Haitian Drama

For Haitians, misfortune does not cease. Some ills are caused by the violence of nature; others by the chronic poverty that plagues most families; others — like the one right now — by the lack of solidarity with those who desire to seek a life that is, at least, more humane.

The news about earthquakes, murders or the thousands of crimes committed by the heirs of the Tonton Macoute* always fade quickly in the international media. The events are dramatic, and the most recent episode by now is also a scandal. The images of policemen on horseback, wielding rifles and rounding up refugees make us shiver.

They photos were taken in Texas, the rich American state that continues to display a lone star on its flag, where money flows and work abounds, but not the feeling of solidarity. The current Republican governor is not known for his empathy.

Faced with the avalanche of Haitian refugees trying to escape their disgraceful situation, the orders have been blunt: closing the border with Mexico and the merciless persecution of those who manage to sneak in. The rights of refugees, observed rigorously in democratic countries, are not observed at the border.

Several thousands have already been deported, and the new American ambassador in Port-au-Prince, Daniel Foote, resigned in shame. The immigrants were treated like animals, according to the newspapers. No one listened to them nor tried to. Human rights organizations have complained in vain. Hope in the Biden administration is beginning to fade. One could say it’s not any better than it was with Donald Trump.

*Editor’s Note: The Tonton Macoute were a special operations unit within the Haitian paramilitary created by the Haitian dictator known as “Papa Doc” Duvalier.

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