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The vivre ensemble!

By: Jean Hervé Charles

 There is in the language universe some concepts that suited best in one language than the other, the vivre ensemble is one such concept that suit best in French. It is a theme chosen by Monsignor Quesnel for his sermon celebrating the feast of St Joseph, patron saint of the town of Fort Liberté; vivre ensemble (living together) the theme of my book “For the country for the Fatherland a vision of society that will make Haiti rich, powerful and independent; vivre ensemble, a slogan chosen by Jimmy Chersier “Barbecue” for his march towards “the revolution” in Haiti, is in vogue today.


A nation is a country where living together is the rule of the game, integration is almost total and citizens are happy to live under the protection of the State.


The Republic of Haiti, the first free and independent black nation in the world, the second independent country in the Western Hemisphere, the nation at the forefront of human rights is in tatters because from its birth, it did not follow the principles of living together.


Toussaint Louverture, Jean Jacques Dessalines and Henri Christophe wanted to create a nation that would be a model of equality and fraternity for all humanity. This was not the feeling of other founding fathers like Alexandre Pétion and the generals who wanted the colonial heritage to be reserved only for them and their descendants.


The 400,000 slaves who took refuge in the rural areas, remain there until today. Indeed, this is the history of Haiti. The 400,000 newly free people who escaped in the countryside remained in their homes until the arrival of François Duvalier who brought them to the capital to abandon them in swarming shanty towns filled with putrefaction. The 400,000 new free people in 1804 are now 10 million Haitians in 2024 who live like slaves in a de facto apartheid in the slums of Cité Soleil and Cité de Dieu.


Here is the picture of Haiti where Jimmy Cherizier and his allies with violence as a weapon intend to lead the Revolution in Haiti. The 1 million of the 11 million Haitians who make up the middle class take the route to the Dominican Republic by helicopter if they have the means or flee the country through the Biden program or expect their business to be set on fire.


We are facing as in 1803 on the eve of the Haitian revolution where the 400,000 slaves who revolted against slavery declared freedom or death. In 2024, the 10 million Haitians who live below $2 a day under a de facto apartheid regime sing with Cherisier or Barbecue as their spokesperson: Haiti will be kind to us all, or Haiti will disappear.


Living together goes against this policy of violence. The authorized channels of the Catholic Church, of the Voodoo which advocates tolerance in its ethos, of the Protestant Church must rise up to preach the true elements of living together.


We have the opportunity to revive Haiti in 2024 as we did not do in 1804. All Haitians, blacks, mulattoes and whites must build the Haitian experience and present to the world "an opportunity of happiness for every citizen” as planned by Toussaint Louverture in his message to John Adams, the second president of the United States.


In my next book,” The Divine Mission of Nations”, I proposed that Haiti has a divine mission to propagate throughout the world the notion that all men and women whether black, white or yellow are all children of God worthy of emancipation. This emancipation must first begin in Haiti and then spread throughout the world.


It is true that the ruling class together with the Haitian leaders have demonstrated criminal indifference towards the Haitian masses. An example to illustrate this indifference is the decision of the government of Ariel Henry to pay 500 million dollars to Venezuela on account of the debt of Petro Caribe that includes his personal cut of 135 million.


This amount in an intelligent government concerned with the well-being of the Haitian people should negotiate with the Scandinavian countries a program of "exchange of debt for nature" where Haiti would have the obligation to plant trees (we will plant mahogany and cedars in our mountains) in return these countries undertake the obligation to pay our debts. To illustrate Haiti would have 200 million dollars to pay in international currency the debt of Venezuela in return; we will thus have the possibility of spending 200 million in national currency for environmental rehabilitation each year until the debt is completely erased. As such we will build a green Sovereign Trust as rich and deep as the dark sovereign fund of Saudi Arabia.


Playing the ostrich that refuses to face the misfortune that is befalling on Haiti leads us straight to disaster. The gang phenomenon must be firmly resolved. Gangster is anti-Haitian. The good-natured nature of the Haitian people are resistant and alien to banditry. If there is no government or commercial collusion, the Haitian people can root out the bandits from their ranks.


However, national rehabilitation for living together must be undertaken immediately. Building the nation to make it livable requires the five conditions established by Ernest Renan in his principles of nation building:


1- A nation to build with a feeling of belonging to each other. The Citizens must love Haiti and Haiti must love its citizens


2- A country to build with a restored environment equipped with healthy institutions and adequate infrastructure to root each citizen in their canton, from the rural section to the capital.


3- A Haiti that first takes care of the neglected ones in the rural world, the world of ghettos and the world of women.


4- A proud and prosperous Haiti which resumes its divine mission as an emancipatory nation for itself and for the rest of the world.


5- A Haiti that reintegrates democracy by respecting the political transition as an obligatory passage while teaching the youth that the homeland is a continuous creation. They must continue to rebuild it by using the most advanced education, the resilience, the creativity and the courage.


Examples of living together can be copied in Rwanda where President Kigali after the genocide succeeded in bringing together the two ethnic groups of the country to rebuild the nation with living together. It can be copied from Singapore which was able to unify all the ethnic groups of the country to make it a homogeneous group which is gradually enriched under the standard of living together.


Bad examples of living together are listed in Uganda with Idi Amin chased the Indian ethnic groups and the country never recovered. We find the same bad examples in Zimbabwe where the white ethnic groups were chased out, this country is in tatters.


Are we going to give this transition a chance so as to rebuild Haiti as our ancestors wanted? We have the opportunity to bring together the thinking heads of the country and the Diaspora in all countries of the world; they are ready to help us make Haiti the Pearl of the Antilles under the aegis of the Haitians and not the settlers.


May God protect Haiti!


 Jean Hervé Charles LLB, MSW, JD

Is a former candidate in the 2016 elections?

He can be reached at



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