Monday, August 08, 2005

Who's In? Who's Out?

ELECTIONS

Lavalas is IN ... The new three musketeers (pictured on the left, Yvon Feuillé, followed by Rudy Hérivaux and Gérard Gilles in the back) showed up in the afternoon at the CEP offices on Delmas to register the party. What will the Big Chief say? How about the firebrand activists in the Diaspora? Mezanmi!


Charles-Henri Baker (at the microphone to the left) is IN ... He cut all ties with the 184 and will probably be running as an independent. We say: bad move, Charlito! You just lost all credibility right there!

US EMBASSY

Jame Foley is OUT ... The current ambassador will be leaving Haiti soon, after a two-year tour. Rumor has it he was not happy in the country, and neither was his wife. We say: so long, James, and good riddance!



Timothy Carney is IN ... He will replace Foley as the interim charge d'affaires. Carney is no stranger to Haiti having served as ambassador in the country a few years back.

Gangs Are On The Run; General Strike

A wave of vigilante justice swept the neighborhoods of Solino, Ti-Chéri, Carrefour-Feuilles, and Bel-Air in Port-au-Prince yesterday and today where the population, fed up with being taken hostage by gangs since the beginning of hostilities in September 2004, basically chased them out of the neighborhoods and killed several of them. There are unconfirmed reports of gang members who were beheaded near Sans-Fil and Poste-Marchand as well. This comes on the heels of police operations in those areas earlier this week which led to the arrests of two gang leaders as well as the deaths of several others.

The gangs on the run have sought refuge in Site Soley, where the situation is still a bit fluid. My sources in Site Soley tell me that the population in some pockets of that "commune" has started to cooperate the police so as to rid themselves of the criminals.

I expect more reporting from the Haitian press on this situation in the coming days, but I can tell you that Solino is a lot calmer now than it was two weeks ago.

I have no news yet from Carrefour, Martissant, Grande-Ravine, etc.

*********************

On a separate note, public transportation was at a standstill today - and this will continue tomorrow - as tap-tap drivers are on strike against the recent increase in gasoline prices. They want the government to apply a subsidy to make public transportation more affordable. This is a no-win situation for the Latortue administration, which can ill afford to subsidize anything right now. Yet, the expected increase in the price of oil on international markets - the barrel hit US$ 63.00 today - will only make matters worse for the Haitian population.

Blog Issue with Internet Explorer

Yes, I know! The sidebar shifts all the way to the bottom when my blog is viewed in Internet Explorer. I will try to fix this later today (Monday, August 8.) Sorry for the inconvenience. All the more reason for you to switch to firefox, quite a superior browser.

Elections: Le Jour J

Ce 8 août va être d'après moi un jour haut en couleurs. Nous allons découvrir si le parti Lavalas va se présenter aux élections ou non. Vu les dissenssions internes et la guerre des mots entre les lavalassiens locaux (Feuillé, Gilles, Hérivaux) qui sont prêts à se lancer dans la bataille et les aristidiens d'outre-mer (Maryse Narcisse et Jonas Petit) qui rejettent catégoriquement toute participation tout autant que le retour physique du chef à vie du parti n'aura pas lieu, il est certain que l'atmosphère sera surchauffée chez les partisans de notre ex-Pol Pot.

Du côté local, nous savons plus ou moins à quoi nous en tenir. K-Plim a le vent en poupe et semble être bien organisé. Pourra-t-il faire oublier ses jours de magistrats de 2ème classe et son zèle pro-aristidien ayant conduit à l'incendie de l'ancienne cathédrale? Ce qui est frappant est l'incapacité de certaines grosses gorges de pouvoir réunir cinq mille signatures - comme Himmler Rébu, Hubert de Ronceray, Reynold Georges et Déjean Betizè, pardon Bélizaire. Comment? Vous prétendez être des grands hommes politiques et vous êtes incapable de rallier à votre cause 0,11% des électeurs? Incroyable. Le MOCHRENA a passé des moments difficiles avec le CEP, mais le parti de Luc '"dieu est mon pilote" Mésadieu a pu traverser le cap. Nous ne parlerons même pas des mille autres candidats qui ont le support de leur épouse et enfants uniquement. Ils méritent d'être flagellés pour stupidité.

