Haiti: Crisis exit solutions are in crisis

By Pierre-Richard Cajust*

Submitted to AlterPresse on December 3, 2022

In Prison notebooksAntonio Gramsci defines “crises” as a situation in which “ the old dies and the new cannot appear: during this interregnum we observe the most varied morbid phenomena “.

In the Haitian case, we observe a certain recurrence of triggering factors of crises, which must challenge politicians on the need and the urgency to lead differently.

Since the acquisition of the status of Republic in 1804, crisis situations have been repeated, to the point of becoming cyclical, apart from a few major historical periods where joint effort and self-transcendence had made it possible to find solutions. The liberating gesture of the heroes of Vertières is a perfect illustration of this. Since then, the ruling class has distinguished itself by this detestable spirit of division, with all the violence and destruction that entails.

However, this tendency to repetition always raises fears, even in a period of apparent stability, of the explosion of a crisis in the making from which the country is never immune. The one we are currently experiencing is only the continuation of a long series of upheavals which, each time, plunge the country into ever more serious desolation.

These cyclical convulsions are the result of deep malaise, the causes of which are to be found in the very nature of a State in full decline, “failed”, to the point of not being able to offer even basic social services to its population.

The struggle waged by the democratic movement for the overthrow of the Duvalier dictatorial regime has yet to bring about real change for the masses. Based solely on the expression of demands, this current has never organized itself into a movement carrying transmutation. Hence the incessant fragmentation of parties or groups observed in the ranks of the “democratic sector”. In the 2015 elections, there were more than 50 presidential candidates.

After the departure of the Duvaliers in 1986, and until today, there is constant turbulence within this “democratic sector”, against a background of internal struggles, preventing the elaboration and the proposal of a political vision with substantial content. This plethora of political formations and various small groups does not necessarily translate a democratic vitality: it is rather a variegated mixture of disparate elements uttering, in a cacophony worthy of a badly tuned orchestra, hollow ”speeches”, little compelling and outdated.

In some advanced countries, the question of parties and plethoric platforms does not arise since it is resolved at the base: political parties whose agendas are similar or similar conclude alliances. The separation of tendencies is most often done at the internal level by the realization of primaries in order to determine the candidate most likely to carry the message – the “vision” – to the final triumph.

Which is difficult to achieve, even complicated, in the Haitian case since the logic is not to make a “vision” triumph but to satisfy a desire for power because of the innumerable privileges it confers. Others have only a partial view of the reality of power, which they see as a means to personal success.

Meet the effective needs of communities

This is why their speeches remain declarations paved with good intentions, since the conceptual and implementation means are never provided. The debates that have been going on for a very long time on the political scene are superficial and devoid of quality. It is no exaggeration to affirm that their deficiency is at the root of these repetitive crises: there is not a “vision” consensually proposed around the identification of growth vectors likely to encourage the creation of wealth necessary for the advancement of the country. The proposals underlying these “declarations” have not been the subject of prior studies to be the result of a proven, differential diagnosis taking into account real needs. In other words, they do not meet the actual needs of the communities. The abstract framework in which the discussions are inserted makes it impossible to put in place effective strategies. For example, an education plan for a category of children must be the subject of studies as to the areas that will be taken into account, the corresponding infrastructures to be put in place, the resources that will be involved , continuity and follow-up, as well as the origin of the allocated budget.

It is often observed that, after the seizure of power, subsequent governmental achievements are instrumentalised, deliberately manipulated to dazzle. As a result, the erection of “brilliant works” does not make it possible to meet the real challenges of public demand and social demands. Thus, the answers provided will always and necessarily be political replies against a backdrop of publicized shows, insipid sprinklings, in order to hide incompetence, lack of vision and carelessness. The government headed by Laurent Lamothe is a typical example with its highly publicized “gouvènman lakay”.

In view of the progress recorded in neighboring countries, it is necessary to refine our choices and refine our approaches and our planned actions. In this sense, the political parties aspiring to govern or to make proposals as a possible future opposition, are obliged to propose a “political vision” within which is inserted a concrete content, that is that is, a set of public policies with plans for implementing a vision of development. To this end, they must pacify the country and create a favorable environment to attract foreign direct investment, which is one of the factors of economic growth. Because poverty increasing at the rate of the lack of capital is dangerous for social peace.

Establish a consensual agenda

In this respect, it is necessary to establish, within the framework of a consensual agenda, solidarity mechanisms encompassing a plurality of views for the construction of a collective living space. This is only possible through a refoundation of the State and its various components through a systemic formatting within a ”vision”.

The national dialogue that we are replaying in the media should have had this initiative as a basis. Instead of an agreement envisaged solely for the sharing of power – because when we have nothing else to offer, we will fall directly back into the infernal cycle of the crisis – the political leaders should have had as their goal the creation of wealth through the consistent use of growth channels. It is not necessary to always be on the same wavelength, but to agree at least on a modus operandi. The critical debate will only be useful when it relates to what has been heard beforehand and decided for execution. Thus, faced with the finding of non-execution, each person concerned will be able to demand accountability from those responsible.

In terms of components, replenishing the content of a political vision implies, first of all, a reorganization of the base of national production in its entirety, while identifying the vectors of growth. Secondly, there must be an improvement in basic services, such as health, education, water and sanitation, infrastructure, etc. And finally a reassessment of the environment which constitutes a risk factor for the national economy with the losses caused by natural disasters.

A necessary restructuring of the state and parties

The current discourse does not really take local authorities into account. But without them, it is pointless both to speak of development and to discuss “the sex of angels”. This is what will be called integrated regional development through the mobilization of local resources and skills and the establishment of decentralized essential structures and basic services. The deconcentration of economic activities is not only to be desired, it is rather to be strongly encouraged in the regions in order to manage to generate local taxes, without the need to constantly refer to the central State for the realization of utility works. community.

Currently, our medium and small towns have become monstrous, real bottlenecks controlled by armed gangs.

Doing politics differently and differently is linked to the formulation of a governability pact between social forces. This perspective should be the basis of any good transition for the construction of the national agenda without international dependence.

Hence the need for a real way out of the crisis.

Haiti cannot continue to formalize uncertainty through elections. It is certainly necessary to pass through this box but it is necessary first of all to restructure the State and the political parties through coercive legislation which makes it possible not only to set beacons, but also to act on violations of regulations. It is from there that we will achieve a fortified democratic space in which the actors will present programs that coincide with the structured plans within the framework of a long-term vision. In other words: we must put the cart before the horse.


Contact: cajust2000@yahoo.com

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Haiti: Crisis exit solutions are in crisis

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