A few dozen Montreal Haitians gathered on Monday afternoon at the foot of the Haitian consulate in Montreal. It was time for solidarity and moral support for the community still reeling from the death of their president.
“There is no one crying the death of Jovenel Moïse. He was someone who was not particularly liked, ”explains the organizer of the rally and activist, Marie Dimanche. “But, the way he died – at first we don’t really know who or why he was killed, it’s still nebulous – it’s quite worrying. ”
What also worries many Haitians here is the “institutional vacuum” that is rooted in the pearl of the West Indies. “There is no longer a deputy, there is only a third of the senate which is still there, there is no longer a president, the judge of the Court of Cassation has been dead for a year …”, lists Ms. Dimanche . Indeed, the late president has not organized elections since he came to power in 2017. The mandates of Haitian parliamentarians have expired without their successors being appointed and the government has not deigned to propose new ones either. judges to replace members of the Superior Council of the Judiciary.
If I were there, I would have died already.
This absence of government thus plunges the country into a situation of unprecedented violence. “I was born in Haiti, I have spent my whole life in Haiti,” testifies Jean-Alex Joseph, met during the rally. “I’ve been here for two and a half years. I have never known this insecure situation there. This is really new. Even in 2004 [lors du coup d’État contre le président Jean-Bertrand Aristide], it was not like that. There is serious crime with heavy artillery. ”
Armed gangs assault and kidnap indiscriminately, all over the country, he says. “If I were there, I would be dead already. ”
Jean-Alex Joseph fears, like many others, for the safety of his family back in Haiti. “Sometimes I talk to someone in the morning and in the evening the person tells me that my uncle just kidnapped. We just picked up a friend. We just picked up people with whom I was at school. That’s it every day. ”
And it took the death of the leader of the state for the attention of the countries of the world to return to his country, he laments. “Two weeks before the president’s death, there are about fifteen people who were exterminated with grapeshot in a neighborhood. ”
A worried … and divided community
Surrounded by a two-tone flag, Philippe Fils-Aimé speaks in front of the small crowd and the few journalists. “We are very close to a major humanitarian disaster. There are 4 million Haitians who do not eat more than once a day. And go see what they eat. Currently in Haiti, most of the people who can are building boats to go to sea. ”
Some members of the diaspora then take the loudspeaker to denounce international interference in this country of 11 million inhabitants.
« Justin trudeau should dissociate itself from the US position on Haiti and therefore, […] to take a different position and to respect the sovereignty of the Haitians. We must stop meddling in Haitian politics. It would be the most respectful thing to do, ”summarizes Marie Dimanche. She takes for example the training of Haitian police officers by Canada since 2007. “The Canadian taxpayers pay a lot for this and this police is a bunch of criminals. Shouldn’t Canada review its involvement at this level? She invites the diaspora here and its allies to use their political weight to change the Canadian diplomatic position.
This position seemed shared among the others present. However, disagreements arise around the legacy of the last president of Haiti.
“It is not for nothing that this man died,” says Emerson Pierre-Louis, in Quebec for decades. “He was trying to fight something bigger than himself, but he didn’t have the support to deal with it all. He wasn’t sitting at his desk doing nothing. ”
The motto of Haiti, “Union is strength”, struggles to take shape for all kinds of reasons, conjecture for his part Jean-Alex Joseph. “This political ardor that we need to come together and fight, we cannot have it. It’s difficult, because people are tired. There is despair. We fight every day to survive and find something to send to our families. And then he has a depoliticization. It becomes difficult to bring together a critical mass of people to be able to simply say that we are there. The uncertainty about the future of Haiti, it is indeed there.
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