Bringing Haiti into the Free World / Prof Parnell Duverger

parnell duverger

Bringing Haiti into the Free World / Prof Parnell Duverger

 

Bringing Haiti into the Free World     

Parnell Duverger

Chairman, Omegaworldnews.com

CEO, Economic Decisions Pro, LLC

Professor of Economics

954-793-2960

December 26, 2010

Updated July 30, 2013

With the possible exception of freedoms of speech and expression, nothing seems to remain from the noble democratic goals Haitians wanted to achieve, after they succeeded in liberating their nation from the strong grip of a 30-year old dictatorship on February 7, 1986.  Since that date, Haiti has been drifting ever farther away from the norms of representative democracy in a free society, even if elections are organized with some regularity by a new crop of dictators who have hijacked the nation’s democratic process.

As a result, Haiti has been plagued with constant political convulsions since the few hopeful and euphoric days of February 1986, and remains mired in frequent political crises of increasing intensity and severity, of which the electoral fiasco of November 28, 2010 is only the current episode.  To end the costly cycle of authoritarian government, political disturbances, low growth and extreme poverty in our nation, the international community must join the constellation of domestic political forces and other Haitian stakeholders in embracing an agenda that seeks to integrate Haiti into the free world.

From dictatorship to … more authoritarian government

Since Haiti erupted on the world stage as a new and independent nation on January 1, 1804, and with the exception, perhaps, of the country’s long and unbroken string of dictators, no Haitian dead or alive has ever enjoyed on Haitian soil the individual rights and freedoms for which their nation came into existence.   And, more than two decades after the start of a long awaited transition – from an authoritarian to a democratic society – that finally began in February 1986 with the fall of the Duvalier dictatorial dynasty, Haiti continues to drift aimlessly into more autocratic rule, as well as greater political chaos and poverty, unable to seize on the tremendous and exciting new opportunities for trade and economic development offered by a brave and hopeful new world of globalization, economic liberalization, and economic integration.

For, while briefly disoriented by the spectacular implosion of the Soviet Union as well as by the demise of authoritarian regimes throughout the world during the 1980s and the 1990s, and inspired by the new theology of liberation, with its doomed hopes of saving Marxist totalitarianism from total bankruptcy, an emergent political class, dominated by ideologues of the radical left, sequestered Haiti’s fragile democratic process and went on, quite surprisingly I must say, to establish themselves as the darlings of an international community which mistakenly believed that the dismantlement of the soviet empire also marked the end of ideology.

While such mistakes of the international community proved disastrous for the American continent, leading to an expansion of leftist radicalism throughout Latin America, that also took hostages the democratic ideals and credentials of the Organization of American States (OAS), for example, the rise of Islamic fundamentalism and the scourge of international terrorism served notice on all nations, big and small, that, at the dawn of this 21st Century, ideology remains as  potent as it has ever been.

In Haiti, the theologians of liberation capitalized on the international community’s practical re-definition of democracy away from the standards of the free world, and towards those of the totalitarian regimes known as “People’s Democratic Republic.”  Haiti became the first country, in the post-soviet era, in which democracy was reduced to the periodic organization of general elections, however fraudulent.  So, beginning in 1990, the autocratic regimes that ruled Haiti were branded as democratic, even as they destroyed the country’s fragile institutions, raided the nation’s treasury for personal gains, murdered their own citizens by the thousands, unleashed predatory armed gangs on society, set aside the nation’s constitution (reduced to article 134-1)[1][1] and organized regularly scheduled but fraudulent elections that, to this day, have given them a total monopoly on all the avenues and the exercise of state powers in the executive, legislative and judicial branches of government. In 2013, the current administration of Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe, remains a prime example of such perverted, debased and decadent notion of democracy, that exists in name only while Haiti draws closer to the ALBA alliance created by the late president Hugo Chavez of Venezuela, to fan the flame of radical anti-American extremism in South-America and the Caribbean.

