By Dady Chery
The Haitian government, together with some of its “friends,” have been sending signals for months about resuming a heavy-handed dictatorship in Haiti, together with a paramilitary force being trained on the sly. But the days of the Batistas, Somozas, and Duvaliers are over. The Monroe Doctrine stick has become rather limp, with the U.S. hugely indebted from its military adventures. Moreover, as was announced at the recent CELAC and ALBA meetings, Haiti has been formally welcomed into the community of Latin American countries, which is now a unified economic force to be reckoned with and no longer anybody’s backyard to be carved, mined, despoiled, and destabilized.
It is in this context that representatives of the Haitian government and the international community, including the entire Diplomatic Corps, came to participate in a one-hour meeting at the National Palace last Thursday, March 1. The meeting, which followed by less than two weeks the illegal replacement of 13 of Haiti’s elected mayors with presidential appointees, concerned the urgent need to establish a Permanent Electoral Council and schedule new elections, as prescribed by the Haitian Constitution.
The following countries and organizations were represented:
- Argentina: S.E.M Marcelo Sebaste
- Brazil: Mr. Claudio José De Campo
- Canada: S.E.M. Henri-Paul Normandin
- Chile: S.E.M. Leone Mauricio Bravo
- China: S.E.M. Bang-Zyh Liu
- Cuba: S.E.M. Ricardo Napoles Sotero
- Dominican Republic: S.E.M. Rubel Silie Valdes
- France: S.E.M. Didier Le Bret
- Germany: S.E.M. Jens-Peter Voss
- Japan: M. Jentaro Minami, Charge d’affaires
- Mexico: S.E.M. Manuel Lopez Moreno
- Organization of American States (OAS): M. Frédéric Bolduc
- Panama: Mr. Floreal R. Garrido
- Spain: S.E.M. Manuel A. Hernandez Ruigomez
- Switzerland: S.E.M. Ms. Edita Vokral
- UNASUR: Mattarello
- U.S.: S.E.M. Kenneth H. Merten
- Vatican: S.E.MGR Bernadito C. Auza, Apostolic Nuncio
- Venezuela: S.E.M Pedro Antonio Canino Conzalez
At the conclusion of the meeting, Haitian Foreign Affairs Minister Laurent Lamothe announced:
“We just had a meeting with the Diplomatic Corps. All the Ambassadors of the Diplomatic Corps were here today at the National Palace. We did a brief review with them about the Haitian Government’s intention to hold elections as soon as possible.
“We discussed with them the funding required for organizing these elections, which is an extremely important aspect, and the deadline date, which is very important and that we must respect…..
“…each Ambassador gave his suggestions and they all expressed their willingness to support until the end the electoral process to be implemented in Haiti in the coming months….”
Haiti’s Secretary of State for Public Security said that the government would promote a climate appropriate to elections.
In another meeting between the representatives of Haiti and Venezuela on March 2-3, Venezuela announced $369 million of projects including a gift of financial and technical support for a National Identification system.
The Venuezelan package for Haiti includes:
- $125 million for Housing
- $ 66 million for Project for Modernization of National Identification System and Rehabilitation of Central and Regional structures (PROMOSIN)
- $ 52 million for Administrative village
- $ 34 million for Reconstruction of parliament
- $ 30 million for Renovation of neighborhoods
- $ 30 million for Jacmel hospital
- $ 19 million for Agriculture
- $ 14 million for Sports fields
- $ 10 million for Literacy education
The bilateral Haiti-Venezuela meeting took place instead of a meeting of the ALBA foreign ministers that had been scheduled for the same dates. Although no formal reason was given for the cancellation of the ALBA meeting, it is presumed that this meeting did not take place because the resignation of Garry Conille from the Prime Ministerial post left Haiti with an incomplete government. The ALBA meeting will be rescheduled.
Source: Haiti Chery
Copyright © 2012, 2013 by Dady Chery. All Rights Reserved. Dady Chery is a journalist, playwright, essayist and poet, who writes in English, French and her native Creole. She is the Editor of Haiti Chery.