Our View: Sweet Micky takes the stage in hard-hit Haiti-Added COMMENTARY By Haitian-Truth

The following editorial appeared in The Washington

Among Haiti s curses in recent decades is the roster of scoundrels, tyrants, charlatans, opportunists and
blowhards who have inhabited the gleaming white presidential palace (now destroyed by earthquake) in downtown Port-au-Prince. This hall of shame

includes  an oratorically gifted shantytown populist, the Rev. Jean-Bertrand Aristide, whose mercurial tenure ended in exile – amid reports of murder and drug trafficking at the highest levels of government.

It remains to be seen whether Haiti s new apparent president-elect will offer an improvement. Michel Martelly, a bawdy carnival singer whose act once
featured mooning the audience, is a popular entertainer who went by the stage name Sweet Micky. With a past that includes crack cocaine use and foreclosed homes in Florida, Martelly, who is 50, has no experience managing anything larger than his band. Still, he managed to defeat his opponent, a former first lady, by a 2-to-1 margin.

Haiti, beset by disasters natural and man-made, will need much more than bread and circuses to regain its footing. Hundreds of millions of dollars in foreign assistance was pledged after the January 2010 earthquake, but its delivery and effective use depend on open, accountable and steady leadership that will convince donors that their aid will not go to waste.

There is so much at stake. Hundreds of thousands of Haitians who lost their homes in the temblor remain in tents. Staggering mountains of rubble still clog Port-au-Prince. The country s education system, glaringly inadequate even before the quake destroyed many schools, is a mess. Huge numbers of people lack jobs or any prospect of steady income. Public health standards are among the lowest in the hemisphere, a point driven home by a cholera epidemic that has killed 4,600 people and infected 250,000 since it struck last fall. It is expected to afflict hundreds of thousands more, a far worse outbreak than officials initially believed.

If the preliminary election results are confirmed, Martelly will confront all that and more. He has been fuzzy about his intentions, though he has spoken vaguely about providing free education to more children, improving health care and reviving agriculture. Worryingly, though, Martelly has signaled that he would reconstitute Haiti s army – abolished by Aristide two decades ago – though his purpose is unclear; when it was around, the army was known more for brutalizing Haitians than for securing the borders.

In fairness, Martelly, once notorious for donning dresses and diapers on stage, seems to have
cleaned up his act lately. And if his insurgent campaign represents a challenge to Haiti s
traditional political elite, that is not a bad thing; the elite have delivered precious little in the way of opportunity and sound governance to ordinary Haitians.

There have been so many moments of hope in Haiti- hope that it will manage to overcome a legacy of terrible leadership, environmental catastrophe, natural calamity and crippling poverty. This is another of those moments. Martelly, however unlikely a figure he may seem to outsiders, must now render the performance of his life.



I am pleased to see that the world media is not sniping at Martelly for his colorful entertainment career, or some of his earlier peccadilloes.

Everything starts from today, and Haiti’s very survival depends upon Martelly’s ability to pull the diverse elements together, into some sort of cooperative team.

He will also have to rein in MINUSTAH and reclaim Haiti’s sovereignty, sold cheaply by Rene Preval in return for carte blanche to steal..

He has already welded the Mob into a coherent force – even momentarily – and can cultivate their ongoing support by producing results. They don’t expect much and will know if he is really trying. That is all they ask for.

My money is on Martelly – and Haiti.

I think he can do it with the quality people he has behind him.

He must – however – distance himself from the not so few idiots in his entourage, or trying to join his entourage.


Author: `

12 thoughts on “Our View: Sweet Micky takes the stage in hard-hit Haiti-Added COMMENTARY By Haitian-Truth

  1. I have been watching you pages, for almost two years, and must say it is the most balanced Haitian news and opinion site: It gives all sides.

    I must say something about the comment, in this article, about Martelly and the revival of the FAdH Forces Armees d’Haiti. Without this comment, the article would be constructive. However, we are – yet again – treated to the media/international community stupidity about the Haitian military.

    It was only viewed, in negative terms, by outsiders, or Haitians who did not wish to live within the law. It was one of the two structured elements, in Haitian society….the other being the Catholic Church. During the Aristide period, with Libertaion Theology fighting with the Conservative Church the FAdH was really the only effective, structured element in the society.

    Over the years, the FAdH has acted as a countervailing force against unwanted pressures, such as those brought about by Aristide/Lavalas.

    It prevented his dictatorial take-over, in 1991, and oversaw the Embargo Years. These years were not as represented by the media, who were wildly in love with Aristide. They seem to have gotten over this now and refer to him in realistic terms such as a murderer, corrupt and drug trafficker.

    The FAdH was a threat to Aristide, and his associates, so he had it disbanded. This was unconstitutional and the FAdH still exists, even if only technically.

    It took 8 months for the nation to reject Aristide first time around.

    Without the FAdH it took 8 years. There must be a lesson here.

    When Aristide was sent packing, in 2004, the population asked FAdH members to put their uniforms on, and provide security. They wanted no more of Aristides’s corrupt National Police. Some said 90% were involved in cocaine trafficking.

    So the FAdH stepped in, and provided security. Then MINUSTAH came and drove them away, creating the lawless situation that prevails, to this day.

    Like the Jean Claude Duvalier perion, portrayed as it wasn’t. In fact, the Jean Claude Duvalier years were ones of stability and progress, with law and order, schools that really existed, unlike those claimed by Aristide, and reported by the media as though they actually existed: They didn’t.

    The FAdH revival, or some similar elemnt under another name, is a good concept and one that the vast majority of Haiti’s population will and do support. Watch those who argue against it, and analyze their specific motivations.

