WASHINGTON, D.C. (sentinel.ht) – Some things are certain. U.S. President Donald Trump is methodically but rapidly going down the list of his campaign promises and getting an early jump on them before the day-to-day trials of being president begin to pile up. With that being said, Haiti, a continuously cited refrain during the presidential campaign, will eventually come up on Mr. Trump’s to-do list. Here, he will find a rising narco-state left behind by the failed Obama-Clinton foreign policy based on backing corrupt regimes, exploitation of Haitians’ ills, in order to siphon billions of aid to friends of Bill. One should expect shock and awe in the Trump administration’s response. Brace for impact.
A significant number of Haitians supported Donald Trump’s candidacy, or at least, were in no way going to cast their votes for his opponent, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. This, without a doubt played a significant role in Florida. But for these Haitians, zero interference by the United States under a Trump presidency was their best of hopes, but that is likely not be the outcome given the circumstances.
Mr. Trump wants to dismantle the “failed foreign policy” of former U.S. President Barack Obama, a foreign policy fashioned by the Clintons. No where, but in Haiti, are the Clintons’ fingerprints so muddied the landscape. The Obama-Clinton support for the rise of criminal elements in the 2010 elections and throughout the years since, is no longer. This means the incoming administration of Jovenel Moise, the hand-picked continuation of the regime, holding no political legitimacy, already roiled in scandals of drug-trafficking and money-laundering, will not have that safety net.
Furthermore, Mr. Trump has shown an inclination to pull support from the United Nations. Its peacekeepers in Haiti have led to deaths, sexual assault, and been embroiled in scandals for politicizing the electoral process and supporting the despotic power holders who have a quasi-totalitarian inclination. Before Mr. Moïse has even taken office he’s impressed on the judiciary, regulatory and oversight institutions, and has a Parliament of heinous, some convicted, criminals to accept his bribes. The scene is set.
All these signs, including the history of U.S. Republican administrations towards Haiti, suggest President Trump will not be into playing games, equivocating or extending the soft bigotry of low expectations characterized by the Democrat foreign policy towards Haiti. Haitian politicians, seen by their arrogance in carousing with crime syndicates, seem to not see it coming.
Rex Tillerson, Secretary of State
Likely Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, the former CEO of Exxon Mobil will be coming in to office with some recent history in dealing with Haiti. He and other leaders of big oil companies fought hard against Haiti’s entrance into Venezuela’s Petrocaribe program – which provides loans to Haiti through oil sales. A Secretary Tillerson will take a close look at what has happened with this account; corruption, money-laundering, all in reports citing Thebes’s president-elect’s involvement.
One thing President-elect Jovenel Moise, President Trump and a Secretary Tillerson will have in common is that all three are businessmen, although Mr. Moise’s qualifications have been the subject of much scrutiny in recent weeks.
The record shows that Moise was not a nobody in the Tet Kale regime before being tapped by former President Michel Martelly. In fact, Mr. Moise was a heavy power player in a number of off-the-record transactions between the State, businesses and unfounded entities.
Mr. Moise’s only business of real assets is a banana plantation and export business called Agritrans S.A., which was launched in 2013 through a loan of $27 million [USD] and grant of 1,000 acres from the Martelly administration, out of the National Treasury. This and other transactions were made possible by the Petrocaribe agreement. This being Mr. Moïse’s only claim to fame to run for president.
In terms of numbers, Petrocaribe doubled Haiti’s budget and funds available for investments, although they are loans. Today, the debt in this account is at $3.4 billion [USD] after just 5 years. In a nation which had before only brought in tax revenues of $325 million [USD] per year, where $3.4 billion has disappeared to is a common concern of political observers.
The motivation for the Trump administration, and interest of Haitians and Americans alike, to see that these allegations of money-laundering, drug-trafficking, corruption of the type that finds its way to finance terror is elevated. Brace for impact.
President-elect Jovenel Moise
17 days after Mr. Trump’s inauguration, a new Haitian president is to be sworn in but the case of money-laundering dogging him under treatment by a judge has raised some doubt he could make it to February 7, 2017. President-elect Jovenel Moise also has been seen in the close company of known drug-traffickers, Guy Philippe, indicted in 2005 by a U.S. federal court, arrested January 5, 2017 and extradited to the U.S., and Marc Antoine Acra, indicted in Haiti court for having imported 82 kilos of cocaine, 10 kilos of heroine. And on Wednesday, Mr. Moise exacted a type of intimidation, against the investigating judge, Bredy Fabien, appearing at his office with huge fanfare and holding a press conference afterwards saying there was no case.
Bank and other records of Mr. Moise have been under investigations by the Central Financial Intelligence Unit (UCREF), a Haitian institution with international resources to investigate financial crimes, and the Unit Combating Corruption (ULCC), another state institution that formally files criminal complaints. These investigations began long before Mr. Moise was on the national scene. They were referred to UCREF, who referred it to ULCC, in 2013 by the Bank of the Republic of Haiti (BRH), the National Bank of Credit (BNC) and the country’s internal revenue service, Directorate General of Taxes (DGI). These investigative reports were submitted to the Port-au-Prince district prosecutor, Jean Danton Leger, and forwarded to the Court of First Instance, with Mr. Leger saying the accusations are founded.
The case ties Mr. Jovenel Moise to money-laundering and a role in some of the top accounts held by the Haitian state that are also embroiled in corruption scandal. These accounts include Petrocaribe, the National Fund for Education, and the government’s building contracts awarded to Dominican firms over the past administration. Mr. Moise’s name is well-cited. In the UCREF report alone, the question of transactions involving $5.5 million [USD] that he managed among different entities is highlighted.
The political party in power in Haiti was backed by the Clinton State Department in 2010 in spectacular fashion, including riots funded by USAID and election results “changed”, according to the chief election official, by Cheryl Mills, the secretary’s chief of staff and exec at the Clinton Foundation.
To ensure a smooth siphon of billions in earthquake relief funds, the 2010 State Department supported what the Kerry State Department would later call one of the most corrupt administrations in the country’s history. Haitians began learning about the inner-workings of the public-private corruption in the country only recently, although it had long been suspected.
President-elect Jovenel Moise was unknown before former President Michel Martelly tapped him, in the summer of 2015, to be the next president of Haiti. He would object to the terminology of being “an unknown”, and with good reason.
In 2016, he wrote a Letter to the Editor of the Washington Post, objecting to the Post’s usage of the word “dark man” to express how little was known about him publicly before and even after becoming a presidential candidate – who finished first place in the failed 2015 elections – at the time. Mr. Moise argued in his letter about how he had been an active participant in Haiti’s affairs, including in the business world, long before his candidacy. The series of four internal review reports, one by the Central Financial Intelligence Unit (UCREF) and three by the Unit Combating Corruption (ULCC), proved Mr. Moise not to be a nobody, but a major heavyweight within the Tet Kale regime.
Today, he has former Minister of the Economy and Finance, Wilson Laleau (2011-2016), who served the entire tenure of the Martelly regime, as his head of his transition. Mr. Laleau also happens to be his cousin-in-law, first cousin to his wife. The mafioso is in full strength in Haiti. The arrogance and flamboyant display of their criminal links appears to show they haven’t gotten the memo: A New Sheriff is in Town.