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17845: Vilaire: Dual Citizenship, Bicentennial, etc. (fwd)

From: Vilaire@aol.com

It's very annoying to see how issues are totally bastardized simply because
it's perceived that a political party (i.e. Lavalas) wants to use these issues
to further its own agenda. Take the issue of dual citizenship. Long before
Mildred was seen as a possible candidate, virtually everyone -- yes, even those
in the opposition -- thought it was a good idea to allow the million + Haitians
in the Diaspora greater input in the political process. I'm sitting here
looking at a document that emerged out of the Week of the Diaspora held in 1999 in
which very prominent Haitian intellectuals (most of them now in the
opposition) made convincing arguments for amending the Constitution because, ehem, it's
a good idea for Haiti. Fast forward to 2003, this issue becomes one that is
only cherished by Lavalas. It's a bad idea. That once brilliant idea now sucks.
Why? Because it would pave the way for his wife to run for president. Oh,
forget about all those eloquent arguments regarding the prospect of engaging
hundreds of thousands of well-educated Haitian-American economists, physicians,
educators, engineers and administrators. Such possibility, however noble, is to
be flushed if it will leave the door open to Aristide's wife to RUN for
president. Now that I think about it, why should we stop here? Let's take this
mindset further. We should forget about paving the roads in Haiti too, since
Aristide and his Lavalas sympathizers will use them to drive their expensive cars.
As for improving the phone service, that wouldn't be very smart, would it? No,
it can't work since Aristide and his cohorts will use them more efficiently to
plan attacks on the opposition.

Since we're on the subject of bastardized issues: what's the deal with
Haitians spitting on the grandeur of our bicentennial because of a fear that it will
bolster Aristide's grip on power? Need I remind everyone that Aristide had
absolutely no role in 1804? Hell, he wasn't even there! Aristide has come, and
someday he'll go. 1804, on the other hand, is transcendental; it's a part of
every one of us; it's a common denominator to every Haitian and friends of
Haiti. 1804, and by extension 2004, belongs to all Haitians and true friends of
Haiti. Not Aristide.

The least we should do is recognize, and yes CELEBRATE, the amazing, bold and
brave feats of our ancestors.  They deserve no less. True, there's nothing to
celebrate in terms of the country's development and poverty. But WE are the
ones to blame for screwing up the liberty for which our ancestors gave their
lives. Toussaint, Dessalines, Capois la Mort, Petion deserve our respect. Let's
question where we go from here; let's ponder where we've gone wrong; let's
engage in serious self-criticism on our approach to problem-solving. But let's
not diminish one of the very few things we've given to the world: a universal
notion of liberty, equality, and fraternity.

1804 - 2004: Mèsi papa Dessalines
Joyeux Bicentenaire à tous