The Haitian Senate

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Dr Roger Malebranche

The Haitian Senate

Post by Dr Roger Malebranche » Mon Feb 18, 2008 4:06 pm

I try to read "LE MATIN" online everyday, to keep in touch with our Land. Recently there have been numerous articles concerning Mr Boulos a member of the Haitian senate. "Apparently" Mr Boulos holds a dual passport, Haitian and American.

I remember the senator's father, the departed Dr Boulos, very well and he was a passionate Haitian and lover of Haiti. I lost contact with him and the Boulos family when I came to the United States in the early 60s. The Boulos family has been Haitian for generations.

According to the senate members pushing for Mr Boulos expulsion he holds a dual citizenship (so the rumor has it) and in view of that horrible crime he is not Haitian and should not be in the senate.

My questions are many:

1) Don't Haitian senators have anything better to do? Too much free time on their empty brains ? Have they been looking recently at the position of Haiti in the global community, the renewed "racist" push to saddle Haiti "again" with the AIDS epidemy, the Haitian security problems (kidnappings, rapes, killings etc...) hanging over the land like huge black clouds?

2) Was Mr Boulos born in Haiti from Haitian parents, raised and educated in Haiti? Does he reside in Haiti by his own choice?

3) Was he freely elected by the constituents of his department to represent their interests, and are they the ones pushing for his ouster?

4) Would it not be the perfect venue to seriously tackle the sticky issue of Haitians and double nationality? Many of us Haitian-born had to adopt other nationalities for reasons of survival.

5) Haiti and Haitian politicians rely a lot on their diaspora for money and support for Haitian causes. In other words the "DISPERSED" are fine when help is needed but not good enough to sit at the table as true Haitians. What's going on in there?

6) Have we recently experienced a big influx of people from other countries clamoring to be Haitian citizens? Are illegal immigrants crashing our borders?

Be serious, Senators and try to do the job you were elected for.

I would like some comments on that subject from the "WINDOWS ON HAITI" braintrust.

A forever Haitian holding an American passport,
Dr Roger Malebranche

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Post by Guysanto » Mon Feb 18, 2008 9:31 pm

"WINDOWS ON HAITI" brainstrust? Sounds nice, but don't forget : You are part of it!

Before we go further, let's bring back in this debate what Serge had written about it earlier, which stands quite apart from the opinion you have expressed here. Who is right? Who, perhaps, has a third opinion? Let's see how formidable or diverse our "braintrust" truly is.

[quote]Le Sénat haitien vient de mettre en place un nouveau bureau suite à des élections qui se sont tenues conformément au règlement interne de ce corps. Le nouveau bureau est composé comme suit:

Kelly C. Bastien, président ; Rudolphe Boulos, vice-président; Fritz Carlos Lebon, questeur; Eddy Bastien et Judnel Jean, premier et deuxième secrétaire respectivement.

Remarquez-vous quelque chose d'insolite dans cette composition? Fort probablement. En effet, il s'agit du Sénateur Rudolphe Boulos élu vice-président du bureau. Rudolphe Boulos, celui-là même qui, après s'être parjuré devant le Conseil électoral permanent pour pouvoir participer aux élections sénatoriales de 2006 - M. Boulos détient la double nationalité qui pour le moment n'est pas reconnue par la Constitution haitienne - occupe maintenant l'un des postes les plus élevés au bureau du Sénat, le corps qui précisément a pour tâche primordiale de veiller au respect de la Constitution. Tout à fait insolite, n'est-ce pas?

