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lundi 4 août 2014

« GUERRE DU CHARBON DE BOIS »

La guerre du charbon de bois est le titre d’une histoire que j’ai commencé à raconter suite à une dépêche qui relatait l’assassinat de trois citoyens haïtiens dans une section rurale de République Dominicaine. (http://www.wattpad.com/30218591-la-guerre-du-charbon-de-bois)
J’avais en fait débuté la narration sans lui attribuer  un vrai titre.
La nouvelle a été frappante et carrément écœurante.
Selon l’auteur de l’article, les trois citoyens auraient été tués par balles puis découpés à la machette et jetés dans des fourneaux à charbons de bois, ce dispositif fait de terre, de branchages, de feuilles vertes qui permet la combustion lente , par pyrolyse,  des troncs d’arbres pour en extraire le charbon de bois.
D’après l’article, ce savoir faire est du domaine exclusif des citoyens haïtiens qui en sont de vrais experts.
Les assassinats auraient donc été commandités et perpétrés par une « Mafia du charbon » car ce produit serait devenu très lucratif parce que la production du charbon en République dominicaine couvrirait 86% des besoins de la République d’Haïti.
Un article lu cette semaine (http://www.almomento.net/articulo/168638/OPINION-%C2%BFSon-los-haitianos-los-autores-de-los-fuegos?) retrace l’ampleur de la catastrophe et prédit une vraie tragédie.
Sans prendre pour paroles d’évangile tout ce qui y est écrit, il faut quand même prendre les dénonciations qui s’y trouvent avec un gros brin de sérieux.
Selon l’auteur en 2013, furent extraits chaque semaine de la République Dominicaine en direction d’Haïti, 2.800 sacs de charbon de bois. Il ajoute que par an sont fabriqués par des haïtiens qui traversent la frontière dans l’unique but de brûler les arbres, 22.710 tonnes de charbon.
Les arbres les plus utilisés seraient les « bayahondes » et  « campeches » (Prosopis Juliflora), (Haemtoxilun Campechae) respectivement.
Les situations de tension  entre les deux Républiques partageant l’île se créent et s’intensifient souvent pour des causes beaucoup moins justifiées et des raisons beaucoup moins flagrantes que cette crise à venir.
Pendant des années, j’ai souvent entendu dire par des responsables haïtiens  que l’on ne pouvait pas empêcher aux haïtiens de couper et de brûler les arbres. Parce qu’on ne leur avait pas proposé d’autres alternatives. Et que ce produit pour certains établissaient la différence entre la vie et la mort.
Personne n’avait non plus pris le temps de lancer une campagne d’éducation citoyenne visant à protéger les arbres et arbustes qui existaient en montrant noir sur blanc la nécessité vitale de changer certaines pratiques.
Comme résultat, en 2007 on répétait que le pays ne possédait que 2% de couverture végétale.
Sans parler des conséquences sur l’écosystème et les fléaux naturels qui en dérivent et nous mettent en danger de façon permanente, aujourd’hui un autre spectre hideux  se dessine  sur nous et sur les relations avec la République Dominicaine.
Ceux qui ont l’habitude de voyager en survolant l’île ont toujours noté cette démarcation entre le territoire dominicain encore vert et le côté haïtien complètement dénudé présentant les « dents de nos mornes ».
L’article plus haut mentionné doit contenir une part de vérité.
Il met l’accent sur le fait que des superficies sont brûlées par les haïtiens avec la condescendance de certains citoyens dominicains pour en extraire le charbon de bois.
Si la vérité ne se déclame pas en ces termes on peut cependant se demander comment font les haïtiens aujourd’hui pour se pourvoir en charbon de bois si depuis 2007 il ne restait que 2% de couverture végétale.
Le charbon pourrait donc venir de la République Dominicaine.
Les dominicains auraient tort de rester les bras croisés et observer cette plaie traverser la frontière, s’étendre  et s’abattre sur leur pays.
Un jour ils voudront gérer ce problème et leurs solutions pourraient être drastiques comme la construction d’un mur pour nous isoler comme prédateurs malins et maléfiques.  Ou qui sait, mener une guerre...La guerre du charbon de bois !
Le titre de mon prochain livre qui sortira quand j’aurai le temps !
Ce texte ne répond pas à un besoin de sensationnalisme. 
Il ne prétend pas soulever seulement un problème ; mais il propose et évoque la nécessité de trouver des solutions.
L’idée m’est venue après une discussion avec un confrère qui se définit comme écologiste.
En dehors de nos rapports professionnels, je l’avais abordé sur la littérature puis on a bifurqué vers Haïti.
Comme bon écologiste il m’a soutiré des informations sur l’état de l’environnement haïtien et on est tombé sur la problématique du charbon de bois.
C’est lui qui a eu à me dire que l’on allait faire la guerre à cause du charbon de bois alors qu’il existe d’autres alternatives en particulier la production domestique de biogaz avec ses propres déchets !
Je me suis donc rappelé que j’avais commencé à écrire une histoire autour des assassinats mentionnés au début et le titre donc tomba comme un gant.
Mais le plus important de cette rencontre avec le confrère c’est que depuis une semaine je suis plongé dans la production domestique de biogaz, un projet à développer en Haïti.
 
