, , , , , , , , , , , , ,

A letter by Messrs André Michel and Newton Louis St Juste to the Haitian Senate, requesting an investigation of Haiti’s President Martelly and Prime Minister Lamothe, was included in the agenda for the Senate seance of September 4th 2013.  A majority, of 10 Senators,[1] is reportedly already prepared to vote in favor of the creation of a Investigative Committee charged with determining the real nature of the relationship existing between President Michel Martelly, Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe and the President of Suriname, Desire Bouterse [2], already sentenced in absentia in the Netherlands for drug trafficking, and his son, Dino Bouterse, who was recently arrested for alleged arms and drug trafficking.  

The Committee could not be created on Wednesday because of boycott of the seance by Senators close to Martelly-Lamothe.  It will be the object of debate at the next seance along with the report relative to the case of Judge Jean Serge Joseph who died on the 13th of July 2013 under suspicious circumstances.  Because elections have not been held, 1/3rd of the Senate has expired, meaning that there are only 20 members whereas it takes 16 to reach quorum.  Hence, a handful of Martelly-Lamothe supporters has been blocking the Senate from operating.  The letter by the lawyers, André Michel and Newton Louis St Juste, asking for an investigation, followed on the heels of the arrest by the U.S. of the President of Suriname’s son, Dino Bouterse for drug and arms trafficking. http://touthaiti.com/touthaiti-actualites/2607-dossier-de-trafic-de-drogue-martelly-lamothe-bouterse-le-senat-passe-a-l-action http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dési_Bouterse http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-latin-america-23908142

The Letter to the Senate:   

Port-au-Prince, the 2nd of September 2013

To the Honorable Senators of the Republic
Care of the Senate Officers

Honorable Senators,

The citizens Newton Louis St. Juste, André Michel, property owners, living and domiciled in Port-au-Princed, identified by numbers 003-574-610-6, 006-476-320-6  hasten to expose to you the following:

For more than two years, the repeated trips of the Head of State, Joseph Michel Martelly and of the Prime Minister, Laurent Salvador Lamothe, in the Caribbean would lead one to believe that the priority of this team in the matter of diplomacy is the integration of Haiti into the common market of this zone in accordance with the business-oriented diplomacy advocated by the Prime Minister.  

As such, it is both permissible and plausible to state that in two years Martelly and Lamothe have visited the countries of the CARICOM more than all of the Heads of State and of Government who have been in charge of Haiti under the auspices of the March 29, 1987 Constitution.  They even surpassed their homologues from the Dominican Republic, Cuba, Jamaica and Trinidad who have more interest in travelling to these countries in order to facilitate the sale or promotion of merchandise produced by them. [3]

The countless trips with as a destination above all of Surinam and of Aruba, countries listed, rightly or wrongly, as specialized in money laundering and drug trafficking, should command the attention of the oversight institutions in terms of real results and opportunities created for Haiti. [4]  

Honorable Senators,

It is clear that the outcomes of these long and costly trips, despite the propaganda, consecrate a business diplomacy between buddies and rogues who use Public Monies to personal and mafia-like ends.  And, in this game of rogues, Haiti is the big loser when the cost of these trips is taken into account, especially the last one to Suriname where the Public Treasury had to pay all of the costs for the presidential family and for almost one hundred people.  The same can be said for the Summit which took place in Haiti in February 2013 in honour of Martelly and of his Caribbean friends estimated at 1 million US dollars taken, once again, from our meager resources.  Moreover, no information regarding the amount of expenses collected by the President, his family and those close to him for their many trips abroad is available.

Regarding the usefulness of this business diplomacy predominated by CARICOM, it goes without saying that it is using the sovereign functions of the state for personal and friendship purposes because the relationship between the countries of this region should target above all the implementation of the Treaty of Chaguaramas advocating the establishment of a single market resting on a customs union, free circulation of factors of production, namely the free movement of persons, goods, services and capital, prohibitions targeting the suppression of restrictions to capital movements, harmonization of legislation to guarantee in an effective and sustainable manner the coherence of the internal market, the prohibition of measures tending to restrict, distort or prevent competition, such as:  agreements between companies, abuse of dominant position (anti-trust), unfair trade practices and the adoption of standards for the protection of consumers.

