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The power of Haitian Creole Radio stations in Local elections in Florida

The power of Haitian Creole Radio stations in Local elections in Florida

The power of Haitian or Creole Radio stations can no longer be underestimated in Florida, in the United States or anywhere where there is a large community of Haitians.

Radio is the most effective method of communication if you want to reach the Haitian community. Whether you are in Haiti or anywhere in the world; if you want to stay connected with Haiti or the Haitian community, there is no other option.

In Miami it is no different. Specially in this city where you find the largest concentration of Haitians in one area, Radio has become even more important. For 30% of North Miami's residents, Créole is the primary and perhaps only language they speak.

During local or national elections, these radio stations become the deciding factors as to whether or not you will be elected. Candidates who run for office in North Miami depend on Haitian radio to present themselves to listeners.

There Haitian radios hold huge influence. What they say, whether true or not, is received by their Créole-speaking audience and based on that, they make their choices between the candidates. Some people complain of the fact that they don't get a fair hearing on Haitian radio, specially if the show host has close ties to an opponent.

Those ties may include payout or special deals between the candidates and the radio hosts.

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Picture of Liliane Pierre-Paul, Anthony Barbier, Marvel Dandin

Picture of Liliane Pierre-Paul, Anthony Barbier,  Marvel Dandin

Here is a picture of Liliane Pierre-Paul, husband Anthony Barbier and Marvel Dandin.

The sheer determination and commitment of Liliane Pierre-Paul as a journalist has made her the most outspoken critic of the government since the final days of the Duvalier regime. Her bold reporting curtailed the Pierre-Paul's movement, she was imprisoned for her views on governments, faced numerous death threats and she was on several hit lists. Liliane was even forced to move on a six-year exile in Venezuela and Curacao-- but she never chose to remain silent. Her devotion helped her to win the 'Courage Journalism Award' in 1990. On February 18, 2016, Anthony Barbier has been installed as the Secretary General of the National Palace, replacing Jean Renel Sanon. M Barber holds a Masters in Sociology of development and a PhD in Education. He has held many important government portfolios, such as Chief of Staff of the Minister of Education (1990-1991), Minister of Administration and the Civil Service (1994-1995), Deputy Coordinator of the National Commission for Administrative Reform (CNRA) in the Government of Haiti (1996-2001), Consultant to the Ministry of Culture and Communication (1998-2001), and Member of Cabinet of the Minister of Public Health (2007-2008). Marvel Dandin is a revered journalist, expert political analyst and the Director General and co-owner of the Radio TV Kiskeya. He developed his skills as a reporter under Michele Montas who is one of the most celebrated radio journalists of our time and a leading UN spokesperson.

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Lilianne Pierre-Paul, reporter for Radio Haiti International in the 1980s

Lilianne Pierre-Paul, reporter for Radio Haiti International in the 1980s

Here is a picture of Lilianne Pierre-Paul, reporter for Radio Haiti International in the 1980s.

The relentless efforts to expose social problems and injustice have always forced Lilianne Pierre-Paul to remain the most outspoken critic of the government since the final days of the Duvalier regime. Lilianne is the star reporter of 'Radio Haiti International and Radio Kiskeya'. She is a pride of the Haitian society, President of the Association of Haitian Media and also the leading reporter and a regular host of Radio Kiskeya. In recent times, she was vocal against all irregularities and election frauds of Martelly administration as well. Her bold reporting curtailed the Pierre-Paul's movement, she was imprisoned for her views on governments, faced numerous death threats and she was on several hit lists. Many times, her entry was prohibited from entering certain government buildings and Lilianne was sent on a six-year exile in Venezuela and Curacao-- but she has always refused to remain silent. Her devotion and commitment helped her to win the 'Courage Journalism Award' in 1990 by the International Women's Media Foundation (IWMF). She won the 'Roc Cadet SOS Freedom Prize' in 2014. On December 13, 2012, she was honored by the 'Havana Guitar Show'.

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Leopold Berlanger back at the CEP, representing Media sector

Leopold Berlanger back at the CEP, representing Media sector

Here is a picture of Leopold Berlanger who is back at the CEP, representing Media sector.

On February 24, 2016, Leopold Berlanger (born 1955), the Director of Radio Vision 2000 and a former electoral adviser has been selected as a member of the 9-member Provisional Electoral Council (CEP), representing the media sector. Leopold, a brilliant student in his studies, completed his graduation in Earth Sciences (Netherland), Doctorate in Social Sciences, and Regional Planning and Development planning (both from Sorbonne, Paris). He has a varied and diverse experience in activities of civic and social characters. One of the several organizations that supported his nomination was Association of National Haitian Media (ANMH) headed by Mr. Herold Jean Francois. In April 2013, he was designated by the CEPJ (Superior Council of the Judiciary) to be a part of the CTCEP (Permanent Electoral Council). Leopold is an active member in many international election observation missions with the OAS.

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Caraibes by Night, Ladouceur Mejuste

Caraibes by Night, Ladouceur Mejuste

Here is a picture of Ladouceur Mejuste, Caraibes by Night.

Radio Haiti (later renamed to Radio Haiti-Inter) was the first independent radio station (1935) in Haiti. With the emergence of broadcasting media during the 1930s, many other radio stations which are still well known today were also created. Some of their names include: Radio Haiti (1935), Radio Caraïbes (1949), Radio Voix du Nord (1945), Radio Citadelle (1950), Radio Indépendance and Voix Évangélique. On October 12, 1977, by a decree issued during the regime of Jean Claude Duvalier, a controlling and regulatory body (National Council of Telecommunications or CONATEL) was created. Radios are a major part of Haitian Culture, about 97% of the population own a radio set and at least there are over 300 radio stations are believed to be operational. Attacks and threats are nothing new to the Haitian radio stations. In recent past, two journalists of Radio Haiti Inter (Jean Dominique, Jean-Claude Louissaint) were killed at the radio station on April 3, 2000. They were well known for their political commentary and investigative reporting. Maxime Seide, Dominique's bodyguard was killed on the previous Christmas day. Radio Haiti is one of the first stations to broadcast in Creole language rather than in French. Recently, Radio Télé Kiskeya was a target of gun attack and its two senior reporters, Liliane Pierre-Paul and Monard Metellus earned ire of the former President Martelly.

