Wednesday, June 21, 2017

The End of the UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti

June 21, 2017

The End of the UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti

What It Means for the Country's Future

By Michael Deibert

Foreign Affairs

(Read the original here)

Under an ash gray sky threatening rain this past April, dozens of people in the Port-au-Prince neighborhood of Cité Soleil (Sun City) gathered across the street from the local police station to survey a flat patch of earth where goats normally graze. As surveyors in helmets and green vests took measurements of the land, residents discussed their plan for this corner of a desperately poor quarter of this impoverished country: the construction of a new library, the Bibliyotèk Site Solèy, funded by small donations from hundreds of Haitians and with books contributed from both within Haiti and abroad.

“This is not just a library. This symbolizes a lot for us,” said Louino Robillard, a native of the northern town of Saint-Raphaël who moved to Cité Soleil with his father when he was three and grew up in the district’s Ti Ayiti section. Robillard is the driving force behind the Konbit Solèy Leve, a social movement whose name refers to both the tradition of volunteer community work in rural Haiti (konbit) and the neighborhood’s name (solèy leve, meaning “rising sun”).

“This symbolizes unity,” Robillard said. “This symbolizes hope.”

A little more than a decade ago, Cité Soleil was a war zone where daily survival, let alone long-term planning, was a Herculean task. It was, and to some degree remains, a redoubt of the armed political pressure groups known as the baz (base) in Haiti, who maintain an uneasy and ambiguous relationship with the country’s political factions. Today, however, grass-roots organizations such as Konbit Solèy Leve and the Sant Kominote Altènatif Ak Lapèhave been working to put the konbit model into practice, gathering residents to clean the fetid canals and other areas of the district and trying to sow connections between the sometimes fractious groups in the zone. The grass-roots nature of such initiatives is especially significant given what Haiti has witnessed over the last decade.

MINUSTAH'S BEGINNINGS

In February 2004, then Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, a democratic icon who had decided years before that he was not beholden to the rules of democracy, fled the country into exile amid massive street protests and an armed rebellion against his increasingly despotic rule. He left behind a nation devastated by political warfare and environmental crises, with a treasury virtually emptied by years of corruption and theft. After the brief presence of the U.S.-led multinational interim force, in June 2004 the United Nations established the UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti, known by its French-language acronym, MINUSTAH.

The Brazilian-led mission that came for an initial period of six months would stay on for 13 years, tasked with “stabilizing” this often tumultuous country of glittering Caribbean beaches, mist-shrouded mountains, and the syncretic vodou religion. Haiti also boasts the distinction of having conducted the only successful slave revolt in history, which saw it gain independence from France in 1804, making it the second independent republic in the Western Hemisphere after the United States.
Although MINUSTAH oversaw three consecutive presidential elections, each more turbulent than the last, the UN Security Council voted unanimously this April to end the mission by October. Yet many of the problems that afflicted Haiti’s tentative democratic gains before the mission landed remain and, in fact, have been codified into practice.

When MINUSTAH arrived, Haiti (and Port-au-Prince in particular) was violently factionalized between Aristide supporters and the former members of Haiti’s disbanded military who had helped oust him, both heavily armed. The unelected interim government in power at the time cut off supporters of the ancien régime from the meager government funds they had been accessing, while some members of the country’s economic elite advocated a policy of repression and revenge against the ousted president’s partisans.

The tensions spiraled into a period of violent anarchy known as Operation Baghdad, which ground on for two bloody years that also saw the suicide of MINUSTAH’s military commander, Brazilian Lieutenant General Urano Teixeira da Matta Bacellar. The chaos lasted until the election of René Préval in 2006, for what would be his second tenure as Haiti’s president.

