Open letter To Haitian Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe

Jim Egalite - April 21 2013, 11:46 AM

This is an open letter to the Haitian Prime Minister, Mr. Laurent Lamothe.

I would like to express the great sense of disappointment from your decision to name the Cap-Haitian Airport after a foreign leader and not a Haitian Hero, thus creating a serious potential and inevitable future crisis with respect to that issue.

The Cap-Haitian Airport is a Haitian landmark.

It serves the purposes of identifying Haiti in strictly geographic sense for Haitian and for foreign travelers as well. It also serves as monument, part of establishing national institutions that help establish our identity and who we are. I would be the first to recognize the significant financial contribution of Hugo Chavez to the Haiti, especially through the sale of petrol to help finance the many projects in our country.

He has helped us tremendously and we should be very thankful to him. As a result, absolutely, a boulevard, a school, a public building could and should be named after him to somehow publicly acknowledge his significant contribution to the better of our country.

On the other hand, an Airport is in a different category because of the international nature of that facility.

It serves to guide foreign travelers as to where they are going, which is Haiti and suddenly, you are making reference to a foreign leader or entity.

It is therefore a missed opportunity to educate the world and the children of Haiti and Haitians in general of us, our past or present Haitian historical figures as reference is made to a foreign entity or person.

In five, ten years, a new government may (and will) feel that this foreign personality is not one of ours and want to change the name to reflect something Haitian and I believe that will be the case in the future.

Imagine the reaction from the then Venezuelan government to see that awkward change.

This will result in unnecessary friction between the two countries, something that is not necessary as this could simply be avoided right now by not naming the airport after the foreign personality, this avoiding creating this situation in the first place.

Mr. Minister, you do hard and important work for Haiti and all Haitian should be thankful to have you there.

Still, we all can make mistakes and in this one, although I understand your compassion toward Mr. Chavez, it is the wrong way to go about it. At least, with a present or past non-controversial Haitian personality, most Haitians could identity with such person and there is no potential basis for friction with a foreign country in the future.

Even if it were named the "Cap-Haitian" International Airport, well, this is reference to Haiti and that would still be perfect.

As a result, I urge you to reconsider the decision to name the Airport after a foreign personality and please make it an exercise for some public consultation for transparency and that it is not just one person decision.

I thank you for looking into this.
Sign: A concerned Haitian

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