What's up Little Haiti

Haitian folk singer who had sharp words for politicians dies in Miami Beach




Joseph Emmanuel “Manno” Charlemagne, whose acerbic folk songs about Haitian politics kept him in exile — often in South Florida — for much of his life, died Sunday in a Miami Beach hospital where he was being treated for cancer.

The death of Charlemagne, 69, prompted Haitian President Jovenel Moïse to pause in an official visit to Europe to tweet that the demise of “the committed singer Manno Charlemagne is a great loss for the country and for the cultural sector in particular. My sympathies to the family and loved ones of this patriot who loved his country with passion. Haiti is grateful to him.”

That was a significant departure from the way most of Haitian officialdom regarded Charlemagne throughout his life. Rare was the Haitian politician who didn’t feel the sting of Charlemagne’s pungent lyrics, which were anything but subtle.

His songs portrayed the various members of the Duvalier dynasty, which ruled Haiti for three decades beginning in the 1950s, as enthusiastic consumers of feces.

In recent years, Charlemagne had largely disdained politics and gone back to music. He was a frequent performer at the Miami Beach restaurant Tap Tap, even after his diagnosis with multiple forms of cancer at Mount Sinai Medical Center.

Miami Herald staff writer Jacqueline Charles contributed to this report.


Jovenel Moise travels to Europe with a Haitian Business delegation by Rezo Nodwes

President Moise was scheduled to meet, among others, French President Emmanuel Macron and King Philippe of Belgium. The Office of Communication of the Presidency informed the population that Haitian President, Jovenel Moise, accompanied with First Lady, Martine Moise and a delegation of entrepreneurs, was to begin an official European tour in Europe from December 9 to 15 with stops in Paris, France and Brussel, Belgium.

In the French capital, on December 12, the President was scheduled to participate at the summit on financing of the Climatic Action (One Planet), which was to gather several heads of state and of government. Outside the summit, the Haitian President was to speak to his French counterpart, Emmanuel Macron and discuss bilateral cooperation between France and Haiti.

He was also scheduled to meet the Managing Director of the French Agency of Development (AFD), Rémy Rioux, the General Secretary of the International Organization of the Francophonie (OIF), Michaelle Jean and the Chief Executive Officer of the UNESCO, Audrey Azoulay.

The Head of State was to introduce members of Haiti’s private sector to representatives of France’s business community during a meeting with the association of French Entrepreneurs (MEDEF).

Before ending his French tour, President Jovenel Moise will also travel to Normandy, in the Northwest of France, where he will tour the Water Agency, an important institution which "finances the works and the actions which contribute to protecting water resources and fighting against pollutions."

On Wednesday, December 13th, the President was scheduled to travel to Belgium where a busy itinerary was awaiting him. First, the Haitian Head of State and the members of the Haitian private sector were to speak to representatives of the Chamber of Commerce of Brussels and Antwerp. He was then to attend lunch with Secretary-President of Wallonia / Brussels, Rudy Demotte.

Then, the President was to travel to offices of the European Union (EU) where he was to have an interview with Madam Frederica Mogherini, the second Vice-president of the European Commission and the High representative of the Union for the Foreign Affairs and the Safety policy.

Shortly after, the Head of State was to meet Pim Van Ballekom, Vice-president of the European Investment Bank (EIB)((BEI),(EUROPEAN INVESTMENT BANK)).

On Thursday, December 14th, the President was to speak with Neven Mimica, European Commissioner for the international cooperation of development before ending his Belgian tour by a meeting at the royal palace where he was invited by their majesties King Philippe and Queen Mathilde of Belgium.

President Jovenel Moise was scheduled to return to Haiti on Saturday, December 16, 2017. 


Note from the U.S. State Department

The Department of State warns U.S. citizens to carefully consider the risks of traveling to Haiti due to its current security environment and lack of adequate medical facilities and response. This is an update to the Travel Warning issued on September 12, 2017.

Kidnapping remains a threat, and armed robberies and violent assaults reported by U.S. citizens have risen in recent years. Do not share specific travel plans with strangers. Be aware that newly arrived travelers are targeted. Arrange to have your host or organization meet you at the airport upon arrival or pre-arranged airport to hotel transfers. Embassy personnel are prohibited from visiting public banks and ATMs, which are often targeted by criminals.