Criticized for years for its perceived passivity in the face of relentless violence, MINUSTAH seemed to find its footing under Préval, who had a volatile but ultimately productive relationship with the UN mission’s chiefs, first Guatemalan diplomat Edmond Mulet and later Tunisian diplomat Hédi Annabi. With MINUSTAH as a reserve force insulating him from the coups that had marked Haiti’s history, Préval, a savvy politician, could set about the work of trying to unite a divided country and attracting foreign investment. To a surprising degree, over the next three years, he largely succeeded. Even when unrest roiled Haiti in 2008, there seemed to be no fear that Préval would be ousted.

All that changed on January 12, 2010, when a 7.0-magnitude earthquake struck Port-au-Prince and the surrounding regions. Tens of thousands of Haitians and 101 UN employees, including Chief of Mission Hédi Annabi, died. This was the largest single-day loss of life in the organization’s history. The stability that had been so carefully nurtured over the preceding three years vanished within seconds.

After the earthquake, the tense relationship between Préval and Mulet (who returned to head MINUSTAH after Annabi’s death) became even more so. In the words of the Haitian economist Ericq Pierre, foreign aid and organizations poured in with “too many propositions, too many resources, too many promises, too much knowledge, and not enough know-how,” and a sense of drift and curdling directionlessness became palpable.

PEACEKEEPING SCANDALS

The culture of impunity within Haiti’s body politic is one of the country’s most destabilizing problems. Yet following the earthquake, MINUSTAH chose to avail itself of this culture rather than combat it.

After video evidence surfaced in September 2011 that Uruguayan peacekeepers might have raped an 18-year-old boy in the southern town of Port-Salut, a local human rights organization, the Réseau National de Défense des Droits de l’Homme, charged that the contingent had been leading “a life of debauchery” for some time. (Four of these peacekeepers were later convicted of “private violence” in the case by a Uruguayan court.) It was one of several sexual assault scandals that rocked the mission, including others involving Pakistani and Sri Lankan peacekeeping forces.

When I visited Haiti around this time, I witnessed a group of surly, well-fed men who identified themselves as Canadian police advisers drink themselves into oblivion and splash around in a hotel pool. Only feet away, in a tent encampment of earthquake victims, thousands sat in darkness through long evenings of pounding rain, creating the perception of a fraternity party amid an apocalypse.

Also in 2011, at a base set up by MINUSTAH peacekeepers from Nepal, a broken PVC pipe was pouring raw sewage into a tributary that fed directly into the Boukan Kanni and Jenba Rivers, which then flowed into the larger Artibonite River, the main water source for the eponymous lush agricultural region. This would lead to a cholera epidemic that has so far killed over 10,000 people. After years of denials, and despite multiple reports conclusively linking the cholera outbreak to the mission, the UN would not admit culpability until August 2016. To this date, it has compensated none of the victims.

MARTELLY'S MIXED RECORD

Along with the U.S. government, MINUSTAH played a decisive role in Haiti’s acrimonious 2010–11 elections. Préval tried to impose upon a weary nation his successor, the highly unpopular Jude Célestin. But through a combination of international diplomatic pressure (including that of Mulet and then U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton) and violent street protests, he was forced to back down and assent to a runoff that eventually saw singer Michel “Sweet Micky” Martelly inaugurated as Haiti’s president in May 2011.

The record of the Martelly government, whose rise MINUSTAH aided, was a mixed one. It made advances in terms of infrastructure and tourism, and the country’s spirits were often buoyed by the president’s charisma. But many of the salutary effects were undercut by the violence surrounding last year’s aborted election, and the government, like many before it, was marked by a high degree of corruption and impunity.

Both symbolically and mechanically, Martelly represented the return of a political strain associated with the former Haitian dictator François Duvalier and, more closely, his son and successor, Jean-Claude. Whereas Duvalier père presented himself as a noiriste dictator enacting a kind of color-based revenge, the son attempted to portray a more liberal laissez faire image while promoting foreign investment (a dishonest image, as the country remained a brutal police state). This strain historically has often seemed locked in a struggle with the anarcho-populism most vividly typified by Aristide. When elections were finally held in November of last year—again delayed, again disputed—Martelly’s designated successor, Jovenel Moïse, an agribusinessman and, like Martelly, political novice, won an outright majority.

