Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Pres Préval wants Parliament to change state of emergency law to 18 months

President René Préval has introduced new bill to Parliament that will allow government to spend without going through regular procedures that are watchdogs for possible corruptions by government officials.

President Préval wants politicians change the law of September 9, 2008 on the state of emergency in order to take into account a period of 18 months. 

 Presently, the September 9 act authorizes the use of state of emergency only for a period of 15 days.  It can be renewed but the government has to go back to the Parliament each and every time to request it and provide good reasons for it plus account for previous spendings.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Tough warning to Préval and the Haitian gvt from Jean Jean Roosevelt

Tough words are coming out of this new song from famous Haitian singer Jean Jean Roosevelt.

"Be careful this time, chief" he says.  "We will forget all the money that were meant for schools, hospitals, roads, etc, but that went elsewhere.

This time, don't touch the money that is destined for the children of Haiti in this reconstruction effort."

Haitian Movie Nights kicked off well at Little haiti Cultural Center last Sunday

Many movie fans came last Sunday not only to view the new movie by Producer/Director Raynald Delerme but also to discover this wonderful cultural center in Little Haiti that costs almost 20 million dollars.

The evening started with a stand-up comedy by Jean-Claude Joseph (Papa Pyè), one of Haiti's best comedian and actor.

Papa Pyè is the famous main character in the popular television sitcom "La Vi Nan Bouk", (Life on the Farm), back in the 80s at the National Television of Haiti.

Jean Claude Joseph is also one of the main characters in the movie "Dyab Baba".  The comedy show was followed by the projection of the movie which got repeated applauses and laughters from the audience from begining to end.

The presentation of this movie is part of an agreement between the Haitian American Association of Filmmakers and the Little Haiti Cultural Center to showcase Haitian films every week-ends in the state of the art, 270 seats, movie theater at the center,
starting April 4th, when "Dyab Baba" will play again.

This time, it will be the movie only,
playing at 4PM, 6PM and 8PM.

Haitian films will play after that every Saturdays
with 2 shows at 4PM and 6PM,
and Sundays with 3 shows at 4PM, 6PM and 8PM.

Admission will be $7.00 / $5.00 in advance.

Tickets are available at the Center.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Pres. Préval fights back at accusation of corruption by his government

The Head of State of Haiti René Préval dismissed with a wave of hand the findings of a report published last week by the U.S. State Department, Haiti ranked among the most corrupt countries.
"I do not pretend that there is no corruption in Haiti, but I do not accept that we say that government is corrupt, that is to say: The executive, Head of state, premiers and ministers. "Said the president returned from his trip to the United States and Dominica.
The President of the Republic of Haiti, René Préval, in an effort to gain international trust for the reconstruction of Haiti, denies accusations of corruption against his team and requires to be provided with evidence.
René Préval takes for example, expressed confidence in his government by international financial institutions, through increased direct budget support.
In its latest report, the U.S. State Department noted that corruption within the national police, judicial and political institutions continues to pose a threat to human rights in Haiti.

The US Department of State strongly urges citizens to avoid travel to Haiti

Since the earthquake of January 12, four American citizens were murdered in Port-au-Prince. Most kidnappings are criminal in nature, and the kidnappers make no distinctions of nationality, race, sex or age.
Some hostages have been killed, sexually assaulted or physically abused. Despite improvements in the National Police of Haiti since 2006, the presence of a stabilization force (MINUSTAH) and the peacekeepers UN are essential to maintain an adequate level of security throughout the country. The lack of civil protection in Haiti, and the limited capacity of local law enforcement to solve the crime, aggravating the security threat to U.S. citizens.
"The Department of State strongly urges citizens to avoid travel to Haiti, emphasizing the" constant danger of violent crimes such as homicide and kidnapping.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Did President Préval make his case in Washington?

On Wednesday March 10, 2010, President René Préval went to Washington where he met with Secretary of State, Mrs Hillary Clinton, and President Barack Obama.  Mr Obama and Mr Préval spoke to the press after meeting at the White House to reaffirm their mutual commitment to rebuilding Haiti after January’s devastating earthquake.

After receiving many visits from heads of states of different regions in the world, Mr Préval only got the visit of the Secretary of State of the US and of former President Bill Clinton fromm the USA.  Many were waiting to see Pres Obama go to Haiti.  Instead, it was Pres Préval who had to go to the US.

Preval told The Miami Herald last Friday that though billions have been pledged, little has gone to the Haitian government.

Most of the aid going to Haiti are being channeled through non-government organizations for lack of trust in the Haiti government.    Haiti ranks very high when it comes to corruption by government officials and one the missions of Preval's trip was to convince his counterpart to give more of the over one billion dollars donated to Haiti to his government.   Did Preval make his case?

Watch the speech they both gave to the Press after they met in private.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Is nature warning Haiti about what's coming?

