Haiti - Politic : Daniel Gérard Rouzier - Open letter to my compatriots
For a democratic system to work properly, it is essential that all citizens subject themselves to the will of the institutions that lead them; better yet, they must strengthen them and accept, without hesitation, the verdict that they deliver as long as that verdict is transparent and legal. For a democratic system to work properly, it is just as essential that the elected officials responsible for making laws abide by them without exception.
Our Lower House Representatives were duly elected to the Parliament by the people and, by voting against my ratification as Prime Minister, they fulfilled the role that their conscience imposed on them. Nothing, however, entitled them to violate my rights or, at the very least, to allow that they be violated by some of their peers with complete impunity.
Faced with a branch of government ever so complacent in arbitrariness and in lies, I take on the responsibility to correct the malicious and false statements that were unfortunately made by some of its members, even when the Parliamentary Commission in charge of analyzing my nomination already had all the information needed to contradict the slanderers and set the record straight and even when I made sure to hold, together with the President, a press conference on June 21st to present the complete facts. Allow me, in passing, to note that neither the congressman from the district where I was born and still live, nor the congressmen from the two districts where I am among the entrepreneurs who create the most jobs and who are the biggest taxpayers, nor the chambers of commerce that my businesses belong to, came to my defense.
Alone in the proverbial lion’s den, I must set the record straight:
I direct those members of Parliament who feel authorized to tarnish, in all impunity, the image of honest and upstanding citizens of our country to get in touch with the DGI in order to verify the authenticity of my documents and the truthfulness of my assertions.
For the sake of historical accuracy, I am attaching, to this letter, a copy of my latest tax return, DGI’s receipt for taxes paid in addition to those withheld from my salary by my company every month on behalf of DGI as well as the tax clearance certificate delivered by DGI. The same information is available for the past five years, from fiscal year 2005-2006 to fiscal year 2009-2010 as required by law.
I want to take this opportunity to thank President Martelly for having presented me to the Nation to become Prime Minister of my country. While I have never asked him to do so, he has already set the historical record straight by informing the Nation, more than once, that I did not look for this position, that I did not scheme, nor did I lobby him for this honor. Quite the contrary!
As a citizen, I had accepted to serve my country on behalf of all our fellow citizens who died as a result of the earthquake, of hurricanes, of cholera, those who died from poverty, those who died by drowning in high seas, those who died from armed violence, kidnappings and assassinations like Guiteau Toussaint not too long ago… All of them victims of our collective failure to take on our Republic’s triptych: Liberty, Equality and, above all, Fraternity.
It is specially with them in mind that I had agreed to go in front of the Parliament and in front of the Nation at a time when the Haitian people, faced with an endless series of political, social, economic, institutional, meteorological and seismic catastrophes, one more deadly than the other, let out a clear and powerful scream of rupture with the past and progress for the future when it elected Michel Joseph Martelly to the highest office in the land.
A population scorned, betrayed, despised by those who had promised hope, democracy and development, only to deliver unemployment, misery, beggary and insecurity;
A population who, for the past 50 years, has been faced with the gradual collapse of the State, the deliquescence of its institutions and the rule of mediocrity, corruption, violence and anarchy;
A population finally decimated by cataclysmic disasters as if Mother Nature wanted to join in the scramble for the spoils initiated by the flock’s guardians;
A population in anguish, weakened, disillusioned, traumatized, on its knees but never defeated, raised its head and dealt a resounding and peremptory “No” to the status quo and its supporters.
I had accepted to serve next to President Martelly because when Haiti, the First Free Nation of the Americas after having abolished slavery, the First Black Republic of the World, brought him to power, it also proclaimed its right to a new Haitian dream in a country reclaiming its sovereignty.
A new Haitian dream that wants all families to be able, by virtue of the fruit of their labor, to raise their children with dignity in a normalized society where the notions of inclusion, job creation, wealth distribution, solidarity, justice, accountability, transparency, order and discipline are no longer purely theoretical concepts, but a daily practice beginning at the very top, propagating itself throughout the executive branch toward civil service and reaching civil society by a sort of contagious percolation.
It is because I strongly believe in this dream that I had put aside my charitable activities, that I had resigned as Chairman of the boards of my companies, that I had agreed to sacrifice priceless family time to assume the responsibility to form the new government that would be in charge of building our country.