All relationship with CARICOM which does not take into consideration the implementation of the requirements of this Treaty is a personal, fanciful step having nothing to do with the History and the Interests of the Region in general or with the Superior Interests of our Nation, in particular.  

Honorable Senators,

The arrest of Dino Bouterse, son of the President of Suriname Desi Bouterse, for his involvement in the traffic of arms and of drugs, the relationship of the President of Suriname and of his country with drugs and money laundering, the personal relationship between President Martelly and President Bouterse, the eagerness, determination and relentlessness of the Haitian authorities to unduly intensify the diplomatic relations  between Haiti and this country, should, IN THE NAME OF NATIONAL DIGNITY, attract your attention.  Because, in the matter of drug trafficking and money laundering, presumptions suffice to justify the opening of an investigation.  

Honorable Senators,

The utilization of the Highest Levels of the State and of the Public Power for criminal and personal ends constitutes a subterranean threat for Democracy insofar as it permits bribery of the State Institutions to the great detriment of the citizens and the utilization of the State as an instrument for the money-laundering, traffic of drugs and of terrorism.

The legitimate presumption of laundering and drug trafficking linked to the growing relations between President Michel Joseph Martelly and Desi Bouterse, over the last two years, is evident and already represents a problem of NATIONAL DIGNITY.   

For all of these reasons, the aforesaid Citizens call for the Officers of the Senate to put into place as quickly as possible a Senate Investigative Committee in charge of investigation of:  

–  The usage made of official functions attributed to the President of the Republic, His Excellency Michel Joseph Martelly and to the Prime Minister, His Excellency Laurent Salvador Lamothe during trips made over the last two years in the countries of the CARICOM, notably those made to Surinam, Guyana, Aruba.  

–   The hidden aspects of the relationship between the President of the Republic, Joseph Michel Martelly and the President of Surinam, Desi Bouterse and his son Dino Bouterse, two known drug traffickers.

Patriotic Greetings,

Newton Louis St Juste, Esq. (lawyer)      André Michel, Esq. (lawyer)

[Note that Mr. Newton Louis St Juste had already filed a complaint to the Parquet (Public Prosecutor) of Port-au-Prince, regarding the above facts on the  2nd of April 2013.]  Original French version of the letter is at: http://omegaworldnews.com/?p=5052

References and Further Reading links are below Notes.
Notes (These are not in the original; they are our own)

