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Haitian Diaspora Seek to Retain Ministry in Letter to Martelly

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti - In a letter sent Wednesday to the Head of State, representatives of the Haitian diaspora, responded to the administration's plan to merge the Ministry of Haitians Living Abroad (MHAVE) with that of Foreign Affairs (MAE), requiring the administration to maintain the ministry while offering propositions for restructuring it.

111 signatures from various countries, the United States, Canada, Spain, Mexico, Jamaica and the Dominican Republic, constituted themselves an "Ad Hoc Committee for the Preservation of MHAVE" and expressed their concern following the stated intention of Prime Minister-designate Daniel Gerard Rouzier to eliminate the department that serves as an interface between the Diaspora and Haiti.

Major political and civil society figures from abroad, among them former Haitian officials, believe that the intention to close MHAVE comes at a bad time. Whereas "Haiti and its diaspora are still under the trauma of the earthquake of January 2010, they underscore the continued growth of remittances to Haiti, unlike other countries in the region."

And as a reminder to President Michel Martelly the support received from the sector during the election campaign, they argue that "the diaspora has become an indispensable support for any candidate to the presidency, the senate, the parliament or the municipal elections in Haiti."

Former Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs between 1994 and 1996 Claudette Werleigh, current Secretary General of the global Pax Christi International in Sweden, the former Foreign Minister Nicolas Alrich (Sept. 2008 - Nov. 2009), the umbrella list of signatories, knowingly, argue that any direction in a department, as proposed by Prime Minister-designate Daniel Rouzier awaiting parliamentary ratification, can not address the institutional challenges of MHAVE, particularly that of "ensuring ongoing management in the context of a clear policy of inter-Haiti for 4 million people in over 20 countries around the world, "the statement said.

The magistrate and president of the national network of elected Haitian Americans, Makandal Joseph Champagne, the first Haitian judge of the State of Massachusetts, Lionel Jean Baptiste, founder of the Haitian Congress, as the religious father of Smith Milien Haitian parish of the Episcopal Church of Miami, the Rev. Peter Phillips of "Zile Foundation" of the Dominican Republic, academicians like Professor Ludovic Comeau Group Reflection and Action for a New Haiti GRAHN representing the World, social actors such as Eric Faustin Network Organizations Canado Haitians (ROCADH), the businesswoman Myrtha Désulmé of Jamaica, have all asked the President of the Republic, and that the presidents of both chambers, Senator Rudolph and Joazile Sorel MP Jacinta MHAVE restructuring that should result from the organization of the States General of the Diaspora in Haiti.

This correspondence, also addressed to the Prime Minister-designate Daniel Rouzier, arrives in a political climate where the achievements of the diaspora with the constitutional amendments approved on multiple national and political participation have no effect, the President reported that the Constitutional Law May 9.

At the same time, the new administration has decided to levy taxes on individual transfers and phone calls from the Diaspora to Haiti.

Some officials of the Ad Hoc Committee for the Preservation of MHAVE, Jean Robert Lafortune like Miami, Chicago Harry Fouche, Gina Cheron New York, Joseph Alfred Atlanta reported that this letter is the first of a series of initiatives in the framework of a plan of action designed to reinforce the new dynamics introduced to the MHAVE in recent times.

A copy of the correspondence was forwarded to the outgoing Prime Minister Jean Max Bellerive, and the outgoing holder of MHAVE, Edwin Parison.

The Department for Women was also on the list of departments to remove. However, after heavy pressure, the Prime Minister designate has vowed to women's organizations that maintain their ministry, if accessing the prime minister.


Related 06.05.2011: Parliamentarians Opposed to Rouzier Plan to Remove Diaspora and Women Ministries
Related 06.01.2011: On the Government's Intent to Subordinate the Diaspora to Foreign Affairs
Related 05.26.2011: Rouzier presents Plan for Removing Diaspora and Women Ministries
Related 05.08.2011: U.S. State Department Seeking to Untap Diaspora Potential
Related 04.26.2011: Martelly to Tax Diaspora $8.5M[USD] per Month
Related 04.25.2011: Martelly Calls for the Haitian Diaspora to Organize
Related 04.03.2011: National Day of the Diaspora is April 20th
Source: Agence Haïtienne de Press


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