Monday, March 19, 2012

President Martelly's Crazy Press Conference

A week or so ago, all the marchans (street vendors) started to pack up their stands and leave the streets early.
Our friendly neighborhood grocery store
This is most definitely not a good sign. Ben was at the grocery store, and his friend who works there said, "Go home now."

Haitian President Michel Martelly was holding a press conference, scheduled to begin in the early afternoon (which of course meant it didn't happen until the evening). There were rumors- had the investigation into his true citizenship status revealed that he was, in fact, American? If he were an American, he would have had to resign as ineligible to hold the office. This all came just days after the Haitian prime minister (who it had taken over half a year to select and confirm) himself resigned. Was more political chaos coming?

As he walked home from the store, Ben heard and saw the mood on the street. He thought the results of the press conference would be:


(Each of these four links was a different protest incident, or "manifestation" as they're called here.)

My next door neighbors were huddled in the gate guard's hut. Funny enough, our gate guard has a tv in his hut while none of us have it in our apartments. The press conference was beginning.

I had my laptop and was following along on Twitter while Martelly spoke in Kreyol. Ben has discovered several excellent English-language reporters here, and they were, as always, right there in the big press conference.

In a highly dramatic move, he pulled out what he says are all the passports he's ever owned. His wife displayed them out on the table, and all the reporters rush up to take photographs. 
Martelly and Haitian religious leaders
Journalists crowd the table for images
Martelly further said that he had shown them to religious leaders (shown next to him in the middle picture above), and they would "vouch for him", so to speak.


I just could not believe this whole circus. It was more like reality tv than a presidential press conference.

According to one article, Martelly's enemies offered huge sums of money to various Haitian politicians to say Martelly wasn't a Haitian citizen. According to another theory, Martelly's passports are doctored. They claim he has stamps in his passports for flights on which he is not listed on the passenger manifest.


Does this need to be the main focus of Haiti's politicians, journalists, and citizens right now? Really? Really?!?


1 comment:

  1. Sounds familiar. Maybe we should switch leaders? Call it Swapping Leaders.



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