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A Call to Political Action for Freedom & Development - By : Parnell Duverger

lundi 5 janvier 2009 par William Toussaint

A Call to Political Action for Freedom & Development

Parnell Duverger

Chairman, The Louverture Center for Freedom & Development

January 1, 1804 – January 1, 2009.

205 years of independence wasted away by a long series of petty and corrupt dictators, who thrived in an unfair social system made for the minority of the rich and powerful, as the majority, uneducated, poor, hungry and sick continued to face a life of misery and despair. Through these years, through these centuries should I properly say, not much has changed for the common man and woman of Haiti, except for their new willingness to escape the hellish conditions of extreme poverty and political violence, by seeking refuge in neighboring countries where a better life and a more hopeful future can be found, complete with the freedom and the economic prosperity for which their own country, Haiti, was born on a new year day. Is it time for all Haitians to find at home what they have sought and found in foreign lands, i.e. individual liberty, opportunities, economic prosperity, security, personal growth and development.

Nowhere else in the world will one find a larger number of Haitians living a more successful life, free and prosperous, while enjoying the hard earned respect of society and government, than in the United States of America. Thus, as Haitians living at home measure, with envy and disbelief, the good fortune of relatives and friends in America, their restlessness becomes increasingly acute as they continue to confront Haiti’s successive crop of authoritarian, often brutal, and corrupt political leaders, who, to this day, keep denying to the impoverished masses the freedom and prosperity promised by the nation’s forefathers on January 1, 1804.

More than two decades after the start of a long awaited transition – from an authoritarian to a democratic society – which began in February 1986, Haiti continues to drift aimlessly into greater poverty, a travesty of democracy, violence and foreign military occupations, unable to seize on the tremendous and exciting new opportunities for trade and economic development offered by a brave and hopeful new world of globalization, economic liberalization, and economic integration. For, while disoriented by the spectacular implosion of the Soviet Union as well as by the demise of authoritarian regimes throughout the world during the 1980s and the 1990s, and inspired by the new theology of liberation, with its doomed hopes of saving Marxist totalitarianism from total bankruptcy, an emergent political class, dominated by ideologues of the radical left, have sequestered Haiti’s fragile democratic process with a stubborn will to land our poor and needy country into a dubious alignment of undemocratic nations seeking to fan the flame of terrorism and political instability in our hemisphere.

Haiti’s movement toward democratic life appears to suffer from the same congenital defect that has afflicted the country since it debuted as an independent nation on the world’s stage : an unwillingness or incapacity of its rulers and political leaders, often self-appointed, to contribute to endowing every single citizen of Haiti, as their birthright, with the individual liberties, security and prosperity for which their ancestors defeated a powerful colonial army, with heroics so uncommon that the heart of every Haitian remains filled with eternal pride. Thus, the major challenge facing Haiti as a nation now and forever, although always ignored or misunderstood to this day, is how best to protect the individual freedoms of Haitians, by limiting the scope and power of government, and by enshrining or wowing into the fabric of Haitian society, the strong, dynamic, universal and well adapted institutions of liberty, upon which free societies are built and in which free people prosper. On planning and organizing to meet such challenge effectively and efficiently, rests the success or failure of Haitian society to transform itself into a free, democratic and prosperous nation, as well as the future economic well being of individual Haitians.

Today, one recognizes that to build for Haiti the institutions of free societies is not the Herculean task that the nation’s forefathers faced 205 years ago when they declared the country’s independence. For, Haiti now can learn from the experience and emulate the achievements of the industrially advanced nations of the Western hemisphere, the free societies of which have led their individual citizens to enjoy rights, liberties and economic prosperity on a grand and large scale never seen before in the history of mankind. Moreover, by engaging without delay its collective political will, as well as the creative energies and determination of its individual citizens, into the development of a culture of freedom and a process of wealth creation, based on lessons learned from its own undemocratic and turbulent past, from the achievements of western societies, from the successes and failures of past and modern economies in transition, including those of the former Soviet Union and China, as well as on the wealth of academic knowledge, practical know-how, proven leadership abilities and managerial experience accumulated by Haitian expatriates in the United States, and elsewhere, Haiti can once again regain a position of leadership in the world, setting an example for and leading other less developed countries in the global fight against poverty, as well as for freedom, economic development, human rights, democracy, and the rule of law.

