TrueNewsBlog | December 28, 2021
By: Emmanuel Roy
TrueNewsBlog – On behalf of the Haitian Diaspora, the Haitian Diaspora Political Action Committee (HDPAC) congratulates the brothers and sisters of the Montana Accord for the excellent work they’ve done in the last nine (9) months, in bringing several important groups together under the banner of the Montana Accord. The ideas proposed by the Montana group are innovative, and if implemented, would move Haiti unto the path of democracy and good governance. The Haitian Diaspora has an interest in assuring that those ideas can be implemented without hindrance.
For that to happen, Haiti will need the support of the international community, namely the United States of America, to assist in the implementation of those ideas. The international community has said time and time again, “An Accord of the Accords” is what is needed to resolve the multifaceted political crisis. We in the diaspora, under the banner of the 2021 Haitian Diaspora Interest Group want to do the outmost to have “An Accord of the “Accords.”
The 2021 group is made up of several Haitian Diaspora organizations, the goal of which is to see a resolution to the political crisis, and a pathway toward fair and democratic elections when conditions would permit.
Many people have asked why the Haiti Unity Summit is necessary and why can’t it be held it in Haiti?
The answers are simple. First, there are several other accords by other groups representing different interests. There’s PEN (Protocol d’Entente Nationale); CESOC (Citoyens Engagés pour une Sortie de Crise, or Citizens engaged to find a solution to the crisis), Akor Lari a, (The Streets Accord) and Accord Primature, presented by the Prime Minister. These groups have different ideas and make their own propositions. To have the broadest possible agreement, the groups must engage in meaningful conversations with each other. Second, the security challenge in Haiti and the high possibility of public disruption militates against Haiti for such an important summit. The Haitian government is incapable of guaranteeing the safety of the participants, including foreign officials and dignitaries who are scheduled to take part in the Summit.
The Haiti Unity Summit, scheduled to take place in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, January 13-19, 2022, is the last opportunity for broad-based national conversations to take place, as the international community has suggested. The purpose of the summit is not to undermine any Accord but to seek a true consensus that would embrace the interests of all sides.
Several Montana supporters have argued that the summit would undermine Montana’s position as the group which has done most of the work so far. Another argument is that they have nothing to gain by participating in the summit. Both arguments are self-serving.
First, the summit is not about what Montana can get. It is about Haiti. It is about national consensus among fiercely divided individuals. Second, we believe that Montana has the most progressive approach to helping Haitians who had been cut out of the economic life of the country. That is reason enough why Montana must participate and allow the world to see these great propositions. We in the Haitian diaspora are interested in their propositions because we believe they can get broad support, not only from Haitians, but from Haiti’s international partners.
Why is the Haitian Diaspora organizing the Haiti Unity Summit and who are those behind the effort?
The Haitian diaspora has been the life blood of Haiti, sending nearly four billion dollars in 2020, according to the World Bank. A sum that represents nearly one third of Haiti’s GDP. But for generations, Haiti’s corrupt political class has systematically kept the Haitian diaspora out of Haiti’s politics. Indeed, the Haitian diaspora has four billion reasons to be concerned about Haiti and how corrupt political leaders, in cahoots with corrupt elites, endeavored to impoverish the country, while enriching themselves. Most Haitian presidents and prime ministers since 1990 suddenly became millionaires while doing a job that pays less than $10,000 a month. Where did their money come from?
Those of the 2021 Haitian Diaspora Interest Group are the sponsors of the Summit, an idea borne by HDPAC and supported by Haitians, both in Haiti and in the Diaspora. This summit has the potential to achieve real unity among the protagonists. The expenditures of the summit are being covered by the Haitian Diaspora through the public GoFundme (https://www.gofundme.com/f/the-haiti-unity-summit-fundraiser), created by Lieutenant General Russel L. Honoré, (ret.) and Southern University Law Center, the chancellor of which is General John Pierre, a fourth generation Haitian American. The international community has applauded the effort and promised to support a final negotiated resolution.
We invite the entire Haitian community to get involved in this effort. For more information about the summit, visit: HaitiUnitySummit.com, or to register, visit HDPAC.org. The summit will be broadcast live via Facebook and other social media, so Haitian in Haiti and anywhere in the world may watch the deliberations at this historic event.
We thank everyone, especially those of the Montana Accord for the good work they have done to bring us to this point. We thank all the other protagonists for their willingness to negotiate in good faith. Let us show the world that we can take care of our own affairs. May God bless Haiti, and may we move forward in peace! In the spirit of the Haitian national motto: L’union Fait La Force! (In Unity There’s Strength!)
*Emmanuel Roy is the Executive Director of the Haitian Diaspora Political Action Committee (HDPAC). [email protected].