Rene Preval Haitian Shame
The Haitian Constitution stipulates that regular presidential elections shall take place every five years on the last Sunday of November, with a presidential inauguration to take place on the following February 7, to correspond ab eternumto the day the Haitian people delivered themselves from the Duvalier dictatorial regime.
The earthquake of January 12, 2010, has destroyed the capital city of Port au Prince as well as surrounding cities of Jacmel, Leogane, Petit Goave and Grand Goave, with more than 1.7 million people sleeping under a tent, sometimes in the rain amidst squalor and the mud. Vital records have been destroyed, the dead have been cremated without proper state sponsored identification and the Preval government has exhibited a culture of deception, corruption, and perversion of the electoral process.
It is a perfect storm to create a disaster in lives lost in the next few months.
It is also the perfect tool for maintaining the status quo through a flawed electoral process.
By Jean H Charles
Yet the international community, through the voice of the OAS Assistant Secretary General Albert Ramdin, the United Nations representative Edmond Mulet, the CARICOM delegate PJ Patterson, is pushing full speed ahead for a flawed election to take place under the baton of Rene Preval, a master mind of cunning, double talk, and plain disregard for the plight of the majority of the Haitian people.
He personifies the man Paul Berman would qualify in his recent book, The Flight of the Intellectuals, as the Pretender, saying different things to different audiences with no truth and no conviction to either.
He is neither a capitalist, nor a socialist, nor a nationalist.
He is "a dark smudge of ambiguity".
Here are some relevant facts on Preval's past election records.
The election of April 6, 1997 was set for the renewal of one third of the Senate; he forced upon the electorate Fourell Celestin, a recently drug convicted.
There was opposition from the Electoral Board, causing its president Leon Manus to be spirited by an American helicopter to safer pasture abroad to avoid injury to his person.
The election of May 2000 as well as the election of November 26, 2000 was mired in irregularities and disfranchisement of the majority.
The election of April 21, 2009 has repeated the canvass of the election of April 6, 1997, with President Preval incubating with state funds the candidates of notorious human rights violators.
There was very low national participation.
He was on his way of forging ahead with his macabre plan of succeeding himself through his newlywed wife or one of his trusted companions when, to quote the malicious Haitian people, God got Himself into the fray and allowed the earthquake the very afternoon after a crucial meeting of Preval in the national palace to seal the election in his favor.
May 18 commemorates the weaving of the flag made with the blue and red piece of cloth from which the white piece symbolizing colonial France has been extirpated.
On this very day of celebration, the people of Haiti are demonstrating en masse, on the street demanding the forced departure of the Preval government so they can go on with their lives, and ensure a fairly clean election.
Will Preval and the international community, through misguided policy, succeed in maintaining a status quo that will lead to disaster in the coming months of the hurricane season with millions of people at risk?
Or will the Haitian people succeed in forging a new order of business in running the Republic of Haiti?
To solve this dilemma, I will peer into the history of the Haitian Revolution and the story of the United States Black Emancipation for inspiration as to the outcome of this David and Goliath re-enacting the biblical battle.
I am now 64 years old. I have only lived 11 years in my youth in the bliss of the dream of living in a country where hope was part of the staple of the daily life. Yet I belong to the 10 percent minority of Haitian people where the roof was sound, the food was always on the table and the best education was a given expectation and a reality.
For the past 50 years, the mass of Haitian have endured a living hell. Through dictatorial regimes Duvalier pere and Duvalier fils, through military regime, Namphy, Avril and, Regala, through the populism regimes of Aristide and Preval, through government of transition, Malval, Latortue, it has been for Haiti and for the Haitian people: the more things change, the more they remain the same.