On Labor Day ‘Sweet Micky’ sours Haitians

Haiti’s former President Michel Martelly looks at the camera after voting in the Petion-Ville suburb of Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Sunday, Nov. 20, 2016.
Associated Press / Ricardo Arduengo, File

As Eastern Caribbean nationals paraded queens and kings along Brooklyn’s Eastern Parkway on Labor Day, Haitian demonstrators displayed images of “a fake king” and a “fake president of Haiti.”

“Michel “Sweet Micky” Martelly belongs in jail — not on the parkway for Labor Day,” a sign carried by protesters read.

Although feathers, sequins, flags, flour and oil took the spotlight to showcase masqueraders reveling in Caribbean pride, heritage and culture amidst the revelry hundreds of Haitian nationals voiced protest against Michel “Sweet Micky” Martelly, the former president of the French-creole Caribbean island.

Martelly left office February 2016 after serving since 2011.

Brandishing signs calling for his arrest among their displays were images showcasing the former leader behind bars.

Declaring his status “persona non-grata in New York” while shouting, singing and dancing along the periphery of the official parade route, supporters of the July 7th Collective in Support of the Haitian People distracted spectators from watching a Haitian group as they paraded from Schenectady Ave. to the Brooklyn Museum.

Along with members of KOMOKODA, Committee to Mobilize Against Dictatorship in Haiti they captivated attention despite the fact they were not permitted to walk in the midst of legitimate revelers on the parade route.

“The July 7th 2018 Collective has joined forces with KOMOKODA to denounce and to shut down Michel “Sweet Micky” Martelly’s presence in New York City Caribbean community Labor Day festivities,” a release said.

“He acts out the role of a vulgar carnival king whose popularity made him president but in reality he was imposed as president of our country by Bill and Hillary Clinton to cover up the billions of dollars of Haiti earthquake relief money they stole.”

The statement continued – “The US gave Martelly free rein to loot billions from the PetroCaribe loans and from his $1.50 money transfer and five cents per-minute phone call illegal tax on the Haitian diaspora. His lewd performances are merely a cover for him to launder illicit drug money and funds stolen from the Haitian treasury.”

Martelly has denied any misdoings.

The once very popular, music specialist many became familiar with when he entertained as a deejay to become known as “Sweet Micky” described them to be false.

The damning condemnation here follows recent action taken by Martelly to support accountability for an investigation into missing PetroCaribe funds.

“I reiterate my confidence in state institutions to conduct fair and impartial investigations in order to preserve the principle of the presumption of innocence and to establish the guilt of any institutions or individuals who deserve it if it is the case,” Martelly said.

Allegedly, “PetroCaribe is an oil alliance of many Caribbean states with Venezuela to purchase oil on conditions of preferential payment. The alliance was launched on June 29, 2005 in Puerto La Cruz, Venezuela.

In 2013, PetroCaribe agreed for links with the Bolivarian Alliance for the Americas (ALBA) to go beyond oil and promote economic cooperation.”

Martelly added: “It is well-known that most of these companies belong to well-known multinational and local and foreign investors and that the Haitian state or government, even less the presidential family of the 2011-2016 quinquennium holds no interest neither shares in these companies.

Haitians on the island have been protesting in the streets in demand of an inquiry into the use of PetroCaribe funds.

In response to the loud outcries for transparency Martelly said, “I remain sensitive to the echo of voices.”

“That is why I would like to state emphatically and clearly that I am in favor of accountability for the use of PetroCaribe funds and all other government funds that may have had dubious uses, in order to establish the truth and prevent all false and / or unjustified accusations.”’

Haitian national Yolande Leger on Labor Day at Eastern Parkway.
Yolande Leger

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