General News

    Welcome Haiti’s New Prime Minister

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    After receiving his blessing from the President of the Republic, Jovenel Moïse, the new Prime Minister, Joseph Jouthe, officially took office, during a ceremony held at the National Palace.

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    After receiving his blessing from the President of the Republic, Jovenel Moïse, the new Prime Minister, Joseph Jouthe, officially took office, during a ceremony held at the National Palace. Jouthe is the fifth Prime Minister chosen by Moïse. He has taken the full measure of the current crisis in the country stating, “The situation is serious. We are living today in a precarious socio-economic situation which could lead at any time to a humanitarian disaster. Our country is dying.” In his speech on the occasion, Prime Minister Joseph Jouthe also called for a truce.

    “Leave the country in peace,” he says. “The political leaders are all my friends. Give me a truce, I don’t want any more disorder in the country. Whether moderate or radical opposition, they are all my friends. I will not betray my friends but leave me in peace.” He presented the three axes around which his government action will be articulated:

    [vc_message icon_fontawesome=”fas fa-check”]The restoration of the security climate[/vc_message][vc_message icon_fontawesome=”fas fa-check”]The reduction of social inequalities[/vc_message][vc_message icon_fontawesome=”fas fa-check”]The revival of the economy[/vc_message]

    With regard to the first axis, Joseph Jouthe promised to continue, maintain and strengthen the fight against insecurity which, according to him, was initiated by the outgoing Prime Minister. In this sense, he promised to accompany the police. “The PNH is a special force that deserves special treatment,” he said.

    Regarding the reduction of social inequalities, Joseph Jouthe announced that his government will help the most vulnerable with concrete measures. While promising to fight against corruption and smuggling, he claims to be able to bet on four strategic institutions: the Directorate General of Taxes (DGI), Customs, the National Police of Haiti (PNH) and the armed forces of Haiti ( FAD’H) to boost the recovery of the economy.

    The President of the Republic sees this new government as a major positive change in the governance of the country. Developing a budget is its primary requirement for this new government. “We have to work with financial partners, especially the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to have a new budget. It is by this budget that we will judge your government,” he said.  The last national budget has not been made for 2 years.

    The United States, which has positioned itself as an unconditional ally of President Jovenel Moïse, has supported the government. “The United States is ready to work with the new government of Haiti and its Prime Minister,” said the American embassy in a tweet. “The United States urges the Haitian government to respond to the needs of the Haitian population by urgently addressing questions related to public security, the revival of economic growth and the organization of free, fair and credible legislative elections as soon as it is technically possible to.”

    We hope that the addition of the new Prime Minister will be the light at the end of the tunnel that we all have been praying for.

    The US has Plans to Aid Haiti and the Bahamas

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    The US Department of State released the following statement:

    [vc_message icon_fontawesome=”fa fa-quote-left”]“Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs David Hale will travel to The Bahamas on December 5 and to Haiti on December 6. In Nassau, he will meet with Prime Minister Hubert Minnis, National Security Minister Marvin Dames, disaster response authorities, and USAID implementing partners. They will discuss U.S. support for Hurricane Dorian recovery efforts and the U.S. commitment to ongoing bilateral cooperation. In Haiti, Under Secretary Hale will meet with Haitian President Jovenel Moïse, Foreign Minister Bocchit Edmond, and other political leaders. They will discuss the pressing challenges facing Haiti and the need for an inclusive national dialogue and a functioning government capable of restoring order, maintaining rule-of-law, expanding the economy, and serving the Haitian people.”[/vc_message]

    In the aftermath of the Category 5 storm that hit the Bahamas earlier this year, the government has deported hundreds of undocumented Haitian migrants. The strongest storm on record to hit the Northwest Bahamas left thousands displaced, hundreds still missing and at least 70 dead. Dorian destroyed the two largest of the six Haitian shantytown communities on Abaco. In the days immediately following the storm, the government announced that it had suspended the deportation of immigrants in the affected areas. However, just two weeks after this declaration, non-regularized individuals were warned that they “are not safe” and told to “go home” if they lost a job as a result of the storm. That act alone has generated lots of ongoing criticism from various United Nations agencies as tensions continue to increase over the matter.

    Hale met with Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis, Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs and Minister of National Security Marvin Dames, United States Agency for International Development (USAID) implementing partners and other government officials. The group was reportedly discussing the longstanding and enduring partnership between the two countries, as well as America’s continuing support for The Bahamas in the wake of the devastating storm. But, civilians in the states and on the islands alike don’t seem to be too trusting of these meetings.

    Like anything else, only time will tell how much work will stem from these meetings being held so it may be too soon to mark a stamp of un-approval. Caribbeans of Haitian and Bahamian decent just feel a little uneasy about this random someone who they feel, at this time, may not do much but add fuel to the fire. The biggest concern people have voiced is questioning the real reason behind the visits. Some feel the US just stepped in to be a moderator for the start of the conversations and aren’t sure if they will actually lend a hand where it matters most.

    Giving aid to despondent nations is a humanitarian gesture and promises several benefits. However, critics are also correct in saying there are loopholes in the system.

