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DDN (Dey, Dey Nt) for Ariel Henry!

  • March 27, 2024
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Ariel Henry in California after leaving Puerto Rico. Washington ended up obtaining his resignation on Monday March 11, 2024 as Jimmy Chérizier alias “Barbecue” had demanded on behalf of his comrades from “Vivre Ensemble”.

D.DN “Deyò, deyò, Nèt” (Outside, outside forever). This is a new expression that has just entered the Haitian Creole vocabulary. As often, it is in moments of acute socio-political crises that Haitians, not experienced linguists from the Faculty of Applied Linguistics (FLA) or the Academy of Haitian Creole (Akademi Kreyòl Ayisyen) imagine and make interesting finds.

This neologism is the linguistic work of street people, those who practice this language on a daily basis, so rich in indigenous or indigenous expressions. So much for the inventive side of DDN “Out, Totally Out” ! Now, let’s see the historical and political side of this beautiful expression that cannot leave indifferent any political observer analyzing the Haitian socio-political crises. If there is one point on which we can all agree with Dr. François Duvalier, it is his foresight, his distrust of the Haitian people regarding their unpredictable reaction towards politicians. These people are always where we least expect them.

Totally unexpected in his decision-making regarding the behavior of his political leaders. He is to be feared. Radical ! In the political misadventure of Prime Minister Ariel Henry, in March 2024, stuck outside the country for more than a month, how can we not think of Dr. François Duvalier, known as Papa Doc, one of the most ferocious dictators in Haiti never knew.

Doctor, historian and devious politician, Papa Doc proved on the one hand that he had a perfect knowledge of the political history of Haiti. On the other hand, he brilliantly demonstrated his mastery of Haitian sociology while showing what his compatriots would be capable of when they opposed a harmful policy and hated the person who led it. The Duvalier Père et fils had made up their mind: never to leave Haiti under any pretext. Indeed, in 29 years of absolute reign, the two men had never ventured outside Haitian territory. François Duvalier, before coming to power, traveled a little, notably to the United States and South America as part of his university and then professional studies.

His son Jean-Claude, known as Baby Doc, a worthy descendant of the dictator, celebrated in Paris and in Europe. But, once both had assumed the leadership of Haiti, distrustful and cautious, they resolved never to leave the land of Haiti as long as they occupied the National Palace. The two dictators received heads of state from around the world in Port-au-Prince. From American Presidents to those of the African continent, democrats and dictators like them, via Latin America like Anastasio Somoza Debayle of Nicaragua in 1972. Any head of state who wanted to take a cultural, artistic and Haitian history bath could come and do it without fear in the Pearl of the Antilles. Each time, as is customary in international and diplomatic relations, Papa Doc and Baby Doc have always received reciprocal invitations from their hosts to visit their respective countries.

If they never declined the invitation, you will find that they never set foot outside the borders of Haiti. Better still, their counterparts from the Dominican Republic almost all visited Haiti during the presidency of these two dictators and always wanted to receive them in Santo Domingo, just to show them around their capital. But, here again, neither François Duvalier nor his son Jean-Claude dared to cross the land border separating the two States. Baby Doc, who found himself in the dilemma of political confinement, risked meeting a Dominican President on the border, but on the… Haitian side. Never did he, much less his illustrious father, take the risk of crossing the Bridge over the Massacre River to go to Dajabon or the Pedernales River on the Jimani side to go to the Dominican Republic.

Obsessed by the fear of a military coup, mystical and clairvoyant, until his quiet death at the Presidential Palace, Papa Doc never went abroad, even to seek treatment. He worked to bring in doctors from abroad when he needed them.

Worse, François Duvalier was so suspicious of the attitude of his Haitian compatriots towards power that he decided never to even leave the capital. Rare are the dates when François Duvalier ventured into a provincial town. He will be content to bring all of Haiti to Port-au-Prince instead of traveling to Cap-Haïtien to the historic site of Vertières or to the Place d’armes of Gonaïves, the cradle of Haitian independence even though he was a convinced patriot and an indisputable nationalist. Papa Doc had certainly read the Treatises of the Florentine Nicolas Machiavelli, relating to the art and way of retaining power. He had made it his Bible.