Il est un fait que la Constitution mérite d'être modifiée, et qu'au nombre de ces modifications, la double nationalité devrait être admise, du moment que tous les aspects de la question ont été étudiées de manière approfondie. Je n'ai aucun problème à accepter ce fait. Cependant, jusqu'à nouvel ordre, la présente loi-mère n'admet pas la double nationalité et il existe maintenant suffisamment de preuves permettant d'établir sans l'ombre d'un doute que M. Boulos détient deux nationalités. En principe, et je dis bien en principe, le Sénat, fort de ces données, aurait dû déjà lancer une enquête sérieuse en vue d'établir les faits pour lui-même et prendre les mesures qui s'imposent. M. Boulos, qui aime se projeter comme un grand patriote, aurait dû avoir le courage de reconnaitre qu'il a commis un acte illégal et il devrait se retirer du Sénat. Mais, je délire. Une telle décision suppose du courage, de la conviction et surtout un minimum d'honnêteté et d'intégrité, des traits qui ne sont pas du tout l'apanage du type d'homme comme M. Boulos. On a l'impression que sa stratégie consiste à démontrer au Sénat, aux autorités judiciaires et à qui veut l'entendre que cette affaire de double nationalité, c'est de la foutaise. Vous parlez de double nationalité, moi je vous dis: allez vous faire foutre! J'ai été dûment élu sénateur, j'y suis, j'y reste et que personne ne s'avise d'essayer de me "déchouquer"! Et pourquoi pas cette attitude? Il jouit du support tacite de ses collègues qui non seulement refusent d'entamer une enquête (ou ont peur de le faire), mais l'élisent au bureau de leur Sénat. Il n'y a peut-être qu'une exception. Dans une interview à Radio Solidarité, le Sénateur Fortuné a fortement déploré cette élection, disant que le Sénateur Boulos, détenteur d'une double nationalité, lui avait dit qu'il ne se porterait pas candidat au bureau, précisément à cause de ce problème. Il (Sén. Fortuné) avait rassuré ses collègues en leur rapportant ce que lui avait le Sénateur Boulos. Mais, coup de théâtre! Boulos se porte candidat et ...il est bel et bien élu. Encore un autre parjure, verbal celui-là, si l'on doit croire le Sénateur Fortuné. En passant, pourquoi est-ce le Sénateur Fortuné, qui n'a pas la langue dans la poche, ne prendrait-il pas l'initiative de mener une enquête sur les faits dénoncés au sujet de son collègue Boulos? Allez savoir.

Rappelons que suite aux informations publiées, pièces à l'appui, par le journaliste Guyler Delva; suite aussi à d'autres renseignements indépendamment obtenus qui viennent confirmer les faits dénoncés par Guyler Delva, M. Boulos détient bien la double nationalité haitienne et américaine, n'ayant jamais officiellement renoncé à la nationalité américaine et voyageant pendant des années avec un passeport américain et ayant obtenu un passeport haitien seulement en 2005. Cela signifie donc qu'il a dû fournir de faux renseignements pour obtenir le passeport haitien, de faux renseignements au Conseil électoral pour pouvoir légitimer sa candidature, de faux renseignements pour pouvoir justifier sa résidence dans la zone qu'il voulait représenter en qualité de sénateur. De faux renseignements partout! Parjure partout!. Il faut aussi souligner que M. Boulos est en contravention même avec la législation américaine, car un citoyen américain jure de ne jamais prêter allégeance à un gouvernement étranger et il prête serment à cet effet. Un tel citoyen peut être pénalisé dans ces cas par le Gouvernement américain. Mais, je ne suis pas assez naif pour penser que ce dernier prendrait des mesures contre M. Boulos pour avoir enfreint la loi américaine.

La question demeure donc: Comment les membres du Sénat haitien peuvent-ils accepter un tel fait et chercher par tous les moyens à éviter de se colleter au problème? Serait-ce parce que eux aussi se foutent pas mal de la Constitution...ou ont-ils peur d'affronter la question parce que.....d'autres sénateurs détiennent eux aussi un second passeport qu'ils cachent soigneusement sous leur matelat ou dans quelque trou dans le plancher? Toute hypothèse est valable. En attendant, comme le dit proverbe kreyòl, Senatè Boulos ap bat tanbou li epi lap danse l tou.

Et ce Sénat et son bureau ne devraient donc pas s'étonner de voir la population se moquer d'eux et les considérer comme des farceurs!

