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Ayiti (Haiti)

January 29, 2016

 

What can I say about this country? Besides it being the country that my roots directly come from via parents, but ever since I was a child I've heard of the turmoil that plagued this small country. Recently it has to do with the democratic election process. The vast majority of Haitian citizens have a distrust of politicians, rightfully so, have you ever heard of Papa Doc or Baby Doc who ruled with a corrupt iron fist that brutalized and murdered their people under their dictatorship regime backed by the U.S.? Many Haitians fled to find a safe haven in other Caribbean countries and others went abroad to France, Canada, and the U.S. While many Black Americans were expressing their xenophobia with such disgusting phrases like HBO (Haitian Body Oder), Haitians were just trying to find peace. Dozens found themselves in the office of ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) or stopped by Coast Guards to be shipped back to the impoverished country. Other Haitians faced worse fate, their bodies laid at the bottom of the Caribbean Sea floor with their ancestors. After many bloody years, the people summoned the courage of their ancestors who defeated Napolean and his White Supremacist soldiers to attack and overthrow Jean-Claude Duvalier to the point of exile to the south of France but not before he robbed the country of its wealth. We can even go further back to when Jean-Jacque Dessalines, one of the leaders of the Haitian Revolution and the forefather of the nation as the first ruler and self-named Emperor (a quick google search will give you a list of his extraordinary accomplishments). François-Dominique Toussaint Louverture aka Toussaint Louverture, Henri Christophe, Anne-Alexandre Sabés aka Alexandre Sabès Pétion all fought as leaders to free Haiti from White Supremacy France, yet Dessalines was murdered and disliked by his own people, including Alexandre Sabès Pétion. The murder of Jean-Jacques Dessalines occurred in the midst of jealousy, societal clashes (mulattoes vs free Blacks), animosity, lust, greed, and power like all stories go.

 

Present day Haiti, not much has changed. The President of Haiti is Michel Martelly a former singer and businessman from a middle-class family. His father was a Shell Oil executive, he lived a lifestyle most Haitians could only dream of. Martelly starkly disliked Jean-Bertrand Aristide back during his presidency in the 1990's while most Haitians regarded him as the people's champ. In 1995, a supposed hit list was released from the Aristide regime that had Martelly's name. Many people on the list were murdered and while Martelly was on tour his wife warned him not to return to Haiti because of the hit list. In 2004, a coup who many believed were backed by President Bush and the Clintons forced Jean-Bertrand Aristide out of office. Rumor has it, Aristide was forced by the coup to step down or die. Aristide decided to stay in office and not cower to bullying tactics but the heat was one. He then decided it was best to leave because he didn't want to put his family's lives in danger. He was given the option to go to exile by himself on a plane meanwhile his wife and children were to fly on a separate plane. His wife detested that idea and chose to go on the same plane as her husband. If he was going to die, she was going to die with him. They both made it to South Africa safely. 2007, Martelly came back to Haiti after defaulting on a million dollar loan simultaneously, his three properties were bring foreclosed on. 2010, he ran for office after the Haitian Earthquake. He won over the Haitian people's appeal because of his celebrity and musician connections. April 4th, 2011 he won the presidential office against his opponent Mirlande Manigat by more than 60% but some people assumed he cheated. 

 

May 14th, 2011 Martelly was sworn in as the president of Haiti. The same day Prime Minister, Jean-Max Bellerive resigned so Martelly can choose his own Prime Minister. As his first focus, Michel Martelly promised to repair Haiti post-earthquake. August 2011 Martelly announced he wanted to reinstate the Haitian military and many Haitians were outraged because the nasty taste of corruption pounced on their taste buds from dictators like Jean-Claude Duvalier and other political figures who used the military as a shield for their abuse of power. 2011, Martelly formed an advisory board that was made up of business executives, bankers, and politicians one, in particular, the infamous former president of the United States, Bill Clinton all in hopes they could improve Haiti's economy. February 2012, Martelly's Prime Minister, Garry Conille, resigned, only holding his position for five short months. He was replaced in May with the Foreign Prime Minister, Laurent Lamothe. April 2012, Martelly was accused of corruption, with allegations that during and after the 2010 election, he had accepted $2.6 million in bribe money in exchange that a Dominican Republic construction company would continue to receive contracts under his Presidency. Martelly denied the allegations from the people yet companies headed by Félix Bautista (a Dominican senator and business owner with allegations of corruption) received no-bid contracts (something like a no compete contract) worth $200 million. November 2013, anti-government protests were held in Haiti over the high cost of living and corruption (it's just as expensive to live in Haiti as it is in the U.S. and there aren't any government programs to apply for assistance). 

