NO ADVERTISING, GOVERNMENT OR CORPORATE FUNDING
DONATE TODAY



  February 5, 2010

Haitians will defend their sovereignty Pt.4


Ronald Charles: Three critical things that must be done to solve the problems of Haiti's future
Members don't see ads. If you are a member, and you're seeing this appeal, click here
   

Audio

Share to Facebook Share to Twitter



Understanding info is a powerful thing. Thank you to all of your reporters for making a significant difference. - Nancy SmithEaken
Log in and tell us why you support TRNN


biography

Ronald Charles is a Ph.D. student in Biblical Studies at the Department of Relgion, University of Toronto. He is a poet and a violinist. And he was lecturer at Christianville University College in Haiti, where he translated parts of the Bible into Haitian Creole.



transcript

Haitians will defend their sovereignty Pt.4PAUL JAY, SENIOR EDITOR, TRNN: Welcome to The Real News Network. I'm Paul Jay. Joining me again is Ronald Charles. He studies religion at the Department of religion at the University of Toronto. Thanks for joining me.

RONALD CHARLES, DEPT. OF RELIGION, UNIV. OF TORONTO: Thank you.

JAY: So we've been talking about Haiti and your family, and the sort of politics of Haiti, to some extent. If you look ahead, if you were going to judge whether there's a set of policies or institutions coming into being that look positive for the Haitian people's interest, what would it look like? What would those policies look like?

CHARLES: I think of two or three things. One, education. The education needs to be done. It's to start with Haitian Creole. And this is a big thing, because the French system that we had, as I told you at the beginning, was for the elite. We have a population—we all speak Creole, so we should start with what we have.

JAY: And, in fact, it's interesting. One of the things you did or are still working on is translating the Bible into Creole.

CHARLES: Yes.

JAY: And it's kind of amazing that it hasn't already been done 15 times.

CHARLES: Well, it's been done, but what I did, I was doing a revision of the Pentateuch, the first five books of the Bible. So this needs to be done. And really invest in education of the children and of the universities, and education that is applicable to Haiti. That's one. The second thing, I remember in the '80s we used to eat Haitian rice. We need to have chicken, our own good chicken. And then what happened? Well, the Miami rice came, and then all the chicken from the outside. Well, they don't taste the same, according to me. But at the end of the '90s, we could no longer produce rice, and the chicken we were eating were mostly from outside. So we really need to invest in agriculture. And three, need to invest in reforestation of the country. Haiti, even before the earthquake, was a disaster, an ecological disaster. People, they used to cut trees to make charcoal. But, again, it's not because they are stupid, but what else could they have done? So there should have a plan so that the people knows what to do, alternative ways of doing things, of having energy, so that they could plant and rebuild the environment of the country. And also the justice system. So everything needs to be put in place. A new generation, a new way of thinking.

JAY: Now, I think it's important for people that haven't followed what's going on in Haiti is that it's a very politicized people. These are people that get engaged in what happens. There's many political parties. It's a very vigorous—sometimes violent, but a very vigorous political environment. So how is this to be expressed now, do you think, post-earthquake?

CHARLES: Well, I think this needs to continue, and we need to let the people continue to express themselves, because what I find interesting is many times the people want something, but the outsiders, they want another thing for the people. And Haitians, they know what they want. So we'll need to let the people have their own voices, and say, "What do you want? We want to give you the shoes, but maybe that's not what you want." Let the Haitians decide for themselves.

JAY: I mean, now that the UN mission led by Brazil, the aid mission mostly dominated by the US, has kind of taken over the country, it's going to kind of be in their hands where political power ends up. Does it go back to the six families that we talked about in the earlier segment? Or is there any institution that's created that's actually democratic? I suppose the people are going to have something to say about this.