“Perhaps MINUSTAH served to prevent coups,” says Laënnec Hurbon, Haiti’s most eminent sociologist and the author of key works such as Le Barbare imaginaire. “But, while I am wary of the nationalist rhetoric of politicians who make regular criticisms of international interference, I must admit that in the 2011 elections MINUSTAH intervened in the electoral system to impose a candidate in the second round...When this candidate who came to power, a whole new layer of neo-Duvalierist politicians took over the state who were only interested in doing business with the resources of the state.”

Although relatively peaceful at the moment, despite MINUSTAH’s long-stated goal of stabilization, Haiti is a country where many appear to have lost faith in the democratic process, with only the most desultory electoral participation. Haiti remains a kingdom of impunity, with political malefactors who are able to reinvent themselves (one need only look at Haiti’s current Parliament to confirm this) and a police force whose autonomy, cultivated by Préval and former Police Chief Mario Andrésol, had eroded under Martelly, despite the best efforts of many dedicated officers. Many, including the president, speak openly about resurrecting the Haitian army, extraconstitutionally disbanded in 1995, which the police replaced.

Moïse remains an unknown quantity, whose words of commitment to the country’s long-underserved peasant majority bring hope even as what some say are authoritarian tendencies give pause. (One of his first acts as president was to dismiss the head of the Unité Centrale de Renseignements Financiers anticorruption body.)

“The new government will have to be careful of its image and ensure the president's staff is impeccable in terms of honesty,” says Marilyn B. Allien, the president of La Fondation Héritage pour Haïti, Haiti’s branch of the global anticorruption organization Transparency International. “This also applies for cabinet members and members of Parliament. Every effort should be made to ensure to project an image of honesty and integrity. If the president is honest and shows no tolerance for corruption, this will deter those in his entourage and in the government from engaging in corrupt practices.”

WHAT THE FUTURE HOLDS

In Cité Soleil, fishermen still cast nets into the capital’s polluted bay as schoolchildren in pressed white and green uniforms amble down the now quiet streets.

“Right now Cité Soleil is very cool, very calm,” Phozer Louis, the lead MC for the Haitian rap group Fos Lakay-Majik kleng and a Cité Soleil native, told me. “The young people here have put down the gun and picked up the ball, the book, the microphone. . . . We ourselves have to change Cité Soleil, as no government has ever done anything for us.”

When the MINUSTAH troops leave this nation where they saw so many of their number die and where, intentionally or not, they themselves caused so many deaths, they leave a country where the cost of living is rising ever higher for average citizens, who lost the ability to feed themselves thanks to international agricultural policies foisted on Haiti in the 1990s and where many of the structural problems of its political reality remain unchanged.

It is true that MINUSTAH likely prevented both Préval and Martelly from being ousted, a laudable feat, but the core of the malaise afflicting the Haitian state—the culture of impunity for anyone boasting political or economic influence—remains, with a judiciary as corrupt as it ever was and a police force that has become notably more Balkanized in recent years.

The lives of the moun andeyo—the forgotten rural masses—have, over the last decade plus, benefited here and there from a desalination program to make salt water suitable for human consumption or the restoration of a rural road or other projects, but they remain essentially unchanged. From the shacks of Cité Soleil to the elegant restaurants in the hills above the capital to the small villages that dot the country’s historic Plaine-du-Nord, within this country still in the grip of largely unreconstructed political and economic elites, Haitians now hold their breath and wait to see what will come next.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

René Préval obituary

René Préval obituary

President of Haiti who managed to bring a measure of tranquillity to a country besieged by poverty and violence

By Michael Deibert

The Guardian

(Read original article here)

René Préval, who has died at the age of 74, will be remembered as the only president in Haiti’s history who twice turned power over to a democratically elected successor in a country marked by coups and political strife.

