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Commissioner Frantz Pierre indicted for accepting bribes

Commissioner Frantz Pierre indicted for accepting bribes

North Miami Beach Commissioner Frantz Pierre facing bribery charges after allegedly accepting more than $20,000 from the owner of Dean's Gold Strip Club in exchange for voting for a special operating license for the club that would allow them to serve alcohol after-hours.

Commissioner Frantz Pierre (53), the North Miami Beach Commissioner has been accused of bribery charges. The police have arrested him for receiving over $20,000 bribe from Dean Tyler in exchange for voting in favor of a special operating license for the North Miami Beach Dean's Gold Strip Club, allowing the club to serve alcohol after-hours between December 2013 and 2014. It is a great shock to the public to learn that someone they elected is so greedy and dishonest. He used their trust in a way to put money into his own pocket. As per prosecutor's report, Tyler funneled $12,500 directly to Pierre and then $9,865 through a charity called Community Hope for Families and Children in Need, a nonprofit organization run by a woman named Jacqueline Alexi that feed 92 children at Oak Grove Elementary School. Alexis wrote checks to Pierre totaling $5,250.The charges against him include unlawful compensation, organized scheme to defraud and grand theft plus seven counts of money laundering. Pierre was previously removed from office for not attending meetings for six months but later was reinstated.

Investigator report says, Pierre texted Dean Tyler an urgent message: He had been in a car wreck and needed a $7,000 loan, quickly. When told the check was in the mail, Frantz texted back, saying, "Thank you so much. That will not be forgotten." He also received three other checks totaling $5,500.

Corruption is evident in the entire North Miami Beach administration. It would not be fair to blame Pierre alone. The city's past two mayors -- Myron Rosner and George Vallejo faced criminal charges. Vallejo has admitted that the Dezer family, one of the most powerful clan of land developers in the town used to pay regularly Vallejo's wife for years and that Vallejo created multiple shell companies to hide the money.

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Partial list of privileges enjoyed by Government officials in Haiti

Partial list of privileges enjoyed by Government officials in Haiti

Haitian Government very generous toward his public servants, not his citizens

Do you know that each Haitian Senator costs Haitian Tax payers: $2,000,000.00 US a year, There are 30 Senator's seats for $60,000,000.00 a year.

The official residence for the Senate Speaker at Thomassin 25, costs the tax payers about $112,500.00 US annually in rent.

Did you know that each Haitian Deputy costs the Government $500,000 US a year. There are 119 deputies for $59,500,000

The residence occupied by the director general of the PNH cost the Haitian State about $96,000 US dollars a year.

The government under the Office of the Prime Minister is composed of the Prime Minister and several Cabinet Ministers. The Prime Minister has an official residence paid by the tax payers. amount unknown. Each minister receives $5,000.00 US monthly for a second residence or $60,000.00 a year. There are 20 Ministers for $1,200,000.00

A news in July recently ignited the social networks that the official residence of Senate Speaker Joseph Lambert at Thomassin 25, is costing 7.2 million gourdes (7,280,000 gourdes) annually. According to Senator Ricard Pierre, Joseph Lambert has paid the rent of his official residence, a sum of about 8 million gourdes for a year. These millions have been taken from the pockets of the poor Haitian citizens through the Senate budget. In response, Senate Speaker Joseph Lambert summoned accredited journalists to Parliament on July 16, 2018 and explained, if the Republic pays for an official residence for the head of state, an official residence for the prime minister, even the chief of police has an official residence, why not one for the president of the National Assembly, who is the second personage of the Republic. Is it not a matter of prestige?"

