For Diplomatic Relations between Haiti and the People’s Republic of China: An Open Letter to Jovenel Moïse

President Jovenel Moïse speaking before the UN General Assembly on Sep. 21, 2017. Credit: UN Photo/Cia Pak
On Oct. 18, the Chinese Communist Party starts its 19th National Congress, which promises to be a particularly historic event in the world’s most populous nation of close to 1.4 billion people. The son of a Communist revolutionary, President  Xi Jinping is moving China sharply to the left, weeding out corruption at all levels of the state and reaffirming Marxism-Leninism as the party’s guiding ideology. About 75% of the Politburo Standing Committee (the top decision-making body) is expected to retire or be replaced at this congress, according to The Economist.
            The following open letter, translated from French, urges the Haitian government to drop its continued diplomatic recognition of the Republic of China (Taiwan), a U.S. vassal state recognized now by only 20 of the planet’s 195 nations. Instead, Michaële Lafontant, a Haitian living in France, proposes that Haiti establish diplomatic relations with the People’s Republic of China, which has already offered the mayors of Port-au-Prince $4.7 billion to completely overhaul the capital’s crumbling and nonexistent infrastructure, from roads and bridges to electrical grids and water systems. China’s proposal is part of its global “One Belt, One Road” initiative, which has been acclaimed in Africa and Latin America.
            President Jovenel Moïse did not heed Lafontant’s Aug. 28, 2017 letter, judging from his speech before the United Nations General Assembly on Sep. 21, 2017, in which he expressed the “strong wish that a window of opportunity be offered to the Republic of China, Taiwan, so that it can participate in the great decisions that we, the UN member states, have adopted…”
            In his Sep. 27 editorial, Haïti Liberté’s director Berthony Dupont characterized President Moïse’s remarks and continuing Taiwan embrace as “shameful” and “political prostitution, respecting no principles.”

Kim Ives

Michaële LAFONTANT, France
Member of the Bureau of Action Against Colonialism Today (ACCA)
of the National Council of the French Communist Party (PCF)
Member of the Peace Movement (France)

Mr. Jovenel MOÏSE
President of the Republic of Haiti
Port-au-Prince, Haiti

In the name of the major interests of the Haitian people!

Advocacy for the establishment of diplomatic relations between Haiti and the People’s Republic of China

Mr. President,

I appeal today to the highest authorities in Haiti, as well as to the conscience of the Haitians and the friends of Haiti.

This letter will make more than one talk … But I forgive them in advance because they will not understand … They will not understand that the time is no longer for fratricidal struggles but rather to assemble citizens to extract Haiti from the quagmire in which it is wallowing! Many will condemn me, perhaps, because I would legitimize a de facto government with which, in addition, I have no “shared molecules”!

One must dare to embark on a new type of partnership that emphasizes win-win rather than the predatory and destructive.

Taking advantage of my political experience in France, I have learned not to be overly relentless and harsh towards our Haitian officials, who are still far from reaching the degree of corruption that is commonplace in the Western world’s capitalist countries. They are the masters of whom we are but a pale and clumsy copy! I did not arrive at this point of view through complacency towards the Haitians but by rationalism, fairness, and rejection of any form of Bovaryism. [Wikipedia defines Bovaryisme as “a term derived from Gustave Flaubert’s Madame Bovary (1857). It denotes a tendency toward escapist daydreaming in which the dreamer imagines himself or herself to be a hero or heroine in a romance, whilst ignoring the everyday realities of the situation.”- HL.]

We Haitians in the diaspora have to deal with the good and bad sides of our host countries, which does not prevent us from taking part with the peoples of these countries in the struggles that we consider useful. What would entitle someone to deny me the right to appeal to the current Haitian government, parliamentarians, and municipal officials on a question which they alone can decide as competent authorities on the matter?

The People’s Republic of China is well-disposed to undertake very important cooperation with Haiti, provided diplomatic relations are established. Why still hesitate to take this truly fraternal hand?

