Our Readers' Opinions
July 23, 2004
Forward ever backward never!

EDITOR: Haiti is being referred to today as a failed state by many (rightfully so). This is not of the people’s making. The likes of Papa Doc, Baby Doc and others were allowed to plunder the people’s wealth with the help of the U.S. and France. {{more}}
While these two countries (especially the United States) have always had their hands in Haiti, they have done very little to help the Haitian people. They have squandered numerous opportunities to help the people redeem themselves. The U.S. involvement has always been in their own national interest. There is nothing in their modus operandi today which indicates that this has changed.
It is important to note that most of the senior members of the present U.S. administration (except Colin Powell) embrace the philosophy and fundamental ideals of the “New American Century”. Their intention is to conquer and dominate as much of the world as possible. They are not about helping poor countries to realize meaningful development. Re-colonization is their mission.
Their involvement in Haiti is also geared towards having an extraterritorial base from which they can continue their dirty work against the goverment and people of Cuba.
The Bush administration’s clamour for Caricom to recognize the Latortue government is an attempt to obtain approval for its “Plan Haiti”.
The notion that Caricom’s (or for that matter our) recognition and involvement with the Latortue government will help to improve the lot of the Haitian people is based on the false assumption that the U.S. is prepared to permit or facilitate the transformation of Haiti, from a failed state to a success story. There is no evidence to indicate same. Our involvement in 1999 did not help to usher in the “new Jerusalem”. Why do some among us think that this time around (with a U.S.-installed puppet regime) things will be different? Their conclusion can only be seen as foolhardy.
The reality is that Haiti cannot see meaningful progress with a government that is directly controlled by Washington. It is imperative that we indicate in no uncertain terms our disapproval of the enunciated U.S. plan to remove regimes it sees as hostile to its interest and values. We must be guided by an overarching and profound philosophy of independence and self determination. We must not be prepared to compromise on fundamental principles. It is imperative that we stand up and be counted.
Some of us may be tempted to go the route of least resistance or greater comfort, but that has not been kind to the faint-hearted.
It is therefore important that we support the well thought out and principled position of our Prime Minister Dr. Ralph E. Gonsalves. “Stay up comrade! Forward ever backward never.”
It is important that we do not allow any envoy or emissary of the White House to set our foreign policy agenda (even if their navel string is buried in the same land as ours).

Dr. Franklyn James