Battered by hurricanes, embroiled in political turmoil, plagued by kidnappings and largely ignored by the international community, Haiti is trying, yet again, to create democracy. As the Western hemisphere’s poorest country attempts to organize for November 2005 presidential elections, hardened veterans of its endless cycle of uprisings and downfalls are trading guns for voter registration cards, warily giving the election process their support. In a character-driven narrative, we capture life on Haiti’s streets and among its power-brokers by interweaving five personal stories. Through unfettered access to political strongmen, gangsters turned presidential hopefuls, and ordinary Haitian citizens, Wide Angle reveals the country’s struggle to fashion a true representative government out of a volatile failed state.
Wide Angle anchor Bill Moyers introduces Unfinished Country. Background on the coup that ousted former President Jean-Bertrand Aristide in 2004, culminating in preparations for upcoming presidential elections. Within the next three months, 424 polling stations Aristide supporters in the poor slums of the capital Port-au-Prince view the impending elections with skepticism, while Haiti’s wealthy elite debate how to address the country’s deteriorating politica Former rebel leader Guy Philippe hits the presidential campaign trail. A new wave of murders and kidnappings sweeps the streets of Port-au-Prince. Ordinary Haitians complain about the lack of democracy. The rising violence and slow pace of voter registration delays the election timetable indefinitely. Wide Angle anchor Bill Moyers interviews James Dobbins, Special Envoy for nation-building operations in Haiti under President Bill Clinton, now director of the International Security and Defense Cente