For Haitians, the year 2010 ended with a set of disturbing revelations:
From Business Week, we learn that “a U.S. official (Lewis Lucke) who was in charge of relief efforts following Haiti’s devastating January 12 earthquake has accused a major contractor of short-changing him for his assistance in securing more than $20 million in reconstruction deals after he left his post”. As part of his work, Lucke was actively lobbying Haitian officials, former United States Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush.
Coincidentally, at a recent meeting of the Interim Commission for the Reconstruction of Haiti, held in Santo Domingo, mid December 2010, Haitian delegates decried the fact that, these days, major decisions concerning Haiti’s present or future are made by non-Haitians.
Just days ago, a second interview by recently recalled Special OAS Representative to Haiti, Ricardo Seitenfus, revealed that, on the day of the chaotic November 28 elections in which the U.N. and the OAS played key roles, an airplane was being sought by the international players in order to expell Haitian President René Préval from the country. Since his earlier revelations to Le Temps, Seitenfus has been dubbed Haiti’s own flesh and bones “Wikileaks”.
Truth be told,for several weeks now, the Haitian rumour mill spoke of a verbal exchange between U.N. Mission Chief Edmond Mulet and President Préval, during which the latter is said to have declared he’d rather end up like Salvador Allende rather than accept Mulet’s suggestion of exile. This is at once cynical and ironic, given that Edmond Mulet himself is the object of incessant calls for his expulsion from Haiti on account of the abyssimal record of the MINUSTHA forces under his command. At latest count the cholera bacterium introduced to Haiti by U.N. troops has claimed over 3333 lives and there is no sign that resources are being mobilized by the MINUSTHA to help fight the epidemic.
Seitenfus’ recent interviews strenthen the idea that Mulet sought to send Préval to exile.
Seitenfus states in the interview “on November 28, the day of the elections, there was discussion in a meeting of the Core Group (donor countries, OAS and the United Nations) of something that seemed to me simply frightening. Some representatives suggested that President René Préval should leave the country and that we should think about an airplane for that purpose. I heard that and I was horrified. The prime minister of Haiti, Jean–Max Bellerive, arrived and immediately said not to count on him for any solution outside the constitution and he asked if President Préval’s mandate was being negotiated. And there was silence in the room. Beside me was Albert Ramdin, adjunct secretary of the OAS, so I could not speak because the OAS was being represented by him. But faced with his silence and that of the others, I asked to be able to speak and reminded them of the existence of the Inter-American Democratic Charter [of the OAS] and that I thought any discussion of President Préval’s mandate would be a coup. I was very surprised by the fact that the adjunct secretary of the OAS remained silent in the face of the possiblity of shortening the term of a legitimately elected president”.
As is often the case in matters pertaining to Haiti, in order to understand current events or to apprehend what the future might hold, one must exercise “Sankofa” – look to the past. Mindful that January 2 is Ancestor’s Day in Haitian culture, let us call upon the spirit of our beloved pan-African warrior Kwame Ture, whose premonition is quite striking. Indeed, years before the Interim Commission for the Reconstruction of Haiti, brother Ture saw the signs and he warned us that “no Bill Clinton shall liberate Haiti”.