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The Haitian diaspora: a catalyst for successful renaissance and establishing a new democratic era in Haiti

  • May 7, 2024
  • 26
  • 12
the-haitian-diaspora:-a-catalyst-for-successful-renaissance-and-establishing-a-new-democratic-era-in-haiti

On March 15, at Florida International University (FIU), the Haitian American Foundation For Democracy (HAFFD) held a leadership and advocacy workshop aimed at inspiring Haitian and Haitian-American leaders in their desire to offer Haiti a new and better future. This event was a decisive moment for me in my awareness of my duties towards my eternal country and my resilient people. By highlighting the confusing contrast between the feared present and the desired future, it allowed me to realize that I have a moral and social responsibility towards those around me, and that I must act accordingly to contribute to the well-being and progress of my community. Through the proliferation of ideas discussed on occasion, it has become evident that the diaspora is destined to play a crucial role in the process of transformation of the Haitian nation. However, a disconcerting truth also emerged from this workshop: the diaspora, despite its numerous organizations – more than 200 in number – cruelly suffers from a lack of structured collective organization. And this fragmentation greatly hinders our ability to contribute effectively to solving Haiti’s problems.

Attentive to the needs of my community and determined, more than ever, to actively engage in all initiatives capable of promoting the development and improvement of the living conditions of my compatriots, I have allowed myself to be imbued by this fundamental principle which must now galvanize all our impulses towards the rebirth of our Nation-State: “Never leave it to others to defend our cause in our place”. While the country must reaffirm its unwavering attachment to the virtues of democracy with a view to rebuilding the Nation-State, repairing social injustices and restoring our dignity with a view to proudly celebrating 250 years of independence in justice and progress, it is imperative that we fully assume our responsibility to do everything possible in defense of our common cause. This is why, through this article, I recommend the creation of a “super organization” bringing together the various components of the diaspora and having the capacity to contribute to launching national reconstruction while acting as a catalyst for the success of a new democratic transition in Haiti. I would like to clarify that I am in no way seeking to claim exclusivity for this idea, given that it is already shared among many others; but it remains a conscience in my next pamphlet entitled “What is the project of the renaissance? Consciences of an heir” to be published soon. A great concern pushes me to publish this article: And if by chance we change administration in the USA and the next American president decides to

repatriate Haitian beneficiaries of the program commonly called “Biden” and TPS; Are we organized enough to face this disaster together? Who will defend our brothers and sisters? We left too much to the Good Lord.

Justification

The Haitian diaspora, expanding due to circumstances, has become one of the last ramparts of the Haitian nation now in decline. We unanimously recognize that all those who are fleeing the country believe that, by doing so, they can better contribute to helping Haiti from abroad. With its experience and diversity, the diaspora holds major potential to positively shape the future of Haiti and rebuild hope around the legitimate aspirations of this people. Even though many of us today have not left the inn according to our statuses here in the United States particularly and are still exposed to repatriation.

With humility, we must adopt the principles that can guide our action in the face of this crisis. In addition to not delegating the burden of defending our cause to others, we must also opt for the most peaceful, the most collective, the most effective solutions. We must always prioritize intelligence over obscurantism, change over inaction, courage over fear, progress over reactionism, democracy over tyranny and freedom from all forms of oppression. And, faced with certain closed and reactionary groups, we want to see an open, enterprising and progressive diaspora emerge and assert itself.

The Haitian diaspora, with 3.5 million members, despite its dispersion, remains a pillar of strength, resources and innovation. His contribution to the success of the democratic transition in Haiti is essential. By building an independent, non-denominational super organization inspired by the United Nations model, where organizations and states retain their autonomy, the Haitian diaspora can play a key role in ensuring a successful democratic transition. This organization will serve as a link between Haiti and the rest of the world. Straightforward, it represents a bold initiative to channel the efforts and resources of the diaspora in favor of the sustainable development of Haiti and the diaspora itself. Let’s examine together how this can be feasible and beneficial for Haiti.

A global vision for a local impact

The idea of ​​establishing a large-scale organization reflects the desire to structure the engagement of the diaspora in a global manner with a view to local action. Inspired by the United Nations model, where each state entity is represented, this initiative is based on the representation of the various existing organizations through delegates.

