Brothers and Sisters,
Haitians who are living in Haiti and everywhere around the world.
For a long time, the scale of history had been tipped on one side.
A certain group of people of the earth, succeeded in passing around the idea that some people were not people, and they created a system to make a category of people live worst than animals,
without any rights. That it is what slavery was. That system was so well organized that it permitted that group to chained people in their brain and in their person. So they were not free either in their mind, nor in their movement. That system lasted for several hundred years.
Here, a day like today in the year of 1804, where were are, on this Place of Arms, in the city of Gonaives, our ancestors, a number of brave men and women, corrected the scale. They founded Haiti. They said: Liberty belongs to all people, Liberty belongs to all race. Which means all people are all equals.
The first thing our ancestors did, was to break the chains in their mind. They understood that they were people like every other people, who can think and reflect. They refused the conditions that slavery imposed on them. Everything then became possible, they organized themselves to fight and chase out of the country, the mightiest army that existed on earth at the time. They all believed, that there is nothing that is impossible for those who believe that it is possible.
That story, the history of Haiti shows us clearly that when a people has an idea and it engages itself to fight for it, there is no sacrifice that it won’t make to realize it, there is nothing that could stop it.
The idea of economic independence, the idea of democracy, the idea of living along, the idea of unity makes strength, the idea to modernize the agriculture so the soil of Haiti can produce food to put on the plates of Its children, the idea to have schools in all the Communal Sections, the idea of reforestation to revive all the land of the country, the idea for every Haitian to live in his country in dignity, the idea for him to have electricity in his house, the idea for him to have water running out of the faucets in his house, the idea to have water to water the garden, the idea to have internet to connect to the entire world, that is when the dream of Papa Dessalines would come to be realized in their lives. It is when we ameliorate the legacy so when can pass it on to the children in good conditions, that is when we will be able to say that the country is truly independent.
The Haitian People,
Brothers and Sisters,
Liberty, independence, was the dreams of our forefathers, it surely was that (dream) which gave them strength to lead the fight. They made all kind of sacrifices, so we can be here today. They accepted to fight, to make the world what it is today.
-It was that wish which made Capois La Mort said: “Forward! Forward!” when his horse fell under the bullets because he knew that death would not be victorious over the project he had brought forth;
-That is why Haiti responded present wherever they called on her, to help other people obtain their liberty, even in Europe;
-That is what made Christophe built a monument which has been the pride of the Haitian people and that impressed the world;
-That is what made our ancestors built more than 18 fortresses around the country so they could defend the territory against all occupying slavers who wanted to recolonized this little piece of land with all they might;
-Thanks to the battle of our ancestors, the Declaration of Men of the Citizens became a reality for all people living on the blessed earth.
Our ancestor lifted a huge challenge. They put their heads together, they fought against slavery, they fought against colonisation. Thanks to their sacrifices and courage Haiti raise the flag of emancipation in the world, the right for all people to live like people, the right for people to dispose of themselves as they wish, in respect, order and peace.
What have we done with this legacy?
Let’s reflect, let’s meditate on the founding words: “ Liberty independence, is a legacy that we must protect, that we must defend. On the first shot of canon, all brave women and men, come together, take the arms to fight for the nation.” Unity, courage, solidarity, one look out on one another, protect one another, that is what the ancestors had preached us, when they have put in our hands this legacy, Haiti, the mother, symbol of liberty, gift of humanity.
What have we done with this legacy?
That same country which all nations on earth respected and honored, the First Black Republic Free and Independent finds itself today in a situation where its children have lost confidence in themselves, they are fleeing anywhere in search of a better life. What do we think has caused this?
From 1804 to today, 214 years later, time has come, time has gone. We must question ourselves, asking what have we done with the ancestors’ legacy, what have we done with the country, what have we decided to do with it. Are we conscious of where we are and where we want to go?
The problem the ancestors had was that they didn’t recognized them as people. They organized themselves, they lifted the challenge. Have we done our duty?
What have we done with this legacy?
Brave women and men, children of 1804 cannot be afraid of the truth, should not be afraid of the truth.
I say: In all truth I swear!
-The nation cannot remain where it has find itself,;
-Where we are does not resemble us, that is not our place. Where we are, that is not what Louverture, Dessalines, Christophe, Petion, Cappoix La Mort, Gabart, Macadieu wanted for the country! That is not why they sacrificed themselves;
-The dream has been in deadlock for too long; infighting, jealousy.
-Lives here have been sleeping in the crossroads on danger for to long. Misery, corruption, insecurity, have been lingering for too long in the society. The enemy today is ourselves, it is among ourselves, it is inside our heart. The country is weak because often we do not want to respect the rules of the games.
The legacy is under threat!
What have decided to do with the country? Are we ready to meet the new challenges? Are we determined to make our country, the economy of our country emerged? Are we conscious, have we analyzed mistakes, our faults that have conduct the country on the wrong path? Are we conscious that we must change course, put a final dot in the bad political and public choices? Do we understand that Haiti is a collective gift, a gift we must make prosper so we can transmit to our children and our grandchildren.
Today, 214 years later, it is time we give the best response to these questions, it is time for each single Haitian, -because we are all concerned- participate in this grand national Konbit for the growth and the development of the country. The Unity that made Strength in 1804 in the fight against slavery and colonisation, we must revive it to fight the battle against everything that has blocked us on the path to development, to permit democracy to flourish for real. That is when all citizens, wherever they may live in the country, have the same rights and understand that they too have rights. The system which has plunged us throughout history in exclusion, in corruption, in impunity, in ill fate, the system which is generating misery, exploitation and underdevelopment, it is over.
