It is during our darkest moments that we must focus to see the light

Mwen se echantiyon yon ras kap boujonnen men ki poko donnen

Si vous voulez vous faire des ennemis essayer de changer les choses

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Lugar Calls for Business Reform; Proposes Haitian-American Enterprise Fund By Stanley Lucas


On July 22, Senator Lugar released a report, authored by senior staff members, entitled, “Without Reform, No Return on Investment in Haiti” (see ). The report summarizes the limited impact of US and foreign investment in Haiti over the past two decades and the serious hurdles to setting up a business. In order to jumpstart the private sector, Lugar has proposed the establishment of a Haitian American Enterprise Fund. The bill was introduced on April 14 and is pending review in the Committee on Foreign Affairs (see ). The Fund would be modeled on the successful models of the enterprise funds created in the 1990s for Poland, Hungary, and other European countries after the fall of the Berlin Wall.


Lugar’s team hit the nail on the head by pinpointing the reform of the business sector as the key to sustainable economic growth. In the immediate aftermath of the earthquake, former President Bush economist Glen Hubbard wrote a similar piece (see ) arguing that the success of the Marshall Plan in post-WWII Europe was based on the vibrant private sector, which was lacking in Haiti. To be sure, Haiti needs business reform and to formalize the private sector. The Haitian American Enterprise Fund is an interesting approach, but must be structured in a way that allows all Haitians access to the Fund. As the Fund is currently outlined, it will do nothing more than further strengthen Haiti’s elite business cartel and the current discredited leadership.

The report misses a critical element of why the business sector is in such disarray, and why there is almost no political will to make the necessary reforms. Haiti’s economy is controlled by a business cartel known as the “Groupe de Bourdon”, named after an affluent neighborhood. This cartel controls about 95% of the economy – and contributes a mere 4% of the income taxes collected. In the private sector they control food importation, the agriculture sector, banks, transportation, etc. They essentially monopolize all sectors, including the informal sector. For example, many people in the informal sector will buy bags of rice or other consumer products and then sell these items in the market for a slight mark up. They buy these products from the Groupe at an extremely high interest rate. It is feudalism at its best.

They do this with the support and participation of the Preval Administration. They financed Preval’s campaign, and in return, they gained control of the public and private sector. In the public sector, they leveraged their access to the President, they put in place the ministers of finance, commerce, public works, the directors generals of the tax offices and office to acquire state lands, the port and customs, the governor of the central bank, and economic advisors to the president. They also secured a monopoly of oil (via Petro Caraibe) and grains through PL480, a USAID program for Haiti. It is also the Groupe that is responsible for the incredible interest rates of 48-60% on small business loans and the limited access to credit. With this access they were able to acquire profitable state institutions for pennies on the dollar under the guise of privatization.

This Groupe also has the means to access the US Government, Congress and international aid. Several members of the cartel briefed the senate staffers. Unfortunately, the Lugar staff did not take the opportunity to meet with the local chambers of commerce and entrepreneurs that have been dedicated to bringing opportunity to all Haitians. This powerful group has effectively lobbied US codels, international delegations, Clinton, UN, IADB, and the World Bank. With the support of the Haitian government they have secured international aid funds to finance pet projects that do not at all benefit the Haitian people as a whole. For example, they are trying to secure an $80 million grant to build their own private university rather than modernizing and rebuilding the affordable state university. These loans and grant are taken on behalf of the Haitian people but finance their own end.

The report also misses the reason why there is a “dearth” of political will to make business reforms. The report states that President Preval is “resistant to overtures by the World Bank and other international partners to make difficult decisions, ostensibly because he fears being labeled a dictator by political adversaries if he makes certain reforms by decree.” First, it is unclear why these reforms would need to be made by decree. There is a legislature that is motivated to show some progress on important issues in advance of elections. But more fundamentally questionable is the assessment of Preval’s motives. He was unafraid of illegally extending his term in office and unafraid of passing the Emergency and Reform Act nullifying Haitian civil liberties. It is doubtful that he would be afraid to pass business reform measures that would make access to credit more possible and streamline regulatory procedures. President Preval is “resistant to international overtures” because the current system benefits him personally and his associates in the business cartel.