If, as our forefathers professed, we, Haitians, have a dream of liberty in a prosperous society, then we can find much inspiration and guidance in the goals and public policies as well as in the institutions and organizations of the free societies of the Western Hemisphere, who have been spectacularly successful on their own individual and culturally different path to freedom, economic prosperity, democracy and political stability. What are those goals ? While, generally, the political goals include the establishment of a representative system of democratic government, with independent executive, legislative, judiciary branches, and based on political pluralism, the rule of law, as well as the free exercise of individual liberties, political and human rights, economic goals usually focus on economic growth, full employment, economic efficiency, price level stability, economic freedom, an equitable distribution of income, economic security, and a reasonable balance of trade. To achieve such goals, free societies rely on the institutions and organizations of the free enterprise system of a market economy based on the price mechanism of the market, well-established private property rights, competition, freedom of enterprise, freedom of choice, specialization, capital accumulation, technological changes, and a limited government that provides an accommodating legal structure, maintains competition, promotes stability, promotes freedom of enterprise, reallocates resources, and insures the availability of public goods and services.

Moreover, Haiti also stands to learn and benefit significantly from the trials and errors as well as the positive accomplishments of recent economies in transition – China, Russia, the former countries of the Soviet Union – or less recent ones such as the Asian NIEs, i.e. the Newly Industrialized Economies of Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Korea, if it wholly accepts and embraces the establishment of a free society driven by the free enterprise system of the market economy, as the primary and ultimate goal of renewed and clearly redefined transition efforts, from its current initial conditions of a failed state, of which the small market economy remains heavily burdened by tradition and the erratic command of a long string of dictators. To this end, the recommendations and best practices proposed by the International Private Capital Task Force (IPCTF), as a basic economic policy framework for accelerating the transition or transformation of a developing country from any given prevailing initial conditions into a well-functioning market economy, appear to constitute appropriate public policy prescriptions for Haiti. And if, as suggested by the Bleyzer Initiative (SigmaBleyzer, 2002 : The Bleyzer Foundation), such policy prescriptions form the basis of a partnership with international donors for targeted assistance and financial aid, a successful path may be created for Haiti to turn its transition into prosperity. The SigmaBleyzer – IPCTF’s Economic Policy Framework consists a set of macroeconomic stabilization policies, both fiscal and monetary policies, aimed at creating an appropriate macroeconomic environment, and a set of 9 investment drivers that spur capital investments and move a country forward into a well-functioning market economy : (1) liberalization and deregulation of business activities, (2) stability and predictability of the legal environment, (3) corporate and public governance, (4) liberalization of foreign trade and international capital movements, (5) financial sector development, (6) corruption level, (7) political risk, (8) country promotion and image, and (9) targeted investment incentives.

Such is the basic framework that I propose to all of you, Haitians living at home or abroad, for the development and implementation of a successful strategy for creating economic wealth and eradicating poverty in Haiti, through macroeconomic and job creation policies that stimulate the market economy to bring employment to free individuals in a free society, and in the most remote rural towns of our country. Every single one of us, Haitians, must contribute to bringing about the changes necessary to make our country work for all of us. So, let us talk to each other, and work with each other in order to succeed. It is our calling, a mission that we freely accept.

Where do we begin ?

In lieu of the democratization process and other positive changes that Haitians have been clamoring for since February 1986, this interim 23-year period appears to have resulted in the collapse of Haiti’s social, political and economic systems. And, with the lackluster performance of the current Préval/Pierre-Louis government, the international community is increasingly looking at Haiti as a failed state. It would be reasonable indeed, in assessing the problems of today’s Haiti, that one accepts the objective realities of a failed state, i.e. of a set of political, social and economic systems totally broken down and in disarray, as the point of departure or initial condition of a renewed transition process leading to the realization of the Haitian dream, i.e. to the materialization of the ideals that gave birth to the independent and sovereign state of Haiti, on January 1, 1804 : to create a free and prosperous society that maximizes the welfare of every individual Haitian..

On this date, January 2, 2009, Haitian Memorial Day, I am asking you to join me in pursuing the dream of our forefathers. This is my call to political action for freedom and development in Haiti.

Parnell Duverger

Chairman, Louverture Center for Freedom & Development

General Overview

The Haitian Consortium is a nonprofit, grassroots alliance organization committed to helping Haitian communities achieve economic sufficiency. The Haitian Consortium fosters strategic alliances with grassroots movements, community programs, neighborhood associations and religious organizations in the United States and the Caribbean in order to achieve its goals.

The Haitian Consortium is organized and operated exclusively for charitable, community empowerment, human development and educational purposes within the meaning of Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Services of the United States. The Haitian Consortium is also registered to operate as a not for profit organization in Haiti and represented by other foreign body.

If you have any questions or need Additional information, please contact us at :

The Haitian Consortium

Enock Gustave, Chairman

600 West Oak Ridge Road

Suite B

Orlando, Florida, 32809 (USA)

Phone : 206-312-7274 / 206-736-7808

e-mail : opinion@haitianconsortium.co
m

web site : www.haitianconsortium.com








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