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Archive for February, 2010

Concerned

Many people seem concerned about the role of the United States in particular in Haiti.  They think that there is a progressive takeover since the earthquake.  What good does it do Haiti right now for anyone to be preoccupied by what the Americans are doing there?  The important point is that they may have been the first to come to the rescue of the Haitians because of their proximity and their desire to show that they care.  Some of you have said that this is propaganda for Obama but I don’t think so because he could have kept his distances.  He made promises to help and he has kept them.  Not only has he helped but the entire country even those who think that Haiti is cursed have told me they sent 291 tons of relief materials to Haiti.  When you look at the telethon that brought in excess of $58 milion you only need to say Thank You to those artists who participate and whoever put this effort together.  The Americans have done a lot since January 12, 2010.  I cannot say but positive things about CNN.  We need to thank God for Anderson Cooper and Sanjay Gupta and  the entire CNN crew on location in Haiti. 

I personally have nothing against the Americans, I am Haitian-American and I would not do any less than what they have done.  I need to admit that Haiti had nothing that could take care of this major problem.  The world and the Americans came to the rescue, we just need to say thanks.  We are not going to let our pens and our desire to make the headlines spoil the wonderful deeds that the world has done toward Haiti. Instead we need to be humble  and ask ourselves how would things be if those people that we think are there to take over our country did not come to the rescue. 

I hate to make reference to Paul Shirley but one true thing he said in his article “against” helping Haiti is that we did not have anything in place to help ourselves in case of a disaster given that we have had so many catastrophes in this decade alone that we have not learned anything from them.  Should I blame Preval, Latortue, Aristide for doing nothing about those problems?  Problably that would be a waste of time.  We have been sick so many times we have a pretty good idea of the medicine to take to cure us of this sickness.  While we are laying down flat on our stomac, the world is helping us to get up, I promise you that we will stay up and will be proud of our accomplishment in the next two decades.  Our resiliency will get us through this time of trouble and Haiti shall rise.

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Give Haiti a chance

The world should by now be educated about Haiti.  The country that was the richest French colony is now regarded as the POOREST NATION OF THE WESTERN HEMISPHERE.   The world is right to call Haiti the poorest nation of the western hemisphere and whether you think it is – that was just “upgraded'” or “downgraded”  – the poorest nation of the world depends on how you look at it and is totally irrelevant right now.  I will tell you why.

Pat Robertson, I may have taken his words out of context like his editor told me in an email this morning, made his case on Haiti when he said they made a pact with the devil in 1791 and ever since that day they were cursed.  Haiti was so cursed that our American neighbors whom we have helped at Savannah refused to recognize the successful work of the slaves of St-Domingue for more than half a century.  The Haitian slaves revolt has set a firm example for the slaves of North America, The United States did not like that a bit.  With the Haitian slogan live free or die, the American slaves were tired of the treatment their white masters were inflicting upon them so they decided to start sporadic revolts.  (Dr. Maulana Karenga drafted the picture of the American slaves in their quest for freedom in his book Introduction to Black Studies, a must read.) Those were HARSHLY crushed by the Americans because their economic success depended on the hard labor of those slaves.  The world alienated the Haitians.  They had no guidance, no trade partners and no economic models to follow.  During those years of “diplomatic drought” in Haiti, the nations of the world militarily insulted the young nation time and time again.  The Germans dropped by and demanded ransom because of a silly story about a presumed thief named Présumé.  In 1825 Charles X of France ordered Haiti to pay in order for their independence to be recognized.  That money to pay dragged Haiti to this economic mud that is following her until today.  Well, the independence should have been recognized because Haiti beat France in a fair fight, Napoleon’s mighty army capitulated – a vision of raising the white flag, saying I give up.  What more did you want? Do we need an impartial referee?  I think we do.