Two years ago, the rainy season devastated many parts of Haiti.  Did the government learn anything enabling them to make preparation and casualty prevention measures?

Well, the answer is not too clear looking at last year's rainy and hurricane season.

At that time, people in Haïti were leaving inside their homes.  Today, they are sleeping in the streets, most, under makeshift tents.

In a few weeks, the rainy season will start in Haïti.
How ready is Haïti's government officials to prevent more devastating casualties?
Well, nature has decided to give them a test, and, unfortunately, they failed.

Floods and mudslides killed at least 13 people in Haiti over the weekend, raising fears about the vulnerability of survivors of the January 12 earthquake.

Haiti's civil protection agency confirmed four people died when floodwaters triggered by torrential rains swept through Les Cayes, the country's third-largest city located on the southern coast about 100 miles (160 km) west of the quake-shattered capital Port-au-Prince.

Les Cayes was flooded by more than 60 percent.  Four more people were killed in nearby Cavaillon, four in Saint Louis du Sud and one in Aquin, the Haitian civil protection agency said. Three people were missing and close to 3,500 were evacuated from their homes, it added.

The January 12 Haitian earthquake wrecked large parts of heavily populated Port-au-Prince and surrounding towns, but also damaged towns to the south and west in the Caribbean country.

How ready will Haïti when the rainy season hits in March and the hurricane season starts in May?
So far, no specific plans have been announced by the Haitian officials or the International community.  It seems like there is no common plan.

The International community wanted to move the earthquake victims out of Port-au-Prince into shelters that would be built near but outside of Port-au-Prince, making removal of rubles and reconstruction much easier.

The President recently opted on moving the people back to their shattered homes, in smaller tent areas of 50 to 100.  The government ordered 5000 tents from China for that measure.  Is nature warning about what's coming to Haïti?  Is the government listening or paying attention to nature?

Well, history of the last 5 years shows that this government has not had a good ear to nature.  It has used casualties to ask for state of emergency measures in Haïti, allowing them to go into the financial reserves of the country and spend without going through proper channels and accountability.

As of today, no official reports have been given for the spending of the 197 millions dollars siphoned out of the Petrocaribe funds.

167 million dollars have been taken recently from that fund following the January 12 earthquake.  The President is asking for a renewal of the state of emergency but Parliamentary officials are requesting a report on government spending since January 12 before granting the renewal of that state of emergency measure.

Will Haïti be ready by May for more damage by nature?
Only time will tell and time may not be on the people's side.

Haiti's Seaport back in operation and performing twice as before

Haiti's main seaport at Port-au-Prince has managed to handle container traffic at a level higher than before the Jan. 12 earthquake, and full repairs to damage should be completed in April, a senior U.S. military officer said on Wednesday, according to Reuters.

The Caribbean country's main maritime terminal for import and export shipments was badly damaged in last month's quake, especially its south pier, initially blocking off a key entry point for urgently needed humanitarian supplies and imports.

Divers from the U.S. Navy and other countries have been working for weeks on repairs to clear debris and wreckage from blocked channels and berths, and contractors brought in floating piers to help unload containers.

"We've had several days where we've delivered 600 containers in a single day, so their capacity is ahead of where they were before the earthquake," said Major General Daniel Allyn, deputy commander of the U.S. military Joint Task Force participating in the international relief effort in Haiti.

Youri Latortue wants to know where the money went since Jan. 12, 2010

Senate Political Affairs Committee Chairman Yuri Latortue called for the publication of report on government spending since January 12. 

 According to the chairman, those reports and an action plan for the next emergency period are prerequisites for an extension of the state of emergency.

As the the Presdient of Haiti tries to get a renewal of the state of emergency, the Senate Committee on Political Affairs informs the report on the country's situation will be submitted to the Chief Executive this week.   

 Senator Evaliere Beauplan (PONT) denounced the procrastination of some elected officials, close to the President, who would not agree with the recommendations of the committee.

Several minority senators, including Rudy Herriveaux and Youri Latortue, are demanding a cabinet change to address the emergency. This proposal, called for strengthening the government by Senator Herriveaux, was presented by representatives of various sectors of the civil society.

These last three weeks, the Senate Committee on Political Affairs had working sessions with representatives of various sectors, including political parties, churches and associations.

The minority senators feel that their colleagues of INITE parliementary group want to boycott sessions to finalize the report. 

 According Evaliere Beauplan, the convocation of the Minister of Justice on Wednesday and met with the head of state Thursday are part of this strategy.

Senator Beauplan has indicated its commitment to submit the demands of nation to the head of the executive branch of government so that proper solutions can be brought to the urgent needs of the population.

"2 SE", Raynald Delerme's new movie Playing this Saturday Feb 19.

Click on play to watch promo


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Port-au-Prince, Haiti
PVS Canal 16 started airing in 1990. It is the first on-air private television station licensed to operate in Haïti. Its programming has largely been based on Haitian culture and Haitian cinema promotion.