"Plants, People, and Nations
need strong roots so that
they can be able to grow".
Rosy L. Bornhausen
When the boundaries of the respect for independence, sovereignty and freedom are so shameful and causeless invaded, any absurd can be thought or, worst, any absurd may happen.
We can imagine the most unimaginable wonders, we can think the most marvelous plans, we can design the most beautiful projects, we can deploy the best conceived endeavors.
But if we do not strongly and definitively address the structural problems, the hidden issues, and take control over the internal and external forces that lead Haiti to became what She was by January, 11, 2010, we will only get to be as unhappy as that one which coined that unhappiest, sad, horrible, terrible, the ugliest phrase ever coined given the subject: "Building Back Better".
"Building Back Better" WHAT? "The Poorest Nation in The Western Hemisphere" as they also tireless proclaim? Would it be that 2009 Haiti with a bit of makeup?
The elections issue is back again.
Nothing against elections.
When it was talked right after the earthquake, we thought it was too soon as there was no conditions and there would be planned elections for the end of year.
But elections just for having elections means just nothing.
Or, worse, when the issue is repeatedly raised by foreigners, it means at least the unleashing of some hidden interests and agendas of some specific groups.
Elections only make sense when they are Democratic, inclusive, participative, and sovereign elections.
The first time the issue came up, it was by the streets, within a full destruction scenario, just a few days after the earthquake, with the presence of H. E. The President of Haiti, but by the voice of H. E. The U.S. Secretary of State.
And since than, all the time, the issue is pushed by an US representative or by an UN or OAS representative, and always by a non-Haitian representative.
Sometimes, called to answer, H. E. Mr. President Préval, or H. E. P. M. Jean-Max Bellerive confirms something as "pushed against the wall".
Why this continuous insistence?
The most we like Her Excellency, is imperative to remind that the Haiti's elections are not United States business!
Neither US' nor UN's! Neither Cuba's nor China's? Neither Brazil's nor Seychelles'!
It is important to remind that this kind of external 'help' or alike, in the close past, joint together with other kinds of external interferences, helped to build the miryad of problems that multiplied at least by 10 the killing strength of the January, 12, earthquake.
It is not a problem of wants and ifs, of likes and dislikes, of right or left.
It is just a matter of what is Democracy, of what is right and what is wrong, of what works and what not, and what are we all here for: to rebuild a "landmass" so-called Haiti for the uses of some interests, or to help 9 million Ayisian brothers to rebuild an inclusive, democratic, hopeful, and prosperous Nation?
The elections being prepared - and may be this is the why for the "foreign" rush - will be prepared by a Permanent Electoral Council (CEP) that hurts the Haitian Constitution as it should be Permanent and this one was instituted during H. E. Mr. President René Préval term in Office.
The elections being prepared - and may be this is the why for the "foreign" rush - will be probably prepared without the participation of the party Fanmi Lavalas and the other 14 political parties that have been arbitrarily excluded by the CEP from participating in the planned election. No need to say that the Fanmi Lavalas party is not that beloved by the USA, Canada, and French Governmental authorities.
The elections being prepared - and may be this is the why for the "foreign" rush - will be probably prepared and run without the participation or even the presence of the by far - we like it or not - main political leadership of the Country: the former Priest Jean-Bertrand Aristide, the first democratic elected President of Haiti, ousted (kidnapped as every evidence indicates) in exercise of his mandate, actually "exhilated" and official Host of The Governmant of South Africa. No need to say that H. E. Mr. President Jean-Bertrand Aristide is not that beloved man by the USA, Canada, and French Governmental authorities. His kidnapping is attributed to a joint operation of those Governments.
Everyone knows the risks and implications of his prompt return. And he is the one that is keeping it easy for not exploding Haiti.
But those of us here from the close southerner tropics that recently (for 50 years) payed the hard price for Democracy, are live proofs of what it takes to make and what it takes to keep. We know for instance that is possible to keep a fake democracy for a while. But that is impossible to build a fake one.