La rupture entre Claude Roumain et le gang à Daniel Supplice, ex-futur ministre brièvement consacré à Belot, n'augure rien de bon pour leur formation. Et que dire de ce fameux Parti Libéral dont la vie éphémère aura duré moins longtemps que celle d'une luciole? Encore un exemple de manque de vision. En tout cas, ils sont mal barrés, nos amis des élites financiero-intellectuelles.

Allons-nous voir le Groupe des 184 se révéler pour ce qu'il est vraiment, un parti politique bourgeois ayant revêtu pour la circonstance l'habit populiste de la société civile? Nous l'apprendrons lorsque le CEP nous fera savoir si Charles-Henri Baker aura déposé les documents de sa candidature ou pas. Cet intrépide membre de l'ex-opposition aurait décidé de se lancer à la dernière minute dans la course au fauteuil du Champs de Mars. Ala traka, papa!

Et que dire des candidats malheureux de notre diaspora qui, semble-t-il, n'ont pas obtenu l'aval du CEP? Serait-ce encore une fois un rendez-vous manqué pour les représentants de notre "vache à lait" qui dépensent beaucoup pour le pays, supportent par tous les moyens leur patrie d'origine, mais se font couillonner à chaque fois qu'ils réclament leur place dans notre faune politique? En tout cas, nous savons que le futur ex-candidat Joel Borgella de NY (Joel qui????) a obtenu une fin de non-recevoir et est reparti tout penaud à New York. Au moins, il a son émission de radio. Quant à notre très cher Bonivert Claude - ancien gouverneur de la banque centrale et grand magouilleur devant l'Eternel (TEVASA, ça vous dit quelque chose?) - il semblerait que les réunions de comité dans sa résidence de Floride ainsi que ses dizaines de partisans n'aient pas suffi à le rendre populaire. Mais il peut toujours se présenter en indépendant. Et pour terminer, le suspense plane toujours sur la candidature du gwo zotobwe du Texas, Dumarsais Siméus, qui serait dans nos murs depuis hier après-midi selon une source sûre de l'aéroport qui me l'a confirmé. Comme j'avais des problèmes avec mon Haitel (rien de nouveau quant au bas niveau de service que cette compagnie offre), je n'ai pas eu le temps de savoir s'il était accompagné d'un grand entourage (vous savez comment sont nos candidats américains) ou non. Le seul a avoir pu tirer son épingle du jeu semble être Samir "Je ne suis pas fou" Mourra qui aurait obtenu l'aval du CEP. Mais ces derniers savent-ils qu'il a un passeport américain, ou aurait-il trouvé la fameuse formule pour contourner notre très controversée Constitution de 1987?

Enfin, on verra. A propos, la constitution est-elle en veilleuse ou pas?

Aujourd'hui nous promet des surprises. Beaucoup, j'espère. Il nous faut un peu d'humour pour égayer la vie plutôt lassante à Port-au-Prince ces jours-ci.

Haitian Art: How Do Haitians Really Live?

Wow! If this is how Haitians really lived, Haiti would be a freaking paradise, and everyone would want to move there.

Sorry Candice Russell, the book you are referring you only shows how rich, artsy Haitians really live. The average Haitian family lives in a house/shack/tonnèl that may not measure half the size of the living rooms pictured in that "Intérieurs d'Haiti" coffee table book you are referring to. Get real!

Haitian Art: How Do Haitians Really Live?

Okay! I am being mean! It is nice of Candice to focus on Haitian art. But let's not get carried away here!

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Paul Denis Commission (CEA) - Factoid #3

Investigation of the Autorité Portuaire Nationale (APN), the Haitian Port Authority
  • From February 2001 to February 2004, APN issued 14 checks to the order of BPH (see Factoid #1) for a total of US$ 1,980, 460. Of these, only 2 had valid supporting documentation. The others had generic justification amounts (purchase of equipment and spare parts abroad) but no invoices, bills, or any document that would prove that the intended purchases were actually made. The total of funds that can be considered embezzled is US$ 1,947,872.
  • From February 2001 to February 2004, APN issued 13 checks to EFP Engineering for a total of US$ 1,821.500. These expenditures were allegedly for a study of the renovation of the port. However, there is no trace of a signed contract between APN and that company that would justify these expeditures, nor is there any documentation explaining the scope of work of the contract and the progress report that would justify each disbursed check.
  • None of the expenditures above were reviewed by the Cour Supérieure des Comptes as is required by law.
Previous Factoids:
#1 - Banque Populaire Haitienne (BPH)
#2 - The Rice Scandal