CHARLES: Well, they will have something to say, and I'm really hoping that the big powers and the government will let the people express their own concerns, because it is one thing to have your big thing in mind, but it's another thing when the people on the ground are asking. And as you said earlier, Haitians, they are really, really politically engaged, from the beginning until now, and they want to continue to express themselves and say there are projects that are ours, but there are others that we do not want, we do not need. I've heard about sweatshops. I've heard about transforming Haiti into a tourist area. Is that what the Haitians want or need? I would not think so, or I would question that. Sweatshops? Haitians, they need work. They can work. Haitians are not lazy. But they want to be able to have certain dignity. They don't want the country to become just another resort, another destination for tourists to come to enjoy themselves, when the population itself does not have any say, when the population itself is still under the boots of the elite and of the foreign powers.

JAY: So your message to all these millions of donors is don't just give money; learn about what's going on in Haiti, and you can advocate for policies.

CHARLES: Exactly. Exactly. Be very careful, be very strategic, and demand accountability from the government, from the NGOs, so that we can actually see the people coming from where they are now, after the earthquake, to a better Haiti.

JAY: Thanks for joining us.

CHARLES: Thank you.

JAY: Thank you for joining us on The Real News Network.

DISCLAIMER:

Please note that TRNN transcripts are typed from a recording of the program; The Real News Network cannot guarantee complete accuracy.


more info



Comments

Our automatic spam filter blocks comments with multiple links and multiple users using the same IP address. Please make thoughtful comments with minimal links using only one user name. If you think your comment has been mistakenly removed please email us at contact@therealnews.com

latest stories

'The Law Has Always Been in the Favor of Law Enforcement'
Officer Edward Nero Found Not Guilty of All Charges Over Death of Freddie Gray
Unions and the Sanders/Clinton Split
Bernie Sanders and the Widening Political Spectrum
Austria Narrowly Elects Former Green Party Leader as President, Avoids Far-Right Candidate
By Ignoring Fossil Fuel Extraction, the Paris Agreement is Doomed to Failure
The Occupation of the American Mind - RAI with Pink Floyd's Roger Waters (3/3)
Erdogan Targeting the 59 Pro-Kurdish HDP Parliamentarians with 445 Police Investigations
Climate Change-Fueled Droughts Pushing Africa to the Brink
The Financial Invasion of Greece
The Occupation of the American Mind - RAI with Pink Floyd's Roger Waters (2/3)
Judge to Hand Down First Verdict in Freddie Gray Case on Monday
Move to Amend and the Fight to Remove Corporate Money From U.S. Elections
Baltimore Activists Defend Tubman House Against Threats of Demolition
The Occupation of the American Mind - RAI with Pink Floyd's Roger Waters (1/3)
Ultra-Nationalist Avigdor Lieberman Accepts Post as Defense Minister of Israel
Sanders and Class Struggle in the Democratic Party
Baltimore Public Defender: Questionable Arrests Still Clog the Court System
Wilkerson on Heightened Tensions in the South China Sea
The Real News of the Day - May 19, 2016
How One Arrest Could Change the Culture of Policing in Baltimore
#FreddieGray Case Spurs Activism and Action in Baltimore Classrooms
Successful Swiss Addiction Treatment Program Ignored by U.S. Congress
Washington, D.C. Echoes a Growing Call to #KeepItInTheGround
Col. Wilkerson: All War Games Between China and US Lead to Nuclear Attacks
The Real News of the Day - May 18, 2016
Republicans Would Rather Lose the 2016 Election than Win with Donald Trump
Rage, Rebellion, Revolution: The Left Forum 2016
How Far Will the Sanders Insurgency Go?
The Real News of the Day - May 17

TheRealNewsNetwork.com, RealNewsNetwork.com, The Real News Network, Real News Network, The Real News, Real News, Real News For Real People, IWT are trademarks and service marks of Independent World Television inc. "The Real News" is the flagship show of IWT and The Real News Network.

All original content on this site is copyright of The Real News Network. Click here for more

Problems with this site? Please let us know

Linux VPS Hosting by Star Dot Hosting