He justified his statement with a reference by reading the minutes of the Conference of Presidents held on Monday, March 5, 2018. This recording of the minutes was proposed by Artibonite's Carl Murat Cantave in the conference of presidents. Cantave had proposed that the Senate of the Republic should pay for an official residence for its president. His proposal was seconded for validation by Senators "Denis Cadeau, Onondieu Louis, Nawoon Marcellus, Jean Renel Sénatus, Ronald Lareche, Dieudonne Luma Etienne, Richard Lenine Herve Fourcand, Jacques Sauveur Jean, Yurt Latortue, Gracia Delva, Jean Rigaud Belizaire, Jean Marie Ralph Fethiere, Kedlaire Augustin, Saurel Jacinthe and Joseph Lambert. According to Joseph Lambert, these senators unanimously "approved and instructed the office for necessary follow-up". During that conference, Senator Cantave also proposed that the Senate Speaker should have his own procession involving vanguard and rearguard and be preceded by two motorcycles mounted by police officers in uniform. However, Joseph Lambert dismissed that for fear of criticisms.

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Jovenel Moise, the president has spoken. Period

Jovenel Moise, the president has spoken. Period

Two weeks before he became president, President Elect Jovenel Moise already igniting a war. Standing before a crowd last Sunday in the city of Les Cayes, the National Carnival would be relocating this year from Port-au-Prince to Les Cayes. "The president has spoken. Period," Moïse declared.

Former Haitian President Martelly, the "King of Carnival", is known as the political mentor of President Jovenel Moise. Martelly tapped Jovenel Moise to replace him. They both are in favor of locating the Carnival in Les Cayes while Mayor Youri Chevry wants it to be played in Port-au-Prince. Two weeks before Jovenel Moise became president, he almost ignited a war. Standing before a crowd on January 22, 2017 in the city of Les Cayes, he announced, the National Carnival would be relocated this year from Port-au-Prince to Les Cayes. "The president has spoken.

"Following the 2010 earthquake, then President Martelly announced that in 2012, the carnival will be moved and celebrated in Les Cayes. In less than a month, street stands were cleared away for the construction of a massive stadium viewing of the passing parade. The government sponsored music and colors of Kanaval were unparalleled. However, that 2012 National Carnival came under many allegations from different sections in Haitian society. It is still known as a tool for money laundering.

The peculiarity of Mr. Moise's decision to personally placing own decision is that holding the celebration in Les Cayes ensures participation of only 0.7% of the Haitian population. Moreover, it was a time when then president elect Moise himself was under a scanner of money laundering. The investigation was launched by a January 13, 2017 referral to Port-au-Prince's district attorney by the Central Financial Intelligence Unit (UCREF). The unit operates at an international level to investigate possible financial crimes, and the Unit Combating Corruption (ULCC), is an institution working within the Haitian executive branch to formally file criminal complaints. In 2017, Haiti's government spent some $3 million on Carnival celebrations, hoping to lure tourists and Haitians living abroad. It is still unknown how much money the festivities actually generated in Les Cayes and its surrounding areas and encouraged the economic movement in the department after the passage of Hurricane Matthew. There are few hotels in Les Cayes while Port-au-Prince boasts more than 10,000 hotel rooms.

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Philippe Vorbe entered world football Hall of Fame, CONCACAF

Philippe Vorbe entered world football Hall of Fame, CONCACAF

Moscow, 3 days before the kick-off of the World Cup Football Russia 2018 (June 14 to July 15), the former glory of Haitian football Philippe Vorbe entered the world football hall of fame on June 11, 2018, in Moscow (Russia), at the congress of the Confederation of North America, Central and Caribbean Football (Concacaf).

Recently, on July 26, 2018, at a grand gala at the Hotel El Rancho, Régine Lamur, the resigning Minister of Youth and Sports paid a special tribute to the Dean of the Haitian Football Clubs, the "Violette Athletic Club". During the occasion, he honored the former captain of the national team, the legendary Philippe Vorbe. In an atmosphere full of emotions, many important personalities like former players, coaches, club leaders and those who have rubbed shoulders with this extraordinary former captain and footballer were present.