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Clash between Valery Numa and Clarens Renois

Clash between Valery Numa and Clarens Renois

Here is a picture of two famous Haitian media personalities, Valéry Numa and Clarens Renois.

Clarens Renois is primarily known to the public as a journalist. He runs an online media, the PNH (Haiti Press Network) that he founded and a correspondent of Agence France Presse in Haiti. On August 13, Clarens, one of the most respected members in the media, both in Haiti and abroad got involved in a debate with reporter Valéry Numa on a Radio Vision 2000's Guest Space Show. The host criticized Renois rather harshly without giving the honor he deserves as one of the most noteworthy candidates for the presidency of Haiti (from the platform of Union Nationale pour l'Integrité et la Reconciliation). He is a charming gentleman with a sensitive heart and attentive ear. His moral and ethical journalism has involved himself with Radio France International (RFI), Radio Suisse Romande, Voice of America, CNN, ABC news USA, and CBC Canada. The host of the show Valéry Numa became very much vocal about Clarens' most efforts and his initiative to form a coalition of forty presidential candidates; he even had termed that as an act of a greenhorn. However, Renois replied, you cannot put anyone's idea into the voters' heads. They will act by their hearts. And he reminded Numa, holding a microphone does never make one almighty; the duty of a journalist is not to advise but to ask questions humbly and find the answers.

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Grey Pierson visiting Tortuga Island in 1972

Grey Pierson visiting Tortuga Island in 1972

Here is a picture of Mr. Grey Pierson he was he was visiting Tortuga Island in 1972.

In 1968, François "Papa Doc" Duvalier needed a radio ship that could transmit his propaganda across the Caribbean and to Latin America. It was then he came into the contact of Don Pierson, a Cadillac dealer from Eastland who had two abandoned radio ships, but both were moored across the Atlantic off the coast of south-east England. Pierson struck a deal of $70 million for the ships and 'Papa Doc' though could not afford to pay the amount, leased Tortuga Island instead in 1972 on condition of equal sharing joint venture between the Haitian government and "Dupont Caribbean Inc". When in July, 2014, the Miami based Carnival Corporation announced its investment plan for US $ 700 million with the Haitian government for constructing a cruise port in the Tortuga island and transform that into a tourist Mecca, nobody was aware that one Texan named Pierson has inherited the absolute right on the island from his father on a 99 year lease contract, dated April 5, 1971. However, subsequent to that date, the Haitian government absolved itself from entire financial and all other responsibilities and granted 99 years exclusive leasehold right and full commercial authority to the Pierson 's corporation as then the Island of Tortuga was a barren place without any road, electricity or public utility services. Pierson's 'Dupont Caribbean Inc' immediately started investment and promotion activities to improve the image of Tortuga Island. As of the agreement "Dupont Caribbean Inc" was given all authority to issue licenses on trading at Tortuga and it has still remained effective.

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Gamall Augustin, Director of National Radio and Television of Haiti

Gamall Augustin, Director of National Radio and Television of Haiti

Here is Gamall Augustin, Director General of National Radio and Television of Haiti.

21 July 2015 saw the installation of Gamall Augustin as the seventh Director General of Radio Télévision Nationale D'Haïti (RTNH). The RTNH is the state broadcaster of Haiti and airs information about the activities of the government and promotes the Haitian culture. Mr. Gamall succeeded Hérold Israël who has held the post since January 2015. The government spokesperson, Francois Rothchild Jr. and Calvin Cadet, the Director General of the Ministry of Communication entrusted Gamall Augustin with his responsibility. With the new post, he was also asked to pay heed to the instructions laid down by the Head of State, while carrying out the functioning of the media. The upcoming events to be covered by the media include inter alia, elections and the Caribbean Arts Festival. It is the first objective of the new DG to peacefully conclude the broadcast of these events.

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Carel Pedre on radio show Chokarella

Carel Pedre on radio show Chokarella

Here is a picture of the popular Radio host Carel Pedre on radio show Chokarella

The forced deportations of unregistered Haitians from the Dominican Republic have caused considerable confusion and inconvenience. Carel Pedre, an influential social media figure and the host of Haiti's #1 Morning show Chokarella took to supporting the deported immigrants. He interviewed some of the deported Haitians and brought to light the problems faced by them. The interviewees have reported humiliation, lack of basic amenities and uncertainty in their jobs during their stay at Dominican Republic in the disturbed phase. The interviews aired on the radio have become very popular among his followers on social media and there seems to prevail a sense of condolence for the Haitians forcefully sent back to Haiti from Dominican.

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Radio Puissance Inter 1530 in Jacksonville, FL.

Radio Puissance Inter 1530 in Jacksonville, FL.

Wymm 1530 AM, Jacksonville S Radio Station Creole Programation or Radio Puissance Inter.

Three Haitian-Americans are interested in helping the immigrant community in Jacksonville become informed about current events in the U.S. and Haiti. Ernst Michel, Serge Vilvar, and Vorbes Aleger have raised $500,000 in capital to purchase WYMM 1530-AM.

Scheduled programming will be focused on talk programs and news in French-Creole. The group wants their programming to educate and help with the assimilation of Haitian nationals into the U.S. culture as well as develop an awareness of their country's problems.

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