Haiti Pour Haiti
by Daniel ben Avram
A brief capsule History of Haiti:
The island of Hispañola was colonized by Spain and France, creating the Dominican Rep Republic and Haiti.
They were developed with the use of slaves.
Haiti became the “Jewel of the Caribbean”, the wealthiest island nation in that ocean.
In 1804 the slaves of Haiti rebelled and overthrew their French colonizers.
In turn, Haiti was forced to pay “reparation” for “loss of property” (including slaves.)
Over a century Haiti was bled dry. Bereft of money, resources, unable to maintain an infrastructure or a stable government, it floundered, becoming the poorest nation in the Western Hemisphere.
Emerging from the brutal dictatorship of the Duvaliers, Haiti finally elected an overwhelmingly popular president, Jean Bertrand Aristide, who attempted to employ the resources of the island nation – human, agricultural and mineral – to create a democratic, self-determinating, self-sustaining Haiti. He was overthrown twice, and is now in exile, presumably in South Africa.
Hit by a series of devastating hurricanes, Haiti was beaten to the ground over and over again. The people of Haiti were so desperate for food that they were reduced to eating mud patties, mixed with butter and sugar or salt, just to fill their stomachs.
Through it all, the Haitian people remained proud and courageous, struggling against all odds to survive with dignity.
Then the earthquake struck.
Haiti Pour Haiti (Haiti For Haiti) transcends politics by going directly to the people. It is founded upon the principles of dignity of the individual and self-determination. It is purely democratic.
It means a self-sustaining Haiti, with all resources belonging to the Haitian people. It means to create a “non-profit” country. It will employ local labor and “appropriate technology”. That means that all outside assistance, whether paid or volunteer, will be only to assist. That means, for instance, the training the of health care professionals and engineers free to the students of Haiti.
It means a truly profound democracy, where decisions are made on a local level by persons who best know the needs of the community. Regional and national agencies will exist only to support the communities, and provide infrastructure and standards to serve the people.
It means the reforestation of the land and the return of local agriculture, free from foreign competition. Self-sustaining means that the people will grow their own food, and be able to afford it.
That which cannot be supplied locally, such as technology and non-domestic raw materials will be paid for by the mineral resources of Haiti.
To ensure that the redevelopment of Haiti proceed without the interference of corruption, an international agency will be created to ensure that all monetary assistance, and all domestically created wealth will be under strict accountancy, totally transparent to the Haitian people.
Elections will be held under the strict supervision of an international delegation to ensure that they proceed without any harassment or coercion, again, totally transparent to the Haitian people so that their will is respected, that the results reflect their desire.
All prisoners will be allowed treatment according to internationally recognized conditions, meaning food and medical care. All cases will be reviewed by an independent, international court to ensure that only criminals remain incarcerated and all political prisoners are released as expeditiously as possible.
Those political and labor leaders in hiding will be sought and protected so that they may return to productive life.
This will be expensive.
Haiti Pour Haiti will not ask for charity. It will ask only for justice. The people’s wealth was stolen from them. Some could be returned, most cannot. To that end, there will be established a State of Reconciliation. All restitution by France will be forgiven; all of Haiti’s debt will be forgiven.
Those who feel an international complicity in the state of poverty, whether individual, corporate or governmental, may offer aid and assistance, understanding that it is of free will and without condition. In turn, they will be ensured and guaranteed that all that is offered will go directly to the people, and no one will profit from it.
In turn, the Haitian people understand that it is a gift, freely offered and respective of their dignity and sovereignty.
Haiti may be viewed as a Grand Experiment to create a truly democratic, “green” and self-sustaining nation.
In time Haiti will, once again, become the “Jewel of the Caribbean”.
Daniel Zwickel MacJean ben Avram
Bay Point, Sacramento Delta Bio-region, California
January 27, 2010