Lil Wayne and Chris Brown Were in Haiti for a Concert of Controversy

On Friday, June 26, 2015, Lil Wayne, Chris Brown, Swizz Beatz and a panoply of Haitian artists came together under the label of Big O Production of Olivier Martelly, the oldest son of President Martelly of Haiti, to produce the biggest and most controversial concert in the entertainment history of the nation.

According to The Source, an American entertainment magazine, “over 100,000 people” turned out on Champs de Mars, the country’s largest public square, to witness history being made.

Days before the kickoff of the fest, Haitians from all walks of life came out on the radio, street corners and social media to shed their commentaries in support or against it.

The people were diametrically divided on the tenure of the event. If some believed that the moment was not to celebrate, especially not at a time when the Dominican government was deporting illegally and indiscriminately thousands of our people, Olivier Martelly believed otherwise. He saw in the free concert an opportunity to put Haiti in the international spotlight and on the global tourist map. Speaking to Ticket Magazine, he stated:

I am personally very passionate about everything having to do with my country, Haiti. The artists are aware of everything and hope to attract positive attention to the country […] Haiti is back on the world tourist map for some time. Welcoming these megastars is a huge publicity campaign for us. Check out the commentaries on the internet ever since the word about the concert has been out, everybody is talking about it.

Carel Pedre of Radio One, opined along the same lines as Olivier on his radio show as reported by Le Nouvelliste in an article entitled Un concert qui tombe mal. He just could not see how a free concert could harm anything. For him, all the polemic that surrounded the concert was due to the fact that the people were left with the impression that the government did not seem to care about the deportees, who were arriving on our soil in record numbers from the Dominican Republic.

Two things had caused and fueled the controversy that surrounded the concert:

a. the unexpected sociopolitical conjoncture created by the deportation of thousands of our brothers and sisters from the Dominican Republic;

b. the people behind it are related to the country’s political leadership.

Both Olivier and Carel were right on target –from an entertainment perspective. But too bad they are not politicians. They were looking at the concert, and I would not hold that against them, only from an entertainment perspective. That’s where they got it all misconstrued. Whether they wanted it or not, and it was very unfortunate, the event had more of a political connotation than anything else.

In politics, there is this concept called TIMING, a major factor in thinking through political strategies and actions. We have seen such concept played out all the time in American politics. You have to be able to choose the right timing to make political moves. Otherwise, the political fallouts you would have to deal with could be very dreadful and cataclysmic.

Regardless how one is going to spin the politics of the concert to make it fit all rules of political correctness, it is not going to sit well in the court of public opinion, not when it was hosted by the President’s son at a time when we are dealing with an unprecedented sociopolitical situation with the massive deportation of thousands of our people from the Dominican Republic.

The idea behind the concert is great. I personally support it and think we should host concerts of such magnitude in the country every Spring Break or summer in an attempt to sell the paradisiac nature of our country and attract tourists on our shores to come spend money in the economy. The only issue with it was that the timing was POLITICALLY off. But aside from that, I think Big O Production should not and must not let the politics that surrounds this first experience stop him from putting together other concerts of this envergure in the future.

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The Expulsion of Jacky Lumarque From The Presidential Race Is Too Little Too Late

Jacky Lumarque of the Verite Party

Jacky Lumarque of the Verite Party

The Provisional Electoral Council (PEC), the nine-member institution commissioned to organize free, credible, transparent and inclusive elections in Haiti, has issued yesterday afternoon a press release to inform the population in general and the political parties in particular that Jacky LUMARQUE, the representative of the Verite Party, the party of former President Preval, in the race has been expelled for not having his discharge certificate, a requirement made by the electoral decree in its Article 90 paragraph (h).

The expulsion of Lumarque –from the list of the candidates accredited by the (PEC) to participate in the upcoming presidential election –is too little too late. It is nothing but a farce or intrigue orchestrated by Martelly and Preval to delude or baffle the people’s vigilance and make them believe that the electoral institution can be trusted to equitably fulfill its mission. We are not going to fall for that.

According to Rudolph Boulos, five of the nine members of the council receive their orders directly from Preval. In other words, it is partially controlled by a very influential leader of a political party –the supreme leader of the Verite Party. So we do not trust the institution to organize free, credible, transparent, inclusive and democratic elections in the country.

While the Provisional Electoral Council is at it, while they are cleaning up the house by excluding from the presidential race those candidates not having their discharge certificate, we are asking them not to forget to apply the same rules to these councilmembers –Pierre-Louis Opont, former General Manager of the PEC that had organized the 2010 elections; Marie Carmelle Paul-Austin, former Education Minister; Yolette Menguale and Nehemie Joseph, members of the previous PEC –who too need to have their clearance papers. Their presence in the institution violates Article 90 of the electoral decree. They cannot be enforcing a law which they are not in conformity with. Without their proper discharge papers, they have no business to be in the institution pushing candidates away for lacking the same piece of document as them.

