Haiti's Candidates Looking for Cash and media exposure

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Michel Nau_

Haiti's Candidates Looking for Cash and media exposure

Post by Michel Nau_ » Sun Oct 09, 2005 6:49 pm

Haitian hopefuls woo South Florida
Looking for votes, cash and media exposure, some of Haiti's presidential candidates are courting South Florida.

Dropping Creole proverbs like a peasant in the Artibonite countryside, wealthy Haitian businessman Charles Henri Baker hit South Florida's Haiti presidential campaign trail recently -- courting a crowd of expatriates in Homestead with promises of justice and security back home.

The same day, ex-Haitian senator and presidential hopeful Serge Gilles addressed a French-speaking $50-a-plate audience at the University of Miami, articulating his vision of a vital and reinforced Haiti.
Days earlier, attorney and contender Joseph Rigaud Duplan presided over a $100-a-plate black-tie audience of H
aitian-American supporters in Coconut Grove. Haiti plans to hold its first national elections since President Jean-Bertrand Aristide was toppled last year in the face of a rebellion, a host of presidential candidates are crisscrossing South Florida soil because this is where the money, influence and votes are.

''Whether you can vote or not isn't the issue. It's how the Haitian-American community sees the candidates; it's how the American government sees the candidates,'' said Robert Fatton, a Haiti expert who teaches at the University of Virginia.

Unlike some nations that allow expatriates to vote in national elections, Haiti does not. The country's 1987 constitution does not recognize Haitians who have obtained citizenship elsewhere, including in the United States, and it is unclear just how many Haitian citizens will travel back home to cast ballots in the election, which likely will be postponed from Nov. 20 to sometime in Dece
Still, that doesn't seem to faze the presidential candidates, seven of whom, out of a crowded field of 32, have so far campaigned in South Florida. An eighth is coming this weekend.
''The community here is more in tune with what's happening in Haiti,'' said Baker, who's looking to lay out $5 million on his presidential bid and spent three days canvassing Little Haiti, Homestead, North Miami, Pembroke Pines, West Palm Beach, Brickell, Pembroke Pines and North Miami Beach. ``We want them to instruct their family and friends in Haiti how to vote.''

In their appearances here, the contenders are running U.S.-style campaigns, working crowds for votes and money and appearing on local TV and radio. They deliver passionate speeches in French and Creole on what's wrong with Haiti to standing room-only crowds; give vague answers on how they intend to fix things; and woo voters with handshakes, hugs and kisses. Campaign advisors take copious notes wh
ile handing out color brochures with Web and local mailing addresses where supporters can send checks.
With a population of 245,747, according to the latest census data, Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties boast one of the fastest-growing Haitian communities in the United States.
And with Haitians sending more than $1 billion a year in remittances back to their impoverished homeland, according to figures from the Inter-American Development Bank, the candidates come here hoping to tap into those resources.
Thirty South Florida organizers of Duplan's campaign shelled out $10,000 for his black-tie affair. Baker supporters, who include a small group of local Haitian businessmen, rented out Marabou Cafe in Pembroke Pines and Provence Grill on Brickell Avenue for two rallies.
The local campaigning also reflects Haitian Americans' growing political clout.
Community leaders boast personal relationships with Democratic lawmakers like U.S. Congressman Kendrick Meek
of Miami; others enjoy close relations with GOP leaders and Gov. Jeb Bush. Bush has appointed the state's first Haitian-American judge and health secretary. He also created a task force to look at improving conditions in Haiti.
''We are the sleeping giants,'' said Magaly Prezeau, a Dade Haitian businesswoman attending a wine-and-cheese reception for Baker Sunday evening. ``Everyone knows Haiti's power is in the United States. It's not in Haiti.''The visiting candidates do face challenges. They're trying to distinguish themselves among a very crowded field.
There's also an elections boycott by Aristide supporters because their would-be candidate, former Miami activist the Rev. Gérard Jean-Juste, is in jail in Haiti on charges of involvement in the murder of a journalist. Jean-Juste, who denies the charges, is barred from running.

Some Haitians here hold little hope that elections will alleviate Haiti's chronic ins
tability and impoverishment.
''I am not sure it's going to be any different this time around,'' said Manny Ardouin, a Kendall resident and host of a Sunday afternoon Creole-language show on WDNA 88.9 FM.
Still, he and a group of about 200 South Dade Haitian Americans continue to host informal chats with the candidates in hopes they will be proven wrong -- especially on the thorny issue of dual nationality.
That issue was driven home recently when Haiti's electoral council rejected the candidacy of Texas millionaire Dumarsais ''Dumas'' Siméus on grounds he is a U.S. citizen. Ardouin says some feel that Haitian politicians only want the diaspora's money and don't care much about giving them a say in Haiti But Haitian Americans like Marie Thérse Monfluery say they are eager to meet the visiting candidates.
''I want to see all of them and judge to see which one is the best for the country,'' said Mon
fluery, a Kendall resident who has heard three candidates so far..

