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U.S. Ambassador Michele J. Sison Is an Obstacle to Democracy in Haiti

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Caribbean – Haiti

Truenewsblog – TNB

Haiti – Transition – Jovenel Moise – Michele J. Sison – Ambassador – PHTK-

From Haiti Observateur by permission

Michele J. Sison, a career diplomat, has been the United States ambassador to Haiti since February 2018. Appointed by Donald J. Trump, she has been by far the worst American ambassador Haiti has known. The saddest part of the saga is that she is not new to Haiti, having served there in 1982. Perhaps her knowledge of Haiti and her business interests involving members of the ruling PHTK, Bald Headed, party is an impediment.

Since her arrival in Haiti, she has been compromised because of her alliance to some business interests and to several members of the PHTK political party, including the former and current Haitian president. Instead of promoting democracy and respect for the rule of law, she has become a mouthpiece for Jovenel Moïse, the current Haitian president whose term of office expires on Sunday, yes, on February 7.   

She has been steadfast in her defense of Moise’s decision not to hold legislative elections in 2019, causing the Legislature to be dysfunctional, allowing him to rule by decree since January 2020. Through her inaction, she has contributed partly to the insecurity in Haiti. Her inability to respect diplomatic norms and principles has raised eyebrows in Port-au-Prince, as well as in Washington, forcing Congresswoman Maxine Waters to send a stern letter to her. 

Mrs. Waters, (Democrat, CA-43rd district), the Chair of the House Financial Services Committee and a long-time friend of Haiti, was alarmed when she read reports concerning violent attacks in several impoverished neighborhoods of Port-au-Prince by a death squad headed by gang leader Jimmy Chérizier, alias Barbecue, with the support of the Haitian police. 

In her letter, last May, to the Honorable Ambassador, Ms. Waters stated: “I write to urge you to use your considerable knowledge and experience in Haiti to prevent the country from descending into a downward spiral of chaos and violence.” That has already happened and continues to this day as more people are being kidnapped daily, apparently with the blessing of the Moise administration, which has failed to act on an arrest warrant against Barbecue, outstanding since the summer of 2019. 

“As a United States Ambassador, it is your responsibility to develop good relations between the United States and the countries in which you serve,” Ms. Waters wrote, adding, “The United States cannot have good relations with countries that do not respect the rule of law and internationally recognized human rights.  I know you understand this as an experienced diplomat with the rank of Career Ambassador, numerous Department of State awards, and diplomatic assignments dating back to your initial tour as the human rights officer at the U.S. Embassy in Port-au-Prince in 1982.  Your knowledge of Haiti and your experience in diplomatic posts around the world make you well positioned to promote respect for the rule of law and basic human rights and influence Haiti’s development in a positive direction.”

As much as the Congresswoman’s letter highlighted the many accomplishments of Ambassador Sison, when it comes to Haiti and the PHTK party, she has been unable or unwilling to advance the cause of human rights and respect for the rule of law. 

As February 7, 2021 approaches, marking the constitutional end of Moise’s disastrous administration, Ambassador Sison is working feverishly to ensure that the PHTK folks maintain their grip on power. She has been pressuring the opposition to accept René Sylvestre, a judge of La Cour de Cassation, Haiti’s Supreme Court. Mr. Sylvestre would be a terrible choice for many reasons. First, he suffers from Alzeihmer’s; second, he was appointed by President Moise in violation of the Haitian Constitution; third, he is beholden to the PHTK party, and fourth, he is not the most senior judge of the Court. 

The next contender in behalf of whom Ambassador Sison has been lobbying the State Department to lead a transitional government is Senator Joseph Lambert. Last month, he illegally became president of the dysfunctional Haitian Senate, with only 10 members out of 30, unable therefore to muster a quorum to enact any law or be effective otherwise. All this, thanks to President Moïse, who engineered adroitly to knock out the Legislative branch, arrogating himself dictatorial power. 

Lambert is a criminal, who has been accused of drug dealing and suspected in several politically motivated killings of opponents. He is equally a terrible choice to head an interim government. A choice of Lambert as president would inevitably allow Joseph Jouthe to remain as Prime Minister, thereby paving the way for the murderous PHTK party to remain in power. 

On February 7, Haiti must make a clean break from the PHTK, Parti Haïtien Tèt Kale (Bald-Headed Haitian Party), which gets its name from its bald-headed founder, Michel Joseph Martelly, who also has adopted the nickname of “Legal Bandit.” No person associated with that party can be trusted 

to hold free and fair elections. After all, former President Martelly is poised to run again for the presidency and is counting on having control of the transition government to rig the election in his favor.

Democracy will suffer a mortal blow, if the PHTK is allowed to dictate who succeeds Jovenel Moise on February 7.

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