En attendant j’écume les sites internet pour me renseigner et m’informer.

Docteur Jonas JOLIVERT

04/08/2014

Borrowing from Hillary Clinton, Haiti Prime Minister raises profile

HAITI
As an ongoing political stalemate in Haiti fuels an electoral crisis, many are focusing attention on Haitian Prime Minister Laurent Lamonthe’s constant campaign-style stops.
BY JACQUELINE CHARLES
JCHARLES@MIAMIHERALD.COM
PORT-AU-PRINCE -- For a man who says he’s not a presidential candidate, Haitian Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe is campaigning like one.

 From visiting a remote central Haiti village with United Nations head Ban Ki-moon to stumping at a Haitian diaspora town hall in North Miami, Lamothe last week was everywhere a candidate needs to be — although the start of the 2015 Haitian presidential race is more than a year away.
“That is how prime ministers run,” said Robert Fatton, a University of Virginia politics professor and Haiti expert. “That is not a Haitian thing. This is politics.”
Lamothe, 41, the tech savvy businessman-turned-politician, insists that he’s not a candidate.
“This is part of my job; what I am doing as prime minister, it is to govern; it is to manage,” Lamothe said before joining more than a dozen flown-in members of his cabinet in front an overflow crowd for his televised town hall in North Miami. “I am prime minister today, and I am focusing on that.”
But Lamothe’s schedule reflects a Hillary Clinton-like method of raising a future candidate’s profile without officially announcing for office. And that is prompting concern and panic in Haiti where observers say the presidential posturing is intensifying a crisis prompted by legislative and local elections that are three years behind schedule.
In order to run, Lamothe would need certification that he has not misused government funds. But the opposition-controlled Senate is unlikely to support giving him the décharge, leaving opponents and some supporters of President Michel Martelly to see delaying the Oct. 26 elections until next year as key. Martelly will rule by decree, practically guaranteeing that Lamothe will get the needed clearance. Opponents believe the delay would lead to Martelly’s downfall.
If the elections are not held, Haiti risks being thrust into chaos a decade after a U.N. Peacekeeping mission arrived to strengthen democracy, observers warn.
“I am particularly concerned that the political transition in Haiti will undergo regression,” Ban, the U.N. secretary general, warned last week at the end of an overnight visit. “Holding inclusive elections in October is essential for the continuity of parliament in 2015, and for the consolidation of democracy and the rule of law.”
With President Michel Martelly and the opposition still at logger heads over the delayed elections, analysts say the future doesn’t look bright for Haiti. Increasingly, October elections look impossible. And while a first-round in December remains do-able, there is growing fear the elections won’t take place until next fall alongside the presidential balloting.
That would leave Haiti with no lower chamber and just 10 out of 30 senators come the second Monday in January.
“That would be catastrophic for the country even if there are sectors who think it would work in their favor; a devastating political tsunami,” said Sauveur Pierre Etienne, national coordinator for the opposition Organization of People in Struggle (OPL), which has ended its boycott of the elections. “It feels as if the focus is no longer on the delayed local and legislative elections, but on the presidential elections.”