For two decades now, all of this has been going on in Haiti, with the overt complicity of corrupt and malevolent bureaucrats of the OAS and the U.N., as the United States of America, leader of the free world, merely looked on, seemingly impassible, impotent, if not complicit.  In their desperate attempt, with a strategy doomed to failure I should emphasize, to salvage and return the OAS to the standards of representative democracy accepted in the free world, and manage their relationships with the anti-democratic forces that have emerged in our hemisphere, the United States appeared to have abandoned Haiti to the dark and malevolent new powers gathering anti-democratic forces in our sub-continent, as authoritarian governments led by the very same autocrats continue to succeed themselves in a very predictable regularity in Haiti.

Preval’s electoral coup d’état of November 28, 2010  

Even in a country accustomed to electoral shenanigans, President Rene Preval’s attempted electoral coup d’état of November 28, 2010 sets a new record for crudeness and contempt for the people of Haiti.  In a damning article on what international public opinion called an electoral farce, Mr. Joel Deeb,[2][2] CEO of Omega World News, political analyst and security expert, as well as an expert on Haiti, commented:

“Haitians everywhere saw not just disorder, but total chaos, mayhem and, yes, a poorly executed electoral coup d’état, staged by the anti-democratic government of René Préval who forced his way into the presidency in 2006, with the overt assistance of the U.N. mission in Haiti,  through a creative way to count blank ballots, in clear violation of an electoral law promulgated by the very electoral council, led by Mr. Jacques Bernard, that was supposed to uphold its own law.   The mayhem was planned to disenfranchise voters brave enough to try to exercise their civil rights by lining up to vote.  The threat of violence sought to intimidate them into staying at home.  And, denying access to legal representatives of candidates at voting places was meant to eliminate inquisitive eyes.  Everything was in place, President Preval’s loyal Provisional Electoral Council believed, to steal yet another election for the candidates representing the government’s official political party, Inite (Unity).”[3][3]

By midday on elections day, a group of twelve presidential candidates had already denounced the elections as a fiasco, and demanded their annulment, prompting their voters to leave the voting lines and head for home, causing further disenfranchisement of voters, by adding to the hundreds of thousands who could not vote because no one in the electoral council had thought about directing them to the place where they could actually cast their votes.  At that point, the “elections” had reached a point of no return in their failure, public and massive as the irregularities and frauds mounted, that branded them an electoral coup d’état, for posterity.

President Preval’s reckless provocation  

So, when the Provisional Electoral Council announced preliminary results on December 7, 2010, with numbers that most national and international monitors, along with the people of Haiti, could not believe in, it was just too much and public reaction was swift and violent to what people perceived to be one more provocation by President Rene Preval.  Throughout the entire country, protesters ransacked and burned buildings owned or occupied by the government of Haiti and by the candidates of the government’s political party, in favor of whom the electoral coup was perpetrated.

The protests went on for days, in a clear, unequivocal and powerful rejection of the massive electoral frauds believed to have been orchestrated by the government of Haiti and the Haitian Provisional Electoral Council, with the overt support and complicity of the Organization of American States and the United Nations.  Much to the credit of the United States of America, U.S. Ambassador Kenneth Merten broke rank with the international community (read the OAS and the U.N.), and called for the Haitian Electoral Council to respect the vote of the people of Haiti.

Taken aback by the intensity and violence of the protests, the electoral council proposed a recount of the vote, under the “supervision” of their steadfast ally, the OAS.  To all, with the exception of the candidates of the official party, this proposal made no sense and was promptly rejected.  Again, Omega’s Joel Deeb seems to have echoed a general sentiment when he affirmed:

“The events of November 28, 2010, in Haiti, including the vote count in post-elections operations, are beyond repair.”[4][4]

As it should be clear that, at this point, nothing more needs to be said about this electoral masquerade, our attention will now turn to the way forward in Haiti.

A Haitian dream of liberty and prosperity

More than twenty years in the making, the current transition seeking to transform Haitian society from authoritarianism to democracy appears to suffer from the same congenital defect that has afflicted Haiti since it debuted as an independent nation on the world’s stage:  an unwillingness or incapacity of its rulers and political leaders, often self-appointed, to contribute to endowing every single citizen of Haiti, as their birthright, with the very freedoms for which their ancestors defeated a powerful colonial army, with heroics so uncommon that the heart of every Haitian is filled with eternal pride.

