13 August 2010

Haitian Situation

I had an interesting conversation the other day with some Haitian friends. I asked them what they thought about Wyclef Jean running for president. Their answers illustrated how my American media-fed perspective differed from that of the people with something at stake in Haiti.

When I first heard about Wyclef's plan I thought it was fun. I am a fan of his music, but it seems that Wyclef's musical background could be a serious detriment to his ability to govern.

According to my expatriate sources, Wyclef plans to give positions of responsibility to prominent members of the Haitian rap community. It makes Wyclef appear unserious at a time when Haiti is in dire need of serious solutions.

I've had trouble finding independent news on the issue, so some of what I have written may prove inaccurate. With dozens of candidates running, in a country where educated and qualified people have fled in droves, the likely outcome is not good for Haiti's recovery.

It's unlikely that we will get the kind of information on the elections that would provide a real view of what is happening there. Haiti continues to be dangerous, and the mass media has earned a reputation for gathering news from the hotel lobby.

We should pay attention. Haiti has security implications, but more important than that, there are millions of people who need help.


A.J. said...

I listened to an interview of him on NPR the other day. It was not very impressive and he seems to have a lot of past money issues. The only good thing I can say about it is that his candidacy has drawn attention to the election. Perhaps more viable candidates will have to "up there game" so to speak and this will end well for Haiti. Though, not many things have gone well for Haiti in its history, unfortunately.

Kira said...

very interesting

Jlowryjr said...

One of the people I spoke with was particularly frustrated. He doesn't feel that Haiti has ever been truly independent from more powerful nations, so they lack even the most basic institutions required to make the nation independently viable. His fellow Haitians were not as distressed, but still frustratedbwith their limited choices.