Español English French Kwéyol

Haiti - Elections : Crystal balls don’t lie


By Daniel Simidor

Submitted to AlterPresse on november 11, 2005

As I peer into my crystal ball to spy what mad new
games the mad, mad, men are playing with our future, a Preval-Simeus-Bazin tandem jumps suddenly into focus, with Aristide and his nemesis in Washington both discretely approving or shouting praise.

How is that possible? What will the Constitution say?
I distinctly see a silent Preval (with nothing to say)
resuming his drunken presidency, while Simeus swaps
passports with Latortue, singing sweetly “I’ll never
renounce thee” to an eagle hovering above, and Bazin
wearing his pakapala hat ushering a long line of
candidates and acolytes into the permanent government.

Then from the ranks of sympathizers and fellow
travelers - the people of whom the poet Dorn wrote,
“if they had a thought / couldn’t get it out / with a corkscrew” - comes a chorus of confused “yes and no, and but.” But Aristide, too busy with his next book that will explain why, leaves it to a gentleman lobbyist and his lawyers to explain how two years is not a long time to wait, and, seeing how the wind is changing in Wash, that the Democrats will be back in the White House by 2008. And isn’t it a remarkable thing to see how much loyalty is on the rise, when people are truly without a thought among themselves to share?

For those who fought to get Aristide where he is
today, it is a bitter pill to swallow for sure. Civil
Society, the GNB Intellects and the Fusion Particles
are furious that once again they are being bypassed.
Whether in the end they will agree to join in the fray
will depend on how much of the spoils they will be
allowed. The trend, however, is to cast aside “the
status quo forces” (Simeus dixit) who have been too
long on top of the heap, in favor of new managers and entrepreneurs from the fabled Diaspora.

Accepting the elections as a foregone conclusion, and
Haiti as the pawn of “a paranoid and kleptocratic Bush administration keen on imperialist adventures” (the words of a fellow named Steinhoff), is not easy.
Simeus would only be the third prime minister in a row
with a US passport. But his rise to power, make no
mistake about it, is a sure sign that the Bush White
House wants more hands-on control over unruly Haiti.

The Haitian left is singularly unprepared and at a
loss in this juncture. It isn’t so much that
“Socialism died in 1989” as some people have declared prematurely, or that a weakened left divided against itself was brought to its knees by a decade of occupations and populist politics. The problem is that the Haitian left in its many variants, after two decades of exile in Europe and North-America, is hopelessly reformist, consumed with issues of rights, and without a program or even an agenda for power.

Will the elections really take place and what do they
matter anyway, ask my debonair leftie friends in their semi-retirement? Grassroots solidarity, not bourgeois elections, is what we should focus on, some of them add wishfully, apparently unaware that the grassroots sector, too, is on its knees.

The problem is that crystal balls don’t lie. The
Lavalas cells are whipping up their troops into action
as we speak, with their usual mix of roots music,
bugaboo politics and dope - and a little looting on
the side to let the other side know what time it is.
Come Feb. 7, Simeus, Preval and Co. will rule. . .By

Daniel Simidor,
Brooklyn, Nov. 10, 2005