Its objective is to harmonize efforts and maximize impact as much as possible. One of the main challenges hindering such an initiative is the reluctance towards any concept favoring collective leadership, each entity seeking to preserve its sovereignty, each aspiring to reign supreme in its own kingdom. With this model, each entity maintains its autonomy while contributing to a larger, more efficient kingdom that values ​​each component.

If our vision is to see a Haiti rebuilt in the next 30 years through neo-progressive governance, the diaspora, once excluded and become an object of blackmail and political manipulation, must play a determining role as a partner of development. It must therefore be able to contribute to the advent of a prosperous, stable and lasting future for all Haitians.

It is from this vision that the fundamental mission of this organization arises: to mobilize and unite the Haitian diaspora around the re-foundation of the Nation-State, the new democratic transition and the socio-economic emancipation of Haitians residing there. ‘stranger. It also aims to promote concrete development projects, thus promoting political stability, economic progress and the improvement of living conditions in Haiti. If violence was an essential tool at the time of the national founding, peace is now imperative for the refoundation. Thus, by sending this strong message of union and collective leadership to Haitians at home, the diaspora contributes to several objectives simultaneously.

Clear objectives

The rebirth of the Nation-State of Haiti requires the pursuit of twelve major objectives for the organization. They are as follows:

1. Strengthening local capacities: Increase administrative, technical and professional skills in Haiti through training and know-how transfer programs organized by experienced members of the diaspora.

2. Economic development: Encourage and support entrepreneurial initiatives aimed at boosting the local economy, by promoting job creation and GDP growth. Likewise, promote economic initiatives within the diaspora to stimulate trade with Haiti.

3. Strengthening diaspora organizations: Increase the skills of diaspora organizations so that they have more influence, and impact the presence of Haitians in spheres of power.

4. Economic development: Encourage and support entrepreneurial initiatives aimed at boosting the local economy, by promoting job creation and GDP growth. Likewise, promote economic initiatives within the diaspora to stimulate trade with Haiti.

5. Sustainable Infrastructure: Actively participate in the planning and implementation of sustainable infrastructure projects, with a focus on renewable energy, waste management and water supply.

6. Education and health: Establish partnerships to improve access to quality education and health care, particularly in rural and disadvantaged areas. Promote the granting of scholarships, particularly for future executives who will contribute to the reconstruction of the State.

7. Humanitarian aid and crisis management: Establish effective mechanisms, in collaboration with local institutions, to respond quickly to humanitarian crises such as natural disasters or health crises.

8. Advocacy and political influence: Use the influence of the diaspora to defend public policies beneficial to Haiti, both nationally and internationally. Establish innovative mechanisms to defend the civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights of the population.

9. Defense of the rights of Haitians everywhere: No Haitian should feel left behind wherever they are.

10. Culture, sport and heritage: Promote Haitian cultural wealth and preserve historical heritage as vectors of national unity and pride. Support sport and encourage sporting exchanges between the diaspora and local Haitians.

11. Transparency and integrity: Guarantee transparent and integrated management of funds and projects managed by the organization, by establishing strict standards of accountability.

12. International cooperation: Strengthen partnerships with other nations, international organizations and private entities to maximize the resources available for the development of Haiti. Develop aid mechanisms to friendly countries on behalf of Haiti.

By committing to this vision and goals, the Haitian diaspora super organization aspires not only to contribute significantly to Haiti’s renewal, but also to strengthen ties between Haitians residing within and outside the country. outside the country, thus creating a global synergy necessary for progress and prosperity.

An inclusive structure

What can distinguish the next major Haitian initiatives are absolutely the principles and values ​​that we will adopt from the start. As institutional culture is not our strong point, such an organization, being new, will take time to become institutionalized. Our impatience could therefore harm its implementation. This is why we must base it on key principles

1. Principle of Independence: No political or religious influence should distract the organization from its mission.

2. Principle of Representativeness: Each region where Haitians live abroad must be represented.

3. Principle of Transparency: The actions and finances of the organization must be open to all.

4. Principle of Inclusion: Guarantee the participation of all segments of the diaspora, whether old or new diasporas, intellectual or worker diaspora, etc.

A successful organization is based on an inclusive structure , reflecting the diversity of the Haitian diaspora. Currently, we can identify five regions where Haitians live abroad: North America (United States and Canada), Latin America (Mexico, Brazil, Chile, Argentina, Venezuela, etc.), the Caribbean (Dominican Republic, Bahamas, Turks and Caicos Islands, etc.), Europe (France, England, Germany, Russia, etc.) and the Africa/Asia component (Senegal, Taiwan, etc.). Each region should have its voice in this organization, ensuring fair representation.

