Haitian Activists, “Sweet Micky Is Not Welcome In Little Haiti”

An Open Letter To Mayor Francis Suarez and the City of Miami Commission

MIAMI – The Haitian-American Community of Miami is outraged that City resources will be used to host former Haitian President Michel Martelly during the Haitian Heritage month celebrations this Friday (May 18th).

President Martelly’s actions during his five years in office (2010-2015) brought disrepute to the office of President and inflicted lasting harm to the dignity of Haitians in Haiti and in Miami. He is not an appropriate representative of Haitian culture and is a poor model for our youth.

Michel Martelly (Sweet Micky) is not welcome in Little Haiti

Michel Martelly (Sweet Micky)

President Martelly’s most objectionable acts include:
  • Denigrating Women

President Martelly has a long history of denigrating and threatening women with violence. On July 29, 2015, President Martelly participated in a political rally for his party, PHTK, in Miragoane Haiti. When a woman in the audience audibly protested his policies, President Martelly threatened to have sex with her on the stage, then said he would have broken her jaw if he was not the President.

In January 2015, Martelly, who is a well-known singer, issued a Carnival song titled “Bal Bannan nan” (“Give her the banana”), a lewd, harassing, song targeting Liliane Pierre-Paul, a well-known radio journalist. Radio Kiskeya, where Pierre-Paul works, was the target of an attack by unidentified gunmen, shortly after Martelly denounced the journalist and her radio station for its critical coverage of his regime.

Earlier this year, several women’s groups and human rights organizations called for officials to exclude former President Martelly from Carnaval celebrations because of his sexist and lewd behaviour. Two cities- Jacmel, where the main international Carnaval takes place and Gonaives, prohibited Martelly’s participation.

  • Engaging in Massive Corruption

President Martelly and his Administration engaged in massive corruption. Haiti is currently being rocked by a scandal involving billions of dollars misused or stolen during the Martelly Administration from the Petrocaribe program.

President Martelly has been linked to hundreds of millions of dollars stolen through fraudulent bidding on earthquake reconstruction projects.

Members of the Miami Haitian community are particularly enraged that President Martelly imposed an illegal tax on money transfers and phone calls to Haiti and diverted the money, ostensibly destined for education, to special bank accounts. That money has never been accounted for.

  • Jailing Political Opponents

President Martelly’s administration consistently jailed political opponents and dissidents. In fact, in order to end a series of demonstrations against his regime in late 2014, Martelly was forced to free over forty political prisoners in December 2014.

These prisoners included:

  • Josué and Enold Florestal, activists with the RDNP party, jailed in 2013 after they filed a complaint against President Martelly’s wife and son for corruption.
  • Jean Robert Vincent, arrested in July 2012 for passing out anti-Martelly pamphlets. Vincent spent two and a half years in prison for his open criticism of the President.
  • Biron Odigé et Rony Timothée, two activists arrested during a legal demonstration in October 2014.
  •  Running Violent, Unfair Elections

President Martelly refused to hold elections for most of his term. In January 2012, when the terms of all elected mayors in Haiti expired, Martelly illegally appointed all of the mayors, in some cases replacing mayors chosen by the electorate. At the same time, one-third of Haiti’s Senate seats became vacant and remained vacant for four years, leaving the Senate unable to muster a quorum for controversial votes.

In January 2015, the terms for the entire House of Deputies and another one-third of the Senate expired, leaving the President and ten Senators as the only elected officials in the country. President Martelly then ruled by decree until his departure in February 2016.

When popular pressure finally forced President Martelly to finally run elections starting in August, 2015, the elections were violent, and highly fraudulent.  As a result, no successor to President Martelly was elected by the end of his term and Haiti was forced to inaugurate an Interim President to oversee new elections.

It is unacceptable for Sounds of Little Haiti to take money from developers, at a time when Haitian families and businesses are being pushed out of Little Haiti, one of the fastest gentrified areas in the country today, to pay Sweet Micky to perform on May 18th.

It is a disgrace especially after Michel Martelly and his family emptied Haiti’s coffers shamelessly during his presidency, and violated the human rights of so many, including workers fighting for minimum wage.

There will be a rally on May 18, 2018 , at 6 PM in front of the Little Haiti Cultural Center to say “No” to Michel Martelly (Sweet Micky )and Sounds of Little Haiti.

The Sweet Micky Is Not Welcome In Little Haiti is Endorsed By:
Marleine Bastien
Veye Yo
Tony Jeanthenor
Roger Biambi
Farah Juste
Jack Lieberman
Ira Kurzban
Michael Martinez
Steve Forester
Mecknic Derisca
Ovida Alba
Jean-Robert Lafortune
Progressive Jewish Action
Labor Community Alliance
Associations des Anciens Elus Locaux
Ayiti Toma
Kja Klere
Je Ayiti
Operasyon Debare Pep LA
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