If his son Jean-Claude took advantage of a sort of political lull after having routed the ” kamokin » (opponents), traveled a little in the region, nevertheless, he was careful not to set foot on the other side of the border for fear that it would close in on him by a very unpredictable people on the political level. Finally, the political and armed operation known as DDN (Deyò deyò Nèt) of which Prime Minister Ariel Henry was the victim, stranded abroad and then dismissed, proved them right and confirmed their fear and apprehension regarding -vis their compatriots. This people, a pure product of the descendants of slaves freed from the chains of colonial servitude and slavers, we must be wary of. Without waiting, he can bring his anger to a fever pitch. Indeed, almost forty years later, history turned out to be exactly what they had imagined, these Haitian people are capable of everything, the best and also the worst. No one, since the advent of democracy in Haiti, more than thirty-eight years ago, would have imagined such a pitiful fate for a Haitian political leader.

Even the most radical opponents could not expect such a mishap to happen to a head of the Haitian Executive Power. Another doctor, Ariel Henry, certainly not having the “commander statue” of a Dr François Duvalier in political matters, or even his son Jean-Claude, had to be the victim of such a senseless act. It is unthinkable that a leader with full powers could be deprived of the freedom to return to his country while on an official trip abroad. The Duvaliers were far-sighted. They were not only dictators, they were inspired by who or what. Others would say they were demons (Djab). One thing is certain: at no time during their presidency did they seek to provoke destiny. However, the Duvaliers, despite their distrust, their recognized paranoia with regard to the population, hermetically locked all the borders of Haiti and controlled the entire territory. Haiti’s airports, ports and land borders were under the control of the dictatorship through a myriad of directors, all devoted to the regime and all with the feared status of notorious Tontons Macoutes.

Prime Minister Ariel Henry, stranded abroad only to be dismissed…

In addition to the regime’s Militias, the infamous Tontons Macoutes, the army and other spies infiltrated the entire society and swore loyalty to the regime, gave guarantees to the two dictators that the country was safe and that they had nothing to to fear. In short, they were informed 24 hours a day about everything that was happening and everything that was happening in their “kingdom”. However, despite all these assurances, neither Papa Doc nor Baby Doc, none ventured to leave the land of Haiti even for half a day of absence. However, here is a Prime Minister who had been challenged for months by non-stop demonstrations throughout the country and who had never proven that he was really capable of controlling or managing anything, not even his ministers, believed that he could, as he wished, travel the world whenever he wanted and return home whenever he wanted.

Thus, on the morning of February 25, 2024, unlike leaders who had real control of the country but also were terrified of even leaving the capital to go to Léogane, a few kilometers from Port-au-Prince, never did, Ariel Henry, for his part, took the plane and set off to explore the world like a true head of state. Serious mistake! This imprudence proves that he never looked into the apprehensions of the Duvaliers or the reasons why they had never moved away from the Portail Saint Joseph or Léogane. Not only did the leader of the Transition not do it, he also confirms that he did not understand or notice that the political situation had also changed in recent months. As proof, in the midst of popular protest against his presence in power, he decided to go to Guyana on the one hand to participate in a simple ordinary session of heads of state and government of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and elsewhere to extend his journey to Africa, to Kenya, thousands of kilometers from the shores of Haiti. A madness !

Of course, he had already tried this adventure several times. But the situation was not the same. Distrusting nothing and suspecting nothing, Ariel Henry, with a smile on his face, attends alongside the Kenyan President in Nairobi, the signing of a so-called “Memorandum”, a document which has no legal value nor constitutional, the aim of which would be to seal ties of friendship between the two peoples – Haitian and Kenyan – and above all to facilitate the sending to the land of Dessalines of a foreign expeditionary force to help its government regain control of the security situation. For the man who held the role of leader of the Transition at that time, life was filled with hope. She is beautiful and the future is ahead. Ariel Henry even hoped to extend his lease as head of Haiti until 2026 since, a few weeks earlier, he had announced without laughing and for the umpteenth time that he would organize general elections at the end of August 2025. And all this on condition that the Multinational Security Support Mission in Haiti (MMAS) can be deployed without incident.

