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9283: From High-Tech to Politics: A potpourri of information. (fwd)
From: Carl Fombrun <email@example.com>
High-tech to Politics: A Potpourri of Information
Community activists in South Florida and responsible members of the
elite in Haiti are rising to the challenge. Congratulations are a must for
the bearer of good news, reporter Yves Colon, who wrote the Sept. 30 article
in the Business Money section of the Miami Herald.
He wrote an interesting story on high technology in Haiti and its relation
to the Haitian community in South Florida. The informative piece filled two
full pages of the Herald, one of the nation's top daily newspapers that also
is read worldwide.
In brief, Haiti Tec is a trade school built by an alliance between South
Florida and Haitian business people in Haiti. It has been in the works for
the past year. As it's well known, the Haitian community in South Florida is
socially and politically active so it's a pleasure to read that "the small,
predominantly light-skinned Haitian business elite has
taken to heart
criticism over the years for its hands-off-attitude toward the development
of their poorer, and black, fellow citizens."
Times are changing, and when progress is achieved, gratitude should be
acknowledged on the Haitian and the American side. American philanthropists
were brought in and the military-run U.S. Southern command donated warehouse
space in Haiti for the trade school.
SIGN OF THE TIMES
When parking at Miami International Airport, every motorist receives a
written in English, Creole and Spanish. The trilingual flier states in
English, "FAA SECURITY MANDATE: As a security precaution, all vehicles
entering the parking garages at Miami International Airport are being
searched. Thank you for your cooperation." In Creole, it says,
"FAA--AVETISMAN: Pou rezon sekirite FAA pase lod pou fouye tout machin anvan
yo rantre na garaj yo. Mesi anpil pou kolaborasyon-w." It also gives the same
instruction in Spanish. This simple flier speaks volumes of the nation's
level of multiculturalism and multilingualism.
Speaking of terrorist activity, President Jean-Bertrand Aristide on Sept.
marked the anniversary that forced him into exile 10 years ago by calling it
an act of terrorism.
He urged the United States to extradite Emmanuel "Toto" Constant who
lives in New York City. Constant was tried in absentia for allegedly helping
to mastermind a 1994 Raboteau massacre in which about 15 Haitian
slum-dwellers were killed and more than 200 injured. After a trial of six
weeks, 16 soldiers and their accomplices were found guilty for their role in
the massacre. Six of the defendants were acquitted. Constant was sentenced to
life in prison.
"The United States wants bin Laden. We want Toto Constant," Aristide said.
Yes. Get "Ben" for the United States and give "Toto" to Haiti.
NEW UNITED STATES CITIZEN
Formerly of Cayes, Haiti, 32-year-old Maud Casin became a U.S. citizen on
Aug. 14. Her husband Marcel, 44, a U.S. citizen is a vice president of the
Democratic Club in Delray Beach, Fla.
"It means freedom," she said. "Not everybody has these freedoms. You can't
speak in other countries. Freedom . . . it's all freedom."
Let's hear it for America.
BOXING, HOLLYWOOD, FLORIDA
Elie Augustama, 14, is in step with the amateur fights of his 6 foot,
17-year-old brother Azea Augustama.
"He is following in my footsteps," Azea said. "I told him he better be good.
Those are pretty big shoes to fill. He has to fill up to the family name."
The last successful brother duo in the boxing world was Michael and Leon
The Augustama brothers are succeeding in the ring. Coming from the rough
neighborhoods of Haiti, and now living in Florida, they captured titles in
their weight classes at the recent National Gloves Tournament in Las Vegas.
They both attend North Miami Beach Senior High and train at Police Athletic
League gym in Hollywood, Fla.
English and Creole are their daily languages. Elie is aiming for the Olympics
- only as a member of the U.S. team.
A SENSIBLE OBSESSION
"A Sensible Obsession" - a film by Haitian director, screenwriter,
George Jiha - is showing in all major theaters in South Florida. The love
story is the first film produced by Miami filmmaker Jiha who also served as
cinematographer, writer and editor. The subject: A young man falls in
love with a lovely young lady to find out she is a "call girl." They
in love, get married to become both afflicted a year later by the AIDS
I had the pleasure of seeing and enjoying the film, regardless of the
two-star rating that it received. Jiha is to be congratulated. It's a step
the right direction and it's the first time that a film produced by a Haitian
has had such wide showing in mainstream America's movie theaters.
PUBLIC DEFENDER FRED SERAPHIN
There is talk that Gov. Jeb Bush may appoint Miami-Dade Public Defender
Fred Seraphin, 43, as the county's first Haitian-American judge.
His father, Frank Seraphin was a congressman in Haiti when he
the beginning of Francois Duvalier's presidency of which he was an opponent.
Fred Seraphin was charged with armed robbery during his senior year
at New York City College, and later exonerated by a grand jury. In 1986, he
earned a law degree from Hofstra University on Long Island.
His appointment by Bush would be a plus in incorporating South Florida's
Haitian-Americans in the judicial system.
Carl Fombrun can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org, www.fombrun.com or via fax
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