Fueling the political friction, say analysts, is Lamothe’s constant campaign-style stops that are generating suspicion and intrigue even among foreign diplomats about his presidential ambitions. One former prime minister, Jacques-Édouard Alexis, has even publicly called for “a common front” to stop Lamothe’s rise to the presidency, prompting push-back from Lamothe’s supporters.
“The prime minister is in an electoral campaign,” Etienne said, “and the political parties are panicking, other candidates are panicking.”
The major hurdle that elections supporters face is the lack of a law governing the election. Six senators have refused to support an amended law, saying they lack confidence in the nine-member provisional electoral council (CEP) that will have to oversee the balloting. Also, four of the largest opposition parties are boycotting the elections, saying they also have no confidence in the CEP.
“We changed the CEP four times in order to organize this election; we went 28 steps already,” Lamothe said. “Unfortunately, not all the cards are with us.”
“Everybody knows we will not have elections this year,” opposition Senator Steven Benoit said, accusing Martelly and Lamothe of “pretending they want to have elections but of course they know very well, they are not going to have it.” Benoit is not among the senators refusing to amend the election law.
For his part, Martelly has yet to officially anoint his successor.
Still, the singer-turned-president who overshadowed Lamothe at the North Miami meeting by singing and swinging his waist on stage, has made several veiled references that lead watchers to believe Lamothe will get his blessing — although nothing is guaranteed.
“The way Martelly was talking, he clearly said at one point, ‘I will put my hand on the anointed candidate,’” Fatton said about the North Miami gathering. “Clearly that was an indication that he’s going to put his hand on Lamothe.”
Fatton believes reports of conflict between the two friends have been grossly exaggerated.
“I think there is an agreement there. He is the logical candidate,” Fatton said of Lamothe. “The guy has a wonderful PR machine. You go to all of the social media, he’s there. He’s all over the country traveling, inaugurating things without saying he’s running and obviously, without also saying anything bad about Martelly, and pushing Martelly as ‘The Man,’ and then he’s just in the background.”
Lamothe’s schedule provides a textbook case in running for president:
Monday: Lamothe shook hands and distributed free government food to the poor as he hosted Ban amid a gaggle of TV cameras.
Tuesday: Lamothe played table tennis with Ban and other diplomats as he helped to inaugurate an Olympics-financed sports complex.
Friday: In Miami, he glad-handed with Haitian Americans, pitched post-earthquake progress and attended a reception in his honor, where he took no questions.
Saturday: Lamothe was center stage at a televised town hall in North Miami.
Sunday: He threw out the first pitch at a Miami Marlins game, much like any major U.S. candidate for office or cultural figure.
“There is no one else in the cabinet who is a serious candidate. If he says he’s a candidate now, they can attack him more. It’s very much like Hillary,” Fatton said. “He’s looking at the scenery; he’s using the position of prime minister to be prime minister but obviously also to be a candidate.”
Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2014/07/24/4253634/borrowing-from-hillary-clinton.html#storylink=cpy

