This article was pulled on Sept. 2018
Who is Joseph Michel Martelly to Think that He can Keep Provoking a Whole Nation with Impunity?
Par Pierre-Yves Roy
As I watch carefully on YouTube the former Haitian president, Michel Martelly being interviewed, wearing his blue cap in Gang style behind some beer cans on a table, I ask myself with indignation: “Who is this guy to think that he can keep degrading a whole nation with impunity? Martelly debases every branch of influence and authority in Haiti: the Parliament, the media, the whole Haitian society; and nobody can touch him or tell him anything. He trashes the senatorial report on the Petrocaribe scandal; with dirty sexual innuendos, he malignantly paints one of the most revered Haitian broadcast journalists, Lilianne Pierre-Paul, as a perverted character he nicknamed Ti Lili; he often makes explicit and unsolicited gay joke to crowd of youth, exercising upon them his pernicious influence. This man’s effrontery causes me to wonder, “From where does he get so much power that he has officially become the untouchable promiscuous and insolent legal bandit of Haiti? How long will he be allowed to continue downgrading a nation he has sickly abused during his five-years term as president?
In contemporary politics we have heard about several leaders of major or minor importance from the developping world, mostly in Latin America and the Caribbean countries, who have mistreated their people and have made some bombastic statements about their American connections when they are confronted. Such behaviors have been detrimental to American administrations by hurting the credibility of the American people, thus inciting anti-American sentiment and spreading nationalistic fervor.
According to the New Yorker, dictator Manuel Noriega who was assisted by US to power “organized paramilitary loyalists, often wielding clubs and machetes, to attack demonstrators….[that] “under his control, Panama was becoming a thugocracy, and scary place. The Haitian Emmanuel (Toto) Constant, the author of the Raboteau massacre and founder of FRAPH, a Haitian death squad that terrorized supporters of exiled president Jean-Bertrand Aristide, and killed Justice Minister Guy Malary, was, according to The New times, “on the C.I.A’s payroll in October 1993”. Lastly, “Guy Philippe was a Haitian death squad leader and has attempted to become a political leader. He led the 2000-2004 paramilitary insurgency that culminated in the U.S. government’s 2004 Haitian coup.” Philippe once told reporters that he was proud of what he has done in 2003-2004 and he would repeat everything if necessary. All the above-mentioned leaders claimed, or were identified, to have ties with C.I.A. However, after their business with US was over and when they have become uncontrollable embarrassments, they were arrested and jailed for drug dealing or other crimes. Who is Michel Martelly? Is he from the same species of men I have just spoken about, or from a new breed?
All I know of Michel Martelly is that before his presidency, his public name was Sweet Micky, a Konpa singer who has built a relative fame in the Haitian society through a mundane music full of sexist insinuations and indecent body exposures on stage --a character that can be rightly called a villain.
In 2010-2011 he ran for office, and aided by the Clintons, became president of the Republic of Haiti. Why did the Clintons choose this vulgar personage over the highly regarded university professor, Mirlande Manigat, who was more popular and better equipped than the former to lead the country, we don’t know. Maybe, Haiti as a “wastebasket” didn’t deserve better; perhaps for some other reasons.. At the beginning of Micky’s term as chief executive of the nation, an allegation came out that he was an American citizen. According to the Haitian Constitution a native Haitian who has renounced to his nationality is not illegible to become president of Haiti. Micky has denied the allegation and his denial was backed up by the American Embassy in Haiti. Since Micky’s presidency the country had experienced an avalanche of crises and had hardly a moment of rest, because of government closeness on national financial transactions, the triumph of impunity, the mismanagement of public funds and the pervasiveness and ubiquity of corruption. Watchdog financial institution such as the CSC/CA has warned the Martelly-Lamothe government of sloppiness in the administration of the Petrocaribe funds, yet the government has dismissed its advice. In 2017, a senate report has cataloged Martelly as one of the principal suspects in the gross negligence of the Petrocaribe funds, estimated at $ 3.8 billions--a Venezuelan comprehensive loan of 1% interest in petroleum products as economic support to several Latin American and Caribbean countries. But with arrogance, MM has rejected the senate report as a trash. In a montage video, M.Laurent Lamothe, one of his two prime ministers, explained that among the expenses of the Petrocaribe funds, 25 stadiums were built. On YouTube, Martelly claimed having invested the funds in several hotels in the country, including Hotel Best Western, Hotel El Rancho, Sogener SA, Marriott hotel, etc., which allegation the owners of such businesses strongly denied--rightly so, because this careless utterance of Martelly may have led the angry people to destroy the businesses of those investors. And even if the accounts of Martelly and Lamothe were true, which other branch of government has authorized them to use the public funds in such fashions while at the University Hospital patients are sleeping on the bare floor and doctors have not even gloves to care for them? Who has endorsed such foolish expenses and unwise investments while the “island is sinking in trash”? The Parliament? The Judicial? To a reasonable observer like me, these questions have not been properly answered yet: for all I see and hear is a bunch of accused government officials who are poorly trying to defend themselves against the popular verdict like some undesirable passengers thrown over board of a sinking ship swimming desperately to save themselves while each breaststroke they make plunges them further down into the deep.
