Last month, the New York Times published a lengthy article titled Haitian Leader’s Power grows as Scandals swirl on Michel Martelly and the corruption plaguing his presidency—from drug trafficking to bribery and political assassinations. It seems like few people took notice—at least within the Haitian community. So meticulous was the article, one wonders why would the New Times publish something like this? Knowing the role of this important, mega-mainstream publication in the United States—often the mouthpiece of American power—it is intriguing to find out why the Times would zero in on Martelly, a client Head of State who holds no real power in Haiti. He is a proxy president bent on doing what he is told—a caretaker “president” who, in proxy politics, would have no serious input in strategic matters regarding Haiti.
Is this an attempt to rewrite the narrative on Martelly’s circumstantial win 4 years ago? Or is this a way to signal that Martelly has been literally dumped by his bosses? To this reasoning, The Times explains how Martelly, then Sweet Micky, was ushered into the presidency. According to the Times, “Mr. Martelly was elected in 2011 after being placed in a runoff despite coming in third in a disputed election. International organizations, with an assist from Washington, helped Mr. Martelly by documenting his opponents’ widespread voter fraud.” Here, the New York Times exposes the political maneuverings, the backstabbing, and the raw disrespect for the Haitian voters. “Placing” a candidate in a runoff while he stood 3rd in the field only throws out the “holy” narrative of “fairness” that Bill Clinton and others were claiming to characterize the election of Michel Martelly in 2011.
The UN which certified the election then conceded that only 33 % of eligible voters went to the polls, which means 67 % stayed home. In this calculus, even if Sweet Micky were to receive 100 % of the vote, it would not have been sufficed to secure popular legitimacy. Now, we know the election was a farce, the voters were window-dressing in a “staged” play that stuffed Martelly into the pie—presumably because he was the best among the stooges fighting for who would be the most qualified candidate to represent foreign interests in Haiti.
The Times says “International organizations, with an assist from Washington” without mentioning their names, but we get the message. We’re not stupid, and we can read between the lines. René Preval, who was then president, was simply outmaneuvered. Unwilling to fight for Haiti, he forfeited his right to govern. (See René Preval bows as Hillary Clinton orders)
The Times also points out that recently Martelly has managed to upstage his political opponents and emerged victorious after a long political bickering. Martelly’s power grew in the aftermath of that political battle that left the Haitian Parliament disbanded. Now that he and he alone shapes power in that Caribbean nation, he has been ruling by decree. The times goes on to say that Martelly went on to shield many of his protégés and family members, including his wife Sophia Martelly formally charged on corruption charges.
According to the Times, “the Martelly administration’s influence has been criticized most for its effect on the judiciary, where the criminal cases of some people close to the president have stalled or disappeared.” The New York Times goes on to say that “prosecutors who objected to the administration’s interference were fired or fled, and one judge who complained that the president had meddled in a civil corruption case against Sophia Martelly, the first lady, died two days later.”
That’s not all. Adding to the First Lady’s case, several dubious figures sought by police, previously arrested on drug trafficking and cold-blooded murder were later released under threat from Martelly as it was the case of a certain “Evinx Daniel, a prominent hotelier and Martelly campaign supporter who owns Dan’s Creek, a beachfront hotel the president is known to frequent.” The Times says Martelly was heavily criticized for the handling of the case.
When the suspect was interrogated by investigators, “Mr. Daniel told the authorities that he had found 23 packages of marijuana floating at sea and decided to bring them home. He called the president’s brother-in-law, Mr. Saint-Rémy, who called the United States Drug Enforcement Administration to pick up the load, the brother-in-law said.
A prosecutor, Jean Marie Salomon, doubted the story, suspecting that it was a ruse to cover up a drug deal that local residents had stumbled upon, and arrested Mr. Daniel on drug-trafficking charges. But the prosecutor was nervous, because he knew the hotelier had been active in the president’s campaign.”
And to send a message to the judge who ordered the arrest of Evinx Daniel, the next day, “Martelly went to Port Salut, about 140 miles west of the capital, and stayed at his friend’s hotel.” The trip to Port Salut was told by Sweet Micky’s own brother in-law now feeling estranged after being forced to resign in the wake of the drug scandal.
“It was not only a provocation from the president, but also a coded message,” Mr. Salomon, the judge said in reference to Martelly’s weekend trip to his friend’s hotel in Port Salut. “That day, I understood there was a bounty on me, and my days were numbered.” Mr. Salomon called the United Nations for help and fled the country.
These revelations are blatant and humiliating for a people who have suffered so much. When they spearheaded Martelly and his band to the presidency, they knew he was involved in all kinds of dirty dealings. But it was their way to tie the leash on Haiti and its people, handpicking the most vulgar elements in outer layer of society so the coons can be totally beholden to their masters. The New Times article was a vivid reminder to Sweet Micky and his bands of who truly rules Haiti. It’s hard to imagine these are the people they have put in charge to rule the land of Dessalines.
The New York Times article can also be interpreted as the beginning of the end for Martelly who has fired Laurent Lamothe, his former Prime Minister—a Bill Clinton protégé. The coming of Evans Paul, current Martelly’s PM, has yet to receive Washington’s blessing, and if the Times’ article exposes Martelly, it also shields Lamothe “[who] was seen by [Washington] as cracking down on kidnapping and organized crime.” But Lamothe himself was involved in shadowy dealings, as it was rumored in many venues. But he is Bill Clinton’s man, now. His narrative will have to be for sometimes in the future.
What has Haiti done to deserve this?