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9283: From High-Tech to Politics: A potpourri of information. (fwd)

From: Carl Fombrun <carlfombrun@iopener.net>

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.

   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.
   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. 
   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 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 
eventually fall                 
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.  


   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 
diappeared at
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 carl@fombrun.com, www.fombrun.com or via fax 
at (305)270-3799.

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