Systematically, the Dictatorship is evolving


  • Systematically, the Dictatorship is evolving

Following his dismissal, in a January 12 tweet, of 10 Senators still with a mandate of two more years, Haiti’s President Jovenel Moïse’s decree of February 12, is another full power grab, which will allow him to grant government contracts without oversight. Unquestionably, that’s another step down the path of a new dictatorship

On February 12, a decree was published in the official State gazette, Le Moniteur, through which the president attempts to grab all power regarding State contracts with private individuals and firms, as well as with foreign entities. Obviously, President Moïse intends to bypass the High Court of Auditors and Administrative Disputes (French acronym CSC/CA), which is constitutionally mandated to oversee and approve State contracts. It’s that same organization which, in two reports concerning the heist of the PetroCaribe Fund, had revealed that businessman Jovenel Moïse, even before becoming president, had used his firms in a “scheme” to defraud the State in getting road building contracts, fields unrelated to their agricultural specialty.

If the CSC/CA agency is robbed of its constitutional mission, the president will be free to get into all sorts of contracts, benefitting his friends. In addition, he’ll be able to sell Haiti’s underground wealth to certain foreigners, especially the Qatari princes, who have shown much interest in exploiting Haiti’s minerals, such as gold, copper, silver, iridium and even petroleum products.

Haitian lawyer André Michel, well known as a defender of Haitian rights, made a thorough analysis of what he considers a “Danger to the Nation.” In a copy made available to the Haiti-Observateur, he blows open the hatch on the decree, which will open the doors for the country to be raped by foreign interests and local overlords conspiring with the president.

First, Attorney Michel considers the decree unconstitutional, because of the nature of the individuals said to have approved it. “After deliberations of the cabinet,” said the decree, “the following action was taken.” Since March 2019, the cabinet is composed of holdover ministers who are “handling current matters,” until a legitimate government is installed. No such government has emerged. Probably, President Moïse wanted it that way, so he could use his rubber-stamped cabinet to do his bidding.

Attorney Michel describes the decree as a “Boulevard prepared for President Moïse and his de facto government. . . . Through this decree, Jovenel Moïse and his government have arrogated to themselves full power in defiance of the Constitution, the laws of the Republic and the principles of separation of powers and financial transparence, the fight against corruption and the permanent control of the CSC/CA.” Moreover, he maintains that the decree goes against the principle “of the polity of bidding and of sound management of State affairs.”

The expert lawyer zeroes in on Article 2 of the said decree, stating that the “Executive considers that public bids relating to electricity and government activities in search of development [of the country] undertaken with certain individuals and other States. . . reinforce the stability and the development of the nation . . . and are of the domain of National Security.” In other words, any- thing the government undertakes could be deemed of importance for “National Security,” and be solely the privilege of the Executive. “By its vagueness,” states Mr. Michel, “Article 2 considers all aspects of National life as related to national defense and is important to National Security.”

The practical aspect of implementing this decree is “more important yet,” according to Mr. Michel: “With this decree, Jovenel Moïse can give juicy electricity contracts to his friends,” adding: “Now we begin to understand why SOGENER [the private electricity provider] had to be annihilated.” In addition, he explains: “With this decree, Jovenel Moïse can easily enter into contracts with foreign companies interested in exploiting our mines and our underground [wealth].” In Creole, he interjects:“Jovenel Moïse intends to sell all of Haiti’s underground wealth.”

He continues: “With this decree, Jovenel Moïse may give contracts of great financial importance to his friends in all domains of national life, as long as in Cabinet deliberations, it is found that it is a question of National Security.” The involvement of the High Court of Auditors and Administrative Disputes is reduced to almost nothing. It only has to be told that the contracts are being entered into by the State but it is involved during and after completion of the deal.

Attorney André Michel can’t contain his ire in the face of what Jovenel Moïse is attempting to do. “In short,” he asserts, “the decree of February 12, 2020 is a true State scandal. This decree is a pretext to dilapidate what is left of our meager resources. I call on the citizens to assume their responsibility.”

As far as he’s concerned, he has assumed his responsibility in this sordid affair. Here’s how: “Citizen Johnson Colin, with assistance of his lawyer, Attorney André Michel, will formally oppose the execution of the decree of February 12, 2020, before going on the attack with a presentation at the High Court of Auditors and Administrative Disputes.”