Various signals coming from the Parliament’s ranks and insisting on a different kind of politics steadfastly and uniquely engaged in the improvement of our compatriots’ quality of life had also convinced me that, together, we could have pulled off this remarkable feat and work to resolve the problems that we have collectively created.
When future generations will look back to the past, they will remember that 2010 was the year of all catastrophes. If, however, we finally get to work honestly, I am convinced that our descendants will be stunned by the contrast that 2011 will offer.
The year 2011 could indeed be the starting point of a period in time that will be as hard as it will be exhilarating. This brings to mind the words of Sir Winston Churchill when he became Prime Minister of England at a time when the country was threatened by Nazi Germany. He said this to the British people:
"I would say to the House, as I said to those who have joined the government: I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears and sweat. We have before us an ordeal of the most grievous kind. We have before us many, many long months of struggle and of suffering. You ask, what is our policy? I will say: It is to wage war, by sea, land and air, with all our might and with all the strength that God can give us; to wage war against a monstrous tyranny, never surpassed in the dark and lamentable catalogue of human crime. That is our policy. You ask, what is our aim? I can answer in one word: victory; victory at all costs, victory in spite of all terror, victory, however long and hard the road may be; for without victory, there is no survival."
If we treat extreme poverty and the throes of underdevelopment as a monstrous tyranny, we have to stand ready to wage war against them, and this war, President Martelly, the next Prime Minister, you and I simply cannot afford to lose it. The political strategy that I wanted to propose to the Nation was to wage war against the devastating consequences of the catastrophes created by nature and by man in our country during the past 50 years and to embrace wholeheartedly the change promoted by the President.
This change had to express itself first and foremost in the defense of the common good; this heritage that includes the existence of the goods necessary for the development of the Haitian citizen and the real possibility for all to have access to them. This common good requires the social welfare and the development of all the country’s children, all of them, without exclusion and without exclusivity; and it implies the peace, the stability and the security of a just order.
The common good is, in that sense, different from the general interest which, in a group, does not take into account each individual person and, consequently, because it only considers the general entity, may accept the necessary sacrifice of certain members of the group, usually the weakest ones, for the survival of the others.
The common good, as I see it, will need the commitment and involvement of all members of society; no one will be exempt from participating, according to his ability, in order to reach and develop it; and no one will be left behind. Fok tout moun lité, fok tout moun travay e fok tout moun jwenn !
To protect the common good, the next government must commit to match the interests of all sectors with the requirements of justice and to use all the power at its disposal to do so.
It’s in the name of that quest for the common good for all my fellow citizens that I had accepted to serve next to President Martelly with my faith. This faith that raises mountains, this faith that makes me look for Christ in the other, this faith that gets me to believe that our Good God has a plan of love and excellence for Haiti, that I must get involved and that I will not die before seeing change, real change, in Haiti.
These last two months, I heard all kinds of voices, some more striking than others, standing against the fact that I assume my Christian faith publicly and without reserve.
Following the vote of the Members of the Lower House, a journalist, for whom I have the greatest respect, wrote the following: “Mr. Rouzier, in his prayers and his faith, probably forgot that God does not vote in the Senate or the Lower House.” I will simply answer him that our Good God voted and that, in His great love for me, he probably spared me a more painful fate.
I had accepted to serve my country and I saw in this nomination a calling, a vocation, one more opportunity to serve Christ and to touch Him every day in:
For all these reasons, I will keep my eyes riveted on Christ and I will keep on serving. I only have one life to live and I have to take advantage of all the opportunities that are given to me to make it count for something. My life and my faith have been made up so far of effort and perseverance in adversity, more than they have been made up of dogma and theology. Our Good God has planted a dream of love and excellence for all in my heart and He has allowed me to understand that to do my best is normal and that to go beyond my abilities is a challenge. Where my abilities end, my faith begins. A strong faith sees the invisible, believes the incredible and receives the impossible.
If you and I, together, join our efforts and wage battle for a prosperous Haiti, with all the talent, all the resources that God has given to us, then and only then will the future generations see 2011 as the launch of the Renaissance.
May our Good God bless Haiti, may He bless the President, may He bless the Parliament and may He bless us all with our families, always.
Daniel Gérard ROUZIER
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