Haiti – Politic : Flag and University Day, speech by Minister Cadet
Speech by Minister of National Education Pierre Josué Agénor Cadet :
“218 years since the creation of our national bicolor. 218 years since we affirmed in the face of the world our desire to be free and to found this Nation which would serve as an example for several Latin American and Caribbean countries. This cement of national unity enabled us to accomplish great things, notably the gesture of 1804, which would give birth to the world’s first black republic.
This memorable date is inscribed in our history as a strong moment of construction and expression of a desire to live together, of a desire to overcome together the challenges of all kinds that have marked the historical journey of our people. It is a founding act, revealing our ability to transcend our chapel quarrels, our differences and our contradictions.
Haiti, May 18, 1803, showed other peoples the path of understanding, mutual aid, cohesion, surpassing oneself and the will to build together a more just society, united and resolutely turned towards development for the emancipation of all !
Today, more than yesterday, faced with an unstable and unpredictable world, the socio-economic and political problems as well as health related to COVID-19, not to mention the problem of seismic and climatic hazards, it is imperative that the national flag can inspire us towards this search for the common good, in order to face the challenges of the hour.
Only this national leap, a common vision for the renewal of the country can help us in the success of our projects. There can be no individual rescue or small groups because, the dimension of the current crisis requires a collective coumbite to succeed. Divisions, socio-political and economic antagonisms threaten the very foundations of the nation. Our children are watching us and waiting for us. Their future depends on it.
Responding to a question on the usefulness of history, Heidegger replied : “The past can only be known if, in some way, it is put in relation with our existence.” How can we draw on the historic event of May 18, 1803 to address the challenges of today ?
If it is true that our turpitudes, our recurring historical turbulences create the factors blocking and taking off our people, it is just as true that we have the duty, the responsibility to invent the conditions for our social progress, economic and political, inspired by the ardent and powerful symbolism of May 18, 1803.
And this is where the importance and place of the Haitian school take on, which must contribute to this process. The school must, in fact, help to deconstruct stereotypes, clichés, paradigms of our history-memory. The new Haitian school to which we are resolutely working must carry the values and conditions for the liberation and development of Haitian man in a globalized context that brings constraints and challenges of all kinds.
The Government of the Republic has worked and is still working to redress an educational system marked, for ages, by multiple situations of inertia, knots that paralyze the normality, the regular functioning, the productive work of our teachers who do demanding, difficult work in a precarious and constantly deteriorating environment.
The lessons of May 18 are there to show us the need to overcome our resentment, our fears, our pettiness, our limits and to think Haiti through a vision of grandeur, organization, inclusion where only our love of the permanent interest of the country, our dream of the well-being of every Haitian and of the socio-economic and political progress of Haiti.
‘Rèv sa a posib, si nou fè yon sèl, si youn mete ak lòt, si youn konprann lòt, si nou tout mete tèt nou ansanm, pou n fè yon gran konbit pou peyi a vanse pi devan ak tout konesans nou genyen. Konsa, Ayiti ka reprann flanbo a e tounen yon limyè pou lot pèp yo tankou sa te ye nan komansman 19e syèk la’. We must regain our will to live together by getting back to work and giving young people safe models for a new, prosperous and modern Haiti, free from illiteracy.
May 18 is also the feast of the university. University Youth, you have an important role to play in the rebuilding of the Nation. You must get more involved in community and civic activities to revive your neighborhoods, your city, your region, your country and thus become the guarantors of the country’s development and democratization process. As Dantès Bellegarde underlined so well in his argument so that the celebration of the flag also became the celebration of the University, ‘you are the guardian of the flag, the one who must maintain the patriotic torch and guide the young people of the primary level and secondary’. So be up to your mission.
It is high time, in a surge of patriotism, national unity, social cohesion and social justice, to project ourselves into the future! Let us think today of future generations as our founding fathers did in 1803 in particular. Let us show ourselves capable of perpetuating this symbolism.
Happy Flag Day ! Long live the University ! Long live the Haitian Youth !”
Pierre Josué Agénor Cadet
Minister of National Education and Vocational Training