inspector General (IG) inside almost every institution serving as watchdog to make sure things are being conducted according to the established internal rules, regulations and policies. So you don’t need another bureaucracy. We already have one. Let me tell you what we need. We need CAPITAL PUNISHMENT for these people. We need to be killing them. Once you prosecute and KILL five of them publicly, you will see if things will not be under control in a matter of weeks. I think you are a little too soft on this issue. I am for tough measures to fight corruption, especially in HAITI where it has become a CANCER. Well, again, I cannot blame you for your softness, for you are a politician running for office, meaning you have got to always be politically correct in your statements.

Well, though I disagree with your approach, unlike your rival Wilson Jeudy, at least you have a plan. That man plans on building a prison on the island of La gonave to jail the senators and other high government employees who are found guilty of stealing the people’s money. And the rationale behind that is that if the prison is destroyed and the prisoners are trying to escape, they will have the sharks in the sea waiting for them. That’s his plan to fight corruption. lol lol lol 😀 Excuse me, sir, if you see me laughing out so loud. This is the most ludicrous stuff I have ever heard in my life. lol lol lol lol lol 😀 I am sure you are now laughing too.

On the issue of taxation, I commend you for planning on working with our international friends to modernize our system at the General Bureau of Taxation (DGI) and train the staff there to make them more effective in their efforts to bring tax revenues into the country’s treasury. But I think it should be made a CRIME to not pay taxes in Haiti. Once we have the modernized system in place, we need to come up with laws to criminalize tax evasion. Then again, you cannot enforce something when you don’t have the system to do that. That would be foolish, would it not?

I see that you dodged the question on how to restore the authority of the state. You said: “Il faut moderniser l’etat” as though that is going to restore its authority. Yes, the computerization and modernization of our system is important, but I am not sure if it will restore the authority of the state.

I do agree with you on the necessity to strengthen the municipalities. The mayor in a city is the administrator, the president, the head of that city. If everything someone in the cities needs, it must be handled by somebody in Port-au-Prince, then what is the sense of having the local governments? Just have one central administration in Port-au-Prince and have everyone travel there for everything they want. Wait a minute!! Isn’t it the way it is now? What am I talking about? lol

Overall, it was a great interview. Many things you said I disagree with, but I do agree with you for the most part. Good luck, sir! You have a winning message. Just get out there and market it to see if the buyers will be interested in buying it.

P.S. Here are some issues –education, healthcare and agriculture -you slightly touched on but did not really get into details: 

  1. On the issue of public education, you only stated that 40% of our school age kids are not going to school. I would love to know what your plan is to remedy to this gruesome reality.
  2. Health care is a serious situation in Haiti. You mentioned that many pregnant women in labor in Haiti are being transported on the back of a horse to get to the nearest health care center, which, in many instances, is located tens of miles away. I am wondering what you have in your social agenda to fix this health care disparity issue.
  3. I did not hear you say anything about agriculture, a key component in our economy. Just let me know how important that is in your economic agenda. I hope it is somewhere to be found in your plan to reform our economy.