Fewer incidents of crime are reported outside of Port-au-Prince, but Haitian authorities' ability to respond to emergencies is limited and in some areas nonexistent. U.S. Embassy employees are discouraged from walking in city neighborhoods, including in Petionville, during daylight, and are prohibited from walking in city neighborhoods, including Petionville, after dark. Visit only establishments with secured parking lots. U.S. Embassy personnel are under a curfew from 1:00 a.m. to 5:00 a.m. Embassy personnel must receive permission from the Embassy security officer to travel to some areas of Port-au-Prince, thus limiting the Embassy's ability to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens.

Protests, including tire burning and road blockages, are frequent and often spontaneous. Avoid all demonstrations. The Haitian National Police's ability to assist U.S. citizens during disturbances is limited. Have your own plans for quickly exiting the country if necessary;

Medical care infrastructure, ambulances, and other emergency services are limited throughout Haiti. Check that your organization has reliable infrastructure, evacuation, and medical support in place. Comprehensive medical evacuation insurance is strongly advised for all travelers.

For further information:

See the State Department's travel website for the Worldwide Caution, Travel Warnings, Travel Alerts, and Haiti's Country Specific Information.

Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive security messages and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.

Contact the U.S. Embassy in Port-au-Prince, located at Boulevard du October, Route de Tabarre telephone: 509-2229-8000; after hours emergency telephone: 509-2229-8000;fax: 509-2229-8027; e-mail:acspap@state.gov; web page:http://ht.usembassy.gov.

Call 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or 1-202-501-4444 from other countries from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).



Missionary in US custody on charges he abused Haitian boys

BALTIMORE – A Christian missionary who allegedly told a counselor in Virginia that he had sexual contact with minors in Haiti has been arrested and is in federal custody, authorities said Friday.

If the allegations are proven, James Arbaugh, formerly of the Virginia town of Stuarts Draft, would be only the latest missionary to take advantage of Haiti's extensive poverty and anemic rule of law to abuse vulnerable youngsters. He lived in Haiti for at least a decade and described himself on a personal blog as a missionary with a group called "Walking Together for Christ Haiti."

A federal affidavit filed by a special agent with Homeland Security Investigations says a counselor in Virginia reported Arbaugh to authorities in September after he allegedly disclosed sexual contact with boys. The affidavit alleges he told investigators in subsequent interviews that he "groomed" or had sexual contact including oral sex with at least 21 boys. One 5-year-old boy he allegedly molested was the son of a pastor in Jeremie, a city devastated last year by Hurricane Matthew.

"Arbaugh described sexual acts that took place with at least 15 minors which would be considered illicit sexual conduct," special agent Tami Ketcham wrote in the affidavit.

Carissa Cutrell, a spokeswoman with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, said Arbaugh is in federal custody. Authorities have 30 days to indict Arbaugh, ask a judge for an extension or dismiss the charges, according to Brian McGinn, spokesman for the U.S. attorney's office in the western district of Virginia. It wasn't immediately clear if Arbaugh has a lawyer.

Teams of missionaries are a very common sight on U.S. flights to Haiti. For decades, they have done vital work running a network of hospitals, orphanages, schools and food-distribution sites in the hemisphere's poorest country. But over the years, some foreign missionaries have been arrested for sexually abusing children. Some have worked in Haiti's poorly regulated orphanages, where many youths are not orphans at all, but sent by parents who can't support them.

"I expect that what we're seeing is just the tip of the iceberg," said Brian Concannon, executive director of the Boston-based advocacy group Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti.

Concannon said the Haitian government needs to do a far better job of protecting its most vulnerable citizens, but the first line of defense against sexual predators preying on children should be the church groups that send missionaries overseas in the first place.

"They need to step up to ensure they are not supporting child abusers," he said.

On his blog, Harbaugh has photo galleries that show him lying on what appears to be a beach with naked or half-naked children. He described himself as an evangelist and religious film producer.

The affidavit, which was published by The News Leader newspaper, alleges that he would swim naked with Haitian youngsters while traveling around the country, "and at times genital skin-to-skin touching would take place beneath the water."

A spokesman for the Haitian National Police could not be contacted for comment. A website for the group "Walking Together for Christ Haiti" was not functional.


David McFadden on Twitter: www.twitter.com/dmcfadd