From Kenya, without suspecting anything, the man who was still Prime Minister, Minister of the Interior, President of the CSPN (Higher Council of the National Police) and de facto head of state, takes the plane back to the United States with a view to triumphantly returning to Port-au-Prince. Except that in the meantime, the socio-political situation has deteriorated throughout the territory. She had never improved. Worse, it has even gotten worse since February 29, 2024. That day, a new slogan was born. A new slogan. A new instruction. A new expression: DD N. (Deyò, Deyò Nèt). This neologism will be the vector of a military uprising led by all the armed groups (gangs) which control almost the entire Haitian capital and its outskirts. Taking the political and police authorities by surprise, some say only part, Jimmy Chérizier says “ Barbecue “, the mastermind of this entire operation, perhaps working in coordination with the former rebel leader, Guy Philippe, declared the siege of Port-au-Prince until obtaining the resignation of the Prime Minister who was still officially while traveling abroad.

This Thursday, February 29, 2024, they made a show of force by seizing an incredible number of police stations and other republican institutions. They also led an assault on Toussaint Louverture International Airport as a warning. Results of this attack on airport installations: a Cuban plane hit and some material damage. Some, at first, thought it was a media stunt of “ Barbecue» and its allies united under the label “ Live together “. Others thought things would soon return to normal, at least as far as the airport was concerned. Hearing the news from the outside, certainly Ariel Henry laughed, although the neurosurgeon is not known for being someone very relaxed. But, a few hours later, Jimmy Chérizier announced the color. This attack is not an isolated or insignificant act, warns the man who presented himself as the spokesperson for all the armed groups in the capital, or even the country.

In the name of the movement Live together », he claims responsibility for the attack on the international airport and the nearby Guy Malary terminal. He announced that this attack was intended exclusively to prevent the return of Ariel Henry to Haiti and that Toussaint Louverture remained a war target as long as Ariel Henry persisted in keeping power. In order to demonstrate that the airport was becoming a prime target for its heavily armed men, the area was transformed into a war field. “ Barbecue» don’t bluff! The police station at the said airport was very quickly taken over by gangs who continue to harass the few employees still frequenting the institution. Not to mention the aircraft which cannot take off or land without putting themselves in danger too.

Faced with their repeated actions against airport installations and constant heavy fire, the Haitian Civil Aviation authorities have faced the obvious: the airport must be closed purely and simply in order not to endanger the lives of the employees and users. Finally, from New York where he was stopping over, Ariel Henry learned the news of the closure of the Port-au-Prince airport. At this point, he begins to worry not about his power but about his immediate return. And for good reason. He remains convinced that there remains one last asset: the international community, in particular the United States and the Core Group which placed him at the head of the Transition to the detriment of Claude Joseph after the assassination of President Jovenel Moïse in July 2021.

Far from the country, Ariel Henry still does not really understand the state of mind of the population, nor the plot being hatched against him by most of his own political allies and Washington, understanding that mass is said. Worse, he doesn’t know the whole truth about what’s happening across the country. In fact, the whole country declared it “ Persona non grata “. In the North, the population takes turns day and night in front of the Cap-Haïtien airport. Same in Jacmel, Cayes and Jérémie, where the population is mobilizing in front of the airports. “Ariel, we don’t want her anymore” cry the inhabitants of these regions. However, his ministers, in any case Michel Patrick Boisvert, Minister of Economy and Finance who is acting in his absence, are careful not to tell him everything. He, in fact, is not only gambling on his future, but he is trying to turn the situation to his advantage. Michel Patrick Boisvert hoped to succeed Ariel Henry, so he tried to play on all fronts.

Haitians protest, in front of the Courtyard hotel on Isla Verde in Puerto Rico, against Ariel Henry

From his refuge where he was hiding, he tried to negotiate with everyone to the extent that being there, he understood that everything was over for the former medical student from the Faculty of Montpellier, in France. The Minister of Economy and Finance thought he had a card to play, the more the situation got out of control and especially the more the days passed for Ariel Henry stuck in New York. Michel Patrick Boisvert remained convinced that he had a chance. Understanding that the closure of Toussaint Louverture airport was likely to last, initially, Ariel Henry and some ministers who accompanied him on his Caribbean and African tour had considered several scenarios for returning to Haiti. First of all, he asked the American government for a military plane to bring him back to Port-au-Prince. Tired of war, this was wisely refused to him. The American authorities understood that for Ariel Henry, it was time to move on.

