After the Act of Betrayal, it is the Moment to Show the Door to Jovenel

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EDITORIAL

After the act of betrayal, it is the moment to show the door to Jovenel

In our previous issue, we stated that Jovenel Moïse has done enough against the country to get rid of him. We even called on Parliament to carry out their constitutional duty in the matter. However, after he arranged to have foreign mercenaries come to Haiti with the aim of massacring the sons and daughters of Dessalines, the Head of State has gone beyond treason. Whatever accusations were levelled against him before pale in comparison to the latest act of hiring killers against his own people. We applaud those Deputies (Congress-people) who have taken upon themselves to draft an indictment against Mr. Moïse and urge the majority of the members in the Lower House to follow suit. Otherwise, they risk finding themselves without their base in their respective jurisdictions.

The seven foreigners, including five American citizens and two of Serbian nationality, but green card holders in the United States, were able to leave Haiti hurriedly, thanks to the close collaboration between the American Embassy in Port-au-Prince and Haitian judicial authorities. So said Michele Sison, the U.S. ambassador in Haiti. The Haitian driver, guide or interpreter in their company, did not fare as well as they. He remained in jail until Monday when, following public clamour, he was released.

There is no doubt that the foreigners were illegally welcomed into the country at the invitation of the National Palace. The lack of an entry stamp in the passports speaks volume. Indeed, they were on “mission” having to do with assassination and destruction. How else to explain the war arsenal in their possession ? They returned to their respective homes immediately after their landing in Miami on Wednesday, February 20. Reportedly, the American officials said no charges would be brought against them because no American law was violated. A Creole proverb — “Se mèt kò ki veye kò”— is applicable in this case. (“It’s up to the people concerned to defend their interests”.) In this particular case, American diplomats stationed in Haiti went the extra mile to get their citizens out of the country before the situation turned uglier, with revelations of the facts in a court of law.

When arrested by the police, the “mercenaries” revealed they were “on duty for the government”, without indicating which government. Meanwhile, Jean Fritz Jean-Louis, a former cabinet Minister, said the men were “on contract” with the National Bank of Haiti, Banque de la République d’Haïti (BRH), but he did not know the nature of the contract. Interestingly, one of the vehicles in the possession of the men was registered in Jean-Louis’ name. Moreover, he accompanied them to the Police precinct and tried to have them released. To no avail! Another tidbit about Mr. Jean-Louis who asserted that this was not their first time in Haiti to attend to issues at the Central Bank. However, the Bank’s governor, Jean Baden Dubois, said he does not know the guys and they had never been hired by the BRH. No coordination in their lying campaign !

Undoubtedly, the men —five Americans and two foreign residents in the United States— entered Haiti clandestinely, based on an employment contract with Jovenel Moïse’s team, the nature and terms of such contract remaining a secret. For the record, we will point out that in the wake of major demonstrations last October 17, the Haitian officials got ready for other demonstrations that were announced for November 18, 2018. Indeed, foreigners wearing masks and wielding large-caliber weapons with telescopic lenses were seen in action during the November demonstrations when several demonstrators were hit in the head from long distance. At that time, the foreign recruits, deployed in the capital of Port-au-Prince, were armed with powerful telescopic-gun revolvers with silencers, the types used by snipers. They also had other lethal devices, including drones, bullet-proof vests, pistols, satellite phones and knives. To great amazement, the Chief of the National Police had said the PNH does not possess such weapons, neither the vehicles used by those “White men in hoods.” As we already noted, during the November demonstrations, some young people were killed with bullets piercing their heads while no one nearby had any weapons. Worse yet, the Haitian authorities never launched an investigation to establish the origin of the shots or the perpetrators of those crimes.

