Haiti imposes fees on phone calls, wire transfers that will hit emigrants hardest

By Associated Press, Updated: Thursday, May 26, 12:53 PM

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti — The cost of making a call or sending money to Haiti is about to go up because the new president is imposing fees to raise money for his goal of free education.

President Michel Martelly says the new fees will go into effect next month. Haiti will impose a charge of $1.50 on wire transfers and five cents per minute on phone calls to the country. Haitians living abroad will probably pay most of these fees.

Martelly told a news conference he projects the fees will generate $144 million over the next five years to pay for schools.

Haitian emigres wire about $1.5 billion annually to relatives back home. The wire transfers make up about 26 percent of GDP.


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6 thoughts on “Haiti imposes fees on phone calls, wire transfers that will hit emigrants hardest

  1. how would impose a taxes whithout consultation with anybody input specially with the haitian emigres when you do not even a govt in place under those circumstance that non sense and poor jugment govt incompence

  2. I think the President is doing the right thing,when ever foreigners called Haitians uneducated,i feel upset about it ,because Haiti is the first black independent country ,we should not be in a situation like this,we can do better for our people,yes we can together,stop the nonsense selfishness,it,s time to light up and look out for our own blood brothers.little fees will make no difference in our life,beaucause in America that,s what we do everywhere we go is taxes ,taxes,taxes ,at work ,supermarket,clothes stores,airlines tickets,buses tickets etc,etc.

  3. If Francios Duvalier was collecting Haitians opinions we still would not have an airport. Hence, Martelly dont need the emigres opinion nor input. I am willing to pay extra to help my country and my people. I cant began to count how many garbage I paid taxes for in the U.S. Yet no Haitian living abroad complain. Gas prices go up for the heck of it. We pay for things and fund things we dont agree with. Yet Haitian by the majority still cannot read, write, some dont even know color. There are Haitians that still run at the sounds of machinery like cars and so on. Come on Haitians stop playing the devils advocate for ONECE! support haiti. You guys finances certain governments and then they use your finances to destroy our country Haiti and we cant say a dawn thing about it. So save it I dont want to hear it. I am tired of people calling haitians dumb and illiterate. So uneducated we blamed and killed voodoo practicioners over cholera. Wow! Come on you guys Martelly only have 5yrs then God knows what the next guy will do. We need to help ourselve not beg every hurricane season and plea for help get rape and killed by euro/amer troops. Dawn you guys stop playing the devils advocate and let us work to make this work. I am ready to pay more! God bless Haiti!

  4. Of course, the real solution would be to make the very rich and powerful Haitian elite pay their theoretically lawful (fair but enforced) taxes but since that is never going to happen, and because the poor literally have no money, the next best thing is to have expatriates pay for it. They do not have the means to avoid paying taxes like the rich and powerful do. If everyone paid their taxes, or seemed to be paying their taxes, there would be fewer complaints.
    Of course, I will believe Martelly if there are real steps taken towards providing a real education for most people. A good start would be to make Kreyol the working languages of government (only the minority language French is) and begin a program of systematically preparing textbooks in Krèyol. In addition, there should be concerted effort towards language planning to bring Kreyol into the 21st century, that would include setting up bodies to come up with terminology in all areas of learning, science, and technology. English should also be emphasized so that Haitians can talk to the whole world. French and Spanish, although large and important languages, are desirable but English is simply the world’s lingua franca, the language of technology and science. Most of the Haitian diaspora speaks English as well (though many do live in Quebec and France and speak better French).
    Will this take place? The debate between the faux candidates Martelly and Manigat was conducted in Krèyol and so that shows the importance of the language. However, the laws are written in French. Many of the elite speak mostly French and look down upon Krèyol as a pathetic kind of patois. In any case, education will never be effective if children are educated in French instead of Krèyol. Their native tongue should be given priority. This is happening but it should happen more. There will never be equal opportunity until Krèyol is on equal parity with French. French has traditionally been used to keep the people down and the elite in.
    Some will say that Haitians should abandon Krèyol in favour of French, English, or even Spanish since Krèyol is not so international and undeveloped. However, that misses the point. Krèyol constitutes the very essence of Haitian identity and it CAN be developed, just as developed as any other language. Haitians, like many people around the world, can be bilingual, indeed, multilingual. Examples of this abound not only in Europe but Africa as well. Thus, we should start with Krèyol and then teach children English.

  5. Jean paul, you are a smart individual. I heard martelly say he would make the school teachings in kreyol. That would be a good start. Let us legaly fight for the best. The NAACP had a member in 1915 that wrote againts the American invation on Haiti. He visited Haiti and he wrote if Haitians dont make creole their primary language the contry will be doomed. We are in 2011 and we havent taken his advice. As a result we are in a serious situation. Kreyol is are language of freedom. It will also free us from primitivity to modern civilization.

  6. Many, many Haitians agree with us but don’t know what to do about our language. However, there are many places around the world where languages are being equipped for the modern world. Israel is the best example of how a dead ancient language can become a vibrant, modern language. Afrikaans is another example of a language that grew from a despised “kitchen Dutch” (arguable a half-creolized Dutch) to a modern, viable language. Welsh is another example of a language that has been “reinvented” and fitted for the modern world. Krèyol is a very vibrant, living language but has not quite made it into every sphere of Haitian life. The street signs are mostly (or all) French, depending on the town, of course. There is a lot of work to do. Comprehensive dictionaries (monolingual and bilingual) must be compiled, authoritative grammars must be written. The Krèyol version of Wikipedia must be greatly expanded. The great works of literature must be translated into Krèyol (some have, but they are still rather limited). Newspapers should mostly be in Kréyol, not French. Television should dub soap operas into Krèyol instead of French if they have to be imported in the first place.
    Of course, the very first priority for Haitians is shelter and food for every day, something which so many do not have. However, in addition to meeting those primary needs, Haitian pride and self-esteem also must also be taken care of and this can be done by elevating Krèyol. The internet is coming to most of Haiti and will come via mobile devices which will become more and more affordable as time goes by. There is already Google translate from English to Krèyol (ironically, this is thanks to the earthquake!) but more must be done to help Haitians gain access to the tsunami of information available on the internet.
    The real liberation of Haiti will come from learning and knowledge but this can only be efficiently done if work is undertaken to build up Krèyol. Building up Krèyol is building up Haiti with a base of knowledge. Only with knowledge can all of Haiti begin to pull herself out of the man-made mess that has taken centuries to make. Are Haitians up to the task of making Krèyol as modern and vibrant as Hebrew, Afrikaans, indeed, French and Spanish? The diaspora can help with money and expertise but the ultimate answer lies with the people of Haiti themselves. I hope for the sake of Haiti and her beloved people that Haitians will choose knowledge and self-esteem over ignorance and self-hate.

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