[1]  There are only 20 Senators left, so 10 would be half.  We have not looked in the Constitution to see who would cast the deciding vote, but we suspect that it is the President of the Senate.
[2]  For those who recall that at one time Bouterse claimed to be a Cuba aligned socialist and perhaps more recently a populist, think again:  The only red alliances he seems to have are the Maple Leaf Red of Canadian Mining Company, Iamgold; the US red, white and blue of Newmont Mining; with a bit of Chinese Red thrown in for road construction.  He does appear to have increased the government percentage for new mining concessions from 5% to 25% for Newmont and 27% for Iamgold, with tax remaining at 36%, but whether he will use that to help the people or line his own pockets remains to be seen. (http://suriname2013.com/reality/gold-surinames-new-share-is-25-of-newmont-and-27-from-iamgold/ )What we do know is that he continues to allow mining and logging companies to infringe upon the rights of the indigenous and maroon rainforest peoples in violation of an international ruling in the latter’s favor.  So, some claims that he and his son have faced trumped up charges by the US and the Netherlands due to being “socialist” appear almost as downright silly as similar claims about Martelly-Lamothe. Wearing a red shirt at Chavez’ funeral does not make socialists out of Martelly and Lamothe. (Recall their coziness with the US Ambassador as well.) Rather they appear to want to continue to benefit from Venzuela’s Petrocaribe. Petrocaribe appears a disaster in the making for Haiti:  Haiti pays for only part of the oil, with the balance to be paid at low interest.  Meanwhile, Haiti is selling the oil for the full price.  From what we can gather, the balance of monies appears to be a Haitian government slush fund, which even at low interest rates will be a problem in the future.  The Martelly-Lamothe track record is clearly pro-money (we did not say pro-business but rather pro-money) and anti-popular movement. Martelly, son of a Shell oil executive, is a so-called entertainer who panders to people’s baser instincts and who was closely aligned with the military leaders who destroyed the majority popular movement.  Lamothe is s tennis player become businessman whose mother studied in Franco’s Spain and returned to Duvalier’s Haiti when others were fleeing. From our understanding, Lamothe’s business claim to fame is putting a tracking device on foreign phone calls, allowing them to be taxed by the government (and some say it allows spying). Martelly, Lamothe, and Bouterse all are “Creoles” who seem to taking advantage of the black-indigenous maroon populations.  The difference is that Haiti’s Maroons are the majority of the country, whereas in Suriname the Maroon-indigenous peoples are an abused minority.  Martelly-Lamothe-Bouterse all appear to be opportunists.           
[3]  To be fair we must note that Martelly started serving as Chair of Caricom this year. However, his travels predate this year.  And, is being Chair a reason to travel so much?  We do not know. Or, should everyone else rather travel to Haiti?  And, in fact, at least one Caricom meeting has been held in Haiti, e.g. the one million dollar Caricom Summit mentioned above. Since Martelly and Lamothe appear to be wealthy men shouldn’t they pay their own way?  And, why do they need to bring their families or others? And, if they do want to bring them shouldn’t they pay for them?  Haiti is not Kuwait.  Caricom speeches here may be of use: http://www.caricom.org/jsp/speeches/speeches_2013.jsp?menu=communications
[4] US Information on Drug transshipments and Money Laundering in Suriname, Aruba, and Haiti:

Suriname is a transit zone for South American cocaine en route to Europe, Africa and, to a lesser extent, the United States.” http://www.state.gov/documents/organization/204265.pdf

Money laundering in Suriname is closely linked to transnational criminal activity related to the transshipment of cocaine, primarily to Europe and Africa. Both domestic and international drug trafficking organizations are believed to control most of the laundered proceeds, which are primarily invested locally in casinos, real estate, foreign exchange companies, the construction sector, and car dealerships. Public corruption also may contribute to money laundering, though the full extent is unknown. There is a thriving informal sector fueled by the large profits from growing small-scale gold mining and the industries that support it. Much of the money within this sector does not pass through formal banking system. In Suriname’s undeveloped interior, bartering with gold is the norm for financial transactions. Goods, from agricultural products to fuel and medicine, are smuggled into the country via Guyana and French Guiana and are sold below the normal price for similar goods imported legally. Other goods are smuggled into the country mainly to avoid paying higher import duties. There is little evidence to suggest this activity is significantly funded by narcotics or other illicit proceeds. Contraband smuggling is not thought to generate funds that are laundered through the financial system.http://www.state.gov/j/inl/rls/nrcrpt/2013/database/211183.htm#Suriname

