Jovenel Moïse Tour in Gonaïves Proves Politics of Hunger Effectiveness
Heavily embattled, President Jovenel Moïse, went to the opposition stronghold of the City of Independence on Saturday night where it appears from limited camera angles that he was met by adoring supporters. To the informed observer, it appears not much more than the politics of hunger at work.
There is a theory about Haiti that has circulated since the early 90s. It is proven over and over again and was again demonstrated its effectiveness over the weeked. The theory states that Haitians are kept in a constant crisis of hunger and inability to feed themselves not just for the economic ends of U.S. and Dominican exporters, which of course have high interest, but more so because of the political ends the critical status provides.
For example, highly unpopular candidates, with millions of dollars of campaign funds and "humanitarian aid" from interest groups at their disposal - interest groups and candidate who espouse policies and positions that will not serve the masses but a privileged few and international bodies - can appear to have popular support, with turnout at rallies that dwarf those of candidates fighting for more socio-economic opportunities for those same masses, simply because these dubious candidates can offer a hot plate of food to everyone who attends their rally.
In another case in point, in 2014, former President Michel Martelly, with hundreds of thousands of bags of rice donated to his embattled government, distributed to deputies allied with his party but not those who were not. Already bad that lawmakers are distributing food aid, but even worse was the politicization of these foods donated by the World Food Programme.
It should not be ignored that days prior to Moïse's appearance in Gonaïves, Japan Ambassador to Haiti, Mitsuaki Mizuno, gave the administration and resigning-government a $3.6 million [USD] grant to purchase rice through the highly politicized Office of Monetization of Aid Programs and Development (BMPAD).
Furthermore and more pointed, On December 12, less than a week before Jovenel's appearance in Gonaïves, the Artibonite department, where Gonaïves is its capital, had its "community restaurants" resupplied, after two years, with food. It was with the stated "aim of reducing food and nutritional insecurity" the government and its contributors, not to say enablers, corrupters and bribers, said.
"Community restaurants" are an on-and-off-again program that started under the previous Tet Kale administration of Michel Martelly. It consists of more than 100 small single-room huts across the nation where hot plates can be purchased at significantly reduced prices, like 5 U.S. cents (perhaps 50 cents today) or for no cost at all. The politics of hunger in Haiti present a very complex problem that is not short of international corruption and bribery of the Haitian people's government officials.
Notwithstanding, still some 40-plus political activists were needed to be arrested in Gonaïves since the start of December. 23 of those currently imprisoned are actual organizers for standing political parties.