Finally, it is also somewhat confusing as to why the Dominican Republic factors so prominently into the report. Staff members met with as many representatives of the DR private sector as the Haitian private sector. As noted, the relationship between the two countries has been strained due to poor treatment of Haitian workers and a host of other issues. It is unclear why the DR private sector is bemoaning the fact that Haitian leaders are not looking at “island wide” recovery. The DR did not sustain the damage that Haiti did, and has likely only benefitted from the disaster with the increased numbers of aid workers and aid importation through their airports and ports.


The Haitian-American Enterprise Fund is an excellent idea, but there are additional efforts that could be undertaken to ensure that the private sector is bolstered:

· The Fund should be structured in a way that takes into account an entrenched business cartel and allows all Haitians access to the opportunities the Fund presents.

· While the Fund idea is strong and proven, it would be better as part of a more robust and comprehensive plan that includes technical assistance for legislative and regulatory reform to Haiti’s cumbersome business codes, training the judiciary and professionalization of government staff.

· Considering their past two decades performance, US AID Haiti’s capability to implement such a Fund should be reviewed. The US AID Haiti mission among the highest funded missions worldwide, but has not demonstrated a proven track record of results for the level of funding they have received.

· The report neglects to discuss the role of the Haitian Diaspora’s role as a key resource in supporting the building of the business sector. Unfortunately, the Lugar staff did not meet with prominent Haitian Diaspora business leaders in the US. This has been an issue for the Diaspora with the Administration and Congress throughout the rebuilding process and has left the Diaspora community wondering why they have been so seriously marginalized from the process.

· The regional and departmental Chambers of Commerce have also been neglected these organizations which have proven more representative of Haitian interests. They could use capacity building and professionalization programs. In addition, they are an excellent and more balanced source of information.

· In light of Preval’s resistance to implement private sector reforms, the Congress could consider working directly with Haiti’s legislature, which is highly motivated to undertake meaningful reform, especially with upcoming elections. Congress could consider establishing an interparliamentary exchange program with the Haitian legislature.

· Finally, the report mentions that critical lack of infrastructure is a primary obstacle to doing business in Haiti. This is an excellent area for US aid as it provides immediate job opportunities for Haitians, opportunities for US companies and tangible results. Most importantly, investing in infrastructure skirts the complicated political issues, such as FDI and the DR.

La liste des demandes officielles d'embargo et d'occupations d'Haiti 1992-2010 par Stanley Lucas

1. Embargo economique sollicite officiellement par le president Jean Bertrand Aristide en 1992
2. Demande de l'envoi d'une mission des Nations Unies, MICIVIH, en Haiti sollicitee officiellement par le president Jean Bertrand Aristide Fevrier 1993 a Mai 1998
3. Demande d'intervention militaire des Etats Unis en Haiti sollicitee officiellement par le president Jean Bertrand Aristide en Septembre 1994
4. Requete d'une mission militaire des Nations Unies, MINUHA, en Haiti sollicitee officiellement par le president Jean Bertrand Aristide Septembre 1993 qui a termine sa mission en Juin 1996
5. Requete d'une mission militaire des Nations Unies en Haiti, UNSMIH, sollicitee officiellement par le president Rene Preval Juillet 1996 a Juillet 1997
6. Requete d'une mission militaire des nations Unies en Haiti, UNSMIH, sollicitee officiellement par le president Rene Preval UNTMIH Aout 1997 a Novembre 1997
7. Requete d'une mission militaire des Nations Unies en Haiti, UNSMIH, sollicitee officiellement par le president Rene Preval MIPONUH Decembre 1997 a Mars 2000
8. Requete d'une mission militaire des Nations Unies en Haiti, UNSMIH, sollicitee officiellement par le president Rene Preval MICAH, Mars 2000 a Fevrier. 2001
9. Requete d'intervention d'Haiti a l'administration Clinton,envoi Anthony Lake pour  les huit points, sollicitee officiellement par Jean Bertrand, Novembre 2000
10. Requete pour intervention de  l’OEA en Haiti, envoi Luigi Enaudi 25 fois, sollicitee officiellement  par Jean Bertrand Aristide
11. Reque d'une mission militaire de l'Afrique du Sud en Haiti sollicitee officiellement par Jean Bertrand Aristide Octobre 2003 – Janvier 2004
12. Requete d'une mission militaire des Etats Unis en Haiti sollicitee officiellement par le president Jean-Bertrand Aristide Janvier 2004 (voye 3000 solda selman).
13. Requete d'une mission militaire des Nations Unies en Haiti sollicitee officiellement par le president Jean Bertrand Aristide, Fevrier 2004 MINUSTAH (voye 3000 solda selman). Le Conseil de Securite utilisa la demande initiale de Jean Bertrand Aristide pour envoyer la MINUSTAH aores sa demission.
14. Aristide a aussi sollicite officiellement l'intervention des militaires de la CARICOM en 2002 mais demande au pays de la CARICOM d’introduire eux-memes le dossier
15. Aristide a sollicite officiellement l'intervention de la CARICOM 2001 a 2004
16. Renouvellement de la MINUSTAH par Boniface Alexandre 2005-06
17. Renouvellement de la MINUSTAH par Rene Preval  2007