Emancipating the free: Haiti shines at the OAS

By Tiffany Barry
Tiffany Barry is the Social Change Coordinator at the Society Against Sexual Orientation Discrimination (SASOD), based in Georgetown, Guyana.
The Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen passed by France’s National Constituent Assembly in 1789 is one of the cornerstone documents in the history of human rights. It is the philosophy of this document declaring in essence that all people are created free and equal and have the right to life, liberty, and free will which guided the Haitian revolutionaries as they held steadfast to this ideology which eventually led to the creation of the first black state in the Western hemisphere, Haiti, on January 1, 1804.
20131223diasporaIn the history of the Caribbean, Haiti has always been viewed as an inspiration and example, a leader despite its struggles, whose resilience as a nation and as a people continues to shine bright. Haiti continues to lead the way for its Caribbean counterparts as it prepares to host the 2015 General Assembly of the Organization of American States (OAS) for the second time in 20 years. On June 25 of this year, Haiti also broke new ground, becoming the first Caribbean Community (CARICOM) member state to sign the Inter-American Convention against Racism, Racial Discrimination and related forms of Intolerance and the Inter-American Convention against all forms of Discrimination, without any reservations.
The signing of these two conventions are monumental because Haiti has once again shown leadership in the pursuit of ensuring the protection of the human rights of all its citizens, and signalling to all other Caribbean states that they are prepared to address the issues which may be seen as taboo and to take a stand for what is right and just. The only other Caribbean country to have signed on to any of the conventions is Antigua and Barbuda which only signed the Inter-American Agreement against Racism, Racial Discrimination and related forms of Intolerance in 2013.
By acceding to both human rights treaties, Haiti is signalling that the state is committed to protecting the rights of all its citizens from violence and discrimination based on age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, language, religion, cultural identity, political opinions, social origin, socio-economic status, educational level, disability, genetic trait, mental or physical health condition.
To date, no other Caribbean state has signed these conventions. Rather, some have all footnoted their reservations to the 2014 Resolution on “Human Rights, Sexual Orientation, and Gender Identity and Expression” – a resolution which condemns all forms of discrimination, acts of violence and human rights violations based on sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression. This is because in these Caribbean states, there are still laws maintained from the colonial era that criminalise same-sex activities between consenting adults in private, and in the peculiar case of Guyana, cross-dressing.
Recognising that all persons are entitled to the protection of their human rights regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity is an important step in protecting lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people from human rights violations, and allows the community to live with dignity, without fear of targeted violence and discrimination which oftentimes results in them becoming a marginalized, vulnerable and impoverished group. President of Guyana, Donald Ramotar recently indicated that his administration will not demonstrate leadership in the protection of its LGBT citizens by removing laws which criminalise them because the majority of its citizens are not “ready” to recognise the human rights of LGBTI Guyanese. But world history teaches us that people are often never ready for progressive change. The world was not prepared for the signing of the Declaration on the Rights of Man, yet it was signed; the majority of the British and American public were not in favour of the Emancipation Declaration, yet it was delivered.
The OAS has over the years taken measures to ensure that the rights of LGBTI citizens throughout the hemisphere are recognized and protected and that discussions pertaining to the development of the region do not exclude the region’s sexual and gender minorities. This year’s OAS General Assembly amply themed “Development with Social Inclusion” held in Asuncion, Paraguay, in June, was an ample opportunity for our Caribbean leaders to show leadership and to break away from many of the old ideologies imposed upon us during the colonial era by proving that they are committed to inclusive development – development of and for all people – which is not possible if all its citizens are not provided with an equal platform to contribute to the development of the Americas.
Instead, many foreign ministers while being open to discussing the issues affecting its LGBTI citizens, and acknowledging that they should not suffer discrimination, fell short of demonstrating leadership to ensure that these sentiments become a reality. The resolution on “Human Rights, Sexual Orientation, and Gender Identity and Expression” requires member states to eliminate barriers to equal access for LGBT persons with regards to political participation and other areas of public life as well as eliminate interference in their private lives; adopt public policies against discrimination that help prevent violence against LGBTI persons and ensure equal judicial protections for the victims of violence motivated by sexual orientation and/or gender identity; research and publish statistics on violence motivated by homophobia and transphobia; ensure adequate protection for human rights defenders; and ensure adequate protection for intersex people and to implement policies and procedures, as appropriate, to ensure the conformity of medical practices with recognized human rights standards. The resolution was passed with a record number of reservations by some Caribbean states namely: Guyana, Barbados, Trinidad and Tobago, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Jamaica and Suriname.
