February 22, 2020

Haiti’s musician president to perform in benefit


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Haitian President Michel Martelly speaks to reporters at Havana's Jose Marti AirportBy TRENTON DANIEL From Boston.com

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) — Haiti’s singer-turned-president is set to get back on the stage Saturday for a rare concert.

Two government officials say President Michel Martelly will perform under his old stage name of ‘‘Sweet Micky’’ as he celebrates 25 years as an entertainer. Proceeds for the private show will go to the Rose and White Foundation that the president runs with his wife, Sophia.

Martelly was a professional musician before he became president in May 2011.

Martelly rarely gives performances these days, though he appeared with Spanish crooner Julio Iglesias in the neighboring Dominican Republic in December. He also has a tendency to break into song at public events.

The officials confirmed plans for the fundraiser Wednesday. They insisted on speaking anonymously because they weren’t authorized to talk to the press.

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Related story:

Another Corrupt Haitian Presidency?

Published 26 Nov 2011 by Leslie Wayne From 100 Reporters

Money intended to pay for the education of poor children in Haiti has gone missing. Many are now pointing the finger at the country’s new president, Michel Martelly, and the people around him.

When Martelly was elected last May, he announced a $42.5 million National Fund for Education to be financed by a tax on international phone calls and wire money transfers to Haiti from its large diaspora. The money would provide a free education for every Haitian child. Even former President Bill Clinton kicked in $2 million, and other international donors added $10 million to the project.

Now, many in the Haitian Parliament are asking questions. Any money raised has not flowed through the government, and only the president and his inner circle appear to know where it went. Lawmakers found that only $2 million has been put into the National Fund for Education and that no withdrawals have been made. They estimate that $26 million cannot be accounted for. Within the country, yearly registration fees of $2.50 to $5 have been waived for around a half-million school children. Schools, however, report not having been compensated for those lost fees. As a result, some schools are reporting that they are short of such basic supplies as chalk. Haitians living abroad are also angered: As a result of the education tax, calling cards that once gave them 23 minutes of talking time now only provide them with six.

If adults are supposed to set an example for their children, what kind of an example is being set here?

PHOTO: Haitian President Michel Martelly speaks to reporters at Havana’s Jose Marti Airport November 15, 2011. / REUTERS

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