Thursday, July 22, 2010


La bataille mortelle entre les dauphins de l'Inite fait rage. Dans cet environnement les dossiers de la nation ne sont pas une priorite. Dans leurs cerveaux d'oiseau ces dauphins se croient tous presidentiables. Ils ne sont pas les seuls, la presidence est devenue une moquerie ou chanteur, comedien, Senateur-chimeres, ancien premier ministre corrompu, hommes d'affaires compromis, drug dealers, ambassadeurs se croient presidentiables. Ils essaient tous soit de rouler le maitre ou comme des chiens lui faire la cour au lieu de se mettre au travail pour convaincre le peuple.

Rene Preval reussira-t-il encore une fois a rouler tout le monde? Depuis 2006 a travers sa politique de dialogue Rene Preval a reussi a etouffer et discrediter bon nombre de ses adversaires politiques, les ti zorey, a travers son approche souse zo. Une partie de lavalas fut recuperee a travers Jocelerme Privert, Crystallin et quelques autres barons de ce mouvement avec l'offre de postes juteux au palais et au ministere des affaires sociales. Sans strategie, sans penser plusieurs partis politiques de l'opposition avaient aussi acceptes des postes au gouvernement ce qui a donne le temps a Preval de 2006 a 2009 d'executer sa strategie de conquete du pouvoir absolu.

Cette politique du ventre pour remplir les poches de quelques leaders affames et avides a permis a Preval de bloquer la finalisation des elections de 2006 qui auraient pu permettre la mise en place de la decentralisation et faciliter un partage reel du pouvoir avec l'arriere pays. Il a installe un CEP partisan qui lui a delivre pres de deux tiers du senat en 2009 par la manipulation des resultats des elections. Preval etait en route pour reediter le coup le 28 Fevrier 2010 au niveau de la chambre des deputes n'etait-ce la tragedie du 12 Janvier. La plupart des rats qui ont toujours faim ont deja oublie ces coups et comme des affames qui n'ont pas d'oreilles ils veulent reprendre le chemin de la ratiere de Gaillot Dorsainvil pret a les excuter sans pitie. Ces rats seront les premiers candidats a s'enregistrer. La ratiere, le CEP, de Preval les executera avant meme qu'ils aient le temps de sentir ou toucher l'appat qu'est le fromage virtuel du pouvoir.