Since 1804, Haiti is paying the price of a victory.  It was fair and square, no cheating.  The British were at that time fighting Napoleon and the French. They make an unofficial request to the Haitian authorities asking them to kill the remaining French nationals in the country and they will carry them on their wings providing them what they need.  Well, my friend, Dessalines accepted, this was the pact with the devil, call it a second one if you will, the real one.  Right after that the British turned their back on Haiti.  The Americans were outraged, the rest of the world who heard of that, while they may have been contemplating having diplomatic ties with Haiti backed out. Those negroes had to pay for what they have done.  Indeed they had paid for slaying the French without mercy.  Generation after generations the Haitians have to pay for that ordeal and even in the 21st century after a devastating earthquake that took 217, 000 lives and counting, the debt is still not paid in full.  Will you give Haiti a chance?

Pat Robertson’s sidekick told me in that email this morning that they have sent 291 tons of reliefs to Haiti.  Maybe this is his way to apologize for his mistake.  Rush Limbaugh said that the US income tax is help to Haiti.  I have to laugh because I have never heard such nonsense.  Indeed , Rushbo, the US Department of Treasury sent Haiti a refund check every year with a lot of Earned Income Credit (EIC).  I wonder if he had ever gone to college.   I pity those people who listen to his entertainment that only deals with negativities at best.  He is a champion carried only by his mouth, no brain at all.   While those two plus Paul Shirley don’t seem to be touched by the death of 217,000 people, the rest of the world has shown compassion and flew to help Haiti today.  I am happy that most nations helped but I am still asking the powerful nations of the world to give Haiti a chance to get back on her feet.  Here are my thoughts.  I don’t want to take a fish from you I would prefer that you make me a fishing expert.  In other words I want to do just like you have been doing so I can be as successful as you are.  I want to make this deal with you, can we shake hands on it?

I hate to pick on the French after beating them so badly in 1803 but they are the one who started all this.  They should have left Haiti alone after 1793 but no, they were so greedy wanting to get richer with free labor and came back to get humiliated.  I say the French are the first ones who need to give Haiti a chance. Give Haiti a chance to rebuild her cities, her economy and her future.  Help Haiti and her government understand the importance of literacy and erect schools and universities for her children and out of nothing those kids will bring out success.  Send French scholars to rebuild the Haitian educational system. Team up with the Haitian living abroad who are scholars, we have those working as professors in universities in North America and many other parts of the world.  Even I will be able to lend a helping hand. Hey I can drive those scholars around town on Sunday afternoon. Those that are currently in Haiti will be part of the team that will give Haiti a new face in 2030. 

I have read many years ago that “leaning on the past is working for the future.”  This may have come from Edmond Rostand or Jules Verne, I hope one of my readers remember.  Haiti’s past is filled with negatives. Deep misery is a corollary of dictatorship, corruption in government, selfishness, monopoly, lack of planning for the nation’s future, unaccountability, and illiteracy.  I could think of a lot of other negatives that have plagued Haiti throughout the years but pointing to them will not make things any better.  As we discover them, we will tackle them and make them part of a sad story and bury them.

While our relationship with the United States is at its peak, we need to ask them to make Haiti a strategic point in their foreign policy agenda by helping with the reconstruction project.  The reconstruction project to me is not defined simply with erecting those buildings that have not resisted the earthquake but rather a socio-economic approach that will definitely include education.  It will take just one generation to turn things around in Haiti.  People like myself who have less time to live then they have lived have nothing to gain but maybe a legacy that they have made a difference, a point of reference that they were part of the reconstruction of a nation.  I consider Haiti as a new born that needs to be nurtured, guided, protected while being educated.  And like a child growing up, the notions that are taught will not be forgotten but instead will be made useful in the daily challenges.

The country has not been swallowed up but she is on her butt asking someone to help her get up.  I am not an official of the Haitian government.  I am only myself, Gabriel Benoit, a man with a vision for Haiti.   Once we receive full cooperation of our friends, Haiti will get that chance, a chance that is right now non-existent because Haitian resources are not adequate to make such things happen.  Haiti needs a sudden shift.  Haiti needs an opportunity to make a change, the change that will make her the nation that she never had the chance to become.  The world turned away from her for the past 206 years but today the world is with her showing her love and giving her attention.  It is the right time to lend the ultimate helping hand and give the Haitians their first real chance to use their motto that I prefer to say in French than its English translation: “L’union Fait La Force.”

