The Presidency of Michel Martelly got off to a predictable start this week. His nominee to serve as Prime Minister, Daniel-Gerard Rouzier, was rejected by Parliament. That is their constitutional right, but it spells trouble and provides a foretaste of great difficulty for the future of Haiti. Welcome to Haitian politics Mr. President. At a time when it is critical for the Parliament and the Presidency to work hand in hand, here we go again. Self interest trumps the best interests of the Haitian people. The status quo of politics as usual remains intractably intact. How very sad it is.
Fundamental to Haiti ever progressing as a nation is the cooperation of the political leaders for the betterment of the people. The world has an image of the level of dysfunction and corruption within the governing bodies of Haiti that never changes. Such an image keeps support from being given with any confidence that the resources provided will be used to help the people who so desperately need it. It is shameful that the billions of dollars pledged and available are lost in a morass of political dysfunction. It is shameful that the “tent people” from the January 12, 2010 quake remain in tents, with the second hurricane season about to descend upon the island. Last year Haiti was mercifully spared during the hurricane season and the people living in tents managed. This year they may not be so fortunate. Much of the rubble from the earthquake remains in place. A new government is now in place. Financial aid is in place. But hope that things will change is waning. While there has been much criticism that Haiti is “the land of the NGO’s”, and much resentment about this, thank God somebody cares enough to be on the front lines of trying to make a difference. NGO’s are not the answer, and I hope the day comes when Haiti develops enough that they are not needed. The Parliament of Haiti, elected officials charged with the important decisions that will directly affect the people of Haiti would appear not to care. I doubt if any of them are living in those tents. Maybe if they were they would act to help the goodwill of the world flow to the people who need to see a new day. I doubt if the people in the tents have much hope or expectation. They have seen elections come and go and nobody seems to be able to transcend the morass which is Haitian politics.
The Rev. Canon James E. Byrum