Pendant cette meme periode Preval jouait avec les allies de Lespwa, CPP, Louvri Barye, Inite et le Groupe de Bourdon leur faisant des promesses de leur remettre la presidence a son depart. Pour plus de details cliquez ici: Preval ne fait pas confiance a aucun des candidats qui lui sont proches. Certains jouent avec lui un jeu hyppocrite et il le sait. Quelques uns des candidats sont prets a faire payer a Preval les impertinences et les humiliations subies durant sa presidence, particulierement la femme de Jacques Edouard Alexis qui en a deja parle a un membre de la famille et Kely Bastien. C'est un peu la repetition du jeu entre Preval et Aristide.

La lutte fratricide de l'Inite est mortelle. Joseph Lambert a son agenda pour la conquete de la presidence. Jacques Edouard Alexis pense que le poste lui revient de droit. Kely Bastien essaie de rouler Preval et tout le monde comme il l'a souvent fait au Senat. Allez demander a Lambert et a Heriveaux. Paul Denis en silence attend esperant que sa fidelite et sa loyaute paieront. Leslie Voltaire, ti chinwa, dans son calme habituel est en train de rire et attend, lap la kamenm! Chrystallin fait la cour. Lassegue espere que la fidelite au chef paiera. Clerie prie Dieu. Le Groupe de Bourdon souhaiterait Alexis pour proteger leurs interets mal acquis. Longchamp joue la carte de l'arriere plan. Charles Sufra espere. Preval jusqu'a present a garde ses cartes pour lui seul. C'est un jeu de metdam corrompu jusqu'aux os.

La priorite de Preval n'est pas la designation du dauphin mais de retirer une epine dans son pied. Sa strategie est d'embrasser ses ennemis pour mieux les etouffer. Preval veut etouffer Maryse Narcisse et trois autre pions sur l'echiquier politique. Le fait que quelques elements de la presse refusent de se laisser acheter constitue aussi un probleme. Comment s'y prendrat-il?

Une chose est certaine l'homme deteste les institutions et les organisations. Donc le dauphin ne viendra pas de l'Inite. Ce sera un individu seul qui a prouve sa fidelite au maitre, qui lui donnera la garantie d'une retraite paisible a Marmelade et qu'Aristide comme Duvalier restera au moins 23 ans a l'exterieur. Les jeunes loups de l'Inite accepteront-ils de se laisser jouer par Preval? Pourquoi pas? N'ont-ils pas demontre dans le passe face a la decision du maitre qu'ils etaient tous des sousous?

Pour le moment Preval est en train de rire, un rire nerveux et de se moquer des hommes et femmes de l'Inite, des partis de l'opposition qu'il ne respecte pas, du secteur prive sans caractere achet figi, ti sousou et d'un communaute internationale a la Ponce Pilate. Il est en train de tester deux cartes sans pour autant avoir une reponse: sa femme et son fils politique Jude Celestin. Que fera-t-il? Trop tot pour le dire parce que le jeu est complique.

Remettre le pouvoir a un dauphin est presqu'impossible. Le bilan des hommes au pouvoir est horrible. Le CEP ne suffit plus pour nommer les amis et se renouveler. Un consensus general entre les acteurs politiques et de la societe civile est en train de se degager autour du CEP et peut etre sur quoi faire face au projet antidemocratique de Preval. La lenteur est du aux nuages de la confusion cree par les noms d'Aristide et de Duvalier qui sont devenus les meilleurs allies de Rene Preval. Ils bloquent pour le moment le consensus contre Preval. Le consensus autour du renvoi du CEP, sera-t-il peut etre la clef qui permettra d'ouvrir la porte de la democratie?

Etrangement l'environnement politique ressemble beaucoup a celui d'Avril 1989. En attendant les nouveaux developpements redecouvrons l'Unite:

