GINLE SE AK PM LAMOTHE RICHARD MORSE GEN KEK ATOME KROCHIS, 2 BOURIK PA RANNI NAN MENM PATIRAJ
SITOU RICHARD PRAN TET LI KOM GRAN MANITOU, PAPA LOKO, MET SIMITIE FAISEURS DE PRESIDENTS (VOIR RPOTAJ JAFIK) TANDIS KE LOLO GAGOTTE KONEN KONBE KOB LI TE METE DEYOR NAN KANPAY SWEET MIMI...
Richard Morse respond to the Haitian PM on Insecurity
Morse: Travel Warnings and the PM
It was interesting to read a recent statement from Haiti's current Prime
Minister in reaction to the latest US State Department travel warning:
"Haiti is one of the safest destinations; not just in the Caribbean but
throughout the world".
I'm in the tourism/hotel business right here in Haiti. I have been since
1986 when I first started working at the Hotel Oloffson. The current Prime
Minister got his facts and figures about the safety of traveling to Haiti from
CNBC-USA. Personally, I don't go to International news agencies to get my facts and
figures on travel to and within Haiti. I have my own eyes and ears.
I believe that the real reason an institution such as the US State
Department can have concerns over US citizens visiting Haiti is because Haiti is so
volatile. It's not the number of violent crimes or violent deaths or
kidnappings that are the real cause of instability in Haiti. It's the
unpredictability. Just today, Jan. 9, as I read the statement from Prime
Minister Lamothe telling me how safe Haiti is, thousands of people took to
the streets to protest judicial hearings against former president Aristide.
Traffic was blocked up and some of my employees were hours late coming to work.
Some of my band members couldn't get to rehearsal. Sometimes these demonstrations
are peaceful and sometimes they explode into rock throwing/window breaking
extravaganzas. Sometimes people get hurt, shot, tear gassed, etc.
*A couple weeks ago students at the State University were upset and they
set up flaming barricades and pummeled passing cars with rocks. The police were
unable to do anything.
*A few months ago the Industrial class was handing out money to sponsor
demonstrators because they were upset at being targeted by the government
*One opposition Senator was putting thousands of people in the street up
in Cap Haitian hoping to create enough momentum to topple the government!!!
*The whole town of Jacmel took to the streets to protest a high profile
*Belair and lower Delmas have recently erupted with gang violence.
This isn't how one attracts tourists.
As a hotelier in Haiti, I never do long term advertising in foreign
countries. I can't afford to. I never know when things are going to explode or
degenerate. I had security issues at my hotel 6 or 8 months back and no one in the
government would respond. No one in the government seemed interested
enough to respond to my requests for assistance.
The first people to leave tent cities after the earthquake didn't leave
because of support from the Haitian government, an NGO, or the European
The first people to leave tent cities left because they had jobs and could
afford to leave their tent life on their own.
Every time some grass roots organization or group of students tells me
they want to take their grievances to the street, I tell them, "You're chasing
jobs and tourists away, and we need jobs more than anything!". All this "street
justice" hurts us more than helps us. Why is a Haitian senator taking his
grievances to the street when he has a parliament to work within? It makes
The last thing the Prime Minister should want is for an important tourist
delegation to come to town and have the VIP cars pummeled with the rocks
of angry students. Had a bus full of tourists been coming down Tabarre as the
demonstrators were heading up, it could have provoked an international
incident.. Don't mislead people. We're not there yet. We're working to
improve Haiti's situation, but we're not there yet. Take these State Department
warnings as helpful reminders of what you have yet to get done and stop
looking to CNBC for statistics which are a bit out of context. Most of us want
things to improve in Haiti, that's right, most of us. Most of us want tourists;
but don't try and fool people into coming.Take things step by step..Don't be
Port au Prince, Haiti