Resignation Of PM Conille: I Am Not Surprised

Resigned Prime Minister Conille

The resignation of Prime Minister Conille does not surprise me a bit. I could foresee it coming. If it did not happen today, it was going to happen soon or later as he was becoming a powerless Prime Minister.

I supported him at first. But after I realized that he was challenging the president’s politics on many big political issues, such as the unfounded dual citizenship allegation of the president coming from Senator Moise Jean Charles, the publication of the text of the constitutional amendment, etc… I was somehow confused to the point where I found myself asking if he was executing his own agenda or the president’s.

He positioned himself as someone who was challenging the president. It is like having Vice President Biden going on the opposite direction to certain key political positions President Obama has taken. This is unacceptable.

I knew the Prime Minister’s days were technically over; it was just a matter of time for the end of his tenure to materialize. It is one thing to be in disagreement with the president, but when you have all the members of your own ministerial cabinet defying your orders, that in itself is politically crucial. When that happens, you can no longer consider yourself as someone in command.

It seemed as though there was a trust issue between Prime Minister Conille and President Martelly. The cohabitation between these two men had reached a point of no return, especially after the president had stormed the Prime Minister’s place of residence during a clandestine meeting he (the Prime Minister) was having with certain members of the legislature, some of whom are stark opponents of the president.

Days after this incident, as a result of a cabinet meeting, the president had issued a statement, which, with the exception of the Prime Minister, all the ministers who were there had agreed to. In the statement, the president had asked all the members of the government not to cooperate with the legislative committee in the investigation of the citizenship status of the president and all the members of the government -the Prime Minister, the ministers and the general secretaries.

Prime Minister Conille has placed himself in such predicament. He has not proven to be a team player. The senseless war of influence he started with the president was not warranted. You don’t do that, not with a president you are called to cooperate with to lead his government.

Now that he has resigned, President Martelly needs to go through the constitutionally required process to choose another Prime Minister.

I am rooting for Charles H. Baker, the former candidate for president, for the Prime Minister job. Unlike Conille, Baker is not an outsider; he knows the players on the ground. He is a man of consensus who is capable of building a great team to execute the president’s plan for the country.

This is not the time to be going to a panic attack. The resignation of the Prime Minister should have been expected, and we should have prepared ourselves for the eventuality. I refuse to believe that the country is going through a political crisis as the resignation of the Prime Minister is a possibility recognized in the Constitution; by the same token, we also have the constitutional recommendations as to how to address it.

Sex Affair: This Lady Came On My Show To Denounce Her Pastor

The Sunday night just passed, I had on my radio talk show this lady who was in a clandestine relationship with her divorced pastor. She said she kept it clandestine upon his advice because he would not want her to go public with it.

She came on the show to testify how she caught him in his house having sex with this other woman, who is a deaconess in the church and whose husband has an immeasurable trust in him.

She used her cell phone to film the lady and the pastor together. She made a big scene inside the house and even threatened to beat the crap out of the lady.

Two Sundays before she came on the show, she went to church as though nothing happened; he stopped and told her she was not allowed in and in the vicinity of the church anymore.

After she was denied entry, she left to go sit inside her car parked on the road passing in front of the church to talk to a friend on the telephone. As she was talking, a cop came to question her about the exchange she just had inside the church with the pastor. That’s when she found out that he (the pastor) was the one who called the police on her.

She said she is not the first to have fallen in the pastor’s prey. For that reason, she has been touring all the media outlets in the Haitian community in New Jersey to denounce the pastor’s mischievousness so other women will not have to experience the same setback.

What happened to that lady is nothing new. Some of these guys have been doing that for some time now. They have been preying on women in their congregations, causing many families to be destroyed. It was about time someone, a victim, as courageous as that lady could come out to blow the whistle on these kinds of sexual abuses these pastors have been perpetuating on the women in their congregations.

My Encounter With This Nigerian Lady

A group of of Nigerian women

Culture is no joke. Saturday night, in my socialization, I was talking to this nurse from Nigeria who migrated to the United States with her kids a few months ago to be reunited with her husband who has been in the country for years.