Serge[/quote]

[quote]Le dictionnaire décrit le mot "imbroglio" dans les termes suivants: situation confuse, embrouillée. Confusion, mélange.

C'est l'impression que laisse l'affaire Boulos en ce qui a trait à la question de sa double nationalté. La question que l'on doit se poser cependant est la suivante: cette confusion est-elle inhérente à la situation ou est-elle "téléguidée"?

Le dernier aveu du Sénateur Boulos, à savoir que ses parents l'avaient déclaré haitien dès son plus jeune âge, semble avoir pour objectif précisément de provoquer cette confusion. En effet, si c'est le cas - et je m'empresse d'ajouter que ce fut une décision tout à fait légitime qu'on a aucune raison de mettre en doute - pourquoi est-ce que le Sénateur Boulos a-t-il continué de voyager avec un passeport américain même après avoir atteint sa majorité? Simplement parce qu'au regard du Gvt. américain, seul un citoyen américain a droit à un passeport américain.

En d'autres termes, le Sénateur s'embourbe. En effet, à partir de 1987, avec l'adoption de la Constitution de 1987, il n'était plus permis à un Haitien d'être muni de deux passeports, puisque cette Constitution interdisait la double nationalité. M. Boulos a préféré se tenir tout tranquillement dans son coin.

Le Sénateur Boulos est un homme qui semble tout faire en double, comme en témoigne l'information qui suit et est facilement accessible aux enquêteurs du Sénat:

DEUX Déclarations de naissance:
a) 1er mai 1951 (Manhattan) USA
b) 15 juin 1951 (Port-au-prince) Archives Nationales

DEUX Extraits de Certificat de naissance:
a) 24 août 2005 ( Manhattan) USA
b) 28 avril 2005 (Port-au-prince ) Archives Nationales

DEUX passeports:
a) AMÉRICAIN: ( C'est avec ce passeport qu'il a voyagé à travers le monde et tout récemment, le 1er juillet 2007, en République dominicaine par un vol de la American Airlines)
b) HAITIEN: (Il est intéressant de noter que ce passeport haitien lui a été délivré pour la première fois en août 2005. Pardon: 2005? S'il y avait confusion quelque part, tout devient clair et net. Comme on dit en kreyòl: klè kou dlo kòk! Conclusion: il a toujours été muni d'un passeport américain de 1951 - date de sa naissance-, jusqu'à 2005, soit 54 ans. Si à cette date, il n'a pas encore renoncé a la nationalité américaine, il faut ajouter 4 ans à ce chiffre. Et je doute fort qu'il l'ait fait, parce qu'une telle déclaration de renonciation doit être officiellement notifiée aux autorités compétentes américaines.)

Sur la base de ces renseignements, on peut logiquement conclure que le Sénateur Boulos a été frauduleusement élu parce que:

1) il s'est parjuré en faisant une déclaration notariée de non-détention d'un passeport américain en vue d'obtenir un passeport haitien;

2) il s'est parjuré en faisant de fausses déclarations au Conseil électoral au moment de soumettre ses pièces et en réaffirmant qu'il était haitien alors qu'un an plus tôt, en se rendant en République dominicaine, il déclarait qu'il était citoyen américain;

3) Il s'est parjuré devant le Conseil électoral en disant qu'il avait résidence en Haiti, comme le prescrit la Constitution pour briguer un poste électif;

3) il s'est parjuré au regard de la loi des États-Unis qui précise très clairement qu'un citoyen américain ne peut prêter allégeance à un gouvernement étranger.


M. Boulos peut choisir de demeurer citoyen américain, c'est son droit le plus entier et le plus souverain, mis là où le bât blesse, c'est lorsque, au mépris de la Constitution, il se parjure pour devenir Sénateur, vice-président du Sénat et après...?

Il incombe au Sénat haitien d'assumer ses responsabilités et de statuer dans les plus brefs délais sur cette situation, car il ne s'agit pas seulement de la double nationalité, mais du principe du respect d'une disposition constitutionnelle, qu'on soit d'accord avec elle ou pas.