Thus, the major challenge facing Haiti as a nation now and forever, although still ignored or misunderstood to this day by the country’s corrupt leaders, is how best to protect the individual freedoms and human rights of Haitians, by limiting the scope and power of government, and by enshrining and wowing into the fabric of Haitian society, the strong, dynamic, universal and well adapted institutions of liberty, upon which free societies are built and in which free people prosper.  On planning and organizing to meet this challenge, effectively and efficiently, rests the success or failure of any Haitian government, transitional or regularly elected, and the future economic well-being of Haitians through the dynamics of domestic and international economic competitiveness, agricultural and industrial production, job creation, investment, education, wealth creation and accumulation.

Today, over two centuries after their glorious and successful war of independence, unparalleled in world history, and the creation of their own nation, Haitians remain relentless in their struggle to build a society of liberty and prosperity.  Barred from choosing their own future at home in free, honest, fair, transparent and credible elections, Haitians continue to vote with their feet[5][5] in great numbers yearly, by migrating legally or illegally to open and free societies where opportunities exist for realizing their own individual dreams of liberty and prosperity for themselves and their children.

In the foreign lands where they elect to go, none of them with authoritarian or dictatorial government – the United States, Canada, France, the Dominican Republic — Haitians earn the admiration and praises of all for their hard work that can be counted on, as well as for their drive to succeed and their respect for the law.  In fact, nowhere else in the world, as I wrote in a previous article, “ will one find a larger number of Haitians living a more successful life, free and prosperous, while enjoying the hard earned respect of society and government, than in the United States of America,” [6][6], a land of freedom and opportunities.

Integrating Haiti into the free world

As Haitians living at home measure, with envy and disbelief, the professional success, the personal development and the good fortune of relatives and friends in America, and elsewhere in the free world, their restlessness becomes increasingly acute as they continue to confront Haiti’s successive crops of authoritarian, often brutal, and corrupt political leaders, who, to this day, keep denying to the impoverished masses the freedom and prosperity promised by their nation’s forefathers on January 1, 1804.  Yet, we can work with the people of Haiti to help them develop their own success story at home, in their own homeland, by facilitating their nation’s integration into the free world, since Haitians have demonstrated in every manner possible that their preference is to live and prosper in a free society.

One way to achieve this goal is to put an end to the long series of fraudulent elections Haiti has been accustomed to, since its liberation from the 30-year long dictatorship that ended in February 1986.  Haitians must be able to choose their own leaders and their own path to development through free, fair, honest, transparent and credible elections.  Equally important, are the promotion of a culture of freedom, as well as the building and development of the institutions of liberty, without which no free society can exist and prosper, and of which a free and competitive market economy remains the essential engine for the massive production of goods and services, job creation, wealth creation and accumulation, and the eradication of poverty.  Toward such ends, the Haitian expatriates and the international community can play a critical role.

Since 1986, there has been no shortage of elections in Haiti, none of which has contributed to peace, stability and economic progress, largely because none has met the standards of the free world for free, fair, honest, transparent and credible elections, as has been demonstrated in the electoral farce of November 28, 2010.  For reasons too obscure to even attempt to discuss here, the rulers of Haiti have so far received a free pass from the international community (read the OAS and the U.N.) to stage fraudulent elections that leave the nation with governments bent on corruption and human rights abuses, and too incompetent to manage the affairs of the state or even to assist Haitians in creating the environment that is needed for investments, job creation, wealth creation and personal achievements.

Fraudulent elections, as has been the case since February 1986, will never result in a legitimate government able to unite and galvanize the nation to face the difficult challenges ahead. Lessons must be learned from the violent protests that erupted in all major cities of Haiti, spontaneously, after the Haitian Provisional Electoral Council announced their cooked up preliminary results of the so-called elections of November 28, 2010, to the nation.  Even if an apparent calm exists for now, as we write thee lines, violent unrest should be expected to continue sporadically. Haitians are not inclined to see the current leaders extend their control of their country through governance by decree.

Any such move by Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe should be met by the strongest rebuke from the free world, including that he steps down immediately to avoid further violence and bloodshed in the nation. The Haitian expatriates and the free world should work together to facilitate the emergence of a caretaker government, an essential mission of which should be to reclaim the Haitian democratic process and insure the holding of free, honest, transparent and credible elections.  The unacceptable alternative is to force the people to continue to vote with their feet toward foreign lands, in order to live in a free, democratic and prosperous society.