Instead of trying to hidden the elephant behind the strawberry tree and fake-build a pseudo-Democracy it is, given the circumstances, completely feasible for those really compromised with the people of Haiti, to call all the parts to discuss a contract for peace mediated by some unsuspected Governments as Norway, or Sweden and call Mr.Aristide to talk together with Mr. Préval and their partisans in Haiti to lead healthy elections and productive, proactive and collaborative rebuilding efforts for the next 5 to 10 years (despite all politics, no one can neglect how useful Titid's simple presence could be in Haiti at this so hard times). It won't be easy. But the alternative that just seems easy, is actually a fabricated and bad-intentioned illusion.
The elections being prepared - and may be this is the why for the "foreign" rush - will be prepared - that is the most concerning - without the participation of the voters, of the people of Haiti. The people of Haiti that will be called to vote in a process in which they did not was called to participate in its construction.
And the big mess will be finished and done.
The people of Haiti has developed during the last decades their own ways of self-organization, and I feel they won't cope with this, and they will be right, and I will be with them, but the world will listen again through the big media how Haitians are belligerents, how they are usual to violence, and even: how they are "savages".
It is impressive how the wheel-of-history never stops of repeating itself.
And the people of Haiti have been astonishing sidelined since the beginning of this "path for the future".
Sometimes I ask myself when will we realize that this future we are talking is all about them.
Moreover, that this future we all are talking about is fully for them.
That this future we are all talking about, finally, is them.
They are the owners, the stake, and share holders.
There is no others.
Meanwhile, during the Donors Conference, there was only one document - among more than 15 - concerned about their opinions - which came there after a big effort of some Civil Society entities.
The document was called "The Voices of The Voiceless".
As we know, Haiti has two official languages: French and Kréyol.
But only one is the National Language: the Kréyol; that is the ONLY language fluently understood and spoken by more than 85% of the Haitians.
We simply can not suppose to help the reconstruction of a nation beginning by ignoring its National Identity that is tightly tied to its National Language.
But even the document cited above was written in English.
The plenty of Official Documents (as The Flash Appeal, The Reconstruction Plan, The Assessment Report - PDNA etc) are issued by the Official Authorities in charge of managing both the emergency and reconstruction subjects only in English and French, and sometimes in Spanish, and Portuguese.
The United Nations, World Bank, OAS and subordinated agencies' documents and web sites related to Haiti are written in English, French, and, sometimes, in Spanish.
Impressive is the UN Special Envoy for Haiti Office web site. English only. Not even a bit of French for the 10 to 15% elite of Haitians.
Astonishing is the Government of Haiti web site. English and French. No word in Kréyol.
Google, that is a private company, that has no duty with anything, rushed to deploy an Alpha version of its Kréyol online translation tool. That, by the way, seems to be working very well.
USAHIDI that now is being used by the authorities, but is a volunteer open source mapping/emergency reporting tool and others alike, with also no duty of any order, rushed to absorb the Kréyol.
Simon & Schuster, a private company, once again with no obligations of any kind, rushed to offer its Pimsleur Approach Kréyol Course for free.
And following this line many other private, Commons licensed, or volunteer-based companies and tools.
That is why, the real friends of Haiti need to understand the History of Haiti.
Because there is no benefit in healing roads, houses, ports if we can not heal the social distortions and the distorted foreign relations that are at the core heart of everything.
The idea is not revenging back anything.
The idea is preventing ourselves of allowing repeating errors.
There is good will as never, there is union as never, but there is also the old mindset and the hidden prejudices entrenched within us even when we do not know.
And that is why we should be always tireless informing ourselves (through as many perspectives as possible) to be always awakened.
And we, the friends of Haiti, with our mouses by our hands, can do a lot.
Alerting our network about those issues.
Demanding the authorities in charge to translate the documents to Kréyol.
To keep a translational network among us that can pass some information from and for the people on the ground working close to the tent camps.
It is time, for instance, to demand community radio speakers by the tent camps transmitting instructions, educational messages and comprehensive parts of the the defined plans for the future.
We can find ways of bridging the peoples of Haiti with the future of Haiti that, finally, are them themselves.
We just need to clean the noise around.
And, finally, if the Haitian elections take the directions they are showing to take, let's ask our Governments to demand authorization for us to vote also. Then we will go to the tent camps and humble ask for the real owners of the elections their authorizations for us to vote and their indication about the candidates...