Pawol Chat (The Vagina Monologues) in Miami
















Photo: MARICE COHNBAND/HERALD STAFF

Any reader of this space knows that we try to encourage positive developments in our communities, wherever they occur. That went for the nomination of Ms. Michaelle Jean as Governor General of Canada. And now we can only applaud a group of daring women thespians - assembled by the production team of Tamara Beliard (left) and Elizabeth Guerin(right) - for bringing a kreyòl version of The Vagina Monologues to the Miami audience. We wish them much success. You can read the article here.

Who Speaks for Lavalas?

This week was quite confusing for Lavalas watchers - like yours truly - who are wondering whether the party will participate in the elections or not. The "we will / we will not" flurry of contradictory statements is emblematic of Aristide's "roule'm de bò" policy. It also highlights the PR problem that is probably driving crazy the press - Haitian and foreign alike - as to who is officially mandated to speak on behalf of Lavalas.

So let's tabulate the spokespersons and official representatives, as of today:

Haiti:

  1. Gérard Gilles
  2. Yvon Feuillé
  3. Rudy Hérivaux
  4. Samba Boukman
  5. Felito Doran
  6. Gérard Jean-Juste

Diaspora/Exile/"En cachette":

  1. Maryse Narcisse
  2. Jonas Petit
  3. Mario Dupuy
  4. Marguerite Laurent (occasionally)

No wonder we are all confused. And when Felito Doran directly contradicts Yvon Feuillé even though they both reside here, we are left to wonder:

WHO REALLY SPEAKS FOR LAVALAS? ANYONE?

Saturday, August 06, 2005

Incredible Bottled Water Experiment

Incroyable mais vrai! Must read to believe!

Neville's Financial Blog: Bottled Water Experiment

Femmes de l'Univers - Elie Lescot

Je Veux Vivre au Venezuela

Le professeur canadien Pierre Mouterde fait une description combien élogieuse de la révolution bolivarienne d'Hugo Chavez dans un article publié dans l'edition du 5 août du journal canadien Le Devoir.

Mouterde, qui a visité Haiti en mars 2005 et qui semble connaitre notre pays assez bien, nous présente une révolution bolivarienne qui développe "une économie «inclusive», fondée sur l'humain et gérée sur le mode de ce qu'on pourrait appeler un «keynésianisme radical»."

Cela semble beau tout cela, mais il y a des hics, et pas des moindres. Une re-lecture de l'article nous permet de cerner certaines faiblesses majeures du plan Chavez:
  • Chavez n'est capable de réaliser tous les projets en cours que grâce aux pétrodollars que PDVSA, la compagnie pétrolière vénézuelienne, accumule. Si les prédictions de Goldman Sachs se réalisent - à savoir le baril à 100 dollars US - la révolution bolivarienne a de beaux jours devant elle. Mais si le baril viendrait à chuter, gare au réveil douloureux!
  • Le modèle vénézuelien, que Mouterde espère voir s'étendre à travers le continent, n'est justement pas exportable parce que basé sur des conditions particulières au Venezuela, ce pays étant le 5ème pays exportateur de pétrole au monde. Chavez a-t-il l'intention d'utiliser ses pétrodollars pour aider les autres pays d'Amérique Latine de la même manière qu'il le fait chez lui? Il n'en a pas les moyens.
  • Le modèle prôné par Chavez ne peut être durable s'il n'est pas profondément modifié. D'une part, tout autant qu'il n'inclura pas un plan permettant un auto-financement des activités indépendamment des revenus pétroliers, ce plan sera à la merci du cours du marché pétrolier (quelle ironie - un plan anti-néo-libéral basé sur une industrie néo-libérale). D'autre part, il est fort à prévoir qu'il y aura des dérapages au niveau de la gestion des fonds à moins de l'instauration d'un régime fort - pour ne pas dire autoritaire - qui permettra un contrôle de la corruption. Sinon, le Vénézuela vivra la corruption à l'aristidienne mais centuplée vu les montants concernés. Le développement d'un tel régime ira à l'encontre du plan de "démocratie participative" prôné par Chavez.
Le professeur Mouterde conclut en disant ceci:
La révolution bolivarienne a néanmoins ceci d'intéressant : elle montre que lorsqu'on en a la volonté politique, il est possible d'inventer, loin des diktats néolibéraux, de nouvelles formes de développement social, en somme de transformer, comme l'affirme le célèbre latino-américaniste Frantz Hinkelammert, «l'impossible en possible».
Que de beaux concepts! Mais Mouterde devrait aussi se poser les questions suivantes:
  • Chavez sera-t-il aussi populaire le jour où le cours redescendra à US$ 40 ou même US$30?
  • Qui paiera alors la facture? Le peuple qui devra maintenant être taxé pour soutenir les subventions qu'il obtenait?
  • La popularité de Chavez est-elle basée sur une idéologie solide, et donc durable et porteuse d'espoir pour le futur, ou sur la capacité du gouvernment Chavez de re-distribuer la rente pétrolière, scénario aléatoire et plein de dangers?
L'histoire a démontré que la gestion de rentes en tant que base d'un sytème idéologique n' a jamais bien servi ses promoteurs. Et ceci demeure une différence fondamentale entre le régime de Fidel Castro - aussi abominable soit-il sur bien des plans - et celui de Chavez.

