Haiti: Opposition Groups Looking to Take Aux Cayes
Sunday, 07 October 2012 17:11
Senator Jean-Charles Moise [file]
LES CAYES, Haiti (defend.ht) - Senator Jean-Charles Moïse, the senator from the North, spoke from the southern city of Les Cayes and said President Michel Martelly could not travel anywhere in the country without being faced by protesters. On the other hand, the State Secretary for Communication, Guyler Delva, continued to distribute aid in the city while speaking of the population's solidarity with the Martelly/Lamothe government.
Senator Moïse, a zealous opponent of the administration, referred to movements also reported by the AFP
, where teachers protested on Friday in Gonaives, other educators and students demonstrated in Port-au-Prince, and more in the city of Cap-Haitien continued to protest as they began two weeks ago with a general strike.
On Thursday, protesters event met head first with President Martelly and a delegation of government officials including the U.S. Ambassador Pamela White while in the town of Petit-Goave. These demonstrations of citizens decrying the rising cost of living, corruption, unemployment and the degradation of the education system, have been seen for 3 weeks throughout the country.
A sign of its spread: Senator Moïse is from the Nord but rallied and protested in the Sud Department, which has 3 very pro-Martelly senators and has been seen as a stronghold of the regime since the electoral campaign.
Senator Moïse and many who protested in a massive demonstration on September 30 in Port-au-Prince want a regime change but the administration is fighting back by delivering aid. It delayed the manifestation in Cap-Haitien and this is why, according to Senator Moïse:
"Where the demonstration was going to begin, it was occupied by people that they [the government] was giving jobs to on that same day. They were giving people food that same day, distributing hot meals, giving the people money, and giving some people beatings and other forms of repressions but when we arrived on the scene the place became filled with people."
"What is most important: the fact that Okay (Aux Cayes, Les Cayes), Okay that they burned for Martelly; and for me, Moïse Jean-Charles to arrive in Okay and we protest with the population, the population supported us, and acclaimed us, I believe this symbolizes something."
"This means there is a force within the population that has lost confidence in the president... this means Martelly has died politically."
"Martelly doesn't have any moral authority in the country. It's true he has control of the state, Martelly has control of jobs at the National Palace, Martelly has control of the country's riches in the Central Bank, Martelly can manipulate a lot of media but Martelly does not have the moral authority in the country."
Meanwhile, State Secretary of Communications Guy Delva gave a different account of the situation in Les Cayes.
"For many days we've been in Aux Cayes. We have been giving explanations about the work that we are doing to have the population understand the determination of the Head of State and that he is working for them."
"There are projects that have begun already, there are things that are about to begin, there are things that will have to continue doing and now there is beginning to be a better understanding of the determination of President Martelly and his attachments in the City of Aux Cayes."
Guy Delva acknowledged that the population was dealing with hunger and extreme poverty but said it was not President Michel Martelly and Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe who brought it into the country. "To the contrary" said the state secretary, "they are taking measures to reduce hunger, reduce poverty..."
"What is important is the investments that the government is making in agriculture."
Secretary Delva recognized the protest of Senator Jean-Charles and former Justice Minister Paul Denis in the city but said Martelly's supporters do not go by this logic. Delva claims that many people wanted to do counter-demonstrations for the president but the Head of State asked them not to.
Delva has been in the southern contested stronghold of Martelly for about three weeks. Three weeks ago, at a radio station in Les Cayes a mob of former supporters of the president came to demand money. They had heard Delva was in their city distributing money to their local mayors.
The radio host was forced to call the police to make sure State Secretary Delva could get home safely.