Acte Constitutif de l'Unite et considerations

Le 21 Novembre 2009 les partis politiques et organisations suivants ont forme le regroupement INITE:
1. Mouvement d'Organisation du Pays (MOP) represente par Arnold Herard
2. Union Nationale pour la Reconstruction d'Haiti represente par Jean Marie Claude Germain (son parti ne lui a donne aucun mandat et il a fait usage de faux)
3. Mouvement Independant pour la Reconstruction Nationale represente par Luc Fleurinor
4. Pati Louvri Barye represente par Carol Joseph
5. Kombit Sides represente par Joseph Lambert
6. Rassemblement des Forces Politiques de la Grande Anse represente par Michel Clerie
Le Comite Executif de l'Unite est compose comme suit:
Joseph Lambert, Coordonnateur National, Lambert a ete implique dans l'affaire de la cocaine de Tiburon et l'assassinat de Monique Pierre ainsi que le dossier de l'ONA selon les rapport de presse. Selon ses collegues il a besoin de l'immunite pour les questions de cocaine.
Jean Joseph Moliere, Coordonnateur National Adjoint, Moliere est un ancien ministre de l'interieur de lavalas et represente l'aile dure de ce mouvement. C'est un proche de Rene Preval.
Laurent Bauge, Secretaire General, citoyen de Trou du Nord (dossier incomplet)
Jean Gue, Secretaire General Adjoint, Ministre de l'agriculture. il a recu 123 millions de gourdes des US197 millions du petrocaribe (dossier incomplet)
Paul Denis, Tresorier, Denis est un ancien membre de l'OPL, ancien senateur de la 45e legislature devenu conseiller de Preval en 2006. Il a ete recemment nomme Ministre de la Justice. Il est l'auteur du rapport qui a decrit la corruption et les vols d'Aristide pendant ses neuf ans au pouvoir.

Kely Bastien, Conseiller, selon la clameur implique dans un faux kidnapping pour soutirer de l'argent dans le nord avant de devenir senateur du departement du Nord en 2006. Sa gestion a la presidence du Senat a ete caracterisee par l'incompetence et la corruption. Implique dans le vote de la resolution de la SOCABANK pour de l'argent il a du temoigner devant la commission d'enquete du senat. Son nom est aussi cite dans les affaires de fonds de l'ONA

Levaillant Louis Jeune
Conseiller, ancien president de la chambre des deputes. Sous son leadership le CPP a vote contre le salaire minimum, donne un vote de confiance a Jacques Edouard Alexis rejete par les citoyens pour corruption, incompetence et la politique du grangou klowox. Sous son leadership la chambre des deputes a vote des budgets ayant reduit les allocations budgetaires pour la sante, l'education, l'agriculture et la securite. C'est aussi lui qui a vote contre le salaire minimum pour les ouvriers.

Jacques Edouard Alexis, Conseiller, ancien premier ministre, il a ete revoque par le senat de la republique pour incompetence et corruption en Avril 2008. Premier Ministre pendant quatre ans Jacques Edouard Alexis n'a rien delivre a la tete du gouvernement. Il a ete co-responsable des coup d'etats electoraux des 21 Mai et 26 Novembre 2000. En 2008 l'incompetence et la corruption de son gouvernement a delivre le grangou klowox a la population qui l'a chasse le 12 Avril 2008. Protecteur des kidnappeurs il a prefere faire partir la mere de farah Dessources a l'etranger (Martinique) plutot que de mettre la justice en mouvement contre les criminels qui avaient assassines sa fille. Alexis est un autocrate incompetent et dangeureux. Il ne comprend pas le fonctionnement des relations internationales. Il est encore au 19em siecle. Clerie, Conseiller, Senateur de la Grande Anse sous la banniere de la FUSION a ete au service de Preval depuis 2006. Il est responsable avec Kely Bastien du coup porte au senateurBoulos, son collegue de la FUSION. Il est co-responsable des violences de la Grande Anse lors des senatoriales de 2009. Cliquez ici: Apres avoir lu l'article comment expliquer que Saurel Jacinthe (FUSION) soit dans la coalition de l'Unite avec Clerie? Jasmin,Conseiller, anciend depute de la 46em legislature, il est depuis 2006, le conseiller de Preval. Son nom a ete cite par une radio de la diaspora comme le presume responsable de la disparition de Lovinsky.

Carol Joseph, Conseiller, membre fondateur PLB, ancien pretre, tres proche de Renaud Bernadin ancien directeur de l'OIM en Haiti. Ami personnel de Rene Preval.