Serge[/quote]

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Post by Serge » Tue Feb 19, 2008 12:04 am

Map salye nou kanmarad sou fowòm lan. Mwen te yon ti jan disparèt kèk dènye semen sa yo paske mwen te okipe, men mwen tounen.

I intervene on the forum tonight right in the middle of one of the hot issues being debated, that of the situation of Senator Boulos.

Dr. Malebranche, I see this situation from a perspective which is quite different from yours. I would not characterize this a a futile exercise as you seem to suggest. While there are many other urgent problems facing the Senate, I agree with you there, nevertheless, if you look further than the simple issue of dual nationality; in my view, there is a much more fundamental aspect that the Senate, the whole State and we, have to take into account.

I say that the dual nationality issue is simple because indeed, it is. There are many countries which recognize it and there are many that do not. In both cases, it is the law that determines which is which. And in both cases, the law has to be observed.

There lies the fundamental aspect I referred to earlier: In those countries, the law is observed, in Haiti, the law is violated. It is indeed a matter of the law of the land which is being violated. In this case, it is the dual nationality which is at issue, bu it might have been any other matter. The fundamental issue would always remain the same. If a law is being violated, there have to be sanctions, otherwise , it is chaos. Isn't impunity Haiti's major problem today? Some inroads have been made however, as indicated in the following examples:

1) A Director at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs diverts 76 million Gdes (probably not by himself). He is found guilty and his boss is under investigation;
2) A former Minister of Public Works is under investigation for liquidating heavy equipment and machinery belonging to the State;
3) At the Ports, containers arrive and the description of the merchandise on the manifest does not match the content of the container.

And I could go on and on. All these examples and so many more, including the matter you raised, have one common denominator: They all involved a violation of the law. In this particular case, it is the law of the land that is violated. La loi est dure, mais c'est la loi. Until the Constitution is amended, it remains the law of the land that Dual Nationality is not permitted and everyone has to accept that and not try to circumvent it.

There is nothing wrong, as I said , that M. Boulos has dual nationality. I am not concerned about that. What I am disturbed about, is his disregard for the law and his refusal to admit it. But I am ahead of myself. Let us go step by step.

How did Mr. Boulos violate the law? Let me try to be as succinct as possible.

1) Mr. Boulos was born in the United States, so he is a US citizen. This is the law of he land. His father takes care to declare him a Haitian, having been born of Haitian parents. So far, so good. M. Boulos is also a Haitian. AT 18, he renounces neither of his nationalities. As far as the US is concerned, he is American. The same applies for Haiti and his Haitian nationality. Everyone knows that Mr. Boulos moved around quite a bit around the world. It turns out that it was only in 2005 that he requested a Haitian passport for the first time . All along, he had been traveling on an American passport, something that confirms his American nationality.

To obtain his Haitian passport, Mr. Boulos declares that he is Haitian and therefore entitled to his passport.

2) The first question one has to ask is the following: but if only now in 2005, he is requesting a Haitian passport, does this mean that he renounced his US citizenship, since Haiti does not accept dual citizenship.?

Up to today, M. Boulos has not clarified that point.

3) Meanwhile, he becomes a candidate to the Senate. He submits papers to the Electoral Council declaring he is eligible to run. He gets a lawyer to say that he resided in the area he wanted to represent (a requirement of the Constitution) and he gets a piece paper from this lawyer saying that the resided "for some time" there (since the Constitution requires a 5-year residence, he had to find a way to submit something to the electoral Council.)

4) Now that all hell has broken loose, as they say, Mr. Boulos is in a deep hole. As far as the US is concerned, he is still an American citizen and as such, there are enough elements there for him to be prosecuted by US Immigration for the following reasons: as a US citizen, by law, he pledges allegiance to United States and cannot serve a foreign country. I am not holding my breath that this will happen, but I wanted to point that out to show the fundamental pattern of Mr. Boulos. This always the same fundamental issue: the violation of the law by Mr. Boulos.