Haiti’s leaders are often defined by their grandiose tastes and a love of the sound of their own voices, but Préval’s style was understated. Whereas some previous Haitian rulers would hold court seated on what resembled a golden throne, Préval’s ethos was better summed up by the time he arrived at the border town of Belladère on the back of a motorcycle-taxi to tell residents that his goal for the country was peace.

René was born in Haiti’s capital, Port-au-Prince, the son of Claude Préval, who had served as a government minister. He was raised in the northern agricultural town of Marmelade before departing to study agronomy in Belgium and eventually living in New York for a time. During that era, Haiti groaned under the dictatorship of François Duvalier and his son, Jean-Claude.

Upon his return to Haiti, Préval worked at the capital’s airport for a time before founding a bakery for poor people with the civil society leader Michèle Pierre-Louis, who later served as prime minister. The bakery supplied bread to a radical young priest named Jean-Bertrand Aristide in the capital’s La Saline slum, and Préval became active in the democratic movement that succeeded in removing the younger Duvalier from power in 1986.

In 1991, when Aristide became Haiti’s first democratically elected president he appointed Préval prime minister, only to be overthrown in a military coup seven months later. The pair spent three years in exile until democracy was restored thanks to a US-led military intervention, Operation Uphold Democracy. Aristide was returned to power, and in 1996 Préval succeeded him.
His first term was marked by attempts at agrarian reform, furious political battles with opposition politicians and a series of assassinations, culminating in that of Préval’s closest friend and adviser, the journalist Jean Léopold Dominique, in April 2000. Succeeded in 2001 by Aristide, whose chaotic and despotic rule was truncated by his overthrow after three years, Préval took over from an unelected interim government in 2006 and, against all odds, managed to bring a measure of tranquillity to a country divided between heavily armed partisans and opponents of the former president.

Préval was perhaps unique in that he represented a figure in whom many sides of Haiti’s stratified nation, from the rich in their villas above Port-au-Prince to those in the slums, felt they had a representative. Shortly before he took office for the second time, he spoke to reporters in his sister’s backyard and told them that Haiti was like a bottle which must rest on its broad base to be secure, because resting on its narrow mouth (ie the presidency and the country’s elite) it would topple over and shatter.

An adroit dealmaker, Préval maintained convivial relations with world leaders as diverse as George W Bush and Hugo Chávez as he sought to court investment and stabilise political institutions in Haiti. While he was in office, the press went about its business unfettered and the police, so often used as a private army by his predecessors, operated with relative independence.

Despite his subdued style, Préval was hardly naive, displaying a Machiavellian grasp of Haiti’s political factions – sometimes opportunistically overlapping, sometimes bitterly competing – that allowed him to stay several steps ahead of those who periodically wanted to remove him from power. He was capable of betraying old friends in the name of political expediency and showed little appetite for holding his predecessors to account for their crimes.

When an earthquake devastated the capital and its environs, killing more 300,000 people, in 2010 Préval appeared at times paralysed by shock, leading many of his rivals to call for his resignation. (Préval himself had had a narrow escape: he had just been about to go into his home when the earthquake hit.)

In 2011 he turned over the reins to his successor, the singer Michel Martelly – whose stage name had been Sweet Micky – an opposition figure who nonetheless publicly said that he came to rely on Préval’s counsel during his time in office. Préval returned to Marmelade, where he worked on projects which included an agricultural co-operative, an education centre and a juice factory. His last public appearance was at the investiture of Haiti’s new president, Jovenel Moïse, a few weeks before Préval died.

His first wife was Solange Lafontant, a bookseller. They divorced, and in 1997 he married Guerda Benoit, who worked in the country’s foreign ministry. They also divorced, and in 2009 he married Elisabeth Débrosse Delatour, the widow of the former governor of the country’s central bank and one of Préval’s economic advisers.