Je prédis un effondrement de la révolution bolivarienne à cause de ses contradictions internes et de sa dépendence par rapport au cours du pétrole qu'elle ne contrôle pas .

Friday, August 05, 2005

Joel Ducasse - Défier et Terrasser le Régime des Rentes

Nous sommes heureux de vous proposer une analyse préparée par M. Joel Ducasse, un agronome-entrepreneur qui vit en Haiti.

Lisez le texte de M. Ducasse en cliquant sur le lien suivant:
http://www.geocities.com/jasmin
jeanclaude/joel_ducasse_contrat_social.htm


Faites-nous savoir ce que vous en pensez sur notre forum:
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/fairandbalanced_haiti/

****************

We are pleased to present an analysis by Mr. Joel Ducasse, an agronomist and entrepreneur based in Haiti.

The paper (in French for now, but he is working on an English translation) can be found at the following website:
http://www.geocities.com/jasmin
jeanclaude/joel_ducasse_contrat_social.htm


Please let us know what you think by subscribing to our Yahoo! group and by providing us your comments:
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/fairandbalanced_haiti/

Youri Latortue Senator? Are you kidding?

Youri Latortue, security consultant to Prime Minister Latortue, is a candidate for the Senate for the Artibonite department. He will be running under the banner of the "L'Artibonite en Action" party, a political vehicle designed especially to place him in political orbit. Mr. Latortue, whose checkered past as security official of former president Aristide has yet to be investigated, is placing the Prime Minister in a difficult position. We remember that Gerard Latortue had pledged not to allow any member of his government to run in the upcoming s-elections. It seems that pledge did not apply to members of his private cabinet.

So why would Youri run? Is it because he has discovered that he has a "vision" for the Artibonite and that he can contribute to the development of that beleaguered department? Or can he now spell "I-M-M-U-N-I-T-Y", as in 2-to-6 years of immunity from any type of prosecution for crimes previously committed?

Whatever the case, this candidacy stinks !!!.

Better yet, it reeks of political machination as it would allow Gerard Latortue to remain in the game - and break the rule he set at the begining of his mandate - were his relative (cousin? nephew? who knows) to win. Gerard Latortue has a lot to answer on this one.

Why are we not surprised?

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Daniel "Premier Ministre de Belot" Supplice Informe ...

Nous avons reçu aujourd'hui cette "note explicative" du Premier Ministre de Belot, mieux connu sous le nom de Daniel Supplice. Sans commentaire ...

Port-au-Prince, 25 juillet 2005

M. Claude Roumain
Secrétaire général
Parti populaire du Renouveau haïtien (PPRH)
En ses bureaux.


Monsieur le Secrétaire général,

J’ai le regret de vous informer de ma décision de me démettre avec perte des droits et privilèges de la fonction de secrétaire général-adjoint, responsable de la commission des relations internationales que j’occupe au sein du Parti depuis l’adoption des nouveaux statuts suite au Congrès du 9 avril 2005 .