5) On the Haiti side, Mr. Boulos is in as deep trouble. He could have cleared the matter some time ago by a single and simple act on his part: he goes before an American Consul and declares that he renounces American citizenship. That is all. With this official declaration , the matter of dual citizenship would be closed. Now, here is the issue. Should he do that now, he practically would be confessing to perjury, since he said a) that he was American when requesting his first Haitian passport, b) when he submitted his papers to the Electoral Council.

That puts him in breach of the Haitian law, in other words, liable for persecution. Surely you will remember that Bill Clinton was impeached, not because he could not keep it in his pants, but because he lied to the court and he lost his license for that.

So then Dr. Malebranche, do you see the same fundamental issue there? It is a matter of violation of the law set in the country. Again, in my view, it is a matter of someone being brazen enough to defy the law, and as a duly elected Senator ( one has to recognize that), I find him even more guilty, because one of his main functions his to protect the law as a Senator and make sure that others respect the law.

Why is it that Mr. Boulos has not been able or willing to produce his declaration of renunciation of American citizenship? Your guess is as good as mine. Meanwhile, the air remains poisoned.

When all is said and done, the best course of action for Mr. Boulos remains his voluntarily resigning. Meanwhile, should the Senate get to the point where it has to expel Mr. Boulos, I believe such action would send a powerful message that the law is the same for everyone, whoever he or she may be. That would be good for the judiciary system, for the fight against corruption and the institution would be strengthened.

I did not mean to be so long, but since I do it often, why not?


Serge

Dr Roger Malebranche

Post by Dr Roger Malebranche » Tue Feb 19, 2008 7:04 pm

Hi Serge :
Being a surgeon I have a tendency to simplify things. As surgeon you remove a cancer, you drain an abcess, you give blood to someone hemorrhaging etc... And perhaps I am too rash, too simplistic. But politicians pile papers upon papers, laws upon laws, restrictions upon restrictions. And over the years I have developped a distrust of politicians and lawyers ( often they are found wearing the same hat ). I was not defending Senator Boulos, far from it. I knew Dr Boulos the father but I have never met the senator and I agree with you. He should have respected the laws of our country. But as you know I have visceral feelings about dual nationality. I am Haitian, I was born Haitian and I will always be Haitian despite my American passport. I resent the Haitian legislators for taking my birthright away. And this is why the trial and tribulations of Senator Boulos struck a chord with me. I read the part where a senate member was berating him for being un " etranger " and I felt that the guy was addressing all of us of the so called Haitian Diaspora.
Why can't Haiti emulate the loving embrace of Israel for her children, even the ones not born in the land of Zion ?
By the way, Guy is supposed to drop for a visit one of these days ( probably after my obituary in the papers ). If you see him or talk to him have him bring Gelin and You. It would be fun to learn things from the young and brainy ones. I don't see many Haitian Brothers and Sisters in Upstate NY.
We would have some heated political discussions.
Be well HAITIAN.
Roger.

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Post by Serge » Wed Feb 20, 2008 1:12 am

Hi Dr. Malebranche,

I am just now reading your message at this late hour (or early morning). As a doctor, you probably would tell me that I should be asleep, right?

Anyway, I do understand your feelings and I also distrust politicians, particularly Haitian politicians who have failed so spectacularly. Really, as I said earlier, there is nothing wrong with dual nationality. The only thing is that for the time being, Haiti does not recognize it, this is the law. Otherwise, naturalized or not, the Haitian remains Haitian. So often I meet someone who has this specific accent and I asked him or her: Se Ayisyen w ye? The person never answers: no I am American. So it is just a matter of legal status. Unfortunately, for their own dark reasons, stupid politicians are playing politics with this and for what purposes? Lord knows.