Philippe Vorbe (born September 14, 1947) played for the Haiti national football team in the 1974 FIFA World Cup in Germany. He provided Emmanuel Sanon the pass that resulted in the famous goal that put an end to Italian goalkeeper Dino Zoff's no-goal streak. In February 1974, Hugh McIlvanney in 'Observer' described Vorbe as a "tall, handsome white man of French extraction" and a "graceful midfield player" with "impressive skills".

On June 11, 2018, at the congress of the Confederation of North America, Central and Caribbean Football (CONCACAF) during the World Cup tournament in Russia, Philippe Vorbe entered the World Football Hall of Fame. It is one of the greatest tributes to a football personality, a great first for any Haitian footballer.

Minister Lamur introduced Philippe Vorbe as a model of success; he is a role model for aspiring Haitians-- Vorbe dedicated own career without any restraint for his passion, his dreams and everything for his love for country. On the plaque of honor awarded to Vorbe, there is an inscription: "President from the CONCACAF Victor Montagiliani, CONCACAF to Mr. Philippe Vorbe in recognition of your commitment and your exceptional dedication to the growth of football in the CONCACAF region ". Victor Montagiliani also assured of a rejuvenation of the club, the 'Violette', who had just celebrated his 100th birthday on May 15th.

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Haiti Street Food, manje kwit or Chin Janbe, for $1 or less

Haiti Street Food, manje kwit or Chin Janbe, for $1 or less

In a country that struggles with hunger and malnourishment, many Haitians turn to the informal street restaurants known as "manje kwit" or "Chin Janbe" that line many of the city's major streets.

The manje kwit or Chin Jambe cooks offer meals for $1 or less. Their fare is a lifeline for many Haitians living on less than $2 a day.

From small houses made of sheet metal and draped with sheets, they serve teachers, students, porters and shoe polishers just to name a few.

If you have visited Haiti but never tasted their street food, your exploration is yet incomplete. You can identify over one hundred and fifty street food items in the informal street restaurants that line many of the city's major streets. Haitian foods are a blend of influences. Creole cuisine originates from a blend of several culinary styles that populated the western portion of the island of Hispaniola, namely the French, African, Taíno natives, and Spanish influence. Mixed roots and spices, basic yet zippy, simple and grounded by the reality of the tropics and the back-story of its African heritage, yet touched with a hint of French complexity. Street food is comparatively a new concept in Haiti. Vendors sit under umbrellas on every Port-au-Prince sidewalk peddling fare like fried plantains, chicken, and spaghetti. Some enterprising Haitians, however, are consciously taking a cue from food truck scenes abroad and adding their own Creole twist.

Haitian Street Food Sellers are known as 'Chin Janbe'--they are the lifeline for many of the capital's food-insecure resident. The street food venders are simple poor men who prepare food in their small houses and shanties. Some of them are great chefs who sell their foods in the stalls near bus stations, churches or on the edges of local markets and serve local people at an affordable price like 75 gourdes ($1) or less, while the average cost of a plate of food in basic Creole restaurants here is 250 Haitian gourdes ($4). Haiti is one of the poorest countries in the Western Hemisphere, where most citizens live on less than $2 a day.

In early July when protests against price hikes paralyzed Port-au-Prince, these informal street chefs known as "manje kwit, without prior notice, were forced close their stalls. They could not sell their prepared foods. Whatever they had, had to share within the family and rest distributed free to their neighbors. Thus, they lost a major part of their savings cum investment in a single day. During the five days of protest, many of their poor clients struggled to find food which they can afford to buy.

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Jack Guy Lafontant resigns as Haiti Prime Minister

Jack Guy Lafontant resigns as Haiti Prime Minister

On Saturday, July 14, Haiti Prime Minister Jack Guy Lafontant declared in the lower house of Haiti's legislature: "I submitted my resignation to the president of the republic", who has "accepted my resignation". With this statement, the Prime Minister had managed to avoid a likely vote of no confidence to stepped down.