In addition, he signs André Michel, Esq., Sunday, February 16, 2020.

*Député (Congressman) Jean- Robert Bossé of the Aquin district in South Haiti tweets his disapproval of the president. Last Saturday, he tweeted “With the February 12 decree [the president] has practically sidelined the National Commission on Public Bidding and also the High Court of Auditors and Administrative Disputes. Henceforth, the PHTK [ruling] power has no competitor in matter of corruption.”

In these few words, the Congressman, no longer in office since January 12, when the man- date of the Lower House expired, has put his fingers on the reason for the decree. The PHTK or “Bald Headed” administration of President Moïse is being unfettered in carrying out corruption on a grand scale.

Yet, after his swearing-in on February 7, 2017, President Moïse’s first official visit abroad was to New York, in September of that year, to attend the General Assembly of the United Nations. He made a grand statement about the problems that “gangrene Haiti. They are corruption, corruption, corruption, corruption, corruption,” repeated emphatically five times. Now, he’s not only Mr. Corrupt, but he defends the “corrupters” responsible for the more than $4 billion disappearance of the PetroCaribe Fund from proceeds of Venezuelan petroleum products sold on the Haitian market at preferential rates. The profits thereof were to be used for structural and social programs, which would have changed the face of Haiti. Jovenel Moïse must account for his internationally public promise of fighting corruption. In addition, his latest decree must be considered void and null.

*A distribution of rice to the needy in Haiti’s Central Plateau has turned into a major scandal, involving the Ministries of Interior and Territorial Communities as well as Justice. It started in Mirebalais, in the Department of the Center in the Highlands, adjacent to the Dominican Republic. On February 13, the Police arrested four individuals, including a woman, with a load of 229 bags of rice that were to be sold. On questioning, the Police found out that one of the individuals had a “badge” identifying him as an employee involved in undertaking missions for the Ministry of Interior and Territorial Communities.

Whereupon, the District Attorney of Mirebalais, Elioné Sainfleur was called in by the Police, because it was no longer a local police matter, but one calling for the involvement of the Justice Department. Jean Lunick Revange, the journalist of the blog, who reported the story, said Mr. Sainfleur contacted the Minister of Justice and Public Safety, in Port-au-Prince, Jean Roudy Aly, who is said to have been fully briefed by FAES. That’s the acronym of the Fund for Economic and Social Assistance which has regional offices in six areas of the country, including one in Hinche, in the Central Department. No name of those arrested was given, indicating that they may have been in cahoots with some higher-ups in the administration.

It should be noted that the name of FAES surfaced when its former general director, Klaus Ebervein, was found dead in a hospital room in Miami on July 11, 2017, at the height of the PetroCaribe scandal. It’s been revealed that much of the PetroCaribe Fund had been funneled through FAES. More troubling yet, Caroline Estimé, the former secretary of Klaus Ebervein, was found dead, a year later, in a hotel room at another Miami hotel. Their mouths are forever sealed. They could have testified of what they knew about the involvement of FAES in the PetroCaribe scandal.

Now, the burden is on the shoulder of Minister of Justice Aly. Since the initial press report about the the rice scandal at Mirebalais, a deafening silence has been observed in the matter. One would expect that Minister Aly is conducting a full investigation on the rice scandal, not of merely 229 bags (of 100 lbs, no doubt)which were part of a major shipment sent to the Central Highlands.

Probably, other such commercial improprieties are common with the produce provided to all the regional offices of FAES. It’s too be expected that Jean Roody Aly will become the hero to have broken a mafia-like criminal operation which has hindered the fight on poverty to succeed. After all, the mandate of FAES is to bring about development in Haiti’s mostly peasant regions, leading eventually in breaking the back of poverty in Haiti and usher in an era of prosperity.

People from everywhere, not only in Haiti, are watching the Minister of Justice! Perhaps this situation provides him an opportunity to clear his name in the anti-patriotic and criminal dossier of the armed mercenaries that entered Haiti surreptitiously and, when caught by Haitian police, were facilitated, allegedly by the minister, to leave Haiti in February of last year without appearing before a Haitian court! RAJ February 19, 2020

Cet article est publié par l’hebdomadaire Haïti-Observateur, édition du 19 février 2020 VOL.L, No.7, New York, et se trouve en P. 1, 7 à :