In that encounter, I must admit that I learnt a lot from her just by talking to and asking her questions about her culture, which is different than mine, of course.

Talking to her, I found out that in the Nigerian culture, the wife is like the husband’s property; she is owned by him. She must be submissive and obedient to him at all times. That is expected of her.

She also told me that regardless the woman’s social status, academic background and professional life, her socially expected role is housewife. Her presence is in the house and kitchen as she is expected to clean the house, cook and feed her man and family.

I asked her how a Nigerian woman would react if she finds out with convincing evidence that her man has cheated on her. She said she would have to accept it as polygamy practiced by the men is legally and socially accepted.

We were talking about domestic violence and what the law says in Nigeria to that respect. She said that he, being like the owner of his wife, is allowed to discipline her physically. And if she reports that to the police, they will tell her that this is a family-related issue; therefore, it should be addressed in the family.

She said to me that a woman who does not birth a son to her husband has no value whatsoever, and that husband can leave her for another woman just so he could have that son. I asked her why it is so important for the husband to have a son. She said that when or if the husband dies, all his estate goes to his son(s), none to the daughter(s). She said the only thing women in Nigeria have is an education from their parents, nothing else and nothing more.

We went on to talk about sex and how in the States it is considered rape if a husband forces sex on his wife who refuses to have sex with him. She said that the Nigerian woman is to please her husband sexually whenever, however, wherever and for however long he needs sex; she cannot dare telling him no, regardless how tired she is.

She also told me that in the Nigerian culture, the woman’s money belongs to her husband; he can do whatever he wants with it. After she said that, I felt compelled to ask her if she is allowed to send money back home to his relatives. She said yes, but she must tell her husband, whose only decision matters, to validate the gesture as she is taking his money to give away.

Isn’t culture amazing? Well, that’s the beauty of it all -no one culture is inferior or superior to another. We just have to respect and tolerate them all. Despite our many judgments we may have about her for being different than most of us, she told me she loves her culture and would not trade it for anything in this world. I would love and not trade it for anything either as a people without its culture is nothing.

CONTRACEPTION: The Republicans’ Scapegoat To Take Us To Medical Dark Ages

Foster Friess, a billionaire backer of Rick Santorum, a Republican candidate, was on Andrea Mitchell’s program on MSNBC yesterday complaining about today’s high-cost contraception; he was also promoting cheaper contraceptive means. He stated on the show: “On this contraceptive thing, my Gosh it’s such [sic] inexpensive. You know, back in my days, they used Bayer aspirin for contraception. The gals put it between their knees, and it wasn’t that costly.


Aspirin in between the women’s knees as contraception, is this guy serious or what?

I think I got it now. The plan of the Republicans is basically to take this country back to the medical Dark Ages. At a time when we are talking about serious breakthroughs in the science of medicine, these guys are talking about inserting Bayer aspirin in between women’s knees as contraception.

How did we get to this debate shift today where, instead of debating how to fix this economy, we are talking about abortion, contraception and religious freedom?

Last year, as part of the health care reform law the president signed, it was required of all insurance plans to cover preventive care at no cost to the insured. When it comes to women’s health, however, the concept of “coverage of preventive care” does incorporate coverage of contraceptive services, including birth control.

While the president was making sure that women’s contraceptive needs are covered in the health care reform law, he realized that another principle -religious liberty -was being compromised. So he came out last week to rectify that so he could guarantee the inalienability of this constitutional principle of religious liberty we hold so dearly in this country. How did he rectify it?

The compromise the president has reached with the religious institutions and charities is that women will still have access to preventive care at no cost to them, which includes contraceptive services, no matter who their employers are. However, if a woman’s employer is a charity or an institution that objects on religious grounds to the provision of contraceptive cervices as part of their health plan, the president makes it clear that, under the new rule, the insurance company, not the charity or religious institution, will be required to offer free-of-charge contraceptive services to that employee.

