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Michel Martelly: Is he the worst Haitian President ?

President Martelly was elected as president of Haiti 5 years ago. The entire country was surprised at how a talent less musician could become a president, especially since he had no clue about politics- but in Haiti things work in mysterious way. Well, now in a few weeks’ time, he will be gone but what sort of legacy has he left? Speaking to most people in Haiti, the verdict is that he is probably the worst president ever and for many reasons. Every one of his economic plans failed, the country has the highest unemployment rate in many decades and the crime,kidnapping and violence is at an all-time high. He said he would help the poor, but yet nearly 5 years after the earthquake, people live in tents with no access to fresh water or electricity, countless millions live in the same situation in rural Haiti. President Martelly is crude, obnoxious and vile. His comments about women have always been degrading. He and his government have looted the coffers and the country is bankrupt. The billions of dollars provided through foreign aid have all vanished into thin air. No one can account for it but at the same time all those ministers and Martelly himself, now own mega mansions, many luxury cars and live better than the President of the USA- on the other hand the average Haitian lives on $1 a day.

He eroded all democratic principles and civil liberties.liberties. Martelly dissolved parliament and ruled by authoritarian decree- the same rules like that of Papa Doc. The response to the Dominican Crises was a miserable failure. He had shown no interest even though thousands of expat returned with little or no money. He has made no effort to find a diplomatic compromise with the Dominicans. Almost every embassy was associated with incompetent consular and many faced eviction because of nonpayment of tent. The majority of consular he selected did not even have academic credential training, let alone knowing how to read.

Finally, Martelly has made a mockery of what it is to be president of Haiti. He is a laughing stock in the foreign press, but the “gorilla” does not care as he has become mega rich.

None of this means that sweet Micky is a bad human being, or even that he set out to cause harm to the nation he professes to love. At the same time, no bounce in his approval rating can eclipse the damage that he did while in office. More Haitians may like Martelly than dislike him right now, but when his legacy is ultimately appraised, the final verdict will not be a kind one.

Henry Beaucejour
@hbeaucejour

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