    Go to it Martelly.

    The army would be a welcome addition to the Haitian society.

  2. The FAdH was always good for our nation.

    There were a few bad people there but 95% did their work and were respected by our people.

    Haiti is less without them.

  3. My father, and his father were members of the Forces Armees d’Haiti and our neighbours still honor them.

    A new generation will serve the nation.

    Perhap Aristide will be arrested for his crimes against the FAdH as an institution, and Haitians, as a people.

    He was the Demon.

    The Army tried to combat him but the international community took sides with the devil.

  4. The Army was good to me, and my family when they were still around. Too much lavalas bullshit has been spread, and too many Haitians living in america are confused about the actual facts of life before titide. Haiti knew fear with Aristide. That was the period when necklacing, operation baghdad (where aristides assholes CUT OFF HUMAN HEADS)

    Take your mixed up ideas of Haiti’s history and go back to Brooklyn, or Boston, or wherever you have been living.

    1. May I remind you that use of profanity will get your comments deleted. Please keep the conversation alive, but without swearing, or attacking other users.
      We all need not agree on everything, but we do need to be civil.

  5. I can’t believe some of the comments and commentators who seem to have forgotten about the history of the craven and dastardly Haitian Army. Please, you fool no one who can read. Costa Rica is an excellent example of why no army is needed. Copy Costa Rica, not Cuba or a tinpot dictatorship like in Burma. Saying that the years of the Duvalier dictatorship were years of stability and progress are downright lies!!! If tens of thousands of people died during those years at the hands of the dictatorship, how can you claim that those years were stable? A peace of the cemetery is no peace. Arguably, the most positive thing that Aristide was to rid Haiti of this sorry excuse of a force, created by the American Occupation (it was not the same Haitian Army that liberated Haiti). The Haitian Armed Forces sucked the nation of money, participated in oppression, and did little to help the poor majority. In short, copy Costa Rica. No Army! No Cedras or like-minded thugs again!

    1. @ jean-paul-I bet you don’t, and have not lived in Haiti for decades, if ever. Chance are that you live in a different country, and don’t have a clue what is happening here in Haiti, aside from the garbage that you get from your facebook friends, and the Lavalas paid garbage that Ezili Danto publishes. How does it feel to be fed handfulls of lies Jean-Paul?

      I would like for you to give some real and factual references to the numbers that you quote relating to Jean-Claude Duvalier, or perhaps you should just go back to whatever part of the world you are in, because you apparently have never been to Haiti. Have you ever been to Costa Rica? Perhaps you are aware of the out of control drugs problems they have there, and the incredibly high rates of youth rape, and tourists being robbed, raped, and often left hating their experience? I am sure that you have never thought of the rampant child sex problem in Costa Rica. A lack of Army there means there is no oversight for the Police, and corruption is un-checked. Perhaps you support this activity then? Where does your hate come from Jean-Paul?

  6. I would say yes to a renovated FADH replacing such an expensive MINUSTAH that would create more than 8000 jobs and would feed more than24000 families.
    1-No more an alphabet carrying guns
    2-No more mentality of friends of the nation but enemy of the civilians.
    3-No more a soldier with a gun only. They need labs, and must have a profession.
    They need to be given the necessary trainings and tools,then we will all see how important is the army.
    My dearest, Haitians are good people,they just have been all their lives miss-leaded.see them when they leave Haiti what they become and tell me what do you thinkGod bless my country that is about to be born.

  7. People like Jean Paul are the cause of our problems with a bitter and twisted concept of things, exaggeration and misinformation.

    Tens of thousands did not die.

    ANd, Aristide and Preval were worse than the reputation you give the Duvaliers.

    How many people were necklaced under Duvalier?

    Under Jean Claude we had investment, infrastructure, tourists, the schools were real schools, law and order….and more. Where were you?? Sounds as though you are from strange planet or on holiday from some mental institution.

    You should see how the peasants greet Jean Claude as he travels the nation. This is not an expression of fear. It is an expression of love.

    The peasants do not show this for Preval. He is attacked wherever he goes and must be rescued by MINUSTAH

    Viv Duvalier and Viv FAdH

    Aba Jean Paul, but he is entitled to his warped, stupid opinion and thank you Haitian-Truth for allowing him to make an idiot of himself

  8. Regarding Elizar D’s reference to Costa Rica, the lack of an army is not the reason for the problems you mention. Mexico has a big army and there are even more drug problems there. And what about Colombia? It has all of the problems you mention, and then some. Yet, they have a big army. In the context of Central America, Costa Rica, despite the problem you mention, is arguably the country with the highest standard of living ( though Panama may have caught up). Some racists have said that it is because Costa Rica is mostly white while the other countries there are indigenous or mestizos. More thoughtful people say that it is because José Figueres eliminated the army in 1948! He did it because of constant Army coups and interventions in politics. The US tolerated this move as Figueres was a staunch anti-Communist.
    The other Central American countries needed their armies either to keep their Indian peasant majority down (sound familiar?) or to keep the oligarchy in power forever.
    Costa Rica is typical of the Spanish-speaking countries in that there is little investment in education, little economic diversification, and a small economy. (if Brazil spoke Spanish, it would have probably broken up into several counties and be as badly off as most of her neighbours)The drug problem or the child sex problem is more recent and nothing to do with the 1948 abolition of the useless Costa Rican Army. The roots of this problem are the lack of opportunities in that republic and an import of gang violence from the United States.

    1. Only an idiot would suggest Gang Violence originated in USA. Latin based gangs move to USA and get bigger. Also, one cannot compare Haiti to any other country, as Haiti is unique.

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