You mentioned Israel. Despite its policies which I despise, it is remarkable to see how, as you say, Israel embraces its citizens. One should also say that Israel does admit dual nationality. The same also goes for countries like Brazil, France, Guyana, Trinidad etc. It is a matter for that Constitution to be amended and for Haiti to enter into a bilateral agreement with whichever country. Hopefully that will happen soon.

I never thought you were defending Boulos, no, not at all. My objective was to point to a much larger issue that, in my view, points to the main reason for the state of dysfunction or inadequate functioning of Haitian institutions: the lack of respect for the law.

Whenever I come to N.Y and I can get in touch with Guy, I hope I have the opportunity to meet you (before your obituary). That should be fun.

Serge

Dr Roger Malebranche

Haiti, Haitians and the future for both

Post by Dr Roger Malebranche » Wed Feb 20, 2008 12:25 pm

Hi Serge, Hi Gelin, Hi Guy:

L'UNION FAIT LA FORCE and what I want more than anything is to see the spiritual embracing of all Haitians, light skin, dark skin, from the cities, from the hills etc... Perhaps I am too much of a dreamer but I have realized long ago ( when I came here in the early 60s ) that we are a unique, special group of humans. Nobody in the world is like a Haitian. This is our strength, our method of survival. I have given my 2 American children all what modern " ADVANCED " America could provide but I KNOW that my youth in the valleys of Anse A Veau, the mountains of Morne l'Hopital, the hills of Laboule was 100% happier and more fullfilling than theirs. Today I am what I am and where I am because I was lucky enough to have been born in Haiti and I will never forget that. And I want ALL Haitians, the ones back home and the ones all over the world to also never forget that.

There is serious work to be done in Haiti and I cannot imagine our politicians spending their time and energy fighting over minutiae while there are serious problems to be addressed.

I have not been home for years and I was thinking of taking a trip for a wedding this coming May. I managed to convince my wife and children that security had improved and the worst days of killing, kidnappings were in the past. Alas, a Haitian friend from NYC just called to tell them that the insecurity had started all over again and I was risking life and limbs if I went. I now have a fight on my hand. I keep telling my family that there are crimes everyday in the USA and all over the world, that Haiti is being singled out by the white anglosaxon dominated media (dan pouri gen fòs sou bannann mi )...

Nothing doing! They are sure that if I went, the kidnappers, the killers etc... are going to get me. Recently some white American and European researchers (???) conducted a study (???) on 3 or 4 Miami (Florida) Haitians and decided (The white God came down to inform them) that one Haitian (We are very powerful, you know) returning to Haiti from Central Africa... after eating monkey meat or after having sex with monkeys... managed to distribute AIDS to innocent America and the rest of the world, Europe, Asia, Africa, even Australia... you name it.

It appears CRIMINAL to me, Serge, that in the middle of all that the Haitian elected representatives are more concerned about Senator Boulos being an "etranger" with dual passport.

Keep the faith my brother. I hope there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

Roger

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Post by Tidodo » Tue Mar 25, 2008 2:19 pm

[quote]It appears CRIMINAL to me, Serge, that in the middle of all that the Haitian elected representatives are more concerned about Senator Boulos being an "etranger" with dual passport. [/quote]
Like most of you, I believe in the disservice this law made to the Haitian people. And like Serge, Guy, and many others, I understand we have to obey the law, as bad as they may be sometimes [remember slavery was legal once in the USA]. I went out of my way against this law before, during the Simeus candidacy. But, Dr. Malebrache, you are right, I have not been able to obtain or read what the parliament has done since the democratic process started, in terms of new laws, to improve the situation on the country, other than being bossy with the Executive.

In any case, I am posting this because I thought about the double nationality this morning, listening to a Terry Gross' interview (Fresh Air on National Public Radio-NPR) with Tracy Ullman. She told Gross that in 2006, after 25 years living in the U.S.A, she decided to become a U.S citizen. The reason she gave was that she wanted to be able to vote. Ms. Ullman is British by birth. She proudly added that she now has double nationality. As she said: "The British government allows it." Perhaps, the British Government has a parliament who thinks: COUNTRY.

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