Mr. Ren Prval, a President who is very much afraid

Morn - May 18 2010, 1:21 AM

Mr. René Préval, a President who is very much afraid


Figure 1: At the centre, Paul Gustave Magloire

This Wednesday May 12, 2010, marks the fourth month since this terrible earthquake shook and devastated the Haitian capital, Port-au-Prince, and several towns of Haiti.

But, until now, the precarious situation of the hundreds of thousands of homeless people in the capital city remains alarming.

Indeed, in the evening of January 12 of the seism, in spite of the pain which overwhelmed us in the face of the disaster's magnitude created by the cataclysm, we were determined to write some lines to show our respect to the unfortunate, to pay our reverence to this considerable number of victims and also to beseech the Haitian people, that must have felt powerless, not to yield to despair.

Thus, for as much as we thought that it was necessary to help our people regain their vigor, by saying to them that Haiti was not going to die, although the seism left behind, ruins and desolation; we were already assuming that each one of us was going to give a little bit of himself in order to assure the rebirth of a new country from underneath the rubble.

Indeed, a great majority of the public buildings of the capital crumbled under the strong jolts of the earthquake and more than 270,000 people died, and the casualties, and those who were affected by the collapse of the houses and the buildings, number in the hundreds of thousands.

Many children as well died on that day. One can reason that there must have been sufficient innocent blood to wash away any potential curse that might have struck the country, if in fact such curse existed in the first place, unless we were to totally dismiss the effects of our own turpitudes.

Therefore, it is with this goal in mind that we say that it is necessary for us to get together in order to help the homeless people and this is precisely for this reason that, on February 12, 2010, we were inspired to write and published our article on this subject "Let's bring help to those who sleep in the open air".

We are among those who believed that this disaster was going to offer an opportunity for the rebuilding of a new modern capital, without the shantytowns; then like many others, we also dreamed of the rebirth of a nation more just and more human.

But, as it happened to so many other people also, we did not take too much time to feel deceived.

The reason is quite simple: the president of our country, Mr. Préval, is quite a small and peculiar person, who has no vision and no aspiration whatsoever.

Indeed, he did not hesitate to make several absurd decisions, which endangered hundreds of thousands of our fellow-citizens, simply for the sake of some filthy dollars.

Now, while we are all praying for a kind hurricane season, Mr. Préval, himself, is very afraid.

Because, if the homeless people, that he encouraged to remain in the capital under the tents, were to be struck by the violence of a hurricane, he knows that it will be time for the people to unleash their anger and settle their scores.

We must especially see all of this in light of the recent statement of the humanistic-actor, Sean Penn, who has deployed all of his resources and his heartfelt efforts to help the homeless people.

He said: "If people die per the thousands in this phase of the disaster because of the bad decision of those who evidently are there to help them, the blood of these victims will fall down on their head." Sean Penn is the founder of humanitarian association Jenkins-PEN Haitian Relief Organization in the USA. Let us take this opportunity to congratulate him for his devotion to the homeless people.

However, who does not remember that Mr. Préval had declared publicly that there were two schools of thought in his team: one was favorable to maintain the homeless people in the capital, the other wanted to move them towards the provincial towns.

Mr. Préval had personally concluded that "he wants the homeless people to remain in Port-au-Prince, because it was understood that the majority of those homeless people who are in the Champ-de-Mars have come from the area of Turgeau".

It goes without saying that he is fully responsible for this decision that explains why we now have thousands of lives in imminent and clear danger today.

Let us wish that the forces of nature save us from another earthquake or a harsh hurricane season, because, otherwise in every respect, Mr. Préval will be responsible for an act of genocide against the Haitian people.

And, everyone is fully aware that, indeed, Mr. Préval had chosen to keep the homeless people within the capital as a political tool and to offer a lucrative market to his cronies.

Human life does not have any value for this President; this is why even a model civil servant like Mr. Robert Marcello disappeared without leaving of trace, because he made the mistake of questioning the very lucrative contracts that the government was handing out without any control.

The pennies, or shall we say, the dollars are what Mr. Préval values, not the lives of the Haitian citizens.

It is already clear that Mr. Préval will be remembered as one of the most malicious Heads of State in the short history of our country.

He will very likely become a carnival mask, like "Charlosca", that is used to create fear within children.

Now, there is really a lack of decency on the part of Mr. Préval for speaking, as if nothing mattered, of the possibility of a new seism of a greater magnitude and of risks that are faced by the hundreds of thousands of homeless people; Then he does absolutely nothing, after having personally ordered, under fallacious pretexts, the measures that might very well cause a new wave of dead people in the country.

