Policy Memo to Jovenel Moiseo

To: President Jovenel Moise
From: Marc-Ansy Laguerre
Subject: Vote at the OAS regarding Venezuela’s President’s legitimacy
Date: January 4th, 2019

Summary
During the OAS Permanent Council’s meeting that will be held on January 10th, 2019 which aims to decide whether or not the OAS recognizes Nicolas Maduro as president of Venezuela, you should not vote against Venezuela, nor abstain from voting. You should instead vote for Venezuela, which would imply that Haiti supports Maduro.

memo

Background
(1)
In 2005, Hugo Chavez, the 45th president of Venezuela, signed the agreement “Petrocaribe” which is an oil trade alliance with many countries in the Caribbean whereby member States purchase oil from Venezuela by paying a percentage in 3 months and the remainder in 25 years at only 1% of interest rate. This deal is an opportunity for Caribbean countries, including Haiti, to strengthen their economy by investing the funds in developing projects.

(2) After Chavez’s death in 2013, Nicolas Maduro served as interim president for nearly 3 months before his re-election on April 14th, 2013. Since then, he has continued the agreement Petrocaribe, which has enabled Haiti to receive nearly $ 4 billion to this day (Kim Ives). However, the money is being embezzled and squandered by Haitian officials, which has sparked political unrest since September 2018. As living conditions of the mass remains abject, infuriated mobs protest in the street and ask not only for a financial audit on the Petrocaribe’s fund but also for the government’s resignation.

(3) Meanwhile, Maduro, which had been reelected in 2018 on a contested election, is expected to renew his presidency by the end of January. However, believing the election was fraudulent, the United States is outraged and aims to reestablish democracy in Venezuela by ousting Maduro. To do this, the backing of the OAS is needed. On January 10th, the OAS’ Permanent Council will meet to take a decision on whether or not it recognizes Maduro as president. Haiti’s vote is important as two thirds of the votes is needed to disapprove Maduro’s legitimacy. Given Haiti’s close relationship with both the US and Venezuela, you must know the disadvantages and advantages of each possible choice to make the most effective vote.

Policy Option 1: Not participate in the meeting, or abstain from voting
(4)
This option calls for Haiti to take a neutral position by not participating or by withholding its vote.  To not participate means to not send your ambassador at the meeting. To abstain your vote means to participate but to decline voting for or against. These would imply that you are indifferent whether Maduro remains on power or not.

  1. Pros: Very diplomatic.
  2. Cons: Haiti would be uncooperative to the OAS; both the US and Venezuela would remain unsatisfied and mad at Haiti; aid from both sides could be reduced; Haiti would show that defending democracy in the Americas is not its priority; your government would appear irresolute because this position is ambiguous; this could hurt your reputation in Haiti as Haitians expect you to be loyal to Venezuela; it could lead to political unrest.

Policy Option 2: Vote against Venezuela
(5)
This option means that Haiti votes to not recognize Maduro as Venezuela’s President, which could result in Maduro’s disapprobation. It would imply that you are not supportive to Maduro.

  1. Pros: It would improve Haiti’s relationship with the US because it would please the Americans; Haiti could receive more American aid in the future; Haiti would appear as a more loyal defender of democracy.
  2. Cons: Haiti would betray Venezuela which has remained its loyal ally since their independences; Venezuela could break the Petrocaribe agreement with Haiti, which would leave your government with less money to invest in its projects; Political unrests could intensify because some Haitians will not tolerate you to betray Venezuela; you would be weak in their eyes because this vote is only to please the US.

Policy Option 3: Vote for Venezuela
(6)
This option calls to vote in favor of Venezuela by recognizing Maduro’s presidency. This would imply that you disagree with the US’s decision to undermine Maduro.

  1. Pros: You will appear stronger, and Haitians would be prouder of you; Venezuela would confirm Haiti’s loyalty; Venezuela may provide more funds to your government; it may appease the political unrest because Haitians would perceive you as a defender of Haiti’s interests.
  2. Cons: you will be labeled as a dictatorship supporter; the US would be furious and could reduce their aid to your government; you would be perceived like a bully because many other powerful heads of states dislike Maduro.

