A Haitian Mother’s Plea: Don’t Bring Back the Army
Click on the picture to read this text in Creole.
Authorities of Haiti, I beg you, please don’t bring back the army. Not while so many children are dying from hunger, cholera, and neglect.Don’t remobilize the kaki caskets of the FADH. These caskets have stained our soil with blood, shame, and abuse. Don’t divert our meager funds to train our new killers. Don’t budget money for uniforms and ammunition to fight an imaginary enemy when our people are dying of real starvation.
Authorities of my country, for too long, you’ve enjoyed impunity as you’ve ignored the common good for the pursuit of your own selfish aspirations for wealth and power. The President brags of owning 600 suits when our children are walking the streets naked, their bellies swollen with worms.The Senators, legally make and dispense 100,000 dollars US annually, but won’t enact a minimum wage of 5 dollars a day.One Congressman recounted his rags to riches stories of how he has come to acquire cars, money, and influence, while the vast majority of our people are left in wretched poverty. “ Leta pa chwal Papa!”
An army may secure your positions of authority, but it may also undermine it. We have had enough coups and Presidents-for-Life to know this. Real security and real stability can only be attained when there are no more tents and huts alongside the mansions built from the spoils of your office. An army will accomplish nothing for us. Don’t lie to us and say that our nation was founded by an army. Our nation was founded by armed and unarmed men and women: mothers, fathers, and children who took on the responsibility of defending their lives against a barbaric government.More than 150,000 of them died. Haitian independence was not won by an army. It was won by the Haitian people.
Today the people must be protected against their principal enemy: poverty. Your response to this need is not to support an army to safeguard your power. Don’t sacrifice the needs of our children to buy second rate weapons that will be of no threat to any foreign force.Don’t tell us that this time, it will be different, that the army will not be repressive. You do not know how to build a non-repressive army. This is why you are asking for foreign assistance. Indeed, it is absurd to ask foreign countries, our potential adversaries, to train, equip, and finance “our” army. Such an army will likely be obedient to their foreign patrons and a menace to us, the Haitian people.
There are currently no countries threatening Haiti. Our neighbor, the Dominican Republic, is not our enemy and you know it. The President trusts them enough to put his life in their hands and lease planes from them. Like Haiti, the Dominican Republic is a nation that has known the ravages of irresponsible and brutal government. At one point, the armies of both nations cooperated to decimate sectors of our population. Their army killed, while our army looked on. We want peace at our border. We do not want a menacing build-up of soldiers. The negligence and corruption of our authorities are greater threats to our security than our neighbor could ever be.
Authorities of Haiti, remember that the last army we had was poorly equipped and yet it consumed nearly half of our budget, leaving very little for development. Today, the country is in dire need of doctors, nurses, police officers, fire fighters, teachers, agronomist, farmers, engineers, industrialists, and so on. You know this. This is why you offer the dishonest propaganda that the army will provide all these jobs.Haitian authorities, our poverty requires that you spend our money wisely. Spend it on building the infrastructure necessary to lift us out of misery. Please, don’t bring back the bone-crushing army to once again consume our resources and violate our rights.