As an old shrewd and crafty person, he speaks about it only because he is spineless and fearful for his small person.

It is believed that a member of the international community has already warned him that he could really be judged by an international court, if his decisions should ever lead to genocide against the Haitian people...

The historian Claude Moise once told us, during an interview granted to the radio program Voice of America, in 1994, that there exists a constant in the history of our country, which explains why so many of our Heads of State become prisoners of their own power.

According to him, once arrived in power, any Haitian president must confront an opposition that does not have the means of surviving away from power, for the duration of the presidential mandate.

The opposition adopts then a very aggressive attitude with respect to the power in place, aiming even at overthrowing it. This basic understanding can explain the reason for a series of coups d'état that have marked the history of our republic.

Therefore, a ruler, in order to remain in power, draw from the Treasury funds the means to bribe into submission the opponents that are bribable and to unleash their full wrath against those who are recalcitrant.

This situation tends to always lead to violence and brutality, and ultimately results in the deaths of people.

As soon as this line is crossed, the president and some of his partisans know that they inevitably will have to face the full weight of the law at the end of their term in power.

Therefore, they want to always fix things up in order to remain in power as long as possible even for life, but always with very little chance for success.

Thus, this madness to seek to remain in power at all costs weights heavily like a curse on the country.

We know this history too well.

In the case of Mr. Préval, at this juncture, many questions are raised.

Is it possible for a president, who had such an opportunity to succeed, finally will pass in history as another head of a reign of terror, equal to the villain Charles Oscar, or even that of the Master of the Cross, the king of the cemetery of the Haitian Voodoo?

Because Mr. Préval could be responsible, indeed, for a new wave of dead people in the country, either by epidemic, or by the violent force of bad weather, because of his decision to confine the homeless people in Port-au-Prince...

Mr. Préval is so much afraid of this potential outcome that he seeks to do everything possible to preserve the reins of the government, even if it means violating the sacred principle of the given word. Before sending to him the proclamation of the elections, which stipulated the expiration date of his mandate as of February 7, 2011, the transition government had consulted with Mr. Préval. Indeed he had given his word that he was going to honor the date of February 7 envisaged in the Haitian Constitution for the handing over of power to the next government.

It was, according to him, a symbolic way of putting an end to the long transition period towards a democratic society that had eluded the Haitian people since February 7, 1986.

As such, the transition government sent the publishing document to the official registry so that the decision can appear officially in annals of the Republic.

Thus, his answer at the time had even given us the feeling of experiencing, with a lot of pride, the end of the Republic of the little scoundrels.

We said to ourselves, here is finally a President who had the good of the country in his heart.

We also further believed that he had really deserved all the efforts and all the sacrifices that had been made in order to bring the electoral process of 2006 to fruition.

As a patriot, we had a content heart and we were proud to have taken part in all of that.

The way in which Mr. Préval arrived in power could have exorcized, according to us, the traditional curse of the Haitian politics.

He had agreed to include members of most of the opposition parties in his cabinet.

We thought that the right formula had been found.

But, Mr. Préval chose, on his own, to return to the traditional ways of Haitian politics, to awaken the old demons that will eventually make him leave office with much shame.

At the time, when a rupture with the past would have been absolutely necessary, for the birth of the new country, Mr. Rene Préval is considering the perpetual continuity of this kind of wretched behavior, which made to our country the Cinderella of our hemisphere.

Personally, we agreed to serve the transition government by taking into account the fact that our privileged relationship with all the different sectors of the country would facilitate a climate of dialogue, much needed to avoid a descent towards civil war. We had already played a major part as a facilitator in Washington D.C. during the crisis created by the military coup d'état of 1991. This time, we had given ourselves the mission of facilitating the emergence of the democratic institutions prescribed by the Constitution of 1987, especially those in connection with the depopulation of Port-au-Prince and the decentralization of the country.

We wanted, above all, to work for the running of inclusive, honest and free elections.

Therefore, a position as Special Adviser was to enable us to fulfill this role. For this reason, we took part in negotiations throughout the country and abroad, with the purpose of achieving this objective.

As such, we contributed to the creation of an independent Provisional Electoral Council and facilitated the financing of all the political parties, without any exceptions, divorcing then from the tradition.

During this election period, the country came very close to catastrophe on several occasions.

But there were plenty Haitian citizens as well as foreigners who espoused a very firm attitude, with resolve and without bias. And this kind of attitude thankfully enabled us to avoid, each time, the enormous loss in human lives and to find a compromise.