This Provisional Electoral Council has no credibility to organize the elections; it does not inspire trust. We do not trust it to honorably fulfill its mission, which is to organize free, credible, transparent and inclusive elections in the country. We do not feel safe participating in these elections, not when we know that the institution is controlled by rival political parties. We want democratic elections in the country, not a SELECTION where the winners are already decided –without the full participation of the population.

President Martelly Has Made a Mockery of Himself

President Martelly and former Prime Minister Lamothe not looking too happy.

President Martelly and former Prime Minister Lamothe not looking too happy.

In an article entitled Michel Martelly: “J’avais dit à Sophia et à Lamothe qu’ils ne pouvaient pas être candidats à la presidence” [in English, Michel Martelly: “I had told Sophia and Lamothe they could not be presidential candidates”] published on Monday, June 15, 2015 in Le Nouvelliste, Haiti’s only daily newspaper, President Martelly stated: “I had instructed Lamothe that he would not be my candidate for president because I had realized that we were going to have elections with political parties not so comfortable with the idea of him being my candidate, which would give him the competitive edge over his opponents. It was important for me to instill trust in the candidates and credibility in the system so that everyone would believe they could win.”

What a load of charade! Who are his political advisers? If this strategy came from his gang of advisers, all of them ought to be fired? I do not want to think he had acted on his own, without consulting with his advisers on political affairs. I really do not want to think that.

How do you instill trust and credibility in an electoral system, Mr. President?

That’s the one-million-dollar question we need to answer. Mr. President, you instill trust and credibility in an electoral system by making sure that the electoral institution operates in full transparency and fairness, which will level the playing field for all the players in the game. As the guarantor of all the state institutions, Mr. President, that is part of your constitutional prerogatives.

It is expected of every sitting president to choose someone in their entourage who is electable [with a positive track record] to represent their party in an electoral contest. It was expected of President George H. W. Bush to endorse Vice President Dan Quayle for president; it was expected of President Bill Clinton to endorse Vice President Al Gore’s candidacy for president to succeed him. For the sake of ideological continuity, Mr. President, that is what sitting presidents are expected to do. And doing so would not compromise in any shape or form trust and credibility in the electoral system itself.

It is like telling me you are the general of an army going to war with a potential enemy and decide to leave behind your best warriors, those you can count on to take your army to victory. What kind of a general are you, and what kind of a battle strategy are you executing?

Choosing Lamothe would not have guaranteed him a win. For him to win, he would have relied on his political astuteness to put together a winning strategy. Since I have been following presidential politics, I have witnessed candidates endorsed by sitting presidents losing elections all the time. The opposition could have won running against Lamothe. They would have bet on the effectiveness of their campaign strategy to frame their political arguments against him.

Further down in the article, almost close to the end, he said about Lamothe: “Lamothe may have more ardor than me and be more hi-tech than I am, but be careful; it’s neither being hi-tech nor having money that makes me but rather my profundity and grandeur.”

Was this statement necessary, seriously? This is puerile thinking, to say the least. It really downgrades the president’s character. It shows me that he is not concerned about the future of the country; he is more concerned about his ego, his delusion of grandeur.

Nothing stops Martelly from being hi-tech. He can always be so if he wants. In that statement, he comes across as someone who is envious of Lamothe for who he is and what he is. There is a level grotesqueness we do not expect our heads of state to stoop to.

Mr. President, with all due respect, you have made a blunder. Please admit it. Find a better excuse to justify your decision next time. And until you find one that makes sense, you should not be talking to the press on that matter, for the more you do, the more you will be making ridiculous and embarrassing revelations.

Contact Your US Senators and Ask Them to Stop Financing the SELECTION Martelly and His Cronies in the Provisional Electoral Council Are Preparing

ACT

President Martelly and his cronies in the Provisional Electoral Council (PEC) are preparing to kidnap and rape our democracy –the democracy thousands of our brothers and sisters have died for over the years.

Instead of organizing free, fair and inclusive elections to allow the people to choose their leaders, these enemies of our democracy are organizing a SELECTION, in total violation of our civil and political rights, and want to force it down our throats.

The Provisional Electoral Council –the institution put together to organize free, fair and inclusive elections in the country –has been vassalized and used as a political instrument [by these enemies of our democracy] to bar for POLITICAL REASONS former Prime Minister Lamothe from running for president. Mind you, he is the solid front-runner in the race.