A free society for a free people .

Unable to vote freely in honest and credible elections in their homeland, Haitians have lost control of their future and of their ability to create, develop and live in their own culture of freedom, as has been achieved in every country of the free world in which such culture has been well adapted to the national character.   Inasmuch as the goals and objectives of the democratic transition process in Haiti remain undefined, and do not reflect clearly the nation’s collective will to establish a free and prosperous society, as envisioned by the country’s founding fathers, Haiti will remain a fertile ground for authoritarianism, drifting hopelessly into more political chaos and greater poverty.

Yet, a free and prosperous society is at hand in Haiti, if the Haitian intellectual, cultural, artistic, political and economic elite accept their duty to inspire, engage and lead the poverty stricken masses towards achieving their forefathers’ dream of freedom in a prosperous society, “by learning from the experience and emulating the achievements of the industrially advanced nations of the western hemisphere, the free societies of which have led their individual citizens to enjoy rights, liberties and economic prosperity on a grand and large scale never seen before in the entire history of mankind.”[7][7] .

Having earned significant professional, personal and economic success in the free societies where they chose to emigrate, Haitian expatriates are well equipped to advance the cause of liberty and economic prosperity in Haiti.  What is missing, is a new partnership between Haitians and the free world, that aims to integrate Haiti into the latter, with strong institutions of liberty and a competitive market economy that creates wealth, offers great opportunities for all and pushes back poverty into near oblivion.

 Prof Parnell Duverger

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[1][1] Article 134-1, of the Haitian constitution of 1987, states: “The term of the President is five (5) years. This term begins and ends on the February 7 following the date of the elections.”  In fact, the Haitian constitution has a total of 298 articles, all of which must be strictly obeyed, including by the President of the Republic, whose oath of office explicitly demands that he or she respects and defends the constitution The Haitian constitution also establishes sanctions against its violations by the president, including his or her removal from office.  The constitution of 1987 is supposed to protect the nation against authoritarian rule.

[2][2]  Haitian-American Joel R Deeb  is a professional political consultant with over 20 years experience providing sound analysis, interpretation, problem solving skills and public policy recommendations in relation  to various political problems that affect national security, public safety and the effectiveness of government. Chairman and CEO, Omega Military Consultant, 1994 – Present.  Analyst, Strategic Studies / Counter Terrorism Action Plan, Latin America 1980 – Present. Vice-President, Caribbean Communications Corp., 1991 – 1993. Board Member, International Fruit Basket Corp., 1979 – 1983.Board Member, Sea Food Maritime Exports Inc., 1979 – 1980. Founder and Team Leader, Hector Riobe  Anti-Duvalier Front, 1980 – 1986.Member, Haitian League for Human Rights, 1979 – 1980.Analyst, Strategic Studies / Counter Terrorism, Caribbean Region, Asia/Africa, 1979. Research: New Technologies for Defense and Collective Security in 2004… Member of the Haitian American Disaster Relief Committee 2010…Haiti Security Report 40th Annual Congressional Black Caucus Legislative Conference Issue:  “Haiti, Finding the Path to Redevelopment” 2010…

[3][3] Deeb Joel R., “Haiti – Elections 2010: The People Want Answers,” www.omegaworldnews.com, Dec. 17, 2010.

[4][4] Joel R Deeb, Op. cit.

[5][5] Ibid

[6][6] Duverger, Parnell. “A Path to Freedom and Economic Development,” www.haitianpolitics@yahoogroups.com. March 2006.

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Economist and Professor Parnell Duverger is recognized in the Haitian internet fora, and as Chairman of Omega World News ta  www.omegaworldnews.com  for his relentless and passionate campaign promoting a culture of freedom, the institutions of liberty, and a free and competitive market economy for the development of representative democracy, individual rights and freedoms, and the creation of economic wealth in his native Haiti. Professor Duverger has been quoted by important institutions such as the U.S. Treasury Department and Accuracy in Media, among others.Congressman Gilman’s Remarks at Haiti Conference Today at Washington Convention Center :, Finding the Path to Redevelopment Before the 40th Annual Congresssional Black Caucus Legislative Committee
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