The overarching sentiments for footnoting there reservations to this resolution were that the concepts of sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression are not understood within these Caribbean states and that these nations embrace, or are “consulting” on, punitive laws, which therefore prohibits their endorsement of the resolution which commits states to take actions against violence and discrimination.
Participating in this year’s General Assembly provided an opportunity for SASOD to engage Caribbean foreign ministers and ambassadors to the OAS on issues hindering the advancement of human rights protection for LGBTI persons. Many of them were quite open to dialogue; in fact, the Foreign Minister of St. Lucia made it a priority to speak with civil society representatives from her country working for the protection of LGBTI persons there. The Foreign Minister of Belize approached our Caribbean contingent and engaged us in an hour-long conversation about the struggles of the region to recognize LGBTI citizens as equal and deserving of recognition and protection. In fact he included two other dignitaries from the Belizean delegation in the conversation to show that they are open to discussing the LGBTI issues. I was unable to engage the Guyanese delegation in any formal discussion. Guyana is pushing for Ambassador Bayney Karran to become OAS Assistant Secretary General when the post becomes vacant next year. But he is up against another Caribbean contender, Belize’s US Ambassador, Nestor Menez. LGBTI issues have become very prominent on the OAS agenda in the last seven years with annual resolutions on “Human Rights, Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity” being passed by the General Assembly since 2008. This year, Commissioner Tracy Robinson from Jamaica, who is also the Rapporteur on the Rights of LGBTI Persons, became the Chair of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. It would also be smart foreign policy for Guyana to be more open to dialogue on meaningful support – not just lip service – to LGBTI issues, both at home and at the OAS.
Today, political leaders of so-called independent states in the Caribbean continue to hold steadfast to some laws imposed upon us under colonialism. This contradiction begs several questions: Why are the minds of supposedly free people still being controlled by colonial ideology? Why are they so afraid to extend the fundamental principles that our foreparents fought so hard for to all our citizens? The time has come for all free men and women to release the shackles of mental slavery and to realize that as a region we will not develop fully if we keep excluding sections of our populations. The enjoyment of civil and political rights as well as economic, social and cultural rights should be extended to all Caribbean citizens, including sexual and gender minorities.
Guyanese President Ramotar also stated that he does not discriminate against persons based on their sexual orientation and gender identity. Other government ministers have also publicly expressed similar sentiments. However, the reason they are in office is to lead. They have an important role to play in creating, amending and repealing laws. Good, people-centred laws are created to protect citizens and promote equality. Why then is it so difficult to create laws that protect our LGBTI citizens? It is one thing to say “I am not homophobic” but it takes more than words to make this meaningful for LGBTI Guyanese. As the saying goes, talk is cheap.
As Guyana and the rest of the region begin to engage in post 2015 discussions as the way forward from the soon to be expired Millennium Development Goals in 2015, it should be noted that all talks about sustainable development will have to deal with how we include all citizens regardless of race, ethnicity, sex, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, socio-economic background, religion and other grounds. The 2014 OAS General Assembly on “Development with Social Inclusion” was clear that the region needs to adopt a rights-based approach to development. We cannot speak about eradicating poverty and promoting economic and social development if we continue to oppress segments of our population. By doing this we are demonstrating an unequal approach to poverty reduction and development. Moreover, in order to ensure the equal distribution of socio-economic development, we have to address causes of inequality, discrimination, violence and poverty. A good place to start is to address laws, policies and practices, which are discriminatory, and lead to the marginalization of our minority groups.
If we are free people capable of independent, rational thought, we would realize that holding on to oppressive laws and practices are counterproductive to our development. It is time for free people to emancipate our minds and reject all forms of oppression. This is what Haiti is doing by adopting the most inclusive human rights treaties, and ending institutional discrimination in law and policy.
http://www.stabroeknews.com/2014/features/in-the-diaspora/08/04/emancipating-free-haiti-shines-oas/