Recommendation
(7)
I recommend you Option 3 which is to vote for recognizing Maduro. Don’t yield to the US’s pressure, and vote against Venezuela as stated in Option 2. Haiti’s relationship with Venezuela is important to preserve. Venezuela has always been our loyal ally since after we helped them in their independence war. In addition, betraying Maduro could result in cutting the fund Petrocaribe which is highly beneficial for us. To this day, Haiti has received $4 billion from this agreement at an interest rate of 1%, which is one of the lowest rate in all loans given to Haiti. Taking a stance against Maduro would deteriorate Haiti’s relationship with Venezuela, which would hinder their generous aid to us. You may attempt to play a diplomatic game by abstaining your vote or by not participating in the meeting, but this would be the most dangerous position. If you do that, both the US and Venezuela would be dissatisfied, which would result in receiving less aid from them. In addition, you would earn some bad reputations (ambiguous, irresolute, weak) which could lead to your regime’s collapse. To avoid these, you rather vote, but it is safer to vote in favor of Maduro.

References
Andres Schipani. (April 16, 2015 Thursday). Petrocaribe: a legacy that is both blessing and a curse. FT.com. Retrieved from Nexis Uni.

Kim Yves “Haiti’s Ruling Party Betrays Venezuela in OAS Vote, Sparking Universal Outrage”. https://haitiliberte.com/haitis-ruling-party-betrays-venezuela-in-oas-vote-sparking-universal-outrage/

 

“Venezuela to Fund Development Projects in Haiti.” 2018.EFE News Service, Jul 11. http://pitt.idm.oclc.org/login?url=https://search-proquest-com.pitt.idm.oclc.org/docview/2068077070?accountid=14709.

 

Grandeur et petitesse humaines

Je suis parfois petit, mais je n’ai pas honte de l’avouer ici, car mon intention c’est d’écrire des choses véridiques et utiles. Certains vont m’accuser de réfléchir rectilignement pour ma façon très directe d’aborder ce sujet complexe, mais ça ne me dérange pas. Je suis un homme résolu qui ne perd jamais son temps à faire des nuances superflues, inutiles, contre-productives, et stupides. Si cette manière de penser vous gêne, mieux vaut ne pas continuer à lire ce blog.

Grandeur

Après des réflexions profondes sur l’être humain, j’ai finalement compris que rares sont les personnes véritablement grandes dans ce monde. Nous avons tous des frustrations humaines qui nous contrôlent, et qui nous font adopter des comportements méchants envers nos prochains. Rabaisser et snober les gens deviennent des façons presque légitimes pour prouver notre grandeur à la société. C’en est ainsi parce que nous confondons sans cesse position sociale et grandeur. Pour beaucoup, un homme influent et riche est nécessairement grand, mais c’est faux. La grandeur d’un homme ne se mesure ni dans sa popularité ni dans ses possessions. Elle se mesure de préférence dans sa façon d’encadrer les moins capables. Si une personne utilise sa force pour dominer et détruire les autres, elle fait plutôt preuve de petitesse et de narcissisme mais pas de grandeur. Le grand homme utilise ses talents pour éclairer, inspirer, et motiver les gens. C’est pour cela que je pense qu’il n’est pas facile d’être grand.

Dans notre société, beaucoup de petits hommes dissimulent leur petitesse et se font passer pour de grands hommes. Ils prétendent aider les autres, mais ils ne font rien pour les inspirer et les motiver. Le pire c’est qu’ils découragent ceux qui sont déjà motivés, car leur objectif est simplement de dominer tout le monde. Vous pouvez les découvrir lorsque vous avez besoin de leur aide. Même un conseil sérieux ils ne vont pas vous donner, mais ils seront prêts à vous payer des tonnes de bières; ils vous redonneront ce que vous avez déjà, mais pas ce que vous cherchez; ils vous diront ce que vous savez déjà, mais ils ne vous apprendront rien de nouveau; ils vont aussi vous décourager en vous recommandant ce que vous ne pourrez jamais faire. En résumé, toute conversation avec eux est une perte de temps. Le mieux c’est de les éviter et de chercher la compagnie d’autres gens qui sont plus généreux et excités à vous voir progresser.

En conclusion: soyons plus intelligents dans nos fréquentations. Ne perdons jamais notre temps avec des gens petits qui ne veulent pas nous aider à grandir, ou qui sont dérangés par notre succès. Le monde est rempli de gens plus positifs qui seront excités de nous aider et de nous encadrer. Cherchons-les de préférence, au lieu de mourir d’impatience avec des gens mesquins et méchants qui ne vont rien vous donner.