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Re: Democracy in Haiti: Antoine adds
From: Guy Antoine <GuyAntoine@windowsonhaiti.com>
It was satisfying reading the reports from Michele Karshan about the
children of LaFanmi and Bob Corbett's testimonial of the birthing of
the democratic movement in Haiti in the 1970's. The latter in particular
clearly dispels the notion that needy people cannot think for themselves,
and must be led by a hierarchy of intellectuals with no sentimentality.
It's the guns, and the most brutal repression in recent memory, that
finally stifled a promising democratic movement in Haiti, not bad
judgment on the part of the people. What surprises me is that, in spite
of his often protesting to the contrary, I detect plenty of hope in
writing on the subject.
The Ti Legliz movement made the Jean-Bertrand Aristide presidency
possible, which was a colossal challenge to the religious, political,
economic, and diplomatic elites of Haiti. So, in the space of a few
months, they regrouped and delivered their response which resonates
still today. Strangely enough, I don't see millions of dollars offered on
the heads of the coup leaders. Haiti is not Yugoslavia, not by a long shot.
Where I believe the movement has gone astray was in the cult of
personality that followed, people no longer believing in the movement,
but being caught up in the politics of WHO will save Haiti, as opposed
to HOW they can resuscitate the democratic movement, regardless of
what is happening in Port-au-Prince. Instead of Port-au-Prince reacting
to them, they are reacting to Port-au-Prince and its infernal machinations.
So there appears to be a crisis of confidence. But does not this happen
to every battered child or adult? In time, the people of Haiti will realize
that true power does not reside with Aristide or Preval or OPL or any
coalition of political parties, but truly within themselves, because the
elites cannot survive without their subservience or cooperation.
Subservience or cooperation, that is the choice to be made, and the
stakes are getting somewhat clearer every day. I am not writing this
with prejudice to any of the parties cited above... Whichever can rise
above their current level of narcissism, and ally themselves once more
to a renaissance of the democratic movement, as described in Bob
Corbett's thoughtful analysis, well more power to (the people).