Leonel JB

Post by Leonel JB » Sun Oct 09, 2005 10:53 pm

I may be wrong on that quote:
[quote]We want them to instruct their family and friends in Haiti how to vote.'' [/quote]

Is he taking the people in Haiti for fools who do not know who to vote for? Cause, I heard that quot from many people before.

Based on the quote, the people in Haiti need to be "Instructed" like the illiterate fools, known by some.

Perhaps, I am wrong. Let me know of what do you think about it, Michel and others?

Personally, I was thinking:"Influenced"! But, Instructed is much more too powerful...

Ann swiv,


Michel Nau_

Post by Michel Nau_ » Mon Oct 10, 2005 2:06 pm

We want them to instruct their family and friends in Haiti how to vote!

Leonel wrote:[quote]Is he taking the people in Haiti for fools who do not know who to vote for? Cause, I heard that quote from many people before. Based on the quote, the people in Haiti need to be "Instructed" like the illiterate fools, known by some. Perhaps, I am wrong.[/quote]
As you know Leonel, the elections "pa fet selman anba tonel anko" is now a hot topic at the dinner table, churches, family reunion, at the water cooler etc..

People are going to vote, in groups, with their family, their churches, their offices and factory workers, communautè paysans etc.
Instructions will be giving to people about when, where and to whom they should vote for.
Instructions will be giving to people on how to address their needs of their community, water, hospital, education, service
s etc.
Instruction will be giving to the people that their votes will be counted.
An educated and instructed voter is a good citizen.

No more “ b'we tafiya, monte sou tet kamion, bel kout tanbou e voye bel gouyad nan madigwa!!

Bagay sa yo fini.

Jaf wrote:[quote]Eleksyon kolon, lajan kolon, kandida kolon, KEP kolon, òdinatè kolon, "gallup poll" kolon. estatistik kolon, medya kolon, obsèvatè entènasyonal - kolon, ki rezilta pou ki moun.....? Répétons la leçon chers enfants: K -O - L - O - N - kolon!"
Bravo !

"yo rele sa: demokkkrasi santi !"[/quote]

Jaf ki tout ipokrizi sa yo!!
Wap viv kay kolon;
Pitit w fet kay kolon;
W'al lekol, al nan bel libreri, bel teatr'e, bel plezi, bel sekirite kay kolon;
W pale, diskite, proteste,organize, declare d'wa w san pwoblem kay kolon.
W manje, domi, bouwe, bel A/C, bon
H2O nan boutey kay kolon;
W sipevize, dirije, negosiye, pran plezi avek e kay kolon.

Mwen k'we ke w gen yon ti non jwet pou moun ki genyen tout bel privilej sa yo. W rele yo U.T. Pa vre?

Sot ki bay, imbesil ki pa pran, e malonet, malveyan kap di lot moun pa pran!

E frè nou yo ki anba soley yo kap lite e mouri, yo pap jwan tou!

Jaf, w se you moun ki gen bel edikasyon akademik, peye che'r pou gwo lekol, min bagay ki mwen che'r e ki pa koute anpil kob, yon pa montre sa, se sajes.

W toujou pare pou fe lobay, volè nan kolet moun, kasè batay e jourè avek kamarad ki pa dako avek w.
Atitid, atitid, eseyè chanje atitid w.
Eseyè fe yoga, meditasyon, b'we anpil tè, e pa b'wè café ak cafein la dan'n.
Si w fe sa, w'ap anfom net e w'ap genyen anpil kredibilitè.

E pi tou: Kitè kolon yo trankil boss papa!!!

Looking after you.


Leonel JB

Post by Leonel JB » Wed Oct 12, 2005 3:03 am

Wrong again, Michel!

Just because one is supporting someone Financially, does not mean one can Influence the other's voting decision.

For instance, I can tell you that I voted for GWB after receiving food and money from you. But, at the voting Booth, the decision is mine. My choice can be different. Unless, one has to do the voting for me...

Now, don't be sorry, you did not say Instructing the people. Baker did, and he knows why? He can still sing to the Masses, MOURIR EST BEAU. While, the only song that he and his Friends know is BECHONS JOYEUX...

Yap fE kont maltaye sou do pEp, pandan Aloufa yo ap konte lajan menm nan Blakawout...

Marchons Unis,


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