Given that the United States represents the country with the largest number of Haitians living abroad (1.2 million according to the site migrationpolicy.com) and is a land

determining policy, it would be justified to place the headquarters of the organization in one of the four American cities: Washington, New York, Miami or Chicago, the latter being founded by Jean-Baptiste Pointe du Sable, originally from Santo Domingo, in the 18th century.

The structure of the organization would be based on an assembly system, with the following privileged bodies: the general assembly, the thematic commissions and special commissions, the general secretariat and the council. The general assembly would meet each year to adopt resolutions, programs and measures previously prepared by the commissions. The general secretariat would run the daily life of the organization, ensuring the execution of decisions and the operationalization of activities. The council would ensure the institutionalization and respect of the charter.

The challenges to be met

Every major project encounters obstacles. The key to success lies in the ability to anticipate and overcome these challenges. In my first discussions, several voices were raised to express concerns about the scale of the project. Some particularly fear the resistance of Haitian-American elected officials, while others doubt the current preparation of the diaspora, especially in the absence of a pre-established model. Although Switzerland has a well-organized diaspora, it operates in a context of well-established stability and organization, which is not the case for us, because it is a question of rebuilding the political, economic, social and cultural aspects of our entire nation.

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Finding common ground and working toward a common goal can be challenging, but it is essential to the cohesion and success of our initiative. The establishment of such a structure is essential for Haiti’s recovery, because the new democratic transition requires reliable guarantors. However, our past experience demonstrates that even when sharing common goals, political differences can hinder our ability to fully cooperate. Therefore, aiming for a universal consensus may prove utopian; it is more realistic to aim for a minimally acceptable level of organization.

Another major political challenge lies in the logistics and financing of our initiative. These aspects are often significant obstacles for international initiatives. To face it, we will need to develop a clear plan and establish strategic partnerships. It is unlikely that all organizations will be able to meet their annual dues, and finding volunteers willing to donate can also be difficult. Additionally, it is imperative to reject any funding from governments or illegal groups, to ensure the independence and integrity of our policy initiative.

Steps to success

The creation of an elite team, a “Dream team” is crucial to successfully complete this project. This team should bring together volunteers from all five regions, ready to unite for the common cause. Once this team is formed, the following steps must be taken:

1. Mobilization of the diaspora: It is essential to engage in dynamic debate, cultivate a sense of belonging and encourage the active participation of all members of the diaspora.

2. Census of active organizations: Establish contacts with organizations involved in each region in order to involve them in the process and guarantee equitable representation.

3. Organization of foundation meetings: Favor virtual meetings to ensure widespread and representative participation of the diaspora.

4. Adoption of the charter and legal documents: Approval of the founding documents will be done through democratic votes, thus ensuring increased legitimacy and transparency.

5. Holding the first general assembly: This crucial step will make it possible to adopt an action plan aimed at institutionalizing the organization and launching a large-scale information campaign.

Conclusion

The establishment of a super organization by the Haitian diaspora, inspired by the United Nations model, represents a bold but feasible proposal. Let’s imagine a commission from this organization going to Brazil to support the investigation into the death of the 20 Haitians; Let us imagine this organization which, instead of CARICOM, engaged in a real dialogue between politicians to achieve “SHEXIT” (ie get out of “SHITHOLE”); let us imagine this force defending the repatriation of Haitians, speaking with one voice in America in favor of our brothers and sisters; imagine truly defending human rights and the high values ​​of democracy in Haiti; imagine we can count on such a structure to support the investments of the diaspora in Haiti; imagine encouraging exchanges to improve the skills of civil society organizations; let’s just imagine we can count on her to open doors in the world of entertainment and sport for our talented brothers and sisters etc. We are certain we will be on that path where we can defend our own causes with dignity.

By adopting an inclusive structure, mobilizing available skills and resources, and overcoming the challenges inherent in such a project, the Haitian diaspora can play this determining role in the success of the new democratic transition in Haiti. This endeavor requires total commitment, relentless perseverance and close collaboration, but the opportunities for transformation are considerable. Together, we have the power to guide Haiti towards a prosperous and democratic future. “Together we can do it, Together we must do it and Together we will do it”

Alexandre Telfort Son