Since we do not believe in violence –“kraze brize,” burning tires and terrorist activities to make our voices heard –we are going to use the nonviolent and most effective approach to pressure Martelly and his goons in the PEC to correct their misstep, faux pas, blunder or impropriety.

We believe that if we could cut the money supply financing this masquerade SELECTION, there is no way they can move forward with it. The way we are going to do that is simple. We are going to click on the attached link and locate our senators’ names, their phone numbers and email addresses. We are going to either call their offices or write them a simple note to denounce what President Martelly and his subjects in the PEC are doing in Haiti. We are going to ask them to stop financing the SELECTION in Haiti; we demand and deserve free, fair, inclusive and democratic elections.

The blatant abuse of power going on in Haiti can only perpetuate if and only if we the people do not take action. We have the power to change the political dynamics in the country, so let’s stop complaining and take action. The tax dollars of the American people must not be used to finance a masquerade SELECTION that does not represent their value system.

PM Lamothe Should Not Resign

Prime Minister Lamothe visiting Port-de-Paix, the administrative capital of the Northwest District.

Prime Minister Lamothe of Haiti visiting Port-de-Paix, the administrative capital of the country’s Northwest District.

PM Lamothe should not resign, nor should he give in to the pressures coming from the Lavalas‬ opposition, the drug dealers, the kidnappers, the criminals, the crooks  and the gang leaders. His destitution has to be constitutional, meaning the Parliament has to convene to vote him down.

I thought these folks in the Lavalas opposition were for the respect of the Constitution, though. Maybe I misunderstood what they had been saying all along.

The Parliament, a state institution, had voted PM Lamothe up; they have to vote him down if/when they want him to go. That is what the Constitution demands, that is how we must proceed. The Constitution is our compass; we must be guided by it.

If the parliamentarians decide to keep the Prime Minister in, nothing the Lavalas opposition can do about it. The deputies and senators are the true representatives of the people, not the Lavalas thugs on the streets, who do not represent even 1% of the population. 

We opt for the respect of the Constitution to settle this case. We are in a representative democracy, so we must let the institution of the Parliament decide on the fate of the Prime Minister. That is all we are asking. Meanwhile, the Lavalas anarchists can keep dancing and chanting on the streets until they fall dead.

Yes, to every exceptional situation an exceptional decision is warranted, but that does not mean we have to depart from the prescriptions of the Constitution.

We are not saying that PM Lamothe is untouchable, and that he cannot lose his position. What we are saying, though, is that if he is going to be let go, it must be done in harmony with the spirit and dictate of the Constitution. Any other way will be unconstitutional, and we must not engage in unconstitutionality to settle this contention.

After Putin of Russia, the ‪‎Lavalas‬ extremists will soon call Al Qaeda or ISIS to the rescue

Puttin

A group of Lavalas extremists called on Russian President Putin for help (Photo credit: Associated Press)

Thousands of Lavalas radicals took the streets in protest yesterday to demand the resignation of President Martelly, Haiti’s democratically elected president, and Prime Minister Lamothe.

They accused the United States of backing the martelly administration and called on Russian President Vladimir Putin to invade the country and remove for them President Martelly out of power.

Some of the protesters were holding posters of President Putin that read: “Vladimir Putin, Please Help Us!” Anyone with a little bit of diplomatic savviness in them in this country would tell you that such a call has gone too far. From a geopolitical perspective, this is the most ludicrous and unthinkable move ever, and a desperate one at that.

What has happened to the notion of international interference they have been saying they are so against? What has happened to the Dessalinian philosophy or ideal they have been advocating for?

Dessalines, whose name they often invoke each time it is convenient to them, would never call on a foreign nation to invade his country and thereby soil its sovereignty for the sole purpose of making his will prevail. One thing we know of Dessalines is that he was not a traitor, and he despised treason with a passion.

What seems to be a dichotomy to me is the fact that they say they are against the interference of the international community in the country’s internal affairs, yet they are the ones calling Russia to the rescue. What kind of a twist of principle is that? Russia is no longer part of the international community? I guess not, since for this moron –Moise Jean-Charles, one of the leaders of the Lavalas extremists –Great Britain is not a member state of the United Nations.

If today they could call on President Putin to come bail them out, let us not be surprised if tomorrow they call on their Al Qaeda and ISIS comrades to come get Martelly out of the country.

It is clear that these Lavalas extremists are now jeopardizing the future of the country. Since they finally come to the realization that the election of President Martelly, someone with no political feuille de route, is a systematic rejection by the people of their archaic, retrograde, terroristic and dictatorial ways, they rather mess it all up for everyone; hence the cockroach syndrome.