She survives him along with two daughters from his first marriage, Dominique and Patricia, two sons and three sisters.
 
René Garcia Préval, politician, born 17 January 1943; died 3 March 2017

Saturday, September 17, 2016

After being driven from Gonaïves...

...By the mighty folks of Raboteau and driven to collapse by the Pitit Desalin partisans of Moïse Jean-Charles in Au Cap, while former Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide convalesced in hospital, the following WhatsApp message, purportedly from a sector of his political party, was making the rounds...

NÒT POU LAPRÈS.-

Baz Fanmi lavalas nan LWÈS aprann ak anpil kontènasyon kantite zak deblozay ke eki Youri Latòti ak Jovenel Moise fè sou kòtèj Maryz Nasis ak Prezidan Aristid. Nou kontan tande nouvel sa paske leve plum sou do nou pou nou anonse nouvèl sa. " Youri di Jovenel se nan elikoptè lap fè kanpay nan Lwès la, eske nap ka kenbe replik sa? Lavalas la pral pase sou fyèl nou manman pitit mare vant. Sa nou fè a nou swete nou ka kenbe l.

Moise Jeanchal, nou pran nouvèl saw fè okap la, nou pral sèvi avew ou byen konen kijan lavalas la desann nou pral remèt ou monen pyès ou nan lwès la. Ou mèt tou rete OKAP

Bon si prezidan an mouri menm pap gen eleksyon nap few regret ou te fe sa.

Lavalas leve kanpe nan tout peyi a depi se kote PHTK ak Pitit Desalin ap fè kanpay kraze yo paske yo atake papa demokrasi a.

Baz Fanmi Lwes

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Book Talk: "Haiti Will Not Perish" with Michael Deibert



Here is the video of my talk on Haiti at Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs. Thank you so much to Severine Autesserre for making it happen.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Michel Martelly letter to Haiti interim Preisdent Jocelerme Privert

Friday, April 15, 2016
MJM/0416/008
Port-au-Prince, le 15 avril 2016

Son Excellence
Monsieur Jocelerme PRIVERT
Président Provisoire
Palais National

Monsieur le Président Provisoire,
 
Deux mois après la fin de mon mandat et après avoir négocié et signé avec vous, en votre qualité de Président du Sénat, conjointement avec le Président de la Chambre des Députés, un accord de sortie de crise, le pays est menacé par une crise plus profonde que je voulais éviter.
 
En effet, en signant cet accord, j’ai voulu éviter au pays une crise politique après le coup du 22 janvier 2016 et contribuer à l'exercice du jeu démocratique; c’est dans cet esprit que j’ai quitté mes fonctions à la date prévue par la Constitution, en m’assurant, comme il a été prévu, que le pouvoir soit transmis, le 14 mai 2016, à un Président légitime, issu d’élections.
 
Dois-je encore vous rappeler, Monsieur le Président Provisoire, que cet accord a été rédigé par vos soins, suivant vos propres termes et conditions et vous en êtes, par la suite, devenu le principal bénéficiaire, responsable direct de sa mise en œuvre ?
 
Il est inconcevable qu'après deux présidences à vie consécutives, ayant duré trente ans, le pays ne parvienne, trente ans plus tard, à organiser des élections qui ne fassent l’objet de contestation et qu’il soit toujours utile de se référer à l’arbitrage de la communauté internationale pour trancher. Ce constat choque tant les observateurs nationaux qu’étrangers.
 
