By Jean H Charles:
With the installation of a new government, Haiti needs to set itself into a mode where the culture of growth, development and hospitality can flourish without impediments. First and foremost, security for life and for limb must be high on the agenda.
The United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) tag price of some $865 million per year to provide and enhance a blanket of security on the national territory is not only an international scandal but it represents the perfect model of how things should not be.
Kidnapping, the absence of night life, the complete disregard for the rule of law have been the staple of life in Haiti, sometimes supported and entertained by the very Haitian governments. The many nations that comprise the MINUSTAH family excel in faking the duty of care and support to the stabilization of the country.
With one tenth of that amount, Haiti can set up its own national army that will protect the population, serve as a first defense system in case of environmental disaster and repel and control the drug reshipment invasion. The tourism industry, the commerce, the resilience and the creativity of the Haitian people need a true national security blanket to flourish.
Haiti needs in the second place to uproot the culture of the deadly sins so pervasive in the country. With bad governance implanted into the soul of the nation for the past sixty years, virtue has not occupied a place of choice in the intercourse of people living in the same land.
Haiti of today is comparable to France under the Regency regime in 1715, where the Duke of Orleans promoted a culture of greed, lust and debauchery, where adventurers mixed with do-gooders were seeking fast money followed by spectacular bankruptcy, poisoning the atmosphere for everybody.
The deadly sins you remember, immortalized by Dante, include pride, avarice, envy, wrath, gluttony, sloth and lust. Those vices have found a fertile land in Haiti to germinate and propagate amongst the poor as well as the rich citizens.
Michel Martelly, a former bad boy, might seem the wrong messenger to inject the culture of virtue into the country. Yet God himself did use sinners like Saul who become Paul to spread his religion of love charity, and humility. The Samaritan as well as Mary of Magdalene, both former sinners, were efficient missionaries of the new doctrine that humility, generosity, love, self control, faith, zeal, and prudence should rule the interactions between citizens of the same country and those of different nations.
Gandhi, the father of revolution with non violence, devised the concept of seven social sins. Politics without principles, wealth without work, pleasure without conscience, knowledge without character, science without humanity, worship without sacrifice and commerce without morality.
I am witnessing in all aspects of life in Haiti the pervasive influence of the seven social sins. The legislative, the electoral board, the presidency, even the international organizations whose mission was to heal the wounds of a devastated population have been competing amongst themselves to serve mostly their own venal needs while professing compassion to the fate of the people.
The new government, with its prime minister designate, Daniel Rouzier, will have bread on the table. Before it embarks on any aspect of development those first two pillars – national security and moral sustenance -- must be firmly entrenched into the ethos of the new Haiti.
The people of Haiti, who fought all through to impose their own transition, have a high expectation from the new government. It is ready to uproot the old culture of the seven deadly sins. Martelly will have not only to set an example in his administration but he will have to call on the moral suasion of the Church and the civil society to preach and practice the new doctrine. The Archbishop Louis Kebreau in the homily at the inauguration has set the tone. His call for a culture of virtue was well received by the population who elevated him to a stature of a pop star.
The Haitian government must stop sustaining the lower instincts of the population. No nation has ever survived with the love of lust, greed, and wrath. Development, peace, growth and prosperity demands first and foremost good citizenship!
May 30, 2011