MIAMI, USA (sentinel.ht) - President Michel Martelly made
statements that will surely alienate Haiti's largest and
only direct supporters, Cuba, which for decades has led in
training and producing Haitian doctors, and Venezuela, which
has more than doubled the Haitian national budget through
its Petrocaribe program.
During "Gouvenman An
Lakay Ou", a publicly-funded program highly criticized
for wastefulness, ineffectiveness and its partisan
campaign-like nature, Martelly told a crowd of a few hundred
that "communists" should not be elected into office before
vaguely lending his support for Prime Minister Laurent
Lamothe's candidacy for presidency.
The communist government of
Cuba and the socialist government in Venezuela have made
unparalleled and direct support to Haiti for many years,
support not tied to non-governmental organizations and
foreign contractors, but support with the aims of reducing
Haiti's dependence on international donors.
Petrocaribe, for example,
was an agreement entered into by former President René
Préval and the late-Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez.
Petrocaribe puts hundreds of millions of dollars every year
directly into Haiti's national budget, monies that are now
being used and mismanaged to the benefit of President Michel
Martelly and Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe, notably through
a series of campaign-style events in the guise of social
Martelly's speech at "Gouvenman
An Lakay Ou" in Miami was the kind of discourse that
would have garnered geo-political attention during the time
of the Cold War, Cuban missile crisis, and McCarthyism. It
was the kind of talk that gave a brutal dictator, such as
Francois Duvalier, U.S.-backing. But in a time where the
threat of the spread of communism is low, Martelly's
desperate statement appeared ignorant, opportunistic, and,
in context, anti-democratic, anti-people.
It should be recalled that
a week earlier, during another wasteful campaign-like event
in Ouanaminthe, Haiti, Martelly told a crowd of a few dozen
supporters not to vote "poor" people into office.
In Miami, Michel Martelly,
who worked for the first two years of his presidency to stop
Constitutional amendments that now allow the Haitian
Diaspora to vote, told the Haitians in Miami to vote for his
prime minister, Laurent Lamothe, rather as his successor in
2015. A tough request after three years of an administration
marked by scandal, corruption, mismanagement, and crumbling