Je me suis battu et continue d’ailleurs à me battre pour faire la différence mais, quand au sein d’une équipe le doute s’installe et, quand la vision commune du futur présente des distorsions basées sur un manque de confiance, il faut laisser la place au temps et à l’Histoire qui se chargeront sans émotion et sans reproche à donner raison au présent controversé.

Je reste cependant fermement attaché aux idées et idéaux de Génération 2004 parce justes et conformes au rêve que nous avons partagé d’une Haïti normale, à visage humain, égalitaire et démocratique.

Je vous prie de recevoir Monsieur le Secrétaire général en plus de mes amicales salutations mes patriotiques vœux de succès.

Daniel Supplice

CC : J. F. Annibal Coffy / Serge B. Montès / Jean Sylvéra Simon / Karl Charles-Pierre / Jude Marcellus / Ganette Galiotte / Romial Petit / Mozart Clérisson

NB : M. Evens (sic) Paul, secrétaire général de la KID a publiquement annoncé hier sur Signal FM que depuis des mois il était en pourparlers avec le secrétaire général du PPRH M. Claude Roumain et il a laissé entendre qu’il n’avait pas de doute sur la signature d’un accord. Il a aussi donné des détails sur des décisions confidentielles prises en réunion par des membres dirigeants du PPRH. Ces informations justifient la décision de Daniel Supplice de démissionner du Bureau exécutif et de donner publiquement son désaccord à pareille alliance.

Paul Denis Commission (CEA) - Factoid #2

Investigation of the Rice Scandal

Two major figures - Dieuseul Tchakounté Joseph and Lesly Lavelanet - figure in the alleged rice scandal that the CEA uncovered.

Background
Typically, a staples importer must deposit with the Customs agency a guaranty check which will be cashed if the importer does not pay his customs duties on the merchandise. In the case of Joseph and Lavelanet, they were using guaranty checks drawn on Banque Populaire Haitienne (BPH) which were subsequently returned to the bank (directly to its Director General - see our previous factoid for more details). The kicker is that a) the checks were deposited back into the importer's account and b) the importer did NOT pay customs duties. Better yet, the Customs agency never placed the importer on their black list despite their failure to honor their duties .

Dieuseul Tchakounté Joseph
  • Gave the Customs agency (AGD) more than 10 guaranty checks drawn on BPH for the import of rice from March to October 2003
  • Total amount of these checks: 184.3 million Gourdes (over US$ 4 million)
  • A few days later, the checks are returned to BPH and redeposited on the importer's account, on specific instructions from the Director General of the bank. The importer has paid NO customs duties and is not placed on any black list.
  • At the same time that the checks were issued, BPH would lend to the importer the equivalent sum which was repaid with the checks "returned" from the Customs agency
  • Customs agency personnel testified that they were under enormous pressure to accommodate this bizarre arrangement and received orders directly from the Minister of Finance or the secretary of former president Jean-Bertrand Aristide
  • Net results:
    • BPH earns interest on the loans and on the float
    • The importer doesn't need to have funds for the guaranty as he gets a loan from BPH; only pays interest
    • The Customs agency - and by extension the Treasury - is the big loser as they are robbed of the revenues from duties: about US$ 4 million
    • The Director General of BPH receives from Dieuseul Joseph a number of unexplained payments (US$ 200,000 to US$300,000); kickback money?
Lesly Lavelanet (brother-in-law of Jean-Bertrand Aristide)
  • From August 2002 to January 2004, Lesly Lavelanet aka Global Spectrum imported 286,658 50-kg and 255,802 25-kg bags of rice.
  • BPH issued letters of guaranty for Global Spectrum - signed only by the Director General, Rodnée Deschineau - even though Global Spectrum did not have the necessary funds to obtain the letter of guaranty
  • Lesly Lavelanet never paid customs duties, and the letters of guaranty were returned to BPH
  • The director of Customs and his colleagues testified that they received direct orders from the Minister of Finance or the secretary of Jean-Bertrand Aristide to let the rice through, even though the duties had not been paid
  • Net result:
    • Loss to the Customs agency of 56,696,353 Gourdes (about US 1.42 million)
Previous Factoids:
#1 - Banque Populaire Haitienne (BPH)

Aristide & Corruption: the foreign press finally gets in the act ...