Luc Fleurinor, Conseiller, ancien senateur independant du Nord'Ouest Nicolas Janvier, Conseiller, (dossier incomplet)
Rene Momplaisir, Conseiller, chimere, proche de Rene Preval, a voyage avec lui a l'exterieur dans les delegations presidentielles. Il 's'etait refugie en republique Dominicaine apres le depart d'Aristide. Responsable des actions de rues.
Ramilus Bolivar,Conseiller, citoyen de Cote de Fer, Sud Est, Il a fait sa classe d'elementaire II ancien sacristin qui travaillait au presbytere de Cotes de Fer, ancien depute 47e legislature, membre du cabinet Preval. Selon la clameur il avait laisse Haiti pour se cacher a Miami parce qu'il avait vole un vehicule de la MINUHA en 1997-98. On lui a promis le poste de delegue.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Haiti: The Six-Month Review with Stanley Lucas by Franck Charlot

Franck: Six months after the earthquake, what grade would you give the Haitian Government in addressing the tragedy and why?

Stanley Lucas

Stanley Lucas: That’s an easy one – they would get a solid F-. They were completely unprepared. The Haitian Bureau of Mines issued a report in October 2002 stating that there was a 100% chance that Haiti would experience and earthquake in the near future. Aristide and then Preval had eight years to put together an emergency plan, to conduct civil education, to strengthen building codes, etc. They did nothing but enrich themselves and their cronies. And the country has now paid dearly for their corruption and incompetence.

Then when the earthquake hit – they ran around like keystone cops and basically ceded the country to the international community to manage the response because they were totally incapable. Preval was wandering around the airport telling reporters he was just there to “see if he could help out”. Can you imagine the President of the country trying to support efforts rather than lead response efforts? It was appalling.

Franck: And, the international community? What grade would you give them and why?

Stanley Lucas: I would give the individual international donors an A+ for their tremendous heart and outpouring of support in the aftermath of the earthquake. People really stepped up to the plate and offered support – big and small. The most inspiring and impactful stories that you hear are individual efforts or small group efforts. There is a businessman in New Jersey who has donated his own time and funding to help fit 400 Haitians with prosthetics. The mayor of Washington, D.C., Adrian Fenty, responded immediately by providing an emergency response capability with WebEOC that allowed us to organize and target intervention.

The news at the government/official level is quite a bit less inspiring. In the immediate aftermath of the quake, there was a huge international response with huge pledges of support. Haitians are most grateful for this response and particularly for the US Government’s efforts to provide immediate assistance and response.

However, in the past six months, despite the huge pledges of support that poured in, the actual funding has only trickled in. The international community of governments has only remitted 2% of what was pledged. Efforts are essentially a patchwork of stopgap measures that unfortunately are not sustainable in the long term. Despite good intentions, we just haven’t seen the impact of all that money. For that I will give them a F-.

Everyone is focusing on the “stalemate” between the international community and the Haitian Government. The international community blames the Haitian government for raising roadblocks and is reticent to remit funds based on past experience with incompetence and corruption. The Haitian Government – really the Preval Administration – blames the international community saying that the path for them is clear but they are holding back to pressure him into accepting their priorities.

The international community has good reason to be weary of the Preval Administration for sure, but at the end of the day – it is only the Haitian people that are suffering. So I’m not interested in this stalemate. I’m interested in how to get the help to the people.

For me, the biggest roadblock is actually a lack of vision, coordination and big thinking. There are no ideas out there to get behind which is part of the reason a stalemate occurs. No one has put forward big anchor projects – let alone a recovery plan – that people can get behind. Everyone is focusing on their own agendas, rather than on the greater good. If there were a compelling plan that people could get behind, the Preval Administration would have no choice but to follow along.

Franck: Then what do you see as the major priorities now for helping the people of Haiti and how should it be done?

