These past few weeks, the world has been very tumultuous. A powerful earthquake happened in Japan, leaving the world under a nuclear menace. The beginning of aerial bombing in Libya to apply the UN council resolution for the “no fly zone”. The continuous fights in Ivory Coast, and the Middle East’s revolutions. All these hot spots eclipsed some important stuff happening in Haiti.
Important is certainly a word to put in bold, because the future of this Caribbean nation was advanced last weekend. Let me recapitulate for you. After one year of extreme struggle, Haiti had to deal with two major political and historical situations. Jean Claude “Baby Doc” Duvalier returned to Haiti. After creating a lot of noise locally and internationally, his return was soon forgotten. He is eating publicly in the best restaurants, and even attended a Jazz Festival where people and the press have seen him sipping some good French wine and enjoying life. But does time cure all? Is 25 years passage enough to forgive a dictator’s cruelty: I wonder. If we can learn from actions, forgive and decide to move forward, then I interpret it as “a wind of hope” for Haiti.
Now, there is a quite big gap between 25 years and 7 years. For seven years, Jean Bertrand Aristide was exiled in South Africa. A week ago tomorrow, he returned to Haiti, just before last Sunday’s presidential run-off election. Now, seven years does not allow a whole generation of Haitians to forget. For example, with Duvalier, I only know of his actions through stories and films; with Aristide it is totally different. I know what his reign was about and I even fought to throw him out of the country. There is not time enough here to refresh your mind on how he was destroying the country by arming his famous militia “the Chimere,” but suffice it to say that many fear his return would destabilize our tenuous peace and democratic process. Much to my amazement, everything happened smoothly. Now, while everybody is talking about chance or luck, I am thinking of “a wind of hope” for Haiti.
People predicted a disaster and major troubles during the votes. But, as always and faithful to her reputation, Haiti created the surprise. We had a nice, smooth and quite fair election day March 20th. Beside logistic problems with the vote materials in some vote center, overall the day end up very positively. The elections went well. Of course you won’t hear of it in the news, it’s not news, it cannot be Haiti. Now the speculations go around the coming results. I’m totally confident that we’ll keep up this good way. As people are saying that it’s a miracle. I am thinking of “a wind of hope” for Haiti.
And in the meanwhile, our thoughts are with everyone effected by the disasters that are in the news this week.