All of a sudden, Reuters and the Miami Herald decide to publish stories about the UCREF and Commission d'Enquête Administrative reports:

Click here for the Miami Herald

Click here for Guy "Aristide's son" Delva's article

ADMIN NOTE : Issues & Ideas website

In the next day or so, I am going to post a long but thoughtful and well-researched paper (in French) from a list member. I am working on the website now. It will provide a different angle on events in Haiti , and I am sure it will provoke a lot of commentaries. I hope that we will have an English version, as I think it is a must-read.

If you want to participate in discussions on the papers I will be posting, I invite you to subscribe to the discussion group we will be launching at:

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/fairandbalanced_Haiti/

Also, if you want to submit a paper or article for discussion, please send it to me at jasminjeanclaude@yahoo.com. I would prefer an article in either Word or text format.

So check back later tonight or tomorrow.

Reuters Corrects Guyler C. Delva's Article

What did we tell you? Guyler C. Delva will miss no opportunity to sneak in a few biased statements about his idol, Jean-Bertrand Aristide, in his Reuters articles. And so we had to call him to task for writing a piece where he provided 'input that was radically different from the truth', as Oliver North so eloquently put it a few years ago.

So for the second time this year, Reuters had to issue a correction to 'clarify' some inaccuracies in a Delva article. Of course, they did not catch the biggest lie embedded in the article - that the Lavalas movement played a SIGNIFICANT role in Duvalier's departure. But what can I say? You win some, you lose some.

Stay tuned to this space for our Guy Delva Propaganda Watch. Hey, I like that!!!

Wednesday, August 03, 2005


Ms. Michaelle Jean, next Governor General of Canada

FLASH!!! Canadian-Haitian Journalist to Be Next Governor General

It is official! Ms. Michaelle Jean, a Canadian journalist of Haitian origin, has been named by Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin to replace Ms. Adrienne Clarkson, whose term is expiring. Congratulations to Ms. Jean on her new position.

News announcement in English.

Annonce de la nouvelle en français.

Paul Denis Commission (CEA) - Factoid #1

Investigation of Banque Populaire Haitienne (BPH)

Alleged amount of Treasury Funds that transited through BPH for ulterior illegal expenses:

  • US$19,259,775.85
  • Gdes 123,861,480
  • TOTAL: US$ 22,356,312.85 (at exchange rate of Gdes 40/US$)
Alleged accomplices:
  • Mr. Faubert Gustave - former Minister of Finance
  • Ms. Rodnée Deschineau - former Director General of BPH
  • Ms. Ginette Céant - former Secretary of Jean-Bertrand Aristide
Alleged beneficiaries of embezzlement (members of the Aristide group):
  • Aristide Foundation for Democracy
  • Université Professionelle et Technique
  • La Fanmi Se Lavi
  • Fanmi Lavalas - political party
  • VJLS Computer Services - shell company
  • Global Spectrum - shell company owned by Lesly Lavelanet, brother-in-law of Aristide
  • SEPA'N Provisions Alimentaires - shell company
  • Max Buteau - intermediary
  • COCSOBFO Soleil Brillant - shell cooperative based in Leogâne (say what?)
  • Quisqueya Store - shell company
  • EFP Ingénierie - shell company
  • K-DO S.A. - shell company
  • Trujillo & Sons, Inc. - wholesale company based in Florida
  • Gerald Saint-Cyr - intermediary
  • SOCOL S.A. - shell company; link to Cuban government
  • Journal Diyite - newspaper of the Aristide Foundation
  • Fred Beliard - Florida-based businessman; part-owner of Haitian Television Network, Inc.
Observations about alleged embezzlement:
  • Rules and procedures of BPH were never respected. Ms. Deschineau had total control over embezzlement activities.
  • Ms. Deschineau was appointed by alleged accomplice, Finance Minister Faubert Gustave, and was given complete authority to do as she pleased.
  • Letters of guarantee were issued with no collateral provided by borrowers.
  • Transactions were effected with no supporting documentation.
  • Withdrawals were made from accounts belonging to an Aristide Group entity without the knowledge of nominal account holders.
  • Deposits from checks drawn on the Treasury did not comply with banking regulations
  • Ms. Deschineau had complete control over the account of the Private Secretariat of Jean-Bertrand Aristide
  • Amounts embezzled were:
    • used to build houses, buy land and engage in miscellaneous construction activities for the account of individuals
    • transferred from one account to another
    • used to open certificates of deposit in the name of indviduals
    • withdrawn as cash by individuals
    • were transferred to private accounts overseas