Mr. Lafontant took office less than one year and half ago, in February 2017. On Saturday, the Haitian parliament had been debating whether or not to give Lafontant a vote of confidence for more than three hours. With the resignation of the prime minister, Haiti now has no functioning government. President Jovenel Moise will need to dominate a new Prime Minister.

Haitian Prime Minister Jack Guy Lafontant resigned Saturday, on July 7, 2018, amid calls for him to step down over his handling of a failed plan to raise fuel prices. The announcement of the government's plan to raise fuel price set off a wave of deadly protests and took at least 7 lives. Lafontant resigned on second day of violent protests sparked by the now-abandoned plan to raise fuel prices. He submitted his resignation before the call of a no-confidence vote, which had the possibility to lead his removal. The prime minister is the second highest official in Haiti, after the president. While speaking in the lower house of Haiti's legislature on Saturday, he said, "Before coming here, I presented my resignation to the president of the republic."President Moise confirmed via Twitter that he had accepted Lafontant's resignation along with those of other Cabinet members.

Mr. Lafontant, a 57-year-old doctor, was relatively unknown until he was handpicked by President Jovenel Moïse 16 months ago. In this light, chamber president Gary Bodaeu wrote on his Twitter account that the legislature "is at a crossroads in history; it must assume its responsibilities."

Plan to hike the fuel price is a part of the plan to reduce subsidy under an agreement with the government with the IMF for granting a low interest loan amounting to $96 million under "Staff-Monitored Program (SMP). The opposition MPs in Congress warned that if the price increases were reinstated there would be more violence and protests on the streets. On Thursday, July 12, 2018, the IMF has suggested for a more gradual approach, a step-by-step withdrawal of subsidy which will ultimately generate the exchequer a fund totaling around $300 million (£226m). The IMF said scrapping the fuel subsidies would allow more money to be spent on key areas including health and education.

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Delimart Plaza, Delmas 32, Port-au-Prince, Haiti being looted

Delimart Plaza, Delmas 32, Port-au-Prince, Haiti being looted

Here is a picture of Delimart Plaza in Delmas 32, Port-au-Prince, Haiti being looted during a protest over fuel price increase on July 7, 2018.

On Friday, July 6, 2018, when the Haitian Commerce Ministry and Economic Ministry issued a joint statement announcing an increase of 38%, 47% and 51% price for gasoline, diesel, and kerosene respectively, it triggered days of violent civil unrest and demonstrations. Major protests erupted in the country with demonstrators using burning tires and barricades to block major streets across the capital and in the northern city of Cap-Haitien. Dozens of shops were looted and burned and cars were set ablaze. At least four people were killed.

Western Premiere hotel in Petion-Ville was ransacked, banks and stores in Delmas were looted, and many flights were either cancelled or rescheduled.

On Saturday, July 17, 2018, looters pillaged burned and vandalized Delimart Plaza. Delimart Plaza is one of the biggest supermarket chains in the capital city, Port-au-Prince. The superstore was founded by Dr. Reginald Boulos in 2000 who is a medical doctor and former chairman of Intercontinental S.A. Since its foundation the shop kept growing to become the biggest supermarket chain in the entire city. It the best place for quality goods at the lowest price, especially the one at Delmas 32, Delimart is comparable to any Publix or Walmart grocery stores in the U.S as far as the range of products and prices are concerned. However, unfortunately, this shop has been completely destroyed by the violent agitators.

The local management is presently engaged in quantifying the damages, both in financial and human terms. As per news dated, July 11, 2018, the Delimart S.A has announced that their properties located in various locations in Haiti such as in Delmas 32, Delmas 30 and Clercine were looted and some burned. The management has decided to keep their shops closed until further notice. The Directorate General of Delimart is aware of the precarious and difficult situations that will arise due to this closure.

This closure of the stores will severely and lastingly affect hundreds of direct and indirect jobs. The local suppliers will bear the brunt of the negative effects. Moreover, the entire national economy will suffer with the rise of the unemployment rate as about 673 people will lose jobs in the stores due to this indefinite closure.