Last I checked,  we’re living in a democracy in this country, not a theocracy. Therefore, whatever one’s religious views on contraception for women are, these views must not be forced upon others as not everyone may share them. 

So we need to be very careful as we are following this debate over religious freedom, abortion and contraception to make sure that we don’t get distracted from the real issues affecting lives in this country and, as a result, let these republicans take us to the medical Dark Ages.

Haitian Music: The Gangsters In The Media Are Destroying The Business

This unregulated Haitian music market, which we dare calling an industry, is at its deliquescence point as we speak; if nothing is done urgently to turn things around, in the next decades or so, we may not have what we are so enjoying today –whatever it is.

I will be blogging a lot on issues pertaining to our music world. But today, for the sake of spiking a conversation, I am going to touch on this very pertinent issue having to do with these media personalities soliciting money from these artists to play their songs on their radio shows and/or help in the promotion of their music on other venues.

Without a doubt, we have very few radio show hosts promoting Haitian music on their shows not demanding that the artists or bands pay a fee to have their songs played on their shows. A good bunch of them, even some of these folks working at these “radyo pirats” (these radio stations operating illegally) would not play your music on their shows unless you accept to “jere” them (pay them money) or whatever. Everybody is on hustling mode.

These entertainment show hosts, for the most part, are bought and owned to promote even bands or artists producing subpar music. These folks can never be themselves to tell the truth, educate the people and constrain these artists to use their God-given talents to produce music worthy of airplay.

For these show hosts, credibility is  no longer part of the game; it forever becomes a matter of extrapolation or “voye monte” for a few bucks. They get paid to hype bands and artists whose substanceless music should have been thrown in the garbage.

Today, even these administrators or owners of these Konpa websites are killing the artists. Thanks for these social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, etc… now there is a way to bypass all of them and get oneself out there.

I still cannot fathom why is it that, in the age of Facebook and Twitter, most of these Haitian artists still believe in the myth that they have to have their music pushed on the radio by these show hosts and their promotion handled by these Konpa websites to make it in this business. This is a myth that must be debunked. One can very well do without them.

Let’s face it… this so-called Haitian music industry has no real money to be made in it to begin with, how can anyone think they can be so demanding? I remember a few years back I contacted this administrator of one of these Konpa websites to have the poster of a band I was working with posted on his website, dude asked me close to 600 dollars for like three weeks of display. Are you kidding me? I don’t mind you charging, but damn!!! Be reasonable at least!!! After that encounter, I said to myself, “Nah, something has got to be done. I will do whatever in my human power to expose this institutionalized gangsterism.”

If the artists go to great lengths and fight tooth and nail to produce an album, before that album even hits the distribution points, thousands of bootlegged copies would be out there being shared and even sold illegally in the black market. So they are running on a deficit way before they even get to come out and start crawling.

There is no real money to be made in this music production business as I stated earlier, yet some of these unrealistic show hosts and Konpa website owners refuse to understand the reality of the business and the struggle these artists must go through in order stay afloat. That explains why it avers extremely hard for these upcoming bands and artists to get any real spotlight and exposure necessary for their forward progression; hence, only these already-established artists and bands with some type of name recognition you see occupy the landscape, even though they are doing nothing but engaging in production recycling or “bouyon rechofe,” displaying no sense of respect for the consumers.  This dire reality kills great talents and stalls the spirit of creativity in the business.

Because of this disheartening situation, these show hosts and website administrators have amassed a great deal of power and influence in the business, causing the musicians to have to lose their dignity and even have to go as low as engaging in flattery just so their music could be blessed with a little airplay on their shows and a little exposure on their websites, which in my opinion is not right.

While in the US market the artists get paid each time their songs get broadcasted on the radio or else, in the Haitian music market, it is the other way around; the artists must pay members of the media for that. Isn’t it ironic? And you expect these artists to make a comfortable living?