Yet, in spite of the popular anger, the former president didn’t lack of audacity to test once again the patience of the people. During the Labor Day weekend, as he prepared to launch his bandwagon on Eastern Parkway to participate in the traditional yearly Caribbean carnival in Brooklyn, NY, Michel Martelly made some very bold and ambiguous claims during an interview, which didn’t fail to raise eyebrows and worsen the bleeding wounds in the heart of the Haitian people. Brandishing wanted posters with Michel Martelly’s head on which one could read: Down With Thieves and Traitors!, and hear: “Kote kòb Petrocaribe a?”, “What have you done with the Petrocaribe money?” from groups of protesters.
Many Haitians thought that for the trials through which they are going, MM would show at least some understanding of the gravity of the political conjuncture and would refrain from participating in the Carnival, hip rolling and chanting dirty music to mock them. Aware of the growing anti-Martelly sentiment in Haiti and in the Haitian diaspora, a reporter asked the former president whether he was scared of the angry people that awaited him on Eastern Parkway, Martelly replied boisterously that he has no fear of the Haitian people; and if that was so, he would simply call the FBI or the White House; and they would dispatch the whole American Army to protect him. Among his ostentatious remarks, he bragged that the Chief of cabinet of Donald Trump, John Kelly, has visited him thirty times in the National Palace. Thirty times in DT’s sh…hole? Yes! And unless this clown was lying, meeting someone that lives in a dump thirty times would mean a lot. Does Haiti have still something that people need?
MM may not have had any fear; that’s understandable, because he is aware that America is doing its best to keep everyone safe; but most importantly, he knows that the Haitian people are pacific, therefore they do not kill their president--since the assassination of the Emperor Jean-Jacques Dessalines. However, for Sweet Micky to aggrandize the situation up to threatening the Haitian Diaspora in New York with the involvement of the FBI, the White House and the American Army in an affair of grouyad, hip rolling and obscenity, is either a stupid joke or a serious offense to both, the American people and the Haitian people.
Why should the FBI, the American Army and the White House come to the rescue of Michel Martelly, when the New York City had already dispatched about 12,000 police officers to assure the protection of the people during the Labor Day Caribbean party? Was this blunder a blatant ignorance of American Public Administration from this man of the street who through some conspiracy had become president of Haiti? Or, did he knowingly make it because he feels so important to the American people? Sweet Micky replied that it is because he is a former president.
But the information we found on the Net about the mission of the FBI seems to be far from backing up Martelly’s wild statement. “The mission of the FBI is to protect and defend the United States against terrorist and foreign intelligence threats, to uphold and enforce the criminal laws of the United States, and to provide leadership and criminal justice services to federal, state, municipal, and international agencies and partners and ...” In addition, legally, the White House wouldn’t have any direct involvement in the protection of a former Haitian president who is now a civilian like any others; let alone the American Army! Then, who is Michel Martelly to think that he has so much importance that he can intimidate the Haitian Diaspora?
With an officially estimated $20 billions of funds that entered Haiti from 2010 to 2016 in international aid and the Petrocaribe loan, the Martelly’s government will be recorded in Haitian history as the government that had the greatest opportunity to do something positive for Haiti, but the most controversial and corrupt that did very little for the country. Today the latest World Bank report places Haiti as the poorest country in the world with 77% of poverty rate, a population of 10,123.787, GDP $7.35 billion (66th lowest), and GDP per capita $726 (22nd lowest).
Now, the plundered and insulted people of Haiti says, “Enough is enough!” Therefore no matter who Sweet Micky thinks he is, and whatever force of darkness that may be with him, he should know that the eyes of God are on him and his judgement day is coming. For, what is one man against a hundred? One man against a million?