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Posted May 11, 2011

                  With Martelly, a Better Haiti or New Den of Largely Incompetent Thieves

ON Saturday, this weekend, Haiti, a nation with a famously tortured history, will officially have a new president named Michel Joseph  "Sweet Micky" Martelly, a provocative Haitian Compas music entertainer by profession best-known for disrobing and swearing on stage.

obama, martelly and sarchozy
An unidentified young man is putting final touch on a portrait of United States President Barack Hussein Obama, left, and Haitian president-elect Michel Joseph Martely, commonly known by his stage name "Sweet Micky," center, and Nicholas Sarchozy, the president of France. The letters above written in red and blue ink read as such: Love, progress.

On that very critical day of May and the many other ones to come, Mr. Martelly's musical  instruments will most likely rather find refuge in a storage room, not in the temporary replacement building of the quake-destroyed Haitian national palace, for the very reason of becoming, continuing to be a public servant as the presidential powers vested in him, the president's functions and duties, not limited to committing the state to treaty obligations, suggest.

The new president's vision, however impractical, given the minuscule tropical land's anticipated still niggardly public purse, of providing free education to all school-aged children (approximately 4.5 million of them, and nearly all of their parents, their annual incomes are insufficient to even help pay), for example, appealed to his hundreds of thousands of young supporters disgusted by the venality of their current government, the ones that came before and a small elite during the short, chaotic presidential campaign.

What's more, also encouraged by the possibility that generational indignities of blanket crushing poverty, among many others, will become things of the past (no longer at the bottom of the pyramid), today they continue to look forward to, with confidence or expectation, that his success, to paraphrase a saying in the lingo of the Fon people (a West African tribe), will indisputably be the success of the never happy Caribbean republic. We wish him the best of luck or he is attended by so.    

Still, given a far too many sad striking historical precedents, for concerned citizens, in their hundreds of thousands, both in Haiti and the Haitian diasporas, the big "Q" word or question is: Will news, associated with endemic blanket grand-scale corruption, perpetual dictatorship, to cite only these two, often published in the foreign press, from this small Caribbean corner - where nearly all citizens' homes are not equipped with the very basics of civilized life, including pipe water and electricity - differ or cease to be a continuum, in part, from those of today and even long before?



An innumerable number of earthly infernos or ghettos, large and small, can be found all over Haiti.


Sure, a herculean task is awaiting the incoming head of state. Some politicians in the Western world would urgently be advised to have their heads carefully examined, even after pretending, in the immediate aftermath of consuming a large quantity of alcoholic beverages distilled at a high proof, they could address or find a solution, say, to a reduced number of the perennial dirt-poor nation's unwanted innumerable problems during their constitutionally mandated tenures.

Yet, even when it is, a very difficult undertaking (the absolute value of 10, on a full 1-10 scale), that should not obscure the fact that we must permit ourselves to say, to borrow some of the popularly known lyrics of the late Jamaican-born reggae music icon, Bob Marley, we hope a portion, at least, of the information about events or happenings in the hell-like nation is going to be alright.

And why? There are, before all, prerequisites. Not without good policymaking, men and women of exceptional integrity and competence in the government of Mr. Martelly's prime minister. 

The writer, Yves A. Isidor, who teaches economics at the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth, is executive editor of Wehaitians.com, a democracy and human rights journal.


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