Monday, February 9, 2009

Haiti: News So Bizarre, you have to laugh...

  • Underaged US Embassy Hire Steals $800K?
  • CEP: Aristide Sign-Off Needed

  • ____________
    Haitian Man Hired to Handle Money When He Was Only 12 by the U.S. Embassy in Haiti Has Confessed to Embezzling more than $800,000

    The U.S. Department of Justice has issued a press release announcing that a 25 year old employee named Gary Saint-Joy, who the U.S. Embassy in Haiti claims they hired as a cashier in 1995 when he would have only been 12 years old has confessed and pleaded guilty to stealing "approximately" a total of $849,000.

    The U.S. Embassy in Haiti is described as a "behemoth" costing 75 million to build in the Haitian capital of Port-au-Prince. The compound, finished in 2007 is the fourth largest in cost -- coming in first is the U.S. embassy in Iraq. It is located on 10 acres and is entirely self-sufficient -- boasting a large interior atrium in the main building, state-of-the-art climate control, a water treatment plant and extensive landscaping.

    In a brief statement, the Department of Justice describes the incident and charges:
    "WASHINGTON – A former employee at the U.S. Embassy in Haiti pleaded guilty today to one count of theft for stealing more than $800,000 from the U.S. Department of State, Acting Assistant Attorney General Rita M. Glavin of the Criminal Division announced.

    According to court documents, Jean G. Saint-Joy, 25, a/k/a Gary Saint-Joy, a/k/a Garry Saint-Joy, a citizen of Haiti, was employed as a cashier by the U.S. Embassy in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, from approximately 1995 until July 2008.

    Beginning in approximately 2003 and continuing until early 2008, Saint-Joy admitted he engaged in a scheme to embezzle funds from the State Department. As part of this scheme, Saint- Joy admitted he submitted and caused to be submitted false and fraudulent documents to the State Department claiming that he required reimbursement for the payment of legitimate embassy expenses."
    Haiti's "Provisional" Electoral Council bars a political party from participating in "democratic" elections because some lack former ousted president's signature

    President of the Haiti's electoral council Frantz Gerard Verret, escorted by members of special forces, leaves his office in Port-au-Prince, Friday, Feb. 6, 2009. It will not let members of ousted President Jean-Bertrand Aristide's party or a former rebel leader compete in upcoming Senate elections, Verret said. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)
    The Provisional Electoral Council has rejected 40 of 105 candidates for the April Senate elections in Haiti. The Council is not allowing members of Lavalas (Jean-Betrand Aristide's party) to participate, claiming irregularities in their applications. The AP reported that "All candidates of Aristide's Famni Lavalas Party were rejected for the April 19 election — in most cases because their documents lacked the signature of party leader Aristide" [bold mine]
    Lavalas leaders pledged to fight the decision. Electoral officials had assured the party in December that leaders in Haiti could sign for their candidates, said Maryse Narcisse, the head of Lavalas' executive council.

    "We think these are political machinations," Narcisse told The Associated Press. "Famni Lavalas followed the law. ... I think this is a provocation."

    The electoral council said its decision is final on all 17 Lavalas candidates and 23 others who were rejected, including former rebel leader Guy Philippe, whose rebels helped oust Aristide five years ago.

    Also barred from participation is former U.S. ally in the ousting of former Haitian President Jean-Betrand Aristide, Guy Philippe. Philippe is wanted by US law enforcement officials on unspecified charges. In the early morning hours of March 25, 2008, heavily armed commandos raided Philippe's home following his statements on a Haitian radio station that he was writing a book and was a victim of a political plot involving the US which put his life in danger.

    "Officials at the U.S. embassy in Port-au-Prince declined to comment on the raid. The U.S. attorney's office for the Southern District of Florida, where media reports say a sealed indictment against Philippe has been brought, also would not comment."

    Back in 2004, the president of the Provisional Electoral Council, Frantz Gerard Verret, said in an article on the right-wing Boulos family funded Haiti Democracy Project website that "Since Professor Leslie Francois Manigat left power in 1988... the Republic of Haiti exited constitutional legality and never returned to it."

    The Haiti Action Committee (whose "Members foster extensive contacts with the grassroots movements in Haiti") has a statement on its website describing the history and purpose of the Provisional Electoral Council (CEP):
    "On February 7, 2006, a Provisional Electoral Council, or CEP, established by the so-called International Community, the bourgeoisie, the de facto government, and the traditional politicians, organized tailored elections, clearly in favor of the bourgeois' representative, industrialist Charles Henry Baker (Representative of the Goup of 184) and of the "macoute" sector, intellectual Leslie Francois Manigat. To continue to protest against the bloody coup of February 29, 2004 and to dissociate themselves from all these putschists, Fanmi Lavalas, by far the greatest political force of the country, refused to form part of the CEP and refused to participate in the electoral process. However, bribed by the Embassy of the United States, certain executives of the organization, joined by some opportunists, without the knowledge of the National Representative and other persons in charge of Fanmi Lavalas, could register the organization with the electoral process. Read more.

    HatTip: Ezili Danto List (Riseup)

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