[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

28708: (reply) 28694: Math Jay on the Latifundista question ( a comment) (fwd)

From: Jepiem@aol.com

There is real good reason to at least retrospectively question the wisdom  of
the general land distribution in Haiti which started with Dessalines and
later with Petion and has continued with the law on land inheritance which calls
for division of whatever parcel of land owned in a family between the
children upon the death of the father. The result has been a division of the land to
 a point where the parcels are reduced to such small sizes that they become
almost unusable for real meaningful production. On the other side of the coin
however there were vast tracks of land which were left undistributed and
remained state property. Through the years, corrupt governments have allowed
appropriation of these large parcels some of which are were taken by  city
dwellers and governement officials with no interest in putting them to productive
use. More of these are leased under the system of "deux moities" (  two halves,
meaning that the crops are shared evenly between the land owner and  the
cultivator)to peasants who have little means to appropriately exploit them  and
continue using the archaic measures for agriculture The problem of charcoal
burning is not necessarily a direct result of this land division. It may be
related to it indirectly by the poverty to which it contributed,   forcing the
peasant to use the last available resources (the trees which cost them nothing)
for survival, and a succession of government who  couldn't care less about
public policy for public welfare. Latifundistas? A big term which carry some big
implications. Should land reform in Haiti mean a  continuation of the same
policy that contributed so much to Haiti's  continuous ecological destruction?
Shouldn' t some other more innovative means  sought to improve the lot of the
poor country dweller? Haiti is not Brazil. A  "sem tiera" movement in Haiti
would compound the disaster. Every country has its  own problems with their
appropriate solutions. By importing a term borrowed from much bigger country, we
might be tempted to also copy their  solutions which may be ill fitted to speck
of land like Haiti, which occupies  only about a third of that speck of land
some call Hispagnola, and the least  usable third at that. A warning though is
that an equitable and  permanent solution to Haiti's problems, whether one
sees them as land  ownership or simply poverty (I view them as the latter) must
involve big  sacrifices by the land owning classes as well as the  disposessed.