    The best way to address this is to come up with a structural design to ensure aid is given to the right recipients and that it is properly implemented, with utmost focus on corruption.

    In this case, unfortunately, only time will tell the real benefits to come from Hale’s visit, but we will surely be keeping an eye out.

    Caribbean Art is Coming to Miami

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    Art Basel is the leading global platform connecting collectors, galleries, and artists. It originated in Basel, Hong Kong, followed by the Miami Beach sector that came about in the years following being established. It is known to be a driving force in supporting galleries as they nurture the careers of artists. The five-day event also serves as a commitment to increasing the transparency and accountability of the art market. Initiatives, including Art Basel Cities and the recently announced Art Basel Inside, overall are striving to create unique artist-led experiences and strengthen local art scenes. Throughout the whole Basel experience, guests have the options of which art they can browse through by paying attention to which scenes will be set and where. If you are looking to support your local Caribbean talent, there is opportunity for that at Art Beat Miami.

    Art Beat Miami is an annual satellite art fair showcasing emerging and renowned artists from Haiti and around the world. Put on in the heart of Downtown Little Haiti, Art Beat Miami features emerging and renowned artists, painters, sculptors, art exhibits, murals, performers and musicians. The festival brings together multidisciplinary artists working in collaboration to highlight the culturally rich and diverse creativity of local artists and the Caribbean Diaspora here and beyond. It is an experience of art, cultural, exchange, food, fashion and music inspired by Haiti and artists worldwide. During Art Basel Week, the Little Haiti Community invites you to discover multidisciplinary works of art by internationally recognized artists at the Caribbean Marketplace of the Little Haiti Cultural Center. Enjoy live music, food, mural exhibitions, fashion shows, special events, and conversations with artists.

    At Art Beat Miami, a half-dozen Miami artists present work focusing on Haiti. In its sixth year, the fair is hosted by Little Haiti Optimist, Northeast Second Avenue Partnership and Haiti’s Ministry of Culture and Communications. Among the Haiti-based artists included are Olivier A. Gantheir (OliGa) and Claudia Apaid, who came to our studio to chat with Patrick on the air about what they will be showcasing and their specific experiences with the art scene as a Caribbean artist.

    Caribbean art has always reflected the region’s rich past and the various waves of migration.

    Incorporating different styles of European art with its own culture, Caribbean paintings should be read as a collage of all the different periods of island’s heritage.

    With the exception of Haitian art, critics suggest that it was only in the 20th-century that we witness evidence of the local creation from Caribbean artists.

    It will be very exciting to see the modern take on history repeating itself through the hard work of all the artists showcasing their work at Art Beat Miami 2019.

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    The art fair kicks off 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Wednesday, December 4th, with a free musical performance in the Caribbean Marketplace and runs through Sunday, December 8th. All events will take place at the Little Haiti Cultural Center and Caribbean Marketplace, 212 NE 59th Terr., Miami, FL.

    Information at www.artbeatmiami.com / 305-492-7868

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    Think of It This Way…

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    To those who are paying attention, it is no secret that Haiti is in turmoil. A quick catch up for those who are unaware, protests leaders in Haiti have called the people to the streets after being fed up with poverty, scarcity and corruption. Year after year, the country continues to rank the poorest in the Western hemisphere; more than half the population lives on less than $2.49 a month. Thousands have continued to march since this all began which mostly just turns into riots as civilians spill oil and burn down anything in their way.

    As you can imagine, many meetings, debates and acts of desperation have been put together to get these acts in the community to ultimately come to a stop, but nothing has helped. It is almost as if, unless something changes soon to make civilians happy, Haitians will just have to wait out the storm caused by themselves and/or their neighbors. Stanford classics professor Ian Morris does in his book, “War! What Is It Good For? Conflict and the Progress of Civilization from Primates to Robots” suggest the thesis that human progress has been helped, rather than hindered, by war. In hopes of shedding some light over this darkness that is currently surrounding our headlines, that is the thesis we will explore as well.

    For very obvious reasons this has been one of the worst times in Haiti’s history but, without this uprising many things wouldn’t be on their way of being reworked. Post this “war” stage, it is the hope that the community will be given what they want or, if not 100% satisfied, then at least some sort of compromise will be made to settled some of the hearts spearheading these riots. And, when the smoke has eventually cleared the city will need to be rebuilt. In that act, Haiti will have a brand new community to house their reworked economy. These things don’t happen overnight and are most likely very far from easy to set in stone and move forth with as simply as reading about the idea sounds, but when you have nothing left to fight and you are just waiting for others around you to make it stop, these are all hopeful places one can take their mind.

    More internally rather than just for the good of the society, to endure these kinds of living conditions (where every day you come outside your home there is “war”) one has to give credit to their own strength. Moving forward, our people should be reminded of these times and how they kept pushing as a reminder of how powerful they can be facing any obstacle (as small as family issues or as big as this).

    In all this, holding on to gratefulness is key. There are many things about their government and who stands with them that the people of Haiti are now aware of all because of these past trying weeks.

    We continue to pray for the safety and sanity of the Island but also hope better is to come as there can be exciting life after such devastation.