Submitted by Steven Kaszab
The historic violence Haitians are experiencing today can find its foundation in various groups trying to control essential commodities such as oil, gas, kerosene and diesel. When a national or economic crisis happens, those who control the means of energy and food sources control the population. Haiti has never been able to escape its exhaustion caused by continual natural and climatic disasters over the years. Unable to nationally and economically heal, Haiti had looked to the world for help, realising that assistance from outsiders has a cost. Haiti’s natural resources and production fall into that category.
The population reeled at the assassination of Haiti’s President about one year ago. There is no well-established government to name or rely upon. The Gangs of Haiti are many, allied to certain governmental and political parties, these gangs are fighting over gas stations, production facilities of anything energy focused, all in an effort to gain control and profit from Haiti’s on-going bad luck.
There are about 51 gangs in Haiti, some solely independent, others allied or controlled by various political identities all vying for regional and national political power. The days of Duvalier may have well returned.
Tyranny has a sound history here, and many Haitians seem to be willing to lose their democratic franchise in order to be able to live in a somewhat peaceful community. Haiti’s dependence upon the various energy sources placed their democracy in peril. The power grid collapses often, and most of the islands thermal generating plants rely upon imported fuel. Gangs have forced duties upon all items entering the island, even the fuel coming from charities and friendly nations. Food goes bad and is now scarce. Power outages have many effects upon the Haitian People. Factories, grocers, homes are shut down, food supplies are lost, the very security of the community is placed in jeopardy as the limited staff of police, emergency services are worn thin. The gangs rule the night, and their influence felt during the day.
The gangs declared what they want. The President of Haiti to resign, but He is not willing to do so. So, criminality, uncertainty and multiple violent acts are inflicted upon ordinary Haitians. All this while, Haitian Gangs sell fuel at $10.00 a litre, and the police are not able to express their authority without suffering and inflicting mass killings. Fuel has been the heart of this conflict even before the blockades began. Haitians struggle to live in a land that seems ready to expel them. Mass exodus from Haiti has begun and will not halt any time soon.