Tuesday, July 24, 2007

The Arc of Justice

The news coming out of Haiti just keeps getting better. The DEA has started really arresting some of the biggest drug lords - although Guy Phillipe, who lead the "rebellion" or the "coup" against Aristide,escaped capture. Perhaps not for long.

The Prime Minister of Canada, which after the US is the biggest donor of aid to Haiti, visited the country and actually walked through Cite Soleil. A few years ago, the UN couldn't even get food aid into Cite Soleil.

There seems to be a real night life going on at the porch of the Olaffsen Hotel.

As if it were not all just too much good news, there has been an announcement by a mining company that they have discovered gold in the hills. Gold in the hills of Haiti - just imagine that.

And everyone has nothing but good things so say about President Preval. Except for a vociferous right wing group in the Diaspora who seem to talk a lot but not do very much. And a small group who simply cannot forget Aristide, no matter how much everyone wishes they would. Reports are that Preval is honest and sincere. He is also the first Haitian president ever to retire from his last term as president in his own country.

So now we will have to start a series of "simplicity" training programs for those Americans who want to "downsize". A true sort of eco-tourism. Learning how to live without electricity and thus refrigeration, and no running water - that is going to be a valuable life skill.

On this side of the island, there was a general strike last week that would have made Gandhi proud. True, one person died, but most of the entire country of 8 million people were simply, quietly, staying home. I drove over 5 hours from the border to the capital of Santo Domingo, passing through town after town with shuttered shops, closed banks. Even the colmados were closed. Not even a public domino game in sight. All to protest the rising cost of food, the increase in taxes insisted on by the IMF. Just a very loud and very quiet "Basta YA"

Oddly, although Europe seems to be flooding and burning up, here in the tropics, the weather is just about normal. Which is hot - but more like 90 and not 120 - and wet now in the rainy season.

Makes me believe that the arc of time does bend toward justice.

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