Auction To Benefit Haiti Project

Msgr. Andre Pierre visits with Dave and Cathy Voxland
in front of the Haiti auction display at St. George Catholic Church.
When a major earthquake hit Haiti in 2010, Coweta responded.
Several churches and organizations found ways to reach out to residents in the Caribbean nation. Members of St. George Catholic Church have been contributing toward ministry in Haiti since before the earthquake, and an upcoming auction will help those still struggling in the island nation.
The Project Haiti ministry at St. George’s is sponsoring a fundraiser – including auctions and raffles – on Friday. Activities will start at 7 p.m. at the church on Roscoe Road. The silent auction of items displayed on tables will close beginning at 9 p.m.
Tickets are $5 and include hors d'oeuvres and draft beer. The event is for adults aged 21 and over.
The Project Haiti ministry at St. George’s was established in 2008. “The project primarily funds Catholic parishes in northern Haiti, in LaBruyere and LaLomas,” said Jim Stagg, a member at St. George’s.
“For example, Project Haiti completed building a new school at the LaBruyere parish, among other construction. Project Haiti also provides funding to pay teachers at both locations, which currently enables the education of more than 3,000 students, including those who are not Catholic,” he explained.
While these parishes are about six hours’ travel by road from the earthquake center near Port-au-Prince, they were stressed to accommodate refugees from the disaster area, including workers originally from LaBruyere and LaLomas. Injured Haitians were also transported to the region.
“Some refugees were served by the medical clinic at the parish, which serves all people in this impoverished village. Project Haiti has now provided a potable water supply and solar electric power for the complex, including the medical center,” Stagg said.
In addition, medical equipment was purchased by the St. George Knights of Columbus Council 662i.
Monsignor Andre Pierre of Haiti visited Newnan in early July. Pierre studied at Hebrew University in Jerusalem on a scholarship and was later assigned to a project in Washington, D.C. for several years.
Pierre has spent most of his life in Haiti. He is former secretary of the Haitian Bishops Conference and president of the Catholic University of Notre Dame of Haiti based in Port-au-Prince.
He took part in several services at St. George’s and was invited to speak at an Atlanta medical school to resident doctors concerning potential cooperation with the School of Medicine at Notre Dame University.
“At the weekend Masses, Monsignor Pierre praised the massive effort mounted by countries, organizations and churches to aid the stricken Haitians after the disastrous earthquake,” Stagg said.
On the morning of the earthquake in Haiti, Pierre was called to a meeting with the archbishop and the vicar general of Port-au-Prince Diocese.
Just as he was to enter the building, Pierre was delayed for only a few minutes by someone who rushed up to wish him “Happy New Year” and asked for his blessing.
“Then, just as he entered the residence, the earthquake struck,” Stagg related. “The vicar general was killed awaiting him in the conference room, and Monsignor Pierre found himself buried in rubble, but able to dig himself out,” Stagg said.
Pierre told the congregation he had the thought that “God was not ready to see me yet.”
He immediately went to work – helping and directing recovery efforts.
As an educator, Pierre praised those who support increased educational opportunities for Haitians. The monsignor said he was particularly struck by a quotation from Ellis Arnall, Coweta native and onetime Georgia governor, “Education is the hope of the future. It is the salvation of our people.”
Thinking back to the earthquake, Pierre praised the rapid response of churches like St. George’s, which already had a Haitian presence.
For more information on the fundraiser, call 770-328-0498 or visit www.st-george-haiti-ministry.com.

http://www.times-herald.com/local/20140803SUNDAYhaiti-auction-fundraiser-st-george