For more information, please visit:

http://www.ntsnews.com/bpm/commission_enquete.htm
http://www.ntsnews.com/bpm/commission_enquete_part_II.htm
http://www.ntsnews.com/bpm/commission_enquete_part_III.htm
http://www.ntsnews.com/bpm/commission_enquete_contrats.htm

Important Message to Ogou Ferail

I deleted your two mails by mistake. Please resend to me. My apologies.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Lutte contre la pauvreté : accord entre le ministre des affaires sociales, Franck Charles et le secteur privé des affaires

Posté le mardi 2 août 2005
Par Radio Kiskeya

Le ministre des affaires sociales et du travail, Franck Charles, représentant de lavalas au sein du gouvernement de transition, s’est entendu mardi avec le secteur privé des affaires sur un ensemble de projets à réaliser à très court terme, dans le cadre d’un programme d’urgence de lutte contre la pauvreté, en vue d’apporter une réponse efficace aux graves problèmes de pauvreté et de détresse des couches défavorisées.

M. Charles a mis l’accent sur le fait que ce programme sera réalisé dans un esprit de justice, dans la transparence et la participation. Il en a profité pour dénoncer vigoureusement la violence et l’option de la lutte armée pour conquérir le pouvoir. Il appelle ainsi les autorités à sévir avec rigueur contre les fauteurs de troubles, à quelque secteur qu’ils appartiennent.

Intervenant à son tour, le président de la Chambre de Commerce et d’Industrie d’Haïti, a donné la garantie que le secteur des affaires jouera sa partition dans le programme d’urgence contre la pauvreté. Le Dr Réginald Boulos, appelle cependant à la formation d’un Conseil multisectoriel de gestion du programme de sorte à éviter les scandales de gestion ayant caractérisé le régime lavalas, tels que les ont dénoncés les récents rapports de l’Unité Centrale de Renseignements Financiers (UCREF) et de la Commission d’Enquête Administrative (CEA).

M. Boulos a par ailleurs félicité le représentant de lavalas au sein du gouvernement pour sa ferme condamnation de la violence.

Sur un autre plan, le ministre des affaires sociales a annoncé la formation d’une commission nationale des transports publics chargée de gérer les rapports très conflictuels entre chauffeurs et passagers à chaque augmentation du prix de l’essence. Commentant cette hausse, le président de la Chambre de Commerce et d’Industrie a estimé que le gouvernement ne pouvait faire autrement, mais il a l’obligation de prévenir à chaque fois la population.

Radio Kiskeya

Sweatshops, Wages, and Exploitation in Haiti

I stumbled by accident on a blog today that sheds quite a bit of light on the issue of sweatshop wages and their relationship to average wages in specific countries. While this was not at all the topic I was researching, I wanted to share with you what I found. (Click here to access the original blog I found.)

In the long war waged against Haitian factory owners, one of the common complaints lodged against owners - aside from the important issue of working conditions - was that they paid their employees sub-human wages that were below the Haitian minimum wage. The fact is, that particular claim was false then and is still false today.

In comparison to Western standards, minimum wage in Haiti is low indeed. But the reality about factories is that they pay on average at least double the minimum wage. However, since these Haitian factory owners never saw fit to provide a clear study that would debunk the claims of the anti-sweatshop movement, the former lost the PR war and paid the consequences. [I fault the owners for not banding together to defend themselves. Or maybe they are so selfish that they could not work together for their common good. But that's another story.]

In today's Christian Science Monitor, an opinion piece - Don't Get into a Lather over Sweatshops - by Benjamin Powell and David Skarbek says out loud what we have known for some time:

The apparel industry, which is often accused of unsafe working conditions and poor wages, actually pays its foreign workers well enough for them to rise above the poverty in their countries. While more than half of the population in most of the countries we studied lived on less than $2 per day, in 90 percent of the countries, working a 10-hour day in the apparel industry would lift a worker above - often far above - that standard. For example, in Honduras, the site of the infamous Kathy Lee Gifford sweatshop scandal, the average apparel worker earns $13.10 per day, yet 44 percent of the country's population lives on less than $2 per day.

