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Michel Martelly missed the opportunity to keep it looped

  • June 5, 2024
  • 6 Min
  • 10

Michel Martelly’s presidency of Haiti, an accident of history, will be remembered not for its positive achievements, but for its multiple setbacks and corruption scandals. Since his accession to power thanks to rigged elections, Martelly, “not very sociable” according to a Haitian sociologist, has continued to be at the heart of controversies, notably around the opaque management of Petro-Caribé funds and its practices of shameless patronage.

However, numerous reports, notably from the Court of Auditors, have revealed massive misappropriations and a flagrant lack of transparency. An investigation by the Superior Court of Accounts and Administrative Disputes of Haiti revealed irregularities and embezzlement involving millions of dollars. This disastrous management provoked the indignation and anger of the Haitian people who saw their hopes for development destroyed.

The Petro-Caribe program, launched in 2005 by Venezuela, was to allow Haiti to benefit from oil at reduced prices, by reinvesting the savings in development projects.

The management of the Petro-Caribé funds was one of the greatest disappointments of the Martelly-Lamothe administration. In theory, these funds were to be used for sustainable development projects aimed at improving the living conditions of Haitians, who today vegetate in poverty and filth, under the specter of “planned” gang violence, contributing to national instability.

Furthermore, Martelly’s presidency was marked by nepotism and blatant cronyism. Political appointments were often based on personal alliances rather than competence, which led to chronic inefficiency and widespread corruption within the Martelly-Lamothe-Evans Paul government. Critics have often denounced an administration in which key positions were given to relatives and political allies, contributing to government ineffectiveness and public distrust, – which requires closing the gate when the goat has passed -, and facilitating (easily) the squandering of Petro Caribe funds.

One of the most emblematic episodes of Mr. Martelly’s carelessness occurred when, on Tuesday, he published a press note on the occasion of the death of Jude Hervey Day, former Minister of Planning and Development. External cooperation and “great servant of the State” without a hint of laughter. The note, intended to offer condolences, was seen as a clumsy attempt to distract from harsh criticism of his disastrous management of the country. Haitian Internet users quickly mocked this initiative, highlighting the irony of a president who expresses his pain for a minister of a corrupt government while ignoring the daily suffering of an entire people who are victims of “his federated gangs”.

Many recalled the accusations of embezzlement against Mr. Day, particularly in connection with the Ministry of Planning and External Cooperation, one of the main managers of PetroCaribe funds.

In short, Michel Martelly missed the opportunity to shut up poignantly sums up the general feeling towards his presidential mandate. After so much harm caused to Haiti, Sweet Micky should have chosen discretion rather than launching into late and insincere lamentations. His lack of responsibility and empathy for the suffering of the Haitian people has left a bitter taste in the mouths of many citizens, reinforcing the idea that his words are nothing more than pandering without credibility.

Indeed, after witnessing the corruption, mismanagement and widespread suffering under his reign, few people want to listen to the whining of Martelly, with no address or fixed address in Haiti.