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Port-au-Prince on fire over gas prices hike

Port-au-Prince on fire over gas prices hike

Following an official notice of fuel price increases at the pump by the Government of Haiti, violent protests erupted. Major casualties include Deli-Mart, a major supermarket. Several cars parked in front of Hotel Best Western and Royal Oasis were burned to the ground.Barricade erupted in many streets, including the road to the only airport, preventing people from flying out of the country.

On Friday, July 6, 2018, when the civilians were busy with the Russia quarter-final world cup matches, the Government quietly published an official notice of fuel price hike at the pumps. As per government statement, this was done in order to comply with the IMF's "Staff-Monitored Program" (SMP) signed last February. Haitian daily newspaper Le Nouvelliste reports, prices for gasoline were to rise 38% while diesel prices were to go up 47% and kerosene 51%. The revised prices for the petroleum products, effective from July 7, 2018, in Haitian Currency, will be as follows (per gallon): Gasoline: 309 Gourdes; Diesel: 264 Gourdes; and Kerosene: 262 Gourdes. Before the rise, the prices for these products were: gasoline 224 gourdes; diesel 179 Gourds and kerosene 173 Gourdes.

The announcement triggered days of violent civil unrest, demonstrations erupted on Friday in Port-au-Prince. Western Premiere hotel in Petion-Ville was ransacked, banks and stores in Delmas were looted, many flights were either cancelled or rescheduled. Three people were killed on Friday as protesters used burning tires and barricades to block major streets. Demonstrations also broke out in Cap-Haitien, the second-largest city, as well as in the communes of Les Cayes, Jacmel and Petit-Goave. Following the riots, Haiti's Prime Minister Jack Guy Lafontant resigned on Saturday. As per last news, the Haitian government bowed to pressure and suspended the fuel price hike on Saturday after widespread violence.

IMF spokesman Gerry Rice told during a briefing, generalized fuel subsidy put a significant strain on Haiti's fiscal accounts. Earlier this year, Haiti signed a $96 million low interest agreement with the IMF and reduction of subsidy was one of the terms of that agreement. The country is currently facing double-digit inflation, a depreciating currency and slow growth. It also has a budget deficit of more than $150 million.

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Rafael L. Trujillo welcoming Paul Magloire in Santo Domingo

Rafael L. Trujillo welcoming Paul Magloire in Santo Domingo

Rafael L. Trujillo welcoming newly-elected Haitian President Paul Magloire in Ciudad Trujillo, Santo Domingo in February 1951. also present were, army officer Hector and Trujillo's son Ramfis.

Rafael Leónidas Trujillo Molina (born on October 24, 1891) was a Dominican politician, soldier and dictator, who ruled the Dominican Republic from February 1930 until his assassination in May 1961. Trujillo was killed by a group of rebels determined to topple his regime. He was Dominican President between 1930-1938 and 1942-1952. In 1937, he ordered the massacre that took more than 35,000 Haitian lives on charges of invading the Dominican Republic. It was launched by the army with common criminals released for these purposes against Haitians living in the Dominican Republic's northwestern frontier and in certain parts of the adjacent Cibao region. It was a shameful and brutal event that harmed his prestige in the entire world. Punishment for the atrocity amounted to an agreement in which a paltry US $525,000 was paid to the Haitian government. Haitian President Élie Lescot put the death toll at 12,168; in 1953, the Haitian historian Jean Price-Mars cited 12,136 deaths and 2,419 injuries. In 1975, Joaquín Balaguer, the Dominican Republic's interim Foreign Minister at the time of the massacre, put the number of dead at 17,000. Other estimates compiled by the Dominican historian Bernardo Vega went as high as 35,000. Before the massacre, Trujillo made his intentions towards the Haitian community clear in a short speech which he delivered on 2 October 1937 at a dance in his honor in Dajabón. He accused Haitians on charges of thefts of cattle, provisions, fruits, etc., and thus they were preventing Dominican people to live a peaceful life.

