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Profile: Smarck Michel

 
  

Positions that Smarck Michel has held:

  • Planning minister of Haiti (2004-)
  • Prime minister of Haiti (1994-1995)
  • Commerce minister of Haiti (1991)


 

Quotes

 
  

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Smarck Michel actively participated in the following events:

 
  

October 24, 1994      Haiti Coup

       Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide informs parliament that he will appoint Smarck Michel as the country's new prime minister. Michel—who served briefly as Aristide's commerce minister in 1991—owns a rice-importing business and retails gasoline. According to sources interviewed by The Washington Post, his selection “was aimed at appeasing the nation's powerful business elite” and is viewed as a prerequisite for “winning support from foreign investors and attaining international development funds.” The Post reports, “At least two US-trained economic experts—former World Bank economist Leslie Delatour and former education minister Leslie Voltaire—had threatened not to participate in key government posts if Michel were not named prime minister.” [The Washington Post, 10/25/1995]
People and organizations involved: Smarck Michel, Jean-Bertrand Aristide, Leslie Delatour, Leslie Voltaire
          

Mid-October 1995      Haiti Coup

       Haitian Prime Minister Smarck Michel resigns after President Jean-Bertrand Aristide's cabinet refuses to accept the privatization package that the US, IMF, and other international donors have been pushing. He is replaced by Foreign Minister Claudette Werleigh. Michel will return to the Haitian political arena in 2004 when he is appointed as planning minister (see Mid-March 2004) following the February ouster of Aristide. [Inter-Press Service, 10/16/1995; Multinational Monitor, 11/2004]
People and organizations involved: Jean-Bertrand Aristide, Smarck Michel, International Monetary Fund (IMF)
          

September 8, 1995      Haiti Coup

       Haitian Prime Minister Smarck Michel announces that Haiti will continue with plans to privatize nine state-owned companies, though he acknowledges that most Haitians are “against the idea of privatization” and that for many, “the word is a demon.” In an effort to sell the plan to the public the government has been euphemistically describing it as the “democratization of assets.” The privatization scheme—to include Haiti's flour mill, a cement factory, its air and seaports, telephone exchanges and electricity—must be implemented in order for Haiti to receive $170 million in structural adjustment loans from the World Bank, the IMF, the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and the European Union. The loans are part of a five-year, $1.2-billion aid program (see (October 18, 1996)) which Aristide had tacitly agreed to in August 1994 (see August 1994). [Inter-Press Service, 9/8/1995]
People and organizations involved: International Monetary Fund (IMF), Smarck Michel, Inter-American Development Bank (IDB)
          

September 9, 1995      Haiti Coup

       Haitian Prime Minister Smarck Michel begins a 10-day trip aimed at “unlocking about [$1 billion] in foreign aid stalled after a political row in Haiti about planned privatization.” He begins in New York where he meets with commercial bankers. Afterwards, in a two-hour press conference with the Haitian press, he explains to his Haitian viewers that the World Bank, International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) are holding back $150 million until Haiti can “fulfill the conditions which structural adjustment demands,” and warns that there will be “dire consequences” if the Haitian people continue to resist privatization and other neoliberal reforms. [Haiti Progress, 9/13/1995]
People and organizations involved: Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), World Bank, International Monetary Fund (IMF), Smarck Michel
          

Early October 1995      Haiti Coup

       During the World Bank's annual meeting, the Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) pressure Haiti to sign a letter of intent assuring the US, IMF, and other donors that Haiti would proceed with the Structural Adjustment Program that President Aristide had agreed to in August 1994 (see August 1994) before he was restored to power by a US-led multinational force. Haiti, whose parliament and population are strongly opposed to the neoliberal reforms, refuses to sign the letter. [Multinational Monitor, 11/2004]
People and organizations involved: International Monetary Fund (IMF), Smarck Michel, World Bank, Jean-Bertrand Aristide
          

Mid-March 2004      Haiti Coup

       “Following a US-backed plan,” Haitian Prime Minister Gerard Latortue meets with political leaders to begin the process of selecting thirteen ministers for a new interim government. People who had worked in the government since 2000 are automatically disqualified. Additionally, no representatives from any political parties—the Lavalas Family Party or the opposition—are supposed to be included in the interim cabinet. Notably, several of those chosen have held posts in international development organizations, which as the Haiti Support Group notes, “have been very active in Haiti for many decades without making any discernible progress with the country's social or economic development.” Among those chosen are Yvon Simeon as foreign minister; Bernard Gousse, an anti-Aristide lawyer, as justice minister; Henri Bazan, president of the Haitian Association of Economists, UN consultant, as finance minister; former Gen. Herard Abraham as interior minister; Josette Bijoux, World Health Organization, as public health minister; Daniel Saint-Lot, Director of Training for the controversial USAID-funded, community radio development program, RAMAK, as commerce, industry and tourism minister, Pierre Buteau, as education and culture minister; Roland Pierre, agronomist, as planning and environment minister, Smarck Michel, former primer minister, as planning minister. [CNN, 3/16/2004; Haiti Support Group, 3/17/2004] Despite Latortue's assurances, several of these people do have ties to political parties. Yvon Simeon, was the Democratic Convergence's representative in Europe and Bernard Gousse is said to be an active member of the Group of 184. [Haiti Support Group, 3/17/2004] Interestingly, many of the new cabinet members, lilke Mr. LaTortue himself, are from Boca Raton, Florida, leading some observers to refer to the new government as the “Boca Regime.” [Zmag, 5/5/2004]
People and organizations involved: Herard Abraham, Yvon Simeon, Gerard Latortue, Christian Rousseau, Danielle Magliore, Paul Emile Simon, Bernard Gousse, Mac Donald Jean, Henri Bazan, Daniel Saint-Lot, Smarck Michel, Roland Pierreas, Pierre Buteau, Josette Bijoux, Anne-Marie Issa, Ariel Henry, Lamartine Clermont
          


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