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Patrick Elie: 'Somebody else's dream'
The former politician and longtime activist discusses the historical background to Haiti's struggle against poverty.
Last Modified: 15 Sep 2011 12:50

Patrick Elie has been a political activist in Haiti since 1986, when the nation's popular movements drove former dictator Jean-Claude Duvalier from the country.

He participated in movements alongside Rene Preval, Jean-Bertrand Aristide and Antoine Izmery, among other pro-democracy activists, struggling against the military governments that assumed power after Duvalier was ousted.

When Aristide became the country's first democratically-elected leader, Elie became coordinator of the anti-narcotics unit of the National Intelligence Service, went into exile after the military coup d'etat in 1991, and returned to become secretary of state of public security after Aristide was restored to power in 1994. Since 1995, he has stopped working for the government, but keeps actively involved in his country's politics.

In an interview with Sebastian Walker, Elie talks about the Haitian revolution in 1804 and its impact on the country's current situation, foreign interference and his vision for democracy in Haiti.

"What I see coming is a takeover by the international community, building the Haiti of their dream. And then of course the Haitian people won't be able to live in somebody else's dream and things will go sour again.

"The people of Haiti, their resilience, their love of life and their creativity, is what keeps me going. And also their inherent solidarity that a lot of people don't talk about."

 

Haiti: After the Quake airs from Thursday, September 15, at the following times GMT: Thursday: 2000; Friday: 1200; Saturday: 0100; Sunday: 0600; Monday: 2000; Tuesday: 1200; Wednesday: 0100; Thursday: 0600.

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