What did the Special Adviser learn about Haiti?

Kelvin Scoon - August 29 2008, 8:53 AM

Readers will find the answers in AN ENCOUNTER WITH HAITI: Notes of a Special Adviser, coming to Amazon.com in September.

On February 19, 2004, Kofi Annan, then Secretary-General of the United Nations, called someone he had known for 45 years, former Trinidad and Tobago Ambassador Reginald Dumas, and asked him to be his Special Adviser to "monitor closely' on the ground, the rapidly deteriorating situation in Haiti.

Ten days later, and before Ambassador Dumas could make his first trip to Haiti, the world learnt that President Jean-Bertrand Aristide had left his country for an unknown destination and for what has since become an extended exile.

For the next six months, Special Adviser Dumas put his considerable diplomatic, investigative and political skills to work, negotiating the minefields of Haitian politics, so often in the past prone to violent solutions, and the complexities, political and bureaucratic, of CARICOM, the Organization of American States, and the UN itself.

By August 22, when he left at the end of his contract, some semblance of order was returning to Haiti.

National elections were being planned, a UN mission was in place, and a relative calm prevailed.

But he was not satisfied that he had accomplished much of what he would have liked, and he determined, as he puts it, that "I couldn't just turn my back and walk away; I still wanted to be of some use to Haiti.

Most of my efforts would now however have to be exerted outside the constricting rigidities of traditional international community behaviour."

AN ENCOUNTER WITH HAITI: Notes of a Special Adviser is dedicated to the people of Haiti, whom Ambassador Dumas firmly considers to be always the central element of the Haitian picture.

US Congressman Charles B. Rangel, Chairman, Committee on Ways and Means, US House of Representatives, writes in his foreword: "...this book is an extremely valuable addition to our storehouse of knowledge.

I have no hesitation in recommending it not only to those concerned with Haiti in particular but also to the general public and especially, to international and regional officials and agencies."

Anthony T. Bryan, Ph.D., Emeritus Professor, University of Miami & Senior Associate, Americas Program Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), Washington, D.C, USA describes the book as a tour de force that carries the reader into the uncomfortable dark corners of insider diplomacy.

In so doing (Ambassador Dumas) shines the spotlight on the major actors in the drama, exposing both their strengths and their incapacities."

AN ENCOUNTER WITH HAITI: Notes of a Special Adviser is published by the Trinidad and Tobago - based publishing company, Medianet Limited.

It will be available on Amazon in Hardcover ISBN 978 976 95219-1-9, and Paperback ISBN 978 976 95219 0 2

Get a digital preview of AN ENCOUNTER WITH HAITI.

To read the first chapter send an email to publisher at medianetcaribbean.com with SEND ME CHAPTER 1 in the subject line and we will send you a pdf of Chapter 1 by return email.

Ends.

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