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Haiti’s future

Written on vendredi 5 février 2010

My friends think that I should not talk about politics on my blog but I am so eager to express my opinion that I have ignored them on that aspect. I am sure they will not comment on this article but they still love me and this is what counts for me.

Crisis in Haiti is not News for the world except this time it is of overwhelming proportion. The January 12, 2010 earthquake changed the face of Haiti and will most likely change the way Haitians and the Haitian government deal with daily routines. The daily routine and the economy of Haiti is another topic but right now we want to focus on what needs to happen in the short run if this nation is to be sovereign.

Haiti’s scheduled elections were cancelled after Port-au-Prince has been destroyed by a powerful and shallow earthquake. As a result the country is partially paralyzed with hundred of thousand displaced individuals waiting for help. How will Haiti, one year before its presidential election, handle the seemingly pressing emergency of earthquake victim, the growing poverty, and a transition of power? My friends, this is not an easy task and I am sure the absent minded Haitian leaders don’t have a clue. Well my friends, I don’t know either but I am in a better position to give them ideas because I am outside looking in, I will not run for office and I will not be anything important in politics over there.

Jean Max Bellerive is the Prime Minister, we should all agree that Haiti cannot afford presidential election right now because there is no money. Whatever the country has should be devoted to help rebuild in preparing a better tomorrow. On February 7, 2011, René Préval will step down as president if not before, he needs to and he knows it. The president of the Supreme Court should be president of the country and he will be wise to keep Bellerive as the interim Prime Minister as long as the Prime Minister’s performances can reassure the people that he is a leader. I am sure Jean Max Bellerive will not have a problem to serve his people. Within two years, Haiti can probably handle elections and the recovery period will already be ongoing, people will have jobs with the rebuilding of the Capital and the surrounding destroyed areas. This is my opinion and I welcome yours.

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A daily dose

Here is what’s going on.  Every day I go to work, I mean Monday through Friday.  I go by Express bus allowing myself the time to read, relax and not worry about getting aggravated by stupid drivers.  I hope you are not one of them.  Well, hey, they are males and females and sometimes, I have names for them because they are called every name in the book. What book! Go figure.  It seems like they take numbers to annoy me on the road and the most difficult thing to swallow on the Express Ways is when they flip me a bird after acting stupidly.  Boy, my moment of insanity kicks in fast and in my mind I have just murdered that person.  Can you imagine dying like that, this is really another form of stupid death. A woman is dead on Monday and a man on Tuesday.  Almost every week, I killed two men and three women.  This happens in the morning, in the afternoon/evening when I am returning home, traffic is light 99% of the time. Well of course when I don’t go to work no one dies.  Maybe you wished I got fired.  But guess what happens when I get a new job? – Same repetitive cycle.

People you should thank the GA Express for  stopping my serial killings.  So without being paid by GA Express, I am telling you it is a great thing to ride with them going to work day after day.  If it were not for them, I know exactly where I would be and many of you would be virtual widows.

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Hello world!

Here I am on Word Press to tell you some tales and legends, the things I have read when I was a kid.  When I tell my children that I used to be a kid too they don’t believe me, they laugh and laugh and laugh.  Then they felt sorry for me, asked me to tell them one of those tales about the wolfman I have heard growing up in Haiti.  When I open my mouth to start my tale, they burst laughing again.  My son is 23 years old well of course he trained his siblings 21, 14 and 10 telling then to ignore me or laughing when I try to remind them that I was a kid too.

Well, since I don’t care if you laugh at me, I will tell you a tale about Nonk Bouki ak Kompe Malis ……………..

Watch this

Wow, you are good, you are amazing to think that I was actually going to tell you a creole tale on an english blog spot.  No wonder you believe in Santa Claus at 32 years of age.

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