Il est anormal que certains politiciens haïtiens recourent à tous les stratagèmes, du mieux qu'ils peuvent, pour empêcher la tenue d’élections et que l'on offre au monde entier le spectacle navrant qu'eux tous n’étaient motivés que par des intérêts personnels et mesquins. Un grand nombre de ceux qui se sont montrés hostiles à la tenue des élections se sont fait nommer au gouvernement de transition qu’ils veulent convertir en gouvernement définitif, sans recourir à la voie des urnes, en utilisant tous les artifices. La nouvelle donne consiste à séparer à l’amiable, copain-copain, le pouvoir exécutif avec les sénateurs, comme une sorte de butin de guerre que l’on repartit entre des officiers vainqueurs. Le Sénat est rendu quasiment dysfonctionnel aujourd’hui parce qu’aux sénateurs sont offertes des fonctions administratives à titre de récompense - les Sénateurs abandonnant le Parlement pour devenir ministres. Cette approche ne va pas tenir la route, Monsieur le Président provisoire.
 
Le Gouvernement actuel se donne un agenda étendu voire illimité qui ne correspond nullement à son mandat, circonscrit dans l’accord signé entre vous et moi le 5 février 2016. Cette démarche ne va pas permettre de résoudre la crise, elle va plutôt l’aggraver.
 
Il est urgent d'engager le processus d'organisation du second tour des élections présidentielles et qu’un gouvernement légitime soit mis en place dans les délais prévus. Il serait raisonnable que l'on cesse d'utiliser des subterfuges pour grignoter quelques mois sur les mandats des élus à des fins inavouables. Le pays ne pourra pas tirer avantage de la répétition de cette situation consistant en cette pratique de vouloir remplacer un gouvernement constitutionnel par un gouvernement provisoire, et le renvoi des élections réglementaires sine die pour laisser un certain temps de gestion à ce gouvernement provisoire. Je voudrais en connaitre la motivation... Une telle situation va continuer à augmenter la précarité et entacher l'image du pays aux yeux de nos partenaires- bien entendu ceux qui n'ont aucun intérêt dans cette situation... C’est la raison principale qui m’a porté à choisir, parmi toutes les options, de signer l'accord du 5 février et partir le 7 février suivant.
 
Les stratèges de ce gouvernement, qui se croient seuls sur la planète, instaurent la persécution sous toutes ses formes pour parvenir à leurs fins. Leur programme majeur a pour nom la "demartellisation". Ce programme consiste à humilier mes anciens collaborateurs et paradoxalement, ceux-là même qui m'ont accompagné jusqu'aux derniers jours de mon mandat. Cette manière de faire démontre l'incohérence et l'inconsistance de ces persécutions qui fragilisent la démocratie et anéantissent l'esprit démocratique. Une première tactique a consisté à les accuser de choses auxquelles ils sont complètement étrangers, que personne n'a établi. Quand ils considèrent devoir se défendre, ils sont directement menacés, accusés de contester des déclarations du Président et privés de leur liberté de mouvement. Un Commissaire du Gouvernement, ex-député du peuple, qui n’est pas juge des comptes des fonctionnaires et des Grands commis de l’Etat, commence par établir une liste d’interdiction de départ avant même d’avoir entendu ses victimes ou d’avoir vu les dossiers qui leur seraient imputables.
 
Je crois en la nécessité de tout administrateur de l’Etat de rendre compte de sa gestion, cependant si la justice est aveugle, elle ne doit pas se laisser aveugler.
 
Que la nation prenne garde et reste vigilante pour que la nécessaire et indispensable lutte contre la corruption ne fournisse l’occasion de commettre des injustices criardes, même au nom de la raison d’Etat, autrement comme l’avait si bien dit le Président René Préval, dans une situation semblable «peu de citoyens honnêtes, compétents et sérieux accepteront de se mettre au service de leur pays en se persuadant que l’Etat ne peut être habité que par des malveillants et des médiocres» (sic)
Je n’ai pas signé l’accord du 5 février pour encourager la violation des droits individuels. Combien de fois ne vous est-il pas arrivé, Monsieur le Président provisoire, de vous prononcer dans des domaines qui ne sont pas les vôtres, en déni des prérogatives et responsabilités des institutions légalement constituées. En déclarant par exemple, plus d'une fois, aux membres du PHTK que leur candidat à la Présidence est classé en 5eme position alors que vous n’êtes pas membre du Conseil électoral ! Qui donc comptez-vous classer en première position, Monsieur le Président ?
 