 

Mid-term, Senate elections had been scheduled for May 2012 but were postponed and again on October 26th, 2014 because the day they were scheduled on a standstill conflict occurred between the government and a group of Senators who opposed an electoral law. The Haitian government dealt with months of protests because of the delayed elections. The Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe resigned on December 14th and was replaced by Evans Paul shortly but protests continued and the people demanded Martelly's resignation. January 13th, 2015 the Haitian parliament dissolved after its term ended. January 17th, 2015 thousands of protesters in Port-Au-Prince demanded the Martelly's resignation. Haitian police used tear gas and water cannons to clear out the crowd. Martelly voiced for protesters to keep order and that he had reached an agreement with the oppositional Senators to form a consensus government within the next two days. March 2015, new election dates were announced for Parliament and for the presidency because of Haiti's constitution, Martelly was ineligible to run again for president (meaning no second term). August 9th, 2015 elections took place in Haiti under Michel Martelly's presidency. The citizens voted in the first round to fill two-thirds of the 30 Senate seats and the 119 Chamber of Deputies seats. In Port-au-Prince groups of young males ripped up paper ballots as a sign of protest while securely armed police officers shot into the air to get order. Rocks were thrown at the police in response thereafter authorities closed a few poll stations.

 

Local Haitian media reported the closure of poll stations and various arrests of the people who were accused of voting more than once. 54 polling stations were closed during the disruption, a small percentage of the total poll stations around the country. October 25th, 2015 marked the first round of Haiti's presidential election. On October 25th, 2015 presidential elections were held as well as local elections, and second round legislative elections. The same day, the Provisional Electoral Council revealed that Jovenel Moïse (Michel Martelly's possible successor) won 32.81% of the votes and Jude Célestin received 25.27% of the votes. Jude Célestin made remarks alluding that the votes were rigged. His comments were supported by five other presidential candidates. They all issued a joint statement criticizing the results during a news conference, saying it was, “anti-democratic” and urged the people’s votes to be respected. Supporters of Célestin protested in the streets alongside supporters of Jean-Charles Moïse’s Platform Pitit Desalin and supporters of exiled former President Jean-Bertrand Aristide’s Fanmi Lavalas party and the presidential candidate who received the least of votes, Maryse Narcisse, who finished fourth after the third presidential candidate Jean-Charles Moïse. The protesters threw rocks and burned tires throughout the streets and the police responded with tear gas and arrests. (sources: life, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michel_Martelly and http://www.thenation.com/article/why-haitians-are-chanting-down-with-obama/)

 

Why did I write this?

 

Because it's election season not just in the U.S, but abroad. While people are clenching their teeth hoping that the tight thin lip, badly made toupee, white supremacist with fat pockets doesn't make it into office, take into consideration that you have way more advantages in comparision of let's say Haiti. While our government set's up toys to distract us like a kitten and a laser, there are other countries where the U.S. is manipulating and setting up puppet governments, yes your beloved Obama is in on it. While you're online hammering on your keyboard with your twitter fingers, people are ready to die for a better tomorrow while you're ready to post about it. In Haiti, it's not unusual to be robbed and come to find out it was orchestrated by the police who also have connections to drug dealers and kidnappers. It's not unusual that families have to flee for safety. It's not unusual that politicians like cheap whores on skid row could and do bend over for western powers who only seek to revenge Haiti's successful slave rebellion against France (fun fact, they had to pay reparations in the millions to France for their freedom and to free an embargo placed on them not to mention Christopher Columbus and his gang raped the country of its natural resources including gold). Millions of dollars in reparation money and embargo killed Haiti's economy and still to this day every Haitian whether standing on Haitian soil or abroad feels its cold destruction. You have people like Martelly who are more concern about his bags of money, no serious, he has bags of money chilling in his home from his connections with drug smugglers, kidnappers, and killers that the New York Times revealed in an exposé. But then again, when you're too busy building a multimillion dollar home on the backs of dead Haitians who died during the earthquake, who has time for the minor details huh? We as Blacks, no we as people are being shuffled and played like pawns by governments, particularly western governments who have no qualm seeing us die before seeing us live freely in a justice ruling society. Think about that the next time you see Trump and his handpick sycophants or whoever placed in front of your television screen to act like they give a damn for your votes. Remember strings are always attached whether you see them today or tomorrow. They are just the frontiers for those you don't see pulling the strings. In the words of Kanye, "No man should have all that power."

Be Entertained. Be Enlightened. Be Loved. ✌

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