In conclusion, this piece is far from being an attempt to destroy anyone’s business; it is, rather, a call to reason and sympathy.  It also offers an opportunity to tell these artists that there are ways to bypass these robbers and get their business out there. This Haitian music market should not be the way it is. These mercenaries in the business will not change their deceitful mannerism unless they are forced to do so. Until they decide to pursue a different course, the artists must bypass them and use the technologies they have available at their disposal to market themselves. If they give their very best to product great music (music with no expiration date on; music that can transcend generations) and use all the right technologies to get themselves out there, nothing can stop them. Instead of them chasing people, people will be chasing them.  You can never go wrong with these social networking sites, if you really know how to make good use of them. Remember this, Barack Obama, the president of the United States, won the presidential election in 2008 because of his sublime use of the internet, mainly these social networking sites. If he could do it so big then, so can you today. You just have got to believe.

These Haitian Senators Will Face Deception in Washington, D.C.

Simon D. Desras - President of the Haitian Senate

The members of this congressional committee charged to investigate on President Martelly’s alleged foreign citizenship are expected to travel to Washington, D.C. to get to the bottom of this issue dominating the headlines for weeks -so they say.

They know this trip will not bring to light anything substantial, yet they still want to make it. Let me show you why I say that.

Under the provisions of the Privacy Act of 1974, it stipulates explicitly that “No agency shall disclose any record which is contained in a system of records by any means of communication to any person, or to another agency, except pursuant to a written request by, or with the prior written of, the individual to whom the record pertains…” Of course, there are exceptions to this clause; these exceptions, however, do not cover the action sought to accomplish by these senators.

The possible dual citizenship of President Martelly, a foreign dignitary, does not constitute a threat to the national security of the United States. Therefore, as Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts had stated, no US institution, including the US Congress, has jurisdiction over matters internal to the Republic of Haiti.

In light of all this, would it not be fair to ask if these guys are really coming to the US to accomplish what they say they will come to accomplish? In all earnest, I strongly doubt that getting to the bottom of this dual citizenship nonsense is exactly what they are coming here to do.

In my humble opinion, I think they are coming to the US to see their concubines and kids they do not get to see often, not to do anything having to do with the so-called investigation. While they are here, they will also use the moment to go shopping for expensive suits and pieces of jewelry, electronics, automobiles and other stuff they will not find in Haiti.

These guys need to stop taking the Haitian people for a bunch of dummies. Their actions have brought us enough shame already; they need not to add anymore to the load. We have enough of these guys making all of us pass for the ridicule of the world. I hope they can for once exercise their judgment to spare us the shame I can foresee in the horizon.


I am glad to hear that the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation, the nation’s leading breast cancer charity, has reversed its decision to cut off funding (about $600,000 annually) to Planned Parenthood for breast cancer screening for the economically disadvantaged people, which anti-abortion activists in the Republican Party were attempting to pressure them to do.

Providing funding for breast cancer screening for women through Planned Parenthood has nothing to do with funding abortion, and these conservative Republicans know it.

If you check out what Planned Parenthood does, you will realize that most of the work they do deals with breast cancer screening, cervical cancer screening, preventing care for sexually transmitted diseases among others -nothing to do with abortion.

Not a dime of the funding from the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation is used by Planned Parenthood to finance abortion, yet Rush Limbaugh, the mouthpiece of the Republican Party, refers to them as “the pro-abortion mill industry.” Mind you, this is where millions of women receive their health care.

The decision by the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation to reverse its fund cutoff to Planned Parenthood is a great victory for women’s health. Like House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi stated in her brief statement in reaction to such a great victory, “when women speak out, women win, and women’s health has a big victory…”

This is a matter of preventive health care in order to detect breast cancer. The earlier breast cancer can be detected, the better and greater the prognosis. So for the anti-abortion right to try to pressure the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation to defund Planned Parenthood, that’s beyond appalling and heartless.

You can read more on the issue by reading this piece in the Atlantic entitled Top Susan G. Komen Official Resigned Over Planned Parenthood Cave-In filed on Thurday, Feb. 02, 2012 by Jeffrey Goldberg.