Je vous invite patriotiquement à vous dépasser et à vous éloigner du chant des sirènes, car les chantres ne connaissent pas la douleur ni les responsabilités d’un président de la République. Eux croient que tout lui est possible. Malheur à un président qui croit qu’il peut tout faire. Le seul recours d’un chef d’Etat devant ces situations, c’est la loi ; il doit avoir recours en permanence à la loi. Cela m’a évité bien des égarements même s’il m’a laissé des inimitiés au sein de mon propre camp. De toute manière, il y a un choix à faire. Il y a beaucoup de voies. Moi j’ai choisi de voir les choses avec hauteur, sans roublardise. Nous devons laisser le temps des dictatures et des violences politiques derrière nous et renoncer à vouloir contrôler le pouvoir par tous les moyens, au risque de maintenir le pays dans l’indignité et le dénuement de ses citoyens.
 
Si nous voulons travailler à l’instauration de la démocratie en Haïti, nous devons nous y consacrer de manière déterminée et sérieuse, de toute notre force, de tout notre être et de toute notre pensée, tellement la tentation d’aller dans le sens contraire est grande. Le seul garant, c’est le respect de nos institutions.
 
C’est dans ce sens que j’avais choisi de rendre visite à tous les anciens Chefs d’Etat vivant dans le pays. Cette décision n’avait pas fait l’unanimité autour de moi. Mais ma volonté de rassembler toutes les élites et toutes les forces du pays pour l’avènement d’une ère de progrès me l’avait dicté. Je l’ai fait pour rassurer. Durant mon administration, les libertés politiques ont atteint leur apogée, la presse, le paroxysme de la liberté. Mes ministres s’exprimaient librement et je n’ai jamais trouvé aucun mal à l’expression de positions contraires. Je n’étais pas le Chef mais le coordonnateur. Je n’ai jamais considéré que j’étais le juge des actes de mes prédécesseurs ou de leurs ministres. Je n’étais pas obligé de marcher sur leurs voies, je pouvais revenir sur certaines de leurs décisions, sans essayer de les mettre en cause. Parce que la Constitution, qui doit être notre boussole, a fixé la responsabilité de chacun et de chaque institution. Sur mon bureau et ma table de chevet, il y avait toujours un exemplaire de la Constitution. Un Président de la République ne doit jamais être lassé de lire et de relire la Constitution.
 
Je sais que vous connaissez ce texte par cœur. On vous attribue, à tort ou à raison, une connaissance approfondie des questions administratives. Je vous encourage à lire et à relire la Constitution, nos lois administratives, les textes de procédure administrative et civile tous les jours et à ne pas vous en écarter, comme je vous supplie, pour le bien du pays, de ne pas vous écarter du texte de l’accord du 5 février que nous avons signé. La patrie vous sera reconnaissante. Ainsi votre rêve sera comblé, vos vœux exhaussés. Vous aurez acquis estime et respect aux yeux des Haïtiens et des partenaires internationaux engagés à nos côtés dans la rédemption du pays. L’Histoire vous rendra témoignage comme un grand patriote… Avant vous, d’autres ont essayé d’aller dans le sens contraire de l’Histoire, ils l’ont tous regretté.
 
Les évènements de ces derniers jours m’ont motivé à vous écrire cette lettre. Je le fais en toute humilité et dans un élan patriotique, pendant qu’il est encore temps. Mon patriotisme me commande de vous recommander de ne pas céder à la tentation de ceux qui n’attendront pas le second chant du coq pour vous lâcher.
 
Veuillez agréer, Monsieur le Président provisoire, les assurances de ma très haute considération.

Michel Joseph MARTELLY
56è Président de la République d’Haïti