Arrival of Christopher Columbus —painting by Tomo.
Ten years ago, in the aftermath of the most devastating earthquake to ever hit Ayiti (Republic of Haiti), I co-led a goodwill delegation to assist the survivors and victims. During my stay, I was able to take photos, in collaboration with my son Gabriel, showing the extent of the physical damage that the earthquake triggered. These photos became the centerfold of a white paper that I wrote, which is posted on Potomitan.info. Brief, let us assume that we agree, the system is the cause. It then follows, Haitians must answer the question, what is the purpose of Haiti?
Present day Haiti started as Saint-Domingue, a French colony to enrich the French métropole. Indeed, at that time, Saint-Domingue was the richest colony of France. Today, the transfer of resources toward multiple metropolises continues. This structure, as it is, causes the brain drain. Haiti cannot keep its educated young people that have received a four-year tuition-free college education. As a result, Haiti is unable to strategize, plan, and/or develop any major project, such as infrastructure, e.g., energy and transportation, build institutions as well as international cooperation, and so on. For instance, the reconstruction of Haiti, post-earthquake 2010, is a case in point. Even though it is well documented that $13 billion was pledged by international donors. The mismanagement of the funds from the Petro-Caribe is another illustration of this state of affair that can only be characterized as a “failed State”. It must be noted, there is no common accord on the definition of failed State. However, most scholars agree, the inability to protect life and property, including service of the double-debt, payments of state employees, and gas, is a key indicator of a failed State.
Children farming —painting by Nanèt.
In conclusion, there is hope that one day the creativity that is evident among Haitians will enable them to address the root cause of the social and economic issues that they face. It is this dynamics—that is, taking account of what has been happening to project ahead the necessary multi-solution—which makes relevant the notion that present day Haiti is not definitive.
In the final analysis, “Make Haiti greater is the only possibility” (Doumafis, 2020). Yet, this perspective is not intended to be exhaustive. Rather it seeks to elicit the dialogue, exclusively among Haitians that most observers on Haiti say is necessary. In our view, this endogenous approach carries its own contingency. In the 216th year of the Independence, let us, Haitians, dare to be brave again, going forward without stopping our triumphal course through the world.