For people who still doubt the affinities of the foreigners to individuals around Jovenel Moïse, one needs only remember how fiercely the president’s men lobbied the police to release the foreigners. How do they explain that the two vehicles in their possession at the time of their arrest belong to Magalie Habitant, closely allied to the president, and to Jean Fritz Jean-Louis ? The latter was the campaign director for Jovenel Moïse, former director of the National State Lottery and former minister delegated to the Prime Minister’s office. The two vehicles, a Toyota Prado and a double-cabin Ford truck, had been purchased in cash at the Berhmann dealership in Port-au-Prince by Mrs. Habitant.

Unaware of when and how those foreigners entered Haiti, whether by air or land, and for what purpose, Prime Minister Jean Henry Céant argued that their mission was to assassinate him, as well as other political and governmental figures. In any case, the weapons at their disposal indicate that they were on an assassination mission. Definitely not against Jovenel Moïse and his people. Otherwise, those men connected to the presidency would not have fought so hard for their release. Notwithstanding all the efforts made by the government to keep the planned operation as a great secret, we are convinced that Jovenel Moïse committed the ultimate act of treason against his own country. He joined forces with some Americans to humiliate the Haitian people.

By orchestrating this macabre game, Mr. Moïse and his team have allowed a crack to be inflicted on the armour of Haitian Justice. Thus, we should look at things from a different perspective. The United States, a country reputed to be flawless as far as justice is concerned, has joined forces with a regime known for subjugating justice. Consider that American justice is currently prosecuting Haitians, one of whom has already been found guilty and another about to be tried, for illegally exporting weapons to Haiti ! Now it would appear that the U.S. is complicit in the case of men having imported illicit weapons to Haiti. For, the weapons found in the possession of the seven men are prohibited from export to Haiti.

In this respect, the former Director General of the HNP, Godson Orélus, jailed in Saint Marc, and those accused along with him are victims of blatant injustice. Because, under pressure from the American justice system, they are being held in preventive detention, accused of having been involved in the illegal import of weapons from the United States to Saint-Marc, Haiti.

Following the serious incident of February 17 in Port-au-Prince, the Americans should not have the nerve to seek the cooperation of Haitians and the Haitian judicial system, particularly in the fight against illegal drugs and arms trafficking. Really, the United States is setting a bad precedent if the American authorities fail to publicly decry what happened in Port-au-Prince and apply appropriate punishment to the “Bald-Headed” regime. Additionally, the American citizens involved in committing alleged crimes in a foreign country should be called to account for their misdeeds. Otherwise, there is going to be free rein in hiring American mercenaries to assassinate citizens and/or destabilize governments in the Western Hemisphere.

Undeniably, there was a transfer of prisoners in the case of the seven foreigners caught flagrantly in Haiti. Under U.S. law, this stage can only be reached after the U.S. consular officer has determined, with irrefutable evidence, that the persons in detention are U.S. citizens. Secondly, there can be no transfer of prisoners until after the judgment has been pronounced and the sentence imposed. Obviously, the transfer of the five Americans and the two U.S. residents was definitely premature.

Clearly, in handling this matter, the American authorities have behaved in a manner unexpected of a country where the rule of law is preeminent. A reputable lawyer, requesting anonymity, asserts that the American officials who conducted the negotiations with their Haitian counterparts behaved badly indeed !

In the light of all these facts, it is more than certain that, on top of his multiple violations of the country’s laws and the Constitution, Jovenel Moïse just committed the ultimate act of treason. The fifteen Deputies who launched the project of indicting the president are acting patriotically. I hope that the majority of the members of the Lower House will follow suit. Otherwise, the PetroCaribe- Challenge demonstrations, that have attracted millions of people to the streets of the capital and in other cities, as well as in rural areas of the country, must keep the mobilization, this time even against their representatives in Parliament who may be barred to return to their respective jurisdictions. It is time for the Lower House to move on with the indictment of Jovenel Moïse and for the Senate to destitute him.

cet article est publié par l’hebdomadaire Haïti-Observateur, édition, du 27 février 2019 et se trouve en P. 11 à : http://haiti-observateur.info/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/H-O-27-fev-2019.pdf