We had met some of the biggest challenges the very day of the elections.

However, the Haitian people showed its courage, its sense of dignity and its will to carry out its dream to choose its own leaders.

Our duty, without hesitation, was to accompany them. Mr. Préval arrived in power as a result of the people's democratic dream.

Unfortunately look how he's crushing the people's dream!

The government of Préval and his cohorts offers only one certainty, it is that of knowing that even if this government were to spend 100 years in power, the results would always be null at all levels, as much from an economic standpoint as it would be in the area of good governance.

Indeed, for a long time now corruption has become the principal essence of the political management of this government.

In a normal country, a Head of State, who had recorded such a poor performance, would have wished to see, as soon as possible, the end of his mandate, in order to retire away with his tail between his legs, and, as is his practice, go drown his bitterness, using the wonderful effects of the good rum of the country.

The Japanese people have a long tradition which makes them honorable.

When a leader stupidly fails in the mission that was entrusted to him, he publicly expresses that he is sorry and withdraws from the scene to go washed his shame in the lapse of memory.

Yet, in spite of the deplorable situation of our country and of the Haitian people, Mr. Préval, in reality, has always only been interested only in his own welfare, "his palace" or whatever else remains, and especially an interest in his cronies to whom he says he owes his return to power.

As far as the people are concerned, he makes fun of them and shows total disregard for them by saying anything, even the opposite of what he might have said the day before.

As if today, politics in our country no longer require even a minimum of decency.

Haiti has become a country where a great number among us have lost all sense of values.

One no longer makes any distinction between the ugly and the beautiful, between truth and forgery and between good and bad. Everything goes and all is acceptable.

Be that as it is, Haiti cannot continue to tumble down towards the most despicable dehumanization, even though it is the Head of the State who created the "HOPE" political party, which is at the core of this descent of the country into Hell.

One of great fears of the international community is to see Haiti fall back to a situation of instability.

It is almost clear that Mr. Rene Préval is considered, from this viewpoint, like a lesser of potential evils.

Because, the opposition has not yet stated in a unified and strong voice the formula that it intends to adopt in order to replace this government that is bankrupt at all levels and to show its ability to manage the country after the departure of Mr. Préval. It is risky to count on any support, if the formula is to return to the starting point.

Indeed, we cannot make clean slate of the existing structures and plan to set out again from zero.

We must continue to advance, in spite of the deceitful ways of Mr. Préval. He is really very afraid, and for good reasons, that free, honest and democratic elections are held. With almost no popularity, he and his acolytes consider that only fraudulent elections can serve as obstacles to the road towards a legitimate government.

And history, even the most recent, teaches us that Mr. Préval is the great Master of fraudulent elections.

As such, it is an appropriate formula to accept that Mr. Préval gets to the end of his mandate as planned for February 7, 2011. But, it is not at all desirable that the elections are done under the auspices of his government.

This is the reason why we must support, in principle as already stipulated, that the elections be done 3 months after his departure, under the Presidency of the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, as contemplated by the Constitution.

As such, no one will be able to complain that the opposition has acted outside of the constitutional norms and even the defenders of Mr. Préval, as the fake promoters of stability in the country, will not have anything to build their case on. But, if in the meantime he resigns, he might still deserve the good graces of the Republic.

He should not wait too long to make this choice.

But, on another level, the opposition can no longer be satisfied only to launch demonstrations against Mr. Préval. Of course, it is necessary to continue to denounce his acts of malfeasance.

However, we must as well address the urgent problems the country is confronting.

For example, we can start to organize the displacement of the thousands of homeless people within the capital towards the provincial towns, while working with the mayors of certain cities.

Because, these mayors will appreciate to receive the help and the support necessary to accommodate the victims of the disaster, who are currently shuttling between the provincial towns and the capital, in the search of the consistent support they need to survive.

We must be ready to work together to make available the funds necessary to finance this endeavor and to set up in the provinces the adequate structures, before we are struck by another disaster.

We are almost certain that Mr. Préval and his cronies are spending much more time reflecting on how to make their profits off the back of the homeless people than reflecting on the appropriate measures to carry help to them.

The opposition, on the other hand, must show that it has the means and ability to take over, as its responsibility, the future of the country and that we will not always be in a situation so that it is President Fernandez who says to us that: "Haiti is a viable country which is in needs of strong institutions, of a credible leadership, of a plan and a vision for the future in terms of economic and social development..."

In fact, he is right.

We must act all together before it is too late

Paul Gustave Magloire

Former Minister of Interior

President of MORN HAITI, Inc

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