Washington, United Kingdom (PressExposure) March 09, 2011 -- Much attention has been concentrated on the current terrible tremor in Haiti. While this is clearly an interesting story, there's another one that hasn't been as widely publicized but that's interesting also and it's a rather more positive one. Haiti has the best political climate that it has had since the passing of its founder Toussant L'Overture. And this climate appears capable of enduring. Long gone are the days of the Duvalier monsters and their Ton-Ton-Makoutes.
Gone are the savage military dictatorships. Haiti has had 2 elected govts since the deposal of army tyrant Raul Cedras. And the present one is much better than the one which predated it. Jean-Bertrand Aristide was Haiti's democracy leader.
He however was a less than satisfactory director, and he showed the world one of the things which a leader should not do : Disband the military. So that when a grouping of drug mafia got a hold of enormous guns, Aristide was out of power. To their credit, and to the advantage of Haiti [http://www.haititravels.org/attractions/], these mafia exercised better conscience than one exercised by similar groups in Liberia, Somalia and Sierra Leone and conceded the power to the head of Haiti's Supreme Court. He then held an election in which the current president Rene Preval ran and overcame. That Haiti has had 2 democratic presidencies back to back, may appear little potatoes ; but consider the context.
The country has been blighted by one ruinous regime after another ever since the demise of its great autonomy leader Toussant L'Overture. The democracy there's frail, nevertheless it is growing. And that's something deserving of respect.
The political improvement in Haiti has been part of a wider trend in South America. Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Mexico and numerous smaller nations have all thrown off corrupt and despotic tactics and had functional if defective democracy which has endured thru major tests. There's simply no comparison between the Christina Kirchner government of Argentina and its Galtieri dictatorship ; the Michelle Bachelet govt. of Chile and Pinochet ; the Cardoso and Lula governments of Brazil and its army dictatorships of 1960s and 1970s ; the Fox govt of Mexico and the pre-Salinas rulers of PRI. The area is getting better politically, and maybe the most important reason is that it's no longer a pawn of the Cold War interests. No longer being the pawn of the Cold War interests, the area has been left alone enough to find its path, which it would appear to be doing very well.
When the people of Port Au Prince dig their way out of the ruins of the tremor, they're going to find a better political climate in which to reconstruct than they have seen since early 19th century. In the prevailing political environment, the Haitian folks have a genuine chance to make a better future for themselves and their kids. In a real way, the Haiti that's reconstructed can be better than Haiti which has been wrecked. And that may be a great clean slate for the people of this disaster-ravaged country.