Every opportunity is good to rob the Haitian People, even COVID-19
With professional scavengers in power, the Haitian people are condemned to have their wool sheared off their backs by the very people who are responsible for defending their interests. Jovenel Moïse and his predecessor Joseph Michel Martelly and their allies in the PHTK are inventing every means, however unimaginable, to divert the country’s resources, even taking advantage of the Coronavirus pandemic to impoverish the nation. With the last opportunity they offer themselves to build their fortunes, not only are they making a big bang out of everything, in managing this scourge, they are targeting, in particular, citizens stranded abroad because of COVID-19 and who wish to return home.
While all states, whether near or far, are struggling in the era of this disaster to make decisions to protect their citizens, in the case of Haiti’s leaders, they are looking for opportunities to relieve them of what they have. That is the intention expressed in the letter addressed by Prime Minister Joseph Jouthe to the Haitian Chancellor on 9 April 2020.
In the document referring to “the decree of March 19, 2020 declaring a state of health emergency through- out the national territory for one (1) year, in order to fight against the spread of COVID-19, only the Prime Minister authorizes exceptional flights to Haiti”.
On the pretext of “the fragility of the country and of our health system”, the Head of Government deemed it appropriate to issue the following reminder: “Any request for repatriation of Haitian nationals with their passports, the following conditions must be met;”
- “1. Submit a recent certificate of a negative result to VIDOC;
- « 2. Have a confirmed travel reservation;
- « 3. 3. Proof of a hotel reservation for 14 days confinement at either hotel Visa Lodge or Servotel”.
The de facto Prime Minister’s Order also requires the Immigration Service to hold the passports of persons under quarantine “during the 15-day containment period.”
Clearly, these measures taken against our brothers and sisters plunged into great distress by this pandemic highlight the carelessness of the Moïse-Jouthe government towards these people. Because push into involuntarily exile by COVID- 19, these unfortunate Haitians must manage as best they can to cope with the cost of confinement in these two hotels, whose owners are friends, relatives and/or allies of the people in power. It should be noted that the price of a room at Visa Lodge is estimated at US $110.00, for a total of USD $1,650.00 excluding meals. In all likelihood, if room prices differ at Servotel, the difference will not be huge.
With lawless rulers in power, such as these men and women, who put these potential travelers in such disastrous situations, there is a good chance that they will make care to ally themselves with individuals in whom they find ideal partners. To the extent that corruption takes the form of commissions and kickbacks, within the Administration, Haitian citizens, who return home under such conditions, will surely be cheated so that Jovenel Moïse and his associates can collect their shares of the booty.
This strategy set up in order to rob Haitian citizens stranded abroad because of COVID-19, seeking to return home, only confirms the tendency of men in power to seize every opportunity to make money. We know the story of these men, with Jovenel Moïse and his wife at the top of the list, their allies in the PHTK, with their affidavits, engaging in operations of embezzlement of public funds, kickbacks or even juicy commissions most often coming from illegal contracts.
Throughout his presidency, President Moïse, walking on the heels of his predecessor, made strong allies in the accumulation of millions. Acting on reflexes, he, like Michel Martelly, never ceased to find opportunities to declare a state of emergency. The most recent was the one triggered by the coronavirus pandemic. While the Dominican neighbors have proved to be political leaders in the fight against this invisible enemy, Jovenel Moïse and his close collaborators are behaving like real bandits unleashed against a defenseless people, with the complicity and/or tolerance of certain States that pass for pillars of democracy.
Because of this support for the team in power, in international circles, they believe that all the excesses they display in the exercise of power are authorized. This is why Jovenel Moïse and his political allies in the PHTK believe that they are allowed to do whatever they can, confident that they will be able to overcome the obstacles that the people might throw in the path of his predecessor’s return to power.
Everywhere else in the world, experienced teams, loving their countries and their people, are fully committed to the fight against COVOC-19. However, in Haiti, mercenaries are making the decisions. The way in which the national boat is being steered, especially the contempt Moïse and his allies show for the Haitian people, and the policy of systematic theft of our resources, the daughters and sons of Haiti should mobilize as one man to ensure that Jovenel Moïse is definitively expelled from the National Palace.
cet article est publié par l’hebdomadaire Haïti-Observateur, VOL. L No.15 New-York, édition du 22 avril 2020 et se trouve en P.11 à : http://haiti-observateur.ca/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/H-O-22-april-2020-1.pdf