Stanley Lucas: It is glaringly obvious that the number one issue is housing. About 2.1 million people are still living in makeshift tents spread out between 1,360 unofficial tent cities or refugees camps that do not meet international standards. It’s appalling – it’s been six months. The scope of the problem is massive and requires a long-term solution. People rely on their houses to access credit. So now with 450,000 houses destroyed these people have nothing to leverage to get credit. We can get better tents. We can put people in refugee camp situations. But that’s not sustainable and will not lead to recover.

We need a two-part solution to the immediate housing crisis:

1. The international community could support the creation of Haitian housing institution to manage a public-private partnership “Housing Fund”. This program could operate as a low interest mortgage program. This would require probably about $2 billion, which could be raised from the already donated funds from multilateral institutions, governments and NGOs (that have collected more than $50 million). As a first step, this institution could identify and vet all individual owners that lost their homes and evaluate the cost to rebuild each unit. As a second step, low interest mortgages could be given for rebuilding or renovating homes. However, for this to be sustainable in the long run, the fund should work with the Ministry of Public Works – with the support of Habitat for Humanity or states such as California that have effective codes – to develop a new construction code that mandates earthquake and hurricane resistant construction. We’d have to carefully vet the claims and then determine appropriate loan amounts for traditional 30 year fixed rate mortgages at let’s say a 2% APR. The donors would actually generate a small return, but more importantly this would be a sustainable project that would also create much-needed jobs in the construction sector.

2. We cannot have recovery without access to credit beyond the housing market. We need to establish a “Recovery Fund” as well that would provide micro-credit loans to the informal sector of the economy to start small businesses or assist the existing medium sized businesses to expand or rebuild. Haitian cooperatives were successful in the past, and this model could be used to launch such a micro credit program. I am positive the Haitian Diaspora community would be receptive to this idea if we could find an organization like the Grameen Bank to set it up and provide guidance to manage it.

Taken together, these two initiatives would make a significant contribution to not only addressing the immediate housing crisis but they would also address the longer term issues of building up a business sector in Haiti that can ultimately drive recovery and growth. Most importantly, this is something that would actually help the Haitian people and businesses rather than go towards building up NGOs

Franck: And so you believe that the international community should focus its efforts on addressing the housing crisis?

Stanley Lucas: That should be one of the main focuses. I also believe the international community has a strong role to play in infrastructure, capacity building and education as well. Clearly, Haiti’s infrastructure took a massive toll during the earthquake and will need rebuilding. These types of large scale construction projects will also provide short term employment opportunities for Haitians. And for Haiti to get on a sustainable path to development, education must be a priority. Before the earthquake only 40% of Haitian children had access to schooling and I can’t imagine what the percentage is now. We need schools, teachers, supplies, computers – you name it. This is an excellent sector for international support – and I know that the international community, including the US military – has been supportive in a small way this area.

As you know 83% of educated Haitians are currently overseas – there has been a significant “brain drain”. With the support of the World Bank and the Inter American Development Bank, a program could be set up to repatriate these Haitians to the public and private sector as well as civil society. In addition, the reconstruction could be more effective if 60% of the NGO’s expatriate staff were Haitians nationals or Haitians that was born or naturalized in the NGO’s home country.

Franck: There has been much discussion about the urgent need for new leadership in Haiti – particularly given the expiration of President Preval’s term in February 2011. The international community – led by the UN and supported by the US Senate – has pushed for November elections to move forward. Given the situation in-country now and the urgent need for a new, more competent government, what is your view on the timing for elections?

Stanley Lucas: I agree that due to the fact the current regime is corrupt, discredited and completely unable to provide any support to Haitians, we need a democratic transition now. However, there is no electoral infrastructure to support elections this coming November – and more importantly, there is no way to guarantee security to the Haitian people.

Let’s take the facts: 45% of the people lost their voter ID -- you cannot vote without one; the voter registration logs need to be updated to (tragically) account for the 300,000 deaths during the earthquake; the CEP facility and 66% of the polling stations were destroyed; MINUSTAH headquarters were destroyed; and, 4 of the 10 Departments were directly impacted and sustained damage – the other six were affected by the heavy number of displaced people that are still occupying the public facilities use in the past as polling centers, so there are really no polling places. Furthermore, the current CEP has been totally discredited for past participate in election rigging in 2009 in favor of President’s Preval party so any elections organized by this CEP would be viewed as tainted. Two of the past CEP presidents have said that there is no possible way to address all these technical issues by November. The current nine members of the Provisional Electoral Council are corrupt according to Haiti’s official anti-corruption unit and were involved in the manipulation of the results of the April and June 2009 elections in favor of President Preval’s party.