I don’t think these people have the intellectual capacity to measure the level of seriousness of the situation in which they plunge the nation. They love to indulge in demagoguery politics for political expediency irregardless the negative drawbacks that may have on the nation as a whole.

President Martelly Opts for Dialogue and Rejects Violence to Solve Political Contentions

Martelly and Preval

Yitzhak Rabin, the fifth Prime Minister of Israel and Nobel Peace Prize winner, said once: “You don’t make peace with friends. You make it with very unsavory enemies.”

He was assassinated in office in 1995 because of the Oslo Accords, the blueprint of peace in the Israelo-Palestinian conflict, which he signed with his Palestinian neighbors –he wanted to make peace with the Palestinians.

Today, each time I think of the political conjuncture in my homeland Haiti, this great quote of Prime Minister Rabin cannot stop roaming through my mind. He was, like many other world leaders, a champion for peace. That is why he was awarded with the Nobel Peace Prize in 1994 –a year before his assassination.

For quite some time now, President Martelly, in his attempt to find a concerted and agreeable solution to the situation of standstill the country is in today, has initiated a series of meetings or consultations with political leaders, respectable and nationally renowned personalities in the civil society, professionals, members of the clergy, members of the press, etc. Unfortunately, not all seem to fall in line with his action as evidenced by this Nouvelliste article entitled Quand Moise Jean-Charles douche Rene Preval.

Reading the article, I could not stop shaking my head in disbelief. It is very sad and depressing to read what the Lavalas senator thinks of former President Preval’s meeting with President Martelly. To downplay its importance, he sees it as going to the National Palace to participate in the Carnival.

The Lavalas senator is going ballistic and enraged at former President Preval for the simple fact that he went to meet with President Martelly in the National Palace to brainstorm on the country’s sociopolitical conjuncture. Being that he is an experienced former head of state, someone who had dealt with all kinds of challenges during his tenure as president, he went to consult with President Martelly on the road to take to get through the staleness the country is going through right now.

The senator of the Lavalas opposition, Moise Jean-Charles, needs to understand this basic concept: there is no better way to solve contentions and disagreements other than through sincere and honest dialogue. If he knows a better way, he needs to bring it forth. Obviously, he does not; his only way is to see President Martelly, the country’s democratically elected president, ousted.

It is quite obvious that these folks in the Lavalas opposition [for the record, when I say Lavalas opposition, I want to refer to Fanmi Lavalas, Inite, Fusion, MOPOD, RDNP, Ansanm Nou Fo, Ayisyen Pou Ayiti] do not want to see the standstill resolved; they want a chaotic state of affairs.

The Lavalas opposition’s only objective is to see Martelly dragged out of power by any means necessary. And anyone who, like former President Preval, dares meeting with President Martelly –in an attempt to unfreeze or untangle the political stillness –will fall prey in their radar of attack. They don’t see country… they only see their selfish and short-lived personal or party interests.

The more they hold on their intransigence or grudges, the clearer the people will see what they are really after and about.

President Martelly needs to stay resolute and focused; he is doing the right thing. He must not let these Lavalas folks sway him. In fact, they hold no real power to topple his administration. If they had the means to do it, they would have done it by now. They are a bunch of good-for-nothings who can only make empty noises on the streets.

On this day marking the 208th anniversary of the death of Emperor Dessalines, what is a better way to respect and honor the legacy of this great and illustrious figure than to reflect on his philosophy, to penetrate his psyche beyond his death? No, instead, the Lavalas opposition calls for another street protest to demand the ousting of President Martelly. And we all know what this protest will bring behind it. They will put their violent mobs on the streets to physically and psychologically terrorize the population, burn tires, break people’s car windows and steal their belongings, loot private businesses, etc…

Contentions and disagreements can only be resolved through dialogue, not violence. With violence, all of us will lose; there can never be winners. So let us all renounce violence and embrace peace and the philosophy of nonviolence.

Those among us promoting conflict resolutions through violence only show their weakness and incapacity to promote peace, concord, amity and harmony. They are the nation’s true enemies. We need to annihilate them not by means of violence, but by means or rejection. So it is time to reject and refute the Lavalas ideology of violence and racial division to embrace the true Dessalinian philosophy of unity and peace through dialogue, unity and social justice. President Martelly needs to continue with these series of consultations with all the people willing to meet with and talk to him. That is the most productive, progressive and commonsense approach, and I strongly support him in such endeavor.