Aruba, Bonaire, and Curacao (ABC Islands), located off the north coasts of Colombia and Venezuela, continue to serve as northbound transshipment points for cocaine originating from those countries.  Cocaine shipments to Aruba, Bonaire, and Curacao primarily originate from the Guajira Peninsula in Colombia and from the area of Maracaibo, Venezuela.  Cocaine is transported primarily via fishing boats and inter-coastal freighters for transshipment to the United States and Europe via the Netherlands.  St. Maarten, which is located in the Eastern Caribbean, is a transshipment hub for cocaine and heroin destined for Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands as well as Europe.  It is home to one of the largest harbors in the Caribbean.http://www.state.gov/documents/organization/204280.pdf
“Aruba is not considered a regional financial center. Because of its location, Aruba is a transshipment point for drugs from South America bound for the United States and Europe and the transshipment of currency in the opposite direction. Money laundering is primarily related to proceeds from illegal narcotics trafficking by domestic and foreign criminal organizations. There is no significant black market for smuggled goods in Aruba. Bulk cash smuggling represents a risk due to the close proximity of Aruba to South America.
There are at least 11 casinos, and online gaming is allowed under a licensing and reporting system. The extent to which gaming facilitates money laundering in Aruba is not known. Aruba Customs controls three economic free zones managed by Free Zone Aruba NV (FZA). All companies with free zone status are reviewed and controlled by FZA, a government-owned limited liability company. Financial and business advisory services (such as banks, insurance companies, lawyers, notaries, tax consultants) are not allowed in the free zones. There is an integrity system in place to deter illegal activities, including smuggling and money laundering. A few cases of trade-based money laundering have been discovered and prosecuted
.” http://www.state.gov/j/inl/rls/nrcrpt/2013/database/211180.htm#Aruba

Haitian criminal gangs are engaged in international drug trafficking and other criminal and fraudulent activity, but do not at this time appear to be involved in terrorist financing. While Haiti itself is not a major financial center, regional money laundering enterprises utilize Haitian couriers, especially via air hub routes to Central America. Much of the drug trafficking in Haiti, as well as the related money laundering, is connected to the United States. Further, most of the identified money laundering schemes involve significant amounts of U.S. currency, and all property confiscations involve significant drug traffickers convicted in the United States.

Foreign currencies comprise approximately 57% of Haiti’s bank deposits, according to Haitian Central Bank estimates, likely due to the large influx of remittances, which reached $1.5 billion in 2011.

The weakness of the Haitian judicial system and prosecutorial mechanism continue to leave the country vulnerable to corruption and money laundering, despite improving financial intelligence and enforcement capacity.

Haiti has two operational free trade zones in Ouanaminthe and Carrefour. There are at least 62 casinos in Haiti, the majority unlicensed; however, online gaming is illegal. http://www.state.gov/j/inl/rls/nrcrpt/2013/database/211181.htm#Haiti

References and Further Reading:

“Dossier de trafic de drogue Martelly/Lamothe/Bouterse: le Sénat passe à l’action”  le jeudi 5 septembre 2013 http://touthaiti.com/touthaiti-actualites/2607-dossier-de-trafic-de-drogue-martelly-lamothe-bouterse-le-senat-passe-a-l-action
“Suriname president’s son Dino Bouterse charged in US:
The son of Suriname’s president has appeared before a court in the United States, charged with drug and weapons trafficking.”31 August 2013, BBC. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-latin-america-23908142
“Suriname parliament gives President Bouterse immunity”, 5 April 2012, BBC. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-latin-america-17620920
“The Suriname Maroon Crisis” by FranszoonAdiante
CSQ Issue: 12.4 (Winter 1988) Resettlement and Relocation Part 2 http://www.culturalsurvival.org/ourpublications/csq/article/the-suriname-maroon-crisis
On the Maroons and Indigenous peoples in Suriname http://www.richandsally.net/rainforest_warriors__human_rights_on_trial_98219.htm
On Bouterse’s recent track record with mining and indigenous people http://www.richandsally.net/files/Postface_to__French_edition_bis.docx
Bouterse CARICOM speech, 30 June 2011 http://www.president.gov.sr/media/197082/110630_statement_32e_caricom.pdf
List of CARICOM speeches 2013 http://www.caricom.org/jsp/speeches/speeches_2013.jsp?menu=communications http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caribbean_Community http://www.caricom.org/jsp/community/revised_treaty-text.pdf http://suriname2013.com/reality/gold-surinames-new-share-is-25-of-newmont-and-27-from-iamgold/