There is a credible and tested alternative to rushing forward with what will surely be flawed elections. Article 149 of the constitution stipulates that the President of the Supreme Court can take over as provisional president to manage the day-to-day aspects of governance and organize elections. This has been invoked twice in the past – and resulted in two successful elections in 1990 and 2006. This should be Haiti’s path now.

Let us not forget that every single political crisis in Haiti for the past two decades has been the direct result of rigged elections. We absolutely do not need to compound the fragile situation in Haiti with a political crisis.

The international community has the right intentions, but has made a fundamental miscalculation about the Haitian people. They will not swallow tainted elections for the greater good. It is best to get the elections right and not rush forward under these conditions.

Franck: It almost sounds like you’re outlining a campaign platform. Are you running for President?

Stanley Lucas: I’m focused on rebuilding, recovery and getting help to my fellow countrymen who are really suffering. Haitians have a proud past. We are an industrious and exceptional people – and I want to contribute to restoring our country and putting us on a path to becoming the vibrant, developing country that I know we can be.

Franck: Thank you Stanley – I appreciate your time.

Stanley Lucas: Thank you for the opportunity to address these most important issues. I am still mourning the 300,000 people who died in the earthquake. The numbers are unacceptable. I miss my friends journalist Wanel Fils, woman activists Magalie Marcelin and Myriam Merlet, and MINUSTAH employees Gerardo Le Chevalier and Lisa M’Bele Bong. Kembe La.

Haiti Diaspora and The Next Elections: Proposals by Stanley Lucas for the Next Provisional Electoral Council (CEP)

Future Members of the Council:

I would like to extend my patriotic greetings to the Council. I am writing to encourage you to formalize participation of Haitian Diaspora in the new Haitian Parliament. Our contribution to Haiti – financially and technically – has been enormous and merits real representation in the Haitian Government.

As you may know, there are more than four million Haitian Diaspora living throughout the world -- two million is the U.S. alone. Last year, we remitted U.S.$1.9 billion. The Haitian National budget is US$2 billion. The Haitian government collects taxes on our remittances, investments and on our extensive and frequent travel to the country.

Despite our significant contribution, the Diaspora is not represented in Haiti. A true representative democracy requires the meaningful participation from such an influential group in the political, economic and social issues of our country. To that end, we respectfully propose that the time has come for Haitian Diaspora representation to be made official.

In the next election, we recommend the Council increase the number of senate seats from 30 to 40 with the inclusion of 10 new seats for the Haitian Diaspora. Seats should be distributed regionally along the following lines:

United States – 4 seats
New York/New Jersey/Connecticut
Washington, DC/Northern Virginia/Maryland
Florida, Georgia

Caribbean – 2 seats
Dominican Republic
Bahamas & Turks and Caicos

Canada – 2 seats

Europe – 2 seats

Polling stations could be installed in Haitian Embassies and Consulates as well as offering absentee ballots by mail. The Diaspora Senators would be required to be a resident of the region they campaign to represent and voters would cast their votes in their respective region of residency.

At a future date, and after this model has been tested, we could explore extending Diaspora participation to the House of Deputies. In the meantime, these elections are a low-cost, high impact way to engage and invest the Haitian Diaspora in the rebuilding and reinvigorating of our country. The only costs associated with this endeavor would be ballot printing, ballot boxes, and training for polling station workers and monitors. These costs are negligible and could even be requested from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) if CEP lacks the budget.

Members of the Provisional Electoral Council: There is no better way to begin to integrate the Haitian Diaspora at this moment when the country is so in need of resources, capacity and expertise. I eagerly await your response.