The Haitian people, you did your duty, you put on foot a democracy, a democratic constitution. You trusted me in the 2016 elections, you gave me a five-year mandate to work for you, for me to change your living conditions. You voted me, you voted my program, I am going ahead, I am working to satisfy your needs in the social, political, economical and cultural domains.
I am going ahead, I am not going back, constitutional order, principle and constitutional mechanism ask for me, to make the mother law of the country, assures the good functioning of the Sate’s institutions.
The people did not vote a citizens for President to serve his personal interest or that of small group of people. I want everyone to understand, that today there is a will in the head of the Haitian State, to work for the thing of the Republic of Port-au-Prince to end! Port-au-Prince counts, the rest of the country counts also. Efforts are being made in the four corners of the country to avoid one sided development, for everyone can live in dignity in their home, to find good schools for their children, to have work, for us to valorized people’s assets around the country.
I want all sectors to understand, the base of democracy is political pluralism, it is dialogue, it is consultation.
I want everyone to understands, democracy under my governance will guarantee the tree balances of power. One will not walk on another’s foot. A durable democracy means a road to peace, order to satisfy the priorities of the population and create condition for growth and development.
Brothers and Sisters!
It is determination, it is conviction, it is honor and respect for people that made 1804. We have learned the lesson. We are ready to build a durable democracy, we are ready for institutional measures, political measures that go in the direction of democratic consolidation. That is how were are working to protect our environment, increase and diversify national production, fight, fight without measure against corruption, reduce social inequality. My government is working for Haiti in 2030, to enter into an economic and social emergence.
In this idea, in this objective, my government has launched the Caravane of Change. The Caravane is a working engine, it is gathering, it is a message, which invites you all, to put together, relaunch agriculture, working for the rule of law, a progressive economy, a stable society.
The big ambition of the Caravan of Change, is to put together the soil, the sun, the water men and women to ameliorate the living conditions of the population in all communes and departments.
The Caravan of Change is a dialogue between brothers and sisters here and in the diaspora for Haiti to produce wealth, create work, mobilized the ways and competence to lift the challenges on the road to development. The Caravan is a motor, a collective momentum to rally all sector, all people of good will, all consequent Haitians in the fight for another Haiti without exclusion, without favoritism.
It is that same conviction, the same care to consolidate our institutions, to assure stability, respect for our constitution, which brought me to remobilized Haiti’s Army. It will help in development projects, provide security and technical support. The army will serve the country, it will retake the tradition and civic spirit, which made unity through strength. Service in the army, service in the police, is the work to supervise the population, protect it, look out for its well being and its live.
The road, the ancestors have traced it, they opened the road for us, they gave the key to growth and development: The value of unity, value of courage, the value of justice, the value of generosity, value of solidarity. What we have amassed in moments of division, the time has come for us to put them aside. The time has come for us to say yes to needs the people is asking for. The time has come to create conditions for us to live together, to put in valor the legacy the ancestors gave us. To change the conditions of lives in Haiti, to improve the lives of the people there must be a strong and responsible state, a competent and modern public administration, we must elaborate public politic that favorites the creation of conditions for investments, favorites growth and development.
Sisters and Brothers,
It has been 214 years, since the ancestors have put in our hands the responsibilities of a country, It has been 214 years, the symbol of liberty and emancipation of humanity in our hands. The burden is heavy, the challenges are many. But for a people, for a leader who understand and who is faithful to the teachings of the ancestors, to the universality of the 1804, there is no obstacles that can stop us on the road to development and stability. In this spirit, I am telling you once more, it is a duty for us all together to renew the oath which permitted our ancestors to founded this nation: Unity Makes Strength. Unity Makes Strength for growth and development, Unity Makes Strength to guarantee political and social stability, Unity Makes Strength to assure political pluralism, Unity Makes Strength to build a durable democracy, in order, peace and fraternity.
Ladies and gentlemen
What can bring us together is not only our real or imagined past, nor a vague idea that we are one people and that we live in the same country. What will bring us together now is what we seek together, what we want to do together. That's what we believe together. It is to this task that the ancestors invite us today to give new meaning to their sacrifice, to revalorize the legacy they have bequeathed us and which we must transmit to our children and our grandchildren in good conditions. It is to build this superior belief that will cement society, to strengthen it that we launch the sectoral General States of the Nation after the consultations of all the sectors of the national life during the last three months. Thanks to these meetings, we will collect the testimonies, we will find the critical path that will allow us to arrive at the will to go together. To go together, for a society, is to learn to self-limit to give oneself the means to contain the immoderation, the destructive impulses that boil in the unconscious of all human community.
To make the route together is to admit that a common law is necessary, it is to agree that one can not do anything. Only a shared belief can contain the populist excesses, demagogic, tyrannical, whether they come from outside or from within.
Because, it is clear, as the last three decades made us have the bitter experience, not to impose limits, to reject or to want to free oneself from any tradition, it is to be in the void, it is simply to fall apart.
The time of the break has arrived. Let us be all the worthy girls and sons of 1804 and commit ourselves, inspired and educated by the courage, the vision and the wisdom of the Ancestors to make the sacrifices that it takes in order to contribute to the sustainable development of the Homeland and to the restoration of Haitian citizenship.
May the tutelary GOD of the Nation accompany and guide us, may he cover us with his wisdom to carry out the great work of national recovery.
Happy Independence Day to all,
Happy New Year 2018
Thank you !!
Translated from Creole and French to english by hougansydney.com © 2018. All rights reserved.
In : National