But he does not admit defeat. In the absence of commercial planes and after the categorical refusal of his friends in Washington, there remains only one option for this “King” without a kingdom who stumbles on this famous DDN “Out, out forever”. So, he decides to return on his own. Thus, the future ex-Prime Minister decides to charter an aircraft that can hold 14 people. After more than a week in New York going around in circles in a hotel room, Ariel Henry and her collaborators board on Tuesday March 5, 2024 in a small airport in New Jersey bound for Port-au-Prince. Like the newspaper Haiti Liberty of the week of March 6 to 12, 2024 reported, after taking off at 11:06 a.m. from Teterboro and after around 3 hours of flight, the aircraft had begun its descent over the Dominican Republic.

It goes from 35,000 to 25,000 feet in the airspace of this country. But here, there’s a twist. Suddenly, the pilot regains altitude and turns around, heading towards Luis Munoz Marin San Juan International Airport, in Puerto Rico. What is going on ? Technical issues ? Is Ariel Henry afraid of landing in Haiti? Did he resign? There is panic on board the Jet. In fact, none of that. First humiliation for the one who was still Haitian Prime Minister and head of the Transition. President Luis Abinader, although an ally of Ariel Henry, certainly at the request of the American authorities, has just closed his country’s airspace to him. The plane carrying the Haitian official is not authorized to cross the airspace of this country on the pretext that the Dominican Civil Aviation had not received the regulatory flight plan in this matter. We make fun of the world. The matter does not end there.

Ariel Henry is informed by the pilot that he is not allowed to return to the United States, but to the Caribbean island of Puerto Rico. It was at this moment that Ariel Henry understood that he had fallen into a trap and that he would not return to Haiti as acting Prime Minister. This is an unprecedented event in the history of Haiti. This shot says DDN “Out, out forever” proved to be more effective than all the demonstrations and mobilizations that took place during the 3 years in power of Ariel Henry and his allies. He had not followed the precepts of his distant doctor colleague and political comrade, Dr François Duvalier who said: whoever wants to keep his power in Haiti for a long time must never venture beyond the Pont Rouge. In Puerto Rico, Ariel Henry goes from humiliation to humiliation! Arriving in San Juan, he was immediately placed under the surveillance of FBI agents who never left him. Some in Port-au-Prince say that he is a prisoner of Uncle Sam. Initially housed at the Courtyard hotel on Isla Verde, the American authorities had to quickly relocate him to place him in another secure location. secret.

The reason ! The Haitian community of San Juan had decided to camp permanently in front of the hotel until he resigned. Panicked, worried about the reputation of the hotel and the economic consequences that the presence of the man who had become unwanted in his country could cause, the hotel management demanded that he go far, very far away. in order to bring tranquility to the area.

Quarantined on a foreign land and cut off from Haitian affairs in spite of himself, Washington ended up obtaining his resignation on Monday March 11, 2024 as Jimmy Chérizier alias “ Barbecue » had demanded it in the name of his comrades of “ Live together » who had taken over after the series of demonstrations held by the population since February 2024. Thus, the DDN operation succeeded in its bet which consisted not only of putting an end to the power of Ariel Henry but also of keeping it away from the land of Haiti for a while.

Above all, we learned, during this same week, after the Dominican Republic with the complicity of Washington which had prohibited it access to its territory, that the government of the small Turks and Caicos island in the Caribbean had taken the same decision through the Immigration Directorate of this British confetti to prohibit all international airlines, under article 92-2 of the immigration ordinance of April 13, from transporting Mr. Ariel Henry, citizen Haitian born on November 6, 1949 in this territory. A decision confirming the exile status of the former Prime Minister for a specific period, that is to say the time that the United States, via its executive CARICOM, and the Haitian protagonists of the crisis come to an agreement on what they call a Presidential Transitional Council (CPT), of 9 members and the installation in Port-au-Prince of a new government of National Unity. Thus confirming the new neologism in the Haitian Creole dictionary. DDN (Deyò, Deyò Nèt)!

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Catherine Charlemagne