Haiti has suffered enough! Politico-economic cataclysms, natural catastrophes … Its sons and daughters from all walks of life, and especially those from our countryside, dream of a country proudly emerging from traditional stereotypes to embark on the path of sustainable development, the only liberating path for our country. To achieve it, one must dare to embark on a new type of partnership that emphasizes win-win rather than the predatory and destructive.

Can we have forgotten the lamentations of the 350,000 victims of the 2010 earthquake? Their cries of distress should still haunt us! It is in their name and also, in the name of potential future victims of the next “official” disaster, and above all, in the name of all the Haitian people, that I address myself to my country’s authorities, and to Haitian civil society too.

It is time for boldness, Mr. President of the Republic!

History and the present and future generations will be grateful to you for having understood that we can no longer procrastinate in placing ourselves on the side of the Haitian people’s fundamental interests.

President of the Republic,
Prime Minister,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Honorable members of the Senate of the Republic,
Honorable Deputies,

Dare to choose the electrification of the whole country to the deafening, polluting, and budget-eating cacophony of generators!

Dare to be visionary and see already our cities, towns, and suburbs benefitting from electrification: the retreat of backwardness and obscurantism, and the end of the repeated blackouts that punish those of low and middle income, which marginalize the poorest!

This new partnership will be win-win:

a win, certainly for China, but also
a win for the Haitian youth who only wants to flourish,
a win for the businessmen of our various municipalities,
a win for our peasant and urban masses, and finally
a win for society as a whole by returning to social peace which only work can guarantee.

The Sirens’ song are the voices that whisper to us: no need for visas to visit our country, come, come! How many of our people will become even more impoverished as they leave for false paradises, when they represent the strength and future of our country? How many will continue to cross seas and borders to be humiliated, stoned, martyred? To be only prey of monstrous predators disguised as the saviors of the world?

The People’s Republic of China is well-disposed to undertake very important cooperation with Haiti, provided diplomatic relations are established. Why still hesitate to take this truly fraternal hand?

By faithfulness to what ill-founded solidarity have the representatives of the people who founded Pan-Americanism and Pan-Africanism hesitated to choose according to national interests?

As they say, once is not a custom.

But once, this time, will make the difference! By choosing win-win cooperation with the People’s Republic of China, while many challenges – which Chinese leaders do not hide –  remain in a vast territory with 56 ethnic groups and multiple languages and dialects. It is in 2021 that the five-year plan of the People’s Republic of China will definitively lift out of poverty a large part of its population which will attain relative affluence! It indeed involves a fraternal approach, like the Cuban solidarity which does not give what it has in excess but takes from the supplies necessary for its own population, out of concern and a spirit of sharing.

Pope Francis himself has not hesitated to affirm: “China has always been a reference to me of greatness. A great country, endowed with exemplary wisdom.”(1) It is in the name of this millennial wisdom that China can play the role of apostle of peace in the world.

“The Western world, the Eastern world, and China all have the capacity to maintain the balance of peace and the strength to do so. We must find the means, always through dialogue,” the Pope said. (2)

Haiti would do well to take inspiration from the example of Panama, which dared to choose to recognize the uniqueness of Chinese territory by breaking 160-year diplomatic relations with Taipei: “Today we took an historic step which will benefit our nations and present and future generations, said Panama’s President Varela, stressing the importance of China’s regional and global role.” (3)

“Taiwan has been a great friend of Panama, and we are very grateful for its friendship and cooperation in the development of our country while we had diplomatic relations,” said President Varela in his address. (4)

Haiti – People’s Republic of China, a choice for the future! (5)

The ball is still on the Haitian side!

Our country needs so much to get out of its economic slump with all the paralyzing consequences that we know! It would be a real shame and discouraging for Haiti to lose the opportunity offered by China.


Malakoff, France, 28 August 2017.







This letter has also been published on as a petition which will be given to:

Jovenel MOÏSE, President of Haiti

Jack Guy LAFONTANT, Prime Minister of Haiti

Antonio RODRIGUE, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Religious Affairs

Youri LATORTUE, President of the Senate and the National Assembly of the Republic of Haiti

Cholzer CHANCY, President of the Chamber of Deputies, Vice President of the National Assembly of Haiti.


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