Trujillo was a man of bad temper, but had many fabricated justifications of such mass genocide. With the crash of world markets and the onset of the Great Depression in 1929, the price of sugar fell drastically, sugar production was cut, and the Haitian worker was no longer in demand in the Dominican Republic. In 1931, Trujillo took power and began to deport Haitians living in the Dominican Republic using discriminatory and inhuman policy to the Haitians. However, when in the 1950s, when the economic situation became reversed, he took a different tone because, by then he had accumulated about 75% of the Dominican sugar mills and had forced many U.S. competitors out of business. To maximize his profit, he turned to the Haitian workers. In 1952, Trujillo and Haiti's President, Paul Magloire, signed a bilateral agreement in which the Dominican Republic bought 16,500 Haitian workers directly from the Haitian government. These migratory Haitian sugar cane cutters were kept in wooden barracks where there was no running water, no electricity, and no bathrooms; the workers were not allowed to leave except to cut sugar cane. Armed guards from the sugar companies kept close watch on them. However, the Haitian government received compensation in selling these men; the money never trickled down into the worker's hands.

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Paul Eugene Magloire, born in Quartier Morin

Paul Eugene Magloire, born in Quartier Morin

Paul Magloire, an army colonel who in 1950 became president of Haiti.

Paul Magloire was born in 1907 in Quartier Morin, the son of a high-ranking military officer in Haiti's army. Magloire was ousted by a coup and replaced by François "Doc" Duvalier.

Rafael Leónidas Trujillo Molina (born on October 24, 1891) was a Dominican politician, soldier and dictator, who ruled the Dominican Republic from February 1930 until his assassination in May 1961. Trujillo was killed by a group of rebels determined to topple his regime. He was Dominican President between 1930-1938 and 1942-1952. In 1937, he ordered the massacre that took more than 35,000 Haitian lives on charges of invading the Dominican Republic. It was launched by the army with common criminals released for these purposes against Haitians living in the Dominican Republic's northwestern frontier and in certain parts of the adjacent Cibao region. It was a shameful and brutal event that harmed his prestige in the entire world. Punishment for the atrocity amounted to an agreement in which a paltry US $525,000 was paid to the Haitian government. Haitian President Élie Lescot put the death toll at 12,168; in 1953, the Haitian historian Jean Price-Mars cited 12,136 deaths and 2,419 injuries. In 1975, Joaquín Balaguer, the Dominican Republic's interim Foreign Minister at the time of the massacre, put the number of dead at 17,000. Other estimates compiled by the Dominican historian Bernardo Vega went as high as 35,000. Before the massacre, Trujillo made his intentions towards the Haitian community clear in a short speech which he delivered on 2 October 1937 at a dance in his honor in Dajabón. He accused Haitians on charges of thefts of cattle, provisions, fruits, etc., and thus they were preventing Dominican people to live a peaceful life.

Trujillo was a man of bad temper, but had many fabricated justifications of such mass genocide. With the crash of world markets and the onset of the Great Depression in 1929, the price of sugar fell drastically, sugar production was cut, and the Haitian worker was no longer in demand in the Dominican Republic. In 1931, Trujillo took power and began to deport Haitians living in the Dominican Republic using discriminatory and inhuman policy to the Haitians. However, when in the 1950s, when the economic situation became reversed, he took a different tone because, by then he had accumulated about 75% of the Dominican sugar mills and had forced many U.S. competitors out of business. To maximize his profit, he turned to the Haitian workers. In 1952, Trujillo and Haiti's President, Paul Magloire, signed a bilateral agreement in which the Dominican Republic bought 16,500 Haitian workers directly from the Haitian government. These migratory Haitian sugar cane cutters were kept in wooden barracks where there was no running water, no electricity, and no bathrooms; the workers were not allowed to leave except to cut sugar cane. Armed guards from the sugar companies kept close watch on them. However, the Haitian government received compensation in selling these men; the money never trickled down into the worker's hands.

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