Legislative Election This Year in Haiti or Dismissal of The Parliament

I am against the application of Article 12 of the El Rancho Agreement; it is recipe for political suicide for President Martelly. He should not and must not take such route. By the same token, I am wholeheartedly against the idea of mandate prolongation for these lawmakers whose terms will come to an end on the 2nd Monday of January.

So far, we all on the progressive aisle of the political spectrum would agree that President Martelly has done way too much and gone to the extreme to facilitate the organization of the elections this year. But, and that is very unfortunate, the unwavering and insurmountable roadblock inside the Senate is beyond his control.

President Martelly can’t do anything to make possible the impossible in the Senate. He can only hope the 6 Lavalas senators come to their senses, which I strongly doubt will happen, to allow the electoral process to pursue its course. Otherwise, he will have to bet on time to welcome sooner than later the arrival of the 2nd Monday of January -the day this Parliament will constitutionally expire.

Once the Parliament expires, we will have a situation of fact to deal with. It will be dismissed because its tenure will be unconstitutional. Then what will be the reaction of the so-called opposition? We will be witnessing waves of political turbulence and each side will be playing the blame game for a few months, which should be expected, before everyone starts absorbing and digesting the logic of the general elections in 2015.

The notion that President Martelly will have to go if he fails to organize the legislative and territorial elections this year, which those in the so-called opposition are regurgitating over and over, is pure political fantasy from a bunch of so-called politicians indulging in the act of intellectual masturbation. With this talking point, the so-called opposition is doing nothing but talking gibberish to create fear of the unknown in the minds of the people. We know for a fact they do not have the political means on the ground and on the world stage to force Martelly out of power. If they did, they would have kicked him out long ago. So they are making empty noises to disturb the midnight peace in the Republic.

What I see in the political horizon is clear and simple: unless a miracle happens for the 6 Lavalas senators to come to their senses to facilitate the electoral process to run its course, we are heading toward the expiration and dismissal of the Parliament -which will create waves of political turbulence for a few weeks or months before everyone accepts the new reality as the new normal in our political conjuncture. Then everyone will be talking about general elections in 2015.

Jacques-Edouard Alexis Is Very Audacious

Former Prime Minister Jacques-Edouard Alexis

Former Prime Minister Jacques-Edouard Alexis

This Jacques-Edouard Alexis, a former LAVALAS Prime Minister, has some nerve to be talking about Prime Minister Lamothe in these terms -in this Nouvelliste article. When will these politicians start showing some degree of decorum in their public positions?

Dude took part in the last presidential election and could not even rake in 1% of the votes cast, yet he seems to have a lot to say of PM Lamothe, who is actually doing way better than he did when he was Prime Minister.

He knows alone he cannot stop PM Lamothe from winning the presidency -should he decide to run -he is calling on his posse of oldies to team up with him to stop him [Lamothe]. He got me laughing at his tamper tantrum.

These old faces need to retire from politics altogether. They are the reason why my country is in the quagmire it finds itself today. If they really want to do the country a great and memorable service, they ALL should shut their mouths.

This moment calls for the emergence of a new political class of young Haitian politicians, not these old faces who have never shied to shame the entire nation. Never again will these bozos return to power. Their time is forever over. We need a new generation of Haitian politicians to take the leadership of the country and lead it in the 21st century.

Whether they want it or not, Lamothe is in a very strong position to be the next president of Haiti. He has been doing a tremendous job thus far as Prime Minister. The man is running the country like a businessman, which is something we had never seen before.

This man, Jacques-Edouard Alexis, is politically insignificant. He is just craving for attention, which he has not been getting since he got fired as Prime Minister. Put him on the ballot to run against Lamothe in the general election, dude will not get 10% of the votes. He is just a sore loser who is barking at the wrong tree. Since he calls himself “universitaire,” whatever the heck that is, he needs to stick to that; politics is not his forte.

Haiti Carnival and Politics: My Take

Kanaval

I think a lot of changes need to be brought to the organization of the Carnival. It is and has always been a pro-government festivity.

President Martelly has brought a lot of changes [for example, holding it in a different city each year to bring thousands of people out to explore what our cities have to offer], but a lot more need to be implemented.

We need to take the Carnival off the yoke of the political establishment and place it in the hands of the private sector so to render it more effective. The only involvement of the government we would need would have to do with logistical and security supports. That’s it.

The committee put together to organize the event is constituted of puppets under the dictate of the government, which makes it a political organization hired to organize a pro-government political manifestation. And this is not anything new, for it has always been that way.

Some groups you do not see in the parade, in spite of their great efforts to produce some of the best meringues of the season, that has to do with a matter of political vendetta -which is is wrong. We need to institute a system of meritocracy -which is based on merit, not favoritism.