In 9 of the 11 countries we surveyed, the average reported sweatshop wages equaled or exceeded average incomes and in some cases by a large margin. In Cambodia, Haiti, Nicaragua, and Honduras, the average wage paid by a firm accused of being a sweatshop is more than double the average income in that country's economy.


That should lay to rest some of the criticism leveled at Haitian factory owners. The full study - which is going to be published in the Spring 2006 issue of the Journal of Labor Relations - can be found here. As to the authors, Dr. Benjamin Powell is an Assistant Professor of Economics at San Jose State University, and David Skarbek is an Economics major at that same university.

To be fair, there is much more to the anti-sweatshop campaign than the wage issue. There were also claims of horrible working conditions, which was certainly true in some of the plants. It is my hope that Haitian factory owners have substantially improved the working conditions of their employees.

Don't claim that I am in favor of sweatshops! But let's make sure to have a reasoned debate based on FACTS. The wage issue has not been a fair debate up to now.

Bèf Ki Pa Gen Ke - Emmanuel Dostaly

South African Mercenaries off to Haiti?

Published August 1, 2005 on www.news24.co.za, a South African online news website:

SA mercenaries off to Haiti?
01/08/2005 22:16 - (SA)

Erika Gibson

Pretoria - South African mercenaries are claimed to be involved once again in destabilisation operations in a foreign country - this time in Haiti in the run-up to its elections later this year.

An e-mail notice to members of the SA Special Forces League mentions that league members, friends and former members of the police task force apparently already have "positioned" themselves for "fireworks in a small, but very controversial, Caribbean country".

The league's official message is that it "aggressively condemns all mercenary-related activities".

Those involved are warned they must abandon the operation, no matter what promises have been made to them.

"The whistle has been blown; the game is over; get out and stay out," is the warning.

The warning might confirm certain South Africans' involvement, mentioned in newspaper and radio reports in Port au Prince, the capital of Haiti.

Provided bodyguards to Aristide

These reports claimed that 10 to 15 South African mercenaries travelled through Europe to the Dominican Republic bordering Haiti, where they would presumably have got visas to enter Haiti.

They are supposed to cause chaos in the country in the run-up to the elections.

An international security company, which had previously provided bodyguards to former president Jean-Bertrand Aristide, is thought to be involved in recruiting the latest group.

Aristide is now an exile in South Africa.

It is known that several South Africans had worked for the security company previously.

The names of some of those involved, which were mentioned in the radio reports, were given phonetically as Garcia Rivas, Duplace, Limburt, C Paul, Trudy, Lowe, Aurel, Hunter, Farrher and Joseph.

It is not known whether the men would have used false names to take part in the alleged action.

The Dominican security forces are reportedly investigating whether there is any sign of the men in their country.

Some of the first reports also appeared in Le Matin in Haiti. This newspaper linked the alleged mercenaries to Aristide and said their assignment apparently was to murder political leaders, disrupt the business community and foment civil resistance.

The report states the Dominican security forces are contacting their peers in Haiti to try to prevent any attempted violence.

7 600 peace-keeping troops in Haiti

Although the national prosecuting authority has not responded yet to the allegations, reporters in South Africa learnt that the team investigating mercenaries knew of the claims and were keeping an eye on the situation.

About 7 600 peace-keeping soldiers have been deployed in Haiti to help stabilise the country.

But, there are sporadic protest marches and violence still occurs and some of the buildings housing the UN have been attacked.

Amnesty International said last week the 170 000 hand guns belonging to the country's civilians could lead to bloody violence before the elections.

Monday, August 01, 2005

La Suite de l'Enquête sur l'Assassinat du Journaliste Jacques Roche

De nouvelles arrestations ont été effectuées ces derniers jours dans le cadre de l’'enquête sur l’'assassinat du journaliste Jacques Roche, a annoncé à Radio Métropole le Directeur de la Police judiciaire, vendredi. Michael Lucius a révélé que le principal auteur du meurtre a été identifié suite à l'’interpellation de plusieurs présumés bandits.

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